Apollo 11

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ac6000cw, 9 Jul 2019.

  1. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    10 May 2014
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    As we're 11 days away from the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing of a manned spacecraft...

    If you are old enough to remember it first hand, what was your reaction to it at the time and your memories of it now?

    If you're too young for that (especially if it's 'ancient' history to you), what do you think of it and the Apollo program in general?

    (I'm in the first category - I was 11 years old at the time - and can vividly remember the 'world on the edge of its seat' feeling a lot of people had during the mission. As someone who subsequently has spent nearly 40 years working as an electronics engineer, the Apollo program stands out for me as one of *the* engineering achievements of the 20th century. Listening to one of the excellent '13 minutes to the Moon' BBC World Service podcasts the other day, it was talking about the Saturn 5 rocket - at launch, it was 110m tall, weighed nearly 3000 tonnes and produced 35,100 kN of thrust to lift that weight vertically off the launchpad - mind boggling numbers).
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

    Messages:
    7,359
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2007
    Location:
    Redcar
    A remarkable achievement, it interests me greatly as i'm an avid follower of anything to do with astronomy, space engineering and exploration and like to soak up related documentaries and books like a sponge.

    The only downside to such an anniversary is when the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork again despite having their questions answered repeatedly.
     
  4. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    6,584
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
    You’ve reminded me to download that podcast. I left it for a while so that I could listen to a few them in a row.
    I wasn’t born until 1973, but I always listen to anything on the radio about it because I find it totally fascinating.

    Edit - Just clicked on the first three to download. Something to look forward to while working tomorrow.
     
  5. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

    Messages:
    4,446
    Joined:
    23 Jul 2010
    Location:
    Wennington Crossovers
    If anyone gets the chance to see the documentary film of the same name (out now) it's excellent.
     
  6. 306024

    306024 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,572
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2013
    Location:
    East Anglia
    I was at junior school, getting up early or trying to stay awake late to watch as much TV coverage as possible. Exciting times as a kid, even made the Saturn V Airfix kit too.

    A few years ago I visited the Houston Space Center, sat in the chair where the call came in “Houston we’ve had a problem”. The scale of everything was simply overwhelming, a wonderful day and if you’re sufficiently interested, book the VIP tour in advance, not cheap but you only go once. Just 12 of us with our own personal guide. Considering the technology of the time, an incredible project.
     
  7. GusB

    GusB Established Member

    Messages:
    1,729
    Joined:
    9 Jul 2016
    Location:
    Elginshire
    I was born a little over 5 years after the Apollo 11 mission, so I don't remember it, but I've always had an interest in spacey things and read various books when I was a kid. I think it was the Voyager missions that captured my imagination more than anything, and then the Space Shuttle missions began when I was in primary school. It was a fascinating time to be a kid and, to be honest, a little disappointing to see that we haven't really progressed much as far as human spaceflight is concerned. I'm still waiting for my jet-pack!
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2019
  8. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    6,584
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
    That’s exactly how I feel!
     
  9. bussnapperwm

    bussnapperwm Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    3 Jul 2019
    This video from the US TV series Adam Ruins Everything takes an attempt at debunking the conspiracy theory it was filmed on a soundstage

     
  10. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    10 May 2014
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Literally just got back from seeing it - I agree ☺️.
     
  11. Strathclyder

    Strathclyder Established Member

    Messages:
    1,283
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2013
    Location:
    Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire
    Am firmly in the latter catagory, (I was born nearly 37 years (April 1996) after it happened), but anything to do with space exploration/engineering & astronomy deeply fascinates me. The Apollo & Saturn programs, taken seperately, are remarkable achivements in their own right, but together, they are one of the greatest engineering and technological leaps we as a species have ever made. The Saturn side of it is particularly fascinating, with me being obsessed with all things engineering.

    The rocket's specifications, even when detailed by @ac6000cw in the OP, still can be hard to wrap one's head around. So I'll just let this image of Apollo 11's Saturn V in flight do the talking:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    23 Apr 2011
    Location:
    Chester le Street/ Edinburgh
    THE most amazing things I've seen, was the reveal at Kennedy Space Center of Atlantis and when you come out of the reconstructed mission control room for Apollo 11 to see the Saturn V rocket for the first time.

    Mind. Blown. simple as that
     
  13. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    Space was my life as a kid, swimming in encyclopaedias and space reference books containing photos of the moon landings, Russian lunar rovers and Voyager and Pioneer missions. If I had one wish it would have been to been born ten years earlier so I could have witnessed the full Apollo 11 mission in real time.

    +1 to the Apollo 11 documentary recommendations. I saw it at BFI IMAX the other weekend and it was stunning. Looking forward to watching Channel 4's real-time Moon Landing Live. Being able to catch it at random parts of the day on their YouTube channel is going to be fantastic.
     
  14. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

    Messages:
    577
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2013
    Location:
    Where my keyboard has no £ key
    The Apollo programme was a major factor influencing my interest in science as a child*, leading in due course to a university scholarship to read science and a fulfilling career in science on three continents.

    For me, it wasn’t just the “one small step for a man” moment – I was slightly disappointed when I saw that live, on account of the blurry low definition on our B&W TV (probably a 405 lines set in those days). It was more other subsequent material which NASA published – the films of spectacular Saturn V lift-offs from Cape Kennedy (as it was known at the time) with masses of exhaust gas and flame, the big, red letters U. . . . . S . . . . .A . . . . accelerating past the camera, images like @Strathclyder ‘s posted above, all to the accompaniment of Also Sprach Zarathustra. Plus the colour photos & films brought back from the moon, including the famous Earth-Rise-Over-Moon “blue marble” photo.

    In later years I visited the visitor center at Kennedy Space Centre (whilst attending a scientific conference in Florida) and was blown away by the size of the Saturn V on display (remembering the whole thing had been packed full of kerosene and liquid oxygen, then ignited - see Post#10 for result) and the incredibly flimsy, biscuit-tin appearance of the capsules which had carried the astronauts to the Moon and back.

    It all came at just the right time in life to inspire me (even though my eventual career had nothing to do with space flight or engineering).


    * – the other factor was a couple of excellent, but totally eccentric schoolteachers, of a type only an old-fashioned English grammar school could produce. And whose methods would probably lead to prompt dismissal from any school today.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2019
  15. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    10 May 2014
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    I've been to Kennedy Space Center as well (Florida has a lot more to offer than Disney) - I completely agree.

    Whilst looking at the classic 'Saturn V' photo up-thread, everyone should also contemplate that on the top of it are three astronauts going on a roughly 240,000 mile journey to another planet, travelling at an average speed of roughly 3000 mph, knowing full well that if anything went seriously wrong it was very unlikely they'd be coming home...and this was only two years after the Apollo 1 crew had been killed in a capsule fire on the launchpad.

    Given the very hazardous nature of space travel, it's a testament to the quality of the science, engineering and operation of the various manned space programs that relatively few astronauts and cosmonauts have lost their lives (about 4.5% I think). Yes, with hindsight, the risks have been pushed too far on occasion, but that's the nature of heading into the unknown - it's how you make progress.

    If you really want to marvel at the bravery of an astronaut, inside the entrance hall of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC is the Mercury capsule that John Glenn made the USA's first orbital human spaceflight in. Given what it had to do, it's positively tiny, very basic and fragile looking - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Atlas_6
     
  16. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    Messages:
    10,320
    Joined:
    8 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Epsom
    Is that the excellent one I've just watched on BBC 2 at 21.00 until 22.30 tonight?
     
  17. PaxVobiscum

    PaxVobiscum Established Member

    Messages:
    2,239
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2012
    Location:
    Glasgow
    I remember being distinctly unimpressed by the “One small step...” line and thinking “Is that the best they could do for such a momentous occasion?”

    However I’ve had 50 years to think of something better and been singularly unable to do so. :lol:

    I have a memory of there being TV monitors installed in Glasgow Central station for the moon landing and watching a replay while seeing a relative off on the WCML. Can anyone confirm ( the TV monitors, not the relative :smile: )?
     
  18. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    10 May 2014
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    It's this one - https://www.apollo11movie.co.uk/home/ - to quote from Wikipedia "The film consists solely of archival footage, including 70 mm film previously unreleased to the public, and does not feature narration, interviews or modern recreations".

    (The BBC2 programme was '8 Days: To the Moon and Back')
     
  19. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    23 Apr 2011
    Location:
    Chester le Street/ Edinburgh
    It's been a while since I was so glued to a programme like that for the full duration, where my attention never wandered.

    So looking forward to the 6 parter starting next Wednesday on BBC2
     
  20. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    8 Jan 2016
    I was around when it happened, but not old enough to remember. However I watched the programme on BBC2 last night and it brought back a deep seated memory for me.

    After the war my grandfather ended up in businesses doing a lot of work with camera companies including Kodak and Polaroid - he had one of the first Polaroid cameras given to him in the early 1970s - a Colorpak 80. The family still have some photos taken with it in the hot summer of 1976.

    The programme showed a lot of the Hasselblad photos which were taken at the time and during one of grandfather's visit to Kodak in the US they presented him with a set of about 100 35mm slides to commemorate the moon landings. On a large screen they had amazing clarity and I remember looking at them a lot.

    Unfortunately I expect they ended up in a bonfire or in the tip when 35mm projectors went out of fashion.
     
  21. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    10 May 2014
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
  22. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

    Messages:
    8,290
    Joined:
    7 Jun 2014
    Your mention of Polaroid cameras reminds me of a holiday in Moscow in 1974, a very Cold War time. I had a brand new Polaroid camera and took it with me. I came across a film being made set in Napoleonic times, and took some pictures. The actors and crew were absolutely fascinated, and I presented them with a couple of (very expensive!) photos I took of them. Another thing I remember about the trip, the most fascinating (and scary, in parts) holiday of my life was a visit to their Space Museum, of which I can find no mention now, it not being any of the various existing ones. It made absolutely no mention of the American moon landings, of course, but majored on the extraordinary feats of the Russians, thanks to the glorious Communist Party! Nevertheless, a very worthwhile experience.

    On the subject of the conspiracy theories, wouldn't it have been a hell of a lot simpler to actually land on the moon than to plan, implement and SECURE THE PERMANENT SILENCE UNTIL DEATH of thousands of people who'd have to be copied in to faking it in Arizona, or wherever (I can't be bothered to waste a moment of my time on seeing any of these nutjobs' efforts.)
     
  23. si404

    si404 Member

    Messages:
    613
    Joined:
    28 Dec 2012
    they had the Apollo 10 LM at the science Museum when I was a kid. It looked like it parts of the outside were made of foil only slightly thicker than tinfoil!
     
  24. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

    Messages:
    10,320
    Joined:
    8 Apr 2010
    Location:
    Epsom
    Foil is exactly what those parts of the LM were covered with... you are right it'll be a bit thicker than the stuff we use in our kitchens, though.
     
  25. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    Joined:
    10 May 2014
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    One of the BBC podcasts I mentioned in the first post is about the development of the LM: Episode 3 - Long Island Eagle , and Episode 5 - The fourth astronaut is about the ground-breaking digital guidance computer that controlled it.

    And yes, to keep the weight down to the absolute minimum, there was no excess of material anywhere - I think one of the astronauts described the wall of the LM cabin as 'thin enough to put your boot through'.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2019
  26. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    Joined:
    17 May 2011
    I think - in order to bring some rocks back, they had to leave their boots behind on the moon. One day someone will find them and bring them back!

    Long after I'm gone I hope the moon doesn't become some holiday resort or some mining community. I'd like, save for the first ever landing that crashed into the surface, and the landing sites of Apollo 11 and the final one 17 (??) for all the rubbish we've left behind returned to earth and the surface returned to it's pristine condition; as if we'd never been.

    There's too much rubbish on the earth, let's keep the moon as a treasure?
     
  27. malc-c

    malc-c Member

    Messages:
    268
    Joined:
    1 Dec 2017
    I was 7 when they landed on the moon. I pestered my parents to set an alarm to wake me up so we could watch Armstrong step off the pad on to the surface and say those famous words... For me it was the regular programs and bulletins hosted by Patrick Moore, James Burke and Cliff Michelmore. Their excitement for this event was very obvious, which kept me glued to the TV.

    Years later (mid 1980's) a few of us involved in a local astronomical society attended a talk given by one of the Apollo astronauts, ( I'm not 100% sure, but my gut feeling is it was either Buzz Aldrin or Jim Lovell , but it was almost 35 years ago, and I've slept since then !) - However we should have twigged that this would not be what we were expecting as it was held in a large church. Rather than discuss the actual mission it focused on his beliefs and how he felt closer to god being so far from earth and that god would look after them on the mission... Now I respect peoples beliefs, but the whole evening was really just a drive to enrol more people in the church and hardly mentioned the actual mission details. Looking back, I think that in reality anyone wanting to go through a moon mission would need to have a deep religious belief to get through the mission, and only those who went to the Moon will really appreciate the impact that may have on someone.
     
  28. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

    Messages:
    8,290
    Joined:
    7 Jun 2014
    From the little I know about Buzz Aldrin, it's very likely to have been him.
     
  29. malc-c

    malc-c Member

    Messages:
    268
    Joined:
    1 Dec 2017
    My gut feeling was that it was Buzz... I couldn't remember if it was the feeling that God was by his side and looking over him and Neil on the Moon, or it was to do with the Apollo 13 mission where God would ensure Lovell and the other two crew members would get home.
     
  30. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    One recommendation to add to the conversation. This is a full replay of all audio comms from the lunar descent and landing. It's a wonderful twenty minutes.

     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2019
  31. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

    Messages:
    705
    Joined:
    23 Apr 2011
    Location:
    Chester le Street/ Edinburgh

Share This Page