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106:58:21 Jay Greene: "Hey babe, it's time to make another decision~"


The sarcastic, singy-songy (if a bit sleepy) tone of this remark from FIDO Jay Greene to SELECT John Layton really drives home all of the difficult, sometimes hurried, oftentimes no-win choices that the flight controllers had to make, especially from a data and telemetry standpoint. There were several major decisions made over the past two days, including whether to power down the S-BAND transponder, when to power up the ranging, etc., and many of these decisions involved a lot of intense negotiation between dynamics, systems, and data branches. So you can just imagine Greene's elbow on the console as he leans his head on his hand, rolling his eyes, as he has to tell Layton it's time to make yet another decision.

Certainly it's not a trivial decision in this case: From this point in the mission, they have roughly 36 hours until EI (entry interface, the time at which the spacecraft programmatically enters Earth's atmosphere). With new procedures and new checklists that have to be devised, they have to cram simulations of both the LM and CSM, sometimes integrated, into this short time span to ensure that the procedures work in practice as they do on paper.

In order to make the sims work, they need to also simulate the data. One can only imagine the computational requirements for flying an Apollo mission in one floor of the MOCR and simulating the same Apollo mission on a separate floor. The problem that Jay presents to Al is one of timing and logistics. Luckily, they both quickly come to a consensus on what to do.


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