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ORAC
2nd Oct 2006, 05:07
The Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,170-2384628,00.html): One small word is one giant sigh of relief for Armstrong

IT WAS the perfect quote to match a momentous occasion. As Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon in 1969, a global audience of 500 million people on Earth watched and listened with bated breath.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” they heard him say as he dropped from the ladder of his spacecraft to make the first human footprint on the lunar surface.

But from the moment he said it, and for 37 years since, debate has raged over whether the Nasa astronaut might have fluffed his lines. Mr Armstrong has long insisted that he meant to say “one small step for a man . . .” — which would have been a more meaningful and grammatically correct version, free of tautology. But even the astronaut himself could not be sure. “Damn, I really did it. I blew the first words on the Moon, didn’t I?” he is reported to have asked officials later, amid uncertainty as to whether he had blown the moment or simply been drowned out by static interference as his words were relayed 250,000 miles back to Earth.

Now, after almost four decades, the spaceman has been vindicated. Using high-tech sound analysis techniques, an Australian computer expert has rediscovered the missing “a” in Mr Armstrong’s famous quote. Peter Shann Ford ran the Nasa recording through sound-editing software and clearly picked up an acoustic wave from the word “a”, finding that Mr Armstrong spoke it at a rate of 35 milliseconds — ten times too fast for it to be audible. Mr Ford’s findings have been presented to Nasa officials in Washington and to a relieved Mr Armstrong, who issued a statement saying: “I find the technology interesting and useful. I also find his conclusion persuasive.”

Mr Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who stepped out seconds after him, landed the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module on the Moon on July 20, 1969. In the tense six hours and forty minutes between touching down and stepping out, Mr Armstrong wrote what he knew would become arguably the most memorable words in history. But Nasa was bombarded with inquiries and the recordings were hastily reviewed. The space agency backed Mr Armstrong’s claim that there should have been an “a”, but they agreed that, on official documents, the “a” should be placed in brackets because no one could be sure he said it.

In his official biography, First Man, Mr Armstrong tells the author James Hansen: “It doesn’t sound like there was time for the word to be there. On the other hand, I didn’t intentionally make an inane statement . . . certainly the ‘a’ was intended, because that’s the only way the statement makes any sense.” Professor Hansen said: “Neil’s not got much of an ego, he’s a very modest man, but I think this really means something to him to have the proof.”

Officials at Nasa have met Mr Ford to discuss his findings. They have now instructed their own analysts to run in-house tests.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
2nd Oct 2006, 11:26
...but the problem is the analisys found that he said "one-a small step for man..." :}

Paranoid Parrot
2nd Oct 2006, 17:53
Listen to what he says again. He doesn't actually say 'one giant leap for mankind', he says 'one vast leap for mankind'. :=

Flying Lawyer
2nd Oct 2006, 19:52
It’s interesting how much controversy has been generated by what astronauts have said from space.

Buzz Aldrin, who stepped onto the moon seconds after Armstrong, had taken with him a tiny communion kit that had a tiny silver chalice and wine vial about the size of his finger tip. He’d intended to read a Communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute, NASA asked him not to do so and he reluctantly agreed.

Instead, while on the moon, he radioed:
"Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way."

He wrote later that, in the radio blackout, he opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and wine, and poured the wine into the tiny chalice his church had given him.
”In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit’. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility.
It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements."

The reason Aldrin was asked not to read the passage over the radio was that NASA was being sued by (mad) Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the militant atheist, because of something that happened during the first manned lunar flight the preceding December (1968).

William Anders radioed: "For all the people on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you."

Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and he then each read some verses from Genesis:
"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth …………………….."

Borman then read a prayer for world peace,
and concluded ”And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."


I remember it as a very moving moment, a feeling shared by millions (regardless of religious beliefs or none) - but not by O'Hair who filed a lawsuit against NASA, attempting to prevent it from making any public display of religion in space, and seeking an injunction prohibiting it from 'further directing or permitting religious activities or ceremonies, and especially reading of the Bible, and from prayer recitation in space in relation to all future space-flight activity.'
With the lawsuit pending, NASA decided to play it safe.

O'Hair alleged that NASA had ordered the reading from Genesis, but it was actually the idea of a friend of Borman’s.
When it was known the first manned lunar flight was going to orbiting the moon on Christmas Eve/early Christmas Day, the crew was asked to do something special for the event. Numerous suggestions were made and, when the idea was suggested of reading the opening verses from Genesis, the crew agreed it was perfect. At their request, the passage was incorporated into their Flight Plan.

O'Hair didn’t pursue her lawsuit and it was eventually formally dismissed: O’Hair v Paine 397 U.S. 531 (1970)


FL

BOFH
2nd Oct 2006, 20:47
Flying Lawyer

Fascinating!

She alleged that NASA had ordered the reading from Genesis
That's because Elvis was not yet dead.

She's off my card list this year, then. Not because she's a fellow atheist, but a killjoy.

BOFH

BlooMoo
2nd Oct 2006, 21:00
and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth
...and if you have a CD of Michael Jackson's History you can hear those words on the intro, although the religious connotation isn't apparent. Either way, it's interesting and depressing that arguably mankind's greatest achievement to date was (and still is?) contaminated with the poison (I don't use the word lightly) of religious belief.

BM:ugh:

Bluesteel705
2nd Oct 2006, 21:14
Either way, it's interesting and depressing that arguably mankind's greatest achievement to date was (and still is?) contaminated with the poison (I don't use the word lightly) of religious belief.
BM:ugh:

Thats a little harsh isnt it? I'm not religious myself but I respect the rights of others to be religious should they wish. To say the space flights were 'Contaminated' by 'poison' after they simply read a few lines from the bible is perhaps a little vehement? They werent forcing anyone to be religious, they were simply moved by the occasion of seeing earth from space and were thankful for it in their own way. Live and let live.

Heliport
2nd Oct 2006, 21:39
She's off my card list this year, then. Not because she's a fellow atheist, but a killjoy.
The last card list O'Hare was on was at the morgue.

She turned out to be a fraudster (as well as a publicity-loving killjoy) who many years later was murdered by another crook. Her frauds only came out after her death.

I remember Borman saying in an interview later the crew just did what they felt was appropriate, and had no idea that the verses they read from Genesis and the prayer for peace in the universe had such an impact on people who heard it - until they returned to Earth and saw the mail that was pouring in from all over the world thanking them for their inspiring message.
I can't remember the total - some fantastic figure - but I remember him saying that, at its peak, it reached over 29,000 letters of thanks for their message in a single week!

tony draper
2nd Oct 2006, 22:16
What was a worse obsenity the plaque left by the first luna astronauts has the name of a politician upon it.
The worste Faux Pas re radio coms was commited by Collins who was still in orbit,when Nixon phoned and congratulated Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface Collins chipped in with "And don't forget one in the Command Module",which sounded very petulant, what he meant was he also wanted to add his concratulations to the pair on the surface but because of the time delay it sounded like he wanted the President to congratulate him as well.
:rolleyes:

BlooMoo
2nd Oct 2006, 22:28
Bluesteel,

I agree with you actually - my angst is that even this event (as I said, arguably mankind's greatest to date) was nevertheless exploited by a militant (mad-someone-or-other) who chose to grind an axe on the bullshit legitimacy of religious belief as justification.

Atheist or not, O'Hair's voice was heard and listened to because of religion. Belief in the existince or otherwise of a god is and was irrelevant - it's the decision to exploit the beliefs of others for personal gain that sticks in the craw.

Now, decades later, where do we hear this kind of crap again and again?

BM:sad:

AcroChik
2nd Oct 2006, 22:44
Thanks to those who've posted such interesting anecdotes about man's various visits to the moon. Fascinating stuff.

The question of religion associated with this, I think, points to the core of American life. In general, Americans are religious people ~ at least in the outward going to church sense ~ moreso than, let's say, Europeans. Yet, the framing documents of our country stipulate a clear separation between the church (whether it be a literal church, a mosque or a synagogue, whathaveyou) and the state.

Some people feel quite passionatly ~ as passionatly as others believe in God ~ that government endeavours, such as flying to the moon, ought to be kept totally separate from religion, as the Bill of Rights quite clearly states. Conflicts arise. They happened back then, are happening now, and no doubt will continue on into the future.

Do I think some of the controversy created on both sides is trivial to the point of silliness? Oh, yes! Do I want it to go away? Oh, no! From my point of view ~ and I know many others have perfectly valid opinions otherwise ~ as long as the debate goes on the underlying ideas of our nation remain vibrant. In the course of the debate there's bound to be some foolishness.

Still ~ I find all these anedotes about spacefilight completely fascinating and thank all who knew of and posted them. Great work :ok:

Ace Rimmer
3rd Oct 2006, 07:26
Of course there is a school of thought that contends that the first words spoken from the moon wern't "one small etc" or "Houston Tranquility Base here.. (both Neil) But actually "Contact light...engine stop..." (Aldrin). Of course not as grand in the historical sense or dramatic in the theatrical sense.:ok:

tony draper
3rd Oct 2006, 08:38
Well it could be argued with Aldrin having his hand one eighth of a inch from the large red abort button ready to hit the tit that would have blasted them instantly back skywards should the lander start to tilt,that they were not actualy landed until the engine was cut,besides standing in the cabin they were still about ten foot above the surface,so technically they weren't actually on it until Armstrong stepped out.
:rolleyes:

chuks
3rd Oct 2006, 11:13
It's kind of interesting, people off on a high-tech trip still holding fast to their traditional beliefs, quoting scripture and performing religious ceremonies.

I think, given that someone has taken such a risk we might as well give them the leeway to follow their beliefs, so long as that doesn't include 'chunkin' snakes.'

Madelaine Murray O'Hare did seem a bit of a kill-joy, yes, but I think she also performed a useful function in moving the States off dead-centre in thoughtlessly going down the 'One Nation Under God' road without bothering to think of the rights of agnostics, atheists, pagans and what-not. I await the first speech from a Pastafarian on the way to Mars, perhaps.

whiz
3rd Oct 2006, 11:24
Well it could be argued with Aldrin having his hand one eighth of a inch from the large red abort button ready to hit the tit that would have blasted them instantly back skywards should the lander start to tilt,that they were not actualy landed until the engine was cut,besides standing in the cabin they were still about ten foot above the surface,so technically they weren't actually on it until Armstrong stepped out.
:rolleyes:

Assuming of course that they actually did land on the moon :}

tony draper
3rd Oct 2006, 11:33
Ahoy Mr Whiz, long time no see,still flying kites I see.:rolleyes:
One thinks in the case of the Apollo Moon Landing Program NASA figured out there were so many people involved it was going to be a lot cheaper to actually do it than fake it.
:cool:

The SSK
3rd Oct 2006, 11:34
Assuming of course that they actually did land on the moon :}

It was faked, in the deserts of Southern Arabia. Neil Armstrong's words were actually 'One small step for Oman...'

whiz
3rd Oct 2006, 11:36
Ahoy Mr Whiz, long time no see,still flying kites I see.:rolleyes:
One thinks in the case of the Apollo Moon Landing Program NASA figured out there were so many people involved it was going to be a lot cheaper to actually do it than fake it.
:cool:

Ahoy yer good self Mr draper, I hadn't figured on a sensible reply effectively nullifying my bait .. damn you :8

Flying Lawyer
3rd Oct 2006, 21:13
chuks

Whether or not Madalyn Murray O'Hair performed a "useful function" is obviously a matter of opinion, but she was more than just a killjoy. She was a liar and a thief on a grand scale - although that was only discovered following her disappearance in 1995 and a subsequent investigation into her murder.

Her motives were, at the very least, questionable.
In 1959 she applied for Soviet citizenship. Having received no reply, she travelled to Paris the following year, turned up at the Soviet embassy with her two sons and offered to 'defect' The Soviets declined her offer.
It was only then that she started her campaign against Christianity.

She returned to Baltimore and began her lawsuits - of a similar nature to the one mentioned above - and, in 1963, won an important 8:1 victory in the Supreme Court against the Baltimore School District in which it was successfully argued on her behalf that it was unconstitutional for her son to be required to participate in Bible readings at Baltimore public schools.
She falsely claimed her son had been subjected to violence by other children for refusing to take part in Bible readings and that the school authorities turned a blind eye - claims the son was later to reveal she fabricated.

Flushed with Supreme Court success, she continued her lawsuits throughout the 1970s, becoming even more controversial in her opinions, and regularly hitting the headlines by the well-used, but always successful, device of saying things designed to shock.
Although it wasn't known at the time, she was quietly amassing a fortune from the monies contributed to the 'cause' by people who shared her views.

The Texas Atheist, in an article describing O'Hair as the biggest problem facing atheists in the United States, claimed she was not fit to be called any sort of "atheist-heroine": "The stories told to me in Austin by those who had personal contact with Madalyn make one wonder how anyone could ever look to her for leadership ......... The most frequently mentioned aspect of Madalyn was her dishonesty." The article referred to the disappearance of $8 million.
That turned out to be an under-estimate. Her eldest son later revealed it was tens of millions and that, as early as 1978, she kept multiple secret accounts around the world. The Murray-O'Hairs' legal inquisitor found a phone log featuring numbers of Swiss banks but, in those days and even now to a lesser extent, inquiries come to an halt at the doors to Swiss banks.

She was disowned by various leading atheist organisations because she was so extreme. They had some common cause, but not in her obsessive hatred of Christians. It's not difficult to understand why they disowned her if one considers, for example, her reaction in 1980 when one of her sons became a Christian: "One could call this a post-natal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess. I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times...He is beyond human forgiveness."
She never spoke to him again.

I think I'll settle for people "off on a high-tech trip" who quote a few verses from the Bible and say a prayer for world peace. ;)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
3rd Oct 2006, 21:25
Assuming of course that they actually did land on the moon :}


I know an astronomer who works at Jodrell Bank radio telescope in Cheshire. In the late '60s he was a new guy there, but he saw that big, steerable dish used to track the Apollo spacecraft, and to monitor data and voice transmissions from the craft. He attests it was very real.

"So it happened - unless", he adds with a twinkling smile, "I am part of the conspiracy. You'll never know!":}

G-CPTN
3rd Oct 2006, 21:31
She falsely claimed her son had been subjected to violence by other children for refusing to take part in Bible readings and that the school authorities turned a blind eye.
I blame the bible 'bashers'!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
4th Oct 2006, 01:01
she was quietly amassing a fortune from the monies contributed to the 'cause' by people who shared her views.
ironic then that she should join the ranks of Swaggart, the PTL guy, that one we had in Dallas with the hair - Tilton and . . .

The point is that the space race was funded with public money that everyone regardless of their beliefs were forced to contribute. That's the reason why religious messages were inappropriate.

This of course is another reasonI think, given that someone has taken such a risk we might as well give them the leeway to follow their beliefs, so long as that doesn't include 'chunkin' snakes.' no offence intended there btw chucks

Here's another reason, the plaque on the side of Voyager that mankind put there as a communication to aliens has pictures of two naked humans . . with no genitals :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: Whose ide do you think THAT was? Scientists?

CarltonBrowne the FO
5th Oct 2006, 07:36
A friend of mine was working in computers at the time of the Moon landings. He was convinced at the time (and for some years afterwards) that the whole thing was faked, because the computer aboard the LEM was more powerful than the computer he worked on at a University- which occupied two floors of the building!
By the time the ZX81 came out (more powerful than either I think) he had realised his mistake... :O

slim_slag
5th Oct 2006, 09:25
Here's another reason, the plaque on the side of Voyager that mankind put there as a communication to aliens has pictures of two naked humans . . with no genitals :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: Whose ide do you think THAT was? Scientists?The earlier plaques on the sides of the pioneer probes showed genitals, voyager didn't have a plaque, but it had the 'golden record' with encoded pictures stored on it.

There is a picture of a male and female (with foetus) encoded on the voyager record, and I think you are correct in saying that the naughty bits were not shown after non-scientific pressure was applied. However there is also a picture showing vertebrate evolution, and that picture does have the required detail, so Sagan obviously sneaked one in anyway.

As far as I am concerned Christianity stopped being science when Copernicus demonstrated the earth went round the sun. The Eagle was a vehicle of scientific discovery representing the whole of mankind (as the plaque on the side states), not a pulpit for a minority. Better that a brave explorer like Aldrin keep his personal thoughts on this subject to himself.

Flying Lawyer
5th Oct 2006, 13:22
Christianity stopped being science when Copernicus demonstrated the earth went round the sunIt's interesting that, although Copernicus demolished a scientific system which had been accepted universally for over a thousand years, it didn't diminish his religious beliefs. He held a position in the church (Roman Catholic, I think) just below bishop.

"The Eagle was ......... representing the whole of mankind etc"
What Borman said, and Aldrin would have if allowed, was also for the whole of mankind - but I understand your point (even though I don't share your view ;) .)
______________________________

Buzz Aldrin showing that, despite his religious convictions, he's not perfect and there are limits to human endurance:
http://www.csicop.org/articles/20021018-aldrin/anim.gif

Full video Here (http://www.csicop.org/articles/20021018-aldrin/)
It's very short.
Sound required for the accusation - and for maximum enjoyment of the response! :)

Scene: Outside a hotel in Beverly Hills in 2002
A journo who's made a career out of stalking the astronauts eventually, after many years, provoked a response from Aldrin - although not one he expected.
He accuses them of being thieves by accepting payment for talks about the moon landing - which he alleges NASA faked and didn't happen.The journo took the video to the police but the LA County DA declined to file charges. :ok:
Aldrin was about 72 at the time.


FL

XXTSGR
5th Oct 2006, 13:36
A little-known story about Armstrong and Aldrin on lift-off from the moon got my interest many years ago.

Apparently Aldrin was generally considered to be the finest mathematical brain ever to go into space. During the process of re-docking with the command module, computer was giving read-out of the distance to go. Aldrin was not convinced. Naturally, against just a black background it's very difficult to tell distance. Aldrin queried the read-out with NASA, who confirmed they were getting the same numbers, so it must be right.

Aldrin, still not convinced, checked out all three windows, and measured the angles. He then did a 3-dimensional Pythagoras calculation in his head, and came up with an answer less than a third that which the computer was showing. He slammed the brakes on (or the equivalent) and, but for his quick reaction, the LM would have slammed into the CM and that would have been all she wrote. He was right, and the computers were wrong. Apparently the same program was running in the LM and at NASA, with the same error in it.

Another interesting snippet is that, of the 12 men who have walked on the moon, 10 were former Boy Scouts. Armstrong was that proud of having got his "Eagle Scout" award (equivalent of Queen's Scout in the UK) that he named the LM "Eagle". Hence the name.

Capt. Queeg
5th Oct 2006, 13:57
No plaques on the Voyager spacecraft, I or II... But there was one on the sides of each of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft.

I hate to be sexist but the one that looks like a man is packing what looks like a complete set of genitalia, albeit somewhat small if you ask me. Obviously for fear of alienating orientals and Englishmen.

You can't see much on the woman but she might simply be, er um.... "tidy".

Although it was launched in the 70s, NASA obviously figured the aliens would find it and arrive on Earth sometime in the 90s-2000s or so because they've depicted today's Brazilian-style woman..... always ahead of the game, those rocket-men. :ok:

slim_slag
5th Oct 2006, 14:09
Who knows FL, back in those days it was probably easier for inquisitive men to be a member of the Church to gain access to the required equipment or education to make these discoveries. The Vatican has it's own observatory and no doubt they knew the earth went around the sun long before it was published by Copernicus, and they knew it would get out eventually. Religion was definitely about control and power back then (still is, IMO) and it would be important to manage the release of news of such magnitude to the great unwashed who the church oversaw. Better for a scientist who could be controlled by the Church to let it out rather than somebody from outside who might not speak "on message".

So what if Copernicus was high up in the church. The Bishop of Durham very famously said he didn't believe in the resurrection, and no doubt he was a career man and quite liked being a bishop. People who quite liked being scientists might just want to go through the motions at church on Sunday just so they could spend the rest of the week looking through telescopes. So maybe Copernicus held religious beliefs, maybe he didn't. He wouldn't have been able to say he believed in Genesis chapter one, and that was a religious belief at the time.

Was Aldrin really speaking for all mankind? I'd rather he didn't, I can speak for myself on matters of faith thankyou very much, as can the billions who don't share Aldrin's beliefs. That's one of the problems with these "organised" religion types, too many of them think they know what's best for the rest of us.

XXTSGR
5th Oct 2006, 14:29
Voyager's plaque is http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/images/VoyagerCover.jpg_2big.gif

Pioneer's plaque is http://www.daviddarling.info/images/PioneerPlaque2.gif

Tricky Woo
5th Oct 2006, 14:51
Nope, the Church really did believe (along with everyone else) that the Sun and everything else went around the Earth. That's what the Ancients thought, and no one in their right mind questioned that the Ancients were a smart bunch and had it right.

The likes of Copernicus and Gallileo were regarded as cranks, to be honest. It was only when their maths started to show some real evidence that the Church and others sat up and took proper notice. Ironically, the Church even encouraged further investigations to begin with. It was only after a rethink bearing in mind the vested theological interests that a sun-centric solar system would rattle, that the Church deemed all suggestion and investigations as being heretical.

TW

slim_slag
5th Oct 2006, 15:38
Galileo came after Copernicus and Galileo was indeed persecuted by The Church. Popes change and so do the politics of Rome. Copernicus wasn't persecuted and could be said to have been encouraged, perhaps he was an acceptable messenger of the Church in his time? Galileo continued the work of Copernicus but obviously wasn't acceptable to the vatican polititians of his time.

Who knows. I just think that suggesting a scientist also happens to be a member of a Church, and that has some real relevence to religious beliefs and science, is wrong.

Ace Rimmer
5th Oct 2006, 15:59
Spent a few hours in lounge chatting to Aldrin once - he was explaining his theroy to use orbital dynamics as a efficent way to get to and from Mars. Now I count myself as 'smarter than the average bear' and have an enginnering-ish education but still took me a lot of thinking to figure out what he was on about and when I did figure it out...it all seemed blindingly obvious..that dude is one smart cookie...no doubt about it.
Mind you I recall hearing that his selection for 11 was a surprise to many in the Astronaut office since he wasn't much cop at playing office politics....that said I also recall hearing that the NASA brass expected 11 to be a wave off and 12 to be the first sucessful landing - which would make a lot of sense since Pete Conrad, Al Bean and Dick Gordon were a much better PR proposition...Then again Deke Slayton's mantra was 'any crew can fly any mission'

Flying Lawyer
5th Oct 2006, 20:31
slim_slag

I didn't mean "for" mankind in the sense of 'on behalf of'.

FL

G-CPTN
5th Oct 2006, 21:28
Spent a few hours in lounge chatting to Aldrin once '
Weren't you in the wrong programme?

Flying Lawyer
6th Oct 2006, 00:06
I met Buzz Aldrin at a party about ten years ago. Not for long, and no chance of a one-to-one conversation because, understandably, everyone else wanted to meet him too. I felt it was an honour to meet one of the first men to walk on the moon and, it may seem rather childish, but it gave me quite a thrill - as it obviously gave everyone else who did.
I wish I'd known then about his Communion on the moon, and his intention of saying a short passage from it over the radio back to Earth. I'd like to have told him how wonderful I thought both were.

Thinking about it, and picturing in my mind them standing on the moon, such a momentous moment, always makes me think of the final lines of 'High Flight' by John Gillespie Magee, a Canadian Spitfire pilot killed at the age of nineteen in 1941. He wrote the poem on the back of a letter to his parents, relating how he began it at 30,000 feet and finished soon after landing.


Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth .........And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.


Magee felt moved to write that at 30,000 feet. Perhaps it's not surprising that several astronauts have felt the same way when they actually did trespass in the sanctity of space.

FL

Ace Rimmer
6th Oct 2006, 07:26
FL: it's funny you should mention that, in his book Mike Collins (the other one on 11) argued that perhaps NASA should have considered sending an artist or a poet into space to try and convey the meaning of it all...and he supports his arguement citing High Flight.
As I recall (one of my favorite bits of the book) it was something like "all that from the cockpit of a Spitfire, imagine what he'd have seen from the Command Module".

Mind you Al Bean and Alexei Leonov (1st spacewalker) have both turned to art as a means of expression - Bean's fetch a pretty penny too (they are all a bit moon-centric - I guess they would be an unique perspective and all that)


G-CPTN: That should have been 'a' lounge (as in airport both delayed weather)...obviously the 'a' got lost in transmission. However I'm confident that it will be found if enough analysis is done...probably in about 37 years or so....

Ref your question though...it's just a question of channel surfing fast enough..

slim_slag
6th Oct 2006, 07:51
I didn't mean "for" mankind in the sense of 'on behalf of'.

FLOk, well the only other meaning I can see is he was speaking 'to' mankind. That takes us back to the pulpit thing. Bottom line is Aldrin was a government employee working in a government building. Bringing a minority religion to work is no different from that Alabama judge who hung the ten commandments up in his courtroom. It might make a few of people happy but it offends a lot too, and it's not a government employee's role to make these quasi political statements when he is on the job being paid by the taxpayer.

I realise the early explorers were often missionaries, but not everybody thinks that was a good thing. If you are a situation where the whole world is hanging on your every word a wise man would keep quiet about the stuff that could be construed as missionary work. I can also see why they would come back and turn to religion, the emotional experience of seeing the Earth hanging there must be something those of us who didn't make the trip cannot ever start to understand. However it doesn't mean it is right for the rest of us.

These were incredibly brave men, and I would have no problem with them being given a personal carry on allowance of 100g or so to take personal effects. If Aldrin used his allowance to take something religious which gave him inner strength then that's fine. But it's a personal allowance, and should remain personal.

Anyway, that's a great video you posted and the guy deserved what he got. I read elsewhere that he called Aldrin a coward, and if that is the case I think Aldrin was very restrained in only punching him once. It looks like once was enough though :)

tony draper
6th Oct 2006, 08:38
I am a great admirer of Neil Armstrong, in these days when celebrity is handed out for the most inane of reasons and has become a industry in its own right allbeit a shallow vapid one, he,a man who truly deserved his fame has successfully managed to keep himself in the background, in fact none of the Apollo Astronauts seem to have jumped on the celeb band waggon.
Of course forty yeas ago the media was not peopled by the low life rabble it is now,imagine if the Moon Landing were happening now?
:cool:

Spinflight
6th Oct 2006, 10:02
How very good of you to allow Mr. Aldrin a small allowance.

I bet he's chuffed that you didn't mind!

Ace Rimmer
6th Oct 2006, 10:07
Indeed, Drapes...journos used stickto the 'off the record' concept (probably got better stories as a result)

Anyway, the story goes that Pete Conrad bet an Italian jounalist that he and only he would be the one to choose the word he said when he got to the lunar surface...he went on to tell her what they would be...and duly when he got there (and Keeping in mind he was a bit on the vertically challenged side)
remarked "Whoppee! that may have been a small step for Neil but it was a heck of a jump for me"

I believe that although the journo didn't reveal the bet in her paper (which you can be sure would in the next edition today) she did welch on it ($500 I think)

Flying Lawyer
6th Oct 2006, 11:30
slim_slag

It's probably better for me to give an example of what I meant, rather than attempt a definition.
If someone prays (for example) for world peace, I consider they are praying for all mankind - not necessarily on behalf of all mankind because not everyone wants peace, and not necessarily to mankind.

When Frank Borman prayed over the radio for love in the world and the coming of the day of universal peace, it was for a mixture of all three reasons.
He was one of the lay readers at his home church, St. Christopher’s, somewhere in Texas, and was rostered to read during the Christmas Day services. When NASA made the sudden decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon, he obviously couldn't be there so arranged with another member of the church, Rod Rose who was an engineer at Mission Control, that he'd say a prayer from orbit, Rose would tape it and then play it at church.
That's the explanation for his introduction to the prayer "This is to Rod Rose and the people at St. Christopher’s", and then he adds "actually to people everywhere.”
At the end of the prayer, Mike Collins can be heard quietly adding 'Amen'.
I can't remember if it was broadcast, but Borman then says “I was supposed to lay-read tonight, but I couldn’t quite make it.”
“Roger,” replies Collins. “I think they understand.”

'This is to Rod Rose' - the cue to Rose to start recording
'and the people at St Christopher's' - who were going to be hearing the tape played later that day in the Christmas Day service
'actually to people everywhere' - spontaneous, but, I concede, arguably your pulpit point.

I also concede, although I admire him for it, that what Buzz Aldrin wished to do went further, but I don't regard it as 'quasi-political'. Arguably, praying for world peace could be construed as 'political', but I think that would be an extremely harsh construction.

Re the video, you're right about the 'coward' accusation.
Aldrin repeatedly asked the man (who'd been stalking the astronauts for years, trying to provoke a reaction) to go away.
Final stage of the exchange:
"You're a coward, and a liar, and a thie....." Bang!

Coward? :eek:
An allegation from a man who's achieved nothing in his life except notoriety for pestering the astronauts. :rolleyes:
And said to a man who went up in a rocket, then in the Lunar Module to the moon - with no guarantee they'd be able to get off again and/or be able to dock with the Command Module?
And said by stalker who looks about a foot taller, and was about 30 years younger, than the man he was harassing.
I wonder if he'd be as bold with someone who isn't known for his quiet demeanour.


Ace Rimmer
Thanks - I didn't know Collins had made the same point about Magee and suggested the poet idea.

I suppose, these days, the poet would be instructed not to include anything like Put out my hand and touched the face of God. ;)



FL

BellEndBob
6th Oct 2006, 12:06
Good job is was'nt RAF aircrew manning the first Lunar landing. The first words would probably have been:

'Touchdown, Dogs Knob, Beer anyone'?

Heliport
30th Oct 2006, 19:30
Neil Armstrong was in London last week.

Link HERE (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?p=2936929)