Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal Bill Barry  CSPAN  July 20, 2019 4:08am-4:54am EDT

4:08 am
approximate that, they feel that is what they want out of the hearing. republicans will try to underscore their long-term believes that the team has an agenda and a bias. they will zoom in on that, the use of the controversial steele dossier. all ofnt to hammer on the areas of investigation that may have gone astray. stephanie: following congress as youely as you, where are curious to see these hearings move next week? mueller testified in front of congress, he was fbi director and it was about six years ago in front of a friendly audience. how he handles himself in front of that withering pressure and whether he wants to tell people about things that were not laid out in a digestible way for the american public.
4:09 am
he is motivated -- we will learn more than we thought we would. .tephanie: kyle cheney reporting at thank you for the insight. talkorian, to to us about tomorrow. marks the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing. tell us what the 50 year mark means to you. old whenwas 11 years that happened. i was part down in front of our black-and-white tv in massachusetts. i thought i was in the middle of enjoying the greatest adventure that ever happened. and i was. 50 years later, i am enjoying the greatest adventure ever happened replayed, and doing it as nasa's chief historian. what a ride. host: how did you get to this position? what do you do? guest: the quick answers do not
4:10 am
do what i did if you want to be chief historian. i did eight when he to career in air force and did a lot of graduate work on the history of the soviet space program. when i retired from the air force, the then chief historian said why not apply for a job here at nasa? applied, got the job, and ended up being the chief historian. it was right place at the right time. host: when you look at the history of space, where does this inverse remark? guest: i think it is a real watershed. there are several. the first human in space. but the first time that humans set foot on another planetary body, that is a big step. it is akin to the columbus setting forth for the new world.
4:11 am
i bet everyone will remember neil armstrong. host: what was happening at the americans,e, as the agency,d nasa, was able to get americans to the moon? guest: the 1960's are an interesting time. a very turbulent time. tothe time we were ready land on the moon in early 1969, the war in vietnam is getting hot. civil rights are a big issue in america. gender rights are just beginning to creep into the conversation. the economy is bad. lots of inner-city poverty. there are lots of things are distracting americans. a lot of people concerned about the amount of money being spent going to the moon.
4:12 am
in fact, popular support for the moon landing program never exceeded 50% in public opinion polls throughout the 1960's except for one week, this week in 1969, when we landed on the moon. otherwise, popular support for the moon landing was below 50%. largely, the moon landing was driven by a president who made it his priority and a congress willing to fund that. even then, by 1960 five, nasa peaked its funding. host: how did it happen? guest: a bunch of really great folks with a really great plan. and we were very lucky in 1969. wasexcitation at nasa apollo 8, apollo 9, or apollo 10 -- the expectation at nasa was apollo 8, 9, or 10 would go wrong. so when we named the groove
4:13 am
apollo 11, that is when we hoped -- the crew of apollo 11, that is when we hoped there would be the moon landing. we got extremely lucky in 1969 and were very good that everything went to plan. extractually built an lunar module. that is the one sitting at the air and space museum down the street here. host: explain more on the background. how did we get lucky? what was happening? guest: steps to get to the moon were extremely complex. we had never actually flown to the moon before with humans until december of 1968 with apollo 8. it was the first time we had launched people on the saturn five rocket care the saturn five rocket had over 3 million parts -- the saturn v rocket had over
4:14 am
3 million parts. any number of things could have gone wrong. performed v beautifully. they were all recoverable things. it even got hit by lightning, the launch of apollo 12, and the saturn v just kept chugging along. very well-designed, robust. a lot of the strength of the program came from the disaster early on in the apollo 1 fire. after that, nasa and all of the people in the program come about 400,000 people, redoubled their efforts to fix everything they could. we got lucky but also worked very hard at it. host: in the day that it launched and the days to get to the moon, then the actual moon landing, tell us what is happening at nasa. guest: of course, nasa is
4:15 am
chewing on their nails, if they are so inclined, and watching the flight plan very closely. these steps and the procedures were well rehearsed. buzz, flying in the apollo 11 spacecraft, that mission to the moon was probably easier than any simulation they did. they had been in the simulator, and the supervisor was throwing them all sorts of curveballs -- if this broke, what would you do? they probably killed them 100,000 times in the simulator. so it was kind of amtek on active. instead not go wrong for the most part. people were watching the mission carefully. everyone at nasa was focused on the mission and making sure it was happening. you have the three astronauts all watching, but behind them, several hundred people sitting at mission control. behind them, they were full of upple working in backing
4:16 am
people. then all of the contractors around the country. yet people in new york and in hugeornia -- there was a backup plan in case anything went wrong. we want to have our viewers participate in the conversation as well. if you live in the eastern-central part of the country, (202) 748-8000. manton-pacific, -- mountain-pacific, (202) 748-8001 . we take your calls for nasa's chief historian. tell us the back story on the phrase "one small step." who came up with it? guest: there has been a lot of speculation. neil armstrong said he got no particular guidance other than
4:17 am
say something appropriate. i suspect he had conversations with people privately about that. really, it was not a scripted thing. i think in part because they wanted it to be more natural. if he had to stop and read it, it would have been difficult to do so. he made up that line himself, and it was clear that he gave it some thought. then, when he got up there, that is what came out in the moment. host: what else was planned by nasa when they took those first steps? what were they to do and how were they to document? guest: they had a full two and a the extraplan for vehicular activity, the e.v.a. they set up a number of different experiments. there were some commemorative
4:18 am
activities. what is surprising for me, when i look back at it, the commemorative activity plan did not really start until the spring of 1969, about march. a nasa administration is what are we doing to commemorate things on the moon? the engineers were so busy engineering the mission that they had not thought about it. plaque and came to an agreement about it. then there was discussion about should they put up a flag? should it be an international flag, a lot of flags? congress gave their opinion and said you should put up the american flag, if you put up any. that had to figure how to put a there is no wind on the moon, so you will just
4:19 am
the a pole. so the engineers in houston figured out how to build a flagpole with a bar for the flag to pop up and put in place so it would look like the flag is blowing in the wind. then they had to figure out where you put this flag. flagpole, it will not fit through the door of the lunar module. they do not have any room outside of the lunar module, so they ended up mounting it on the leg of the lunar module, the one with the latter that came down from a where the plaque was as well. it was put in a special fireproof container, in case the flag on fire, so when it came time to put the flag up, neil and buzz unwrapped the two and to get pieces, the bottom and top pieces of the pole. they had a hard time putting the pole into the surface. if you watch the film, it takes
4:20 am
quite a while for it to stand up and not fall over and get the flag to stick out straight. but they eventually get a flag. the other thing that happened was a call from the president, which was not in the flight plan, but the president it was appropriate. they thought why not, so they got to hear from president nixon while on the surface of the moon. those were their commemorative things that happened. there were also experiments. a scientific experiment that measured moon quakes. a solar wind experiment. the first experiment was the solar wind experiment, made in switzerland. a swiss scientist proposed that. they got put up first because they wanted to have as much collection time as it was. it was basically a big sheet of aluminum foil to collect the solar wind and the sun. they rolled it up and brought it back to earth. they also put out a thing called reflector.ging laser
4:21 am
that experiment is basically a series of mirrors in a container, and they said it out on them and so they could measure the distance between the earth and moon with great precision. that reflector is still used today. from that, we found the moon is slowly moving away from the earth. host: nancy is in franklin, north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for the call. mr. barry, thank you for the information. inemember the moon landing 1969, preparing to get married, a big wedding. everything came to a screeching halt to watch that. i remember, in elementary school, when alan shepard was the first want to go up in space and come down. he is actually the first man in
4:22 am
space. here is something i wanted to add. very strange, as it is. july 16, to the day, most is when we lost our favorite person, jfk junior, in a plane crash in the ocean. so both days should be celebrated or remembered. guest: that was a tragic loss. supportd do you returning to the moon? because this administration says we need to go back by 2024. caller: no. -- my, space exploration son was very involved with it as a kid. fine and dandy,
4:23 am
nonhumans going up there, and doing whatever science you want ows but i think this potus kn how to waste our money when we have homeless, immigration systems, and other issues. this planet, mother earth, right now should be number one. forever,study in space as far as i am concerned. it is fascinating. but that kind of money should be spent here at home, on planet earth. host: all right. she brings up -- looking back at her memory at the time of apollo 11. it is her wedding day and everything stops. and then talks about the tragedies of the challenger. and then ends by saying we should not go back. do you think the impact of the challenger and those other tragedies -- what is the impact of the challenger and those
4:24 am
other tragedies on people's views going back into space, to the moon? guest: people are sensitive of the loss of people we can -- consider heroes. those have a big effect. if you were to ask people that fly those missions -- in fact, i was one of the escort people for the launch of columbia, back in 2003, before the accident. i got to talk to the crews and the families. they were all of a mind that they knew what the risks were, and they were willing to take those risks, because they thought space exploration was an important thing for humans to do and well worth taking the risk. nancy'his current -- nancy's correct that these arguments were the same arguments in the 1960's. is it really worth the while?
4:25 am
from my perspective, the investment we made, the apollo program -- $25 billion that we spent at the time, which is a lot of money, but compared to all the other money we spent on everything else, it was a small percentage of the u.s. budget. and they pay back we get, not only from what we learned about the universe and what we understand about it now, but also the inspiration. how many times have you heard people say, if you can put a man on the moon, why can't we fill in the blank? that mindset is important. and one of the things -- in 1961, 1 resident kennedy challenged us to go to the moon, the reason he did that was -- when president kennedy challenged us to go to the moon, the reason he did that was lots of countries were newly independent after world war ii, and they were looking at which
4:26 am
approach do we take toward development? the soviet system appeared to be good, because they had gone from being clobbered in world war ii to being able to beat the united states to space in 1957. this is an important struggle and something we look back on -- you can tell when you bring it say wasn't it obvious that we would beat them? it was not. thisally put an end to discussion over whether or not the soviet system was better and it undermined the soviet government in a lot of ways, and 30 years later, it collapsed -- there is not a direct line, but there is an effect. host: on al jazeera's website, the new race to the moon is not about bragging race. the 21st century one is
4:27 am
projecting geopolitics beyond the limits of our atmosphere with india, russia, china, and others saying they want to go to the moon. guest: i would hope we all go to the moon together. it would make more sense. but most countries do not spend a lot on space programs. it is a lot of money and a lot of risk that goes into it. countries do not do that just for scientific purposes, generally speaking. they want to see some return on that. generally, it has been bragging rights or prestige or some geopolitical advantage that countries have been willing to spend that kind of money on. i think we have gotten to the point where we have developed our capabilities enough that it is a relatively small investment. and human space exploration will have huge benefits for the future. host: and that article says when there is water, there is
4:28 am
competition. corporations are competing for a --ce it is not just the moon's proximity to earth that makes it an attractive foothold but what is on its surface. the u.s. was the first country to land humans on the moon. s did not see what india unveiled -- evidence of water on the surface. we -- yeah, we had indications that there may be deposits of water, particularly on the poles of the moon, from earlier missions, but muchone did not find how there was. it is a great example of countries you may not think much
4:29 am
of being partners in space working together and achieving a great perspective. host: we go to west virginia. sharon, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i been looking at the historic photos of the moon landing -- and i am not educated. not a very smart person. i am a housewife, and my specialty is dust. of theed, on the feet lander, that they were spotless in the photos. and the other thing was the creator holes that i think should have been under the lander -- can you give me a scientific reason why there would not be dust visible in the photographs? guest: sure. hefact, neil armstrong, when was getting ready to step out the ladder, he made observations, because scientists were not sure what would happen
4:30 am
when the lunar module first touched down on the moon. we had landed other robotic probes before, so we had some idea, but they were not fully sure, particularly with the size of the engine. the surface of the moon, actually, has been battered by all kinds of debris that has hit the moon. we call shooting stars, they do not burn up in the emissary of the moon, because there is no atmosphere. so they hit the moon and they grind up the rocks. there is no water or wind. so the surface of the moon is sharp bits and pieces of rocks that's on the surface, but just below that layer, the surface is pretty stiff, because it has been beaten by time and is compacted really tight. so when the lunar module lands on the moon, they blow away the surface dust. you can see it when they look out the window -- you see this cloud of dust get blown away.
4:31 am
so the dust gets blown away before the surface, so it is sort of clean underneath. it was not really a creator, because the surface underneath is hardpacked. host: what she is getting at is some conspiracy theories out that this really did not happen. why does the flag look like it is blowing, there is no wind, et cetera . a recentith ipsos, did poll about the apollo 11 mission. when we as people do you believe the apollo 11 moon landing was fake -- look at the age down. 9% said yes from 18 to 34. 35 to 49, 11%. and it gets less as they get older. guest: the conspiracy theory thing -- it is hard to argue with it because there's a theory anyway, so we normally do not engage in that sort of thing.
4:32 am
most of the people i've talked to that ask those sort of questions, they say i saw this picture on the net, and said to have been faked. well, did you look at the other 70,000 pictures we brought back that could have been faked? the thousands of scientists that have investigated and agreed that moon rocks do not come from earth. there is plenty of evidence, if you bother to take a look at it all. but people love a conspiracy theory, that is an interesting 1, 1 that gained traction, particularly in the days of the internet. my perspective is, if we tried to fake them and landing -- the soviet union was still trying to beat us to the moon. they had a robotic probe that crashed on the moon when neil buzz were on the
4:33 am
moon. if we had fake the moon landing, the soviet union would have outed us in a heartbeat. so it is ludicrous, but i understand why people who have not had the luxury of sitting around looking at nasa history records and documents and inerials -- i am immersed that stuff, so it seems silly to me. but i could see where, if you did not know a lot about it, you may think maybe it is true. host: how are you marking tamara's anniversary? guest: it will be a work day for me, because it is the 50th anniversary. we have been waiting for this. i will be at nasa headquarters, working with our social media team, answering people's questions. i will be out at the national mall, the display we have at the national mall. i will speak at it and watch the saturn v launch off the washington monument. host: the "washington journal" will be at the air and space
4:34 am
medium starting at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow to mark the anniversary of it, a special production with american history tv. we will take more of your comments and questions tomorrow morning on the "washington journal," 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. eastern time on the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing. let's go to robert, florida. caller: good morning. how are you? host: doing fine. question or comment? caller: i have two comments the red and the local paper, 50 years ago, somewhere in the neighborhood of $18 billion to $90 billion was spent on that moon landing. do thatabout trying to again, which would certainly be more money in today's dollars -- just a few minutes ago, i watched your program on c-span, the gentleman was talking about the federal debt.
4:35 am
, found some of that alarming and i would certainly rather put that money towards the federal debt and not try to do this again. but the primary reason for my call -- i am 75. i fall in that 2% of people 65 and older who think the thing was kind of faked. i would love to get your reason my mind -- i think it was fake so that taxes could be raised and the federal government could accumulate more money. irlier that summer of 1969, had been sent to visit my aunt in new york -- at the time, i lived in north carolina. i became involved in watching -- i think it was channel seven at the time -- and the mets. anyway, i got back to north carolina, got a tv, something
4:36 am
that had not been around much before, turned it to channel seven, and guess what? no channel 7. so i am thinking it is about 700 miles to 800 miles from new york to north carolina, and i cannot get a -- host: what is your point? caller: now they are trying to tell me that they sent back pictures from the moon -- host: alright, anything you want to respond to that? guest: the technical question, the reason we are able to get pitches from the moon is we had very powerful transmitters and antennas on both ends. it is -- i am not an engineer, but i understand it is different from your tv signal. host: from california, ron. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my phone call. a workingo have been space vehicle test mechanic at
4:37 am
in 1967nedy this month . then i got drafted and missed the actual launch of the 11. but i worked on it, from building apollo heat shields in downey, california, laying up those to heat treat, then working on the second stage of the apollo second stage, then to mississippi's test facility, to take off the top because we had a leak in the hydrogen tank, and then onto the cape. long story short, i was there grissom and the boys burn up on the pad. it was a moment when we could have lost the space industry. i happened to be working for a guy by the name of harrison storms. of the spaceent
4:38 am
division of north american aviation. and the project manager -- they said we could lose this thing. that meant they would beindustry. so those people that say -- there would be no space industry. so those people who say this -- when you see the loss of transmission from the dark side of the moon, it gives you pause. i worked with those guys. every one of those guys -- people watch apollo 13 and think it was amazing. it was not. the guys who were there were amazing. i was so honored to have the opportunity to work with them. as far as i am concerned, we should be going onward to the moon again to double check, make sure that flag is still there. thank you, mr. barry. guest: thank you for your contributions to the space
4:39 am
program. you were one of the giants that the people at nasa and people we stand onorld -- the shoulders of people like you, who got us into space in the first place. host: we will go to wisconsin. bill? caller: i worked at cape canaveral years ago. apollo andeen the the shuttle space shown. it was kind of like a dead time, when i worked there. my comment or question was, itng back to the moon, is strictly scientific or military or accommodation of both? guest: i think the return to the moon is designed to be scientific to learn more, but it is also a strategic move for the united states. some countries or people will go out into space, and we think it is an area where the united
4:40 am
states should lead. the president and congress have agreed that the united states should exercise leadership in space. we will not break the budget in trying to do that, but i think we can do it for a reasonably small investment of taxpayer dollars. the goal is to establish a foothold in space. we can explore the moon and do other things but also send humans to mars. human adventures expand beyond planet earth into our solar system. post"the "washington this morning's featuring the iconic spacesuits. can you talk about the gold visor that they are wearing and some other features? guest: sure. the gold visor was designed to reflect as much heat as possible from the sun and radiation. gold is really good at that,
4:41 am
apparently. kind of expensive for your average sunglasses. like me, you would be afraid to watch -- drop them all the time. but they were not afraid of dropping those helmets. that visor they could put up or down. if you look closely at the pictures of neil coming down the ladder, you can see his face, because he has the reflective visor up because he is in the shadow of the lunar module. but when they walked into the bright sunlight -- it is really bright on the moon. so they had the face shield. looks kind of eerie, but it was designed to be a super effective sunglass for them. host: a space industry reporter quoted in this said they also have that visor so they could see their feet because it was important. why? guest: when you're walking on
4:42 am
the moon or floating in space, it is a little spaceship built just for you. so you need to be able to maneuver around. you need to be aware of where you are. on the moon, with lower gravity, it is harder to feel where you were. you are in a spacer that is pressurized. so being able to have a good view of your feet and where you are placing them and whether you are stepping on something putrdous -- when they experiments on the moon, particularly on later missions with more complicated experiments -- a lot of them had wires that connected them to the power source and things, so they wanted to be able to see so they would not trip over the wires. one of the missions ended up carrying the cable out, and it was not like you could just plug it back in again. it was important to have maximum visibility of their feet. host: talk about the recent unveiling of neil armstrong's
4:43 am
spacesuit. guest: that was great. had all ofnian has the important spacesuits in special climate controlled conditions to protect them. they had neil's spacesuit on display for a number of years after the mission. when they built the spacesuits, they were not thinking about 50 years from then for display, they were focused on we want to keep you guys alive. they built it the best they could, but many of the materials they used were not designed to last for a long time. plastic has dried up and strong. pieces of metal that rub together have rusted. so this missoni and had quite a challenge. it was exposed for a long time, because everyone wanted to see it. it suffered a lot of damage. they took it off display about
4:44 am
13 years ago and put it in old storage to figure out how to better treat it and keep it going. a couple years ago, they said it will cost a lot of money to fix this, we will see if we can kickstart it. they did a campaign, raised a lot of money, and were able to renovate the suit. they just unveiled it earlier this week. interest laying -- interestingly, it is not in the flight gallery, because that is in a bright spot. sunlight would be bad for the suit. they tried to put a better place to put it. to me, it is dramatic that they put it right opposite the first plane that ever flew. you can see how far we went in those 60 odd years. host: we go to roger in pittsburgh. caller: hello. good morning. thank you for taking my call. i appreciate c-span a lot. i am 68-year-old.
4:45 am
i've been around long enough to follow nasa's adventures. i really applaud them. i truly do. but i am also one of those millions of people on this planet who have already seen something in the night sky. -- irecalling, over time am even hearing that there were retired astronauts, retired commercial airliner pilots, , that theymonauts have seen things in the night sky that they would say are not ours. i am bringing this up because efforts at nasa are very courageous. i am all for it. but because i've seen things and i am hearing that there are people who have worked in the field, who even werner von braun, being interviewed by somebody -- host: what is the question? the whole question is
4:46 am
spectrum of space travel itself and what it does to the human body. travel to theof nearest star is something humans couldn't do. towardsnasa's on moving those kind of things? because getting to the next star is something a human being would not be able to do. well, you are right. getting to another star is a long way away. we do not have the propulsion technology to get us there fast enough, hundreds of years of travel. it is something that people at nasa would look at the long range plans and do studies from time to time on long-range plans. primarily, we are focused on closer time things that we can actually do something about.
4:47 am
those things are things that nasa is a government agency, and we do what congress and the president tell us to do, and primarily we are focused on studying our solar system with robotic probes, studying the earth, improving flight conditions for airplanes on earth -- that is still nasa's mandate. and sending humans into space. for the next five years, we are hoping to put people back on the moon and use that as a jumping point to learn how to operate off the planet and get to mars. getting to mars is a big challenge. we have our work cut out for us. we think that would keep us busy for more than a decade or so. host: woodbridge, virginia. edgar is watching. caller: good morning. i am a big fan of the space program. i think the more, the better. 1960'sup back in the
4:48 am
watching science fiction television. " was a big fan of "star trek, "lost in space," "the outer limits." my question is what did the employees, all of the employees who were affiliated with and connected with the space program, what did they think of programs like that back then? i always wanted to get their opinion? guest: you would be in good company. almost everybody that i know who works at nasa is a big science fiction fan. oftentimes, while waiting for a meeting to start, they will say did you see x show on tv or make some humorous reference to something that happened in "star trek" or "lost in space." like the kobayashi maru
4:49 am
incident that happened in "star trek." clearly, there are a lot of science fiction fans at nasa. we love it. you would fit right in. -- alignedabout mickey from oklahoma. caller: good morning. the "apollo 11: what we saw" series. it was talking about the fact that buzz aldrin did communion on the moon. i was surprised about that, because i've never heard about it. he said that was one of the first things they did, and it was controversial at the time, because he had to have the elements up there, and weight was precious. the other thing i wanted to ask thet was i heard that
4:50 am
lender had a thick aluminum foil kind of skin, because weight was so important again, and i was surprised how small that was an how buzz aldrin, who has had a checkered career after the moon landing, especially compared to that i guess this elder of the presbyterian church did communion on the moon, which i thought was cool. guest: yeah, there was some sensitivity about religious issues, particularly after the apollo eight crew read from genesis around christmas eve. so there was some sensitivity about being overtly religious. weause the constitution says will make no law about the establishment of religion. but buzz wanted to do that.
4:51 am
are of the crew members, allowed to carry a personal preference kit, given some weight and size, so he brought a little chalice and a vial of communion wine and the host wafer and had it blessed before he left earth. and when there was timing the schedule for him to have a moment of his own, he did soft communion on the moon -- self communion on the moon. in the lunar module, weight was critical. and the lunar module did not have to fly in the atmosphere. it just had to hold the atmosphere. so they made it as light as possible. it is really flimsy. if you were an airplane pilot looking at it, you would say i do not know if i want to fly in it. host: you can learn more about nasa's history if you to
4:52 am also follow them on twitter, @ >> founding director of george washington university's state policy institute and author of john f. kennedy and the race to the moon. author of apollo to the moon, a history in 50 objects. join the program all morning with your calls, facebook questions and tweets. you sure to watch c-span's washington journal marking the 50th anniversary of the apollo
4:53 am
moon landing. up next, vice president mike up next, vice president mike pence remarks at the unveiling of the apollo 11 space suit at the smithsonian's national air and space museum in washington, d.c.. the spacesuit will go on display for the first time in 50 years to mark the anniversary of the mission to the moon. the vice president was joined by astronauts and their families and the director of the national air and space museum. this is just over 20 minutes. [applause] >> good morning. thank you for joining us as we kick off a week of amazing celebrations of humanity's highest achievement, the apollo 11 moon landing. we are honored to have vice president pence with us as we unveil neil armstrong's spacesuit.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on