General / Off-Topic We could have lost the Apollo 11 crew

There is old news and then there is old news...
Then there is this photo-article about the coverage around the world at the time:

 
Then there is this photo-article about the coverage around the world at the time:

And beautiful photos.
 
I think the correct answer to this is “Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”

Interesting - hadn't heard about that one :)

Currently listening to a podcast about Apollo - 13 minutes to the Moon (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xttx2/episodes/downloads), pretty good - lots of interviews with those around the programme, though it only really gets going (IMHO) around episode 5.
 
Did you ever see the speech they'd planned for Nixon to read if the lunar module's ascent engine hadn't fired? Bearing in mind those engines were one-shot - meaning the one they used to get off the Moon had never been tested to see if it'd work - it's easy to imagine things could easily have gone an entirely different way.

The courage those men showed - that everyone shows who commits their lives to the rickety boats humanity keeps throwing square in the face of the forces of nature - is extraordinary. It's the main reason I for one have so little patience with lunar hoax conspiracy theorists.

As unsettling as it may be, I quote it partly for interest's sake, viewed from the safety of half a century's distance; but mostly because of the ideals that were expressed in it even, as it would have been, amidst tragedy: the emphasis on the fact that, whatever the reason they were undertaken, the Moon landings ended up meaning far more to the world than just mere proof of America's technical superiority at the time. That, success or failure, the Apollo flights (and I'd say any exploratory spaceflight before and since) were a symbol of what humanity can be if we allow ourselves to set our sights higher.

"Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind."
 
Did you ever see the speech they'd planned for Nixon to read if the lunar module's ascent engine hadn't fired? Bearing in mind those engines were one-shot - meaning the one they used to get off the Moon had never been tested to see if it'd work - it's easy to imagine things could easily have gone an entirely different way.

The courage those men showed - that everyone shows who commits their lives to the rickety boats humanity keeps throwing square in the face of the forces of nature - is extraordinary. It's the main reason I for one have so little patience with lunar hoax conspiracy theorists.

As unsettling as it may be, I quote it partly for interest's sake, viewed from the safety of half a century's distance; but mostly because of the ideals that were expressed in it even, as it would have been, amidst tragedy: the emphasis on the fact that, whatever the reason they were undertaken, the Moon landings ended up meaning far more to the world than just mere proof of America's technical superiority at the time. That, success or failure, the Apollo flights (and I'd say any exploratory spaceflight before and since) were a symbol of what humanity can be if we allow ourselves to set our sights higher.
Yeah, I've read it before. It's quite chilling to imagine that moment.

But I think as a symbol of what humanity can do when they really decided to do it, Apollo is a success and would be a success no matter the result of the mission.
I wish we had that drive today.
Sadly, humans are flawed and inherently lazy. They only do their best in sport and war.
 
Did you ever see the speech they'd planned for Nixon to read if the lunar module's ascent engine hadn't fired? Bearing in mind those engines were one-shot - meaning the one they used to get off the Moon had never been tested to see if it'd work - it's easy to imagine things could easily have gone an entirely different way.

The courage those men showed - that everyone shows who commits their lives to the rickety boats humanity keeps throwing square in the face of the forces of nature - is extraordinary. It's the main reason I for one have so little patience with lunar hoax conspiracy theorists.

As unsettling as it may be, I quote it partly for interest's sake, viewed from the safety of half a century's distance; but mostly because of the ideals that were expressed in it even, as it would have been, amidst tragedy: the emphasis on the fact that, whatever the reason they were undertaken, the Moon landings ended up meaning far more to the world than just mere proof of America's technical superiority at the time. That, success or failure, the Apollo flights (and I'd say any exploratory spaceflight before and since) were a symbol of what humanity can be if we allow ourselves to set our sights higher.
I did not know that the engine was not tested. It's horrible ! :eek:

Surely these men had extraordinary courage but I also think a form of idealism and also a dose of unconsciousness.

Many nations have their kamikazes.

At least the pilots of the Apollo missions served a noble cause, although in my eyes working without a safety net was irresponsible on the part of the leaders.
 
I did not know that the engine was not tested. It's horrible ! :eek:

Surely these men had extraordinary courage but I also think a form of idealism and also a dose of unconsciousness.

Many nations have their kamikazes.

At least the pilots of the Apollo missions served a noble cause, although in my eyes working without a safety net was irresponsible on the part of the leaders.
"A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week." Patton.

The risk was in acceptable tolerances.

Having said that, I'd love to go to Mars, but I wouldn't want to be the first to Mars.
 
The risk was in acceptable tolerances.
I can not find any acceptable tolerance here.

The politicians wanted to do it before the Russians and were ready to sacrifice the lives of American citizens.

As usual, the politicians proved once again their irresponsibility.

But do not do politics here.

:)
 
I can not find any acceptable tolerance here.

The politicians wanted to do it before the Russians and were ready to sacrifice the lives of American citizens.

As usual, the politicians proved once again their irresponsibility.

But do not do politics here.

:)
I would generally agree about politicians, but Space Exploration is weird and makes for a lot of exceptions.

As far as I know, it is said that everyone at the project accepted the risks and sometimes even demanded to take bigger ones. There were some "close calls" during the Mercury and Gemini programs that would have been unacceptable today. After the Challenger and Columbia disasters, the space shuttle program was grounded for years and ultimately canceled, but back then, after the Apollo 1 disaster, it took only 15 months to sent another crewed vehicle.

Certainly, high risks were taken but considering that a few years the funds went dry and in 1973 came the first oil crisis that, according to some historians, put an end to the "Golden Era" of the 20th Century, maybe it was then or never.
 
I would generally agree about politicians, but Space Exploration is weird and makes for a lot of exceptions.

As far as I know, it is said that everyone at the project accepted the risks and sometimes even demanded to take bigger ones. There were some "close calls" during the Mercury and Gemini programs that would have been unacceptable today. After the Challenger and Columbia disasters, the space shuttle program was grounded for years and ultimately canceled, but back then, after the Apollo 1 disaster, it took only 15 months to sent another crewed vehicle.

Certainly, high risks were taken but considering that a few years the funds went dry and in 1973 came the first oil crisis that, according to some historians, put an end to the "Golden Era" of the 20th Century, maybe it was then or never.
Yes I agree with your post and also with the fact that even the pilots were willing to take risks.

Although Virgil Grissom had big doubts about the reliability of the capsule and until the last moment had hesitated to do the test.
 
I can not find any acceptable tolerance here.

The politicians wanted to do it before the Russians and were ready to sacrifice the lives of American citizens.

As usual, the politicians proved once again their irresponsibility.

But do not do politics here.

:)
I hear you, but I think when a threshold is reached, it becomes an acceptable risk.

Of course, I'm not a rocket scientist or a statistician so I can't tell you what the risk was deemed to be, nor whether that was seen as high or low.
 
"A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week." Patton.

The risk was in acceptable tolerances.

Having said that, I'd love to go to Mars, but I wouldn't want to be the first to Mars.
Umm... Not really. The chances of complete success (Start, orbital transfer, descent, landing, mission objectives themselves, lunar lift-off, docking, orbital transfer, reentry and landing) were calculated to 60%.
If I told you that you have 60% chance to survive your work day, today, would you consider it an acceptable risk or would you stay in bed?

The two phases in particular - the return to lunar orbit and meetup with the command module were really high-risk operations. Even more so as the nav computer in the lander wasn't working right and they had to fly most of those phases manually.

That's also why the president had two versions of the speech on the table. As the chances were so close to 50:50, it made sense. Nowadays when the success rate of space missions is 99.8%, it's not necessary.
 
If I told you that you have 60% chance to survive your work day, today, would you consider it an acceptable risk or would you stay in bed?
No, cos I work from home or in an office, but I'm not an astronaut who potentially could be one of the first to walk on the moon who's been trained intensively and been selected specifically to have the "right stuff".

If that were the case, then I'd say YEAH!
 
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