tv Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary CSPAN July 20, 2019 7:00pm-10:01pm EDT
the 50th anniversary of the launch, landing, and return of the spacecraft. announcer: coming up, we continue our look back 50 years to the apollo 11 moon landing on july 20, 1969. joining us live earlier today from the smithsonian national air and space museum, where apollo 11 astronaut michael logsdon, founding director of george washington university's space policy institute, and a space history curator at the air and space museum. >> tranquility base, the eagle has landed. going to step off now.
that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. host: on this 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing, today's "washington journal," in conjunction with american history tv, will focus on this historic event and its influence on modern spaceflight. for the next three hours, we are live from the national air and space museum from washington, d.c. we will talk about apollo 11. you can call us and let us know your impressions of apollo 11 if you watched the moon landing. if you want to talk about your impressions of it, (202) 748-8000. for all others, (202) 748-8001. you can post @cspanwj your thoughts and impressions. you can do the same on facebook.com/cspan.
our show will be based here from the national air and space museum. a couple of facts about the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission, it was neil armstrong, buzz aldrin, and michael collins, the team for that day. the launch took place july 16, 1969 at 9:32. the moon landing on july 20, 1969. that was at 4:17 in the afternoon. the first step by neil armstrong at about 10:56 p.m. on july 20. aldrin would follow along about 20 minutes later from that. that mission, when the astronauts left the moon, july 21 of 1969, and returning to 1969.on july 24, we will talk more about the
historical significance, what it means for spaceflight today. and as we hear it from astronauts, historians, and the like, we will hear from you too. if you watched the moon landing, (202) 748-8000. (202) 748-8001 for all others this morning. we want to let you know that this program is being done in conjunction with our colleagues at american history tv. c-span3, on know, the weekends, turns into that channel with historical programming, interviews, lectures, and the like. you want to share their impressions on their specific facebook, that is firstname.lastname@example.org. you can talk about the apollo 11 mission, participate on twitter. there is a poll there.
all weekend long, we will give you programming specifically related to apollo 11. you can watch that on c-span3. go to our website. if you go to their website page, you can find all the programming they have planned and all the other information for you specifically about apollo 11 and other programming they have as well. some interesting facts when it comes to apollo 11. the things they carried on apollo 11. the astronauts carried science experiments and the like. but some of the other things they carried, a plaque commemorating the landing. oft was on one of the arms the lunar module. that would stay behind. they carried two large american flags. the flags of the 50 states in the u.s. territories, also flags of certain nations and the united nations flags too. as you have seen pictures of people walking on the moon, that came courtesy of a tv camera that went on board the module as well. we will talk about those things in the course of the morning. but again, to hear from you
primarily during these three hours as we have a new location, usually we are on our "washington journal" set, not far from the space museum, but they are hosting us this morning. jack in rhode island starts us off this morning on impressions for those who watched the moon landing. good morning. go ahead. caller: thank you. i am showing my age because i did watch it with my father. he is no longer here. what's not really publicized because it's not politically correct, the key people that got us to the moon were the technological geniuses that were germans. von braun led the project. there was also otto rudolph. and there were a lot of key engineers and scientists from operation paperclip.
they were german scientists and engineers that the u.s. government let in after world war ii because they wanted their expertise in rocket engineering. host: for all that history and background, then, from the time you watched it, what are your impressions of the apollo 11 mission itself? caller: extremely successful, absolutely amazing, and it was because, primarily, of those men, but also those astronauts were amazing. their bravery was astounding. i have to admit i am a little proud of myself because my ancestry is german. a couple of them were nazis. maybe they did that to protect themselves. host: ok. let's hear from martha in
virginia beach, also watched the moon landing. go ahead. caller: i wanted to thank you all for covering this from the very beginning. my husband's cousin james shay was in charge of that unfortunate accident where they burned before they even got out of space. a lot of pressure was put on them at that time to hurry up, we have to beat the russians. i think in hindsight, maybe there were some corners that were cut. they jumped in too soon, that may have been what happened. host: are you talking about the events of apollo 1? caller: yes. there was a gentleman the other day talking about that from the beginning to this point. thank you for taking my call. have a good day. host: before you go, what is a specific memory you have about the landing itself? caller: my mother and i were fascinated with it.
she died in 1976. but we sat up there at night and watched that thing, watched it go on. my husband had to go to sleep because he had to go to work the next day. but anyway, that's how fascinated i was with it. i worked as a research chemist. but i have always been fascinated with science of any kind. host: that is martha in virginia beach, giving her impressions on the moon landing. (202) 748-8000 if you want to call in and have specific memories of that time. (202) 748-8001. mark in the bronx on our line for others. go ahead. caller: i was in the navy at the time, and we were in vietnam. i was on the uss boston. i was on the signal bridge, where we did flash lights and signal flags.
when the word came from the bridge -- it was during the day says, call goes out that stand by your bag, meaning the signal back. once the message is brought to the leading petty officer, the call is signal in the air. at which point george pinsky, a petty officer at the time, hoped up the flags that said, "usa, man on the moon," and we hoisted it up to the yardarm. at the same time, the captains gate was dropped over the side with a photographer on it who took pictures of the ship with the flags up. that was it. that is what we did. host: what was the reaction for those on board? do you remember anything specific about that? caller: i was on the signal
bridge. it was just three of us. i don't know what happened down below. we had 1200 men on the ship. i cannot answer that. couldn't tell you. some of the footage, for those of you who watched the landing here in the u.s. and worldwide, people in other countries reacting to it. if you go to nasa and see footage, you will see pictures of people watching all over the world as this one event became the fascination of the whole world. we will go to robert in baton rouge, louisiana. good morning. caller: good morning. i am glad i am watching your program. i was 18 years old. i saw it on tv like most people. amazing. it is still impressive today. i have a younger son who can't really appreciate it, as much as i tried to tell him about it.
what i have in my hand, for those who collect coins, the united states mint produced a commemorative coin for the 50th anniversary of the landing. neil armstrong was taking a picture of buzz aldrin, and when they -- when the film came out, it showed the picture of neil armstrong standing -- you can see the american flag, the lunar .anding module but anyway, the coin is curved just like the facemask. the u.s. mint had these. they are five ounces. they are beautiful. on the backside of the coin itself, it shows the first footprint. it is unbelievably beautiful. i am looking at it right now. i wish everybody on tv could see this thing.
like most people, i ran outside to look at the moon. i'm assuming a lot of people did that. it stays with me today. it is one of those moments that grabs you. host: did you watch it with other family and friends, or did you watch it by yourself? caller: i watched it with my mother. my two brothers were there. we were glued. for three days when they would come back and forth, and of course walter cronkite was unbelievably great. it still sits with me today. when they landed on him moon, my brothers and i were sitting there, holding our breath like everyone else who was watching it. cronkite took his glasses off, just smiling. it was a great event. one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
it is impressive. i guess as the years go by, this might go down in history, but it -- but i would like to think it will go down in history as something that people -- you would have to go back in the past and be there. luckily we have film of it and everything. kudos to everyone that is part of this thing, especially the technicians and the people who built it. that is amazing. host: ok. that's robert in baton rouge, i believe. he talked about walter cronkite. for those of you who watched on that day, it was walter cronkite model of the lunar module one that was provided to him and used that to demonstrate what was going on with the various parts of the flight. these are historical images you can find online.
as we tell the story on this 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission, you can join in the conversation and post on our facebook page. you can post on the american history facebook page as well. all that available to you. american history tv, c-span3 turns into american history tv on the weekend. you can see a weekend of programming, other full-length features as well. go to our website for more information on that. i believe this is mark from the bronx. i believe i have taken that one. let's go to david in chicago. david in chicago watched the moon landing. good morning. go ahead. i did watch the moon landing. i was just a kid out of grade school. i remember very well. i want to talk about the fact that it took about 400,000 americans, practically all of them american-born and educated,
to put a man on the moon. there were about 150 german refugee scientists, but this was all american-made talent. right now there is a bill going to the senate that would further entrench a lot of foreign workers in their labor force. when you think about what it took to put a man on the moon and back, and this was all h-1b and labor dumping in our technology sector. when you think about the moon mission and apollo, i want everybody to remind their senators and congressmen that we two major things in the 20th century, winning the cold war and sending a man to to the moon and back before all of this cheap foreign labor dumping started. host: when it comes to apollo 11 itself, were you one of those
during the time when the mission was announced, were you a big supporter of the mission itself, or did you have skepticism? caller: let me tell you something. my father worked on the integral technologies as a major defense contractor that provided the precision trajectory technologies that sent a man to the moon and back and for the multiple nuclear deterrence. it was in my family. my father worked so many hours overtime during the 1960's. they even paid triple time back then on holidays. if you went in on christmas or thanksgiving to meet a deadline because it was such a rush to meet these deadlines before the end of the decade, they paid triple time. companies don't do that anymore. they don't take care of their people like that. host: ok. that is david in chicago calling to talk about the work aspects of the apollo 11 and the manpower that took place to make
it happen. that is one of the writing -- variety of things you can talk about this morning. when it comes to things that were taken from the moon, you will remember part of the purpose of the moon mission was to take samples from the surface of the moon, and those samples still being analyzed and looked at today. this is from the lunar and planetary institute, telling us about 22 kilograms of material were taken from the surface of the moon. that translates to roughly 50 pounds, 50 rocks in total, including the lunar soil samples . and the lunar and planetary institute tells us that two tubes of material from the moon surface was also taken. that's just some of the purposes of the mission and the things taken and brought back to earth on the efforts of apollo 11. this is christie from huntsville. good morning.
caller: good morning. host: you are on. go ahead. caller: i probably watched it, but i was only 10 years old, so i don't remember. but what i do remember is i live in huntsville, where it all began. i used to hear the rocket tests. it was amazing. i still hear rocket tests out there on the arsenal. my good friend, her grandfather was the head of operation paperclip. i just feel proud living in huntsville, alabama, where it all began. host: is huntsville still a major hub when it comes to space issues? i know you have a museum out there, but how much work still goes on to this day? caller: it is not as much space as it is army. because it is a redstone arsenal. it is an army base as well.
i worked for lockheed in marshall space flight center in the past, but my dad was with ibm. we got transferred to huntsville in 1965. rocket testing was being done at that point. it was earth-shattering to hear those rockets test. but it was cool. as a kid, it was very cool. host: that is christie from huntsville. part of the efforts of lyndon baines johnson. once president kennedy decided he wanted to send a man to the moon to put efforts across the u.s. to make that happen, alabama being one of those major locations were the work of the apollo mission would take place, and you can still see evidence they are that space museum. james in arlington, texas. good morning.
caller: good morning. my dad was a senior engineer on the apollo program. he worked for north american aviation out of southern california. he basically worked on almost anything from the launch escape towers down to the first stage. host: how much did he talk about it? you are on. go ahead. how much did he talk about it at home? caller: technically, there are certain things he did not talk about, but at the same time, when apollo 7, 8, 9, and 10, when they returned to earth, we had a big event at the facility, and the astronauts would be flown in for a ceremony, so we would all see them be driven by us in an
electric cart, and then we would be allowed to look at the capsules, which had recovered and been saved, so we had what we called the dei room, which had a lot of exhibits in it, and people would get a chance to see that. well into the 1980's, in fact. i would see the service module, capsules, eventually the mockup of the shuttles. there were a number of things that we were aware of. when i was 10 years old, i was taken by my dad to the seal beach facility. my dad worked in downey, so i was wondering why we were going to seal beach. they had a big event for the delivery of the last second the saturn five, which is what they built at seal beach. they opened up the doors on the assembly building, so i am witnessing this massive second stage being rolled out.
it's quite an impression on a 10-year-old. host: are you in the science field or anything related because of those influences? caller: my sister and i both followed my father into engineering. i worked for 11 years until 2009 in shuttle support and support for the international space station. i was a mcdonnell douglas employee, but we got bought by boeing. a sister worked for rockwell. their assets were bought out by boeing. she ended up working with me, and she is still working at this time, though she is about to retire. host: we did a recent poll from viewers in conjunction with ipsos taking a look on space
issues. one of those things that were found at the top of the list that people want nasa to pursue, environmental efforts. lower on the list, efforts like going back to the moon, going to mars. what do you think of that, and do you still support this idea of manned spaceflight missions? that caller is gone. we will talk to kathy, next, from imperial, missouri. caller: i was four years old. i remember it vividly. everyone was riveted to the tv. i was allowed to stay up past that time. i was worried in the astronauts down the ladder that he would sink in, like in quicksand. my dad explained to me that because the lunar lander did not sink in that the astronaut would be ok too. host: that's a vivid memory of
yours, what else do you remember? caller: i remember everybody being very excited and thinking this is a great day and that we can do anything. host: do you still think manned spaceflight should be a priority for the united states? caller: yes. host: why so? caller: i think we should start by increasing the number or size of our orbiting space stations, establishing a colony on the moon, and then going to mars. host: that is christie in missouri. if you go to our website, that
cspan-ipsos poll has a lot of questions, some about nasa, about the priorities nasa should pursue. a lot of information available at c-span.org. we are at the national air and space museum in washington, d.c., as we talk about the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission. you are welcome to join us for this conversation. you can follow along on our facebook feed and twitter feed. c-span'sow along on american history tv facebook and twitter feeds. more programming on apollo 11 available when you go to c-span3's american history tv. in virginia, george, you are on. caller: good morning. i remember it very well. i was endorphin for navy reserve duty for the weekend. i was driving back on 95 on the radio. i got tears in my eyes. i guess i was 27 at the time, 28.
it is part of history, and the other thing i remember, when they launched sputnik. that was impressive also. it was a great time to be alive. host: do you think the historical significance of apollo 11 still resonates to this day? has it waned a little bit? caller: i think very much so. in the d.c. area, we have a lot of government things. but the significance of it is incredible. all the side benefits of all this technology, the cell phones, the gps, i guess medical devices using advanced electronics. having a project like this accelerates all that. it may have happened, but i don't think it would have happened as quickly if it did not have the impetus to go ahead with this project.
host: we will hear from jim in ohio. hi there. caller: good morning, pedro. thanks for c-span. if that were the only channel on my tv, i would keep it. i was the young man watching this with my future wife and her family in 1969. unless my memory fails me, i think we went outside to try to look up at the moon when that happened, and just sort of imagined we could see something that was going on. it is a thing a young person would do. maybe i dreamed that. i think we did it. i was an apprentice pipefitter, and i went back to college and became a science teacher for 38 years. i don't know if i can draw a straight line from the moon landing to becoming a science
teacher, but i can at least draw a crooked line. i still get emotional when i hear the replay of the landing. i guess i was glad to hear the caller from virginia who said he got emotional. maybe that is what drove me into the science classroom. just as an interesting aside, my son was born nine months to the day after the moon landing. i don't know if i can draw a straight line on that one either. thank you for giving us a chance to reflect on the hard point of american history. host: thank you for the call. we appreciate it. things left on the moon. a couple of things the astronauts were trying to shed some of the weight from the lunar module before it left the surface of the moon. they have a list of some of
those things. it was that section of the eagle as it was known. apparently it was nicknamed during the spaceflight itself. an american flag. you will remember that, iconic american flag placed on the surface of the moon. other mementos honoring the apollo one crew. you heard apollo reference that in which the three astronauts died because of the fire that took lace. there was a small silicone disc with goodwill messages etched on that was left. tools, trash, and as they tell us, including human waste left on the surface of the moon. you can find out more when you go to the nasa website. more available on c-span3. we will go to bobby in maryland. you are next. caller: good morning. yes, i supported the apollo 11. we worked a solid year, seven
days a week. i watched it that morning with my three children. i had no furniture. we had a 12-inch black-and-white tv. i went on to support the other apollo missions. thousands of contractors were involved. i don't think people realize how many different contractors are involved in these missions. thousands of us worked. my particular group produced sat on thents that console. we told the astronauts what they were going to do every minute, including the music that would wake them up in the morning. we worked hard, so many hours. we went on to support all the other apollo missions, including all the space shuttle missions. i wrote the original launch and landing procedures.
i went on to support. i retired in 2011. the last mission i worked on was in 2012. it was an exciting time. during the missions 1990's for 10 years for the humble. -- hubble. it has been an exciting space program. it is so exciting. i want us to go back to the moon. i want us to go to mars. i think it is all just wonderful. i enjoyed every second. host: before you go, a couple of questions. you said you wanted to go back to the moon, go back to mars. should that strictly be a nasa age when this day and a lot of private companies are involved in this process? caller: private companies have always been involved. nasa has been made up 80% of private companies. it is not just nasa. there have always been other companies involved. they put out tons of contracts, and they award tons of contracts to private companies.
honeywell is very much involved. lockheed is very much involved. there are thousands of small businesses involved across the country. i don't think people realize that, but nasa is made up of tons of private contractors, thousands of them. everybody from companies with 40,000 people to companies with six people. there have always been private companies involved. host: that is bobby in columbia, maryland. here is marcia. caller: good morning. i am calling on the line for all others because i have a somewhat unusual, completely neutral position on watching the moon landing, and that is entirely circumstantial. that evening, i was 23 years old.
i had just been married for two years. my husband and i had just bought our first house and moved in less than a month before that. we had furniture stored in my parents' house. we had furniture in his parent'' house. we were moving back and forth by hand with a little travel trailer. that was a saturday night. i was a church organist. i did not even consider putting in our 10 inch, black and white tv to try to watch on saturday night because i had to get up early sunday morning. i cannot say i am for or against anything because i never got to watch it.
i think the first time i watched it, some reruns probably 10 years afterwards, when we got to the first-decade anniversary. of course, we read it in the newspapers. newspapers were everywhere. we probably got somebody else's sunday paper that next morning, because having just moved in, we would not have had newspaper delivery to the house, but -- host: any regrets you did not see it firsthand? caller: no, and i would not have been able to because we would have had to stick one of those antennas up on the roof. i am 73. i'm sure anybody else in my age bracket will remember those -- there was very little cable tv, if any. if you did not get a picture on your rabbit ears, you have to stick one of those things on the roof and your husband had to be agile.
that's funny. thanks for the story. we are going to take a cause. you can continue calling. (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. for all others, (202) 748-8001. we will hear from the director of the national air and space museum about her impressions of apollo 11 and how the smithsonian handles this kind of topic and what they relate to people who visit in d.c.. a program from moonwalk one was produced from nasa. part of that program included an animation that was advanced for the time that showed the various steps of the apollo 11 mission. here it is. [video clip]
>> the flight began with a vertical lift through the lower atmosphere and a tilt to the east. at 6000 miles per hour, the empty first stage is discarded to save weight. with the second stage firing, it reaches 15,000 miles per hour when it is jettisoned. the third stage places apollo in earth orbit. when the spacecraft has been thoroughly checked out by the crew, the third stage fires again, its speed tearing it free from the grip of earth's gravity. while coasting outward, the command service model separates and docks for access to the lunar module. the empty third stage is left behind. apollo loses speed throughout 9/10 of its journey until the moon's gravity overcomes the pull of earth. apollo fires in reverse direction, slowing down enough
to be captured in orbit about the moon. armstrong and aldrin enter the lunar module, which separates, leaving collins and the command service module in lunar orbit. eagle slows more and breaks to a touchdown on the lunar surface. host: from the smithsonian's national air and space museum, our program is being based today as we talk about the influence of apollo 11. joining us, the director of the museum. good morning. guest: good morning. i guess from a museum perspective, this is one you have to memorialize. how do you do that? guest: we hold the apollo collection not just for the nation, but for the world. when you have a big anniversary like this, how do you bring apollo to a generation when more
than half of our population was born post-apollo? how do you bring that sense of wonder and excitement and achievement that we did it? so you have to go big. host: how do you go about that? guest: it is a combination of history. how did it happen? why did it happen? making sure people understand it was in the context of the cold war, talking about a lot of the origins. what i have been trying to come back to again and again, it took 400,000 americans to make this happen, from seamstresses who made the spacesuits to engineers who designed the rockets, to the astronauts who ultimately flew on them. it is that idea of teamwork we have been trying to get across this summer. we have been doing a lot of events at the museum, a lot of lectures. we have been trying to reach people all around the u.s.. this week in washington, we have been projecting a saturn five
rocket onto the national monument -- washington monument, and we have been watching it, not the monument, just the rocket. host: what was the inspiration behind that? guest: two of my very creative staff members said we had to do something on a grand scale. how do you bring that excitement of a launch to this generation? i think we've succeeded. when they see that giant rocket on the monument, and the monument is shaped a little bit like a rocket, it is not totally surprising. but the show we have run last night and tonight that tells the of apollo and really sets it in the context of kennedy's rice university speech, because that is another big aspect. let's not just have this be, 50
years ago we did this thing. we want kids to feel like, what is next? host: on the recent poll we did psos, one of the things that was asked is, what should be a priority for nasa? climate was high on the list. how does that strike you? guest: i actually agree. climate is the most important thing we can be working on because the threat of climate change is so real and important. nasa plays a critical role in that. nasa also plays a critical role in pushing technology forward. i think it is a false choice between looking at nasa's budget and trying to solve all the problems. nasa does need to send humans to the moon. we think life could have evolved on mars and we want to find the early signs of it.
also, if we have learned nothing else from apollo, when a society does something really hard, really challenging, it brings the world together. it pushes your society forward. it inspires a whole generation of scientists and engineers. that is what happened post-apollo. host: behind you is lunar module two. people will ask you if this was the real thing that went to the moon. guest: we get that question a lot. it was a test article. this is one of them. all kinds of testing was done by nasa on it. at the end of the program, we got it here to display. host: you talked also about the spacesuits. armstrong's spacesuit recently refurbished. talk about that process. what led to that? guest: the spacesuits are almost
individual spacecraft. they need a source of air for the astronauts, they have to keep them protected from the lunar environment. they were very complex. they were made to protect the astronauts on the moon, but they were not made to last 50 years. the suits are made up of 21 layers. those layers were starting to degrade. it has been off display for 13 years to keep it out of the light, and to work on how to stabilize those layers and make repairs to the suit without changing because we don't want to clean the lunar dust that still remains on that suit, clean that off. how do we make it good for generations to come? we have a special manikin inside the suit that helps air circulate so we can maintain temperature and humidity conditions. it is in great shape. it just went on display on the 16th, so visitors to washington can come and see it.
host: will it be the only suit that gets refurbished? or are there others planned? guest: in the course of restoring armstrong to suit, we have learned a lot -- this is a science experiment in and of itself -- but we have learned a lot of techniques that we will slowly be applying to the other suits in our collection to make sure they last for long periods to come. most of our suits are stored in a dark room with very controlled conditions to protect them. host: when it comes to apollo 11 itself, what are the common questions that are asked of you or others here about the mission? guest: people want to know the human stories behind it. who were the people that were involved in the missions? what are those stories? the other thing is they really want to touch something, and we don't normally let people touch
things, but that is what one of our most popular exhibits is where you can touch him -- touch a moon rock in the museum. host: what were done with the moon rocks? guest: they are available at johnson space center. they are available for researchers from around the world who are still doing research on those rocks, trying to understand what they can tell us about the history of the moon and how that relates to the earth. the moon is possibly a piece of the earth that came off very early in the earth's history. helping us understand the moon helps us understand this planet. of course, the surface of the moon with all those big craters moon tells us what the early history of the earth was like. moved science forward. life, youour previous worked at nasa. what were you involved in? guest: i was involved in looking at all the science projects across nasa and moving them forward and getting humans to
mars in 2030. host: what do you think has to be considered if that is the long-term goal? guest: i think we are in great shape to history of the earth was like. the early history of the earth was like. apollo really moved science forward. host: in your previous life, you worked at nasa. what were you involved in? guest: i was involved in looking at all the science programs at nasa and moving them forward and was also involved in getting humans to mars in 2030. host: what do you think has to be considered if that is the long-term goal? guest: i think we are in great shape to get humans to mars. when president kennedy made the call to get to the moon, we did not even know some of the technologies that needed to be developed. to go to mars, because of our long experience, have answered most of the westerns. we know what we need to do. it is a question of the national will. host: do you think the will is there? guest: i do. i wonder if we have the national commitment to stick with it. what encourages me is the u.s. would not go alone this time. we would go with international
partners and private companies. that is what makes me optimistic. host: you are involved in renovations at the national air and space museum. what is going on here? guest: this building was built 43 years ago. we haveving some issues to do major repair work on the outside of the building. we have closed half of the museum, and we are renovating that half. in three and a half years, we will open new galleries on the west end and then begin on the east end. in the end, we will have a completely reimagined museum that will be a true center for inspiration for kids. one of the things i am most concerned about is i want to make sure every kid, no matter what they look like, comes in this museum and sees stories of people who look like them who have done amazing things in air and space.
those stories are there, we just have not been telling them. host: what do you think are the untold stories of the people behind apollo 11? what should people know? guest: people should know those people look like all of our population. when we think of apollo 11, we think of astronauts and mission control. let's face it, all those people looked the same. when i was a kid, i looked at things like that and said people who look like me don't do things like this. there were people of color, women of color, involved in the entire project, and we need to tell those stories so that kids understand people who look like know about the amazing achievement.
host: i know we have talked about it a little bit, but your most distinct impression about apollo 11? guest: the longest lasting impression is when we put our minds to a problem, we can overcome it if we have the national will, if we use teamwork and determination. host: this is the director of the national air and space museum. thank you for your time. guest: thank you. host: we are going back to your calls. you can call us at (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. for all others, (202) 748-8001. if you are watching this on c-span3, you can can do so and join in the conversation in a ways.y of you can post on american history tv, give your impressions of apollo 11 and what is going on on this 50th anniversary. d, youn take part in a poll as well and give your impressions.
all that is available at c-span.org. this is from sarah in lawrenceville, georgia. thank you for waiting. go ahead. what are your impressions of apollo 11? caller: it was an amazing event. i was 18 years old. i had just joined the navy about a week and a half before that, so i was in boot camp in great lakes, illinois. itwere pretty excited about because we were going to get to watch television. it was sunday night. we piled into a little room. we got to sit down and watch the moon landing. it was pretty exciting. everybody was pretty jazzed about it. bet, a $50 bet that we
would not get to the moon. i said i would take that bet. she wrote me how to check because she knew i was going to be going to the navy. back, i found the check in my parents house after boot camp, and she did not sign it. so i never got paid. host: go ahead. go ahead. some interesting things about apollo 11, 1 of them is the very first silicon computer was on that vehicle. developed bytware m.i.t. that was used to actually do the landing. started the digital revolution which came out of that program. another interesting thing i read about on facebook, a friend of
mine came out of the video industry. an engineer said the original data tapes had been lost. that camera they have on the lunar craft, in the images looked pretty bad because they had to take that data and convert the signal. the original data tapes were lost. i seem to recall they found those tapes, and what happened was nasa decided to sell off a copy of the tapes in 1976 at a surplus sale, and some intern bought those tapes, and they were the original tapes that the guy bought. host: they are being auctioned off today in new york. they are expected to fetch a price of about a million dollars. why were you so convinced the moon would happen? caller: i was an 18-year-old kid.
i did not see any reason how we would fail. host: ok. daniel is next in tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning, sir. you are on. go ahead. caller: i worked at cape canaveral during that time. i've been there for 30 years. i was so proud of it. i have a series of pictures on my wall in my garage. it shows all the steps up to the landing. so proud of it. i watch it all the time and look at it and feel good about it. it was such a great thing for our country, and i was so glad to be part of it. worried thatu things would go wrong during the mission?
launch that iry was working, we were always worried about something happening, of course. it, andprayed through it happened well, and everything went well. i'm so proud of our country that they were able to do that. from nancy richmond, virginia, also watched the moon landing. caller: good morning. i am so delighted to be here this morning. watching --emember 1957, i remember watching sputnik with my dad, and he said one day america would get into space,. in high school, i watched the mercury. and then in college, i watched the program. my first year of teaching, i had the wonderful opportunity thanks
to what is now the virginia commonwealth university. they offered to richmond school teachers the opportunity to take a class in aerospace education. first-year year teacher, this was such a wonderful opportunity because the air national guard took us to the kennedy center and gave us a marvelous to our. i actually stood under an apollo rocket as it was being built. it was the most fascinating thing i think i have ever seen next to michelangelo's great statues. i was thrilled. the following year in charlottesville, my father with me and my mother watched that marvelous moment when neil armstrong took that first step onto the moon. we were in great hope. i think even today, i think of the courage and the trust that
our astronauts put into the brilliance of the so many who cooperated and developed the technology that our country continues to be so proud of. the fact that we were a free country going into space and leading that. i am so proud we now have an international space station. i think it is essential. i have continued to follow the program. i taught for 35 years, mainly at quantico. my students were from all over the world. i did use that class, even though i taught english. there was not a year that went by that my students were not aware that i was a lunatic. continue to follow this program. i have just finished reading one giant leap.
failure is not an option. i am wearing an apollo t-shirt all day today where i live from the age of 12 until 73. i remain glued to a program that i think is so essential for our country to accept such wonderful challenges and to cooperate and do something that brings positive vibrations to people of diversity, people all over the world who can get excited about something that is so grand. host: that is nancy giving us a lot of history and her personal interest in the apollo program. thank you for the call. (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. (202) 748-8001 for all others.
if you want to tell stories like nancy did, feel free to do that. we'll go to carol and south carolina. good morning. i have a slightly different perspective. i did not watch it, but i heard it. i was in the u.s. air force at the time stationed in vietnam, and we could not see the video, but we had live audio. we had to imagine what pictures were being broadcast to the rest of the world. it was a sense of pride for everybody, although i think this significance of it may have been lost on us at the time. host: what was it like hearing the audio and then when you finally had a chance to see pictures or video of what was going on. caller: we got the video for the film probably the next day. it was standing room only to try
to get in to see it, and then we put the audio together with the pictures, and it made it a whole lot more realistic, but we had to imagine when we were hearing the audio what other people were seeing. host: what was the emotion like for you and the others listening? it was mixed because we could not really understand what was going on although we were hearing it. what we really keyed in on is what mission control was saying back to all current -- buzz aldrin and armstrong. we could understand what their process was and what they were doing at the time. host: carol from south carolina heard the mission before seeing the video and pictures. let's go to marlene in new hampshire. caller: good morning.
host: good morning. caller: good morning. i am watching the show on american history tv, and i am just finding the whole space mission replay is just amazing. i was 20 years old at the time, just given birth to my second child. it was just a totally amazing event for me and my son, who is now 48 asked to me at one time to please write down all the things i have seen in my lifetime, and this has got to be one of the top things i have ever seen. thank you for letting me share that. before you go, why is it top of the list? caller: we came out of an age where the kids played flash gordon, and all these
make-believe space things, and here it is real. it is happening right in front of us. today, kidsurally need to be more and more aware of this. they need to be more involved. we need to get our future scientists -- we need to keep this going. aware of not only our history but our future. man'sdo you think host: why is that? caller: no, i don't think they should be abandoned. no host: i was asking if you think man space flights should still be an effort by the united states, if they should still make that effort? caller: yes, i do.
i honestly believe that they do. i think it is important, not aly as a country, but as world, and i think it should continue on. yes. host: ok. dover giving her experiences and remembrances of the apollo 11 mission this 50th anniversary. inwill hear from willie kentucky, last call for this segment. caller: hi, thanks. awas fortunate enough to have book of every front page of the columbus dispatch and it is dated july 21, 1969. a writeriend of mine, ironically,atch,
neil armstrong's mother said, she, too, thought she might sink into the surface of the moon. and i thought that was kind of ironic because i did, too. dream, and asa far as future exploration, i think it would be like watching the beatles on ed sullivan. you can only do that once. we are not -- i mean, we did it. we did it. againno reason to do it because we already did it. host: ok. that is really in sterling, kentucky, giving us his impressions of apollo. our program, in conjunction with american history tv on c-span3,
we are based on the national air and space museum, and we will continue until 10:00, talking about this 50th anniversary of apollo 11. joining us next for that conversation is john logmein, the founder of george washington university space policy institute and author of "john f. kennedy, the race to the moon." we will have a conversation with him next. you remember going back to september 1962, it was then that president kennedy gave what would be known as his moon speech at rice university in houston, texas. president kennedy: but why? some say, the moon? why climb the highest mountain, they may ask. why, 35 years ago, fly the atlantic? why does rice play texas? we choose to go to the moon. we choose to go to the moon. [applause]
moon ine to go to the this decade and do the other things. not because they are easy but because they are hard. serve tohat goal will organize and measure the best of our energies and skills because that challenge is one we are willing to accept. one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and others, too. [applause] >> my fellow citizens, we shall send to the moon 240,000 miles away, from the control station rocket, more giant than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not been invented yet, capable of withstanding heat and
stresses. several times more than had ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision finer than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for motion, guidance, control, communication, food, and survival, on an untried mission to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, reentering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles about thecausing heat temperature of the sign, almost as hot as it is here today, and do all this, and you all this and do it right, and do it first, before this decade is out. we must be bold. 50 years ago today, we were celebrating the landing of apollo 11 on the moon. couple of daysa before that, talking about
historical, cultural and scientific significance during our program today. joining us for that conversation is dialogue's men, the founder of the space policy institution george washington university and wrote the book "john f. kennedy and the race to the moon." what was the driver of president kennedy? guest: competition. the soviet union had defined its space success as an indication of the superiority of the communist way of life. it is hard to re-create in 2019 to zero cold war competition of the late 50's, early 1960's, but it was real to kennedy, and the idea space was a measure of national vitality and the u.s. was behind was not acceptable to in, so after the launch april 1960 one, he asked his advisors, and i'm quoting from a memo, find a space program which promises dramatic results in
which we could win. the answer came back, let's go to the moon. host: that was from the scientists from nasa, basically saying when he made the pitch to congress, how was it received? he -- may of 1961 before when he went before joint session, he said i believe we should go to the moon before this decade is out. the reaction was positive. kennedy proposed a budget increase and it was passed with very few opposing votes in the summer of 1961, and nasa was on its way. host: what was the role of linden means johnson during this process? -- lyndon johnson during this process? he had been involved in setting up nasa 1958, and was clearly a cheerleader for a very ambitious kennedyogram, but when decided it was important for national purposes, he took the
issue back from vice president and made it a presidential issue, so johnson was there. he was involved, but kind of on the margins. host: when it comes to public sentiment, at the time for kennedy's proposal, how would you gauge that? guest: there was a gallup poll in may of 1961 before kennedy's speech asking, are you willing to spend x billion dollars to go to the moon?60% of the american public said no. so this was a leadership initiative. this is not come out of a groundswell public demand for a major space initiative. host: john logsdon our guest for this segment. if you want to ask questions, you can do so. if you watched the moon landing 202-7u want questions, 48-8000. forou have questions
others, 202-7 48-8001. what were your impressions that day? student was a graduate at new york university and already has a faculty member here in washington and i chose to write my phd dissertation on kennedy's decision to go to the moon, so the book was on its way to being published. it was a book called the decision to go to the moon. i had been working with nasa in the research, and that earned me a press pass, and an invitation to the launch. so i was at the present site at kennedy space center about as close as a civilian could be to the launch on that morning at 9:32 a.m., so i don't know if you are showing the picture but that is me in the red circle. experience,gettable the sheer power of the saturn five launch, the low-frequency noise. you could physically feel it in
your body. and the slow acceleration just seemed to hover before it gathered speed and headed off. and you knew you were seeing , so the combination was unforgettable. host: what was your level of confidence that the mission could be accomplished at that time? guest: probably higher than the crew because they knew a lot more than i did. armstrong was quoted as saying he thought that there would be a 90% success they would get to the moon and back. 50% that the landing would be successful. time, i hadhat pretty high confidence. nasa had pulled off the very bold after sending people around the moon on apollo eight in december of 1968, christmas eve, 1968. i stood therey,
thinking, this is going to happen. host: our first call comes from augusta, georgia. this is mark. you are on with john logsdon, the author of "john f. kennedy and the race to the moon." go ahead. of all want i first to say thank you to all the people at nasa that made it actually possible. i was a nine-year-old kid well, when they were in orbit of the moon, i think we are at my grandpa's house, and by the time we got back to paley, indiana, where we lived at the time, we watch them actually land. mom, she wasow, my basically in charge of our little family because my father was off fighting the war called vietnam. i don't know what they did in vietnam as far as listening to the broadcast from there and
everything, but i remember playing with a little cardboard toy that you got from the station that you hung from a string and pretended it was a cardboard model of the lunar module, but you pretended to be landing with it. so we were huddled around the tv set at that time. host: got you. john logsdon, the public sentiment at the time of the launch versus the time leading up to the launch? guest: at the time of the launch, particularly after the success of apollo eight a few months earlier, there was a building excitement. not only in the united states but the world was watching. the threeof communication satellites necessary for global communication had just been put in orbit a few weeks earlier. so this was their first event that was watched internationally. something like 600 million
people were watching or listening as armstrong and then aldrin descended to the lunar surface. this was a global event, celebrated around the world, not only in the united states. host: how did russia react? guest: well, it is interesting. thate always thought russia did not broadcast this in real time. i was listening to a call-in show like this, and with a woman that said she was in the soviet iton, and they were watching live, so that is contrary to my impression, but she was there and i was not. incertainly was not big news the russian papers. host: let's hear from grand rapids, michigan, lenee, hello. caller: hello. my name is lenee. [laughter] thank you for taking my call. host: you are on.
go ahead. caller: it is my birthday. i was turning 15 the day they landed on the moon, and today i'm 65, celebrating the 50th anniversary and my birthday all at the same time. guest: happy birthday. caller: thank you. it is an exciting day. i remember watching the moon landing with my family gathered around our television set. it waslike and white and walter cronkite, and my memory that day is this segment of them landing on the moon. not only for the first steps for happens and all that with that, but also because i don't know how many people realize that the moon is a of cancer, the month of july. when you look at the zodiac, it is the only planet that is its
own planet is the moon for the month of july. i don't know if nasa knew that and they landed just before which is ruled by the sun. host: happy birthday. thank you. mr. logsdon? guest: several of your callers have talked about watching the moon landing. there was no camera that caught the landing at 4:17 in the afternoon. there was a camera that caught armstrong's first steps but the landing was all simulation on various networks. and if they had been able to show the reality, they would have shown something really remarkable because as has been set a lot in the past few days, one right before the landing, the lunar module pitched over sawarmstrong and aldrin
where they were headed, it was a rocky field full of boulders, not suitable for landing. neil had to take over and literally fly the lunar module parallel to the lunar surface for a few seconds. i'm sure it seemed longer than that to find a level spot to land. they landed with 17 seconds of fuel left. it was a remarkable achievement. host: the scientific efforts at the time, talk about them. what was involved, particularly with the module itself, getting it developed and ready to go? guest: i suspect your viewers can see the lunar module over my shoulder here. it is a very weird looking spacecraft because it was designed -- nasa chose a way of getting to the moon which had a orbit,hip go to lunar and that mothership was designed to get to lunar orbit but most importantly to get the crew back to earth. so it had the fuel and the heavy
heat shields for reentry. then there was a separate lunar module that was only for going there have always been privatete not a strong spacecraft, but it was optimized for that one purpose and dated very well. sign?was this the guest: this is real. host: this is real, but how many designs before they came up at the final design? in 1962, to the final version built, there were being a big- with x number design -- and one of the concerns was weight.
there were great concerns to the man who built the module to shave every pound of weight off of the spacecraft. when nasa was ready after the apollo one fire to resume flights, the lunar module was still not ready. one of the reasons we sent apollo eight around the moon was that was a way of testing the whole system except for the lunar module, which if we had waited for the lunar module, it would potentially have delayed meeting kennedy's end of the decade deadline. host: here from sayville, new york, thomas for our guest john logsdon. go ahead. caller: hi, thank you for taking my call. i have two short stories. the first is i was in vietnam in 1969. we do not know for a couple of days, somebody passed me in the mess hall or someplace and said, either way, we landed on the
moon. i said, when? oh, coupled with dave's ago. like it was not -- oh, a couple of days ago. it was like nothing. that was what was going on when i served in the army. my second story is my old neighborhood, there was a neighborhood who never served. he was the only father on the block who never served in world war ii. but 10 years or 15 years ago, when i read the obituary when he passed away, i found out why because of world war ii, he designed bombs for the air force. to the lunar landing, he also designed two -- this was in his obituary -- he designed two of the electric motors on the lander. i'm calling because i'm so proud i lived so close to a gentleman that had to do with the space program. thank you. host: ok, thank you, caller.
guest: one thing to say is this was a truly national effort to get those two people on the moon and the 10 people that follow them. only 12 people have walked on the moon and only four of them are still alive. with 400,000 people spread all over the country, that worked more or less directly on apollo. it was a very peaceful but warlike mobilization of human and financial resources, which is unlikely to happen again. armstrong, aldrin and collins to become the ones to do this mission? guest: and they all say over and over again, mainly luck. there was a rotation of crew, so if you were the backup crew on a particular mission, three missions later, you would be the primary crew. so armstrong and aldrin were
backup to apollo 8. surgery buthad neck was restored to flight status. to 11, they were by normal rotation the prime crew. you have to remember, it was not at all given that apollo 11 would be first. it was going to be the first attempt, but there were lots of things that could happen to make it not successful. think the management recognized that the piloting skill and personality of neil armstrong made him an ideal person to be first. host: what is it about the personality that strikes most? solid,steady, calm, exuding confidence, not calling attention to himself, a true
leader of the team. the type of personality that neil demonstrated after the mission, and i will get a shot in here, and was not for trade in the first man movie. i don't think that was inaccurate portrayal of the neil armstrong i knew -- i do not think that wasan accurate portrayal of the neil armstrong i knew. host: good morning. caller: good morning, america. the pleasure of visiting the kennedy space center twice. f once when i waso -- once when i was four, and back then, you are allowed into the vehicle assembly building. the i first went, i saw gemini spacecraft inside the building, and i thought -- little kid like me -- that was huge. when i went back, this
spacecraft that was in the building was apollo 13. , oh, my gosh,t this thing is a monster. by that time, i was a young teenager. to, you know,ough televisionvenous that was black-and-white, but that was ok with us. and when apollo took off, it just seemed like it took forever like for that spacecraft to clear the gantry. once it cleared the gantry, all of a sudden, it was like boom! as you look at the footage, about halfway up, you kind of see where the sonic boom rolled off the top of the spacecraft. and then seeing it land, i remember my father is a science teacher, so he was very
encouraging. took me to nasa every chance he could. and when they were going to land, and i was watching them, and i was hearing 60 seconds , my dad compliant house, and i said, what does 60 seconds main? they've got 60 seconds of fuel left. i said, oh, w becauseo it did not look like. host: thank you. guest: it was charlie dooku later walked on the moon on apollo 16 that was the capsule communicator and calling out at the time of the fuel and as they got down to 30 seconds, i was interacting with charlie earlier this week, and he tells us story.
by the time he got to 30 seconds, they were set ticking ting up andwere set he knew when to land because the commander had the final authority. he saw where they were vis-a-vis the lunar surface. armstrong was the man to be able to pilot that spacecraft to a landing. and it took a lot of nerves of steel to do it. host: what was it particularly about where they landed on the moon? why there? why there is because it was the easiest place to get to. apollo 11 was fundamentally a demonstration of the ability to land on the moon, if that. they did a little science, but very little science. it was a demonstration that we could meet kennedy's goal of landing man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before this decade is out. so they were looking and all the
and two missions that had gone to the moon, apollo eight and apollo 10, had looked for the best, easiest landing site and picked the sea of tranquility. it turned out the specific spot that the guidance system picked overall,rong spot, but it was a flat space we could land a spacecraft with minimum risk. host: from alabama, jimmy is on with our guest john logsdon. hi. caller: hi. you know,ted to let [indiscernible] and the rocks in the dust and
what they used in that caravan [indiscernible] host: ok, thanks. guest: i basically did not hear much of that. did you understand what he was saying? host: let's go to new york. sally, hi. caller: thank you. i have a question for mr. logsdon, but one it to say i watch the landing from colombia. we were on vacation and we were in a big hotel, and there was one television in the television room, so we watched it communally, which is in itself a gift. the best part is the next day, as we walked around the streets knew we wereople north americans, and they would icida" as if we had anything -- "felicidad" as if we
had anything to do with it at all. my question is, i would like you to comment on the role george lowe played in initiating this project. thank you. well, for your viewers, let's first say, who was george lowe? engineer,asa career and even with the organization that proceeded nasa. in 1960-19 61, he did the first study of the technical requirements for landing on the moon at nasa headquarters. it was his study that allowed nasa to say that president kennedy, yeah, give us enough money, and we can do this. who i waseorge, fortunate to know very well, moved to houston to the new man spacecraft center and was the number two person to the center director bob gill route, and soul of theay
operation. and then after the apollo 1 fire, he demoted himself to be the head of the apollo spacecraft program. he was the one who oversaw the commanding the service module to get rid of all the problems that were the source of the fire that killed the astronauts. so he is kind of the unsung hero of apollo in my view, .1. .2, i got an email from his -- point 2, i got an email from his daughter, who said i would love to get together and share memories of george lowe and his role in apollo. i am very much looking forward to that. it is good that you know that, sally. are you near rpi? host: i think she's no longer on the line, but who are the other unsung heroes in your mind of this mission? guest: the man that came up with the idea of lunar orbit rendezvous.
managed commande, who space flight. a man in washington named george mueller, the associate administrator for manned spaceflight. he was able to keep the relationships with the contractors and the congress going. siemens,webb and bob the number one and number three officials at nasa were steady and kept the program on target. logsdon, the john founder of the space policy institute. he is the author of john f. kennedy and the race to the moon. caller: hello. my name is dottie. i am from atlanta, georgia. my husband and i were very
interested in the space program during the 1960's. we actually were standing on the jetties at cape canaveral. i'm sorry. i did not hear that. host: she was talking she was in atlanta, georgia during the 1960's. try one more time. i were at husband and cape canaveral. guest: i'm not hearing it. caller: we were watching when john glenn in february of 1962. son was named scott after scott carpenter. guest: the second mercury astronaut in orbit. caller: that is correct. guest:then my husband and i, wee watching the moon landing and jumping up and down with a bunch of enthusiasm and excitement
with the landing in 1969. we actually grew up -- dottie.at is guest: i have a john glenn story. i was working in manhattan in a totally different field, technical writing, in 1962. on march 1, i went over a couple of streets over to watch john glenn parade through manhattan after his 1962 orbital flight. that is what got me interested in the space program. there was a direct line between john glenn and my career. i had the good fortune of being able to say that. glenn later inr life. , ohio.m cincinnati glenn is an ohio person and armstrong was an ohio person.
that is very gratifying. host: how were they received when they came back to earth? guest: on august 13, they started with a tickertape parade in new york. chicagow air force 2 to for a different tickertape parade. then they flew to los angeles for a banquet presided over by president nixon. nixon sent them on a giant tour around the world. 29 cities in 36 days or something like that. one of your callers said she saw that she was in bogota, colombia, the first stop on this giant steps tour. they got unanimous acclaim. the world said to them we did it. we, the world, landed on the moon. the idea this was an effort of all humanity i think was very powerful and very successful.
host: this is lisa from louisville, kentucky. caller: thank you for c-span. i appreciate this segment today. i remember in 1969, our neighborhood talked about nothing that day but the moon landing. we decided to get together and do something. i was only 11. one of our neighbors took a little -- i can't member it was a zenith or motorola tv. we ran an extension cord to the window and somebody had a -- so we could get good reception. the whole neighborhood was sitting there on that night in 1969 watching the moon landing. i have four heroes in my life. muhammad ali, jfk, neil armstrong and john mccain. two of them had to do with a great moon landing. it seems like after that science boomed in schools. we did all kinds of aerospace projects, all kinds of moon talk.
it was a wonderful time and i was so happy i could see it. host: thank you so much. guest: it was great to be alive and be aware of what was happening. sending people to the moon was remarkable. it has been since december of 1972 that anybody has been back. well past time for us to return. host: what do you think is the sentiment now when it comes to spaceflight, manned spaceflight, human spaceflight versus what you've experienced with apollo 11? guest: it is good you say not manned spaceflight. human spaceflight. thecurrent policy of west government is the first person to go back will be a woman. president trump and vice president pence had declared the intent to get back to the moon within the next five years, 2024. there is a program. that was unveiled
yesterday called artemis. , a challenge but kennedy's. the american public is in a kind of excitement of this anniversary celebration. it's interesting in seeing united states lead an international public private private -- public-private coalition of countries to get back to the moon as soon as possible. host: did that sentiment after the apollo 11 mission -- what was it like? how would you gauge it? guest: ifguest: you gauge it by the media, always a little risky, by apollo 12 in november 1969 until apollo 13 with its problems, television networks had stopped live coverage of the missions.
if that's an indication of their judgment of public interest, it waned quickly. it was repetitive. all you were doing was landing in a different spot. it transitioned from being something that captivated the world to voyages of expiration. -- those thatstan were close were interested. 1972, anything related to flying to the moon could be described as routine. people began to accept we can do this. interestse public really dissipated quickly. host: is mars achievable as far as human spaceflight? guest: achievable. achievable win is a different question. when is able
different question. most of the technologies we need to get humans to mars are achievable. we really don't know how to protect the crew from radiation in a long voyage. we should have a better repulsion system -- propulsion system. i nuclear rocket engine that could cut it down from nine months to a couple of months. that developed the systems would maximize the mission, i think it is achievable by mid century if not sooner. host: from murphy, north carolina, jack. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. armstrongeard that was specifically selected because he was a civilian. is there any truth to that?
armstrong selected because he was a civilian? was --i don't think that it was certainly a consideration that neil -- almost all the astronauts of been military test pilots. neil was a test pilot but he was a civilian test pilot. i don't think that was very high on the list of selection criteria for the mission. was in the rotation that made them the choice for the first landing attempt. then his bosses recognized he was particularly well-suited to be the first man. the fact he was a civilian may have been an element. in that host: from peoria, illinois. hi, i was a 20-year-old
in college not knowing what i would do. nasa was on my list. i ended up being a college teacher. i have been a college professor for over 40 years teaching history of mathematics in particular. when i think about watching the 66 years as a, blink in the eye of the history of the world. 66 years after the wright brothers. i remember that hitting me. born twoy dad was just years after the wright brothers and he was sitting there watching the plan on the moon. that was a perspective a lot of people lose. guest: right. a couple of things to say about that. at a ceremony the night before the launch of apollo 11, lindbergh was there. not very public. he did not like being out in public. berth, one of
the three recognized rocket pioneers was there. there was a compression of history that indeed we stepped on the moon within 66 years of the wright brothers' first flight. american historian -- pardon me -- arthur/injure said when the history of the 20th century is recorded hundreds of years from now the one thing that will be remembered as apollo and apollo 11. we will see whether that is -- i won't see it, but that may either case. host: is it true that armstrong took of peace of the flyer with him? guest: he did. it's upstairs here today. -- neil's dedication was to the practice of flight. whether it is airplanes, rocket planes or spacecraft. the museum loaned him some
pieces of the wright flyer to take to the moon to demonstrate that historical continuity. host: our conversation with john logsdon. he is author of "john f. kennedy and the race to the moon." founder of george washington university's space policy institute. thank you for your time today. we are there from the national air and space museum today as we talk about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the apollo 11 mission. we are doing this program in conjunction with our associates at american history tv today. if you go to our website, the wreck in history tv website not only can you see everything we have taken in for this event, but also want american history tv all weekend long you can see programming specific to apollo 11. the best way to find out what is going on is that our website at c-span.org. in about 20 minutes we will be joined by one of the apollo 11 astronaut, pilot of the command
module michael collins. we are continuing to your callas. -- calls. (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. (202) 748-8001 for all others. we want to show you a little bit from our washington journal program. it featured a conversation with a nasa and achieve the story bilberry. erry.lks of -- bill b [video] >> the steps to get to the moon were extremely complex. we had never flown to the moon before with humans until december of 1968 on apollo 8. the first time we launched people in the saturn five rocket. it had over 3 million parts. it was full of explosive things. a big bomb designed to go off in a certain way. any number of things could have gone wrong. the saturn v performed
beautifully. they were minor glitches to the engines but they were all recoverable things. it even got hit by lightning during the launch of apollo 12 and it kept chugging along and heading into orbit. a great vehicle. the other spacecraft for well-designed, very robust. a lot of the strength of the program came that we suffer disaster early on in 1967 with the apollo 1 fire. we lost the crew. nasa and all the people working on the program, around 400,000 people, redoubled their efforts to fix every thing they could. we got lucky but we work. hard at it. host: on this 50th anniversary of apollo 11. we are taking your calls (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. for all others, (202) 748-8001. in just a few minutes we are said to be joined by michael collins, the commander of the pilot of- the module
the command module. he will join us in just a bit. this is from timothy in maryland. thanks for holding on. go ahead. caller: yes. this is timothy from maryland. i'm excited to be on c-span. i was 10 years old before the landing. nasa's research program. i have a question. --ay we have computer-based virtual reality. i'm curious about what kind of -- we have done. host: as far as simulators used today on the training of astronauts. -- astronauts? caller: or simulating the flight and the operation of the command module and reconnecting with the lunar module and making sure
that was all going to be successful. host: david in palm beach, florida. good morning. your next. -- you are next. caller: can you hear me? host: you are on. i worked at kennedy space center for about 10 years on the lunar module. the point i would like to make is i worked for grumman aerospace. there has never been a real credit -- a credit to the contractors that designed. designer, the the builder of the lunar module of grumman aerospace. it is that company that put everything together. it was never really mentioned.
we the engineers and technicians that spent many hours -- we have never been credited with the work we did. i wish you would mention not just grumman but companies like trw, boeing, m.i.t. we made it possible for the astronauts to make it safely. you guys don't know really the technical problems we encountered. -- theto make sure intense testing we did day and night until we were sure we had it safe and could get the astronauts to the moon and back. apollo 13. we used the light board to comebacker the moon and come back to the earth. i wish you guys would mention that because, yes, the astronauts deserve the glory. we the contractors made it possible. host: why do you think that's
important to mention? why do you think it does not get mentioned a lot? is the glory read goes to the astronauts. there is no doubt about that. but there is never mentioned of the contractors who made this thing possible. we were slaves. you guys have no idea the technical problems we faced that we had to resolve and demonstrate everything was ok before they get the spacecraft to nasa. it is the contractors who really put this thing together. host: ok. david. if you come to the national air and space museum, the lunar module 2, one of the many test lunar modules that are available. it gives you a good representation of what you might see if you had seen apollo 11 up
close and personal. we are based out of the museum for our program today. the next call comes from alan in fort pierce, florida. caller: good morning. host: morning. caller: this is so fascinating. i was 11 years old when i saw the moon launch and the moon landing. these guys were my heroes. this is so fascinating what you're doing. i want to mention i had a great experience about 18 years ago. i worked at a community in port st. lucie, florida as a recreation director. there was a gentleman who was retired from the military, colonel roughly ems. he told me he -- ralph liam's. he told me he was -- colonel ralph williams. he was on the team that can look for a site for the space center. it was fascinating hearing this man talk. he would talk about what it was
like coming down and looking for the location where they were going to put this space center. gas could if your talk about -- guest could talk about would lead up to that. host: he took off already. i apologize for that. as far as the heroes you spoke about, do they all stand in equal standing when it comes to your heroes? does one stand out over the other? caller: all three of them were my heroes. when i was a kid my father had a portrait, a print of the one you showed. he had a framed portrait in his store. every time i stopped in the store i would look at that. all three of them for my heroes. -- were my heroes. it was amazing what they did. it was so cool they went up there and you can look at the moon and think men went up there and landed on the moon.
it is great you are doing this whole program so people can recognize how important this was, how monumental this was. host: thank you for that. this program today, even though you are seeing it on c-span's washington journal, it's a production of american history tv which is c-span3 on the weekends. as far as their program for the weekend, a lot of programs dedicated to apollo 11. if you want to get to the you can seepan.org, all the programs they have planned for today looking at this event. if you go to our website overall ,at c-span.org -- at c-span.org type in "moon landing" or "apollo," while we are waiting r more calls to filter in, i want to show you historical context. you heard john logsdon talking about what happened with the three astronauts came back to
earth. one thing they did do was participate in a press conference. it was during that press conference where the astronauts had a chance to talk about what they thought was the meaning of the mission. [video] what this country set out to do was something that was going to be done sooner or , whether we set a specific goal or not. i believe from the early spaceflights we demonstrated potential to carry out this type of mission. again, it was a question of time until this would be accomplished. ease withe relative which we were able to carry out our mission, which of course came after a very efficient and logical sequence of flights, i think this demonstrated we were
certainly on the right track when we took this commitment to go to the moon. what this means is that many other problems perhaps can be solved in the same way, by taking a commitment to solve them in a long-term fashion. think we were timely in accepting this mission of going to the moon. it might be timely at this point to think in many other areas of other missions that could be accomplished. [laughter] >> are they looking at me? me they are near and far term aspects to it. in the near term, it's a
technical triumph for this country to have said what it was going to do a number of years ago and do it just like we said we were going to do it. technical, purely but a triumph for the nation's overall will, economy and attention to detail and 1001 other factors that went into it. long-term we find for the first time that man has the flexibility or the option of either walking this planet or some other planet, be at the moon or mars or i don't know where. evaluately equipped to where that may lead us to. >> i just see it at the
beginning. but thisthis flight program which has been a short piece of human history. history, the entire program. age.a beginning of a new let's hear from james and roanoke, virginia. caller: good morning. i would like to find out if the space vehicles on the moon are still operational. host: what is your interest in finding that out? caller: just curiosity. landing when space the men landed and stepped on the moon. ever since then i've been wondering after all these years mobiles upe -- the
there are so operation. if they can go back to them and get them and you missions with them. do missions with them. host: what do you remember most about it? caller: i watched it when armstrong stepped on the moon. back thenexperience to even watch that. it was amazing. host: were you in support of the mission back at the time? caller: yes. i sure was. that was amazing to see that. gail in florida, watched the moon landing. caller: yes. i want to thank c-span so much for these programs. i was 24 years old. i'm 76 now.
i lived at cape canaveral during the apollo launches. the inspiring thing was the sense of unity. the sense of the whole world as human beings. we have such division right now. these programs may help us remember we are all human beings, we are all the same it had the same kind of dreams and sense of adventure. i hope that positive inspiration i felt when these apollo astronauts went to the moon, there are a lot of sacrifices to do that. families, all the people who worked on the program were 24/7. my family worked for ibm. i wanted to thank you for doing this. i hope this will remind us we are human and we can do anything we put our mind to if we just do it together. thank you so much.
host: did you watch the event by yourself or other people? caller: i was by myself. my husband was at work. yard. out of my front it was stunning. it was like an earthquake that you knew you were safe but the earth shook like crazy. i think one of your callers said it was like the craft hovered for a while instead of just -- you think of rockets taking off. it hovered. the power of it. i do know the astronauts and all the personnel -- i was watching it by myself. i think it was the most -- iting thing i've is like a sense of inspiration. look what humans can do if they just, you know, try hard and
focus on things that are important and will helpand that. misse tim -- this is tim in minnesota. i was only 6 when they did this, and i did not understand the significance of it. i have read a lot of books since want -- i am interested in a lot of these said we are 100 years behind where we really should be technologically, we should be a lot further but we spent trillions on wars. last national
defense authorization act for about $700 billion. from some of these books i read that we're way behind where we really should be. one lady called in and said, we should have had bases on the moon by now, we should have classrooms in space. thank you. host: that is caller from minnesota. collins,s now, michael the command module pilot. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you. looking forward to it. host: you get a lot of questions about apollo 11, what do you wish people would ask you other than that? guest: how much did i get paid for it. [laughter] host: a lot of the same questions about this, but what would you like people to know about the mission that
maybe they would not know personally from your experience? guest: it starts with john f. kennedy. he was our president, and of course, he was assassinated. he, for one reason or another, became fascinated by space, and he thought it was something this country ought to undertake. s speechhis famou and said we should put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and bring him back to earth. -- suchaort into uccint, buthort and s very, very direct instruction that we could get done. and it wanted this pulled a whole, tremendously large group together at its peak.
there were about 400,000 americans working on the apollo program, while i should say space program. host: what were you doing at the time when kennedy was making the call and did you think it was possible when we that she made it? guest: i don't know what i was doing at that moment, but my vision was not easy or difficult, possible or impossible. kind of oscillated. there were times where i said, toe, we have four years go before 1969 and all the problems seem to be falling into place, and other times i thought we are not going to make it at all. there was some snag, something we had not understood before that we had to solve. itwas a vacillating goal, was not like the moon was that big and there was. sometimes i knew it was big and sometimes was itsy-bitsy tiny.
host: when you knew you were going to be on this mission, what went through your mind? guest: i was very pleased. it was a combination of john f. kennedy's goal, and it was the high point of the apollo program which had a lot of high points in it, but that was the plus ultra of missions. the two people i was going with were wonderful and highly competent. i was pleased to be joining them as well. host: i heard in an interview that you are very closed in the direct hand of its design and building, is that the case? guest: we were generally sitegned it to a where the machine that we were going to fly was not yet finished. we used to go to the factory and help it down the assembly line. they have to undergo a series of
tests. it was helpful to the contractors, in this case it was north american rockwell in california -- it was helpful to them to see their customer was there helping this to be designed. , really fromary our point of view so that ultimately would understand the machine with a great deal of intimacy. much did you tell the folks then? guest: as astronauts, we probably had too much power because if we said something, they would all scribble it down on little notepads, and we might have been dead wrong. there was a lot of give-and-take to that process, and as our machines, in this case, it was the command module, when they finally got finished with it, it was pretty snafu free.
eagleone columbia separated, what were your responsibilities? den mother, there a i was their ticket home, i was in orbit 6 miles circular around the moon. was keeping home fires burning and everything in order while they were doing their work on the surface of the moon. which involves whites, give us specifics of what you were doing while in orbit? pouring myself a cup of coffee. iturned the thermostat up, had a little music if i wanted, and then i had a volume switch for mission control, and sometimes -- don't tell mission control, operate the cut off switch. [laughter] host: as far as when you were
orbiting, what was in your mind as far as the ability to complete the mission? guest: i thought we would complete the mission. the aspect that worried me the most was not the lunar landing, i thought that armstrong was an extremely competent pilot. so i don't want to say the descent was a piece of cake, it was not. they had problems in their computer along the way. but i was not worried about neil is targetafely at h or somewhere else close. the thing that worried me most was the ascent when they were ready to come back up to the command module. we at nasa really believe in redundancy. when we have a gadget, we wanted two gadgets.
if one broke, we had a backup. all was true in almost cases, however, it was not true .n their ascent littlear module had one thing. if he did not get ignition, they were two dead men. so that was utmost on my mind when they were on their way down and when they were coming back. host: once you got back to earth, we had a previous guest tell us that you went around the world. what was the reception like? guest: i think we hit something like 29 cities. it was amazing. bigought people would say, deal, good, thank you, you american finally did it. instead, they said unanimously, we did it. they felt participatory.
they hadght that almost crawled on board with us. that we, humanity, had put the thing together, had carried it off. they felt very proud to be a nart of it, just to be a huma and lived during that time. we were exceeding escape velocity. we were on our way somewhere and they were a part of that. collins, every mission has a patch designed. we found that you designed the apollo 11 patch. guest: yes, i did. one of our backups thought that eagle was a proper motive and i agreed. i took the idea and ran with it. i went into the national geographic book, got a proper his wings.g to fold
i had to have a little earth popping up over the horizon and little by little, the patch emerged. itself,so on the patch on some of the other patches, they had the names of the astronauts. yours did not. why is that? guest: i did not want any names. it was a tradition started with which i flew with john young. john and i agreed that thousands wereousands of people involved that if they were knocking to get their name on one, we were not going to get ours. see gemini 10, apollo 11, no names on those and names on just about all of the
others. not to denigrate the others, it is fine if you want to put names we wereut i thought better off without it. host: when you see the moon, do you think about it? guest: i do not think about it often. unless someone pokes me in the ribs. there, something up there is little silver slivers. well, i've been to the moon. [laughter] guest: it takes me by surprise, but i am a slow learner. [laughter] host: does it shock people when them that? guest: i don't know, i did not get the question properly. host: when you tell people that you do not think about the mission much, does it shock people? guest: i do not know what gets people 110 volt ac shock.
it is pretty hard to shock people. host: the current effort to go back to the moon and even go to mars, what you think about that? guest: i like it. when i came back from the moon, i always used to joke that they sent me to the wrong planet and that nasa ought to be renamed .he national aeronautic and ifbig mars addict, you asked me to say, i would go for jfk and his memory, mars direct mission. i think going back to the moon is a solid idea. a lot of research has gone into the current plans to use the moon as a jumping off base to go to mars, but i am entitled to my
no, marsand i say direct, go. host: do you think that people have the same awe of spaceflight that they did when you went to the moon? kow how-- i don't people consider space. it is so remote to our daily lives. i do not think about space very much at all. and it has been a large part of my life. if you are a dentist, you worry about cavities, you do not worry about space. is way out on the periphery of car consciousness. r consciousness. there are so many bad things on the periphery of consciousness that it is nice to have a good thing. get in on the support and we
will have benefits. host: what did you do after you left nasa space program? guest: i went to work for the state department. thes the assistant to secretary of state of public affairs for a while. at that time, this location where i am sitting on the mall in washington was an empty field, and we wanted to convert it into a national air and space museum. with the help of barry goldwater and some other influential politicians, we were able to get $40 million appropriated, so this building was built. i worked here for about six worked inger than i the space program. i askedchael collins, you the first that you wish people would ask you and you
said about your salary, how much? guest: oh, zero. i was kidding about that. [laughter] guest: we got paid whatever our salaries were in the organization of which we belong. that was an active duty in the colonel in the air force at that time, so whatever air force colonels -- i was probably overpaid considerably. host: michael collins, the command module pilot for apollo 11. we thank you for your time today. guest: nice to be here. host: coming up, we will hear from teasel muir-harmony at the air and space museum, she is the author of the book "apollo to the moon." we will have that conversation up next. first, the national air and space museum recently unveiled the refurbished spacesuit. we got a chance to talk with kathleen lewis. [video clip] man, oneall step for
giant leap for mankind. right now we are in the wright brothers gallery of the national air and space museum and i am standing in front of neil armstrong's spacesuit, which we put on display for the first time in 13 years yesterday morning. we put neil armstrong's spacesuit off display in 2006 because we determined that the materials inside the suit were beginning to deteriorate, and we did not think that case we had it and was adequate to preserve it, so we decided to take it off display and put it in storage where the temperature and humidity were strictly controlled, and to give it a rest until we could come up with a plan for displaying it in a climate controlled case. the materials used in the spacesuit are almost all synthetic materials.
they degrade. this is especially important about the rubber bladder in the soup. this is the essential part of the suit that keeps the oxygen inside the suit and allows the astronauts to breathe. the robbers that they use, the technicians new -- the theers that they use, technicians knew it would start to break down after six months. they had to time the manufacture of the suit to six months from the plan's splash down the astronauts conclusion of the mission. we knew that when we acquired the suit that there be problems, but the science was not there for us to determine what was the best environment for the suit. display,e spacesuit on preserved and digitized is very important. it is not only important for the generation of people who
remember when neil armstrong stepped on the surface of the moon 50 years ago, but it is even more important for the young children who come here who have no memory of the apollo program. parents doeir not have a personal memory of the apollo program. iconsuit is here for the in history, but also standing there as a starting point for future generations. from that suit, they will learn what spacesuits did and what they will have to do if we return to the moon, if we travel to an asteroid, or even go on to mars. we are alive from the air and space museum in washington dc. joining us now for a conversation is teasel spacearmony, she is the history curator here and do specifically works on the apollo 11 curator issues. she is also an author of the
book "apollo to the moon." good morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: when it comes to apollo 11, what are you in charge of? guest: things like the lunar module, the command modules, things like that. host: how large is the collection itself? guest: over 2000 artifacts within the spacecraft collection and then we have our apollo collection in general which is thousands of objects from saturn 5 down the small things like space food. host: including the lunar module that we have behind us. i am sure you are asked a lot of questions. what do people want to find out? guest: i think it surprises people when they look at it because it does not look quite like an aircraft. it is not aerodynamic at all. i live people have questions about how it works and what the gold stuff usually is. what is it for and why does it look the way i looks. host: answer the question.
guest: it is basically thermal protection. spacecraft regulated while in direct sunlight or shadow. huge range of temperatures on the moon so it is important to have thermal protection to keep the spacecraft temperate. host: from your personal perspective, what is important about this day, the 50th anniversary? guest: it is such an exciting day and i have been speaking with a lot of people about what the significance of today is, and the apollo program more generally. it is a wonderful reminder of how spaceflights can inspire and encourage a sense of unity. you see that with the hundreds of thousands of people that work on the mission in a coordinated effort to huge scale. and also, the huge audience it attracted. half the world's population stopped what they were doing to
watch the first lunar landing, and it is an important part of the legacy. this mission inspire people to come together in various ways. host: is there a diplomatic role in the mission itself as far as how it was perceived worldwide? to wyatt you look back kennedy proposed that the project in the first place, he was motivated by larger -- look back to why kennedy proposed the project never displays, he was motivated by larger geopolitical interests. that people would align with united states. in many ways, apollo 11 did contribute to that sense of alignment with the u.s. mike call into you just spoke to, he tells a wonderful story about how the astronauts traveled the world after the flight on their diplomatic tour, and everywhere they went, people said we did it. it was an accomplishment of humankind. people were aware that the united states sent humans to the moon, but that it was this
larger project. it was a u.s. lead, global project in a way. that was seen important politically. host: our guest is the author of the book "apollo to the moon: history and 50 objects." if you want to ask her a question, give her a call if you watched the moon landing, (202) 748-8000, and all others, (202) 748-8001. about your book, what was the purpose? guest: i wanted to tell the history of project apollo in a different way. it is such a complex program that involves so many people and often you can read an overview, but you missed some of the nitty-gritty details. one of the ways you can tell the stories is through artifacts, so i selected 50 artifacts and then together, i see the tapestry. theget a picture of political history, the social history, the cultural history,
and the technological history of apollo through the individual stories. it allowed me to dive deep into each small story. host: tell me a little bit about the command module. what should people know about it? guest: i think even stepping back, it was -- there were multiple spacecraft involved at certain times of the missions as active ones and other times, they divided. the command module can be seen as the astronauts'home during the mission. but it was also their laboratory, everything had to happen in there. it was a combination of spacecraft, home, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and really complex ships that included two parts. you have the pressurized interior and then a really sophisticated heat shield on the
outside. host: he talked a little bit about the camera that eventually would record the astronauts on the moon. talk about that artifacts. guest: the data acquisition camera. this is the role that it played was mountedo 11, it and buzz aldrin's window and recorded the landing. but we have anticipated that this camera is going to be left on the moon because the astronauts left a lot of material behind on the moon so they could bring lunar material home. it turns out that neil armstrong took this camera and put it inside this bag, we call it an exhibit purse or armstrong f -- thi was a baggie put miscellaneous things in, and ended up in one of his closets. after he passed away, the wife sent it to the museum. we were thrilled to see that
this camera was in there. host: is it on display or kept elsewhere? guest: it is currently on display. we have a special apollo 11 case will reroute some of the artifacts. host: one of the other things was some of the calls with the computer that we use. compared to computers today, it had limited computing power, but it was extremely robust and sophisticated. this was a point in history when there was a huge change between computers getting larger and larger, and with apollo, they had to be very small. you see this huge shift happen here, and there was a lot of investment in research and development that would then pay off later on in the development of the industry. the apollo computer itself was quite small, and it was extremely reliable. handwoven withs
ropes, so it was quite robust. host: first call for you is from carol from new york. -- are on with0 you are on with teasel muir-harmony. go ahead. caller: i worked with national air and space and i was a college student, they hired summer help for any of the employees at drummond whose children were in college at the time. towas a big thrill for me work. i typed thousands and thousands it,art numbers on which they produced later.
my father worked there for many years and he was a part of the crew that put of the scaffolding in the hangar. apparently, i heard when they when the lunar excursion module was in the air, they also did the same maneuvers. hangar on the markup that my father was privileged enough to be a small part of also. my family watched the lunar it was a module and thrill. it was a thrill to watch it on tv and to be a part of it. i got to meet scott carpenter and a few of the astronauts at the time. host: thank you, carol.
guest: that is a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with us. it points to a few important things that happened during apollo. a lot of people working on the hardware got to meet the astronauts and got a sense that these were the people that we and itding to space, contributed a sense of responsibility and duty in ensuring that and the spacecraft and all the different components that were reliable, and the astronauts would not encounter any problems in space, so that was an element of the program. host: one of the people you highlight in the group is a woman named margaret hamilton. who is she? guest: she was the head of apollo software for both lunar module and command module. and a pioneer for her time. mass andt m she came to cambridge, massachusetts, and then ended up
supporting the family which is also a bit unusual at the time, and worked as a software engineer. she helped popularize that phrase. when she first did, there were jokes about it because it was seen as grandizing that profession. it really caught on and was an important contribution. up, herself, ended overseeing a very large team in the development of the software. host: there is a picture of her standing next to a stack of books for the code that apollo was? guest: yes, printed out. they would print it on cards and feed into the simulator, and then it would print out what you see in the image. the printed out code. host: how many lines of code do you know offhand? [laughs], i will
leave that to the computer curator. host: joanne, go ahead. caller: hi. i wanted to say that i was in high school when i watched it with my family, and one special thing for our family was it happen on my father's birthday. his birthday was july 20 and he of an avid viewer of all those shuttles, apollo, everything. very american oriented and loved the fact that we were involved in these things. our whole family is very proud to be apart of the whole group that did all of this and supported it, and just a wonderful memory, awesome experience to see it on television. host: thank you. guest: what a wonderful day to
have a birthday. i think that is a great celebration. i've heard stories of people having wedding anniversary their weddings on july 20 as well. parents colleague who's were married in germany on that day, and he says that all part of the wedding party, a part of the reception included following the mission. host: this is from alabama, bill. good morning. guest: yes. i just wanted to say that i was there, i had actually worked for the space program, i was the launch support team. limb, worked in packs for, five the astronaut that built those, myself, and three other guys in the shop. it was an exciting time. i have movies from where i was standing on top of the bab
building filming the apollo saturn 5 when it took off, and it was an awesome thing. it was spectacular for me to work on it and it was like going to disneyland every day. it is something new, no one had ever done it before. it was exciting for us and i was just glad to be a part of it. i just wanted to add a little saying, i do not know of many people know or even notice it, launches,he saturn 5 if you are watch the rocket, it leans over a little bit so we can clear the tower, because one of the tailfins would have hit the tower. we bill all the swing arms and put them together in birmingham, alabama. and we also work on the lunar roller up there. ande we went to florida lived down there for about 3.5
years. and just wanted to add that to it and say how proud i was to be a part of it. i hope we go back. host: thank you. thank you for sharing your story, i love hearing the stories and it is so wonderful to highlight the contributions of the people who contributed to the program, and it was over 400,000 people, a huge coordinated effort and everyone was doing their part. one of the interesting things about apollo, the way that it was structured was nasa oversaw the program, but there was a set of contractors and subcontractors working on the mission. over 90% of the people who contributed to project apollo were coming from private industry or universities and institutes. where the type of program you have so many people participating, contributing, and
coordinating their efforts, and it created so many wonderful programs and memories, and i always get really excited to hear some of the details of individuals that contributed. host: we mentioned that even today, there are supposed to be an auction for private -- when you hear stories like that, don't you wish you had those in your collection? guest: i hope they are preserved carefully. it is a reminder that when project apollo happened, spaceflight was brand, brand-new. the first artificial satellite is 1957, the first human in spaces 1961. -- in space is 1961. 1979, humans are landing on the moon. there were expectations about protocol that we have about that today that were not in place at the time, because this was brand-new and a pioneering effort and a lot of things were
figured out in real time like the inclusion of cameras within human spaceflight. host: tell us about the moon rocks that were brought back from the mission. wast: with apollo 11, it roughly 50 pounds of lunar material brought back. in the apollo program in general, 842 pounds. that material has been helpful inhundr understanding -- understanding how the moon formed, its age, and answering questions about our solar system more generally. there are three primary types, so earth rocks is a part of the key. the idea, theed size bodyt a large impacted the earth and the moon was formed through the collision. host: where are the rocks cap to now are they being tested on? guest: they are still being used
for scientific study and some of the material, i believe from 11, was just released her scientists to study. it had been carefully protected from that time and not used for studying, but all of them a -- all of the material brought back from the apollo missions are in nasa's possession. we have some lunar material on loan from nasa, and nasa lends it to scientists first scientific study. over the years as scientific equipment has improved, we have been able to learn more from the material. you are next tito, with our guests. caller: hi, i listened lives when the lunar landing was broadcast 50 years ago, but i have a direct connection to the apollo program. my father worked for both nasa and rockwell.
nasa was then known as north and downey,ation, a way, the ground zero to the space age. i was hoping to speak with mike collins to tell him how handsome age. at his hage -- his my dad worked on the command module in the second stage of the saturn 5 rocket. projects.also other say that calling to is like a program i neverf my dad because
got to know him because he passed away before four i was born. -- before i was born. in a way, the moon landing is a .ay to get to know him w alive, he made friends with a lot of his actor whoand even an later became a president himself. host: thank you for the stories. hear, that is great to yeah, downey, california. the important part of the apollo story. the command module was developed there, so the home of the spacecraft of the astronauts. they had to go through a lot of modifications.
fire was the apollo 1 in january 1967, and alerted toryone to what they need improve and the capsule to ensure the astronauts safety. and it helped make a safer program and part of the reason we did not have any fatalities in space. dealspart of your book with human waste, can you tell our viewers why? guest: [laughter] that is one of the questions that people traveling to space get asked the most. mike collins was asked that last night and someone asked him how he went to the bathroom in space, and his response was very carefully. which i think is the correct answer. it is really complicated and has been an issue from the beginning, to make sure that things are hygienic, relatively clean, and never that pleasant.
when you think about being inside a spacecraft in tight quarters. the command module itself, i read a book where the author compared it to the space of three british phonebooths next to each other. very limited space. collectionrine device that the astronauts would have worn, fitted to their bodies, and they are a reminder that all of the early american astronauts were men because they are specifically designed for men's bodies. they had issues for them. also one oftion was the less glamorous aspects of spaceflight. host: this is one of the many photos you will find in the book "apollo to the moon: history and 50 objects." next caller from columbus. steve, hi.
caller: hello, i am so glad that you wrote that book and i am certainly going to buy it. my wife and i grew up with the space program and we watched the moon landing. me is when i speak with such enthusiasm about the apollo program and i talk about all of the benefits that came from it that we take for granted in our daily lives, a lot of people that i talked to in their 20's and 30's, they do not understand that there was a benefit. they said no, my parents said it was a big waste of money. why are we going to waste more money trying to go to mars. and i am just saying, wow. whole 1960's piece of the space program just transformed our society and these guys are just waking up and saying, oh, ok. , waster minimization
management, food preservation, greener technologies, complex polymers for sports, etc. can you enumerate on some of these things and possibly educate the public on just how much we got back from our investment? guest: yeah. there are quite a few technologies that were important and apollo sort of helped feed the computer industry. a lot of people who are working on project apollo at the instrumentation lab in m.i.t. then went on to contribute greatly to development of computing. i would say with project apollo, it is also really important to look at the political spin off. president kennedy proposed project apollo primarily as a response to a larger
geopolitical situation. it was done in the context of the cold war. the first human in space. the u.s.huge blow to prestige. and then that was followed by another blow to u.s. prestige. kennedy asked his vice president, lyndon johnson, to find a space program that would be impressive. so project apollo was really motivated by politics and the political situation. when we evaluate it, we should evaluate in terms of its impact on diplomacy and the u.s.'s position in the world in addition to the technological spinoff. the united states does not for they invest technological spinoff. it is not why the program was funded and also shows that the primary means of being
evaluated. host: do you think that it still exists as it did? guest: i think it is quite different. i think there is a huge fascination. here at the national air and space museum, we have a wonderful visitorship. millions of people a year. that is a great sign in the interest of spaceflight, but at that time in the 1960's, spaceflight had just evolved from science fiction to science fact, and it was brand-new. you cannot re-create that. it would have to be different today. it was also coupled with a revolution in television, media, and communications. was also lunar landing the first live global television broadcasting. that is an important part of that history and legacy and the impact that allowed people from around the world to do something
in unison. and to follow explorers in real reallynd that was memorable, and that gave people a sense of participation and part of the historic weights. host: candace in vero beach, florida. guest: -- caller: good morning. i just want to say that anyone who was around to watch the moon what an amazing, amazing accomplishment. my connection is, my best friend was on the challenger. because of her, i was privileged to be involved in one way or another with many things going out at nasa. i need john glenn and neil armstrong, and quite a few others. it is just a highlight of my
life and continued success. of them -- they are such a different breed, these astronauts and engineers, they are very, very courageous. i know that if they could, they go up in space seven days a week. [laughter] was very, very honored to be a part of -- some small part of all of this, and i think you for your time. host: thanks, candace. a different breed. what do you think about that characterization? guest: i think if you meet the astronauts, they are very, very impressive. very capable, very confident, very intelligent risktakers, and really extraordinary people. i've had the privilege of being able to have a number of conversations with michael
collins over the year, and here to thedid the foreword book, and he is a remarkable person with so much ability, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and when you sit in on of what they were able to accomplish and the risks they were able to take a, and the focus they brought to their jobs -- host: except he told us that he does not think about the flight much. guest: [laughter] it has been 50 years. i think it is a good sign that get other things to occupy his mind. module washed to the a plaque, what was on it? guest: that was carefully designed a few months before the first lunar landing, symbolic activities committee was formed to plan out all of the symbolic activities that would take place
on the moon. in addition to collecting lunar material and the scientific experiments. the plaque was a part of that. it was supposed to symbolize a signal, but this was a mission for all humankind. hemisphereshe two of the earth and you will see that there are no political boundaries. from space, you cannot see the political boundaries and there was a sense of unity. underneath that, there was a message carefully crafted and you will see that there is a from planetere men set footst set on -- the moon. makechanged it to foot to sure it symbolized human.
nixon's speechwriter said that a.d. was a subtle nod to religion. and then it has the crew's names and president nixon's name as well. host: from nyle in troy, michigan. hi. caller: hi, thank you for taking my call. i have two pieces. i have a first cousin who was a naval aviator and actually flew carrier backf a to california. secondly, it is important for the viewers to put time and distance in perspective. just one prior hundred years earlier, it took americans almost five to six months to cross the united states in a covered wagon. transcontinental railroad was completed in may of it just took seven days to
cross the united states in a train. now that the moon landing has occurred, we reduce the time it takes to the moon took four days a space travel over 240 thousand miles, and i think people often forget that in the compression of what mankind has done, -- what humankind has done to reduce time in travel in distance is something that is taken for granted and today, we live in an era where it takes just a few hours across the country. host: thanks, caller. guest: that is a story that we museum because the first power controlled sites right by the airplane, 1903. the first lunar landing, 1969. behind me, we have a lunar module from the apollo program, and hanging above it with the spirit of st. louis which
charles lindbergh used across the atlantic in 1927. this is the story of the 20th century. huge leaps and bounds especially in terms of flight that were taken, and his -- it is remarkable to get a sense of technological development that happen in a short time. host: minnesota, brian. good morning. caller: yes. you mentioned charles lindbergh? guest: yes. caller: he is from minnesota. one,y question, number apollo 1, the three guys that were burned to death, how about 5,6,7, apollo 8 circled
the moon, 9 & 10, what about that? and then neil armstrong, one step for man, one giant leap for mankind, who was running the camera? and then mike collins, i was appointed because i wanted to ask this to him -- he was drinking coffee and listening to music, what kind of coffee was it, and did he play a little bit of johnny cash, bob dylan, and neil young? host: he is gone now but we will let our guest answer what you asked. guest: he has the benefit of drinking warm coffee in space. on the lunar module, they did not have hot water to heat up their coffee or food, so they were eating cold food, but in the command module, one of the technologies that was introduced for the apollo program was hot
water, so he had coffee. it was lukewarm, but it was coffee. you can actually listen to the soundtrack from the apollo 11 mission. it is an interesting combination , onusic, but you go online spotify they put together a list. it is fun to hear the music they were listening to. i am not sure what my calling -- what mike collins was listening to when he was alone by himself. host: and talk about the first meal on the moon? guest: the first meal on the moon was more of a snack. bacon squares, which were some of the most popular food items in the space program because they were salty and flavorful. when you are in space, you lose a lot of your sense of taste because your nasal cavity is filled with food --
in space, people tend to like this vice -- the spicier, saltier. peaches, sugar cookie cubes, coffee, and pineapple grapefruit drink. performedn also communion on the moon. after they did the moonwalk which is 2.5 hours long, they came back and had beef stew, cream of chicken soup, fruitcake, that type of thing for you -- thing. fruitcake is a standard astronaut food of the time. host: larry, joining us on the phone. caller: hello. when we said we were going to the moon, we did not have enough geology, so we put a lot of money into getting more people into geology, and one of my friends who was a female, one of the first females to go to geology school in arizona.
there were no bathrooms in the geology building when she was women so a little bit of got into programs that they had not been able to before. 21, and i was working at dallas time for a summer job, so i spent the afternoons at nasa and the hotel had all of theey itbc, and people would watch on the tv and came down after they spoke, we were able to see them in the lobby of the hotel. a fellowmeet oklahoman, tom stafford, after he got through talking. that evening, we went over to another hotel and watched the landing.
and a lieutenant in the navy usentially bought whippersnappers champagne while we watched the event. host: thank you. guest: that is great to hear. thank you for telling us of the story. one thing that is so heartening to me is the greater focus on the contribution of women on apollo. i was in graduate school during the 40th anniversary of project apollo and apollo 11. atre was some mention, but the 50th anniversary, there is much, much more attention. there is really important contributions of women to the program. as the caller mentioned, having to deal with things like not having designated bathroom or being the only woman in the room and there are such important stories to hear from the people who contributed to the program
and the women who are really pioneers within that field. host: when the astronauts came -- they're up in something that looks like a silver trailer. what was that? guest: the mobile quarantine facility. it tells the great story about how a project apollo had in such a short timescale, it happened so quickly. lot of the technology used for project apollo was on the shelf and already available. an airstream trailer, and modified it to quarantine the astronauts. the question was whether they would bring back problematic pathogens from the moon and something of the modern-day equivalent of the columbian exchange. they want to make sure the astronauts were quarantined just in case. but there was not a solution of how to quarantine them from the
landing to houston. they came up with a solution, to have this airstream trailer, small enough that it could be on the aircraft carrier, and it can be transferred by airplane to houston. they did a number of modifications but if you look at it, it is an airstream trailer from that period. they left the beds, kitchen, microwave, and they were able to eat steak entering martinis, and have a hot shower. but they changed the pressure of the airstream trailer to make sure that nothing would escape and put in special filters and things like that, but it was a comfortable little vacation trailer for them that they were able to live in. host: let's go to clay in north carolina. caller: good morning. it is an honor to be on. i would just, my grandfather and livedwho worked in newport news, norfolk area.
he was as a little child telling this and seeing the anniversary now, he was involved in it. of one of the scientists trainer that would be up in the hangars when they were training the astronauts to land on the moon. over the weekend, watching all of this and listening to my mom telling me stories about back in the day that they would do a $20 tax, back in that time, 1968, 1969, it was a lot of money for a lot of folks. folks. all of america had a lot to do with landing on the moon. it is just a privilege and an honor to have the apart of it and to know that one of my family members had something to do with landing on the moon,
apollo 11. that is awesome. host: thank you. final thoughts on apollo 11 he brought up a great point apollo at one point cost a huge part of the federal budget. it is a good reminder why the country invested in a program like that, and to be reminded placet was a significant on soft power within the cold war. host: the book is called "apollo to the moon, announcer: 50 years, on july 20, 2019, astronauts landed on the
moon while michael collins orbited the moon and the command module. watch c-span3 this weekend for special apollo 11 coverage commemorating the 50th anniversary of the lodge, landing and return of apollo 11 astronaut and spacecraft. the 50thear marks anniversary of the apollo 11 mission to the moon. next on "reel america." moonwalk one, a feature-length documentary about apollo 11 commissioned by nasa, opening with scenes of england's stonehenge. the film was compared to "2001: a space odyssey" which came out in 1968. "moonwalk one" follows prelaunch preparations to parades after the astronauts' space return, with rarely-seen footage in between. the program also includes