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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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Messages - Naraht

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Retro Chuck Deiterich tells Flight Director Glynn Lunney, apparently out of the blue: "Flight, I once got a ticket for doing that at a police boat out on Lake Houston, so you don't bother me!" The room explodes in laughter.

Anyone have any guesses??



With the Flintlock closed, everyone is wondering where the good splashdown parties are going to be, and for some reason they think FIDO Jay Greene might know. But he hasn't heard any inside information: all he knows is that there's a sign on the Nassau Bay Hotel across the street for 5pm.

It sounds like that's where they ended up, if you read the oral histories. It also sounds like they had a bit too much fun.

Thomas Sanzone: "The Nassau Bay Resort Motor Inn—a hotel on NASA Road 1—actually had an NBC news studio on the very top floor, so they could shoot across [the street] to show the Manned Spacecraft Center. I remember that the grand piano at the Nassau Bay Resort Motor Inn ended up in the swimming pool on the night of Apollo 11."

Jay Greene: "Apollo 11 was the big blowout with the fabled piano in the swimming pool. I wouldn’t know. I think I passed out before we got that far."

And you can find a picture of the place here:

General Discussion / Re: Apollo 11 Guidance loop very low
« on: July 23, 2020, 10:57:17 am »
Thank you so much for sharing this news. I have literally spent time lying awake in bed – intermittently over the past twenty years or so – worrying that these priceless historical sources wouldn't be preserved. This is wonderful news and I'll wait as patiently as I can. :)

General Discussion / Re: Apollo 11 Guidance loop very low
« on: July 23, 2020, 01:45:56 am »
Oh well, thanks for letting me know! I can't complain... too busy hoping that they'll be digitizing other Apollo missions next.

Per Murray and Cox, Apollo: the Race to the Moon:

"During critical portions of the mission, Guidance had a second controller, "Yaw," so named because his function was to monitor the yawing movements of the spacecraft."

You can find a manning list for Mercury through Skylab from page 198 here:

However it has to be taken with a truly massive pinch of salt as shift patterns were really not always regular - and indeed on these tapes you can often hear the controllers themselves asking who's on shift when. So it takes a lot of listening and a lot of being able to recognize voices! I've started recording some of this for my own reference but it's too big a task for one person.

She's not a flight controller and she's talking to FIDO on the phone rather than over the loop. My guess is that it's Liz Pieberhofer, who was the secretary for the Flight Dynamics Branch, but that's just a guess.

If you're interested in women in mission control, you can occasionally hear Poppy Northcutt, who worked in the backroom as Retro Support. You can hear her talking to Retro Chuck Deiterich here, for example:

General Discussion / Apollo 11 Guidance loop very low
« on: July 21, 2020, 07:48:31 am »
Having followed through the lunar descent shift on the FIDO loop, I'm now trying to do the same with Guidance, but it seems like the audio on that loop is often a lot lower than on other loops. It's not inaudible but it's difficult to listen to.

I'm not certain if this was an issue with the recording or the digitisation or with Apollo in Real Time itself, but thought I'd flag up in case there was any fix?

A couple of random examples:

In the mean time I'll carry on doing my best to follow the various debates between Steve Bales and Jack Garman. :)


AGC (Jack Garman): Yaw, AGC. They're gonna lock you in?
Yaw: In. Everyone else out.
AGC: Pretty good.
Someone else: Is that the way you want it?
Yaw: I don't know that I have any choice.

Interesting. It sounds to me like Charlesworth is kidding with him but I can't work out how long he was actually waiting for a response.

This reminded me of a somewhat comparable incident the day before the landing, when the crew woke up early from their sleep period and no one heard them calling for a long while. Except for Yaw, who didn't mention it. In the end it was FIDO who confessed this to Flight.

FIDO (Jay Greene): Flight, FIDO. Yaw says he heard them. He says he heard them call about three times.
Flight (Glynn Lunney): Yaw, if you heard that, why didn't you mention it in the room?
FIDO: Yeah, we should have.
Flight: Yeah!

Nice find! I can't quite make out the name of the pizza place either, but that'll be Guidance Officer Gary Renick.

(To the best of my knowledge, GUIDO-R is the name of an audio channel rather than a role. The 'assistant' Guidance position was called Yaw, but I don't think there's any way of telling who was on which role by which channel they were on.)


Apparently at the time of Apollo 11, the bunkroom had room for about 24 people, and in this recording MIT are negotiating hard for a couple of beds for their people. Guidance officer Ken Russell explains: "There was a big thing... they had more people than they had room for, apparently.... Steve [Bales] and I are on call all the time and we have one bunk, one allocation."

Discussion continues – – "They have already filled 24 bunks.... It's not too hopeful."

But MIT have a couple of guys staying in Galveston and so the problem-solving continues...

"Well, one thing, Russell and Bales aren't going to sleep the entire day. You might could trade off with them."
"They don't sleep the whole mission, do they?"
"Well, I don't know."

One conclusion: "I think I'll bring in my bed roll and sleep behind the plot board." Discussion continues until 062:38:11: "Do you snore? I do!"

Interestingly, Steve Bales recalls that when he slept in the bunkroom the night before the landing, there weren't more than two other people there. (Source: From the Trench of Mission Control to the Craters of the Moon.) We know that one of them was Jay Greene, and that Jay and Steve also slept there the night after the landing, after watching the EVA in the flight controllers' lounge. (Source: Jay Greene's JSC oral history.)

We also know that Sy Liebergot had a bunk allocated to him, with a little sticker on it that said 'Rendezvous EECOM':


Yaw: AGC, Yaw
Someone: Go ahead
Yaw: Hey, is Jack there?
AGC (Jack Garman): Yeah
Yaw: Hey Jack, is the wild rumor that Jurgenson was talking about you and a TV party still true?
AGC: TV party?
Yaw: Yeah, Sunday?
AGC: Oh! I might - I have a color television. Anybody who wishes is welcome to come over and watch the EVA, yes, certainly. I didn't really mean to say that it was a party.
Yaw: Oh, that was sort of the impression that he had given.
AGC: Are you kidding, after being on the console, everybody, for twelve hours at a shot? And then you think we're going to be drinking and partying at that time? (pause) Heck, yes, you're right!
Yaw: That's what I thought. (pause) No, I thought everybody would be beat, but I still don't think anybody would be morose.

Speaking of partying, Jack Garman got married on August 1st 1969 – only a week after the Apollo 11 splashdown – after meeting his future wife during the Apollo 8 sims at the end of 1968. So he was pretty busy in 1969!


What does it mean? Luckily for us, FIDO has it explained to him by the Assistant Flight Director (and a few others). They then go on to discuss at 7.7 earthquake that just happened in China.


Jerry Bostick's (chief of the Flight Dynamics Branch, AKA the boss of the Trench) headset goes missing and the saga enlivens another dull sleep shift. It had a long cord and everything.

Discussion runs until 044:05:36 or so, at which point the participants are commenting: "it's good to start a flap over something simple... hey, we could probably carry this on for two or three hours."

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