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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 - MadDogBV

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Apollo 13 Moments of Interest / 056:01:53 Comedy night with RECOVERY
« on: January 11, 2023, 11:25:20 AM »
Rather shockingly, the RECOVERY officer (presumably Ed Bullock) is listening to a comedy routine on and off throughout his shift, presumably a terrestrial radio downlink* punched up into his headset, starting at 55:05:14 and then continuing again at 56:01:53 just as the crisis gets underway. He cuts the broadcast entirely at 56:10:55, once it becomes clear on the FLIGHT loop that there are problems with the spacecraft that demand his attention.


* Edit: This might actually be TV programming, since a lot of the "humor" seems to involve visual gags, and it's not the first time that controllers have had TV loops punched up on their consoles.

This is Milt Windler's first shift as FLIGHT after the accident. Going through the loops, it's interesting to study his ethos on managing the flight and how it seems to differ from the current philosophy that the flight controllers are operating under.

This is a particularly notable example. After receiving the latest vector from the tracking, FIDO Jay Greene is working on a maneuver PAD based on the data. However, he and the Trench are unwilling to pass up block data to the spacecraft since, in this unusual configuration, there still is no consensus on how to perform a midcourse later on in the flight. Windler, however, presses on against the Trench, stating they should be able to at least give something to the crew in the event of a loss of comm.

This argument involves nearly all of the key LM players in the MOCR, including Greene, of course; GUIDO Gary Renick; RETRO Tom Weichel; CONTROL Larry Strimple; CAPCOM Jack Lousma; and FAO Spence Gardner.


General Discussion / "Share" button gone
« on: December 31, 2022, 01:29:41 PM »
I saw the "Share" button was removed from the Apollo In Real Time module, I guess for all three missions. Should I take this to mean that we need to stop posting additional threads on the "Moments of Interest" message boards? Or is it just being taken down for maintenance issues?

Not intended to be a snide question - I just want to make sure I'm not cluttering the forums. I know I've been posting a large quantity of threads, and if you felt they were getting oversaturated, I can dial it back.

General Discussion / Re: Identifying speakers/ Mission Control teams
« on: December 27, 2022, 01:05:59 PM »
Great idea. Here's a shift list.

Do you still have a copy of this shift list? Apparently the attachment now leads to a 404 error.

Edit: Disregard, it's there now. I've since downloaded it.


Out of all of the flight directors, Glynn Lunney seems to do the most critical thinking when it comes to how to operate the LM and CSM, particularly in these conditions where they are forced to conserve as much power as possible. He's also not afraid to express his opinion, as indicated in this dialogue between himself, EECOM and TELMU. Still, what we consider "arguing" is probably just shop talk in their field of work.  :)

Edit: Listening back and forth through the tapes, it looks like this discussion is concerning powering the CSM's instrumentation from LM batteries. Glynn's preference is to use the CSM's batteries instead, but Burton has been adamant about not using them any further than he absolutely has to, so the plan is to use a LM battery to power it up instead. As a result of the possibility, however remote, that a catastrophic single-point failure - the deadfacing of the descent batteries - could occur as a result of the unorthodox configuration, Heselmeyer and Burton are working on a procedure where an ascent battery could be used instead. However, it's a complicated procedure, and it's taking a while.

Glynn Lunney, one for prudent timeliness - as he says later on, "for God's sake, let's not be 100% pure engineers here" - is getting impatient and wonders aloud if it's even worth all the hassle.

Been a while! The new "auto-transcript" feature has made it easier to identify key moments taking place on individual loops.

During the Gold Team's shift in the MOCR after the accident, Sy Liebergot took his shift midway through when John Aaron was supposed to work, due to John having arrived at the control center as backup during the critical powerdown phase. This sort of "I might wander in" mentality permeated the MOCR immediately after the accident, forcing management to demand that flight controllers get back into a standard configuration without doubling up at the consoles (although they end up doubling up again anyway during PC+2 and re-entry).

Sy calls Charlie Dumis to discuss some of the scheduling changes, mentioning in particular that John "was shot until he looked like a piece of Swiss cheese". They work out a plan where Charlie will arrive at 7pm to relieve Sy, and then Clint Burton to relieve Charlie, and so forth.

Apologies for the low volume on this; the POS MOCR loop is relatively quiet in this part of the taping.


If it wasn't clear earlier, the controllers - particularly for the LM and guidance platform - are becoming particularly strained at this critical point in the mission where they have to decide how to manage rapidly dwindling resources.


Here's a sequel to this, specifically on the GNC loop with Buck Willoughby and company. They are even MORE relieved than Sy.


In the grand scheme of Apollo 13, this is not an especially exciting conversation, but it's one of my favorites. FIDO Bill Stoval leisurely greets the DATA SELECT officer that just came on duty, John Layton. The two exchange pleasantries, with Stoval notably and ironically jibing "You don't have to come in early tomorrow, I guess you've heard", just minutes prior to the beginning of most likely the most difficult shift Layton has ever had to work. The conversation concludes with a surprise drop-in from the Flight Dynamics chief, Jerry Bostick.


Oh that's what it is! Thank you! I've heard it referenced twice on the loops now, and couldn't figure out what the heck it was called via Google searches.

General Discussion / Re: Identifying speakers/ Mission Control teams
« on: January 04, 2022, 09:07:40 AM »
I've no problem with you doing that. I considered doing the back rooms since I know a fair number of names related with those cats, but they never call up FLIGHT so for the purpose of this exercise, I left them out. I've no objections to amending the search.

General Discussion / Re: Identifying speakers/ Mission Control teams
« on: January 03, 2022, 04:31:20 PM »
In an effort to aid on identifying who is who, I created a Google Drive that has audio samples of flight controllers calling FLIGHT on the flight director loop. Some samples are currently unnamed (like the NETWORK and FAO ones) since I don't hear the last names identified on the loop. If anyone has some input, please let me know:


He's probably tired. ;D His shift ended just 9 hours prior. However, I can also imagine him being businesslike since he would have undoubtedly heard the news about Apollo 13 being in danger, either from fellow engineers or on the radio. When you listen to the FIDO loops from before the accident to during and after, you can perceive a definite change in their tone from leisurely and relaxed to laconic and strained.

"That needs to be taken care of before she goes" - From what I've read online, it sounds like CONTROL (Hal Loden) is actually saying "more skosh" rather than "before she goes"; which is military slang for "get this done quickly". He says this during other parts of the CONTROL loop when speaking to GUIDO and RETRO.


Jay Greene calls up the FIDO console shortly after the crew moves into the LM. FIDO Boone informs him that he, Stoval, and Bostick are at the FIDO console. (Earlier in the FIDO loop, Bostick can actually be heard telling Boone "that's okay, don't worry about it" about an unrelated dynamics issue, much to Boone's annoyance.)

Then the call is passed off to Stoval who briefs Jay on what abort maneuvers are being planned to get the crew home early. The call concludes with Jay deciding he'll probably go to the MOCR to help out, even though he isn't technically on duty.


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