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Very little of the thousands of hours of Mission Control audio on the website has been heard or documented. As you find moments of interest, post them here for discussion.

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Topics - Naraht

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16
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=128:20:30&ch=19

Here we have Retro Chuck Deiterich doing some planning with his backroom, Retro Support, who I'm almost certain is Poppy Northcutt. She's widely agreed to have been, on Apollo 8, the first female flight controller. (Albeit not in the MOCR itself.)

She can be heard sporadically through the rest of this shift.

Understandably she got a good bit of press coverage. Later on Jay Greene tells Chuck Deiterich that "your assistant is calling you... your TV star...": https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=135:22:51&ch=20

17
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=022:07:04&ch=50

A computer goes down and they have to restore to a backup from a checkpoint 40 minutes earlier, meaning that 40 minutes of data is lost. A bit of banter ensues with Flight Director Glynn Lunney telling FIDO Jay Greene that "you took [the checkpoint] in the wrong place!" Discussion continues until 022:10:00 or so.

Earlier in the shift, he'd been questioning Greene on the reasons for needing to take checkpoints: https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=019:56:49&ch=20

However, as Greene says to his backroom later, the real incident provided the best illustration of why checkpoints are needed. "We scored on the flight director... it's better than any words of explanation." https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=022:13:21&ch=20

18
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=168:51:48&ch=20

FIDO Jay Greene, age 27, worked the descent shift on Apollo 11 and landed men on the moon. Now, a couple of days later, he's complaining that he doesn't get any cool catchphrases.

"I wish FIDOs had cool things like that to say. 'This is when we commit to MSFN.' The Networks can say 'battle short.' The FIDOs can't say anything but 'checkpoint.'"

"Everybody's got their own thing."

"Yeah, but I don't say mine on the loop."

19
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=134:43:51&ch=20

So says FIDO Jay Greene to RETRO Chuck Deiterich.

"It's not the only one running," replies Deiterich.

"Yeah, but it's the only one they're going to play back."

If the 'word' did end up getting recorded, I haven't been able to find it yet!

20
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=098:08:19&ch=20

FIDO Jay Greene tells himself that someday he'll learn to love Retros, but we know that he never did. He abolished the role, I think when he became branch chief of the flight dynamics branch which would have been at the beginning of the 80s. Per his oral history:

"I decided I didn’t need RETROs. Didn’t matter whether you were going forward or backwards, one trajectory guy was all we needed. That’s in my autobiography. I got rid of the RETROs. John Llewellyn hasn’t spoken to me since, which isn’t all bad. Actually, he has, but not lovingly."

21
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=099:45:20&ch=20

It seems that the "Goddard Maneuvers" team at Goddard Space Flight Center (responsible for all the Apollo comms and tracking) called the flight dynamics team in Houston periodically to ask for updates about vectors, maneuver times, etc. It also seems that FIDO Jay Greene viewed these calls as a personal thorn in his side.

Further encounters between Mr Greene and "those guys from Goddard" can be found at:

https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=128:55:48&ch=20
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=129:36:59&ch=20
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=132:57:39&ch=20

22
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=121:48:10&ch=21

Further discussion between Jack Garman and Steve Bales about computer duty cycles and the level of utilization to be expected during ascent and rendezvous. Despite Jack's ominous opening, Steve's conclusion is that "I'm not really too worried."

23
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=121:14:45&ch=22

Preparing for lunar ascent in the wake of the program alarms on descent, AGC Support Jack Garman briefs GUIDO Steve Bales on what a large percentage of computer time a 'monitor' program such as Noun 85 will utilize: "are you ready for this? I know you aren't, I'm not either... seven percent."

24
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=058:06:19&ch=21

The set-up for this will be familiar to anyone who has seen the film Apollo 13: Jim Lovell asks the ground to check his arithmetic to ensure that he's correctly transferred the guidance alignment from the CM into the LM. (You can hear this at 058:04:03.)

In the film you can see the line of controllers in the Trench frantically scribbling out calculations and immediately giving the thumbs up. In actuality, Glynn Lunney had to chase Guidance about it... three times.

And then who actually did the checking? That voice from the backroom is as clear as a bell: it's Jack Garman, the backroom hero of Apollo 11.

"OK, we have LGC data, look at the (?), and when you're satisfied, as we are, tell him that his arithmetic is good."

25
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=194:47:17&ch=20

As re-entry approaches, a little bit of banter amongst the men of the Trench about "tightening down a vector" transitions to a slightly out-of-the-blue, slightly mean spirited (IMO) joke from the FIDO on duty, who I think is Dave Reed, about his fellow FIDO Jay Greene, who isn't present.

What did Reed think Greene had screwed up? On Apollo 11, as far as I know, he only worked the descent shift, when there was of course the small issue of targeting and the LM landing four miles long.

Wider context, which may or may not be relevant, is that Dave Reed had been furious about not getting chosen as the FIDO for the lunar descent shift. He left NASA a year and a half after Apollo 11. Both Jay Greene and Ed Pavelka, who made the assignment, think this was because he was so angry about getting passed over for Apollo 11. (Reed denies this.)

I may be completely off base but I think what we're listening to here is a slight case of sour grapes.

26
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=056:48:50&ch=20

John (Llewellyn, probably) phones the MOCR asking for Bobby Spencer, his fellow RETRO, and gets an update on the problem from someone on the FIDO console instead.

27
https://apolloinrealtime.org/13/?t=056:17:26&ch=20

Early in the crisis, GUIDO Gran Paules (who's presumably at home off shift) calls FIDO Bill Stoval to ask what's going on with the spacecraft. Conversation subsequently continues on the GUIDO loop as Paules is transferred to talk with Will (Fenner?).

28
General Discussion / Identifying speakers/ Mission Control teams
« on: April 27, 2020, 04:34:17 pm »
It occurs to me that an interesting crowdsourcing project could be to try to gather together a list of some of the actual participants in some of the key phases of the mission.

It would be relatively easy to pull together a list of Mission Control shift changes and hence teams and flight directors on duty at particular times, since all of that seems to be announced by the PAO. But beyond that, it's not always easy to tell who's on console, given the specialist ascent/descent/entry teams that worked some shifts (plus possible changes in manning after the manning lists were published?).

For example, in Apollo 11, if you look at the manning lists reproduced in the 20th anniversary flight operations reunion book, you get the following selection:

Shift 2: Flight Director Gene Kranz, FIDO Jerry Bostick, GUIDO Ken Russell and Charley Parker
Shift 3: Flight Director Glynn Lunney, FIDO Jay Greene and Phil Shaffer, GUIDO Bill Fenner and Steve Bales

Whereas what you actually had (per ALSJ, oral histories, etc) was the following:

Descent team: Flight Director Gene Kranz, FIDO Jay Greene (who says he only worked this shift in the whole mission), GUIDO Steve Bales
Ascent team: Flight Director Glynn Lunney, FIDO Dave Reed (I'm sorry, it was Phil Shaffer!), GUIDO Steve Bales (again)

Is anyone besides me interested in trying to figure some of this out? I can recognise some people's voices, and sometimes names are used, but it's a monumental task...

29
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=095:58:07&ch=20

It's a few hours before the first lunar landing, and someone in Flight Dynamics hasn't turned up yet.

"If he's not here, ten more minutes... you guys have his phone back there?"

"I believe so."

"OK, if he's not here in five more minutes, call him. At his home. It is his day."

30
Apollo 11 Moments of Interest / 95:53:06 FIDO: "I feel groovy"
« on: April 20, 2020, 12:55:40 pm »
https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/?t=095:53:06&ch=20

Select, in the back room, has a moment of chit-chat with his FIDO a few hours before the lunar landing: "How you feeling, Jay?"

FIDO: "I feel groovy. How do you feel?"

Select: "I'm tired, ready to go. We'll eat a few sugar cubes down here in a little bit."

FIDO: "With William down there, I don't doubt it."

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