tv CBS Coverage of Apollo 11 Return to Earth CSPAN July 21, 2019 11:22pm-12:11am EDT
with uncle ed or superman or whoever. announcer: all weekend, american history tv is looking back 50 years to the apollo 11 moon landing. we continue now with cbs live coverage of the return and recovery of the apollo 11 astronauts on july 24, 1969. the broadcast includes president nixon's interviews with the three astronauts, buzz aldrin, neil armstrong, and michael hornet, aboard the uss the ship that retrieve the columbia command module from a remote area of the pacific ocean. this is american history tv on c-span3, where every weekend we explore our nation's past. >> it looks as if they are on the aircraft carrier, and they are appearing ready for the ceremony. >> mr. secretary, how are you? nice to see you. i wonder if we could ask you, do
you have any indication what the response to this successful moonshot has been around the world? >> it has been tremendous. i don't suppose anything has ever had as much effect around the world as this event. the president will comment on it in a statement, but it has been tremendous. be of particular significance to the foreign affairs, especially because of the attitude of the astronauts. >> mr. secretary, do you expect there will be some initial effect visible on the trip the president is beginning? >> yes, without any question, and i'm sure that will be true in japan and other places. in japan the reaction has been great. i better go back to it. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. that was secretary of state rogers who has come here in advance of the arrival of the president, standing now with henry kissinger, the president's advisor on defense matters, admiral mccain, the commander-in-chief of the specific courses, real admiral davis.
now, we have been james, who is slowly making his way over to us. fromwhat is the word inside the mobile facility on the condition of the astronauts? >> they appear to be in great condition. the doctor has finished taking blood samples and swaps, so he is through with them, and i was talking with them a couple minutes ago and aldrin is getting out of the shower. armstrong and collins are already there. i talked to collins, and he said he is proud to be back, they are all very happy to be back, and very proud of what they have accomplished. they are especially proud of the recovery force, so that's a good thing. >> i believe the recovery went off without a single hitch as far as we can tell. >> it was one of our best. >> i suppose it is too early to find out if there's any initial determination by the doctor
about the possible effects of the lunar excursion by aldrin and armstrong? >> yes, of course this is a cursory examination, the normal physical he is going through, nothing very different from what we've done on all of them. but the analyses of these things back in houston are going to be the determining factor. he says from a medical point of view at this particular time, they look great. they look great. >> this has been the report on almost every other flight. >> that's right. i hope it continues that way. >> was there any particular quote from armstrong, the flight commander? >> i didn't have a chance to talk to neil, and i didn't talk to aldrin. but i did talk to collins. that was the only one who is available. but they are feeling fine. he says they are all in great shape, they feel fine and can't wait to get home. >> that will be great news not only for their families, but for the whole american people. thank you very much.
that was been james, the national public affairs officer who has given us the most encouraging word on the conditions of our astronauts, armstrong, aldrin, and collins, following their return from the lunar flight, the initial medical examination inside the mobile quarantine facility. very shortly no, we can expect the president, who has been kept informed in detail of the developments down here on the flight deck, will be making his appearance on the hanger and will be coming over to congratulate the astronauts. he also has received word that we just received, that the astronauts are in good condition and happy to be back. delighted with the recovery, which went off without a flaw. we here at will before minutes, when president nixon will be down here on the hanger deck. the honor guard is standing at attention on either side of the
door to the mobile quarantine facility. any moment now, the curtains in the window over the presidential seal will be drawn back, revealing the three astronauts. agojames spoke a moment about the fact that one of them had taken a shower. there is a pocket-sized left lavator, and there is space for a shower. it's not a full-sized shower by any means, it's a very small sized bathtub, not much more than a foot bath, with the shower overhead so that they can take a shower. is receiving the water at this time, but that will be cut off just before it is offloaded to be carted over to the air force base and flown back to ellington in texas, at
which point the astronauts will 41, anded from the c1 another tractor-trailer, they call with the 40 k, will be taken over to ellington for the lunar receiving laboratory. the tunnel made of semitransparent plastic is established from the door on the side of the mobile quarantine facility, waiting only for the moment when the command module will be brought on board. module, when it is brought back to land, will go to california for a 21 day quarantine period, and a very detailed inspection. by that time, the lunar samples, the lunar rocks, that the
astronauts brought back from the and, will have been removed sent to the various scientific teams that have been waiting fromusly for the samples our sister planet, the moon, for an examination in detail of the lunar soil and litter rocks and the other substances the astronauts brought back. also removed from the command be havethe hornet will some of the astronauts personal effects and a few other bits of material. they will be taken out by john hira sake, the nasa project engineer, and also by the astronauts. a correction on something i said a moment ago, the spacecraft will be sent to houston, texas, not california.
moment, the dignitaries who are on board with the presidential pardon our gathering. there is, of course, secretary of state rogers, who is carrying one of the hornets' baseball caps. caps that the captain has been spreading around. the president has come down the escalator through the hatch to the hangar deck. ♪ ♪ chief" plays]
>> president nixon waving to the astronauts. the curtains have been drawn and there they are in the rear window. [applause] >> the president signaling for applause from the crowd. >> neil, buzz and mike, i want you to know that i think i'm the luckiest man in the world and i say this not only because i have the honor to be president of the united states but particularly because i have the privilege of speaking for so many in welcoming you back to earth. i can tell you about all the messages we've received in
washington. over 100 foreign governments, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and kings have sent the most warm messages that we've ever received. they represent over two billion people on this earth, all of them who have had an opportunity through television to see what you have done. and then i also bring you messages from members of the cabinet and members of the senate and members of the house and the space agency, from the streets of san francisco where people stopped me a few days ago. you all love that city, as i do. but most important i had a telephone call yesterday, the toll wasn't, incidentally, as great as the one i made to you fellows on the moon. i made that call collect if you didn't know. [laughter] but i called three of the in my view greatest ladies and
most courageous ladies, your wives, and from jan and joan and pat, i bring their love and their congratulations. we think it's just wonderful they could have participated at least two television in this return. we're only sorry they couldn't be here. i've got to let you know a little secret. i made a date with them. [laughter] i invited them to dinner on the 13th, right after you come out of quarantine. it will be a state dinner held in los angeles. the governors of all the 50 states will be there. the ambassadors, others from around the world and in america. and they told me that you would come too. know, is will you come? we want to honor you then?
>> we'll do anything you say, mr. president. president nixon: one question that i think all of would you say like to ask, as we saw you bouncing around in that boat out there i wonder if that wasn't the hardest part of the journey? did any of you get seasick? >> no, it didn't, and it was one of the harder parts but it was one of the most pleasant, we can assure you. president nixon: i just know that you can sense what we all sense, when you get back now. you've been able to follow some of the things that happened when you were gone. did you know about the all-star game? >> the capsule communicators have been giving us reports. president nixon. were you american league or national league? >> i'm american league. >> nonpartisan, sir. president nixon: there is the politician in the group. [laughter] >> sorry to have missed that game. president nixon: you knew that, too? >> we heard. we haven't learned to control the weather yet, but that is something to look forward to. president nixon: you knew that, too? i can only summarize because i
know you have so much to do. and gee, you look great. do you feel as look as you look? >> we feel great. i understand frank borman says you're a little younger by reason of having gone into space. do you feel that way? >> we're a lot younger than frank borman. [laughter] president nixon: there he is over there. come on over, frank, so they can see you. are you going to take that line down? >> it looks like he has aged. come on, frank. >> mr. president, the one thing, we have a poet in my collins, and he really gave me a hard time for using words of fantastic and beautiful, and i counted them, in three minutes up there he used four fantastics and two beautifuls. [laughter] president nixon: let me close off with this one thing. i was thinking, as you came down, and we know it was a success.
and it had only been eight days, just a week, a long week, but this is the greatest week in the and it had only been eight days, history of the world since the creation. because, as a result of what happened in this week, the world is bigger infinitely, and also, as i'm going to find on this trip around the world, and secretary rogers will find as he covers the other countries in asia, as a result of what you've done, the world has never been closer together before, and we just thank you for that, and i only hope that all of us in government, all of us america, that as a result of what you've done, we can do our job a little better. we can reach for the stars, just as you have reached so far to the stars. we don't want to how old any longer. does anybody have a last word? how about promotions, do you think we can arrange something? [laughter] >> we're just pleased to be back and very honored that you were so kind to come out here and welcome us back, and we look forward to getting out of this
quarantine and talking without having glass between us. president nixon: incidentally, speeches you have to make at this dinner can be very short and if you want to just say fantastic or beautiful, that's all right with us. you don't have to think of any new adjectives. they have all been said. incidentally, all of us who, the millions that are seeing us on television now and seeing you, will feel as i do, and since our prayers have been answered, i think it would be very appropriate if the chaplain of this ship were to offer a prayer of thanksgiving and if he would step up now, chaplain, thank you. >> let us pray. lord god, our heavenly father, our minds are staggered and our spirits exultant with the magnitude and precision of this entire apollo 11 mission. we have spent the past week in
communal anxiety and hope as our astronauts sped through the glories and dangers of the heavens. as we try to understand and analyze the scope of this achievement for human life, our reason is overwhelmed with abounding gratitude and joy. even as we realize the increasing challenges of the future, this magnificent event illustrates anew what man can accomplish when purpose is firm. a man on the moon was promised in this decade, and though some were unconvinced, reality is with us this morning in the persons of astronauts armstrong, aldrin and collins. we applaud their splendid exploits and pour out our thanksgiving for their safe return to us, to their families, to all mankind. from our innermost beings, we
sing humble yet exuberant praise. may the great effort and commitment seen in this project inspire our lives to move similarly in other areas of need. may we, the people, by our enthusiasm and devotion and insight move to new landings in brotherhood, human concern and mutual respect. , with tireless leadership and committed fellowship blaze new trails into all areas of human cares. see our enthusiasm and bless our joy with dedicated purpose for the many needs at hand. link us in friendship with peoples throughout the world as we strive together to better the human condition. grant us peace, beginning in our own hearts, and a mind attuned with goodwill towards our neighbor. all this we pray, as our
>> president nixon leaving the hangar deck. the navy band has honored him with the traditional flourishes, "hail to the chief." the president now going up the ask later to the flight deck, where we find keith mcphee. >> i don't think we have seen the president look like this since his own inauguration, and i think he was in fact even more enthusiastic, talking to the astronauts in their sealed chamber. it looked like he was about to proud.self, he was so and he's appeared that way all day, watching the splashdown, but mower specially -- more especially confronting them through that little glass door. he seemed to take a little leap or something. the he is, marching on
flight deck, bidding farewell to the captain, who over the last two weeks has been one of the most overworked men i've ever seen. the captain is taking him to meet the sailors, from the flight deck crew. very courageous young men. in a world, their being is loaded catapults, razor sharp, whirring helicopter rotor blades, and high-powered aviation fuel. lead veryg men dangerous lives. now the president is going down the line, shaking hands with the
flight deck crew. little dirty,, a but nobody deserves a presidential handshake more than these young fellows who keep the planes flying on and off. >> the different colors of jerseys represent the different chores they have on the flight deck. dealing with ordinance or fuel, safety, moving helicopters. boys whog there, the have a different flight colors on. there they go up the steps, into marine one. >> somebody asked the captain the other day, if this wasn't a great inconvenience, having the president and all his party on board, when he was trying to recover astronauts in the spacecraft. he said no, he thought it was inconvenient for the president to have to get up before 5:00 in
the morning. >> we asked him many times, ab out his duties of getting the astronauts back. he said no, the presence of the president really pointed up the importance of this historic event. >> somebody asked the air officer, the man who is in charge of all the landings and takeoffs, flight deck and hangar deck, whether this wasn't a big headache for him to have the president who is now about to step on his helicopter and to the other visitors. >> there he goes. >> so long, mr. president. is a quietcers, this sunday afternoon compared to the air operations over north vietnam, taking off and landing every 12 minutes. >> the chaplain who gave the prayer down there. he was the one who played
president nixon during the simulations, the drills for the president's visit. we understand he's beginning to talk politics around the board room. >> he's taken a lot of ribbing about that. mr. nixon goes from here to the communications ship arlington, which is about halfway between here and johnson island. he'll put down and refuel there. >> from johnston, he will go to manila in the philippines, to bangkok, thailand, jakarta, indonesia, new delhi, lahore, pakistan and then bucharest, romania.
>> and so president nixon, after telling the men of apollo 11 that their mission was the one of, the greatest event in the history of man, flies away from the recovery aircraft carrier hornet on his flight around the world. cbs news coverage of the recovery of apollo 11 will continue in a moment. >> cbs news coverage of man on the moon, splashdown and recovery, continues after station identification. >> this is cbs. ♪ >> this is cbs news coverage of
man on the moon. the epic journey of apollo 11. >> sponsored by western electric, manufacturing and supply unit of the bell system. and by the international paper company, where good ideas grow on trees. and by maxim freeze-dried coffee. here again is walter cronkite. walter: we're waiting for word from houston that apollo commander neil armstrong's wife is about to come out of their home there to say a word to large crowd of neighbors and press, while the president of the united states stood by and we heard a prayer of thanksgiving from the aircraft carrier hornet. there were similar prayers being offered around this nation and this exultant moment of excitement and self-congratulations to the people of the united states for the success of the mission or of apollo 11 and
congratulations, of course to armstrong, aldrin and collins and the whole space team. cardinal cook in new york led a mass of thanksgiving at new york's cathedral here, and similar services in grace episcopal cathedral in san francisco, and community service in parsons, kansas, and in numerous churches across the entire nation. bells, chimes from churches along fifth avenue in san francisco, firecrackers tossed from the tallest buildings and tickertape in the financial district there. a bedlam of noise in san francisco in neil armstrong's hometown in ohio. the high school band began a parade, and nearly all of the town people followed along through the streets. it's a day of great excitement, great joy throughout the united states and presumably throughout the world. the wives of the astronauts have
passed word out to the press, through nasa spokesmen, during . mrs. armstrong, we're told, sat in the living room crowded with some 30 persons. she showed no outward emotion when her husband was pronounced well and down safely. she sat on the floor in front of the television set with her sons, eric 12, and mark 6, and listened to astronaut james lovell, sitting with them and explaining what was happening at every stage of the let-down. from the announcements carried over the intercom systems from mission control, into the homes of the astronauts' wives. misses pat collins was said to be pleased but restrained. later she said i felt the greatest thrill at the sighting of the craft. i felt especially thankful for the successful conclusion of
this flight. she had six astronaut wives with home in houston. champagne began flowing just as soon as the splashdown took place. the aldrin home likewise. with his corks popped, father-in-law, michael archer from arcadia, enjoying the festivities there, and also, firecrackers on the lawn. reaction, excitement around the world. we heard president nixon say there might be promotions waiting for these fellows. actually the nasa rules up to now, perhaps all rules will be off with the flight to the moon but the rules up to now have been a promotion after the first flight in space and each of these fellows has had one flight before. thehey are not entitled by old rules, but they might get them anyway. if so, that will move air force colonel neil armstrong up to
andadier general, lieutenant colonel aldrin, excuse me, armstrong of course is a civilian. it would move aldrin to brigadier general, wouldn't it, and mike collins up to colonel. he's lieutenant colonel right now. that was a nice retort they came back with, when they talked about the age. borman suggesting they were a little bit younger than they were when they went off, and he would be glad to have arthur clark explain it. but they came back and said they had always been younger than borman. that's true. he's a couple years older than each of them. they are all just about the same age. actually aldrin by a couple of months is older. he's 39 and the other two are 38 at this given moment. they were wearing buttons that the hornet crew probably gave them, little yellow buttons that said hornet plus three. the hornet had taken on three extra passengers out there 950 miles southwest of hawaii.
an unusual place to take them aboard. now,at's this business arthur? we talked about it before, but as we wait for mrs. armstrong to come out in houston. the relativity effect? >> the rate at which time flows is a function of velocity. at very high speeds. you come back to where you started, eventually, and you will have aged slightly left then -- less than the people you left behind. these journeys next door, it is about a millionth of a second difference. it is going to be important when you start going to the stars. it may be differences of hundreds of years when they come back, still as a young man, finding even civilization on earth has passed away, but this shouldn't worry us until we start traveling to the stars.
>> there's one problem. you do not get younger. you get less old. you don't age as fast. >> that's true. >> so you can't come back, unfortunately. [laughter] you could come back a million years from now and be only a few years older than you were when you started, as far as you are concerned. >> on the other hand. whether you're younger or older, you have seen, i don't know how many times, more sunrises and sunsets than you're entitled to. [laughter] every orbit of the earth and you have made as many as anybody practically. but every orbit of the earth, you are making that in an hour and a half. >> it's about 16 per day. after about 12 days, that's quite a few of them. >> yeah. >> international dateline, crossing the international dateline every 90 minutes. if you wind the calendar back, that's the way to get younger. [laughter] >> we're waiting for mrs. armstrong at houston. waiting for word that she's
leaving her house and television cameras set up on the lawn along with steel cameras, from the world's press waiting to see the wife of the commander of apollo 11 on this great day when they have returned safely to earth after a historic mission to the moon. we reported a little bit earlier, congratulations are flowing in. they came the first time with landing on the moon and now with successful completion of the entire mission. the president of the soviet union sent his congratulations from moscow. the russian news agency tass reports. you know, as we wait for mrs. armstrong, something occurs to me here. i got a very nice wire from general ed white. astronaut father, an
who was our first to walk many space and who lost his live in the pad fire of what was to have been the first test flight of the apollo command module. along with gus grissom and roger chaffee. we say frequently and it's almost a cliche that these men did not die in vain. these fellows really didn't because they made major contribution that we'll talk about in just a moment. first, here is mrs. armstrong. >> how are you today? >> i am fine. have all your prayers been answered? >> yes. i would like to say to the president of the united states, president nixon, president johnson, president kennedy, to all of nasa, all of the contractors who have helped to make this flight successful, to the astronaut crew, to the men, the three men, who made this
historic flight, and to all the people from the world, we thank you for everything, your prayers, your thoughts, for everything. if anyone wants to ask me how i could describe this flight, i can only say that it was absolutely out of this world. >> i'm just proud of my dad. armstrong, do you have anything you would be able to tell us about? can you tell us know what your husbands trip to the moon is done for you? can you tell us what the president said in his telephone call? would --d me that he
armstrong could get flowers. thought, obviously expresses the wishes of all of us, that we could also in to misses armstrong, we'd like that if she could be buried in them. we heard word that they did not die in vain because, quite although the program by that verye it led toident refinements in the program that really has given us this perfect flightsince this first leading up to this magnificent climax today. ashes.id rise out of the
i think the crew performed .lawlessly >> they certainly did not die in .ain cbs news 11 will continue in a moment. the nations pledge has now been fulfilled. the lunar age has begun. with it, mankind's march upward into that endless sky, a small planet circling an insignificant start to minor solar system on the fringe of the seemingly infinite universe. the path ahead will be long, arduous. it is going to be pretty doggone costly. we hope but should not believe in the excitement of today, that the next to follow will be easy.
but we have begun with a small step for man, and a giant leap for mankind, armstrong's unforgettable words. in these days of the apollo 11 mission, the world was witness to not only the triumph of technology, but to the strength of man's resolve and the persistence of his imagination. through all-time, the moon has endured, pale and distant, determining the types, tugging at the heart, a beacon, a goal. now man has prevailed. it has landed on the surface of .he moon the date is now indelible, and will be remembered as long as 1969, thees, july 20, day man reached and walked on the moon. the least of this is improved by
the things done by the best of us because if we are not able to land, at least we are able to follow. armstrong, aldrin, and collins are the best of us, and they have let us further and higher then we ever imagined we were likely to go. clarkeaking for margaret and all the staff at cbs news space headquarters, this is walter cronkite. good day. ♪
announcer: a new c-span pole says that a third of americans have a favorable view of the trump administration efforts to create space force. nearly as many americans have an unfavorable view. the largest group has no opinion about space force at all. despite the near even split among all americans, there are significant differences when you look at the partisan breakdown. almost half of republicans see spaceports favorably, while under a quarter of democrats
there that view. regardless of use on the space force itself, national security came in second behind monitoring earth's environment when those surveyed were asked to select priorities for u.s. space policy. you can find all the results including the findings of american attitudes toward nasa and its funding at c-span.org. announcer: 50 years after the moon landing, apollo 11 astronaut michael collins, national air and space museum director ellen stove in, and former nasa administrator charles mauldin reflect on the apollo program's legacy and its impact on today's politics, diplomacy, foreign policy, and spatial initiatives. smithsonian national air and space museum,, the state department and the george washington university policy institute cohosted this event. >> welcome.