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tv   Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary  CSPAN  December 25, 2019 8:00am-11:01am EST

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and if you're on the go, listen to our live coverage using the
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free c-span radio app. >> the eagle has landed. >> i'll step off the land now. that's one small step for man. one giant leap for mankind. ♪ ♪ >> on this 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing, today's washington journal in conjunction with c-span's american history tv will focus on this historic event and its influence on modern space flight. for the next three hour, we are live from the national air and space museum here in washington, d.c., where we will talk about apollo 11 historians and michael
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collins. you want to talk about that day, your impressions of it, 202-748-8000 and for all others, 202-748-8001. you can post @cspanwj your thoughts and impressions of the 50th anniversary. you can do the same at our facebook page at >> our show will be based to hear from the national air and space museum. a couple of facts of the apollo 11 mission. it was astronauts neil armstrong, buzz aldrin and michael collins, the team for that day and the launch, you'll remember took place july 16, 1969, at 9:32, to be exact. the moon landing on july 20, of july '69 at 4:17 in the afternoon. first step by neil armstrong at about 10:56 p.m. on july the
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20th. buzz aldrin would follow along about 20 minutes later from that. that mission, when the astronauts left the moon july the 21st of 1969 and returning to earth july 24, 1969. we'll talk about the historical significance. we'll talk about what it means for space flight today and also as we hear from historian, astronauts and the like we'll hear from you, too, and you can call and let us know the impressions, 202-748-8000 and 202-748-8001. this program is being done today in conjunction with our colleagues with american history tv and if you don't know, c-span3 on the weekends turns into that channel with historical programming, lectures and the like and also they have a way of talking to you about the 50th anniversary. you can -- if you want to share your impressions on their specific facebook and that's
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c-span history at facebook.dom. you can participate on twitter. there is a poll there atc-span history is how you do that and ahtv will give you programming specifically related to apollo 11 and watch that on c-span3. if you go to their website page you can find out all of the programming that they have planned and all of the other information for you specifically not only about apollo 11, but other programming they have, as well. some interesting facts when it comes to the apollo 11 mission and the things they carried on apollo 11, of course, the astronauts and of course, science experiments and things of the like and some of the other plans and that was on one of the arms of the lunar module and that plaque would have eventually stayed behind on the surface of the moon that carried two large american flags and the flags of the 50 states and the u.s. territories and flags of
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certain nations and the united nations flags, too, and as you've seen pictures of people walking on the moon especially armstrong and aldrin and that came courtesy of a tv camera that went onboard the module as well as other things and we'll talk about those things over the course of the morning and to hear from you primarily during these three hours as we have a new location, usually we're at the washington journal set in d.c. and not too far away from the national air and space museum and they've hosting us this morning, as well. jack in rhode island starts us off on impressions for those that watch the moon landing and good morning, thanks for giving us a call. go ahead. >> thank you, and i'm showing my age because i did watch it with my father who was a little bit older. he's no longer here. it's not really publicized because it's not politically correct. the key people that got us to the moon were the technological
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geniuses that were driven. vaughn brown led the project and then it was arthur rudolph and then there were a lot of key engineers and scientists from operation paper clip. they were german scientists and german engineers that the u.s. government let in after world war ii because they wanted their expertise in rocket engineering. nazi germany -- >> for all that history -- >> what? >> for all of that history and background, then from the time that you watched it what are your impressions of the apollo 11 mission itself? >> extremely successful. absolutely amazing and it was because primarily because of those men and also, too, those astronauts were absolutely amazing. their bravery, you know, was
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astounding and i have to admit i'm a little proud myself because my ancestry is german, okay? i didn't know a couple of them were nazis, and you know, maybe they did that to protect themselves. >> okay. let's hear from martha. martha in virginia beach also watched the moon landing. martha, you're next up. go ahead. >> hi. i wanted to thank you all for covering this from the very beginning. my husband's cousin james shea was in charge of that unfortunate accident where they burned before they even got out of space, and a lot of pressure was put on them at that time to hurry up. we have to beat the russians. so i think in hindsight maybe there were some corners that were cut and they jumped into the thing too soon and that may have been what happened. >> are you talking -- are you talking about the events of apollo 1?
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is that what you're talking about? >> yes. uh-huh. thank heavens there was a gentleman on there the other day talking about that from the beginning to this point. so thank you for taking my call and have a good day. >> before you go, martha, what's a specific memory do you have about the landing itself or the mission itself? >> well, my mother and i were fascinated with it, and she died in 1976. so 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 -- but i was fascinated with it and i worked as a research chemist, but i've always been fascinated with science of any kind. >> that's martha in virginia beach, again, giving impressions -- her impressions of the moon landing. 202-748-8000 if you have specific rmemories of that time
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and mark in the bronx, new york on our line for others. mark, go ahead. >> yes. i was in the navy at the time and we were in vietnam and i was on the uss boston, and the displacement and i was on the signal bridge where we did flashing lights, signal flags, and when the word came from the bridge, it was during the day there, and when the word came from the bridge the call goes out that says stand by your bag, meaning the signal bag with all of the flags in it. once the message is brought to the -- to the leading petty officer, the call is signal in the air at this point george who was a petty officer at the time being hood up the flags that read usa, man on the moon, and then we hoisted it up to the yard arm. at the same time, the captain's gig was dropped over the side
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with a photographer on it who took pictures of the ship with the flags up, and that was it. that's what we did. >> what was the reaction for those onboard. do you remember anything specific about that? >> i was on the signal bridge so it was just three of us on the bridge. i don't know what happens happening down below. we had 1200 men on this ship. so i really couldn't answer that. i couldn't tell you. >> some of the footage you'll remember for those of you who watched the atlantic and not only here in the united states specifically, but worldwide, people in other countries and reacting to it, as well. in fact, if you go to nasa and you see footage and you'll see various images and pictures of people watching all over the world as this one event that took place in space became the fascination of the whole world. we'll go to robert in baton rouge, louisiana, to watch the
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moon landing. good morning. >> good morning. i'm glad i'm watching the program and i was 18 years old, and i saw it on tv like most people. amazing, it's still impressive today. i have an older son or a younger son and he can't really appreciate it as much as i try to tell him about it, but i'm a big fan of apollo 50, but what i have in my hand for those who collect coin, the united states mint produced commemorative counties for the 50th landing and there's a historic picture where buzz aldrin, or neil armstrong is taking a picture of buzz aldrin and when they -- when they came out it showed the picture of neil armstrong standing andio you can see the module or the lunar module if i'm correct on that. anyway, the coin is curved just like the face mask and for those
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that collect coins, the united states mint had them, and i'm not trying to sell them, so to speak. they're 5 ounces. they're beautiful and they're collector, but on the back side of the coin itself it shows the first footprint, and it's unably beautiful. i was -- i'm looking at it right now and i wish everybody on tv could see this thing and i ran outside and i am assuming people did that. it still stayed with me today -- >> did you watch it with other family and friends or did you watch it by yourself? >> i watched it with my mother. mi father wasn't there and he passed away when i was a child, but my two brothers were there, and we were like everybody else, we were glued for three days and of course, walter cronkite was unbelievably great in his
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narrative and it still sits with me today when they landed on the moon, my brothers and i, we were just sitting there and holding our breath like everyone else, i guess, who was watching it and watching walter cronkite and take his glasses off and he was smiling. it was a great event. one small step for me, one giant step for mankind. i guess as the years go by this might go down in history, but i'd like to think that it would go down in history as something that people will truly, and somehow you had to go nat pain past and luckily we had the film of it and everything and kudos to everyone who was a part of this thing especially the technicians and the people who built it. that's amazing and the engineers. >> okay. i think that's robert in baton rouge, i believe, and he talked
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about walter cronkite. it was walter cronkite while delivering the updates on the meeting and the lunar module 1 himself that was provided to him and use that to demonstrate what was going on with the various parts of the flight. again, these are historical images that you can find online and nasa as we tell the story on this 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission. you can join in the conversation. you can post on our facebook page. you can also post on american history's facebook page, as well. all of that available to you and don't forget that american history tv and that c-span3 turns into american history on the weekends and you can see a weekend of programming and not only things you're seeing today, but other full-length feature, as well and go to the website at for more information on that. >> i believe this is mark from the bronx? i think i've taken that one. so let's go to david in chicago.
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david in chicago, watched the moon landing. good morning. go ahead. >> did i watch the moon landing. i was just a kid just out of grade school, and i remember it very well, but i want to talk about the fact that it took 40,000 americans, practically all of them american born and educated to put a man to the moon and back. there were about 150 refugee p.o.w. and scientists and these were all american, born talent and right now there's bill going to the senate, s 386 that would entrench labor workers and we talk about what it took to put a man on the moon and back and this was all before the h1b visa and all of the labor dumping started into our technology sectors. so with you think about the american -- the moon mission and the apollo, i want everybody to
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remind their senators, their congressmen that we did these two major outbacks in the 20th century and win the cold war before all of this cheap foreign labor dumping started. >> so when it comes to apollo 11 itself, caller, were you one of those during the time when the mission was announced and it was going on, were you a big supporter of the mission itself or did you have skepticism about it? >> let me tell you something, my father worked on the integral technologies out of the major defense contractor that provided the precision and the trajectory technologies that sent a man to the moon and back, and also for the multiple nuclear deterrents. it was in my family, and my father worked so many hours overtime during the 1960s. they even paid triple time back then on holidays, and on christmas or thanksgiving to
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meet a deadline because it was such a rush to meet these deadlines before the end of the decade that they would pay triple time. companies don't do that anymore. they don't take care of their people like that. >> okay. that's -- that's david in chicago calling, talking about the work aspects of the apollo 11 and the manpower that took place to make it happen, and then it's just one of the variety of things that you can talk about during the course of our morning. when it comes to the things that were taken from the moon, you'll remember that 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 and this is from the lunar and planetary institute that telling us about 22 kilograms of the man and that translates to roughly about 50 pounds and 50 rocks in toil including the lunar samples and
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the lunar and planetary institutes and two from the earth's surface is also taken from that. so that's just, again, some of the purposes of the mission and the things taken and brought back to earth from the efforts of apollo 11. this is christy from huntsville. christy, good morning. >> yes. good morning. >> you're on. go ahead. >> i probably watched it and i was 10 years old, and i don't remember. what i do remember is i live in huntsville, where it all began and i used to hear the rocket tests, and it was amazing. i still hear rocket tests out there on the arsenal. my good friend, her grandfather was the head of operation paper clip and i feel proud living in
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huntsville, alabama, where it all began. >> is huntsville tell a major hub when it comes to space issues and i know you have a space museum in huntsville and how much goes on to this day? >> oh, not as much space as it is army because it's a redstone arsenal and it's an army base with a marshal spaceflight center and i worked for lockheed in the marshal space flight center in the past. my dad worked for ibm in 1965 and rocket testing was being done at that point and let me tell you, it was earth shattering to hear those rockets test. but it was cool. as a kid, it was very cool. >> that's christy from huntsville and part of the efforts of lyndon baines johnson
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once president kennedy decided he wanted to send a man to the moon to put efforts across the united states to make it happen primarily in the south and huntsville, alabama, being one of those major locations where the work of the apollo mission would take place. in fact, you can still see some of the evidence there in the space museum. james in arlington, texas, hi. good morning. >> good morning. >> hi. >> 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. >> and how much did you talk about it -- >> can you talk about it? how much did you talk about it with you guys at home. technically, there are certain things he didn't talk about, but at the same time, such as when apollo 7, apollo 8, 9, 10, for
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that matter, when they returned to earth we had a big, vent at the downey facility and the astronauts would be flown in for a ceremony so we'd all see them driven by us in the electric car and then we'd be allowed to look at the capsules which had been recovered and saved. so we had what we called the dei room which had a lot of exhibits in it and people would once a year get a chance to see that, all of the way, well into the '80s, in fact. so i would see the service module capsules and eebt ally the mock-up of the shuttle and there were a number of things that we were aware of and when i was 10 years old i was taken by my dad to the seal beach
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facility. my dad worked at downey and i was kind of wondering where we were going to seal beach and they had a big event for the delivery of the last-second stable of the saturn 5 which is what they built at seal beach so they opened up the doors on the assembly building so i'm witnessing this massive second stage being rolled out, and it's quite an impression on a 10-year-old. >> are you in the science field or anything related because of those impressions or influences? >> my sister and i both followed my father in engineering. i worked for 11 years until 2009 in shuttle support and support for the international space station. originally, i was a mcdonnell douglas employee, but we got bought by boeing.
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my sister got started with north american rockwell and they, too, the assets were bought by boeing and she ended up working with me and she's still working at this time though she's about to retire. >> we did a recent poll from viewers and reuters in conjunction with reuters and we did a poll taking a look at space issues and one of those things that were found that at the top of the list what people want nasa to do and pursue environmental efforts and lower on the list efforts like going back to the moon and going back to mars. what do you think of that and do you still support this idea of manned space flight missions? that caller is gone, but we'll talk to kathy next from imperial missouri. hi. >> good morning. thanks for taking my call. >> hi, go ahead. i watched the moon landing. i was 4 years old and i remember it vividly. everyone was riveted to the tv. i was allowed to stay up past
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that time. i was worried when the astronaut went down the ladder that he would sink in like in quicksand and my dad explained to me that because the lunar module, the lunar lander didn't sink in that the astronaut would be okay, too. >> when it comes to -- that's a vivid memory of yours. >> what do you remember of it? >> i remember everyone being very excited and everyone thinking this is a great day and that we can do anything. >> do you still think manned space flight should be a priority for the united states? >> yes. i do. >> why so? >> i think we should start by expanding or increasing the number or the size of our orbiting space station and
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establishing a colony on the moon like steps. okay. that's christy in missouri, if you go to the poll on space policy issues, a lot of questions, some about the work of nasa and some about the priorities nasa should for sue and other information and all of that is available to you at and if you are tuning in a different set for us today at the national air and space museum as we talk about the 509th anniversary of t509 50th anniversary and follow along on the facebook feed and the american history tv facebook feed and give those impressions. after this program, more programming on apollo 11 available when you go to c-span, american history tv. in virginia, percival, virginia.
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>> i remember it very well and i was driving back on 95 on the radio and i just got tears in my eyes. it was such an impressive thing and i guess i was 27 years old at the time -- no, 28, and it's a part of history and the other thing i remember landing on sputnik, that was an impressive thing also. it was a great time to be alive and participate in it. >> do you think -- do you think the historical significance of apollo 11 still resonates to this day? has it waned a little bit? what do you think? >> i think very much so because in the d.c. area, of course, we have a lot of government things here, but the significance of it is incredible and all of the side benefits of all this technology, so much of our lives, the cell phones and the
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gps and i guess medical devices using dwnsed electronics and having a project like this accelerates all of that and it may have happened, but i don't think it would have happened as quickly if it didn't have the impetus to go ahead with this project. >> we'll hear from jim in ohio. hi there. >> well, good morning, and thanks for c-span. it's the only channel on my tv and i would keep it. so i was a young man watching this with my future wife and her family, in '69, and 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 that we could see something that was going on. i don't know, it's a thing a
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young person would do, maybe i dreamed that, but i think we did it, but what i do know for sure, i was looking at goodyear at the time, and i became a science teacher for 38 years and i don't know if i can draw a straight line, and i think i can draw a crooked line to that. i still get emotional when i hear the replay of the -- of the landing, so i -- i guess i'm like the fella from virginia say that he got emotional, and i don't know, maybe that's what drove me into the science classroom and just as a -- as an interesting aside, my son mike was born nine months to the day after the moon landing so i don't know if i can draw a straight line on that one and thanks for c-span for giving us
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a chance to reflect on the heart point of american history. >> thanks for the call, jim, we appreciate it. things left on the moon. as you can imagine, as the astronauts were trying to shed some of the weight from the lunar module before it left the surface of the moon. if you go to the website, they have a list of some of those things. it was that section of the eagle as it was known and it was nicknamed during the space flight itself, the section of there landing, that was left on the surface of the moon. an american flag, iconic, placed by the astronauts on the surface of the moon and other mementos honoring the apollo 1 crew in which the first three astronauts died because of a fir the that in the capsule there and a disk with good will messages, including experiments, tools, trash and as they tell us
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including human waste left on the surface of the moon. again, you can find out more when you go to the nasa website and c-span3 on american history tv 2 and we'll go to bobby. hi, bobby. you're next up. >> hi, good morning. yes, i supported the apollo 11. we worked a solid year, seven days a week and i watched it that morning with my three children sitting on the lawn chair in the living room. i had no furniture. we had a 12-inch plaqblack tv ae went on to support other apollo missions and thousands of contractors were involved and i don't think people realize how many contractors are involved in the missions and you have everyone from lockheed to honeywell and engineering and to ibm, thousands of us worked and we produced -- my particular group used to document and sit on the console and we were told what the astronauts were going
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to do including the music that would wake them up in the morning. it was an exciting time and we worked hard. we worked so many others and we went on to support the other apollo missions including the first -- including the space shuttle missions and i went to original launch and landings procedures and i went on to support every time in 2011. the last mission i worked on was in 2012. it was an exciting time and i worked on the missions during the hubble, and it's 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 and i think it is all just wonderful and i enjoyed every second. it was hard work and i enjoyed it. >> so bobbi, before you go, a couple of questions if i may. you said you wanted to go back to the moon, go back to mars. should that be strictly a nasa
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thing and there is this day and age where a lot of private companies are involved in this process. >> private companies have always been involved. nasa is probably made up of 80% of private companies. it's not just nasa. it's always been other companies involved, other contractors. they put out tons of contracts and they'll award tons of contracts to private companies. honeywell is very much involved. lockheed is i don't think people realize, nasa is made up of tons of private contractors, thousands of them actually. everybody from companies with 40,000 people to companies with six people. might make the screws for a particular piece of equipment. there's always been private companies involved. >> that's bobby in columbia, maryland. here's marsha. she's in pennsylvania.
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hi, marsha. good morning. >> good morning. i'm calling on the line for all others because i have a somewhat unusual i would say 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 two years, and my husband and i had just bought our first house and moved in less than a month before that. had furniture stored in my parents' house, had furniture stored in his parents' house, moving back and forth, back and forth by hand with a little travel trailer. that was a saturday night, i was a church organist, didn't even consider plugging in the 10 inch black and white tv to try to watch stuff saturday night
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because i had to get up early sunday morning. that was -- i can't say i am for or against anything. i never got to watch it. i think the first time i actually watched it was some reruns probably ten years afterwards when we got to the first decade anniversary. of course, we read it in the newspapers, that was '69. newspapers were everywhere. we probably got somebody else's sunday paper that next morning because having just moved in, we wouldn't have had a newspaper delivery to the house. >> any regrets that you didn't see it firsthand? >> no, no. and i wouldn't have been able to because we would have had to stick one of those funny looking antennas on the roof. i'm 73. i'm sure anybody else in my age
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bracket will remember those very, very little cable tv, if any. if you didn't get a picture on your rabbit ears, you were stuck. you had to stick one of those things on the roof, your husband had to be agile. >> got you. that's bonnie. thanks for the story. oh, that's marsha. we're taking a pause. continue calling if you want to talk about your impressions of the moon landing. if you watched the moon landing, we're hearing from ellen. director of the national air and space museum, not only her impressions of apollo 11 and how the smithsonian handles this topic and what they relate to people that visit in washington, d.c. first i want to show you a little of something from a
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program called moon walk one. it was produced from nasa. part of that included animation. that showed various steps of the apollo 11 mission. here it is. >> the flight began with vertical lift through the heavy lower atmosphere and tilt to the east at 6,000 miles per hour. the first stage is discarded to save weight, so is an adapter ring in the unused tower. it reaches 15,000 miles per hour when it is jettisoned. the third stage places apollo inert orbit at 17,400 miles per hour. when the spacecraft is thoroughly checked by the crew,
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the third stage fires again. its speed tearing it free from the grip of earth's gravity. while coasting outward, command service module separates and docks for access to lunar module, and empty third stage is left behind. apollo loses speed through nine-tenths of the journey until the moon's gravity overcomes the pull of earth. apollo fires in reverse direction, slowing down enough to be captured by orbit of the moon. eagle slows still more, breaks to a touchdown on the lunar surface. >> from the smithsonian national air and space museum, our program is based on the influence of apollo 11. joining us, ellen stopan. >> good morning. >> from a museum perspective, this is one thing you have to
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memorialize. how do you do that? >> we hold the apollo collection for the nation and the world. when you have an anniversary that's a big one like this one, you try to say how do you bring apollo to a generation where more than half were border patrol post apollo. how do you bring that sense of excitement and achievement. you have to go big. >> how do you go about it? >> first of all, a combination of going over the history, what was it that happened, how did it happen, why did it happen, making sure people understand it is very much in context of the cold war. really talking about a lot of origins. what i have been trying to come back to, all of the celebrations again and again, it took 400,000 americans to make this happen
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from the seamstresses who made the space suits to engineers that designed rockets to of course astronauts that ultimately flew on them. it is the 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 a statue of neil armstrong's space suit traveling ballparks around the country, trying to reach people all around the united states, let them look at his space suit. this week in washington, we've been projecting saturn 5 rocket onto the washington monument, and last night and tonight we have been launching it, not the monument, just the rocket. >> lot of people attending that. tell us what was the inspiration behind that? >> two of my creative staff members from the beginning of the celebration said we have to do something on a grand scale. it was such an amazing achievement. how do you bring excitement of a launch to a generation that didn't see it. i think we succeeded. last couple evenings when i have been on the mall watching kids' faces, when they see that, the monument is shaped a bit like a rocket, it is not totally
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surprising, then the show called go for the moon the last night and tonight tells the story of apollo and sets it in context of kennedy's rice university speech, let's us look forward, of course. that's another big aspect. let's not have it be 50 years ago we did this thing. we want kids to think what's next. >> we have told people about the recent poll with ipsos, one of the thing that was asked, what should be the priority for nasa, concerns about the environment, low on the list, concerns of going to the moon and mars. how does that strike you for what you do? >> i think that's an important thing. i agree, i think climate is the most thing we can be working on, threat of climate change is so real an important. nasa plays a critical role in
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that in observing the earth. nasa also plays a critical role pushing technology forward, pushing us forward in exploration. i think it is a false choice between looking at nasa's budget and trying to solve all of the problems, i think going forward nasa does need to send humans to the moon. they're going to eventually discover life evolved not just on the moon but onto mars, we think life could have evolved on mars and want to find signs of it. if you learn nothing else from apollo, when society does something really hard and challenging, it brings the world together, pushes society forward and inspires a whole generation of scientists, technologists and mathematicians. >> folks can see behind you, lunar module 2. i suppose people will ask you if this is the real thing that went to the moon. >> we get that question a lot. it is a test article. it was built by nasa for the apollo program. they built more lunar modules than they sent to the moon.
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that's one of them. all kinds of testing was done by nasa on it. luckily at the end of the program we get it here to display. >> so you talked also about the space suits, armstrong's space suit recently refurbished. talk about that. what led to that? >> the space suits are almost individual spacecraft. they need a source of air for the astronauts, they have to keep them protected from the lunar environment. they're very complex and they were made to protect astronauts on the moon, but they weren't made to last 50 years. in places the suits are made up of 21 layers, and the layers were starting to degrade, weren't in good shape. it has been off display 13 years to keep it out of light, but then to work on how do we stabilize layers, make repairs on the suit without changing it. we don't want to clean the lunar dust that remains on the suit, don't want to clean that off. how do we put it in condition where it is good for generations
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to come. we actually have an incredibly special mannequin in the suit that helps air circulate inside it to maintain temperature and humidity conditions and protect the suit. it is in great shape. just went on display on the 16th. visitors to washington can come and see it. >> will armstrong's suit be the only one refurbished or are others planned? >> no, in the course of doing his suit, we learned a lot. it was a science experiment. we learned techniques we will be applying to other suits in the collection to make sure again that they last for long periods to come. most suits now are stored in a dark room, very controlled conditions to protect them as much as we can. >> when it comes to apollo 11, what are the common questions asked of you or others at the smithsonian about the mission? >> one of the things people want to know, they want the human stories behind it.
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who were the people involved in the mission. what are those stories. those are ones i think people are most interested in. the other thing is they want to touch something. and we're a museum. don't normally let people touch things. one of the more popular exhibits is where you can touch a moon rock. >> thank you for bringing that up. people remember what was brought back, moon rocks. what was done with them? >> the rocks are in possession of nasa at johnson space center available for researchers from around the world who do research, trying to understand the history of the moon and how it relates to earth. the moon is possibly a piece of the earth that came off very early in earth's history. understanding the moon helps us understand this planet. the surface of the moon with big craters tells us what early history of the earth was like. the moon is important for
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helping us understand this planet, and apollo moved that science forward. >> your bio says your previous life you worked at nasa, you were chief scientist there. what were you involved in? >> at nasa, i looked at all of the science programs, helping move them forward, involved in plans to get humans to mars in the 2030s. >> when you hear about current efforts to get to mars, what do you think are questions that have to be asked, what has to be considered if that's the long term goal? >> i think we're in great shape to get humans to mars. when president kennedy made the call to go to the moon, eight and a half years later we went to the moon. we didn't know the technologies to be developed. to go to mars, because of the long experience, and experience on the international space station we answered most questions, know what we need to do and are ready to go. it is a question of national will. >> do you think the will is there? >> i think it is. i worry about the long commitment. eight and a half years the
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commitment didn't waiver, it wavered afterward but not during the eight and a half years, we kept going. that's the time it would take to get humans to mars. i wonder if we have the national commitment to stick with it. what encourages me is u.s. wouldn't go alone this time, we would go with international partners and private companies, and that's what makes me optimistic. >> as director of the smithsonian, you're involved in renovations. what's going on there? >> the building wasn't built to last. it was built 43 years ago, but it is having issues. we have to do major repair work on the outside of the building. that's going to be a seven year project. we closed half the museum. we're renovating that half. we'll stay open during construction. three-and-a-half years, we'll open new galleries on the west end and begin on the east end. in the end we have a completely reimagined museum that to me is
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a true center for inspiration for kids to say i can do something like that. one of the things i'm most concerned about, i want to be sure every kid no matter what they look like comes in the museum, sees stories of people that look like them that have done amazing things in air and space. the stories are there, we haven't been telling them. >> what do you think is the untold story then of the people behind apollo 11, what should people know? >> again, people should know those people look like all our population. for most of us, we think of apollo 11, we think of astronauts, scenes from mission control. face it, all those people looked pretty much the same except for joe ann morgan, the one woman in mission control. i think certainly when i was a kid, i looked at things like that, said people that look like me don't do things like this. the thing is there were people of color, there were women of color involved in the entire project, and we need to tell those stories so kids understand
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that people who look like them actually were part of this amazing achievement. >> before we let you go, we talked about it a little bit. your most distinct impression about apollo 11. >> when we put our minds to a problem, we can overcome it, if we have national will and teamwork and determination, we can take on any problem. >> this is ellen stofan. thank you for housing us today, from the milestone of flight hall. thanks for your time. >> thank you. we're going back to your calls on the mission of apollo 11. 202-748-2000. if you're watching on cspan3, american history tv, you can do so and join in the conversation in a variety of ways.
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post on their facebook page at american history tv, give your impressions of apollo 11, what's going on, especially on this 50th anniversary, on their twitter feed, take part in a poll as well. give your impressions there too. all of that is available at and more about american history there too. this is from theron. thanks for waiting. what's your impressions of apollo 11? >> it was an amazing event. i was 18 years old. i had just joined the navy week and a half before that. i was in boot camp in great lakes, illinois. we were excited, we piled into a room in the barracks that we barely got to use, got to sit down, watch the moon landing,
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smoke cigarettes. it was exciting. everybody was pretty jazzed about it. interesting story. my aunt lorraine, we had a bet that she would make me a $50 bet, a lot of money in 1969 we would not get to the moon. i said i will take that bet. she wrote me a check. test. test. test. some interesting things about apollo 11. the first computer was on that vehicle. there was a software developed by m.i.t. to do the landing. it basically started the digital
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revolution. came out of that program. another thing i learned about, on facebook, friend of mine, i came out of the video industry, friend of mine, an engineer said the original data tapes were lost. they were streaming data back from the camera on the lunar craft. they looked bad, they had to take that data, convert it to a signal at the time. but the original data tapes he said were lost. i said i seem to recall they found those tapes. what happened was the tapes, nasa decided to sell a copy of tapes in 1976 at a surplus sale, some nasa intern bought those tapes.
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come to find out, they were the original tapes the guy bought. >> they're being auctioned off at sotheby's today in new york. they're expected to fetch about a million dollars in fact. why were you convinced the moon would happen? >> i was an 18-year-old kid. thought for sure, i didn't see any reason how we would fail. >> that's theron in georgia. daniel in tennessee. good morning. >> good morning, sir. >> good morning. you're on. >> i worked at the time, been there 30 years, i had a small part, supplied some nitrogen which was guidance. i have a series of pictures on my wall outside that shows the steps up to the landing. so proud of it.
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i watch it all the time. i look at it. feel good about it. it was such a great thing for our country. i was so glad to be part of it. >> were you worried that things would go wrong during the mission? >> on every launch that went there while i was working, we always worried about something happening, of course. we just prayed through it, that everything went well. i'm proud of our country they were able to do that. >> from nancy in richmond, virginia. also watched the moon landing. hi, nancy. good morning. >> good morning. i'm delighted to be here this morning to talk. in 1957, i remember watching sputnik with my dad as it passed
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over richmond. he said then, one day america would get into space. fast forward into high school, i watched the mercury and then in college watched the program with the gemini program. then that first year of teaching, i had the wonderful opportunity thanks to what is now virginia commonwealth university, they offered to richmond school teachers opportunity to take a class in aerospace education. and as a first year teacher, this was such a wonderful opportunity because the air national guard took us teachers to the kennedy center and gave us a marvelous tour. i actually stood under an apollo rocket as it was being built. it was the most fascinating thing i think i had ever seen, next to michelangelo's great
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statue. i was thrilled. then the following year while i was in charlottesville studying at uva, my father again with me and my mother watched that marvelous moment when neil armstrong took that first step onto the moon. we were in awe and great hope. i think that even today, i think of the courage and trust that our astronauts put into the brilliance of so many that cooperated and developed the technology that our country continues to be so proud of. and the fact that we were a free country going into space and leaving that, i'm proud we have an international space station. i think that's essential. i have continued to follow the program. i taught for 35 years, mainly at quantico military base. so my students were from all over the world. i did use that class, even though i taught english, there
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was not a year didn't go back that my students were not aware i was a lunatic. and i continue to follow this program. i just finished reading fishman's book, one giant leap. i love jane krants' book "failure is not an option." i am wearing an apollo t-shirt all day today where i live. age 12 to now 72, i remain glued to a program that i think is so essential for our country to accept those wonderful challenges, and cooperate and do something that brings positive vibrations to people, diversity, people all over the world who can get excited about something that is so grand.
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>> that's nancy giving us a lot of history and her personal interest in the apollo program, a teacher. we thank you for the call. again, it is 202-748-8000. if you want to tell stories like nancy did, feel free to do that. we go to carol in south carolina. go ahead. >> good evening. good morning i should say. >> good morning. >> slightly different perspective. i didn't watch it but i heard it. i was in the u.s. air force at the time stationed in vietnam, and we couldn't see the video but we did have live audio. so we had to imagine what pictures were broadcast to the rest of the world that we couldn't see. it was a sense of pride for everybody although i think the
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significance of it might have been lost on us at the time. >> what was it like hearing the audio and then when you had a chance to see pictures or video of what was going on? >> we got the video or the film, i don't remember which it was probably the next day and it was standing room only 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. we had to imagine when hearing the audio what other people were seeing. >> because you were just listening to it, what was the emotion like for you and others listening along? >> it was mixed because we couldn't understand what was going on, although we were
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hearing it. and i think what we keyed in on was what mission control was saying back to aldren and armstrong, so we could understand what their process was and what they were doing at the time. >> carol from south carolina, heard the mission at first before seeing the video and pictures. let's go to marlene in new hampshire. hi. >> hi. good morning. >> good morning. >> good morning. yes. i'm watching the show on the american history tv and i am just finding this whole space mission replay is just amazing. i was 20 years old at the time. just given birth to my second child. it was a totally amazing, amazing event for me. my son who is now 48 asked me at one time to please write down the things that i have seen in my lifetime, this has to be one of the top number one things that i have ever seen.
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i thank you for letting me share that. that. >> well, before you go, marlene, captioning performed by vitac and, you know, all these make believe space things and then all of a sudden here it is real. it's real. it's happening right in front of us. it's just -- and i think culturally today people -- kids 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, you know,. and keep kids aware of not only of our history but our future. >> do you think that space flight should -- manned space flight should still be an effort by the united states? >> i do, i do.
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should be abandoned? >> why is that? >> no, i don't think they should be abandoned, no. >> no, i was asking if you think manned space flight should still be an effort by the united states, if they should still make that effort? >> yes, i do. i honestly believe that they do. i think it is important not only as a country but as a world and i think it should continue on, yes. >> okay. marlene in dover giving her experiences and remembrances of the apollo 11 mission on the 50th anniversary. we'll hear from willie in stearns, kentucky. last call for this segment. go ahead. >> caller: hi, thanks. i am fortunate enough to have a book of every front page of the
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columbus dispatch, and its dated july 21, '69. a good friend of mine, writer for "the dispatch" went, and neil armstrong's mother thought he might sink into the surface of the moon. and i thought that was kind of ironic because i did too. it seems like a dream. as far as future exploration, i think it would be like watching the beatles on "ed sullivan." you could only do that once. we're not -- i mean, we did it. we did it.
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i see no reason to do it again because we already did it. >> that's willie in stearns, kentucky, giving us his impressions of apollo 11. our programming in conjunction with "american history tv" on cspan3, based from the national air and space museum. we will continue on until 10:00, talking about the 50th anniversary of apollo 11. joining us next for that conversation, the founder of george washington university space policy institute, author of the book john f. kennedy, the race to the moon. we'll have a conversation with him up next. you remember going back to september of 1962, it was then president kennedy gave what would be known as his moon speech at rice university in houston, texas. >> why some say the moon, why choose this as our goal?
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and they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? 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 ] we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard. because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of skills, that challenge is one we're willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win. and the others too. [ applause ] >> if i were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon 240,000 miles away from
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the control station in houston a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than ever experienced, fitted together with precision better than the finest watch, carrying all of the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food, and survival, on an unknown mission to a celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun, almost as hot as it is here today, and do all of this and do it right, and do it first before
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this decade is out. then we must be bold. >> 50 years ago today we're celebrating the landing of apollo 11 on the moon. the launch, couple days before that talking about historical, cultural, and scientific significance during our program today. joining us for that conversation today, john logsdon. he is founder of the space policy institute at george washington university. the author of the book "john f. kennedy and the race to the moon." good morning. >> good morning. >> what was the drive of president kennedy do you think? >> competition. the soviet union defined its space success as an indication of superiority of the communist way of life. it is hard to recreate in 2019 the zero-sum cold war competition of the late '50s, early '60s. it was very real to kennedy. the idea that space was a
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measure of national vitality, and that the u.s. was behind was not acceptable to him, so after the launch in april of '61, he asked his advisers -- i am quoting from a memo -- find a space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win. and the answer came back let's go to the moon. >> that was from the scientists from nasa basically telling him that. when kennedy made the pitch to congress, how was it received? >> the first pitch may 25th, '61, before joint session of congress, and said i believe we should go to the moon before this decade was out. the reaction was very positive. kennedy proposed a very significant budget increase and it was passed with very few opposing votes in the summer of '61 and nasa was on it's way. >> what was the role of lyndon johnson during this process? >> lyndon was a vice president,
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he was involved in setting up nasa in 1958, and was clearly a cheerleader for a very ambitious space program. when kennedy decided it was important for national purposes, he basically took the issue back from vice president johnson and made it a presidential issue. so johnson was there, he was involved, but kind of on the margins. >> when it comes to public sentiment for kennedy's proposal, how would you gauge that? >> there was a gallop poll in may of '61, before kennedy's speech, asking are you willing to spend "x" billion dollars to go to the moon, and 60% of the american public said no. this was a leadership initiative. this didn't come out of a ground swell of public demand for a major space initiative. >> john logsdon, our guest for this segment.
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if you want to ask questions, you can do so if you watched the moon landing, want to ask questions. 202-748-8000. for others, 202-748-8001. you provided a picture of the day of launch. >> that's true. >> you are highlighted in that. talk about that, what were your impressions of that day? >> i had chosen 1967 as a graduate student at new york university and already as faculty member at catholic university in washington to write my dissertation on kennedy's decision to go to the moon. by 1969, i was pretty well done, the book on the way to being published as a book called "the decision to go to the moon." that earned me, i had be working with nasa in research, that earned me a press pass and invitation to launch. so i was at the press site at kennedy space center, about as
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close as a civilian could be to the launch on that morning at 9:32 a.m. i don't know whether you're showing the picture. that's me in the red circle. unforgettable experience, the sheer power of the saturn 5 launch, low frequency noise which you could physically feel in your body, and slow acceleration, it seemed to hover before it gathered speed and headed off. you knew you were seeing something going down in human history. that combination is totally unforgettable. >> what was the level of confidence when you saw the launch that the mission could be accomplished? >> probably higher than the crew because they knew more than i did. armstrong is 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
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successful. i guess by that time, had high confidence. nasa pulled off the very bold step of sending people around the moon on apollo 8 in december of '68, christmas eve, '68. and frankly, i stood there thinking this is going to happen. >> our first call comes from augusta, georgia. this is mark. you're on with john logsden. go ahead. >> caller: yes. i first of all want to say thank you to all of the people at nasa that made it possible. i was a 9-year-old kid watching when they were in orbit of the moon, we were at grandpa's house. by the time we got home to indiana, where we lived at the time, we watched them actually land.
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my mom, she was basically in charge of our family. my father was off fighting a war called vietnam, and i don't know what they did in vietnam as far as listening to the broadcast from nasa and everything, but i remember playing with a little cardboard toy you got from the gulf station, thing you hunt with a string, pretended this was a cardboard model of the lunar module that you pretended to be landing with. we were huddled around the tv set at that time. >> got you. john, public sentiment at the time of the launch versus sentiment leading up to launch? >> by the time of launch and after the success of apollo 8 a few months earlier, there was a building excitement, not only in
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the united states, but the world was watching. the third of the three communication satellites necessary for global communication had just been put in orbit a few weeks earlier, so this was the first event that was watched internationally. something like 600 million people were watching or listening as armstrong descended to the surface. it was a global event celebrated around the world, not only in the united states. >> how did russia react to it? >> well, it's interesting. i have always thought that russia did not broadcast in realtime. i was listening to a call-in show like this with a woman that said she was in the soviet union and that they were watching it
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live. that's contrary to my impression, but she was there and i wasn't. it certainly was not big news in the russian papers. >> let's hear from grand rapids, michigan. lenay. hello. >> caller: hello. my name is lenay. and thank you so much for taking my call. >> you're on. go ahead. >> it is my birthday. i was 15. turning 15 the day they landed on the moon. today i'm 65. celebrating the 50th anniversary and my birthday all at the same time. >> happy birthday. >> thank you. it is an exciting day. i remember watching the moon landing with my family gathered around the tv set which was of course black and white, listening to walter cronkite. my memory that day of them landing on the moon, not only for the first step for mankind,
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and all that happened with that, but also because i don't know how many people realize that the moon is a planet, you look at zodiac, the only planet that's a lone planet is the moon for month of july. i don't know if nasa knew that, why they landed just before leo which is ruled by the sun. >> caller, thank you. happy birthday. anything from that? >> well, people talk -- several of the callers talk about watching that moon landing. they didn't do that. there was no camera that caught the landing, 4:17 in the afternoon that sunday. a camera caught armstrong's first step, but the landing was all simulation on various networks. they puzzled how to show this.
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if they had been able to show the reality, they would have showed something really remarkable because as has been said a lot the past few days, right before the landing, the lunar module pitched over, and armstrong and aldren saw where they were headed, a rocky field full of boulders, not suitable for landing. neil had to take over, fly the lunar module, parallel to the lunar surface for a few seconds, i am sure it seemed longer than that, to find a level spot to land. they landed with 17 seconds of fuel left. remarkable piloting achievement. >> the scientific efforts at the time, talk about them. what was involved with the module itself, getting it developed and ready to go? >> well, i suspect viewers can see the lunar module over my shoulder here.
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it's a very weird looking spacecraft. nasa chose a way of getting to the moon which had a mother ship go to lunar orbit. that mother ship was designed to get to lunar orbit and importantly get the crew back to earth. it had the fuel and heavy heat shield for re-entry. then a separate lunar module that was only going from lunar orbit to the surface. didn't have to deal with an atmosphere, didn't have to deal with atmospheric pressures and so the skin of this was basically paper thin and flexed a lot. so it is not a strong spacecraft. but it was optimized for one purpose and did it very well. >> was this the final design? how many versions? >> this was real. >> how many versions went through or designs went through before you had a final design? >> from the time this approach
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called lunar orbit run was chosen in 1962 to the final versions built, there are probably "x" -- with "x" being a big number of designs, one of the concerns was weight. there were great incentives to shave every pound of possible weight off this spacecraft. when nasa was ready after the apollo 1 fire to resume flights, the lunar module was still not ready. and one of the reasons we sent apollo 8 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 have potentially delayed meeting kennedy's end of the decade deadline. >> here is thomas. go ahead.
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>> caller: hi, thank you for taking my call. i have two short stories. the first was i was in vietnam in 1969 and we didn't know for a couple days. somebody passed me in the mess hall or someplace and said oh, by the way, we landed on the moon. and i said oh yeah, when. oh, couple days ago, like it was nothing. that was what was going on when i served in the army. and the second story was my old neighborhood there was a gentleman who never served, the only father on the block never served in world war ii, but 10 or 15 years ago when i read the obituary when he passed away, i found out why. in world war ii, he designed bombs for the air force, and when it came to the lunar
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landing, he also designed two -- it was in his obituary, designed two of the electric motors on the lem. and 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. >> okay. thank you, caller. >> one thing to say is this was a truly national effort to get those two people on the moon, and the ten people that followed them. there were only 12 people that walked on the moon, only four of them 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 war-like mobilization of human financial resources, which is unlikely to happen again. >> how did armstrong, aldren and collins, how are they the ones to come to do the mission? >> as they all say over and over
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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 aldren were backup to apollo 8. collins had neck surgery, but was restored to flight status. when it came to 11, they were by normal rotation the prime crew. you have to remember that it was not at all a 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. and then i think the nasa
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management recognized that the piloting skill and personality of neil armstrong made him an ideal person to be first. >> what is it about that personality that strikes most. >> steady, calm, solid, exuding confidence, not calling attention to himself. a true leader of the team. the kind of personality that neil demonstrated after the mission, and i'll get a cheap shot in here, and was not portrayed in the first man movie. that was not an accurate portrayal of the neil armstrong that i knew. >> from orlando, florida. richard, go ahead. >> caller: good morning. good morning, america. i have the pleasure of visiting the kennedy space center twice, once when i was 4 and, of course, back then you were
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allowed into the vehicle assembly building. and when i first went, i saw the gemini spacecraft inside the building, and i thought, wow, you know, a little kid like me, that was huge. but then when i went back, the spacecraft that was in the building then was apollo 13, and then i went, oh, my gosh, this thing is a monster. and by that time, i was a young teenager. i was lucky enough to, you know, have a venus -- big venus television. it was black and white, but that was okay with us. and that, when apollo took off, it just seemed like it took forever like for that spacecraft to clear the gantry. once it cleared the gantry it
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was like, boom, and then as you look at the footage, about halfway up, you can kind of see where the sonic boom like kind of rolled off the top of the spacecraft. and then seeing it land, i remember my father is a science teacher. so, you know, 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 came flying in the house because he was a real estate broker, and i said, dad, what's 60 seconds mean? he said they've got 60 seconds of fuel left, and i said, oh, wow. you know, because it didn't look like they were close to the ground at all.
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>> they got down. it was charlie duke who later walked on the moon on apollo 16. that was the capsule communicator. the capcom was calling out the time of the fuel left. he got down to 30 seconds. i was interacting with charlie earlier this week and he tells the story of -- by the time they got to 30 seconds and they said picking up some dust, whatever the rules were about calling an abort, he knew that armstrong was going to land because the commander had the final authority. he was there. he saw where they were vis-a-vis the lunar surface. so, again, 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. >> what was it particularly about where they landed on the moon? why there? >> well, why there is basically because it was a -- the easiest place to get to.
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i mean, apollo 11 was fundamentally a demonstration of the ability to land on the moon and get back. they did a little science but very little science. it was really a demonstration that we could meet kennedy's goal of landing a man on the moon, returning him safely to earth before this decade is out. so they were looking and then all the prior robotic and the two missions that had gone to the moon, apollo 8 and apollo 10 had looked for the best, easiest landing site and picked the sea of tranquillity. turned out that the specific spot the guidance system picked was the wrong spot but overall, it was a kind of flat place where you could land the spacecraft with minimum risk. >> here is from alabama, jimmy. you're on with our guest, john logsdon. hi.
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>> caller: i just want to [ inaudible ] -- the people come up to see it. and the various equipment they use -- >> okay, thanks, caller. >> i basically didn't hear much of that. did you understand what -- >> let's go to new york. sally, hi. >> caller: thank you. i do have a question for mr. logsdon, but i wanted to say that i watched the landing from bogota, colombia. i was on vacation with my parents. 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. and i heard a bit of walter
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cronkite. i heard a lot of la luna, la luna, la luna. but the best part is the next day as we walked around the streets of bogota, people knew we were americans and they would say felicidad as if we had anything to do with it at all. my question for mr. logsdon, i would like you to comment on the role that george lowe played in initiating this project. thank you. >> well, for your viewers, let's first say who was george lowe. he was a nasa career engineer and even with the organization that preceded nasa, in 1960, '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 to president
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kennedy, yeah, give us enough money and we can do this. then george, who we had the good fortune of knowing well moved to houston with the establishment of the manned spacecraft center and was the number two person to the center director bob gilroad and kind of the day-by-day soul of the operation. then after the apollo 1 fire, he demoted himself to be the head of the apollo spacecraft program, and he was the one that oversaw the redesign of the command and service module to get rid of all the problems that were the source of the fire that killed grissom, chaffy and white. so he's kind of an unsung hero of apollo in my view. out of the blue, two days ago, i got an email from his daughter who is in the washington area saying i'd love to get together and share memories of george lowe and his role in apollo.
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so i'm very much looking forward to that. so it's good that you know that, sally. >> are you near rpi? >> i don't think he's on the line. >> who are the other unsung heroes, in your mind, of this mission? >> the man that came up with the idea of lunar orbit, john hubolt, a man that managed human space flight. back then manned space flight. man in washington named george mueller who was associated min administrator from manned space flight. he was able to manage the program to success and keep the relationships with the contractors and with the congress going and then jim webb and bob siemens were steady and kept the program on target. >> this is john logsdon who is joining us.
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he's the author of "john f. kennedy and the race to the moon." atlanta, georgia, this is dottie. hi. >> caller: hello. my name is dottie drummond smith, and i'm from atlanta, georgia. and my husband and i were very interested in the space program during the '60s. we actually were standing on the jetties at cape canaveral -- >> i'm sorry, dottie, i didn't hear that. >> hold on, dottie, for a second. she was talking about she was in atlanta, georgia, and watched it during the '60s. try one more time. >> caller: yes. my husband and i were at cape canaveral -- >> i'm not hearing you. >> watching when with glen, john glenn in february of 1962. and then with my son was named
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scott after scott carpenter. and then my -- >> who was the second mercury or astronaut in orbit. >> go ahead, dottie. >> that is correct. and then my husband and i, we were watching the moon landing and jumping up and down with much enthusiasm and excitement with the landing in 1969. so we actually grew up -- >> so you lived the program. >> caller: yes. >> that's dottie in atlanta, georgia. >> i have to say, i have a john glenn story in here. >> please. >> i was working in manhattan in a totally different field, technical writing in 1962. and on march the 1st, i went over to a couple streets over and watched john glenn parade through manhattan after his 1962 orbital flight. and that's what got me interested in the space program. so there was a direct line between john glenn and my
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career. i had the good fortune of being able to say that to -- by then ex-senator glenn later in life. i am from cincinnati, ohio. glenn is an ohio person. neil armstrong is an ohio person. those connections have been gratifying. >> how were the three astronauts received once they came back to earth? >> well, on august the 13th, they started the day in new york with a ticker tape parade. then flew air force two to chicago for a ticker tape parade. then flew to los angeles for a banquet presided over by president nixon. and then nixon sent them on what was called the giant steps tour around the world. 29 cities in 36 days or something like that. one of your callers said she saw -- was in bogota, colombia,
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which was the first stop on this giant steps tour. and they got unanimous acclaim. the world said to them, we did it. we, the world, landed on the moon. the idea that this was an effort of all humanity was very powerful and very successful. >> this is lisa, louisville, kentucky. hi. >> caller: hi. thank you for c-span. i appreciate this segment today. i remember 1969. our whole neighborhood talked about nothing that day but the moon landing. we decided we had to get together and do something. i was only 11. and one of our neighbors took a little -- took a motorola tv. we hooked it up on the outside of the porch, ran an extension cord through the window and somebody had to hold the antenna in the air so we could get good reception, but our whole neighborhood was sitting there on that night, 1969, watching the moon landing.
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and i have four heros in my life, during my lifetime. muhammad ali, jfk, neil armstrong and john mccain. and two of them had to do with that great moon landing and it seemed like after that, science boomed in schools. we did all kinds of aerospace projects. all kinds of moon talk. it was just a wonderful time, and i was so happy i could see it. >> lisa, thank you so much. >> yeah, it was great to be alive and be aware of what was happening. i mean, sending people to the moon was remarkable. it's been since december of '72 that anybody has been back. it's well past time, i think, for us to return. >> i was going to ask, what do you think is the sentiment now when it comes to space flight, manned space flight, human space flight versus what you experienced back in apollo 11? >> it's good you say human space
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flight. the current policy of the u.s. government is that the first person to go back to the moon will be a woman. president trump, vice president pence have declared the intent to get back to the moon within the next five years. 2024. and there's a program. its logo -- it's official if it has a logo, was just unveiled yesterday called artimus. it's a stretch. it's a challenge, but so was kennedy's. everything has to go right. congress has to be willing to fund it. american public, i think, right now is, and particularly in the kind of excitement of this anniversary celebration, is interested in seeing the united states lead in international public/private coalition of companies and countries to get back to the moon as soon as possible. >> did that sentiment, as far as after the apollo 11 mission, what was public sentiment like after that?
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did it sustain? did it wane? how would you gauge that? >> if you gauge it by the media, always a little risky. by apollo 12 followed in november of '69. by apollo 13, until it had its problems, television networks had stopped live coverage of the missions. so if that's an indication of their judgment of public interest, it waned rather quickly. it was, after all, repetitive. all you were doing is landing in a different spot. so it transitioned from being something that captivated the world to voyages and exploration that those that were close to it were interested in. by the time of apollo 17 in december of '72, if anything could be described, anything related to flying to the moon could be described as routine, i
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think people began to accept, yeah, we can do this. and so the intense public interest really anticipated really quickly. >> in your mind, is mars achievable as far as a human space flight? >> achievable. achievable when is a different question. but i think that 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 really should have a better propulsion system, something that has negative connotations, but it shouldn't, of a nuclear rocket engine that could cut the travel time down from nine months to a couple of months. and if we develop the systems that would maximize the mission, i think it's achievable by midcentury, if not sooner.
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>> from murphy, north carolina, jack. go ahead. >> caller: yes. thank you for taking my call. i had always heard that armstrong was specifically selected because he was a civilian. is there any truth to that? >> that armstrong was selected because he was a civilian, i think he said. >> yeah, i don't think that was -- it was certainly a consideration that neil -- i mean almost all the astronauts had 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. as i said earlier, his crew was in the rotation that made them the choice for the first landing attempt.
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and then his bosses recognized that he was particularly well suited to be the first man. and the fact that he was civilian may well have been an element in that. >> let's try from peoria, illinois. we'll hear from herb. hi. >> caller: hi. i was a 20-year-old mathematics and physics major in college, not knowing what i was going to do. nasa was on my list. and i ended up being a college teacher. i've been a college professor for over 40 years. teaching history -- >> me, too. >> caller: -- history and mathematics in particular. when i think about watching the apollo landing, 66 years is a blink of the eye in the history of the world. and only 66 years after the wright brothers. and i remember that hitting me that, my god, my dad was just born two years after the wright brothers, and he was sitting there watching them land on the moon. and that's a perspective i think a lot of people lose.
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>> right. a couple of things to say about that. one, a ceremony the night before the launch of apollo 11, lindbergh was there. not very public. he didn't like being out in public. a man named herman obirth who was von braun's mentor back in germany and one of the recognized 20th century 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 arthur schlesinger said when the history of the 20th century is recorded, hundreds of years from now, the one thing that will be remembered is apollo and apollo 11. we'll see whether that's -- well, i won't see, but i think that may be the case. >> is it true armstrong took a piece of the wright flyer up with him?
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>> he did indeed. it belongs to this museum. it's upstairs here today. and he did take -- i mean, neil's dedication was to the practice of flight, whether it's airplanes, rocket planes or spacecraft. and so the museum loaned him some pieces of the wright flyer to take to the moon with him to kind of demonstrate that historical continuity. >> our conversation with john logsdon. he's the author of "john f. kennedy and the race to the moon." the founder of george washington university's space policy institute. thank you for your time today. >> it's been a pleasure. >> we are live from the national air and space museum today as we talk about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. the apollo 11 mission. we're doing this program in conjunction with "american
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history tv" today. if you go to american history tv website, not only can you see everything we've taken in for this event but on american history tv all weekend long, you can see programming specific to apollo 11 and, again, the best way to find out what is going on is at our website at in about 20 minutes we're going to be joined by one of the apollo 11 astronauts, the pilot of the command module, michael collins. up until then, we're continuing your calls on the moon landing. 202-748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. 202-748-8000 for all others. and you can also tweet us and put our thoughts on our facebook page, too. want to show you a little bit from our "washington journal" program that featured a conversation with the nasa chief historian bill berry. he talked about the technical accomplishments of apollo 11 but other factors that led to its success. >> steps to get to the moon were extremely complex and there were things we hadn't really done before. we'd never really flown to the moon before with humans until
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december 1968 and apollo 8. this was the first time we launched people on the saturn 5 rocket. saturn 5 rocket had over 3 million parts. and it's full of explosive things. basically a big bomb that's designed to go off in a certain way. any number of things could have gone wrong with that rocket. saturn 5 performed beautifully. minor glitches, engines turning off too soon. they're all recoverable things. even got hit by lightning on apollo 12, during the launch for apollo 12 and it kept chugging along and heading into orbit. great vehicle. the spacecraft were well designed. very robust. a lot of the strength of that program came from the fact we suffered a disaster early on in 1967 when apollo 1 fire happened. we lost that crew. and after that, nasa and all the people who were working on the program, about 400,000 people, and redoubled their efforts to fix everything they could. and so we got lucky, but we also
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worked really hard at it, too. >> on this 50th anniversary of apollo 11, we're taking your calls. in just a few minutes from now we're set to be joined by michael collins, the commander of the module pilot of the command module and he'll join us in just a bit. this is from timothy in maryland. timothy, thanks for holding on. go ahead. >> caller: yes. this is timothy from maryland. and i'm excited to be on c-span. i was 10 years old before the landing and today i'm proud to support nasa with the earth science climate research program. i have a question, one that has to do with simulation. today we have computer-based simulation, virtual reality, but i'm really curious about what type of simulation was done with
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the original mission? >> you mean as far as simulators that are used today in the training of astronauts? >> caller: or simulating the actual flight and the preparation of the command module and reconnect with the lunar module and making sure that that was all going to be successful. >> david in palm beach, florida. good morning. you're next. >> caller: good morning. can you hear me? >> yep, you're on. >> caller: hello. >> you're on, go ahead. >> caller: i just -- i work at >> caller: i just -- i worked at kennedy space center for about ten years. specifically during the lunar module, but my really point that i'd like to make is that there has never been a real credit to
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the contractors that design. grumman, mr. tom kelly, the designer, the builder of the lunar module of grumman aerospace. it is that company that put it together. it was never really mentioned. the technicians who spent many hours, who have never been credited with the work that we did. and i wish you would mention, not just grumman, but companies like piw, boeing, mit. we made it possible for these astronauts to make it safely. you guys don't know really the technical problems that we encountered, and we had to make sure that when we change a switch, a panel, the intense testing we did day and night until we were sure we had it safe and to be able to get the astronauts to the moon and back. and it was apollo 13.
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we used a lunar module as a life boat to come back around the moon and come back to the earth. but i wish they would mention that because, yes, the astronauts deserve the glory. they took a high risk, but it was we, the contractors who made this possible. thank you very much for -- >> why do you think that's important to mention? you mentioned some of the -- why do you think it doesn't get mentioned a lot? >> caller: because, you know, all i read is, yeah, the glory goes to the astronauts. and there's no doubt about it. it's a high risk. but it was never mentioned the contractors who made this thing possible. we were slaves. you have -- you guys have no idea the technical problems we faced, and we had to resolve and prove and demonstrate that everything was okay before we give the spacecraft to nasa. i worked for nasa myself, too, but it is the contractors who
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really put this thing together. >> okay. that's david. in fact, if you come to the national air and space museum, we talked about it earlier, lunar module 2, one of the many test lunar modules that are available. you can see it. it gives you a good representation of what you might see if you had seen apollo 11 up and close and personal. we're based out of the national air and space museum for our program today. our next call comes from alan in ft. pierce, florida. hi, there. >> caller: good morning. >> morning. >> caller: this is so fascinating. i was 11 years old when i saw the moon launch and the moon landing and these guys were my heroes. this is so fascinating what you're doing. i want to mention that i had a great experience about 18 years ago. i worked at a community in port st. lucie, florida, as the recreation director. and there was a gentleman who
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lived there who is retired from the military. colonel ralph williams. and he told me he was on the team who -- that came to florida to look for a site for the space center. what led up to -- >> actually, he took off already, alan, i apologize for that, but as far as the heroes that you spoke about, of the three, do they all stand in equal standing when it come to your hero? how u would that would that rank? >> all three were my heroes. when i was a kid, my father had a strained portrait. i think it's the print of the
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same one you showed. he had a framed portrait. what they did, it was just so cool that they did. la so people can recognize. so alan, thank you for that. i want to let you know this program today, even though it's on the program, which is cspan 3 on the weekends, as far as their program for the weekend, a lot of programs just dedicated to apollo 11. if you want to go to the website, go to the american tv
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section, you can see all the programming they have planned today f. you go to the website overall at cspan.orgful you'll notice there's a video library there. type in moon landing, any space related term you want. you can see all the programs we've taken in on this topic. again, all that b available at you heard john talk about what happened when the three astronauts came back to earth. one of the things they did do was participate in a press conference and it was during that press conference where the astronauts had a chance to talk b about what they thought was the meaning of the mission. what this country set out to do, somethi something, i believe from the early space flights, we
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demonstrated a potential to c e carry out this type of mission. gep, it was a question of time until this would be accomplished. i think the, the relative ease with which we were able to carry out our mission, which of course came after a very efficient and a 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. i think that 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 time fashion. i 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
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accomplished. lookinging at me? to me, there are aspects to it. in the near term, i think it's a a technical triumph for this country to have said what it was going to do a number of years ago then by golly do it. just like we said we were going to do it. a triumph for the nations overall determination, economy and attention to detail. long-te long-term, it's not the first time that man has the flexib
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flexibility or the option of either walking this planet or some other planet. be it the moon or mars or i don't know where. and i'm poorly equipped to evaluate where that may lead us u to. >> i just see it as a beginning. not just this flight but in this program, which has really been a very short piece of human history. an instant in history. an entire program. it's the beginning of a new age. >> let's hear from james in roanoke, virginia. hi. >> good morning. i'd like to find out if the two space vehicles that still on the moon are still operational.
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>> what's your interest in finding that out? >> just curiosity. i watch ed the space landing whn the man landed and stepped on the moon, but ever since that, i've been wondering if after all these years, if the space, you know, the mobiles up there still operational as far as moving. get home and to message with them. is what i'm asking. >> what's, got you. from watching apollo 11, what do you remember most about it? >> i watched when armstrong stepped on the moon. it was an experience to you know back then, to even watch that. that was amazing.
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>> were you in support of the mission t the time? >> i sure was. it was amazing. >> here's gail in florida. good morning. thanks for calling. >> hello, yes. i want to thank cspan so much for these programs i was 24 years old. i'm 76 now. i lived in cape canaveral during the apollo launches and the inspiring thing was a sense of unity. a sense of the whole world as human beings and we have such division right now. these programs may be help us remember that we're all human beings and we're all the same and we all have the same kind of dreams and sense of adventure and i hope that that positive inspiration when apollo went to the moon. there are a lot of sacrifices to
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do that. families, all the people who worked on this program worked 24/7. my family worked for bm there and i just want to thank you for doing this. i hope this will remind us that we are human and we can do anything we put our mind to if we just do it together. thank you so much. >> so, gail, before we let you go, did you watch the event by yourself? did you watch with other people? do you remember that? >> yes. i was by myself. my husband was at work and i was, went out in my front yard. like a lot of people say, it was stunning. it was like an earthquake that you knew you were safe, but the earth shook like crazy. and i think one of your callers said that it was almost like the craft hovered for a while instead of just like you think of rockets taking off.
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it hovered. the power of it. i do know that the astronauts and all of the personnel, i was watching ilt by myself and i think it's the most, one of the most inspiring things. it's kind of like a sense of inspiration that look what humans can do if they just you know, try hard and really focus on things that are important and it will help us. so yeah. >> this is tim in minnesota. hi, tim. good morning. >> hey, how are you? >> go ahead. >> i was only 6 when they did this and i really didn't understand the significance of it, but i've read a lot of books obviously, and i want, i'm interested in a lot of these
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guys have said that we can total up hundreds of years behind where we're really supposed to be technologically. we should be a lot further, but we spent trillions on wars. the last bunch going to congress now, $700 billion for the authorization act and yeah, i just think by some of these books i've read and that we're way behind where we really should be. one lady called and said yeah, we should have had you know, bases on the moon by now. platforms up in space. i really would like to hear what he has to say. but thank you very much. >> our caller from minnesota. joining us now, michael collins, the command module pilot here on cspan. thanks for joining us, sir. >> thank you.
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>> appreciate your time with us today. >> looking forward to it. >> you get asked a lot of questions about apollo 11. what do you wish people would ask you? >> how much did i get paid for it. >> other than that. i suppose you have a lot of the same questions, but what would you like people to about the mission that maybe they wouldn't know especially from your eck appearance. >> well i think it starts with john f kennedy. he was our president. of course was assassinated. he for one reason or another, became fascinated by space. he thought it was something this country ought to undertake and so he made his famous speech and said we ought to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. and return him safely to earth. and that was aer piece of simplicity. such a short, set of intruxs for
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us. we could get things done. we could say kennedy wanted this and you're late there and it pulled a whole tremendously large group of people together at its pique. there were about 400,000 americans working on the apollo program. well, i shouldn't say apollo. space program. >> what were you doing when kennedy made the call and did you think it was possible when he made it? >> i don't know what i was doing at that moment, but my vision of was it easy or difficult, possible or impossible. kind of isolated. there were times when i thought oh, sure, we've got four years to go before 1969 and all these problems are falling into place.
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other times i thought, we're not going to make it at all. some difficulty would come up. there would be a snag there. something we had not understood before that we had to solve. so it was a vacillating kind of goal as far as i'm concerned. wasn't like the moon was that big and there it was. sometimes it was big and sometimes it was itsy bitsy tiny. >> when you heard for the first time you were going to be on this mission, what went through your mind? >> i was very pleased. it was a culmination of john f. kennedy's goal and the high point in my judgment of the apollo program, which had a lot of high points in it, but that was the nay plus ultra if you will, of missions. two people that i was going with with were wonderful and highly competent so i was very pleased to be joining them as well. >> i heard during an interview about the command module itself, that you were very close to it. you had a direct hand in its design and building.
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is that the case? >> well, we were generally assigned to a flight at a point where the, our machine, we were going to fly, was not yet finished. so we used to go to the factory and help it down the assembly line. and they have to undergo a series of tests helpful to the contractors. in this case, it was north american rockwell in california. it was helpful to them to see their customer with was there helping the design and of course it was necessary really from point of view to understand the machine with a great deal of intimacy. >> how much input did you have when designing the machine? >> what did you tell the folks there? >> we finally had too much power i would say. if we said something, they would
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all scribble it down on little note pads and we might have been dead wrong. but there was a lot of give and take to that process. got finished with it. it was pretty snafu free. i was a den mother. their ticket home. in a orbit 60 miles circular around the moon. and i just was keeping home fires burning. everything in order while they were doing their work on the surface of the moon. >> give us specifics. >> i turned the thermostat up to
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72 degrees. i have a music if i wanted it and then i had a volume switch for mission control. and it sometimes don't tell mission control operator, the cut off switch. >> did you as far as when you were orbiting, what went through your mind as far as your ability to complete the mission? >> i thought we would complete the mission, the aspect that worried me the most was not the lunar landing. i thought armstrong was an extremely confident pilot. we had seen thousands of photos of the area in which he was supposed to land. i don't want to say the decent w was a piece of cake. it was not about neil landing
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safely at his target or somewhere else close to it. the thing that r wworried me mo was the assecent, when they wer ready to come back up command module. when we had a gadget, if it broke, we had a back up and that was true in almost all cases, however, it was not true in their a sent. if you didn't get ignition, they were two dead men so that was what was uppermost on my mind. when they were on their way down and when they were coming back. >> once you got back to earth, we had a previous guest tell us that you guys went around the world to talk about division. what was the reception like?
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>> reception of the around the world trip, i think we hit something like 29 cities. it was amazing. i thought that people would say well, big deal. good. thank you, you americans finally did it. instead of that, they all said unanimously, we did it. they felt par tis pa torre. they felt like they had almost crawled on board with us. that we humanity had put this thing together and we had carried it off and they felt very proud to be a part of the this. just to be a human and live during that time when we were, if you want to get technical, we were exceeding escape velocity. we were on our way somewhere and they were a part of that. >> michael collins, every mission has a patch assigned to it. >> yes. >> we found out you designed the apollo 11 patch. >> yes, i did.
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more or less, i think it was jim lovl or one of our back ups, who thought the eagle was a proper motif and i agreed with that so i kind of took that idea and ran with it. i went into a nationgeographic and got a proper eeg trying to fold its wings as it was coming in. of course i had to have a little earth popping up over the horizon and little by little, the patch emerged. >> so also on the patch itself, on some of the other patches, it had the name of the astronauts. yours did not . why is that in. >> i didn't want any names on it. it was a tradition that started with jimny chen and john and i agree ed that thousands and thousands of people deserved a name on a patch somewhere and they weren't going to get one and if think weren't going to get one, we shouldn't have one.
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we were so dependent on thousands and if you go into mission control in houston, walls are lined with patches. i just like to see that jimny ten and pay poll low "apollo 11," no names on those and names on all the others. not to denigrate the others. it's fine if you want to put bunch of names, but i thought we were better off without it. >> do you still think about the mission? >> i don't think b about it often unless someone pokes me in the ribs. i go out and walk town the street after dark and kind of o sense something up there. the little silver sliver up there. i'll look, that's the moon. oh, hell i've been to the moon. kind of takes me by surprise every time. but i'm a slow learner. >> does it shock people when you
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tell them that? does it shock people when you tell them that about how you look at that? >> i don't know. i don't know what i do, but i'm sorry i didn't get the question properly. >> when you tell people that you don't think about the mission much, does it shock them? >> oh, does it shock people. i don't know what gives people a 110 volt ac shock. i don't think so. it's pretty hard the shock people. >> there's a current effort to go back to the moon. even further to mars. what do you think about that effort? >> i like it. when i came back from the moon, i always used to joke that they'd sent me to the wrong planet and that nasa ought to be renamed the nationsh aeronautic administration. i'm a big mars addict and if you asked me today, i would go for a
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jfk, his memory, mars direct mission. and i think going back to the moon is 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'm entitled to my dissent and i said no. mars direct, go. >> do you think that people have the same awe of space flight that they did when you went to the moon. >> i don't know how people consider space. it's so remote from our daily lives. you know in a normal course of events, i don't think about space very much at all. and of course it's been a large part of my life, but you know, if you're a dentist, you worry b about cavities.
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you don't worry about space. so i think it's way out on the periphery of our consciousness. now it's a good thing. there are so many bad things out on the periphery of our consciousness that it's nice to have one that's a good one. to get interested in. support. and we'll have benefits. tangible and intangible. >> what did you do after you left nasa and the space program? >> i was, i went to work for the state department. i was substantiate secretary of state for public affairs for a while. and at that time, this location where i'm sitting on the mall in washington was an empty field and we wanted to convert it into a national air and space museum and so with the help of barry goldwatt e and some other
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influential politicses, we were able to get $40 million appropriated and so this building was built. i worked here for longer, about six years, and i had worked in the space program. as a matter of fact. >> michael collins, i asked you first what you wish people would ask and you said about yourself, how much did you get paid for the moon mission? >> oh, row. i was kidding b about that. we were, we got paid whatever our salaries were in the organization to which we belonged. i was an active duty i guess colonel in the air force at that time so whatever air force colonels, probably overpaid considerably. >> michael collins, the command module pilot for apollo 11, we thank you for your time today and giving us that time. >> thank you very much. nice to be here. >> coming up, we're going to hear from teasel harmony. she is their spacery cure rater.
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she's the author of apollo to the moon and history, 50 objects. but first sh, the mu sechl recently unveiled the newly refurbish space suit of neil armstrong. we had a chance to talk about it with kathleen lewis. >> it's one small step for man. one giant leap for mankind. >> right now, we are in the wright brothers gallery of the national air and space museum and i'm standing in front of neil armstrong's space suit, which we put on display for the first time in 13 years yesterday morning. we took neil armstrong's space suit off display in 2006 because we determined that the materials that were inside the suit were beginning to deteriorate. they were degrading and we didn't think that the case that we had it in was adequate to preserve it so we decided the
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put it back on, take it off display and put it in storage where the temperature and humidity were strictly controlled and give it a rest until we could come up with a plan for displayinging it in a climate controlled case. the materials that were used in this space suit with almost all synthetic materials and because of that, they degrade. this is in especially important about the rubber bladder that's in the suit. this is the essential part of the suit that keeps the oxygen inside the suit and allows t nat to breathe. the rubbers they used the technicians knew had a limited life span. it was a come bination of natur and synthetic rubbers and they knew it would start to break down after six months. they had a time the manufacturer of the suit up to six months from the planned splash down of the astronauts and their
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mission. we knew that when we acquired the suit there would be problems but to determine what was the best environment for the suit. having the suit on display is very important. not only for the generation of people who remember when armstrong stepped on the surface of the moon 50 years ago, but it's even more important for the joung children who come here who have no memory of the apollo program and even their parents don't have a memory. the icon standing in for the icon in history, but it's also standing there as a starting point for future generations. from that suit, they will learn what space suits did and what they will have to do if they return to the moon, we traveled to an asteroid or even go on to
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mars. we are live from the space museum in washington, d.c. she is the space history cure rater here, works on the apollo 11 cure ator issues and is author of the book. specifically when it comes to apollo 11, what are you in charge over? >> so the apollo spacecraft collection, the lunar mod uhl, command modules, things like that. zpl what's included? how large is it? >> it's very large. over 2,000 artifacts within the spacecraft collection then our apollo collection in general. it's thousands of objects from sat earn 5 down to small things like space food so a huge range of material. >> including the lunar module
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that we have behind us. i'm sure you're asked a lot of questions about it. >> i think it surprises a lot of people because it doesn't look like an aircraft. it's not aerodynamic at all. a lot of people have questions about how it works an what's that gold stuff. it for? why tuz it look the way it looks? >> what is the gold stuff? >> it's captain and mi lar. it's basically thermal protection. it kept the temperature regulated while it was in the direct sun light. >> so from your personal perspective, what's important object this day, this 50th anniversary? >> i have been speaking with a lot of people about what the significance of today is and the aloe program more generally. i think it's the wonderful reminder of how space flight can
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inspire and encourage a sense of unity and so you see that with hundreds of thousands of people that worked on the mission and coordinated on a huge scale across the world then also the huge audience. half the population stopped what they were doing to watch the lunar landing together. i think it's an important part of that legacy. this mission really inspired people to come together in various ways. >> is there a diplomatic role in the mission itself as far as how it was perceived? >> i think well if you back to why kennedy proposed project apollo, he was motivated by larger concerns. and people would align with the united states and in many ways, apollo 11 did contribute to that sense of alignment with the u.s.
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so mike collins who you just spoke to, he tells this wonderful story about how the astronauts tral traveled the world after their flight on a diplomatic tour. everywhere they went, people said we did it. there was a sense of it was an accomplishment of human kind and people were aware that the united states sent humans to the moon, but that it was this larger project. so it's a u.s.-led global project in a way and that was seen as really important politically. >> by the way, our guest is the author of the book apollo to the moon. a history and 50 objects. we're going to talk about that, but if you want to ask her questions, you can give us a call. if you watched the moon landing, all others, 202-748-8001. what was the purpose behind your book? >> i wanted to tell the history f of project apollo, but in a different way. a way that we're not as used to so it is such a complex program. involved so many people and often you can read an overyou
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vi of the program but miss so many details. one of the ways you can tell those stories is through artifacts. so i selected 50 artifacts then see it as a tapestry. you get a picture of the social history, the technological history of apollo through these stories. it allowed me to sort of dive deep with these stories and bring them together to tell a more thorough picture. >> talk about the command module. what should people know about that? >> so i think also just stepping back, it was a, some acted as one and other times, they divideded. it could be seen as astronaut's home. they lived in it for a little over eight days in total but it was their lavatory.
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everything had to happen in tlchlt t there. it was a combination of spacecraft and home and bathroom and kitchen and dining room and a really complex ship. that included two parts. the pressurized interior then a really sophisticated heat shield on the outside. >> also you talked about the camera that eventually would record the austin naught tobs moon and other actions. >> the data acquisition camera. this was special for a number of reasons. the roll it play ed, it recorde the landing. we anticipated it was going to be left on the moon. the astronauts left a lot of material left on the moon so they could bring lunar material home. turns out that neil armstrong took this camera and put it inside the bag.
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we call it a a mcdivot purse or armstrong purse. he put a number of miscellaneous things in there and brought them back as souvenirs. it ended up in one of his closets and after he passed away, his wife contacted the museum because she had found it and we look at this material and were thrilled to see this camera was in there and not left on the the moon. >> is it on display or kept elsewhere? >> it's currently on display. so we have a special apollo 11 case that hwe brought out some artifacts. >> one of the other things before we go, the computer that was used. talk about the computer that was versus what we have today as far as it computing power. >> it was extremely robust and sophisticated for the time. with apollo, they had to be
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very, very small and so you see this huge shift happening here. there was a lot of research and document that would pay off later on in the development of that industry. it was small and extremely reb liable. the software was hand woven with ropes and so it was quite robust. >> we'll continue on with that conversation, but first call for you is from carol from new york. you're on. >> yes, i worked for aerospace in 1965 and i was a college student and they hired summer help to where any of the employees drummond whose children were in college tat time so it was a big thrill for
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me to work at the learner -- module. that was a small part i played it in at the time. my father worked there for years and he was part of the crew that put up the scaffolding in the hangar for the mack up for the limb and apparently i heard that when they had the lunar excursion model was in the air, they also did the same maneuvers in the hangar h that my father was privileged enough to be b a
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small part of also. my family watched and it was a thrill. i got to meet the austin nates at the time. >> got you. carol. anything from that. >> that's a wonderful story. a lot of the people working on the hardware got to meet the astronauts, these are the people we are sending to space and it contributed a sense of responsibility and duty and ensure iing that the spacecraftd all the different components were reliable.
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>> one of the people you highlight is margaret hamilton. who is she? >> she was head of apollo software. she came from independent independent and ended up supporting the family, which was unusual at the time and working as a software engineer and she helped popularize that phrase. when she first did, it was, there were some jokes about it because it wasn't, it was seen as sort of grandizing that profn but really caught on and it was an important contribution. she herself ended up overseeing a very, very large team in the development of the software. >> there's a picture of her standing next to a stack of books. that's the code apoll who was
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using at the time! yes, printed out, yes. >> what they would do is put them on cards then feed it into the simulator. how many lines of code do you know offhand? >> i'll leave that to the computer cure rater. >> joanne is from missouri. go ahead. >> hi, hello. hi. can you hear me? >> yeah you're on. go ahead. >> i just wanted to say that i was in high school when i watched with the family and one b special place for our family it happened on my father's birthday. his birthday was july 20th and he was an avid viewer of all the shuttles. apollo, everything. he was very, very american oriented and just loved the fact that we were involved in these things and our whole family is
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very proud to be a part of the whole group that did all this and supported it and just a wonderful memory to see it on television. >> thank you very much. >> what a wonderful day to have a birthday. i think that's a great celebration. i've heard stories of people having either wedding anniversaries or weddings on july 20th as well which is a good way to celebrate. i have a colleague whose parents r were married in germany on that day and he says part of the wedding party, the reception, included following the missi missionment. >> this is from al a. bill, you're on with our guest. >> yes, i just wanted to say that i was there. i actually worked for the space program. i was in the launch support t m
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team. all together. backpacks for the astronauts. we built those. it was an exciting time. i've got movies from where i was standing on top of the pab building. filming the apollo. it was spectacular for me i was just glad to be part of it. i don't know if many people know or notice it but when saturn 5 launches, the if you would watch
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the rocket, it would lean over a little bit so it can clear the tower. then went to florida, lived there for about three and a half years. how proud i was to be part of it. >> thank you very much. thanks. >> i thank you for sharing your story. it's so wonderful to highlight the contributions of people who contributed to the program and the 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 that nasa oversaw the program and there
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was a huge percentage of contractors working on the mission. over 90% of the people who contributed to project apollo were coming from private industry or universities and institutes and it was the type of program where you have so many people participating and coordinating their efforts together. it's great, so many wonderful memories and i always get very excited to hear some of the details of the individuals that contributeded. >> we mentioned ed the tapes evn today, there's supposed to be an auction of private tapes that was held i at the time, $200, expected to be bought for a million. when you hear stories like that, don't you wish you had them? >> i hope they're preserved carefully. it's a reminder that when prokt apollo happened, space flight was brand, brand-new so the first artificial satellite was 1957.
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first human in space, 1961. then by 1969, humans were landing on the moon and so so many things had b to be done quickly and there were a lot of you know expectations about protocol perhaps that we had today. it was a pioneering. a lot of things were figured out in real time. the inclusion of cameras within a human space flight. >> tell us about the moon rocks that were brought back from the mission. >> so with the apollo 11, it was roughly 50 pounds of lunar material was brought back. in the apollo program in general, 842 pounds. that material has been really helpful in our understanding of how the moformed, its age, the material content of the moon as well as answering questions about our solar system more generally. but there are e three primary
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types of rocks. they're very similar to earth rocks and that's an important part of the key. it substantiated the theory that a large mars size body impacted the body impacted the earth and the moon was formed through that collision. zpl where are the rocks now and are they still being tested on? >> they're still being used for scientific study and some of the material i believe from 11 was just released for scientists to study. it had been carefully protected since that time and not used in scientific study, but all the material brought back from the apollo missions, well the majority of it, is in nasa's possession. and we have some lunar material, but it's on loan from nasa and nasa lends it to scientists for scientific study and oaf the years, as scientific instruments have improved, we've been able to learn additional information from this lunar material! this is tl from sun city,
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california. you are next with our guest. good morning. >> hi. i wasn't alive when it was broadcast, but i have a direct connection to the apollo program. i father worked for nasa and rockwell. rockwell was known as north american aviation and dallas california in a way ground zero to the space age. i was hoping to speak with the command module in the second stage of the rocket.
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there were projects such as the f15 rocket plane. i'm just calling to say that the apollo program in a way is like a legacy of my dad because i never got to know him because he passed away before i was born so in a way, the moon landing is a way to get to know him. while he was alive, he made friends with a will the of his coworkers b and even an actor who later became a president himself. so. >> thanks, tl, thanks fort
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stories. >> great hear. downie california with north american aviation is a important part of that apollo story. in many ways, but the command module was developed there and is the home to spacecraft of the astronauts and they had to go through a lot of modifications. so there was a apollo with one fire in january of '67 and it really alerted everyone to some of the dangers of space that they needed to improve the capsule and to ensure the astronaut's safety. downie helped make a safer program. >> part of the book deals with human u waste. could you tell our viewers why. >> well, one of the questions that the people who travel to space get asked the most.
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mike 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 connect answer. it's really complicated. it has been an issue from the very xwing to make sure that you know, things are hygienic, relatively clean. and it's never that pleasant. you think b about being inside the spacecraft in tight quarters. so the command module itself i read a book that the author compare d it to the space of three british gophones if you c peckture that, so very limited space. the early like the urine collection device for instance the astronauts would have worn on the lunar surface, fitted to their bodies. they're very much a reminder that all the early american astronauts were men because they're specifically designed for men's bodies but they had
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issues with them leaking sometimes and then frk ecal collection was one of the less glamorous aspects of space flight. >> just one of the many photos you'll find in the book by our guest. our next call from columbus, ohio. this is steve. hi. >> hello. i'm so glad you wrote that book and i'm certainly going to buy it. my wife and i grew up with the space program and we watched the moon landing. what saddens me is when i speak with such enthusiasm about the apollo program and i talk about all the benefits that came from it that we take for granted in our daily lives. a lot of the people i talk to in their 20s and 30s, they just grew up with this stuff. they don't understand there was a benefit. they said, oh, no, my parents
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just said it was a big waste of money and why are we going to waste more money trying to go to mars. i'm just saying wow, the apollo, the whole '60s piece of the space program just transformed our society and these guys are just waking up and saying oh, okay, i can you know, computer miniaturization. food preservation. waste management. greener technologies. complex polymers for sports et cetera. could you enumerate on some of these things and possibly education the public on just how much we got back as, from our investment? >> got you, caller. >> yeah, there are quite a few spin off technologies that were in apollo helped you could say seed the computer industry. a lot of people who were working on project apollo at the
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instrumentation lab went on to contribute greatly to development of computing, but i would say with project apollo, it's also really important to look at the political spin offs. president kennedy opposed it primarily as a response to a larger geo political situation. it was done within the context of the cold war. had uri's flight. the first human in space. and kennedy asked his vice president lyndon johnson to find a prspace program that would be highly impressive to the international public that we could win. so project apollo was motivated by politics in a political situation so when we evaluait,
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should evaluate it on diplomacy and technological spin offs. the united states did not primarily invest in project apollo for the spin offs. they're a wonderful outcome of the mission, but it's not why the program was funded and it also shouldn't be the primary reason or means that we evaluate. >> when it comes down to fascination of space flight, do you think it still exists as it did at the time of apollo 11. >> i think the it's quite different. here, we have a wonderful visitorship. people of all ages from all over the world come here. millions and millions of people every year. that's a great sign of the interest in sfpace flight, but t this time in the 1960s, space flight had just sort of evolved from sign fiction to fact and it was wrand new and so you can't
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recreate that sense that this was cutting edge, brand-new. it would have to be different today and it was also coupled with a revolution in television and media and communications and so the first lunar landing, it was the first broadcast. that's an important part hoff that legacy and the mission as well. it allowed people from around the world to do something in unison and to follow explorers in real time. tafs really memorable and that gave people a sense of participation and that's part of its historic weight. >> from candace vero beach, florida. good morning. >> good morning. i want to say anyone who was around to watch the moon land, what an amazing, amazing a accomplishment and my connection is my best friend was judy
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resnik who was on the challenger. because of her, i was privileged to be involved in one way or another for things going on at nasa. i knew john glenn and neil armstrong and quite a few other and it's been a highlight of my life and continued success and i know that all of, they are such a different breed. these astronauts and engineers. they are very, very courageous and i know that if they could, they would go up u seven days a week. so i was very, very, very honored b to be a part of, some small part of all of this. and i thank you for your time. >> thanks, candace.
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a different breed. what do you think about that characterization? >> i think if you meet the aust astronauts, they're very, very impressive. really capable. really competent. really intelligent. risk takers. really extraordinary people. i've had the prif leonel of having a number of conversations with mike collins. he did the forward for the book. he's a remarkable person. with so much ability. poise. thoughtfulness. intelligence and you stand in yao in accomplishment and the risks they were able to take and focus they brought to their jobs. >> and he told us he doesn't think about the flight much. is that surprising. >> well, it's been 50 years. i think it's a good sign that he
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had other things to occupy his mind. he wouldn't want just an eight-day period of your life to take up your entire life i'd imagine. >> attached to the module, there was a plaque. what was on it? >> it was carefully designed. a few months before, a committee was formed to plan out all the activities that would take place on the moon. in edition to collecting material and scientific experiments, the flak was part of that. it was spoeed to symbolize a signal to the world this was a mission for all human kind so it depicts the two hemispheres of the earth. it's an important part of the symbolism. the earth from space, you can't see those. and they were all on the planet together. underneath that, there was a message that was carefully crafted. you'll see there was a line
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about here men from planet earth first set foot on the moon. the reason why it says foot instead of landed is because there was some concern the soviet union was going to land their probe just ahead of the mission so they changed it to foot to make sure it symbolized humans. there's also the ad in the date and nixon speech writer said that was a great way of speaking god in, a great nod to religion there. then it has thes names and president knicks ben's name as well. >> from nile in troy, michigan. hi. >> yes, thank you for taking my call. i have two pieces i'd like to add for your viewers. number one, i have a first cousin who was a naval aifuater. and threw moon rocks off a carrier back to california. second ly, i think it's importat for the viewers to put time and distance in perspective.
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in 1969, just a prior hundred years earlier, it took americans almost five to six months to cross the united states in a covered wagon. once the trans continental ra railroad was completed in may of 1869, it just took seven days to cross the united states in a train. now that the moon land iing ha cocured. we've retused to four days and i think people often forget the compression of what mankind has done, what human kind has done to reduce time and travel and distance to something that's so taken for granted. and today, we live in an era where it takes just a few hours to cross the country.
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>> thanks, caller. >> that's a story we tell here because the first power controlled flight, wright brothers airplane, 1903 then th then behind me the lunar from the apole low and then the spirit of st. luis which charles lindbergh used and that's i believe that's 1927. this is the story of the 20th century, huge leaps and bounds especially in terms of flight were taken within that century. it's remarkable to come here and see it all in one place and get a sense for the technological development that happened in a short period of time. >> from minnesota, brian, good morning. >> caller:. yes. >> you're on. >> you're on. go ahead. >> caller: miss muir-harmony?
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>> uh-huh. >> caller: you mentioned charles lindbergh. >> yes. >> caller: here's from minnesota. my question i got a couple questions. number one, apollo one, those three guys were burned to death. how about apollo 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and then apollo 8 circled the moon. what about apollo 9 and 10. and then another, neil armstrong, one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind? who was run the the camera. and then for mike collins, i was drinking coffee and listening to music. what kind of coffee and did he play johnny cash, bob dillon and
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neil young? >> he's gone but i'll let our guest answer. >> he had the benefit of drinking coffee in space. they didn't have hot water to heat up coffee or food so they were eating cold food. but in the command modules one of the technologies that was introduced for the apollo program was hot water. it was lock warm but it was coffee. you can listen to the sound track from the apollo 11 mission. it's a -- it's an interesting combination of music. just google it and you'll find it. spotify has put together the list. it's fun to hear the music that they were listening to in space on that mission. i'm not sure what mike collins was listening to when he was onboard by himself, but he had a range of options. it's an eclectic mix of options. >> talk about the first meal? >> it was more of a snack.
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it wasn't a full, robust meal. they had bacon squares, which were some of the most popular food items on the space program because they were salty and flavorful. when you're in space you lose a lot of your sense of taste because your nasal cavity is filled with -- i won't go into the details, but in space people tend to like the spicier and the saltier and more flavorful food because it's harder to taste food. bacon squares, sugar cookie cubes, peaches, a pineapple drink and coffee. buzz ald rin also performed communion on the moon so he would have had a little wine and a wafer. after they did the moon walk, which was about 2 1/2 hours, they came back and had beef stew, cream of chicken soup, fruitcake. >> larry in houston texas, hi.
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>> caller: hello. the thing that i'd like to say, you know, when we said we're going to the moon, we didn't have enough geology. we put a lot of money to getting more people in geology. one of my friends who was a female was one of the first females to go to geology school in arizona. and there were no bathrooms in the geology building when she was there. so a little bit of women got into programs that they hadn't been able to before. the other thing was, i was living -- i'd just turned 21 and i was working at dell at the time for a summer job. so i spent the afternoon at nasa at the hotel across where they had the -- all the, i think it's nbc, and it's people, we were watching it on the tv. people came down after they spoke. we were able to see them and --
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in the lobby of the hotel. so i got to meet a fellow oklahoman, tom stafford, after he got done talking. that evening we went over to another hotel and watched the landing. and a lieutenant in the navy essentially bought all of us young whipper snappers champagne for the -- while we watched it. >> got it, caller. thank you. >> that's great to hear. thank you for telling us that story. i think one thing that's so heartening to me during this anniversary is the greater focus on the contribution of women to apollo. i was in graduate school during the 40th anniversary of apollo and apollo 11.
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there was some mention. but that the 50th anniversary there's much, much more attention. there was really important contributions of women to the program. and then as the caller mentioned, having to deal with things like not having a 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 were really pioneers within that field. >> teasel muir harmony, when the astronauts came to earth they were put in a silver trailer. what was that? >> the noble quarantine facility. it tells this great story about how project apollo happened at such a short time scale, from '61 kennedy proposed it until '69 the landing, a lot of the technology was off the shelf and already available. so this is an air stream trailer and it was modified to
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quarantine the astronauts. the question was whether or not the astronauts might bring back some problematic pathogens from the moon and lead to something that might be a modern day equivalent of the colombian exchange. there wasn't a solution with how to coordinate them from the landing to houston where the lunar receiving lab was. they came up with this solution, to have this air stream trailer. it was small enough that it could be on the aircraft carrier and transferred by airplane to houston. they did a number of modification, but if you look at it it is an air stream trailer from that period. they left the beds and kitchen and they have a microwave in there. they were able to eat steak and drink martinis when they came back, have a hot shower. they changed the pressure to make sure nothing would escape and put in special filters, things like that. it was a comfortable little
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vacation trailer for them that they were able to willive in for a bit. >> clay in north carolina. >> caller: hey, good morning. thank you. it's an honor to be on. i was just -- my grandfather, carl bab, who worked and lived in newspaper news, norfolk, area, and he would always as a little child tell us stories about this. and see the anniversary now, he was involved in it. he was part of the one of the scientist strainers that would be up in the hangars when they were training the astronauts to land on the moon. and just over the weekend, watching all of this, and listening to my mom would tell me stories about back in the day, that they would do a $20 tax. and back in that time, '68.
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it was a lot of money. it's just an honor and privilege to be a part of that and to know that one of my family members had something to do with landing on the moon, apollo 11. that's awesome. >> caller, thank you. teasel muir-harmony, final thoughts? >> he brought up a great point. apollo at one point cost over 4% of the national investment. it's a huge investment. it's a good remind in why the country invested in that of that scale, and to be reminded of this cold war context and the significance placed on soft power within fighting that cold war as part of the u.s. grand strategy. >> the book is called apollo to the moon, a history in 50
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objects, our guest is also a curator here, teasel muir-harmony. >> thanks. each weekend we feature 48 hours of programs exploring our nation's paths. for more information collect out our website at 50 years ago apollo 11 astronauts became the first humans to set foot on the moon, the culmination of a challenge by president john f. kennedy. next, what is commonly referred to as his moon speech. president kennedy on september 12th, 1962, at rice university in houston.


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