tv CBS Coverage of Apollo 11 Return to Earth CSPAN July 21, 2019 6:32pm-7:20pm EDT
with the three astronauts. i -- neiln, neil armstrong, and michael collins. from julye broadcast 24, 1969. they are on the aircraft carrier. they are ready for the little ceremony. >> mr. secretary, do you have any indication of what the response to this successful moon shot has been around the world? >> it's been tremendous. i don't know that anything has had as much of an effect around the world as this event. the president will comment on it, i think in his statement, but it's been tremendous, and i
think it will be of particular significance in the field of foreign affairs. especially because of the attitude of the astronauts. >> mr. secretary, do you expect there will be some initial effect visible on the trip the president is now beginning? >> yes. without any question. and i'm sure that will be true in japan and other places. japan, reaction has been just great. i better go back -- >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. secretary of state rogers. who had come down here in advance of the arrival of the president. standing there now with henry kissinger, president's adviser on defense matters, admiral mccain, commander in chief of pacific forces and rear admiral davis, commander of the ymc frontier. right now we have been james, ben james, who is slowly making his way over to us. what's the word on the condition of the astronauts? >> they appear to be in great condition. he's finished taking the blood samples and the swabs, so he's through with them and at the time i was talking over there a couple of minutes ago, aldrin is getting out of the shower. armstrong and collins are already dressed.
i talked to collins, he said he's proud to be back. they are all very happy to be back. >> i can imagine. >> and very proud, of course, of what they have accomplished through the whole world and they are especially proud of the recovery force. so that's a good thing. >> i don't blame them a bit. the recovery went off out a without a single hitch as far as we could tell. >> one of our best. >> i suppose it's too early, ben to find out if there is any initial determination about the possible effects of the lunar excursion by aldrin and armstrong? >> yes. of course, this is a cursory examination, normal physical. nothing very different from what we've had on all the flights but the analyses of these things back in houston will be the determining factor but he says from a medical point of view at this particular time, they look great. they look just great. >> this has been the report on almost every other flight, hasn't it? >> that's right.
>> i hope it continues. >> was there any particular quote from armstrong, the flight command senator >> no, i didn't have a chance to talk to neil, and i didn't talk to aldrin. but i did talk to collins. that was the only one who was available. but they are feeling fine. he said they are all in great shape. they feel fine. they can't wait to get home. >> ben, that will be great news not only for their families but for all the american people. >> thank you very much. >> that was ben james, nasa public affairs officer who has given us that first, most encouraging word on the condition of our astronauts, armstrong, aldrin and collins, following their return from a their lunar flight and the initial medical examination inside the facility. very shortly we can expect president nixon, who has been kept informed, in detail of the developments out here on the flight deck, will be making his appearance also on the hanger
deck and will be coming over to congratulate the astronauts. undoubtedly he also has received word that we just now received, that the astronauts are in good condition, happy to be back, and delighted with the recovery which went off without a flaw. we hear it will be four minutes and president nixon will be out here on the hanger deck. the marine honor guard is standing at attention on either side of the door to the mobile docking facility. any moment now, curtains in the window over the presidential seal will be drawn back, revealing the three astronauts. james spoke a moment ago about the fact that one of them had already taken a shower. there is a very pocket size lavatory up in the forward end, and there is space for a shower. it's not a full size shower but
-- by any means. it's sort of a very, very small size bathtub. not much more than a foot bath, with a shower overhead so they can take a shower. it's receiving ship's water at this time. but that will be cut off just before it's offloaded at pearl harbor to be carted over to the air force base and flown back to ellington air force base in texas, at which point, still -- the astronauts will be removed from the c-141, which flies from there, and another tractor-trailer, they call it a 40-k hauler, will be taken over to ellington to the lunar receiving laboratory. >> aldrin is down here now on the hanger deck. the tunnel, made of semitransparent plastic, is established between, from the
door on the side of the facility, waiting only for the moment when the command module will be brought on-board. the command module, when it is brought back to land, will go to downy, california, for a 21-day quarantine period and very detailed inspection. by that time, lunar samples, the lunar rocks that the astronauts brought back from the moon, will have long since been removed, and sent to the various scientific teams that have been waiting anxiously for the samples from our earth planet, our sister planet, the moon, for an examination and detail of the lunar soil and lunar rocks and the other substances the astronauts brought back. also, removed from the command module while it's on-board the hornet, will be some of the
astronauts' personal effects and a few other bits of material. they will be taken out by the nasa project engineer, and also by the astronauts. correction on something i said a moment ago. the spacecraft will be sent to houston, texas, not downey, california. at this moment out here, the dignitaries who are on-board with the presidential party are gathering. there is, of course, secretary of state rogers, who is carrying one of the hornets' baseball caps. caps that the captain has been spreading around. the president has come down the escalator through the hatch to the hanger deck. ♪
nixon: neil, buzz and mike, i want you to know that i think i'm the luckiest man in the world and i say this not only because i have the honor to be president of the united states but particularly because i have the privilege of speaking for so many in welcoming you back to earth. i can tell you about all the messages we've received in washington. over 100 foreign governments, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and kings have sent the most warm messages that we've ever received. they represent over two billion people on this earth, all of them who have had an opportunity through television to see what you have done. and then i also bring you messages from members of the cabinet and members of the senate and members of the house and the space agency, from the
streets of san francisco where people stopped me a few days ago. y'all love that city, as i do. but most important i had a telephone call yesterday, the toll wasn't, incidentally, as great as the one i made to you guys on the money. -- on the moon. i made that call collect if you didn't know. but i called three of the greatest ladies and most courageous ladies, your wives, and from jan and joan and pat, i bring their love and their congratulations. we think it's just wonderful that they couldn't have participated in this return. we're only sorry they couldn't be here. i've got to let you know a little secret. i made a date with them. i invited them to dinner on the
13th, right after you come out of quarantine. it will be a state dinner held in los angeles. the governors of all the 50 states will be there. the ambassadors, others from around the world and in america. and they told me that you would come, too. the and all i want to know is will you come? we want to honor you then? >> we'll do anything you say, mr. president. president nixon: one question that i think all of would you would like to ask, as we saw you bouncing around in that boat out there i wonder if that wasn't the hardest part of the journey? did any of you get seasick? >> no, it didn't, and it was one of the harder parts but it was one of the most pleasant, we can assure you. president nixon: i just know that you can sense what we all sense, when you get back now. you've been able to follow some of the things that happened when you were gone. did you know about the all-star game?
>> the capsule communicators have been giving us reports. president nixon. pres. nixon: were you american league or national league? >> i'm american league. president nixon: there is the politician in the group. >> sorry to have missed that game. president nixon: you knew that, too? can't control the weather yet. nixon: i can only summarize because i don't want to how old up, gee, you look great. do you feel as look as you look? >> we feel great. pres. nixon: i understand frank borman says you're a little younger by reason of having gone into space. do you feel that way? >> we're a lot younger than frank borman. [laughter] president nixon: there he is over there. come on over, frank, so they can see you. and -- come on, frank.
>> mr. president, the one thing, we have a powet in mike cllings. -- collings. -- collins. he gave me a hard time for describing words of fantastic and beautiful, and i counted them, in three minutes up there he used four fantastics and two beautifuls. president nixon: let me close off with this one thing. i was thinking, as you came down, and we know it was a success. and it had only been eight days, just a week, a long week, but this is the greatest week in the history of the world since the creation. because, as a result of what happened in this week, the world is bigger infinitely, and also, as i'm going to find on this trip around the world, and secretary rogers will find as he covers the other countries in asia, as a result of what you've done, the world has never been closer together before, and we just thank you for that, and i
only hope that all of us in government, all of us america, -- in america, that as a result of what you've done, we can do our job a little better. we can reach for the stars, just as you have reached so far to the stars. we don't want to how old any longer. does anybody have a last word? how about promotions, do you think we can arrange something? [laughter] >> we're just pleased to be back and very honored that you were so kind to come out here and welcome us back, and we look forward to getting out of this quarantine and talking without having glass between us. president nixon: incidentally, the speeches you have to make at this dinner can be very short and if you want to just say fantastic or beautiful, that's fine. you don't have to think of any new adjectives. incidentally, all of us who, the millions that are seeing us on television now and seeing you, will feel as i do, and since our prayers have been answered, i
think it would be very appropriate if the chaplain of this ship were to offer a prayer of thanksgiving and if he would step up now, chaplain, thank you. >> let us pray. lord god, our heavenly father, our minds are staggered and our spirits exultant with the magnitude and precision of this entire apollo 11 mission. we have spent the past week in anxiety and hope as our astronauts sped through the glories and dangers of the heavens. as we try to understand and analyze the scope of this achievement for human life, our reason is overwhelmed with abounding gratitude and joy. even as we realize the increasing challenges of the future. this magnificent event illustrates anew what man can accomplish.
a man on the moon was promised in this decade, and though some were unconvinced, reality is with us this morning in the persons of astronauts armstrong, aldrin and collins. we applied their splendid exploits and record our thanksgiving for their safe return to us, to their families, to all mankind. from our innermost beings, we sing humble yet exuberant phrase. inspire our lives to move similarly in other areas of need. may we, the people, by our enthusiasm and devotion and insight move to new landings in brotherhood. human concern and mutual respect. may our country apply leadership and backed by committed fellowship blaze new trails into all areas of human cares.
see our enthusiasm and bless our joy with dedicated purpose for the many needs at hand. link us in friendship with peoples throughout the world as we strive together to better the human condition. grant us peace beginning in our own hearts and a mine attuned with good will towards our neighbor. all of this we pray as our thanksgiving rings out in the name of our lord, amen. >> amen. ♪
>> i think he was even more enthusiastic that he was talking to the astronauts in their sealed chamber. it looked like he was about to hug himself he was so thrilled. he appeared that way all day on the flight bridge, watching the splashdown but more especially when he confronted them through that little glass door. i thought he would take a little leap or something. here he is marching on the flight deck. bidding farewell to the captain. the past two weeks has been -- he has been one of the most overworked men that we've ever seen. the captain is taking him over to meet the flight deck crew. very courageous young men, the sailors. their world and their being in a loaded flat top, loaded high tension wires, razor sharp.
helicopter rotor blades and high power aviation fuel. we have had tragedies in the navy. these young men lead very dangerous lives. we will make sure they get through. the president is going down the line shaking hands. little grimy and a little dirty but no one deserves the president's handshakes more than these young men. >> all these different colors of their jerseys represent the different chores they have on the flight deck dealing with ordnance or fuel or safety, moving helicopters.
>> the side boys will have those different colors on. there they go right up the steps. and then to marine one. >> somebody asked the captain the other day whether this wasn't a great inconvenience having the president and all his party on-board when he was trying to recover astronauts in the spacecraft and he said no, he thought it was an inconvenience for the president to have to get up before 5:00 in the morning. >> we asked him many times whether this infringed upon his duties of getting the astronauts back. he said no, the presence of the president really pointed up the importance of this historic event. >> somebody asked the air officer, the man who is in charge of all the landings and takeoffs, flight deck and hanger deck, whether this wasn't a big headache for him, to have the president who is now about to step on his helicopter and to
the other visitors. >> final wave. >> the air officer said no, this is like a quiet afternoon compared to air operations, take-off and landing every 12 minutes from this carrier. >> was that the chaplain that gave the prayer? >> yes, it was. >> he was the one who played president nixon all during the simulations, the drills, for the president's visit. we understand he's beginning to talk politics around the board room. >> he's taken a lot of ribbing about that. mr. nixon goes from here to the communications ship arlington, which is about halfway between here and johnson island. he'll put down and refuel there.
man, fly away from the recovery aircraft carrier hornet on his flight around the world. cbs news coverage of the recovery of apollo 11 will continue in a moment. >> cbs news coverage of man on the moon, splashdown and recovery, continues after station identification. >> this is cbs. >> this is cbs news coverage of man on the moon. the epic journey of apollo 11. sponsored by western electric. manufacturing supply unit of the bell system. and by the international paper company where good ideas grow on trees, and by maxim freeze-dried coffee. here again is walter cronkite. >> we're waiting for word from
houston that apollo commander neil armstrong's wife is about to come out of their home there to say a word to large crowd of neighbors and press, while the president of the united states stood by and we heard a prayer of thanksgiving from the aircraft carrier hornet. there were similar prayers being offered around this nation and this exultant moment of excitement and self-congratulations to the people of the united states for the success of the mission or apollo 11 and congratulations, of course to armstrong, aldrin and collins and the whole space team. cardinal cook in new york led a mass of thanksgiving at new york's cathedral here, and similar services in grace episcopal cathedral in san
francisco, and community service in parsons, kansas, and in numerous churches across the entire nation. bells, crimes, from the churches along fifth avenue in san francisco, firecrackers tossed from the tallest buildings and ticker tape. bedlam of noise in san francisco in neil armstrong's hometown, the high school band began a parade and nearly all of the town people followed along through the streets. it's a day of great excitement, great joy throughout the united states and presumably throughout the world. the wives of the astronauts have passed word out to the press, through nasa spokesmen, during these missions of that issue pleasure. mrs. armstrong, we're told, sat in the living room crowded with some 30 persons. she showed no outward emotion when her husband was pronounced well and down safely. she sat on the floor in front of the television set with her sons, eric 12, and mark 6, and
listened to astronaut james lovely sitting with them explain what was happening, at every stage -- james lovell sitting with them explaining what was happening at every stage. pat collins was said to be pleased but restrained. later she said i felt the greatest thrill at the sighting of the craft. she had six astronaut wives with her at their home in houston man space center and champagne began flowing just as soon as the slashdown took place. the aldrin home likewise. cork popped with his father-in-law, from arcadia, enjoying the festivities there, and also, firecrackers on the lawn. reaction, excitement around the world. we heard president nixon say there might be promotions waiting for these fellows.
actually the nasa rules up to now, perhaps all rules will be off with the flight to the moon but the rules up to now have been a promotion after the first flight in space and each of these fellows has had one flight before so they are not entitled by the old rules, they might get them anyway. if so, that will move air force colonel neil armstrong up to brigadier general and aldrin -- armstrong, he's a civilian, it would move aldrin up to brigadier general, wouldn't it and mike collins up to colonel. he's lieutenant colonel right now. nice retort they came back with, when they talked about the age. suggesting they were a little bit younger than they were when
they went off, and he would be glad to have arthur clark explain it. but they came back and said they had always been younger than borman. that's true. they are just about the same age. actually aldrin by a couple of months is older. he's 39 and the other two are 38 at this given moment. the crew of the hornet gave them yellow buttons saying hornet plus three. the hornet had taken on three extra passengers out there 950 miles southwest of hawaii. an unusual place to take them aboard. >> what is the business now, arthur of r. we've talked about it before but as we wait for mrs. armstrong to come out. >> the relative effects, they were younger than they were when they left -- >> the rate at which time flows is a function of your velocity. if you're traveling at a high speed and you come back to where you started, you will have aged slightly less than the people
you left behind. on these sort of journeys next door, relatively low speed it's about a millionth of a second difference but all the astronauts are, in fact, a millionth of a second younger than they should be but it would be really important when you start going to the stars. it may be differences of hundreds of years and they come back, of course, as still a young man, and find even civilization on earth has passed away, but this shouldn't worry us until we start traveling to the stars. >> what do you do? you do not get younger. you get less old. you don't age as fast. >> but you could come back a million years from now and be only a few years older than you were when you started, as far as you're concerned. >> on the other hand. whether you're younger or older, you have seen, i don't know how many times, more sunrises and sunsets than you're entitled to.
every orbit of the earth and you have made as many as anybody practically. but every orbit of the earth, you're making it up in an hour and a half. >> it's about 16 per day. after about 12 days, that's quite a few of them. >> yeah. >> international dateline, crossing the international dateline. if you wind the calendar back, that's the way to get younger. >> we're waiting for mrs. armstrong at houston. waiting for word that she's leaving her house and television cameras set up on the lawn along with story cameras, from the world's press waiting to see the wife of the commander of apollo 11 on this great day when they have returned safely to earth after a historic mission to the moon. >> we reported a little bit earlier, congratulations are flowing in. they came the first time with landing on the moon and now with successful completion of the
entire mission. congratulations have come in from moscow. you know, as we wait for mrs. armstrong, something occurs to me here. i got a very nice wire from general ed white. his father, a astronaut who was our first to walk many space and who lost his live in the pad fire of what was to have been the first test flight of the apollo command module. along with gus grissom and roger chaffee. we say frequently and it's almost a cliche that these men did not die in vain.
these fellows really didn't because they made major contribution that we'll talk about in just a moment first, here's mrs. armstrong. >> have all your prayers been answered? >> yes. >> i would like to say to the president of the united states, president nixon, president johnson, president kennedy, too all of nasa and the contractors who have helped to make this flight successful, to the astronaut crew, to the men, the three men, who made this historic flight, and to all the people from the world, we thank you for everything, your prayers, your thoughts, for everything. if anyone wants to ask me how i could describe this flight, i can only say that it was absolutely out of this world. >> i'm proud of my dad. i think what he's done --
[inaudible] >> can you tell us now what your husband took to the moon for you? can you tell what they left on the moon? >> can you tell us what the president said in his telephone call to you? >> he told me that -- [inaudible] >> are you looking forward to the ceremonies -- >> i think it will be very outstanding for us. >> do you want them to keep on going, another moon flight? >> i don't care what he does. >> mrs. armstrong, have you received any mail? can you tell us about that? >> we've had thousands of letters from all over the world.
>> we also have a presentation -- >> it's nice that mrs. armstrong could get flowers. there will always be a public relations man. >> very kind thought, obviously, expresses the wishes of all of us, we wish we could all send flowers to mrs. armstrong, but she would be buried in them in houston. we had a thought a moment ago
about the three astronauts that did not die in vain because quite clearly, wally, arthur, the program was in trouble, and it proved that the program was in trouble by that very tragic accident, and the investigation of the accident, that frank borman led, led to refinements in the program, considerable refinement in the program that has given us an almost perfect record since your first flight on apollo 7, the flight gus was to have made. leading up to this magnificent climax today. >> we did rise out of the ashes. the crew performed flawlessly on this mission. >> so gus, roger and ed did not die in vain. cbs news coverage of the recovery of apollo 11 will continue in a moment. >> well, man's dream and a nation's pledge have now been
fulfilled. the lunar age has begun. and with it, mankind's march upward into the endless sky, the small planet circling an insignificant star in a minor solar system on the fringe of a seemingly infinite universe. it will be long, arduous, pretty costly. we may hope that we should not believe in the excitement of today that the next trip or the ones to follow will be particularly easy. but we have begun with a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind. in armstrong's unforgettable words in. these eight days, world was a witness to not only the triumph of technology but to the string of man's resolve and the persistence of his imagination. through all time, the moon has endured. determining the tides, thing you
tug of the heart, a symbol, a beacon, a goal. now man has prevailed. he's landed on the surface of the moon. he's stabbed into its crust. he's stolen some of its soil to bring back in a tiny treasure ship to perhaps unlock some of its secrets. the date is now indelible. it will be remembered as long as man survives. july 20, 1969, the day man reached and walked on the moon. the least of us improved by the things done by the best of us because if we're not able to land, at least we're able to follow. armstrong, aldrin and collins are the best of us. and they have led us further and higher than we ever imagined we were likely to go. now speaking for arthur clark and wally schirra and all the staff at cbs news space had, this is walter cronkite, good day.
grades on capitol hill on wednesday, senators into the floor to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 moon landing. >> 50 years ago, the what was transfixed by granny black-and-white image of neil -- grainy black-and-white image of neil armstrong about to take the first step on the moon. i was part of the largest audience in history to take -- to view that. i was in high school and i was totally engrossed in what was going on, staring at the