Monday, July 20, 2020

Seeker on Apollo 9-12 for Moon Day 2020

Happy National Moon Day! For today's 51st anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, I'm going to correct an oversight I mentioned in NASA's 'Apollo 13: Home Safe' for the 50th anniversary of a 'successful failure'.
I didn't keep all of the promise I made in Apollo 8's Earthrise 50 years later for Christmas Eve to blog about the 50th anniversaries of the rest of the Apollo missions. I did get around to writing about Apollo 11 but skipped Apollos 9, 10, and 12. Sorry.
Seeker has videos for all three missions, which took place in 1969. It combined Apollo 9 and 10 in one video, Apollo 10 Almost Crashed Into the Moon.

The missions before the lunar landing were designed to test out some of the most difficult manoeuvres of the Apollo Program. During Apollo 10, the Lunar Module experienced a malfunction that left the astronauts spinning out of control.
Hey Seekers! A few of you have pointed out that Apollo 9 remained in Low-Earth Orbit, and that is correct. Apollo 9 simulated a trans-lunar injection to prepare for Apollo 10, but all the maneuvers were done in LEO. As always, thanks for your feedback!
One thing that struck me watching all of these videos was that Apollo 10-13 all had a mission-threatening, if not life-endangering, mishap of some kind, most of which I didn't know about until I started watching videos about the missions. In this case, it was the Lunar Module approaching gimbal lock. In the case of the next mission, Seeker's video title explains it all, Lightning Struck Apollo 12... Twice, Here’s How Mission Control Reacted.

Like the astronauts, NASA’s mission control had to be ready to solve any problem, but during Apollo 12, the team was faced with a shocking scenario that no one expected.
Seeker Fun Fact Of The Day: Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean always felt bad that his buddy Dick Gordon remained on the CSM, while he and Pete Conrad explored the lunar surface. So years later, Bean painted a scene called "The Fantasy", depicting the three astronauts finally on the Moon together, and proving that the astronauts remained BFFs for life!
Again, I either didn't know or forgot about about lightning striking the mission until I began watching videos by Seeker and The Vintage Space. At the time, the loss of the color TV camera made more of an impression on me. I was disappointed I had to watch a simulation by actors on a sound stage instead. Ah, the concerns and disappointments of a 12-year-old!

While researching and writing this entry, I realized that I had never embedded Seeker's video about Apollo 11. So for an encore, I'm sharing The Crazy Things Astronauts Did to Survive the First Moon Landing.

NASA’s first astronauts were pushed to dangerous and deadly extremes while training to survive on the Moon.
In this case, the mishaps were Neil Armstrong crashing the Lunar Module simulator and the actual Lunar Module missing the landing site by 6 kilometers and nearly running out of fuel. After finding about all of the incidents befalling Apollo 10-12 along with the amazing recoveries, I shouldn't be surprised that Apollo 13 turned out the way it did.

Seeker has videos on Apollo 14-17 as well, but I'm saving them for the next two Moon Days. After all, I'm an environmentalist, so I don't just recycle, I conserve my resources.

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