Apollo 8 Reunion, 4/23/09.Jun 09, 2021
They conveyed them well hahaha those bathrooms oh what an honor it is to welcome the crew of Apollo 8 to the auditorium LBJ Colonel Frank Borman the commander of Captain James Lovell the command module pilot and General William Anders the lunar module these American heroes for the first humans to see the far side of the moon and also to see planet Earth from the orbit of another celestial body with them is our moderator of tonight's show Jimmy Hart's, who is his former co-host of NBC's Today Show, host of the show of PBS innovation and who started covering Sun during the Gemini program and then we covered all human spaceflight after that through the early shuttle programs where it looks like there will be members of their families with us tonight as well.
Colonel Norman's wife, Susan, the captain, levels the wife of Marilyn, the daughter of Barbara Harrison, from the south, comes in here and her son and grandson Tom Williams and Jim Hart's wife, Alexandra, these astronauts in the scenario are not the only heroes who made it possible. I want to introduce you to other Apollo 8 alumni, and while I do so, could I ask you to stand up, turn around, face the audience, and remain standing? and let me ask the audience to hold their applause until everyone is introduced Chris Kraft director of flight operations and former director of the Johnson Space Center Glen Lennie flight director Black Team Milton Windler flight director Maroon Team at Apollo astronauts who were crew of support Capcom TK Fan Brand Forum Mattingly, a former Space Center director Johnson was involved in the Apollo era, Aaron Cohen from the Apollo project office and now, to join them with all the Apollo 8 alumni, Please rise and allow us to honor you with our grateful applause.
It is also an honor to have some special guests in the audience and I would ask that you please stand and remain standing until everyone is introduced. Richard Garriott just returned from the International Space Station, son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott and Dr. Larry Faulkner former president of the University of Texas and member of the LBJ Ford Foundation benbarnes former lieutenant governor of Texas board member of the LBJ Foundation former US senator Bill Bradley dr. Hahn's mark, former deputy administrator of NASA, former chancellor of the University of Texas and currently a professor in the department of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering at UT, Catherine rabe, director of the LBJ Future Forum and granddaughter of LBJ and her mother, who is here on stage with us.
Linda Rob LBJ's Brandon helps EJ's daughter. I'll say, Catherine's mother and LBJ's daughter, and Edith Royal and former UT football coach Darrell Royal, who lent the library flags that flew on three Apollo missions, including one from Apollo 8 that is signed by the three astronauts you can see in the library Centennial exhibit to the moon the American space program in the 1960s that will be here until Labor Day we are celebrating all those who made the eighth Apollo possible and we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA and the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Lyndon Johnson, who co-sponsored the legislation that created NASA;
Later, when President LBJ guided the Apollo program through Congress, an important 1960s were funded and supported, years of Thoma cultural war and political and racial strife. 1968 was a particularly difficult year with murders, riots in the cities, and a major setback in Vietnam, but in December, at the end of that terrible year, our hearts were gladdened when the crew of Apollo 8 read Genesis and brought us that wonderful image. of the rise of the Earth. that allowed us to see for the first time how fragile and wonderful our world really is. Of the many precious objects we house in the LBJ Library, one of my favorites is this image of Earthrise signed by the three Apollo astronauts and given to the president, you know?
President Johnson sent photographs that these astronauts took, he sent them to all the heads of state in the world, even those with whom we did not have diplomatic relations and even including Ho Chi Minh. You know, this was during the Vietnam War and we spent a lot of time. trying to make direct contact with Ho Chi Minh trying to talk to him, you know, LBJ thought, "Let's reason together, if I could talk to him and give him a prize or two, you know, we could end this war here and actually , we got a thank you card from Ho Chi Minh through Berlin and it says in French thank you for sending the photographs of the moon taken by Apollo 8 which is also in the library, I think it is something very valuable now given the indications of our moderator Jim Hart.
We on the panel, it is my pleasure to welcome Linda Johnson Rob to the podium with some personal comments on behalf of the Johnson family. I am very honored to be able to be here to thank you in person for coming, as Betty Sue said your flight lifted our spirits with you, I told my husband, I told him you don't know what 1968 was like, you were lucky to be in Vietnam and I didn't even mean for it to be funny, it was your flight, it was the second best thing. what happened in 68 just behind the birth of Lucinda Rob I told her today I said Lucinda you just remember that you were 2 months old that Christmas day when they read that she was born on October 25th so she said well, not really very well, but we felt a deep connection with all of you and we thank you very much for the spirit you awakened in all of us.
Dad cared a lot about the space program. I remember walking to the cemetery and looking up and Dad saying, "You see that Sputnik up there." We have to do something, we have to have our own space program and from then on the space program was one of his children, he cared a lot about it and he was very proud of all of you and I was there that day. who introduced everyone to NASA which I don't even know the distinguished metal. I have to look at my notes to tell you what it's actually supposed to be called, but I remember being there and you just lifted all of our spirits and Last week or the 13th, actually, Tom Brokaw was here talking about the '60s in particular and He said I have to quote him here.
I can find it like this. I suppose not. I lost the card. Oh no, here we go. Well, no. I lost the card, okay, here we go. I just got back from Big Bend and I'll tell these men where they went. It couldn't have been as far away as Big Ben. I have to know this, but he was also talking to us and he said that when Captain Lovell gave a thumbs up and said it covered his entire view of the Earth, which made us realize how insignificant we all are and I think we all are much more aware of that now than in '68. and it reminds us of all the challenges we had then and all the challenges we have now to take care of our wonderful planet Earth and I look forward to hearing all the things you're going to say, so I'm going to go.
Sit down and have everyone come and look at the audience. I can see there are some gray beards, so I don't have to tell you about the Apollo program, but there are some young people here who had to be 40 years old. years, first of all, those who were even born at that time and you needed to be 50 or 60 to fly and understand what was happening, so let me set the stage for a minute or two about what was happening in 1968, 1969. We will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the actual moon landing in July. There are a lot of people here who work behind the scenes at NASA, mainly in Houston and at the Kennedy Space Center, and I'll let you in on a little secret among the people at NASA and among the people who were in my business who covered the space program well.
Everyone had their favorite flight. If you were a scientist, you liked Apollo 17 because Jack Smith, who was a geologist, was on that flight. a little sentimental you liked Apollo 14 because Alan Shepard, the first American in space, commanded that flight. My favorite was Apollo 12 because I got to know and be close friends with Pete Conrad and Al Beam, whose paintings are in an exhibit here at the Atha Library. Of course, there was Apollo 11, which was the first moon landing. Most people, however, don't know much about what we're going to talk about tonight. Apollo 8 in the Apollo program there was a very carefully designed sequence of test flight events, each step brought us closer and closer to the moon and each flight had a set of parameters and a set of objectives that had to be achieved and then we would move on to the next flight in the mid-60s and arriving at In mid-1968 there were some problems that the lunar modules on the Moon developed, they were called delayed work on schedules, so the flight these guys were on was meant to be something totally different, it was going to be a full test flight the entire time. equipment that was going to be used on the Apollo lunar flights but it would be here in Earth orbit and if you remember during those days you were never more than a few minutes or at least a few hours from a safe place if something went wrong, but it was a decision was made and then closely held at NASA, those of us in the new business didn't really know about it until later;
Going ahead and using this flight to do something really on my terms in news business terms, was dramatic for NASA. a logical step meant scrapping the program they were going to use in low earth orbit and actually going to the moon and even though they didn't have a lunar lander to go around the moon and test all the systems that were going to be used a little further Late it was like that and it was the first time it became clear that someone who men had flown on the big Saturn 5 rocket for those of you who don't remember it was 36 stories high. it weighed seven and a half million pounds most of that highly volatile fuel the previous one there had been no manned flights before the previous flight had a lot of problems while they were preparing to leave a hurricane passed and grazed the side of Florida the rocket in the same place where the porch was struck by lightning.
I think there was something else that went wrong, more tensions that could be generated there and the decision was made by the NASA people and these three guys said yes sir, we are ready, let's go, that was it. One of the things that impressed me most about covering NASA is the can-do spirit that I saw from beginning to end, and I think the reason this room is full tonight is because we remember that period. and it's personified not just by these three guys, but there are 100 others sitting here in the first five or six rows who were also a big part of this, so with that wise scenario I'd like to start letting us hear the truth. story of the three people who are here tonight Frank, you told me earlier that you would like to explain to me in more detail what I was saying about these people who are here tonight.
Yes, you know it's very dangerous the ways you could really get into trouble. in the astronaut program was saying "well, astronauts think this," where astronauts think John Glenn used to really irritate me when he was running for office because I didn't think at all like John Glenn, but I was still thinking about my China , but but I have consulted with my two wonderful colleagues and they agree with me that we truly owe a debt of gratitude to the Apollo alumni. You have not received the credit you deserve here. We wouldn't be here today without you and that drowns me.
Just thinking about the trust we had in you and one guy really personifies it of all the people that made NASA work, the real Giants of NASA, there's really only one left and that's Chris Kraft and I, Chris, I just want and what you know when I am here today and I will be silent, but when I hear today that these young people are so wonderful, that is nonsense, they were not better than you, the average age of the people who programmed our trajectory was 24 years old. You were the best and you can do a much better job than anyone else is doing today and we appreciate you, okay I'll shut up, no I do, but we had another one half an hour ago, here's your clue, shut up now, let's walk the flight .
A minute ago I said that the previous Saturn 5 that had been launched before you, was a few months ago and had a lot of problems, first of all, the final stage that lasted the third stage, I was actually going to send them to the moon at that time. flight didn't go off and did another little thing called a Pogo, what was a Pogo? How can it be a 30-story five-story building? Pogo, well, one of the test flights, as I remember, was 40 years ago, of course, was the The fact that we had an engine that came into contact with a kind of vibration in the structure and we were afraid that if it It disintegrated and ruined the entire day of the flight, so this was something the engineers had designed the course. the rocket had Huntsville had said that we have that resolved we believe that we have confidence in our saturn v and in a discussion with all the people at nasa who were making the decision at that time to change the flight from an earth orbital to a flight to the moon which, of course, I think was started by George Lowe, if I'm not mistaken, if I'm not right, Chris and then we just decided on it and presented it to the hierarchy in Washington and said thatwe can do it and So the Pogo situation was resolved and by the way it happened on Apollo 13 a little bit in a two on the second stage we had a Pogo on the second stage okay so that's the whole story of which you'll get to 13 in a little bit you were the first three guys who sat on top of this big machine and were launched into space.
What was happening? Let me back up a little bit on what went through your mind when they were told they weren't going to do it. do orbital flight and on Earth, but you were actually going to do this circumlunar flight bill, well, I was actually a little disappointed, why? Because I had been training and checking the lunar module on the lunar lander training vehicle and I thought. Well, we can get it. Apollo eight out of the way. Maybe he's on Apollo 14 or something. I didn't realize that going to Apollo 8 being the lunar module pilot would somehow promote me to the command module position, so I was a little disappointed, but since Frank is me.
I think he said very convincingly that Apollo was not a scientific program. I'm pretty sure we picked up rocks. We were surely on an exploration. It was another battle in the Cold War and if it hadn't been for the Russians, we wouldn't have done it. I haven't had the public support to pay the taxes that were required to defeat those dirty communists and that's what it was and that's how it was. I was very pleased with the opportunity to be an Air Force officer and have the opportunity to participate in Apollo. 8 for the younger ones who were here, what the Cold War was like at that time and what the Russians were doing and what we were doing to counter that.
If I can answer that question correctly, the Soviets were perceived to be more technically advanced when it came to space flight, after all, they put Gagarin before us, he went into orbit and Shepard just did a 15-hour suborbital flight. minutes and they put two people in and we still hadn't gotten to them, so the idea was that the technology and the prestige of being a leader in this technology was very very important, I think it is if we want to be a leader in the world and it wasn't until Jimmy's flight started going where we started making appointments and Evi to and finally working until the end of the Jimmy program, we were catching up with them and of course the epitome was the Apollo 8 trip to the moon and now we know, of course, from all the conversations with the Russians, that they were very active in a lunar program and that they had almost decided to disagree with the people in circumnavigating the moon but they were very conservative as well and they had sent two flights around the moon moon and 68 and of course we had information about that and that's why that decision was made it made us go to the moon and we lost and while they were deciding whether they would send two cosmonauts on a proton and also circumnavigate the moon that was the reason it was kept in His flight was secret until a few weeks before it happened, I think it was kept secret for a good reason because the flight plan was generated in Houston and had to be approved by NASA headquarters and then by President Johnson, but I think it's him.
I guess I don't think we've noticed often enough the impact that President Johnson had on the space program. President Kennedy's mouse made all the trips between us and the people on the ground, he took all the credit for it, but President Johnson as head of the Space Council really pushed the lunar fight and then had a wonderful relationship with another giant who now He is dead and that is Jim Webb, who was an administrator at NASA and did not run, did not try to direct it. So much trust in the web and the web chose the leaders as and that's why it was a wonderful and wonderful management oriented.
I've often thought that if the defensive department had had a net instead of McNamara, they would have been a hell of a lot better off. but we were very fortunate to have President Johnson and Jim Webb at the top because they listened to the people, they elected the people who knew what they were doing, and then they listened to it. I'm sure we missed 17 phone calls. for him to launch Apollo 8, you know us, but the other criterion, although Frank, was the fact that a Gemini and Apollo 7 had to be successful for their traveling, yes, and its Earth orbital flight to make sure that the command module was ready since then.
We didn't have a lunar module once the final testing was done, so the decision was made, of course, from 2 to 8 to go to the Moon. Were you sure from the beginning that everything was going to work out well? Personally, I had a lot of confidence in NASA, not just JSC, but also the people who designed the thrusters, the aerospace industry. Frank spent a lot of time getting Apollo back on the track with Chris Kraft and his team after the fire, so he had a lot of confidence, but I didn't do it. I don't think it was a safe bet, frankly I thought well, there's probably a 1/3 chance that the mission is totally successful, there's probably a 1/3 chance that it's an Apollo 13 mission that you went on but didn't make it. the target and there There was a third chance that you wouldn't come back, but like I said, you know the Cold War was alive and well, you can't really understand Apollo without putting it in the context of the Cold War, which in retrospect you know.
It's a little strange these years, but you know, as a military officer, I thought there was a good chance that our colleagues would be shot down in Vietnam without any glory, so yeah, I didn't think it was totally safe. but I was confident that it was going to be the best it could be, but we knew they would know beforehand. Turn off these engines. Now keep in mind that we had a simulator. Maybe these people were a little masochistic and that kind of thing. They thought about, you know, and how to screw things up, of course, we were on the floor, so, boy, you had 16 problems at once, but it sunk in, as far as I knew, when I was sitting there waiting for the lip of the ignition.
Well, we've covered everything we've done, abort the launch and Frank knows when to turn the handle if necessary and that thing barely opened the lid, but it shook so hard and made so much noise that we hadn't simulated it at all. I thought Oh geez, look where this really got lost. Frank was smart enough to take his hand off the abort handle because I mean, I literally felt like I was a rat in the jaws of a big terrier just having that shaken at me, but you know. We had to squeeze it into four months. In reality, training normally takes about 18 months, so we specialize.
Bill was proficient with systems. He knew everything. Jim was a navigator and I rated the general re-entry to the and I have complete confidence in these two. People, you are wonderful, there couldn't be a better team than Jim and Bill. He had complete confidence in the field. I'm not kidding, I really did and in fact on Apollo 7 we had to screw it up because I wanted to come back early because I was convinced that Apollo 7 wasn't Gemini 7 because I was convinced that the fuel cells weren't going to work and Chris He was on the radio all the time and they said, "We've faked it." They go to work, that was it, I went to sleep, it was that I had that kind of kite, my main concern was that somehow the crew would screw up and that was, you mean those two, I know there are three of us, I really had Muskan.
I don't want to be the guy he tackled when he didn't have to. Did you know that you tell him about the mango from a long time ago? I drive it, you sit here and if you turn it back, you're gone. I mean, what do you know? I still do not have it. That worked well. I already have it around seventy thousand. You only use that in a launch phase if the rocket catches fire or something and there's an abort control that the commander can launch a rocket and then take off the spacecraft and throw it into the ocean, but you know the G-force is about twenty GS, you don't want to do it right.
He loved us. He wanted us to do a perfect mission. I was confident. and it turned out that I didn't care about anyone else, it really was an almost perfect mission, in fact, it was almost not perfect. I was disappointed, I was disappointed because the people on the ground and the engineers had done Apollo. eight so perfect that I couldn't show what a great guy he was at fixing things. Jim Jim, my views are being cherry-picked and of course you know I wasn't on that mission to begin with. Mike Collins was the third person on the original Apollo 8 team at the time, I think he was called eight at the time or not, maybe it was nine at the time.
I forgot about it and then Mike had a medical issue so I replaced him so he was a weird guy but when the decision was made. They made me go to the moon personally. He was elated because he didn't feel like doing another Earth orbital flight with Frank Borman. You see, I spent 14 days with this girl. They came back committed. It's okay to download things as they are. Now we could get married. yeah, where do I go from here don't ask what they mean the Gemini flights were the precursors to Apollo it's a two man capsule it was very small it was about half the size of a Volkswagen and they did it, they flew a 14 it was a mission of 14 days at this point and all those Gemini flights were again a stepping stone towards Apollo and they were mainly involved in developing rendezvous techniques because we knew at that time that there really would have to be a rendezvous in At that time the decision was made to do a lunar encounter with the moon and they had that encounter with the earth, so all those things had worked well and it was that experience that made it a success.
Now come on, let's get on with the flight here. You have gone through the launch, you are the red cotton and they can there, you enter the Earth's orbit, you begin to check the systems and the third stage of the Saturn, as it was called s4, must fire to send you on a trajectory towards the moon the last time this was tried it didn't spark what was going on in your mind there, that led to that and tell us how it worked out. I was focused on that, we can work to honor what's going on with our network and I don't know how to do it right.
I just thought it was going to work, but with that momentum looking at the clock, it just kept burning and burning with all the F's equal to ma or equal to, no, it was around Tucson speed, it continued, we all will. blow that up, yeah, and you know well, you didn't worry about it not going out, right? Oh no I don't think so and I don't think they fixed it yeah where are we worried about it going out of course it was number one that slowed down. get captured by the moon and then nine orbits or 10 orbits later, turn on the maneuvering engine to get away from the moon, I mean get out of its lunar orbit, you get hit a story, yeah, you better beat it, Farby doesn't care taste.
Could we come back here? We were still in Earth's orbit, yeah, yeah, and that, as I remember it now, guys, I know you'll be honest, but it was a quiet, smooth burger. Haut Pogo, no, nothing, it just stinks, seductive, with everything it can show. you took off with the slight g force and then the numbers on that was the speed, well, after you, now this maneuver was called translunar Thiele injection. NASA had these wonderful acronyms for absolutely everything. I always felt that my job was like a simultaneous translator at the United Nations. I had heard about NASA in one ear and supposedly some English came out of my mouth, right?
No? Now you have done something that no other man has ever done in all three. You've broken the Earth's gravity and you're moving toward another celestial body and she was quoting Tom Brokaw a while ago saying that you could look out the window and see what it was like to look out the window and see the Earth gradually become. Getting smaller and smaller and knowing that everyone was there, you could actually, the first time we turned around, we were about 20,000 miles away. I think we got rid of the third stage and it was like when your third grader was watching. the clock, you know what you couldn't see, was moving, but if you looked away and back, it got a little smaller, we were so far away, we even knew we were moving towards me, it seemed like we were looking the earth when If that initial speed was in a car entering a tunnel and looking out the back window and seeing the entrance getting smaller and smaller as we went down the tunnel, it was very similar because it was just that our philosophy was very big at that particular moment.
We slow down as we go out fast, you enter that point, you know, probably around twenty-three thousand five hundred and twenty-four thousand miles per hour, there is no escaping the philosophy, now comes a period of quiet. You have two days without much. To do this, you better get up right now. I got dizzy and vomited. I wasn't going to Frank, we weren't going to say anything, oh yeah, and you know, you know. I read it now. I said, oh, they were thinking like NASA was thinking. about canceling the mission and all that. I want to tell you something we would have had a radio breakdown if you ever sent that Chris.
There is no way we are, but I hurried and I think it was clearly, although I didn't think. So at the time, since I was between one and two weeks in Gemini without getting sick, I've never felt sick on a plane except when I was hungover, it's horrible, so I don't really think,first full story Jim and I were yelling at Andrews take that photo take that photo and he came back and said that no that's not on the flight plan we're not saying now are we? No, maybe it was me. You know he was a captain.
He was going to do my job. I didn't want to get it. Chris Graff slapped me when I learned that he was always supposed to take pictures of the moon, but it was surprising to me that we had spent all this time training in geology, photographing the moon, and understanding lunar craters. In fact, I even named a bunch. of lunar craters in flight and yet, and after about the third revolution, the moon was clearly a boring place, I mean, it was just holes and holes upon holes and it always seemed ironic to me that we had actually gotten to We discovered the Moon and yet when we saw the Earth rise, we really discovered the Earth.
I think it was one of the best experiences and the things that we brought back from that Apollo 8 flight was really our perspective on the universe and the solar system and how small the body was that we all lived in and it was actually like a ship. space with around 6 billion astronauts, all fighting for the same things in life. On Christmas Eve, the three of you took turns reading the first ten chapters of the book of Genesis, the base of operations of three great religions whose idea was that and where it came from and I suppose you know what trace it left for most people. hearing that that night, well, don't tell me the story that If NASA had told us that we would have the largest audience ever with a human voice on Christmas Eve and the only instructions we received from NASA and can you imagine that What we heard tonight was a risk, but I knew we were in this cyborg and I asked him and he went to one of his friends, Joe Leighton, who was a journalist and I guess they stayed up all night trying to figure something out and finally Joe's wife came down and said, well, idiots, the answer is in the first 10 verses of Genesis and we put it on the flight plan.
I went back and asked Jim and Bill about it and everyone I think thought it was appropriate. I can't take any credit because it was Sy and Joe who did it, it was perfect, it worked, yeah. He did it all, not so much as a religious story, but simply to set the somber tone for people who, when humanity first left Earth, know that this flight couldn't have been written by a better screenwriter than it actually was. is. It turned out to be and it was a huge coincidence that we determined the time that we had to go to the moon, the time was December 21st, we were in orbit around the moon on Christmas Eve and those of you who remember that 1968 was a very troubled year in this country with war, murders and riots and yet in the end we were able to go around the moon to do something positive and at the same time come up with a saying that was so appropriate.
In that particular moment I think almost as much as anything else that plays over and over again, you hear Neil say it's one small step, but you also hear the Genesis reading and you see these images, this was of a flight that never happened. landed. the stage is okay, we're almost to the end, so we have a couple of microphones here, yeah, I had a thing here that we were on, I owe it to these guys, well let me finish one thing, we'll let you guys have a chance to to ask some questions we will have 50 or 20 minutes and I'm sorry, bill, we were around the moon, we were going to do the burn to exit from behind and we were going to do it out of sight of the radars and telemetry of the Earth and Coming back to the same about the time signal that if we made a successful combustion we would leave behind the moon early, but if the engine didn't like it and we were going to reach permanent monuments to the ECLAC of madness, there would be a clear difference in time and One of my jobs was to point the high-gain antenna whenever we approached and make sure it was pointed at the ground when we left.
The engine was burning perfectly and you could see it. the moon was moving away we were taking pictures and I forgot so we went out and about the time we would have had radio contact if we hadn't orbited I thought it was an old antenna and it flipped over I guess so although Louisville says it there was a Santa Claus. There was a lot of heart failure down here, so I want to tell you that I owe it to all of you. They are drinking. I am buying. There is one. There is one more. I'm sorry about that burn.
I've never repeated it before, but it's dicks in my mind. When I think about the flight, you know, when we were getting ready to make it burn, Louisville had to press the button that started the countdown, so the engine with it and we're getting ready and the time is getting closer and the levels went down. He put the finger, looks at me and says: are you sure you want to do this? Remember exactly, actually, the computer said about five seconds before the recording started, a number came up that essentially said, you know, are you really sure you want to do this? do this and I was ready to put it Borman says punch the book I was reaching out to punch well there's a couple of questions before we go out to the hearing and I'm not sure how we're going to do this but there's a microphone over here and I think than one over here, so if you have a burning question and go ahead and get in line there, we'll come to you in just a minute.
I want to hear a couple of things I think. We need to talk here about what you guys think now about going back to the Moon. We have a program that will take us back there and then the discussion will continue tomorrow Sunday and it is a good agreement. We've been going 40 years, we kept the program running well. Frankly, I was a little disappointed that the canceled Skylab, the shuttles so fast, would have been a spectacular vehicle, but it has been expensive. Someday we will return to the Moon. You know, NASA seems like I have a good plan in my life, but keep in mind that we don't have a Cold War.
The Cold War was a major stimulus for Apollo, and as much as everyone wants a good Hubble photo and to explore the moon again, I don't. I don't think we'll get the same groundswell of taxpayer support for going to Mars, it's a long road, Chuck Berry, and I think the guys and gals will be out of shape when they get there, but not really, I hope so. when we finally figure out how to go to Mars and I think it will be considerably longer than what I've heard, we could do it not as Americans speaking Chinese or some nonsense like that, but we could do it as humans going from our home planet to the next planet and that Even that doesn't seem to be happening right.
I'm going to do it. I don't entirely agree with that. I think there is a lot of cooperation now with many of the countries working together and we believe that will be the case on the vehicle, but the short-term problem at the moment is the fact that in Germany the transport system will be out of service and we are going to rely on the Russians for maybe the next four or five years to supply the space station and hopefully the space station is complete because I think the modules, if there are any left to put there, can only be installed by the orbiters and so it's probably a short-term issue that we're looking at right now Frank, well, I think there's Jim and Doraemon.
I'm glad I was at NASA just in the period I was there, we had the motivation and the leadership. with President Johnson and Jim Webb and we had talent here and we got the job done. I think going to Mars will be a very long-term project. Now I worry when I read about the turmoil and NASA about whether we chose the right booster to go back to the moon or not. I can't imagine that happening and the NASA I knew I think probably dr. von Braun got shot I guess you know I'm an older guy at ini and I'm probably more skeptical about what we might be building windmills instead of one big enough.
You need me on the last question. When I asked myself. with going to the audience, you three, myself for the critics, I was born during the Depression, how did that affect the way you thought about things? And when they entered this big world of technology, it was quite a journey from where they started to where they got to. I finished Jim, well, I feel very lucky, of course, I was born in 1928, just before the depression, and I lived through the depression as a child, I didn't have a lot of money, whereas my father, at a very young age, couldn't. go to college try try you know I couldn't go I didn't have the money to go to college until I got into a naval aviation program an ROTC program that eventually led me to the Academy that's how I got my education and it's Sort of I did things I always dreamed of but never thought I would get there.
I was always interested in rockets and suddenly there I was. I was a naval aviator and something I wanted to do too. The two things came together in the space program. and I was in the original selection back in 1958 for the Merck regional people and there were three of us, two of us and Pete and I were there in the picanha and we didn't make it, so I was very disappointed and then when Jimmy showed up then they selected me, so I feel happy. I think I had a very good career after the depression and the conditions I was in to where I am now.
Well, me, Jarett Jim, and my experience are more or less the same, we are much older than Bill. However, it's depression for people who can't remember, it was a sobering experience, we grew up in Tucson, very poor. I didn't have the money to go to college, so I volunteered to enlist them and he couldn't. Write it down, you were drafted into the military because they had the GI Bill, but in the meantime, through the cork, I got a third olive date at West Point and there are other green guys. I had to get signed or quit or something like that and I was there and it was just I feel very lucky, but you know, we didn't have health insurance, we didn't have my job, my dad didn't have a job, I had successes like in the West, so It was a different world from people's expectations.
The days of the day are so much more than our job and the strange thing is that an adult like that in Arizona and never really felt it because everyone else was in the same boat. I don't have experience of depression, in fact, they are much older. or maybe I'm convinced, I guess I don't remember, but my father was in the Navy in China when the Sino-Japanese War broke out, so I was there and my mother and I had a hard time escaping from Nan Cable and was being raped and burned, you know, a military career for me, following my father into the naval academy, but then jumping ship, going to the Air Force and chasing the Russians across the Arctic Ocean, so for me everything is like everyone else others do things.
I just fell a step later and, frankly, I was very surprised that I was selected for the show, but I was totally fine, okay, there are some light moments that I have a hard time watching, but I see some people in front of the microphone. Here are questions for Franklin Jim and Bill. I'd like to start with a pretty provocative question after Frank mentioned towing him. Was there an odor problem? or he did that to dispel. There was more. I swore I won't say what else. There is definitely an odor problem there and because of the fire they put in some oxygen masks and even though the button is gone, I thought I don't care what they say, I'm not going to take that oxygen mask and slap it.
So don't throw up here, yeah, is there any possible way to compare G forces to any other G forces? Anything else in your experience is comparative G forces that you can experience with zero gravity in a pool just go down to the deep end and go over the ladder and blow the air out and just float there and that's what zero feels like or getting into a plane and you're a fighter pilot and 9 G, I mean, um I I mean high G forces, high G forces, I don't know any other way and get high like a fourth guy, you know, something in a centrifuge where they swing , you get there, it's nice to be quite powerful here.
I was wondering after being the first humans to see the moon at such a close distance, did your thoughts about it change somehow, did its size change? His thoughts changed somewhat about the moon seeing it so close, well, personally, my thoughts haven't changed much. Many times people ask me if you are closer to God by being 240,000 miles away and I always say no because God is also here on earth, he is out there around the moon, so my philosophy, my thoughts have not changed. I feel the same about my space flights. I was a little influenced by Arthur Clarke's 2001, where there were sharp corners on the moon.
Let me tell you, it's sanded. It's okay on this side. It's somewhat related. It's a generational issue. My aunts. and my uncles are from their generation and when I talk to them about the program I have the feeling that, in a way, Apollo 8 was the biggest paradigm shift because for people of my generation and many of us who were five years old when you went to the moon, It has been done, today we live in a different world because that has been done and everythingwhat the moon used to be the unattainable um, how was your sense inside?
Was there any sense of things just changing in the perspective of everything? world stage and/or the show's focus was entirely on the landing. I was thinking it was something like Columbus, we just didn't land on Hispaniola. Apollo 8 was American, it changes where you go, we had only done Earth orbit flights in all the Soviet people. Union of the United States and now, suddenly, we had plowed new ground, we pioneered a new flight, we went to a place that never existed and no one had been before we saw the far side of the Moon, which we never see from the Land. this was the pioneering Apollo II flight my thoughts where we beat the Russians no, I'm serious that day the mission was accomplished because Paul took the momentum out of his program and that's why he was at NASA that's it and that's it what did we do maybe I I think when I'm not like porticos bill when we are Neil Armstrong stuck that flag on the moon in a sense the Apollo program was over that's what Lyndon and Kennedy wanted Apollo to do and sure it worked for a while but It was like he continued his own momentum and we beat the Russians, but you see, there is a difference of opinion.
I'm a Navy guy, two Air Force guys, all of a sudden we started looking at the scientific approach to what we're dealing with. Doing which was really what sold the program even though it was a race between the Soviet Union and us and I agree that may be the main reason why even President Kennedy made that announcement earlier, but the approach scientist at the thirteenth moment arrived. The scientific community came out of nowhere and said, "Okay, we've been to the Moon, we've achieved our goal, now let's get some return on our investment, let's start looking from twelve onwards to do the scientific work and there it is." where". the change it made was for us to go and do it as a scientific program.
I'm skeptical about science. You know, you hear all the people talking about science. It's science. In the space program. I don't know if I mean. on the space station I still don't know what they're going to do, then I read that they have kids who send little fish to see if they float upside down and like that science, I'm not sure they know what to do with I can just hear Let's steal. I can hear your father whispering in Kennedy here. They have a gabbro breccia near this crater. We should go together. Yes, you will have to be quite practical about it and the reason why you are going. going to Mars and so on is due to the inquisitive nature of human beings I don't know it's because of science I agree with that it will be thank you sir yes but he doesn't have the puppy he doesn't have don't try to justify it because you had fish floating upside down well no they were oops they were here on this microphone I'm 43 years old and the Apollo program left an indelible mark on my childhood I remember seeing those shots on television and you were the superheroes to me, it sounds a little strange, but it was true.
My question is the materials, not the devices, the tools that you brought with you, like you had duct tape for Paul 30 to help you. Put those filters on, did you just get this or does it say we need a roll of duct tape? What other tools did you have? Do you have a wrench just in case I'm really curious about this because I think you know the weight was an issue. You put a lot of thought into these tools and things, a trait that is explained, which to me would be great, thanks, doesn't everyone have duct tape?
Very fortunately we had it on 13 and we didn't have it on 8. maybe we didn't have it underneath, but the tools were normally there of course, then throughout our training we explained what we needed to operate in space, we had scissors . I think we had several other tools that we would use in our food situations and things like that. I actually wanted to bring the screwdriver and they wouldn't let me do it first. Start taking something apart here one afternoon or evening, gentlemen, thank you very much for being here when I found out. that were here this was like Christmas morning for my little boy coming home and I got to see the Apollo 8 astronauts and I just want you to know I'm a school teacher at a Pflugerville high school and I brought a select group of my students. here we are going to return to the moon and those students over there are the ones who are going to walk on the moon in 10 years and it is thanks to you, gentlemen, and I want to thank you.
My question is several years ago. John Glenn had to get back on the space shuttle and go back to outer space and I wonder if any of you three would get on board before we removed the shuttle and get back there when you sent it. I wrote a letter to the manager telling him I was ready to go and he wrote back saying I was too young, time has changed, Bill, yes Jim, well you know my age, I think I would be very hesitant to accept a position to return to the space. When there are so many young people much more talented than me now who could do a much better job, you have to remember that putting someone into Earth orbit to the station or on a shuttle is a very expensive proposition and you have to make the most of that gentleman or lady to do it to take me back to space and I don't have thirty million dollars to go there, so I think I would read the line if he did.
I think Glenn's flight on the shuttle was purely political and I don't think you should have people on the honor crew unless they have a mission. The idea that you're going to learn anything about aging in space was rubbish. This is Texas. Be careful what you say about science, thank you, gentlemen. Frank always beats around the bush. I tell you this. I don't remember the first administrator. I spoke to you for the first time about sending a journalist to space and we haven't been able to do that. However, I have some candidates here. I remember talking to Walter Cronkite about this and he said, you know, I think after NASA fixes their pipelines, mine isn't going to work and I'm starting to get that point now too, but I think.
We should have a journalist there one of these days and maybe a poet and so on, those seats are expensive from what I understand, but the one thing I think we're seeing tonight is that people have paid for this love to know what it is. are happening and have often been excluded, for example, tonight I hear some things for the first time. I think that's good and it's obvious that you can't tell everything that happens every minute during something that is complicated and sometimes dangerous. in space, but it is, but I think there should be ways for American taxpayers to take a closer look and sending a journalist is one of them anyway, that's my opinion too.
I think you're wrong, but that's okay, I don't. I know, I don't know anything that hasn't been published, they televised us, we have this, we have it. I think it is the most open program that has ever been developed. I'm very proud of that. Well, I agree with you and them. Let it all depend on this case, even there, even its failures, it's a dangerous business and I think one mistake that NASA made, frankly, was blowing up a school teacher, you know, and it just happened to coincide with the tragedy of that script and therefore return to the moon or is.
You are not going to be, for a long time, with your grandchildren, even where it will be safe enough to put the schoolteachers and the poets there, and the idea of putting the schoolteachers there and killing them, since it is a crazy, it wasn't the right idea. According to that, well, I only killed one, didn't I? Just one, that's enough. I agree with that too. One last question. They are giving me the signal that we must end this. It has been a wonderful evening, but yes, sir or madam. I can't tell you, um, it's like Christmas Eve morning for me too, waking up and finding all the presents and when I found out you were coming, he really had to see it, so I wanted you to sign the book for me, that Kranz gene. already signed I said here, I know if you will sign in his book gene Kranz already signed failure is not so ideal good night can we say this anyway thank you all for coming tonight I need these guys thank you
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact