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2009 John H. Glenn Lecture
January 2, 2010 11:55 PM   Subscribe

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Annual John H. Glenn Lecture took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Tickets were in high demand for the event, which featured the Apollo 11 astronauts - among others - discussing the past, present, and future of manned spaceflight.

Part 1 - General Jack Dailey, Director, National Air and Space Museum.
Part 2 - Dr. G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
Part 3 - Senator John H. Glenn, Mercury 6 and STS-95 Astronaut.
Part 4 - Chris Kraft, former Johnson Space Center Director, Flight Director for Mercury and Gemini, and Director of Flight Operations during Apollo.
Part 5 - Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 Astronaut.
Part 6 - General Michael Collins, Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 Astronaut.
Part 7 - Neil Armstrong, Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 Astronaut.
posted by futureisunwritten (17 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've been waiting to see Neil Armstrong talk about his experience for such a long time. Thanks for the link!
posted by h00py at 12:55 AM on January 3, 2010


Today I was thinking of how I've seen and done a lot, but one thing I've never done is to see a man step foot on the moon - at least not as a new event. The vast majority of people living on Earth today were not alive during any of the manned moon landings. Three of the twelve men who walked on the moon have already died; the youngest will be 75 years old this year. It's strange to think that before too long, they'll all be gone, and walking on the moon will be part of a past unknown to all but the old.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 12:58 AM on January 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I've been waiting to see Neil Armstrong talk about his experience for such a long time.

It's a pity though, that he doesn't seem ready to do that. Instead of the potted history that he gave in this talk, it would have been so much more interesting to have him just pull up a stool, and tell us about the experience of his flights. He must have a million stories he could tell ...
posted by woodblock100 at 4:07 AM on January 3, 2010


At first I thought that about Armstrong too, but on reflection I think I'm glad he didn't. He has always avoided the spotlight, always avoided making anything about him rather than about the subject itself. If he'd finally given in and started spinning yarns, I think it would've broken my heart a little.
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:28 AM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


skipped to the armstrong lecture of course, but i thought it was great, like he was telling our story and not history :P

the first man to stand on the moon! (so kinda by extension, we all stand with him ;)

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 4:56 AM on January 3, 2010


always avoided making anything about him rather than about the subject itself. If he'd finally given in and started spinning yarns ...

I greatly respect how he has tried not to be the 'hero' all these years - always making it very clear that he was 'just' the point man for the effort put in by many thousands of people. But I think that he has 'paid his dues' on that, and - given that there isn't all that much time left for him to do so - I think it wouldn't be amiss for him to give us a more personal take on his astonishing achievement, one that will not be repeated in our lifetime.
posted by woodblock100 at 6:05 AM on January 3, 2010


apollo wives

(i got to follow along with andrew's travels, travails and editing via his FB updates though I couldn't see these, it says not available in my area)

more in the series

being neil amstrong

for all mankind
posted by infini at 7:35 AM on January 3, 2010


One small step for a man and one giant leap for mankind!
posted by bukvich at 8:06 AM on January 3, 2010


Thanks for the links. I'll be watching these this morning.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:06 AM on January 3, 2010


I watched these when they happened last July (on NASA's hard to get HD service, ha). Be sure to watch Buzz Aldrin's brief presentation on his proposal for spaceflight in the near future. Scrutinize that slide (e.g at 2:15). He's just one voice of many, but that's the consensus for a smart approach to continued manned exploration. Going back to the moon is mostly a waste of time and could frankly be left to the nations now joining the US and Russia in manned space exploration -- China, India, etc. Some parts of the general proposal are unlikely (like stretching out the STS program to one launch per year), but the general idea of 1) L1 and asteroids then 2) Mars orbit then 3) Mars landing is sound.
posted by intermod at 9:05 AM on January 3, 2010


Neil Armstrong also did a 60 Minutes interview back in 2006.
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:27 AM on January 3, 2010


The flip side is that if Armstrong had been a bit more public and enthusiastic, we might have gone back...
posted by A189Nut at 4:10 PM on January 3, 2010


Maybe there are no stories because the trip itself was pretty boring and there is nothing to tell. What's he going to say, I spent 2 years memorizing error codes and practicing for every possible disaster, then got in a closet sized capsule, flew to the moon, got on TV, picked up some rocks and came home. Even Apollo 13 didn't have a lot of action. Watch the Hollywood version and see what I mean. In A13 the astronauts mostly sit there and be quiet so as not to upset things or use up the o2. Really this is exactly like the road trip my family took to Craters of the Moon Park in Idaho when I was 9. We had a breakdown on the side of the road and were it not for improvised tow strap and a helpful pickup truck driver we to might never have returned. Come to think of it. I also brought back rocks. Though not as hilarious in hindsight, my father joked as he emerged from our Chevy Suburban that it was one small step for a man, one giant leap for my little brother (4 year old). I'll also bet that Armstrong never had to ask Aldrin to stop touching him; and Collins never threatened that if they didn't stop fighting he'd just leave them there and they could walk back to Earth. Mostly what I recall was that it was very cold and pretty boring. Initially the mountains and wide open vistas are hauntingly beautiful, but after a few hours it pretty much becomes an are we there yet exercise.
posted by humanfont at 8:13 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


humanfont - one day, I hope that (inter stellar/solar) space travel for homo sapiens will be as annoying and uneventful as your childhood trip.
posted by porpoise at 9:42 PM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's he going to say, I spent 2 years memorizing error codes ...

No, I think he could maybe tell about that time when he was flying Eagle - actually flying it, not just punching in data codes - towards the landing spot, and finding all those rocks in their way, with the fuel gauge red-lining down to zero ...
posted by woodblock100 at 10:46 PM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


with the fuel gauge red-lining down to zero ...
I think that's the story you and I both want to hear about. The *actual* landing (there weren't any cameras to record it for obvious reasons).
posted by GeckoDundee at 6:51 AM on January 5, 2010


there weren't any cameras to record it for obvious reasons

It was indeed recorded - by a camera catching the view through one of the windows of the LEM. Here is the landing sequence, mated with the audio from radio channels.
posted by woodblock100 at 3:53 PM on January 5, 2010


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