October 06, 2008
There are a couple tidbits I did learn that have made me smile. First, I didn't know that the LM on Apollo 10 was sent to orbit the moon without enough fuel to power itself off the moon. The men in charge of the space program knew that if they sent astronauts that close to the moon with the means to land, they would certainly land! To prevent them from jumping ahead in the program, they didn't give them enough gas to leave. And the crew joked that they totally would've tried to land on the moon if they'd been able to.
Second, Neil Armstrong left the LM a full 15 minutes before Buzz Aldrin did. You think that was the longest 15 minutes of anyone's life? Heh. Can you imagine sitting on the moon, waiting your turn?
I always am fascinated by the what-ifs of the space program. What if Ed White's first EVA had failed and he floated away from his Gemini shuttle? What if Apollo 8 failed to break the orbit of the moon and the crew was left to circle the moon for eternity? What if the LM of Apollo 11 crashed and Armstrong and Aldrin had to slowly die on the moon? Would there be a rescue mission to retrieve their bodies? So many what-ifs, and such a marriage of good furtune plus hard work to make it all a success.
I am looking forward to watching the final installment of the show to learn about the more recent missions.
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