Nixon's Apollo 11 'failure' speech

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Not really news, but this is the first time I've come across it...pretty harrowing stuff, thought it might be of interest to all you Spacers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ch-delivered-Apollo-11-astronauts-return.html

"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."

I guess this was written in the event of a disaster transpiring after Lunar touchdown, as there's no mention of the Command Module pilot - who presumably would be expected to fly the CM back to Earth alone?
 

Oggy

Rear Admiral
I have heard about this but never read it until now
I think, with so many variables and the possibilities for things to go wrong, it made sense to have an alternative speech prepared. I have to confess, I thought the alternative speech was about how it was intended to be a one way trip if anything went wrong.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
As an avid player of KSP, this speech has come up a time or two. In one of his very early tutorial videos (circa v. 0.17, IIRC), he did a successful Mün transfer but decided to go for a direct landing instead of orbiting first, and botched it. He promptly delivered Nixon's speech on their behalf...
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Collins would have flow back alone with the Command Module, yes. Since there was no way to get another lander to the astronauts before the ones on the lunar surface ran out of consumables (less than a week), there would be nothing that could be done for them if their lander failed to lift off from the lunar surface.

That said, Apollo 11 did have a couple of narrow scrapes. During descent, the guidance computer overloaded (it had only 16k of RAM and was trying to process the landing radar returns in order to create a real-time 3D map of the surface below). Armstrong and Aldrin decided to proceed without it. Then, the landing zone was full of large, closely spaced rocks, unsuitable for landing, so Armstrong took manual control and had to move to a new landing site, which took time and precious fuel, resulting in them landing with only about fifteen seconds of fuel to spare. Additionally, when it came time to lift off, they found out that they had accidentally broken off an important switch from the control panel while they were bumping around in their bulky space suits, so Aldrin had to use a ballpoint pen to work the switch.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Collins would have flow back alone with the Command Module, yes. Since there was no way to get another lander to the astronauts before the ones on the lunar surface ran out of consumables (less than a week), there would be nothing that could be done for them if their lander failed to lift off from the lunar surface.

That said, Apollo 11 did have a couple of narrow scrapes. During descent, the guidance computer overloaded (it had only 16k of RAM and was trying to process the landing radar returns in order to create a real-time 3D map of the surface below). Armstrong and Aldrin decided to proceed without it. Then, the landing zone was full of large, closely spaced rocks, unsuitable for landing, so Armstrong took manual control and had to move to a new landing site, which took time and precious fuel, resulting in them landing with only about fifteen seconds of fuel to spare. Additionally, when it came time to lift off, they found out that they had accidentally broken off an important switch from the control panel while they were bumping around in their bulky space suits, so Aldrin had to use a ballpoint pen to work the switch.

Whoa, I wasn't aware of the system overload during the Lunar descent but I did know they ran perilously low on fuel. There must have been some nervous moments before the fired up the LM to go home. As for Collins, he's quoted as saying that one of his biggest fears was for the safety of Armstrong and Aldrin, and that he was dreading a return voyage alone - certainly would have been a lonely trip home.

@capi3101 - you definitely have more patience than me, KSP is an awesome little game but I just find it too frustrating to be rewarding; I only tried for a couple of days but never landed on the Mun successfully. Fantastic game for Apollo enthusiasts and physics buffs though.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Mün landings in KSP definitely are a challenge; I've been playing for about a year now and I still occasionally botch it...
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Whoa, I wasn't aware of the system overload during the Lunar descent but I did know they ran perilously low on fuel.

If you listen to the recording of the descent, or read the transcript, you'll hear Aldrin notifying Armstrong (and Mission Control) of the 1201 and 1202 alarms--these refer to the computer overload. The 1201 alarm was effectively an "out of memory" error.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer#PGNCS_trouble

Check the video here:


The 1202 alarm first comes up just after 05:30.
 
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