Friday, July 24, 2009

Splashdown With Neil and Buzz

Back at Johnson Space Center from NASA Ames today, pictures coming soon!

Tonight at Space Center Houston we are celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo 11 splashdown. JSC Director Mike Coats began by introducing Charlie Bolden, who arrived this week. We then heard from Congresswoman Barbara Lee, then a panel of veterans: George Abbey, Gerald Griffin, Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Glynn Lunney.

Then came the highlight of a star-studded evening, appearances by both NEIL ARMSTRONG and BUZZ ALDRIN. The Space Center crowd went sky high when Neil took the stage. His short speech told of his group of astronaut selectees, the "9 nearly perfect." He also emphasized the team effort that made Apollo fly.

Buzz, in contrast, sketched out his detailed plans for exploring Space. Buzz admires the Shuttles and thinks we should keep them operational until a replacement is ready. He thinks a crew transport should be based on the X-37, X-38, or HL-20 lifting bodies. Buzz wants international partners cooperating in settling the Moon, with NASA reaching toward asteroids, Phobos and eventually Mars. This evening of Apollo veterans will be remembered a long time.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Ed said...

No "t" in "Kranz" (least, not unless they spelt his name wrong on the cover of his book).

12:39 PM  
Blogger nige said...

Looking forward to the photos! I've just been reading about how Neil and Buzz spent time at the Nevada test site studying the geology of the 104 kt Sedan nuclear explosion crater in February 1965, under 3 years after the July 1962 detonation. Apollo 16 astronauts explored the 31 kt Schooner nuclear test crater in Nevada in 1970, a couple of years after the detonation. Schooner was supposed to resemble the South Ray crater, their intended Lunar Rover destination.

Other Moon trivia is fascinating like the burned ash like smell of the Moon dust on their suits after they had climbed back into the Eagle and recompressed that capsule with air, also the fact they had a tiny walkman-size cassette player and one cassette each for entertainment during the trip. This was shown in the 1989 NASA film compilation "For All Mankind" a movie made during the Moon trip inside the spacecraft, where two of the astronauts brought Country and Western music and the third brought the classical theme overture of Kubrick's film 2001.

With the credit crunch hitting government spending, maybe NASA should consider the cheap option of sending humanoid robots like Honda's Asimo robot to construct Moon bases for future human missions? Robots missions would be cheap because safety wouldn't be a factor of concern, and you wouldn't need crew compartments with space to move, air, food or water (they could use solar power to recharge on the Moon).

1:44 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Hi all: I've been fortunate to work with geologists who trained Neil and Buzz on those expeditions. The experiences of real moonwalkers are invaluable for the future. Even in the current budget climate we can still send people to the Moon.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Hi Louise! I don't know if you remember me, but I'm a friend of Cara Henson's - a girl you went to SFSU with. I'd like to get in touch with you and find out what you're up to these days. Please sent me an email if you have the inclination: julia.bernstein@gmail.com

8:01 AM  

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