tv Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary CSPAN December 25, 2019 8:00pm-11:01pm EST
one giant leap for mankind. on this 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landings, chase washington journal along with c-span american history tv, will focus on this historic event and its influence on modern spaceflight. for the next three hours we are live at the national air and space musician museum in washington, where we'll talk about apollo 11 with historians, the module pilot collins, and you. you can let us know you impression of the moon landing, and you want to talk about that day, you impressions of, it tool to 7000, two or two seven assions of the 50th (202) 748-8000. for all will
be based here from the national air and space museum. a couple of facts about the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission. it was neil armstrong, buzz aldrin, and michael collins the team for that day. the launch took place july 16, 1969. the moon landing on july 20, 1969. the first step by neil armstrong at about 10 4:56 p.m. on july 20. at about 10:56 p.m. on july 20. astronauts returning to earth on july 24, 1969. we will talk more about the historical significance and what it means for spaceflight today. we will hear from you too. if you watched the moon landing, (202) 748-8000. (202)
748-8001 for all others this morning. we want to let you know that this program is being done in conjunction with our colleagues at american history tv. c-span3 on the weekends turns into that channel with historical programming from interviews, and lectures. they have programming, interviews, and lectures. you can talk about the apollo 11 mission, participate on twitter. there is a poll there. ahtv all weekend long will give you programming specifically related to apollo 11. you can watch that on c-span3. go to our website. if you go to their website page, you can find all the programming they have planned and information for you specifically about apollo 11 as
well. some interesting facts when it comes to apollo 11. the astronauts carried science experiments and the like. some of the other things they carried, a plaque commemorating the landing. that was on one of the arms on the lunar module. that would stay behind. they carried two large american flags. also the flags of certain nations. as you have seen pictures of people walking on the moon, that came courtesy of a tv camera that went on board the module as well. we will talk about those things during the course of the morning. we want to hear from you during these three hours as we have a new location. we are usually at our "washington journal" set. jack in rhode island starts us off this morning on impressions for
those who watched the moon landing. go ahead. >> thank you. i am showing my age because i did watch it with my father. he is no longer here. what's not really publicized because it's not politically correct, the key people that got us to the moon were the technological geniuses that were germans. von braun lead it the project. that was also otto rudolph. there were she engineers and scientists from he engineers key engineers and scientists from operation paperclip that the u.s. government led t in after world war ii. >> from the time you watched it,
what are your impressions of the apollo 11 mission itself? >> extremely successful, absolutely amazing, and it was because of those men and also those astronauts were amazing. their bravery was astounding. i am a little proud of myself because my ancestry is german. a couple of them were nazis. maybe they did that to protect themselves. >> let's hear from martha in virginia beach, also watched the men landing. go ahead. >> i wanted to thank you all for covering this from the beginning. my husband's cousin james shay was in charge of
that unfortunate accident where they burned before they even got out of a lot of pressure was put on them out of space. a lot of pressure was put on them. maybe some corners were cut. i have been fascinated. >> are you talking about the events of apollo 1? >> yes. there was a gentleman the other day talking about that from the beginning to this point. thank you. have a good day. >> before you go, what is a specific memory you have about the landing itself? >> my mother and i were fascinated with it. she died in 1976. we watched that thing. we watched it go on. my husband
had to go to work the next day. that is how fascinated with it. i worked as a research chemist. i have always been fascinated in signs of any kind. >> that is martha in virginia beach. (202) 748-8000 if you want to call in and have specific memories of that time. (202) 748-8001. mark in the bronx on our >> i was in the navy at the time, and we were in vietnam. i was on the uss boston. i was on the signal bridge, where we did flash lights and signal flags. when the word came from the bridge, the call goes out that says stand by your bag, meaning
the signal bacg. once the message is brought to the leading petty officer, the call is signal in the air. at which point george hung up the flag that said usa man on moon, and we wastedhoisted it up to the yardarm. that was it. that is what we did. >> what was the reaction for those on board? >> i was on the signal bridge. it was just three of us. i don't know what happened down below. we had 1200 men on the ship. i cannot answer that.
>> for those of you who watched the landing here in the u.s. and worldwide, people in other countries reacting to it. if you go to nasa and see footage, you will see pictures of people watching all over the world as this one event became the fascination of the whole world. we will go to robert in louisiana. good morning. >> good morning. i am glad i am watching your program. i was 18 years old. i saw it on tv like most people. it is still impressive today. i have a youngest son, and he cannot really appreciate it. what i have in my hand for those who collect coins, the u.s. mint produced a commemorative coin for the 50th anniversary of the
landing. neil armstrong was taking the picture of buzz aldrin, and when they when the film came out, it shows the picture of neil armstrong, you can see the lunar landing module. the coin is curved just like the facemask. the u.s. mint had these. they are five ounces. they are beautiful. on the backside of the koran itself, it shows the first footprint. it is unbelievably beautiful. i am looking at it right now. i wish everybody on tv could see this thing. like most people i ran outside to look at the moon. i'm assuming a lot of people did that. it stays with me today. it is one
of those moments that grabs you. >> did you watch it with other family and friends? >> i watched it with my mother. my two brothers were there. we were glued. for three days when they would come back and forth, and of course walter cronkite was unbelievably great. it still sits with me today. when they landed on him moon, my brothers and i were sitting there holding our breath like everybody else. watching walter cronkite smiled. it was a great event. one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. it is impressive. as the years go by, this might go down in history, but it liked to think
it will go down in history as something that people will truly be there. luckily we had film of it and everything. kudos to everyone that is part of this thing, especially the technicians and the people who built it. that is amazing. >> ok. i believe that is robert in that version. he talked about walter cronkite. those of you that watched on that they come it was walter cronkite had a model of the lunar module one that was provided to him and used that to demonstrate what was going on with the various parts of the flight. these are historical images you can find online. this is the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission. you can join in the conversation and post on our
facebook page. you can post on the american history facebook page as well. american history tv, c-span3 turns into american history tv on the weekend. you can see a weekend of programming. other full-length features as well. go to our website for more information on that. i believe this is mark from the bronx. i believe i have taken that one. let's go to david in chicago. david in chicago watched the moon landing. >> i didn't watch them landing. i was just a kid out of grade school. i want to talk about the fact that it took about 400,000 americans, practically all of them american-born and educated to put a man on the moon. there were about 150 german refugee scientists, but this was all american-made talent. right now there is a
bill going to the senate that would further entrench a lot of foreign workers and their labor force. think about what it took to put a man on the moon and back, and this was all before the hib visa and labor dumping in our technology sector. when you think about the moon mission, apollo, i want everybody to remind their senators and congressmen that we did this, winning the cold war and sending a man to the moon and back before all of this cheap foreign labor dumping started. >> when it comes to apollo 11 itself, were you one of those when it was announced, were you a supporter of the mission itself? >> my father worked on the
integral technologies as a major defense contractor that provided the position technologies to send a man to the moon and back and for the multiple nuclear deterrence. it was in my family. my father worked so many hours overtime during the 1960's. they even paid triple time back then on holidays. if you went in on christmas or thanksgiving to meet a deadline because it was such a rush to meet these deadlines for the end of the decade, they paid triple time. companies don't do that anymore. they don't take care of their people like that. >> ok. that is david in chicago calling to talk about the work aspects of the apollo 11 and the manpower that took place to make it happen. that is one of the writing things you can talk
about this morning. when it comes to things that were taken from the moon, you will remember part of the purpose of the moon mission was to take samples from the surface of the moon, and those samples still being analyzed and looked at today. this is from the lunar and planetary institute telling us 22 kilograms of material were taken from the surface of the moon. that translates to roughly 50 pounds total. that includes lunar soil samples and they tell us two tubes of material from the moon surface was also taken. that was some of the purpose of the mission and the things taken and brought back to earth from the efforts of apollo 11. this is christie from huntsville. >> good morning. >> you are on. go ahead. >> i probably watched it, but i was only 10 years old, so i
don't remember. i live in huntsville, where it all began. i used to hear the rocket tests. it was amazing. i still here rocket tests out there on the arsenal. my good friend, her grandfather was the head of operation paperclip. i just feel proud living in huntsville, alabama, where it all began. >> is huntsville still a major problem when it comes to space exploration? how much work still goes on to this day? >> it is not as much space as it is army. it is a redstone arsenal. it is an army base as well. i worked for lucky in marshall space flight center in the past, but my dad was with
ibm. we got transferred to huntsville in 1965. rocket testing was being done at that point. it was earth shattering to hear those rockets test. it was cool. as a kid it was very cool. >> that is christie from huntsville. once president kennedy decided he wanted to send a man to the moon to put efforts across the u.s. to make that happen, alabama being one of those major locations were the work of the apollo mission would take place, and you can still see evidence there at that is in. james and arlington, texas. good morning. >> good morning. my dad was a senior engineer on the apollo program. he worked for north american aviation out of southern california. he
basically worked on almost anything from the launch escape towers down to the first stage. >> how much did he talk about it? you are on. go ahead. how much did he talk about it at home? >> there were certain things he did not talk about, but at the same time when apollo 7, 8, 9, and 10 when they returned to earth, we had a big event at the facility, and the astronauts would be flown in for a ceremony, so we would all see them be driven by us in cars, and then we would be allowed to look at the capsules, which had recovered and been saved, so we had what we called the dei room, which had a lot of exhibits in it, and people
would get a chance to see that. well into the 1980's in fact. i would see the service module, capsules, eventually the mockup of the shuttles. there were a number of things that we were aware of. when i was 10 years old, i was taken by my dad to the seal beach facility. they had a big event for the delivery of the last second stage for the saturn five. they opened up the doors on the assembly building, so i am witnessing this massive second stage being rolled out. it is quite an impression on a 10 euro. >> are you in the science field
or anything related because of those influences? >> my sister and i both followed my father into engineering. i worked for 11 years until 2009 in shuttle support and support for the international space station. initially i was a mcdonnell douglas employee, but we got bought by boeing. a sister worked for rockwell. their assets were bought out by boeing. she is still working at this time, although she is about to retire. >> we did a recent poll from viewers in conjunction with ipsos taking a look on space issues. one of those things that were found at the top of the list people want nasa to pursue, environmental efforts. lower on the list, efforts like
going back to the moon, going to mars. what do you think of that, and he still support this idea of manned spaceflight? that color is gone. we will go to cap the ne caller is gone. we will go to kathy. >> i was four years old. i remember it vividly. everyone was glued to the tv. i was worried in the astronauts down the ladder that he would sink in like in quicksand. my dad explained to me that because the lunar lander did not sink in that the astronaut would be ok. >> that's a vivid memory of yours, what else do you remember? >> i remember everybody being very excited and thinking this
is a great day and that we can do anything. >> do you still think manned spaceflight should be a priority for the u.s.? >> yes. >> why so? >> i think we should start by increasing the number or size of our orbiting a stations establishing a colony on the moon, and then going to mars. >> that is christie in missouri. if you go to our website, that cspan-ipsos poll has information about the priorities nasa should pursue. a lot of information available at c-span.org. we are at the national air and space museum
in washington, d.c. as we talk about the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission. you can follow along on her facebook feed and twitter feed. you can follow along on american history tv's facebook and twitter feeds. in virginia, personnel, george, you are on. >> good morning. i remember it very well. i was in norfolk for duty for the weekend. and i was driving back on 95 on the radio. i got tears in my eyes. i guess i was 27 at the time, 28. it is part of history, and the other thing i remember, when they lost sputnik. that was impressive also. it was a great time to be alive.
>> do you think the historical significance of apollo 11 still resonates to this day? >> i think very much so. in the d.c. area, we have a lot of government things. the significance of it is incredible. all the side benefits of all this technology, the cell phones, the gps, i guess medical devices using fancy electronics. having a project like this accelerates all that. it may have happened, but i don't think it would have happened as quickly without this project. >> we will hear from jim in ohio. hi there. >> good morning, pedro. thanks for c-span. if that were the only channel on my tv, i would keep it. i was the young man
watching this with my future wife and her family in 1969. unless my memory fails me, i think we went outside to try to look up at the moon when that happened and just sort of imagined we could see something that was going on. it is a thing a young person would do. maybe i drink that. i think we did it. i dreamed that. i think we did it. i was an apprentice pipefitter, and i went back to college and became a science teacher for 38 years. i don't know if i can draw a straight line from the moon landing to becoming a science teacher, but i can at least draw a crooked line. i still get emotional when i hear the replay of the landing. i guess i was glad to hear the caller from virginia who said he got emotional.
maybe that is what drove me into the science classroom. just as an interesting aside, my son was born nine months to the day after the moon landing. i don't know if i can draw a straight line on that one either. thank you for giving us a chance to reflect on the hard point of american history. >> thank you for the call. we appreciate it. things left on the moon. a couple of things the astronauts were trying to shed some of the weight from the lunar module before it left the surface of the moon. they have a list of some of those things. it was that section of the eagle as it was known. apparently it was nicknamed during the spaceflight itself. an american flag. you will
remember that, iconic american flag placed on the surface of the moon. other mementos honoring the apollo one crew. you heard another caller reference that in which the three astronauts died. a small goodwill disc. tools, trash, and as they tell us including human waste left on the surface of the moon. you can find out more when you go to the nasa website. more available on c-span3. we will go to bobby in maryland. you are next. >> good morning. yes, i supported the apollo 11. i watched it that morning with my three children. i had no furniture. we had a 12 inch black and white tv. i went on
to support the other apollo missions. thousands of contractors were involved. i don't think people realize how many different contractors are involved in these missions. you have thousands of us worked. my particular group produced documents on the council. we told the astronauts what they were going to do every minute, including the music that would wake them up in the morning. we worked hard, so many hours. we went on to support all the other apollo missions, including all the space shuttle missions. i wrote the original launch and landing procedures. i went on to support. i retired in 2011. the last mission i worked on launched in 2012. it was an exciting time we worked on. it has been an exciting
space program. it is so exciting. i want us to go back to the moon. i want us to go to mars. i think it is all just wonderful. i enjoyed every second. >> before you go, a couple of questions. he said he wanted to go back to the moon, go back to mars. should that strictly be a nasa think? a lot of private companies are involved in this process. >> private companies have always been involved. nasa has been made up 80% of private companies. they put out tons of contracts, and they award tons of contracts to private companies. honeywell is very much involved. lucky is very much involved. there are thousands of small businesses involved across the country could i don't think people
realize that, but nasa is made up of tons of private contractors, thousands of them. everybody from companies with 40,000 people to companies with six people. there have always been private companies involved. >> that is bobby in columbia, maryland. here is marcia. >> good morning. i am calling on the line for all others because i have a somewhat unusual, completely neutral position on watching the moon landing, and that is entirely circumstantial. that evening, i was 23 years old. i had just been married for two years. my husband and i had just bought our first house, and moved in less than a month before that.
we had furniture store in my parents house. we had furniture in his parents'house. we were moving back and forth by hand with a little travel trailer. that was a saturday night. i was a church organist. i did not even consider putting in our 10 inch, black and white tv to try to watch on saturday night because i had to get up early sunday morning. i cannot say i am for or against anything because i never got to watch it. i think the first time i watched it, some reruns probably 10 years afterwards. when we got to the first decade anniversary. of course, we read it in the newspapers. newspapers were everywhere. we probably got somebody else's
sunday paper that next morning because having just moved in, we would not have had newspaper delivery to the house, but >> any regrets you did not see it firsthand? >> no, and i would not have been able to because we would have to stick one of those antennas on the roof. i am 73. i'm sure anybo elsdyin my age bracket will remember those cable tv, very little if any. if you did not get a picture on your rabbit ears, you have to stick one of those things on your roof. >> got you that is bobby. thanks for the story. we are going to take a cause. you can continue calling. (202)
748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. for all others (202) 748-8001. we will hear from the director of the national air and space museum about her impressions of apollo 11 and how the smithsonian handles this kind of topic and what they relate to people who visit in d.c.. a program from moonwalk one was produced from nasa. part of that program included an animation that was advanced for the time that showed the various steps of the apollo 11 mission. here it is. >> the flight began with a vertical lift through the lower atmosphere and a tilt to the east. at 6000 miles per hour, the empty first stage is discarded to save weight. with the second stage firing, it reaches 15,000 miles per hour when it is jettisoned. the
third stage places apollo in earth orbit. when the spacecraft has been thoroughly checked out by the crew, the third stage fires again, it's speed caring it free from the grip of earth's gravity. while coasting outward, the command service model separates and docs for access to the lunar module. the empty third stage is left behind. apollo loses speed throughout 9/10 of his journey until the moon's gravity overcomes the pull of earth, and apollo fires in reverse direction, slowing down enough to be captured in orbit about the moon. armstrong and aldrin enter the lunar module, which separates, leaving collins in the command service module. eagle slows more and breaks to a touchdown on the
lunar surface. >> from the smithsonian national air and space museum, our program is being based today as we talk about the influence of apollo 11. good morning. >> good morning. i guess from a museum perspective, this is one you have to memorialize. how do you do that? >> we hold the apollo memorabilia not just for the nation but for the world. more than half of our population was born post-apollo. how do you bring that sense of wonder and excitement and achievement that we do, so you have to go big.
>> how do you go about that? >> it is a combination of history. making sure people understand it was in the context of the cold war, talking about a lot of the origins. what i have been trying to come back to again and again, it took 400,000 americans to make this happen from seamstresses who made the spacesuits to engineers who designed the rockets to the astronauts who ultimately flew on them. it is that idea of teamwork we have been trying to get across this summer. we have been doing a lot of events at the museum, a lot of lectures. we have been trying to reach people all around the u.s.. this week in washington, we have been projecting a saturn five rocket onto the national monument washington monument, and we have been watching it, not the monument, just the rocket.
>> what was the inspiration behind the? >> two of my very creative staff members said we had to do something on a grand scale. how do you bring that excitement of a launch to this generation? i think we have succeeded. when they see that giant rocket on the monument, and the monument-ish shaped the bit like a rocket, and then the show we have run last night and tonight that tells the story of apollo and really puts it in the context of kennedy's rice university speech, because that is another big aspect. we want kids to feel like what is next? >> one of those things that was asked of respondents is worst be a priority for nasa. high on
the list, how does that strike you? i actually agree. climate is the most important thing we can be working on because the threat of climate change is so real and important. nasa plays a critical role in that. nasa plays a critical role in pushing technology forward. i think it is a false choice between looking at nasa's budget and trying to solve all the problems. nasa does need to send humans to the moon. they are going to discover life of all not only on the moon but on mars. i think if we have learned nothing else will apollo, when a society does something really hard and challenging, it brings the world together. it pushes your
society forward. it inspires a generation of scientists and engineers. >> behind you is lunar module two. people will ask you if this was the real thing that went to the moon. >> we get that question a lot. it was a test article. this is one of them. all kinds of testing was done by nasa on it at the end of the program, we got it >> you talk also about the spacesuits. talk about that process. >> the spacesuits are almost individual spacecraft. they need to store air for the astronauts, keep them protected from the lunar environment.
they were complex. they were made to protect the astronau on tse moon, but they were not made to last 50 years. the suits are made up of 21 layers. those are starting to degrade. it has been off display for 13 years to keep it out of the light, and to work on how to stabilize those layers and make repairs to the suit without changing because we don't want to clean the lunar dust that still remains on the suit, claim that off. how do we make it good for generations to come? we have a special manikin inside the suit that helps air circulate so we can maintain temperature and humidity conditions. it is in great shape. visitors can come and see it. >> will it be the only suit that gets refurbished? >> we have learned a lot of tecschhat we will slowly be
applying to the other suits in our collection so they last a long time. most of our students are stored in a dark room with very controlled conditions to protect them. >> what are the common qutions that are asked of you or others he about the missions? >> people want to know the human stories behind it. who were the people that were involved in the missions? the other thing is they really want to touch something, and we don't normally let people touch things, but that is what one of our most popular exhibits is where you can touch him touch a moon rock in the is in. >> what were done with the moon rocks?
>> they are available at johnson space center. they are still available for research. the moon is possibly a piece of the that came off very early in the earth's histy. helping us understand the moon helps understanthis planet. the history of the moon tells us what the early history of the earth was like. apollo reallyoved science forward. >> in your previous life, you worked at nasa. what were you involved in? >> i was involved in looking at all the science projects across nasa and moving them forward and getting humans to mars in 2030. >> what do you think has to be considered if that is the long-term goal? >> i think we are in great
shape to get humans to mars. when president kennedy made the call to get to the moon, we did not even know some of the technologies that needed to be developed. to go to mars, because of our long experience, have anered most of the westerns. we know what we need to do. it is a question of the national will. >> do you think the will is there3? host: do you think the will is there? >> i do. i wonder if we have the national commitment to stick with it. what encourages me is the u.s. would not geto alone this time. we would go with international partners and private companies. >> you are involved in
renovations at the national air and space museum. what is going on here? >> this building was test we have closed half of the museum, and we are renovating that half. in three and a half years, we will open a new gallery and then begin on the east end. in the end, we will have a completely reimagined museum that will be a true center for inspiration for kids. one of the things i am most concerned about his own to make sure every kid comes in this museum and see stories of people who look like them who have done amazing things in air and space. >> what do you think of the untold stories of the people behind apollo 11? what should people know? >> people should know those
people look like all of our population. when we think of apollo 11, we think of astronauts and mission control. let's face it, all those people looked the same. when i was a kid, i looked at that, and i said people who look like me don't do things like this. there were people of color, women of color, they were involved in the entire project, and we need to tell their stories. >> i know we have talked about it a little bit, but your most distinct impression about apollo 11? >> the longest lasting impression is when we put our minds to a problem, we can overcome it if we have the national will come if we use teamwork and determination. >> this is the director of the national air and space is in.
thank you for housing is today. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> we are going back to your calls. you can call us at (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. for all others (202) 748-8001. if you are watching this on c-span three, you can do so and join in the conversation in a variety of ways you can post on american history tv, give your impressions of apollo 11 and what is going on on this 50th anniversary. on their twitter feed, you can take part in a poll as well and give your impressions. all that is available at c-span.org. this is from sarah in lawrenceville, georgia. thank you for waiting. go ahead. what are your
impressions of apollo 11? >> it was an amazing event. i was 18 years old. i had just joined the navy about a week and a half before that, so i was in boot camp in great lakes, illinois. we were pretty excited about it because we were going to get to watch television. it was sunday night. we piled into a little room. we got to sit down and watch the moon landing. it was pretty exciting. everybody was pretty jazzed about it. we had a bet, a $50 bet that we would not get to the moon. i said i would take that bet. she wrote me how to check because she knew i was going to be going to the navy. when i got back, i
found the check in my parents house after boot camp, and she did not sign it. so i never got paid. >> go ahead. go ahead. >> some interesting things about apollo 11, 1 of them is the very first silicon computer was on that vehicle. there was software developed by m.i.t. that was used to actually do the landing. it basically started the digital revolution which came out of that program. another interesting thing i read about on facebook, a friend of mine came out of the video industry. an engineer said the original data tapes had been lost. that camera they have on the lunar craft, in the
images looked pretty bad because they had to take that data and convert the signal. the original data tapes were lost. i seem to recall they found those tapes, and what happened was nasa decided to sell off a copy of the tapes in 1976 at a surplus sale, and some intern bought those tapes, and they were the original tapes that the guy bought. >> they are being auctioned off today in new york. they are expected to fetch a price of about a million dollars. why were you so convinced the moon would >> i was an 18-year-old kid. i did not see any reason how we would fail. >> ok. daniel is next in
tennessee. good morning. >> good morning, sir. >> you are on. go ahead. >> i worked at cape canaveral during that time. i've been there for 30 years. i was so proud of it. i have a series of pictures on my wall in my garage. it shows all the steps up to the landing. so proud of it. i watch it all the time and look at it and feel good about it. it was such a great thing for our country, and i was so glad to be part of it. >> were you worried that things would go wrong during the mission? >> on every launch that i was working, we were always worried about something happening, of
course. we just prayed through it, and it happened well, and everything went well. i'm so proud of our country that they were able to do that. >> from nancy richmond, virginia, also watched the moon landing. >> good morning. i am so delighted to be here this morning. in 1967, i remember watching -- 1957, i remember watching sputnik with my dad, and he said one day america would get into space,. in high school, i watched the mercury. and then in college, i watched the program. my first year of teaching, i had the wonderful opportunity thanks to what is now the virginia commonwealth university. they offered to richmond school teachers the opportunity to take a class in
aerospace education. as a first-year year teacher, this was such a wonderful opportunity because the air national guard took us to the kennedy center and gave us a marvelous to our. i actually stood under an apollo rocket as it was being built. it was the most fascinating thing i think i have ever seen next to michelangelo's great statues. i was thrilled. the following year in charlottesville, my father with me and my mother watched that marvelous moment when neil armstrong took that first step onto the moon. we were in great hope. i think even today, i think of the courage and the trust that our astronauts put into the brilliance of the so many who cooperated and developed the
technology that our country continues to be so proud of. the fact that we were a free country going into space and leading that. i am so proud we now have an international space station. i think it is essential. i have continued to follow the program. i taught for 35 years, mainly at quantico. my students were from all over the world. i did use that class, even though i taught english. there was not a year that went by that my students were not aware that i was a lunatic. i continue to follow this program. i have just finished reading one giant leap. failure is not an option. i am wearing an apollo t-shirt all day today where i live from
the age of 12 until 73. i remain glued to a program that i think is so essential for our country to accept such wonderful challenges and to cooperate and do something that brings positive vibrations to people of diversity, people all over the world who can get excited about something that is so grand. >> that is nancy giving us a lot of history and her personal interest in the apollo program. thank you for the call. (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. (202) 748-8001 for all others. if you want to tell stories like nancy did, feel free to do that. we'll go to carol and south carolina. >> good morning. i have a
slightly different perspective. i did not watch it, but i heard it. i was in the u.s. air force at the time stationed in vietnam, and we could not see the video, but we had live audio. we had to imagine what pictures were being broadcast to the rest of the world. it was a sense of pride for everybody, although i think this significance of it may have been lost on us at the time. >> what was it like hearing the audio and then when you finally had a chance to see pictures or video of what was going on. >> we got the video for the film probably the next day. it was standing room only to try to get in to see it, and then we put the audio together with the pictures, and it made it a whole lot more realistic, but we had to imagine when we were
hearing the audio what other people were seeing. >> what was the emotion like for you and the others listening? >> it was mixed because we could not really understand what was going on although we were hearing it. what we really keyed in on is what mission control was saying back to all current -- buzz aldrin and armstrong. we could understand what their process was and what they were doing at the time. >> carol from south carolina heard the mission before seeing the video and pictures. let's go to marlene in new hampshire. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> good morning. i am watching the show on american history tv, and i am just finding the whole
space mission replay is just amazing. i was 20 years old at the time, just given birth to my second child. it was just a totally amazing event for me and my son, who is now 48 asked to me at one time to please write down all the things i have seen in my lifetime, and this has got to be one of the top things i have ever seen. thank you for letting me share that. >> before you go, why is it top of the list? >> we came out of an age where the kids played flash gordon, and all these make-believe space things, and here it is real. it is happening right in front of us. i think culturally today, 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. keep kids aware of not only our history but our future. >> do you think man's >> why is that? >> no, i don't think they should be abandoned. no host: i was asking if you think man space flights should still be an effort by the united states, if they >> 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.
>> ok. marlene in dover giving her experiences and remembrances of the apollo 11 mission this 50th anniversary. we will hear from willie in kentucky, last call for this segment. >> hi, thanks. i am fortunate enough to have a book of every front page of the columbus dispatch and it's dated july 21, 1969. a good friend of mine, a writer for the dispatch when to -- and ironically, neil
armstrong's mother said, shee, too, thought she 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, and as far as future exploration, i think it would be like watching the beatles on ed sullivan. you can only do that once. we are not -- i mean, we did it. we did it. i see no reason to do it again because we already did it. >> ok. that is really in sterling, kentucky, giving us his impressions of apollo. our program, in conjunction with american history tv on c-span3, we are based on the national
air and space museum, and we will continue until 10:00, talking about this 50th anniversary of apollo 11. joining us next for that conversation is john logmein, the founder of george washington university space policy institute and author of john f. kennedy, the race to the moon. we will have a conversation with him next. you remember going back to september 1962, it was then that president kennedy gave what would be known as his moon speech at rice university in houston, texas. >> but why? some say, the moon? why climb the highest mountain, they may ask. why, 35 years ago, fly the atlantic? why does rice play texas? we choose to go to the moon. we choose to go to the moon. [applause] 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 our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we're willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and others, too. if i were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon 240,000 miles away, from 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 yet been invented, capable of withstanding heat and stresses several times more
than had ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision finer than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food, and survival, on an untried mission to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, reentering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sign, almost as hot as it is here today, and do all this, and you all this and do it right, and do it first, before this decade is out, then we must be bold. >> 50 years ago today, we're celebrating the landing of
apollo 11 on the moon. i remember the launch was a couple of days before that, talking about historical, cultural and scientific significance during our program today. joining us for that conversation is dialogue's men, the founder of the space policy institution george washington university and wrote the book john f. kennedy and the race to the moon. what was the driver of president kennedy? >> competition. the soviet union had defined its space success as an indication of the superiority of the communist way of life. it is hard to re-create in 2019 the zero sum cold war competition of the late 50s, early 1960s, but it was real to kennedy, and the idea space was a measure of national vitality and the u.s. was behind was not acceptable to him, so after the launch of yuri gagarin in april 1960 one, he asked his advisors, and i'm quoting from a memo, find a space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win, and the answer came back, let's go to the moon. >> that was from the scientists,
i believe, from nasa, basically saying that. when kennedy made the pitch to congress, how was it received? >> may of 1961 before he -- when he went before joint session, he said i believe we should go to the moon before this decade is out. the reaction was very positive. kennedy proposed a significant budget increase and it was passed with very few opposing votes in the summer of 1961, and nasa was on its way. >> and so what was the role of lyndon johnson during this process? >> vice president johnson during this process? he had been involved in setting up nasa 1958, and was clearly a cheerleader for a very ambitious space program, but when kennedy decided it was important for national purposes, he basically took the issue back from vice president and made it a presidential issue, so johnson was there. he was
involved, but kind of on the margins. >> when it comes to public sentiment, at the time, for kennedy's proposal, how would you gauge that? >> well, there was a gallup poll in may of 1961 after gagarin, 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. so this was a leadership initiative. this is didn't come out of a groundswell of public demand for a major space initiative. >> john logsdon our guest for this segment. if you want to ask questions, you can do so. if you watched the moon landing and you want questions, 202-748-8000. if you have questions for others, 202-748-8001. what were your impressions that day?
>> i had chosen in 1967 as a graduate student at new york university and already has a faculty member here in washington, to write my phd dissertation on kennedy's decision to go to the moon, so by 1969 i was pretty well done and the book was on its way to being published. it was a book called the decision to go to the moon. i had been working with nasa in the research, and that earned me a press pass, and an invitation to the launch. so i was at the present site at kennedy space center, about as close as a civilian could be to the launch on that morning at 9:32 a.m., so i don't know whether you're showing the picture but that's me in the red circle. and an unforgettable experience, the sheer power of the saturn five launch, the low-frequency noise, which you could physically feel
in your body, and the slow acceleration, thing just seemed to hover before it gathered speed and headed off. and you knew you were seeing something, that would go down in history so the combination was unforgettable. >> what was your level of confidence that the mission could be accomplished? >> probably higher than the crew because they knew a lot more than i did. armstrong was quoted as saying he thought that there would be a 90% success they would get to the moon and back. 50% that the landing would be successful. i guess by that time, i had pretty high confidence. nasa had pulled off the very bold after sending people around the moon on apollo eight in december of 1968, christmas eve, 1968. and so, frankly, i stood there thinking, this is going to happen. >> our first call for you comes
from augusta, georgia. this is mark. you are on with our guest john logsdon, founder of the space policy institute, the author of john f. kennedy and the race to the moon. go ahead. >> yes, i first of all want to say thank you to all the people at nasa that made it actually possible. i was a nine-year-old kid watching -- well, when they were in orbit of the moon, i think we are at my grandpa's house, and by the time we got back to paley, indiana, where we lived at the time, we watched them actually land. this was -- now, my mom, she was basically in charge of our little family because my father was off fighting in a little 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 that you got from the gulf station that you hung from a string and pretended it was a cardboard model of the lunar module that you pretended to be landing with and so we were huddled around the tv set at that time. >> got you. john logsdon, the public sentiment at the time of the launch versus the time leading up to the launch? >> i think by the time of the launch, and particularly after the success of apollo eight a few months earlier, there was a building excitement, and not only in 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 their first event that was watched internationally. something like 600 million people were watching or listening as
armstrong and then aldrin descended to the lunar surface. this was a global event, celebrated around the world, not only in the united states. >> how did russia react to it? >> well, it is interesting. i have always thought that russia did not broadcast it in real time. i was listening to a call-in show like this, and with a woman that said she was in the soviet union, and they were watching it live, so that 's contrary to my impression, but she was there and i was not. it certainly was not big news in the russian papers. >> let's hear from grand rapids, michigan, lenee, hello. >> hello. my name is lenee. and thank you so much for taking my call. >> you are on. go ahead. >> it's my birthday. i was
turning 15 the day they landed on the moon, and today i'm 65, celebrating the 50th anniversary and my birthday all at the same time. >> happy birthday. >> thank you. it's an exciting day. i remember watching the moon landing with my family gathered around our tv set, which was of course black and white and it was walter cronkite, and my memory that day is this segment of them landing on the moon. not only for the first steps for mankind, and all that happened with that, but also because i don't know how many people realize that the moon is a ruling planet of cancer, the month of july. when you look at the zodiac, it is the only planet that's their
own planet is the moon for the month of july. i don't know if nasa knew that and they landed just before leo which is ruled by the sun a couple days from now. >> happy birthday, caller. thank you. mr. logsdon? >> several of your callers have talked about watching the moon landing. they didn't do that. there was no camera that caught the landing at 4:17 in the afternoon. there was a camera that caught armstrong's first steps but the landing was all simulation on various networks. and if they had been able to show the reality, they would have shown something really remarkable because as has been said a lot in the past few days, when right before the landing, the lunar module pitched over and armstrong and aldrin first saw where they were headed, it was a rocky field full of boulders, not suitable for
landing, so neil had to take over and literally fly the lunar module parallel to the lunar surface for a few seconds -- i'm sure it seemed longer than that -- to find a level spot to land. they landed with 17 seconds of fuel left. it was a remarkable achievement. >> the scientific efforts at the time, talk about them. what was involved, particularly with the module itself, getting it developed and ready to go? >> i suspect your viewers can see the lunar module over my shoulder here. it is a very weird looking spacecraft because it was designed -- nasa chose a way of getting to the moon which had a mothership go to lunar orbit, and that mothership was designed to get to lunar orbit but most importantly to get the crew back to earth. so it had the fuel and the heavy heat shields for reentry. then there was a separate lunar module that was
only for going to lunar orbit to the surface. it did not have to deal with atmosphere, so do not have to deal with atmospheric pressures and the skin of his was basically paper thin and flexed a lot. so it was not a strong spacecraft, but it was optimized for that one purpose and did it very well. >> was this the final design? >> this is real. >> this is real, but how many designs before they came up with the final design? >> -- in 1962, to the final version built, there were probably x -- with x being a pretty big number of designs -- and one of the concerns was weight. there were great concerns to grumman who built the module to shave every pound
of weight off of the spacecraft. when nasa was ready after the apollo one fire to resume flights, the lunar module was still not ready. one of the reasons we sent apollo eight around the moon was that was a way of testing the whole system except for the lunar module, which if we had waited for the lunar module, it would potentially have delayed meeting kennedy's end of the decade deadline. >> here from sayville, new york, thomas for our guest john logsdon. go ahead. >> hi, thank you for taking my call. i have two short stories. the first is i was in vietnam in 1969. we do not know for a couple of days, somebody passed me in the mess hall or someplace and said, by the way, we landed on the moon. i said,
when? oh, couple days ago. like it was not -- oh, a couple of days ago. it was like nothing. that was what was going on when i served in the army. my second story is my old neighborhood, there was a gentleman who never served. he was the only father on the block who never served in world war ii. but 10 years or 15 years ago, when i read the obituary when he passed away, i found out why because in world war ii, he designed bombs for the air force and when it came to the lunar landing, he also designed two -- this was in his obituary -- he designed two of the electric motors on the lander. i'm calling because i'm so proud i lived so close to a gentleman that had to do with the space program. thank you. >> ok, thank you, caller.
>> one thing to say is this was a truly national effort to get those two people on the moon and the 10 people that follow them. only 12 people have walked on the moon and only four of them are still alive. with 400,000 people spread all over the country, that worked more or less directly on apollo. it was a very peaceful but warlike mobilization of human and financial resources, which is unlikely to happen again. >> how did armstrong, aldrin and collins to become the ones to do this mission? >> as they all say over and over again, mainly luck. there was a rotation of crew, so if you were the backup crew on a particular mission, three missions later, you would be the prime crew. so armstrong and aldrin were backup to
apollo 8. collins had had neck surgery but was restored to flight status and so when it came to 11, they were by normal rotation the prime crew and you have to remember, it was not at all given that apollo 11 would be first. it was going to be the first attempt, but there were lots of things that could happen if -- to make it not successful. and then i think the nasa management recognized that the piloting skill and the 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. i don't think that was an accurate portrayal of the neil armstrong i knew. >> good morning. >> good morning, america. i had the pleasure of visiting the kennedy space center twice, once when i was four, and back then, you were allowed into the vehicle assembly building. when i first went, i saw the gemini spacecraft inside the building, and i thought -- a little kid like me -- that was huge but then, when i went back, the
spacecraft that was in the building 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 big venous television that was black-and-white, but that was ok with us. and when apollo took off, it just seemed like it took forever like for that spacecraft to clear the gantry. once it cleared the gantry, all of a sudden, it was like boom! as you look at the footage, about halfway up, you kind of see where the sonic boom rolled off the top of the spacecraft. and then seeing it land, i remember my father is a
science teacher, so he was very encouraging. took me to nasa every chance he could. and when they were going to land, and i was watching them, and i was hearing 60 seconds, my dad came flying in the house, and i said, what does 60 seconds main? he said, they've got 60 seconds of fuel left. i said, oh, wow because it did not look like. >> gotcha, caller. >> it was charlie duke who later walked on the moon on apollo 16 that was the capsule communicator and the capcom was calling out the time of the fuel and as they got down to 30 seconds, i was interacting with charlie earlier this week, and he tells the story, by the time he got to 30 seconds, they were
picking up some dust and he knew when to land because the commander had the final authority. 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? >> why there is basically because it was the easiest place to get to. 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 a demonstration that we could meet kennedy's goal of landing man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before this decade is out. so they were looking and all the 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 tranquility. it turned out the specific spot that the guidance system picked was the wrong spot, but overall, it was a flat space we could land a spacecraft with minimum risk. >> here is, from alabama, jimmy, you're on with our guest john logsdon. hi. >> (inaudible)
>> ok, thanks. >> i basically did not hear much of that. did you understand what he was saying? >> let's go to new york. sally, in schenectady, hi. >> thank you. i have a question for mr. logsdon, but one it to say i watch the landing from colombia. we were on vacation and we were in a big hotel, and there was one television in the television room, so we watched it communally, which is in itself a gift. the best part is the next day, as we walked around the streets of bogota, people knew we were north americans, and they would say felicidad as if we had anything to do with it at all. my question is, 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 proceeded nasa. in 1960-19 61, he did the first study of the technical requirements for landing on the moon at nasa headquarters. it was his study that allowed nasa to say that president kennedy, yeah, give us enough money, and we can do this. and then george, who i was fortunate to know very well, moved to houston to the new man spacecraft center and was the number two person to the center director bob gillruth, and kind of the day
by day soul of the operation. and then after the apollo 1 fire, he demoted himself to be the head of the apollo spacecraft program. he was the one who oversaw the redesign of the command and service module to get rid of all the problems that were the source of the fire that killed the astronauts. so he is kind of the unsung hero of apollo in my view, point one. point two, i got an email from his daughter, who said i would love to get together and share memories of george lowe and his role in apollo, so i'm very much looking forward to that. so it's good that you know that, sally. are you near rpi? >> i think she's no longer on the line with us, but who are the other unsung heroes in your mind of this mission? >> the man that came up with the idea of lunar orbit
rendezvous. a man that who managed human space flight. a man in washington named george mueller, the associate administrator for manned spaceflight. he was able to manage the program to success keep the relationships with the contractors and the congress going. then jim webb and bob siemens, the number one and number three officials at nasa were steady and kept the program on target. >>
this is john logsdon, the founder of the space policy institute. he is the author of john f. kennedy and the race to the moon. >> hello. my name is dottie drummond smith. i am from atlanta, georgia. my husband and i were very interested in the space program during the
60's. we actually were standing on the jetties at cape canaveral. >> i'm sorry, dottie, i did not hear that. >> she was talking she was in atlanta, georgia watching during the 1960's. try one more time. >> yes. my husband and i were at cape canaveral. >> i'm not hearing it. >> we were watching when with john glenn in
february of 1962. then, my son was named scott after scott carpenter. >> who was the second mercury astronaut in orbit. >> that is correct. >> then, my husband and i, we were watching the moon landing and jumping up and down with much of enthusiasm and
excitement with the landing in 1969. we actually grew up with the program. >> that is dottie in atlanta. >> i have to say, i have a john glenn story. i was working in manhattan in a totally different field, technical writing, in 1962, and on march 1, i went over a couple of streets over to watch john glenn parade through manhattan after his 1962 orbital flight. that's what got me interested in the space program, so there was a direct line between john glenn and my career. i had the good fortune of being able to say that to, by then, ex-senator glenn later in life. i'm from cincinnati, ohio. glenn is an ohio person and neil armstrong is an ohio person. that is very gratifying. >> how were the three
astronauts received when they came back to earth? >> on august 13, they started with a tickertape parade in new york, thenflew air force 2 to chicago for a ticker tape parade. then they flew to los angeles for a banquet presided over by president nixon. then nixon sent them on what was called a giant steps town around the world. 29 cities in 36 days or something like that. one of your callers said she saw that she was in bogota, colombia, the first stop on this giant steps tour. they got unanimous acclaim. the world said to them, we did it. we, the world, landed on the moon. the idea that this was an effort of all humanity i think was very powerful and very successful. >> this is lisa, louisville, kentucky. hi. >> thank you for c-span. i
appreciate this segment today. i remember in 1969, our whole neighborhood talked about nothing that day but the moon landing. we decided to get together and do something. i was only 11. one of our neighbors took a little -- i couldn't member it was a zenith or motorola tv. we ran an extension cord to the window and somebody had a -- so we could get good reception. the whole neighborhood was sitting there on that night in 1969 watching the moon landing. i have four heroes in my life during my lifetime: muhammad ali, jfk, neil armstrong and john mccain. two of them had to do with a great moon landing and it seemed like after that science boomed in schools. we did all kinds of aerospace projects, we did all kinds of moon talk. it was a wonderful time and i was so happy i could see it.
>> lisa, thank you so much. >> it was great to be alive and be aware of what was happening. sending people to the moon was remarkable. it has been since december of 1972 that anybody has been back. well past time for us to return. >> what do you think is the sentiment now when it comes to spaceflight, manned spaceflight, human spaceflight versus what you've experienced with apollo 11? >> it is good you say not manned spaceflight. human spaceflight. the current policy of the west government is the first person to go back will be a woman. president trump and vice president pence had declared the intent to get back to the moon within the next five years, 2024. there is a program. it has a logo that was unveiled yesterday called artemis. it's a stretch, a challenge but so was kennedy's. the american public is in a kind of excitement of this anniversary celebration. it's
interesting in seeing united states lead an international public private private -- public-private coalition of countries to get back to the moon as soon as possible. >> did that sentiment as far as after the apollo 11 mission -- what was it like? did it sustain? did it wane? how would you gauge it? >> if you gauge it by the media, always a little risky, by apollo 12 in november of november of 1969 until apollo 13 with its problems, television networks had stopped live coverage of the missions. if that's an indication of their judgment of public interest, it waned quickly. it
was repetitive. all you were doing was landing in a different spot. it transitioned from being something that captivated the world to voyages of expiration. those ever tristan -- those that were close were interested. in december of 1972, anything related to flying to the moon could be described as routine. people began to accept we can do this. the intense public interest really dissipated quickly. >> is mars achievable as far as human spaceflight? >> achievable. achievable win is a different question. -- achievable when is a different question. most of the technologies we need to get humans to mars are achievable. we really don't know how to
protect the crew from radiation in a long voyage. we should have a better repulsion system -- propulsion system. i nuclear rocket engine that could cut it down from nine months to a couple of months. if we developed the systems that would maximize the mission, i think it is achievable by mid century if not sooner. >> from murphy, north carolina, jack. go ahead. >> thank you for taking my call. i always heard that armstrong was specifically selected because he was a civilian. is there any truth to that? >> that armstrong selected
because he was a civilian? >> i don't think that was -- it was certainly a consideration that neil -- almost all the astronauts of been military test pilots. neil was a test pilot but he was a civilian test pilot. i don't think that was very high on the list of selection criteria for the mission. as i said earlier, his crew was in the rotation that made them the choice for the first landing attempt and then his bosses recognized he was particularly well-suited to be the first man. the fact he was a civilian may well have been an element in that. >> herb from peoria, illinois. >> hi, i was a 20-year-old in college not knowing what i would do. nasa was on my list.
i ended up being a college teacher. i have been a college professor for over 40 years teaching history of mathematics in particular. when i think about watching the apollo landing, 66 years as a blink in the eye of the history of the world. 66 years after the wright brothers. i remember that hitting me. my god, my dad was just born two years after the wright brothers and he was sitting there watching them land on the moon. that is a perspective a lot of people lose. >> right. a couple of things to say about that. one is, 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 hermon
oiberth, von braun's mentor and one of the three recognized rocket pioneers was there. there was a compression of history that indeed we stepped on the moon within 66 years of the wright brothers'first flight. american historian -- pardon me -- arthur schlessinger said when the history of the 20th century is recorded hundreds of years from now the one thing that will be remembered as apollo and apollo 11. we will see whether that is -- i won't see it, but that may either case. >> is it true that armstrong took a piece of the wright flyer with him? >> he did. it's upstairs here today. he did take -- neil's dedication was to the practice of flight. whether it is airplanes, rocket planes or spacecraft. the museum loaned him some pieces of the wright flyer to take to the moon to
demonstrate that historical continuity. >> our conversation with john logsdon. he is author of the book "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. we are there from the national air and space museum today as we talk about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the apollo 11 mission. we are doing this program in conjunction with our associates at american history tv today. in fact, if you go to our website, the american history tv website not only can you see everything we have taken in for this event, but also want american history tv all weekend long you can see programming specific to apollo 11, and again, the best way to find out what is going on is that our website at c-span.org. in about 20 minutes we will be joined by one of the apollo 11 astronauts, the pilot of the command module, michael
collins. we are continuing to your calls. (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. (202) 748-8001 for all others. we want to show you a little bit from our washington journal program. it featured a conversation with a nasa chief historian. bill berry. >> the steps to get to the moon were extremely complex. we had never actually flown to the moon before with humans until december of 1968 on apollo 8. the first time we launched people in the saturn five rocket, which had over 3 million parts. it was full of explosive things. basically a big bomb designed to go off in a certain way. any number of things could have gone wrong with it. the saturn v performed
beautifully. they were minor glitches to the engines but they were all recoverable things. it even got hit by lightning during the launch of apollo 12 and it kept chugging along and heading into orbit. so, a great vehicle. the other spacecraft for well-designed, very robust. a lot of the strength of the program came that we suffer disaster early on in 1967 with the apollo 1 fire. we lost the crew. nasa and all the people working on the program, around 400,000 people, redoubled their efforts to fix every thing they could. we got lucky but we work. hard at it. >> on this 50th anniversary of apollo 11. we are taking your calls (202) 748-8000 if you watched the moon landing. for all others, (202) 748-8001. in just a few minutes from now we are set to be joined by michael collins, the commander of the
module -- the module pilot, i should say, of the command module. he will join us in just a bit. this is from timothy in maryland. thanks for holding on. go ahead. >> yes. this is timothy from maryland and i'm excited to be on c-span. i was 10 years old before the landing. today i'm proud to support nasa's climate research program. i have a question about simulation. today we have computer-based simularion virtual reality. i'm curious about what kind of simulation was used. >> as far as simulators used today on the training of astronauts? >> or simulating the flight and the operation of the command module and reconnecting with the lunar module and making sure that was all going to be
successful. >> david in palm beach, florida. good morning. your next. -- you are next. >> can you hear me? >> you are on. >> thank you, i worked at kennedy space center for about 10 years and specifically during the lunar module. the point i would like to make is i worked for grumman aerospace. there has never been a real credit -- a credit to the contractors that designed. grumman, mr. tom kelly, the designer, the builder of the lunar module of grumman aerospace. it is that company that put everything together. it was never really mentioned. we the engineers and technicians that spent many hours -- we have never been
credited with the work we did. i wish you would mention not just grumman but companies like trw, boeing, m.i.t. we made it possible for the astronauts to make it safely. you guys don't know really the technical problems we encountered. we had to make sure -- the intense testing we did day and night until we were sure we had it safe and could get the astronauts to the moon and back. apollo 13. we used the light board to comebacker the moon and come back to the earth. i wish you guys would mention that because, yes, the astronauts deserve the glory. we the contractors made it possible. >> why do you think that's
important to mention? why do you think it does not get mentioned a lot? >> all i read is the glory goes to the astronauts. there is no doubt about that. but there is never mentioned of the contractors who made this thing possible. we were slaves. you guys have no idea the technical problems we faced that we had to resolve and demonstrate everything was ok before they get the spacecraft to nasa. it is the contractors who really put this thing together. >> ok. david. in fact, if you come to the national air and space museum, we talked about the 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 close and
personal. we are based out of the national air and space museum for our program today. the next call comes from alan in fort pierce, florida. >> good morning. >> morning. >> 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, and 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 was retired from the military, colonel ralph williams. he told me he was on the team that can look for a site for the space center. it was fascinating hearing this man talk. he would talk about what it was like coming down and looking for the
location where they were going to put this space center. i wondered if your guests could talk a little bit about that. >> he took off already. i apologize for that. as far as the heroes you spoke about, do they all stand in equal standing when it comes to your heroes? does one stand out over the other? how would that rank? >> all three of them were my heroes. when i was a kid my father had a portrait, i think it's a print of the one you showed. he had a framed portrait in his store. every time i stopped in the store i would look at that. all three of them were my heroes. they were amazing people. it was amazing what they did. it was so cool they went up there and you can look at the moon and think men went up there and landed on the moon. it is really great you are doing this
whole program so people can recognize how important this was, how monumental this was. >> thank you for that. this program today, even though you are seeing it on c-span's washington journal, it's a production of american history tv which is c-span3 on the weekends and as far as their program for the weekend, a lot of programs just dedicated to apollo 11. if you want to get to the website, c-span.org, you can see all the programs they have planned for today looking at this event. if you go to our website overall at c-span.org you will notice a video library box. type in moon landing or apollo, you can see the programs we have on this topic. all of that is available at c-span.org.
>> one of the things the astronauts davis participate in a press conference. it was during that press conference at the astronauts had a chance to talk about what it out was the meeting of the mission. you >> i believe that what this country set out to do was something that was going to be done sooner or later, whether we set, a specific goal or not. i believe that from the early spaceflights, we demonstrated the potential to carry out this type of mission and again, it was a question of time until this would be accomplished. i think the relative ease with which we were able to carry out our mission, which of course came after a very efficient and logical sequence of flights, i
think that this demonstrated that 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-term fashion. i think that we were timely in accepting this mission of going to the moon. it might be timely at this point to think in many other areas of other missions that could be accomplished. (laughter) >> everybody looking at me? to me, there are near and far term aspects to it. in the near term,
i think it's a technical triumph for this country to have said what it was going to do a number of years ago and by golly, do it just like we said we were going to do it. not perhaps purely technical, but a triumph for the nation's overall determination, will, economy and attention to detail and 1001 other factors that went into it. that's short-term. long-term we find for the first time that man has the flexibility or the option of either walking this planet or some other planet, be it the moon or mars or i don't know where, and i'm poorly equipped to evaluate where that may lead us to. >> i just see it as a beginning,
not just this flight but this program which really has been a short piece of human history. an instant in history, the entire program. it's a beginning of a new age. >> let's hear from james and roanoke, virginia. hi. >> good morning. i would like to find out if the space vehicles on the moon are still operational. >> what's your interest in finding that out? >> just curiosity. i watched the space landing when the men landed and stepped on the moon. but ever since then i've been wondering after all these years if the space -- the mobiles up
there are so operation. if they can go back to them and get them and do missions with them is what i'm asking. >> from watching apollo 11, what do you remember most about it? >> i watched it when armstrong stepped on the moon. it was an experience back then to even watch that. that was amazing. >> were you in support of the mission back at the time? >> yes. i sure was. that was amazing to see that. >> here is gail in florida, watched the moon landing. >> yes. i want to thank c-span so much for these programs. i was 24 years old. i'm 76 now. i lived at cape canaveral during the apollo launches. the
inspiring thing was the sense of unity. the sense of the whole world as human beings. we have such division right now. these programs may help us remember we are all human beings, we are all the same it had the same kind of dreams and sense of adventure. i hope that positive inspiration i felt when these apollo astronauts went to the moon, there are a lot of sacrifices to do that. families, all the people who worked on the program were 24/7. my family worked for ibm. i wanted to thank you for doing this. i hope this will remind us we are human and we can do anything we put our mind to if we just do it together. thank youu so much.
>> did you watch the event by yourself or other people? >> i was by myself. my husband was at work. i went out of my front yard. it was stunning. it was like an earthquake that you knew you were safe but the earth shook like crazy. i think one of your callers said it was like the craft hovered for a while instead of just -- you think of rockets taking off. it hovered. the power of it. i do know the astronauts and all the personnel -- i was watching it by myself and i think it was the most inspiring thing i've -- it is like a sense of inspiration. look what humans can do if they just, you know, try hard and focus on things that are important and will helpand that will help us.
>> misse tim -- this is tim in minnesota. >> hey, how are you? i was only 6 when they did this, and i really didn't understand the significance of it. i've read a lot of books since then obviously and i want -- i'm interested in -- a lot of these guys that said we are 100 years behind where we're really supposed to be technologically, we should be a lot further but we spent trillions on wars. and the last one that wen tto
congress, national defense authorization act for about $700 billion. from some of these books i read that we're way behind where we really should be. one lady called in and said, we should have had bases on the moon by now, we should have platforms in space. thank you. >> that is our caller from minnesota. joining us now, michael collins, the command module pilot. thank you for joining us, sir. >> thank you. looking forward to it. >> you get asked a lot of questions about apollo 11, what do you wish people would ask you other than that? >> how much did i get paid for it? >> i suppose you hear a lot of the same questions about this, but what would you like people to know about the mission that maybe they would not know personally from your experience?
>> i think it starts with john f. kennedy. he was our president, and 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 should put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and bring him back to earth. such a short, succinct but very, very direct set of instructions that we could get done. we could say kennedy wanted this and it pulled a whole, tremendously large group together at its peak. there were about 400,000 americans working on the apollo program, well, i should say
space program. there were other aspects as well. >> what were you doing at the time when kennedy was making the call and did you think it was possible when we that she made it? >> 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 oscillated. there were times where i thought, sure, we have four years to go before 1969 and all these problems seem to be falling into place, and other times i thought, we're not going to make it at all. some difficulty would come up, there was some snag there, something we had not understood before that we had to solve. it was a vacillating goal, it was not like the moon was that big and there was. sometimes i knew it was big and sometimes was itsy-bitsy tiny. >> when you heard for the first
time that 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 it was the high point of the apollo program which had a lot of high points in it, but that was the plus ultra of missions. the two people i was going with were wonderful and highly competent. so i was very pleased to be joining them as well. >> i heard in an interview about the command module itself that you were very close to it and had a direct hand in its design and building, is that the case? >> we were generally assigned it to a site where the machine that 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. it was helpful to the contractors, in this case it was north american rockwell in california -- it was helpful to them to see that their customer was there helping this to be designed. it was necessary, really from our point of view so that ultimately would understand the machine with a great deal of intimacy. >> how much input did you have? what did you tell the folks then? >> as astronauts, we probably had too much power because if we said something, they would all scribble it down on little notepads, and we might've been dead wrong, but there was a lot of give-and-take to that process, and as our machines, in this case, it was the command module, when they finally got finished with it, it was pretty snafu free. if i
can use that old term. >> when columbia eagle separated, what were your responsibilities? >> i was their a den mother. i was their ticket home, i was in orbit 6 miles circular around the moon. i was keeping home fires burning and everything in order while they were doing their work on the surface of the moon. >> which involved what, give us specifics of what you were doing while in orbit? >> i was pouring myself a cup of coffee. i turned the thermostat up to 72, i had a little music if i wanted it, and then i had a volume switch for mission control, and it sometimes -- don't tell mission control, operated as a cutoff switch. [laughter] >> as far as when you were
orbiting, what went through your mind as far as the ability to complete the mission? >> i thought we would complete the mission. the aspect of it that worried me the most was not the lunar landing, i thought that armstrong was an extremely competent pilot. we'd seen thousands of photographs of the area so i don't want to say the descent was a piece of cake, it was not. they had problems in their computer along the way. but i was not worried about neil landing safely at his target or somewhere else close. the thing that worried me most was the ascent when they were ready to come back up to the command module. we at nasa really believed in redundancy. when we have a gadget, we wanted two gadgets. if one broke, we had a backup, and that was true in almost all cases, however, it
was not true in their ascent. the lunar module just had one ascent engine, small little thing. if he did not get ignition, they were two dead men. so that was uppermost on my mind when they were on their way down and when they were coming back. >> once you got back to earth, you -- we had a previous guest tell us that you went around the world to talk about the mission. what was the reception like? >> i think we hit something like 29 cities. it was amazing. i thought people would say, big deal, good, thank you, you americans finally did it. instead of that, they all said unanimously we did it. they felt participatory. they felt
like they they had almost crawled on board with us. that we, humanity, had put this thing together, had carried it off, and they felt very proud to be a part of it, just to be a human and lived during that time. we were, if you want to get technical, we were exceeding escape veolcity. we were on our way somwhere and they were a part of that. >> michael collins, every mission has a patch designed. we found that you designed the apollo 11 patch. >> yes, i did. one of our backups thought that eagle was a proper motif and i agreed. i took the idea and ran with it. i went into the national geographic book, and got a proper eagle trying to fold his wings as it was coming in and
of course, i had to have a little earth popping up over the horizon and little by little, the patch emerged. >> also on the patch itself, on some of the other patches of the missions, they had the names of the astronauts. yours did not. why is that? >> i did not want any names. it was a tradition started with gemini 10, which i flew with john young, and john and i agreed that there were thousands of thousands of people who deserved their names on a patch and they weren't going to to get their name on one, we were not going to get ours. i just like to see gemini 10, apollo 11, no names on those and names on i think just about all of the others. not to denigrate the others, it's fine
if you want to put a bunch of names on it, but i thought we were better off without it. >> when you look at the moon, do you think about the mission? >> i do not think about it often. unless someone pokes me in the ribs. i sense something up there, there is little silver slivers. the moon, oh, i've been to the moon! it takes me by surprise, but i am a slow learner. [laughter] >> does it shock people when you tell them that? about how you look at that? >> i don't know, i did not get the question properly. >> when you tell people that you do not think about the mission much, does it shock them? >> oh, does it shock people? i do not know what gets people a
110 volt ac shock. it is pretty hard to shock people. >> there is a current effort to go back to the moon and even go to mars, what you think about that? >> 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 national aeronautics and mars administraion. i'm a big mars addict, and if you asked me to say, i would go for a jfk, in his memory, mars direct mission, and i think going back to the moon is a solid idea. a lot of research has gone into the current plans to use the moon as a jumping off base to go to mars, but i'm entitled to my dissent, and i say no, mars
direct. go! >> do you think that people have the same awe of spaceflight that they did when you went to the moon? >> i don't kow how people consider space. it's so remote from our daily lives. i do not think about space very much at all. and it has been a large part of my life. if you are a dentist, you worry about cavities, you do not worry about space. i think it's way out on the periphery of car -- our consciousness now, which is a good thing. there are so many bad things on the periphery of consciousness that it is nice to have a good thing. get interested in, support and we will have benefits. >> what did you do after you
left nasa and the space program? >> i went to work for the state department. i was the assistant to the 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, so with the help of barry goldwater and some other influential politicians, we were able to get $40 million appropriated and so this building was built. i worked here for longer, about six years longer than i worked in the space program, as a matter of fact. >> michael collins, i asked you the first that you wish people would ask you and you said about your salary, how much? >> oh, zero. i was kidding
about that. no, we got paid whatever our salaries were in the organization of which we belong. that was an active duty i guess colonel in the air force at that time, so whatever air force colonels -- i was probably overpaid considerably. >> michael collins, the command module pilot for apollo 11. we thank you for your time today. >> nice to be here. >> coming up, we will hear from teasel muir-harmony at the air and space museum, she is the author of the book apollo to the moon. we will have that conversation up next. first, the national air and space museum recently unveiled the refurbished spacesuit. we got a chance to talk with the
museum's spacesuit creator kathleen lewis. >> 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 am standing in front of neil armstrong's spacesuit, which we put on display for the first time in 13 years yesterday morning. we took neil armstrong's spacesuit off display in 2006 because we determined that the materials inside the suit were beginning to deteriorate, and we did not think that case we had it and was adequate to preserve it, so we decided to take it off display and put it in storage where the temperature and humidity were strictly controlled, and to give it a rest until we could come up with a plan for displaying it in a climate-controlled case. the materials that were used in the spacesuit are almost all synthetic materials, so they
degrade. this is especially important about the rubber bladder in the suit. this is the essential part of the suit that keeps the oxygen inside the suit and allows the astronaut to breathe. the rubbers that they use, the technicians know it had a limited life span. they knew it would start to break down after six months. they had to time the manufacture of the suit to six months from the plan's splash down the astronauts conclusion of the mission. we knew that when we acquired the suit that there be problems, but the science was not there for us to determine what was the best environment for the suit. having the spacesuit on display, preserved and digitized is very important. it's not only important for the
generation of people who remember when neil armstrong stepped on the surface of the moon 50 years ago, but it is even more important for the young children who come here who have no memory of the apollo program. and even their parents perhaps don't have a personal memory of the apollo program. this suit is here standing in for the icon in history, but also standing there as a starting point for future generations. from that suit, they will learn what spacesuits did and what they will have to do if we return to the moon, if we travel to an asteroid, or even go on to mars. >> we are alive from the air and space museum here in washington dc. joining us now for a conversation is teasel muir-harmony, she is the space history curator here, specifically works on the apollo 11 curator issues. she is also an author of the book
"apollo to the moon, a history in 50 objects". good morning. >> thank you for having me. >> when it comes to apollo 11, what are you in charge of? >> things like the lunar module, the command modules, things like that. >> as far as the collection itself, how large is it? >> over 2000 artifacts within the spacecraft collection and then we have our apollo collection in general which is thousands of objects from saturn 5 down to small things like space food. a huge range. >> includinghe lunar module that we have behind us. i am sure you are asked a lot of questions. whato people want to find out about it? >> i think it surprises people when they look at it because it does not look quite like an aircraft. it is not aerodynamic at all. a lot of people have questions about how it works and what the gold stuff usually is a common question. what is it for and why does it look the
way i looks. >> answer the question. >> it is basically thermal protection. it kept the spacecraft temperature regulated while in direct sunlight or shadow. huge range of temperatures on the moon so it is important to have thermal protection to keep the spacecraft temperate. >> so, from your personal perspective, what's important about this day, this 50th anniversary? >> it's such an exciting day and i've been speaking with a lot of people about what the significance of today is, and the apollo program more generally and i think it's a wonderful reminder of how spaceflight can inspire and encourage a sense of unity and so you see that with the hundreds of thousands of people that worked on the mission in a coordinated effort, a huge scale, across the country and
the world, and also, the huge audience it attracted. half the world's population stopped what they were doing to watch the first lunar landing, and it is an important part of the legacy. this mission inspire people to come together in various ways. >> is there a diplomatic role in the mission itself as far as how it was perceived worldwide? >> if you look back to why kennedy proposed projetc apollo in the first place, he was motivated by larger -- look, he was motivated by larger geopolitical interests. that people would align with united states. in many ways, apollo 11 did contribute to that sense of alignment with the u.s. mike collins, who you just spoke to, he tells a wonderful story about how the astronauts traveled the world after the flight on their diplomatic tour, and everywhere they went, people said we did it. it was an accomplishment of humankind, and people were aware that the united states sent humans to the moon, but that it was this larger project, so it was a
u.s.-led, global project in a way. that was seen as important politically. >> our guest is the author of the book apollo to the moon: history and 50 objects. if you want to ask her a question, give us a call if you watched the moon landing, (202) 748-8000, and all others, (202) 748-8001. about your book, what was the purpose behind it? >> i wanted to tell the history of project apollo in a different way, that we are not as used to. it is such a complex program that involves so many people and often you can read an overview, but you missed some of the nitty-gritty details. one of the ways you can tell those stories is through artifacts, i thought, and so i selected 50 artifacts and then together, i see the tapestry. you get a picture of the political history, the social history, the cultural history, the technological history of apollo through these individual stories. it allowed
me to dive deep into each small story and bring them together. >> tell me a little bit about the command module. what should people know about it? >> i think even stepping back, it was -- there were multiple spacecraft involved at certain times of the missions as active ones and other times, they divided, so the command module can be seen as the astronauts's home during the mission, they lived in it. but it was also their laboratory, everything had to happen in there. it was a combination of spacecraft, home and bathroom and kitchen and dining room, and really complex ship that included two parts. you have the pressurized interior and then a really sophisticated heat shield on the outside. >> you talked a little bit about the camera that eventually would record the
astronauts on the moon and other actions. talk about that artifact. >> the data acquisition camera. this is the role that it played in our apollo 11, it was mounted in buzz aldrin's window and recorded the landing. but we had anticipated that this camera was going to be left on the moon because the astronauts left a lot of material behind on the moon so they could bring lunar material home. but it turns out that neil armstrong took this camera and put it inside this bag, we call it an mcdivot purse or armstrong purshe, he put a number of miscellaneous things in there, and ended up in one of his closets. after he passed away, the wife sent it to the museum and we were thrilled to see that this camera was in there
and not left on the moon. >> is it currently on display or kept elsewhere? >> it is currently on display. we have a special apollo 11 case where we brought out some of the artifacts for the anniversary. >> one of the other things was some of the calls with the computer that we use today, as far as its computing power. >> compared to computers today, it had limited computing power, but it was extremely robust and sophisticated. this was a point in history when there was a huge change between computers getting larger and larger, and with apollo, they had to be very small, and so you see this huge shift happen here, and there was a lot of investment in research and development in apollo computers that would then pay off later on in the development of that industry. so, the apollo computer itself was quite small, and it was extremely reliable. the
software was handwoven with ropes, so it was quite robust. >> first call for you is from carol from new york. you are on with with teasel muir-harmony. go ahead. >> i worked with for grumman aerospace in 1965 i was a college student, they hired summer help for any of the employees at drummond whose children were in college at the time, so it was a big thrill for me to work on the lunar excursion module. i typed thousands and thousands of part numbers on it, on vellum, which they produced later. my father
worked there for many years and he was a part of the scaffold crew that put of the scaffolding in the hangar for the mockups. apparently, i heard when they had the -- when the lunar excursion module was in the air, they also did the same maneuvers in this hangar on the mockup that my father was privileged enough to be a small part of also, and my family watched the lunar excursion module and the -- it was a thrill. it really was a thrill to watch it on tv and to be a part of it. i got to meet scott carpenter and a few of the astronauts at the time. >> thank you, carol. >> that's a wonderful story, thanks for sharing it with us.
it points to, i think, a few important things that happened during apollo, that a lot of people working on the hardware got to meet the astronauts and got a sense that these were the people that we are sending to space, and it contributed a sense of responsibility and duty in ensuring that the spacecraft and all the different components that were reliable, and the astronauts would not encounter any problems in space, so that was an element of the program. >> one of the people you highlight in the group is a woman named margaret hamilton. who is she? >> she was the head of apollo software for both lunar module and command module. and a pioneer for her time. she studied abstract mass and she was from indian originally, i believe, and came to cambridge,
massachusetts, and then ended up supporting the family which is also a bit unusual at the time, and worked as a software engineer. she helped popularize that phrase. when she first did, there were jokes about it because it was seen as aggrandizing that profession, but it really caught on and was an important contribution and she, herself, ended up overseeing a very large team in the development of the software for the apollo program. >> there is a picture of her standing next to a stack of books for the code that apollo -- was printed out? >> yes, printed out. they would print it on cards and feed into the simulator, and then it would print out what you see in the image. the printed out code. >> how many lines of code do you know offhand? >> oh, me, none, i will leave that to the computer curator. >> joanne, go ahead.
>> hi. can you hear me? i wanted to say that i was in high school when i watched it with my family, and one special thing for our family was it happen on my father's birthday. his birthday was july 20 and he was an avid viewer of all of those shuttles, apollo, everything. he was very american-oriented and loved the fact that we were involved in these things. our whole family is very proud to be apart of the whole group that did all of this and supported it, and just a wonderful memory, awesome experience to see it on television. >> thank you. >> what a wonderful day to have a birthday. i think that is a great celebration. i've heard
stories of people having wedding anniversary their weddings on july 20 as well. i have a colleague who's parents were married in germany on that day, and he says that all part of the wedding party, a part of the reception included following the mission. >> this is from alabama, bill. good morning. 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 the launch support team. i worked on the limb, worked in a big building, put that all together backpacks for the astronaut i built those, myself, and three other guys in the shop. it was an exciting time. i have movies from where i was standing on top of the bab building filming the apollo saturn 5 as it took off, and it
was an awesome thing. it was spectacular for me to work on it and it was like going to disneyland every day. it is something new, no one had ever done it before. it was exciting for us and i was just glad to be a part of it. i just wanted to add a little saying, i do not know of many people know or even notice it, but when the saturn 5 launches, if you are watch the rocket, it leans over a little bit so we can clear the tower, because one of the tailfins would have hit the tower. we bill all the swing arms and put them together in birmingham, alabama. and we also work on the lunar roller up there. and then we went to florida and lived down there for about 3.5 years. and just wanted to add that to it and say how proud i was to be a
part of it. i hope we go back. >> thank you. >> thank you for sharing your story. i love hearing these stories and it's so wonderful to highlight the contributions of the people who contributed to the program, and it was over 400,000 people, a huge coordinated effort and everyone was doing their part. one of the interesting things about apollo, the way that it was structured was that nasa oversaw the program, but there was a huge percentage of contractors and subcontractors working on the mission and so over 90% of the people who contributed to project apollo were coming from private industry or from universities or institutes. it was the type of program where you have so many people participating in,
and contributing to, and coordinating their efforts, and it created so many wonderful programs and memories, and i always get really excited to hear some of the details of individuals that contributed. >> we mentioned the tapes that even today, there are supposed to be an auction for private -- when you hear stories like that, don't you wish you had those in your collection? >> i hope they are preserved carefully. it's a reminder that when project apollo happened, spaceflight was brand, brand-new. the first artificial satellite is 1957, the first human in space, 1961. same year kennedy proposed project apollo. 1979, humans are landing on the moon. there were expectations about protocol that we have about that today that were not in place at the time, because this was brand-new and a pioneering effort and a lot of things were figured out in real time like the inclusion of cameras within human spaceflight.
>> tell us about the moon rocks that were brought back from the mission. >> so, with apollo 11, it was roughly 50 pounds of lunar material brought back. in the apollo program in general, 842 pounds. that material has been helpful in our understanding of how the moon formed, its age, it material contents, as well as answering questions about our solar system more generally. there are three primary types, so earth rocks is a part of the key. it substantiated the idea, the theory that a large size mars-sized body impacted the earth and the moon was formed through the collision. >> where are the rocks kept now? are they still being tested on? >> they are still being used for scientific study and some
of the material, i believe from 11, was just released for scientists to study, and it had been carefully protected from that time and not used in study, but all of the material brought back from the apollo missions are in nasa's possession. we have some lunar material on loan from nasa, and nasa lends it to scientists for scientific study and over the years as scientific equipment has improved, we have been able to learn addition information from the material. >> this is tito, you are next with our guest, good morning. >> hi, i wasn't alive when the lunar landing was broadcast 50 years ago, but i have a direct connection to the apollo program. my father worked for both nasa and rockwell. nasa
was then known as north american aviation, and downey, california's in a way, the ground zero to the space age. i was hoping to speak with mike collins to tell him how handsome he is at his age. well, my dad worked on the, perhaps the, command module in the second stage of the saturn 5 rocket. there were also other projects such as the s15 rocket plan. i am 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 lot of his coworkers and even an actor who later became a president himself. >> thank you for the stories. >> that is great to hear, yeah, downey, california. the important part of the apollo story. the command module was developed there, so the home of the spacecraft of the astronauts. they had to go through a lot of modifications.
there was the apollo 1 fire in january 1967, and alerted everyone to what they need to improve and the capsule to ensure the astronauts safety. and it helped make a safer program and part of the reason we did not have any fatalities in space. >> part of your book deals with human waste, can you tell our viewers why? >> that is one of the questions that people traveling to space get asked the most. mike collins was asked that last night and someone asked him how he went to the bathroom in space, and his response was very carefully. which i think is the correct answer. it is really complicated and has been an issue from the beginning, to make sure that things are hygienic, relatively clean, and it's never that pleasant, and when you think about being
inside the spacecraft in tight quarters. the command module itself, i read a book where the author compared it to the space of three british phonebooths next to each other, so very limited space. the early urine collection device that the astronauts would have worn on the lunar surface fitted to their bodies, and they're very much a reminder that all of the early american astronauts were men because they are specifically designed for men's bodies. they had issues leaking some times. fecal collection was also one of the less glamorous aspects of spaceflight, we'll say. >> this is one of the many photos you will find in the book apollo to the moon: history and 50 objects. our next caller from columbus, ohio. steve, hi. >> hello, i am so glad that 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 of the benefits that came from it that we take for granted in our daily lives, a lot of people that i talked to in their 20s and 30s, they do not understand that there was a benefit. they said no, my parents said it was a big waste of money. why are we going to waste more money trying to go to mars. and i am just saying, wow. the whole 60s piece of the space program just transformed our society and these guys are just waking up and saying, oh, ok. computer
miniaturization, waste management, food preservation, greener technologies, complex polymers for sports, etc. could you enumerate on some of these things and possibly educate the public on just how much we got back from our investment? >> yeah. there are quite a few technologies that were important and apollo sort of helped seed the computer industry. a lot of people who are working on project apollo at the instrumentation lab in m.i.t. then went on to contribute greatly to development of computing. i would say with project apollo, it is also really important to look at the political spin off. president kennedy proposed
project apollo primarily as a response to a larger geopolitical situation. it was done in the context of the cold war. the first human in space. it was a huge blow to the u.s. prestige. and then that was followed by another blow to u.s. prestige. kennedy asked his vice president, lyndon johnson, to find a space program that would be highly impressive, that we could win. so project apollo was really motivated by politics and the political situation, so when we evaluate it, we should evaluate in terms of its impact on diplomacy and the u.s.'s position in the world in addition to the technological spinoffs, because the united states did not primarily invest for the spinoffs. they're a wonderful outcome but it is not why the program was funded and also shows that the primary means of being evaluated.
>> when it comes to fascination with spaceflight, do you think that it still exists as it did? >> i think it is quite different. i think there is a huge fascination. here at the national air and space museum, we have a wonderful visitorship. millions of people a year. that is a great sign in the interest of spaceflight, but at that time in the 1960's, spaceflight had just evolved from science fiction to science fact, and it was brand-new. you cannot re-create that sense. it would have to be different today. it was also coupled with a revolution in television and media and communications. so the first lunar landing was also the first live global television broadcasting. that is an important part of that history and legacy and the impact of the mission as well, that it allowed people from
around the world to do something in unison. and to follow explorers in real time, and that was really memorable, and that gave people a sense of participation and part of its historic weights. >> from candace in vero beach, florida. you're on with our guest. >> good morning. i just want to say that anyone who was around to watch the moon landing, what an amazing, amazing accomplishment. my connection is, my best friend was judy resnick who was on the challenger. because of her, i was privileged to be involved in one way or another with many things going out at nasa. and i knew john glenn and neil armstrong, and quite a few others and it's just been a
highlight of my life and continued success. i know that all of them -- 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 in space seven days a week. [laughter] so i was very, very honored to be a part of -- some small part of all of this, and i think you for your time. >> thanks, candace. a different breed. what do you think about that characterization? >> i think if you meet the astronauts, they are very, very impressive. very capable, very confident, very intelligent risktakers, and really extraordinary people. i've had the privilege of being able to have a number of conversations with mike collins over this year, and here -- he did the
foreword to the book, and he is a remarkable person with so much ability, poise, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and you stand in awe of what they were able to accomplish and the risks they were able to take a, and the focus they brought to their jobs -- >> and yet he told us that he does not think about the flight much these days. >> it has been 50 years. i think it is a good sign that get other things to occupy his mind. you wouldn't want an eight-day period to take up your whole life. >> attached to the module was a plaque, what was on that plaque? >> that was carefully designed a few months before the first lunar landing, symbolic activities committee was formed to plan out all of the symbolic activities that would take place on the moon. so in
addition to collecting lunar material and conducting the scientific experiments. the plaque was a part of that. it was supposed to symbolize a signal, but this was a mission for all humankind and so it depicts the two hemispheres of the earth and you will see that there are no political boundaries and that was important to the symbolism. from space, you cannot see the political boundaries and there was a sense of unity. underneath that, there was a message carefully crafted and you will see that there is a line about here men from planet earth first set foot on the moon. they changed it to set foot because there was concern
the soviet probe woudl land first. so that made sure it symbolized human. nixon's speechwriter said that a.d. was a subtle nod to religion. and then it has the crew's names and president nixon's name as well. >> from nyle in troy, michigan. hi. >> hi, thank you for taking my call. i have two pieces. i have a first cousin who was a naval aviator and actually flew moon rocks off a carrier back to california. secondly, it is important for the viewers to put time and distance in perspective. in 1969, just a prior 100 years earlier, it took americans almost five to six months to cross the united states in a covered wagon. once the transcontinental railroad was completed in may of 1869, it just took seven days to
cross the united states in a train. now that the moon landing has occurred, we reduce the time it takes to get to the moon took four days a space travel, over 240 thousand miles, and i think people often forget that in the compression of what mankind has done, what humankind has done to reduce time in travel and distance to something that is taken for granted and today, we live in an era where it takes just a few hours across the country. >> thanks, caller. >> that's a story that we tell here at the smithsonian national air and space museum becayse the first power controlled site right by the airplane, 1903. the first lunar landing, 1969. behind me, we have a lunar module from the apollo program, and hanging above it with the spirit of st. louis which charles lindbergh used to cross the atlantic in i
believe 1927. this is the story of the 20th century and huge leaps and bounds especially in terms of flight that were taken, and his -- it is remarkable to get a sense of technological development that happened in a short period of time. >> from minnesota, brian. good morning. >> yes. you mentioned charles lindbergh? >> yes. >> he is from blumental, minnesota. but my question, number one, apollo 1, the three guys that were burned to death, how about 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, apollo 8 circled the moon, what
apollo 9 & 10 about that? and then neil armstrong, one step for man, one giant leap for mankind, who was running the camera? and then mike collins, i am disappointed because i wanted to ask mr. collins, he was drinking coffee and listening to music, what kind of coffee was it, and did he play a little bit of johnny cash, bob dylan, or neil young? >> he is gone now but we will let our guest answer what she. >> i can. he has the benefit of drinking warm coffee in space. on the lunar module, they did not have hot water to heat up their coffee or food, so they were eating cold food, but in the command module, one of the technologies that was introduced for the apollo
program was hot water, so he had coffee. it was lukewarm, but it was coffee. you can actually listen to the soundtrack from the apollo 11 mission. it is an interesting combination of music, but you go online, on spotify they put together a list. it is fun to hear the music they were listening to. i am not sure what my calling -- what mike collins was listening to when he was alone by himself. >> and talk about the first meal on the moon? >> the first meal on the moon was more of a snack. bacon
squares, which were some of the most popular food items in the space program because they were salty and flavorful. when you are in space, you lose a lot of your sense of taste because your nasal cavity is filled with food -- in space, people tend to like the spicier, saltier. peaches, sugar cookie cubes, coffee, and pineapple grapefruit drink. buzz aldrin also performed communion on the moon. after they did the moonwalk which is 2.5 hours long, they came back and had a more substantial meal, beef stew, cream of chicken soup, fruitcake, that type of thing. fruitcake is a standard astronaut food of the time. >> larry, joining us on the phone from texas. >> hello. when we said we were going to the moon, we did not have enough geology, so we put a lot of money into getting more people into geology, and one of my friends who was a female, one of the first females to go to geology school
in arizona. there were no bathrooms in the geology building when she was there, so a little bit of women got into programs that they had not been able to before. i just turned 21, and i was working at dell at the time for a summer job, so i spent the afternoons at nasa and the hotel across where they had all of the -- i think it's nbc, and people would watch it on the tv and came down after they spoke, we were able to see them in the lobby of the hotel. so i got to meet a fellow oklahoman, tom stafford, after he got through talking. that evening, we went over to another hotel and watched the landing. and a lieutenant in the navy
essentially bought all of us young whippersnappers champagne while we watched the event. >> thank you. >> that is great to hear. thank you for telling us that story. one thing that is so heartening to me is the greater focus on the contribution of women on apollo. i was in graduate school during the 40th anniversary of project apollo and apollo 11. there was some mention, but at the 50th anniversary, there is much, much more attention. there is really important contributions of women to the program. as the caller mentioned, having to deal with things like not having designated bathroom or being the only woman in the room and there are such important stories to hear from the people who contributed to the program and the women who
were really pioneers within that field. >> when the astronauts came back to earth, they were put into something that looks like a silver trailer. what was that? >> the mobile quarantine facility. it tells the great story about how a project apollo had in such a short timescale, it happened so quickly. a lot of the technology used for project apollo was off the shelf and already available. so this is an airstream trailer, and it was modified it to quarantine the astronauts. the question was whether the astronauts might bring back some problematic pathogens from the moon and something of the modern-day equivalent of the columbian exchange. they want to make sure the astronauts were quarantined just in case, but but there was not a solution of how to quarantine them from the landing to
houston where the lab was. they came up with a solution, to have this airstream trailer, small enough that it could be on the aircraft carrier, and it can be transferred by airplane to houston, and they did a number of modifications but if you look at it, it is an airstream trailer from that period. they left the beds, they left the kitchen, they have a microwave, and they were able to eat steak and drink martinis, and have a hot shower. but they changed the pressure of the airstream trailer to make sure that nothing would escape and put in special filters and things like that, but it was a comfortable little vacation trailer for them that they were able to live in for a bit. >> let's go to clay in north carolina. >> good morning. it is an honor to be on. i was just, my grandfather carl babb who worked and lived in newport
news, norfolk area. he would as little child tell us stories about this and seeing the anniversary now, he was involved in it. he was a part of one of the scientists trainer that would be up in the hangars when they were training the astronauts to land on the moon. just over the weekend, watching all of this and listening to my mom telling me stories about back in the day that they would do a $20 tax, back in that time, 1968, 1969, it was a lot of money for a lot of folks. folks. all of america had a lot to do with landing on the moon. it is just a privilege and an honor to have the apart of it and to know that one of my family members had something to do with landing on the moon, apollo 11.
that is awesome. >> thank you. final thoughts on apollo 11? >> he brought up a great point apollo at one point cost a huge part of the federal budget. it is a good reminder why the country invested in a program like that, and to be reminded that it was a significant place on soft power within the cold war. >> the book is called apollo to the moon, she is history curator at the national air and space museum. thank you for your time today. >> thank you so much for having me on.
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