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  Apollo 1: Would the fire have happened in space? (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   Apollo 1: Would the fire have happened in space?
R.Glueck
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From: Winterport, Maine, USA
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posted 10-11-2004 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for R.Glueck   Click Here to Email R.Glueck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Liberty Bell 7 was recovered with most of it's components still inside, which is remarkable, considering the age and time it had been in the ocean! The hatch was NOT recovered, and the hatch alone could reveal what happened inside the cabin. In a private exchange with Curt Newport, I was told the hatch was probably nearby, but they never saw it. Furthermore, it probably planed into the ooze and is probably buried under a thin coating of seabed mud. Yes, a Magnetometer would have picked it up, but they were operating on a budget and a time schedule. Since the location of Liberty Bell 7 is now fixed exactly, anyone with several million dollars and a research vessel is welcome to go exploring. It's not cost effective, but I think that next to the cause of the Apollo 1 fire, it is the last remaining "big question" of the golden age of space flight. Poor Gus. Here was a first class test pilot and astronaut with the worst luck of any. No wonder his family is so deeply affected to this very day.

I have never read an astronaut biography, or any other document, that says Gus hit the plunger.

KC Stoever
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posted 10-11-2004 01:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Accusatory stories like the one about Gus and the hatch remind me of ugly, partisan political rumors (e.g., that Bush 41 was called "Bailout Bush" by his WWII squadron mates; or ludicrous and badly sourced claims about Kerry's combat medals).

Facts recede with time, their details smudged and distorted in the retelling and as the principals die or refuse to speculate. Stories rumors fill the vacuum, agendas emerge with little or no relation to the actual events in question.

Gus was flying an experimental craft, alone, which he and his colleagues insisted have a hatch, for that all-important egress. A hatch that may not have been the vaunted "three 9s" (99.9 percent reliable) the day Gus flew.

That Gus jumped at the chance to fly under these conditions (as the other six would have as well) is one sure measure of the man's courage, ability, and self-confidence. That he survived egress is not a miracle. It's evidence that Gus that day was more than three 9s.

KC Stoever
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posted 10-12-2004 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KC Stoever   Click Here to Email KC Stoever     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And to Stephen Clemmons, you wrote:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Clemmons:
FFrench, good post but these stories do indicate the feeling of the astronauts at that time. I think they would be stupid to come right out and say that Grissom 'Screwed the pooch'. I'm sure that Mr. Wolf would not have included it in his book if there was no basis for it.
Stephen, I implore you to re-read Tom Wolfe's treatment of the incident in THE RIGHT STUFF--a complicated bit of narration in which he shifts POV (point of view) three times. First, Gus. Second, the helicopter pilot, and finally, to Yeager and the other X pilots at Edwards.

It is the Edwards pilots who employ the shiv on Gus, their former colleague.

It is the Edwards pilots who use the derisive term, "screw the pooch."

Why? Because Gus beat them into space.

In the film, the director Philip Kaufmann favors the Edwards POV, as Yeager is the movie's true hero. So this powerful conflation of POVs ~in the movie~ has left some with the distinct if false impression about Gus.

Re-read THE RIGHT STUFF and tell us what you find there.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 10-12-2004 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This thread has unfortunately gone from a very interesting thread about the fire in Apollo One by an eyewitness of the event to a regurgitated diatribe about Gus's reputation as a test pilot and astronaut. Mr. Clemmons, please don't use the movie, "The Right Stuff," as your version of the history of the early manned spaceflights.

The movie was so full errors and artistic license that it makes some Mercury astronauts throw up. Just ask Wally Schirra or John Glenn about the movie and then stand back. I have never had the chance to ask Scott Carpenter, so I cannot speak about his comments. Please understand the movie producers never asked a Mercury astronaut to consult on the film. Chuck Yeager was their consultant. The problem with the movie was that it was so detailed on the Muroc/Edwards history and yet it treats the Mercury years as an unfinished afterthought.

We know Schirra purposely triggered his capsule hatch to test a theory about physical marks left on the hand by the explosive plunger and attempted to prove that Gus could not have triggered his hatch.

As for whether history will ever figure out what happened during those critical moments the Liberty Bell Seven was in the water before it sank, we may never know.

I talked with Curt Newport on the phone today about the thread and we went over the various comments concerning the hatch, why it blew off and where it could be on the ocean bottom.

Curt suggests that there was nothing wrong with the hatch that it blew due to something that occurred on or in the capsule while it was in the water. He referred to the post briefing, that Gus even stated that he may have hit the plunger after he removed both safety devices. Curt did say that in researching all the reports, the one thing he did see was that there was no real step by step procedure for the astronaut to follow after the main chute had deployed. Procedures were made after the Liberty Bell 7 incident, so there were not instructions for the astronauts to follow while in the water until after the LB7 hatch blew.

We discussed the exterior lanyard device and the possibility that it's deployment and subsequent entanglement could have triggered the hatch. Curt said the possibility is remote due to the lanyard's construction and packing, but it could have occurred.

This lead us to a discussion about the hatch, the possibility of the finding the hatch and how deteriorated would the hatch be after spending 38 years in saltwater.

Here comes the interesting part. Since the hatch is made of Hardened Steel and Titanium, it would probably look good enough to "eat off of" after a good cleaning. The galvanic effect of saltwater doesn't work well with Titanium. So the hatch could be in very good shape if found.

Curt stated that the hatch could at least rule out some theories about what may have happened to the hatch prior to the sinking of the capsule. If the lanyard was found completely extended, then that may indicate the it was pulled loose by the deployment of the cushion bag. If the plunger had been pushed, then there would be telltale dents in the percussion caps that would have triggered the primer cord in the hatch. So there is the possibility of removing some of the theories from the mystery of the blown hatch.

Curt said that he thinks that there are three possible targets with the right sonar reflection within the 1.5 mile radius of the capsule site that could be the hatch. The hatch would have floated concave side up, which would have been fairly reflective during the sonar scan. He did say that the hatch size is right at the limit of the sonar's ability to see an object.

Finally, he indicated that if anybody had approximately $750K to rent the MV Ocean Project, the Magellan 725 ROV and spend a few days out at sea checking out the coordinates of these three targets, then it might solve the mystery. But there is always the chance that finding the hatch will raise more questions, then it answers.

Cougar20
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posted 10-15-2004 12:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cougar20   Click Here to Email Cougar20     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This post has truly proved that opinions are like belly buttons...everyone has one. The one thing I must look at in judging Gus Grissom's accomplishments are what others said about him. Sure, some said he "screwed the pooch" or that he messed up in some other way, but one thing must always remain clear: consensus among the astronauts was that if Grissom had survived, he would have been the first man to walk on the moon.

Grissom was a no nonsense professional who got the job done. While, yes, he might have intentionally blew the hatch, what is too often overlooked is the job he did in space. He accomplished almost everything he set out to do on Liberty Bell7 and also on Gemini 3. He was given Apollo 1 for one simple reason: Deke believed he could shake down the command module successfully. Beyond that, nothing else holds real importance. He got the job done everytime he went into space. End of story.

Let's take another look at this. At the beginning of the Mercury program, a peer vote was held among the astronauts. They were told to write down the name of the astronaut, other than himself, who he thought was the best pilot. the rest is history. Shepard, Grissom, Glenn.

machbusterman
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posted 10-15-2004 03:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Larry McGlynn:
Please understand the movie producers never asked a Mercury astronaut to consult on the film. Chuck Yeager was their consultant. The problem with the movie was that it was so detailed on the Muroc/Edwards history and yet it treats the Mercury years as an unfinished afterthought.
Chuck Yeager may have been employed as a consultant on the movie but when you watch the movie and the way the Muroc/Edwards events unfolded it just makes me want to cringe.

The re-enactment of the lead up to breaking the sound barrier is 100% total fabrication. Yeager didn't come into Pancho's and tell the AF brass "I might be interested in flying your plane". A good friend of mine (Maj. Gen. Fred J. Ascani USAF ret.) was instrumental in selecting Yeager to fly the X-1 program as part of a two-man selection panel with (then) Colonel Albert Boyd at Wright Field. Glennis Yeager and Pancho were no-where near the ramp (Glennis was at home and Pancho at her ranch) on October 14, 1947 and neither was Slick Goodlin (who is portrayed as a greedy money-grabbing test pilot... NOT the case) onbase that day. Another point to think about is that when Yeager broke the sound barrier, it wasn't in his first flight in the X-1... It was his 12th (9th powered flight which were preceded by 3 glide flights)!! The actual details of the flight (from take-off to Yeager's "I'm still going upstairs like a bat out of hell") are accurate as are the details of the X-1A flight but that high speed flight of Yeager's on Dec 12, 1953 was not Yeager's first flight in the X-1A it was his fourth).

The details surrounding the NF-104A flight near the end of the movie are such complete and utter horse-s#@t. Yeager was the commander of the Aerospace Research Pilots School at Edwards (whose graduates included Michael Collins, Joe Engle and Mike Adams... heard of those guys?) and as commandant was setting out a flight plan for the schools "pupils" to get some zero-g time in the recently modified Lockheed F-104A Starfighters which were re-designated the NF-104A aerospace trainer. The NF-104A was an F-104A with a 6,000lb-thrust rocket mounted in the tail just above the jet tail pipe. To enable the NF-104 to fly in the stratosphere, the airplane was equipped with hydrogen peroxide thrusters in the nose; tail and wings to control pitch, roll and yaw. The aircraft was tested by Lockheed test pilot Jack Woodman to Mach 2.6 and 118,400 feet altitude.

In the movie the scene was portrayed with Yeager saying to Jackie Ridley "Hey Ridley, I think there's a plane over there with my name on it" ... Flying in a C-47 over Japan on March 12, 1957, Jackie Ridley died at the age of 42 when the transport crashed into a snow-covered Mount Fuji...

My point is, anyone using the movie "The Right Stuff" as a source of historically accurate information is completely barking up the wrong tree. The movie is just that... a MOVIE... as entertainment it's fine but if you believe everything in the movie you do the individuals portrayed in the movie a great disservice.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 10-15-2004 05:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm just reading "Seven Minus One: The Story of Astronaut Gus Grissom". It's rather dated in its style ,but an interesting statement hit me on page 68: "Due to the long countdown procedures and two minor holds, the liftoff was 3hrs 22mins late. One of the holds was because an explosive bolt in the emergency hatch was misaligned."

Is that 20/20 hindsight or a potential contributory factor?

skippy in space
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posted 10-15-2004 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for skippy in space   Click Here to Email skippy in space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was watching the video of "From the Earth to the Moon" last night and noticed this in the Apollo 1 episode.

Borman and a tech were starting dismantle the the capsule. The tech says to Borman, "If I hadn't proven Gus right there would have been explosive bolts on the spacecraft and he would be alive now. It's ironic and I'm not a big fan of irony."

Now I remember reading somewhere else, possibly Kraft's book, of something similar but it stating that he probably wouldn't have had the bolts charged as that would have made the test hazardous.

And there is a thread in this forum from some time ago mentioning a bent support in the Liberty Bell cabin that showed the force of impact. It's a land of what ifs?

If Shepard had his corrective surgery earlier and Grissom lived would that have been the first two. Remember Aldrin wasn't even in the rotation until See's and Bassett's deaths.

Bean appears only after William's death and is chosen by Conrad but there were other non-rookie astronauts. Or was Apollo 11 the only crew to have a non-rookie LMP, just being to lazy to check this out.

Tod
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posted 10-15-2004 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tod   Click Here to Email Tod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's important to keep in mind the difference between a movie and a documentary.

"The Right Stuff" (movie) and "From the Earth to the Moon" (HBO miniseries) are not documentaries. They are, first and foremost, entertainment. Artistic license was used in many cases to make things more exciting.

When in doubt, read the books.

Ray Katz
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posted 11-03-2004 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what kind of fire suppression systems were aboard Apollo 1? I bought the Emergency Egress Plan at the recent Aurora auction, and it mentions such systems. Obviously — and tragically — they didn't work on January 27, 1967... but what kind of systems were they?

star61
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posted 01-09-2005 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having read many posts over the last few weeks, i should like to make my own first remarks on this forum.

First, i am not in the space industry but have, like many of you a life long passion for mankinds first baby steps into the cosmos. The men and women involved in the effort of the last 50 years are all truly pioneers. My utmost respect goes to you all.

I have joined this particular thread first due mainly because of the most amazing day i had in 1986 during the week of STS-26.

This was my first visit to KSC, and my first launch. The emotion of STS-26 was obvious, but for me the truly deep moment was standing at the base of pad-34, with a very good friend, as a very kind gentleman named Col Ernest Malnassey took a photo of us.

I knew of of the events of that day in 1967 in as much detail as i thought it was possible to know as of 1986. This thread has certainly revealed how ignorant i was.

However, what shocked me the most how little there was to remember Apollo-1 and crew. In fact i was surprised at the state of all the historical pads. Col Malnassey gave my friend and i a personal tour of the whole Canaveral range in his car, after telling the tour bus driver that he would look after us. This was in response to some reasonably intelligent and enthusiastic questions. He was at the time,i believe, in charge of the Kittyhawk museum by pad-5. My main point is this. I live in a country with a government so firmly entrenched in its own naive ignorance, that it will not even consider being involved in manned spaceflight(uk). The USA is the only country in the history of the world where man has left the planet, and landed on another world. This site, and i mean all the pads and buildings, should be regarded as one of the most important world heritage sites anywhere. What ever it costs, NASA, the Government, the USAF, should all aid in preserving non operational areas for future generations. I have great respect for the achievements of the Space Shuttle over the last 24 years, but lets face the truth ....people are really only fired up when thoughts are on going to other worlds.

Sorry for a long rambling first post, its 2am here and the thoughts just want to spill out!!

To finish, i have one request. Does any one know if Col Malnassey is still around. In1986 i believe he was living in Melborne. I should be very pleased to speak to him again.

Bye for now, and regards to you all.

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 01-11-2005 06:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ray Katz, in answer to your query, there were no fire suppression systems on the spacecraft. A system such as halyon or carbon dioxide was considered too dangerous to the crew because of the small amount of space and the fact they couldn't immediately exit the craft. Other reasons would include a revamping of the spacecraft to accomodate such a system and NASA didn't think it was needed. A small fire extinguisher would be included among the flight items and fire retardent materials would be used.

The dump valve or pressure relief valve could be opened by the astronauts in space in case of a fire and without oxygen, the fire would go out.

This also created a problem because once in space, the men would be out of their suits and in a shirt sleeve environment. If such a fire occurred, the dump valve couldn't be opened until everyone had donned their flight suits.

Some studies were made previously on fire in an atmosphere of 5psi which was normal for the spacecraft in space and fire at this level was not considered too dangerous.

At that time, not too much was known about how a fire might react in zero gravity but was later tested on flights of the orbitor.

According to the Apollo 1 Accident report, fire was considered a low risk on the ground because of the absence of propellants during ground testing.

During the launch phase, after the catwalk and whiteroom was pulled away, the escape rocket would be used to pull the capsule away from danger.

Hope this answers your questions.

Ray Katz
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posted 01-11-2005 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stephen, thanks! That's more info than I ever expect to get on the subject. Still wondering was the Apollo 1 emergency egress plan means when it refers to activating fire suppression...

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 01-12-2005 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know what you mean. Where was this suppression system mentioned? I missed that part for some reason.

The only thing I remember was that when the spacecraft ruptured, fresh air was drawn into the S/C allowing the fire to go out, according to the investigators.

I have always had my doubts as to when the fire actually went out because we were still getting flames, particularly when the second hatch was removed, some two minutes later.

Another item of interest was that only two access ports were open. If you have seen the pictures of the spacecraft, you will see the high amount of smoke and heat damage at the access ports.

According to the path of the fire, the pressure vessel ruptured, then directed the fire out of the two access ports. The size of the ports would have restricted the amount of fresh air for several minutes. So it is possible that the fire continued for several minutes until all the combustables burned. The heat shield was not damaged. If those access ports had not been open, it's possible that the heat shield would have ruptured too.

Sy Liebergot
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posted 01-12-2005 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My NASA source that was involved in the Apollo 1 post-fire investigation informed me that Apollo 1 had no 'fire suppression system" such as a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher was added to the later spacecraft. Apollo 7 carried a fire extinguisher which I believe was an aqueous gel (foam) i.e jellied water composition fire extinguisher.

Ray Katz
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posted 01-13-2005 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding fire suppression aboard Apollo 1: This question came to me because of a document I purchased at a recent Aurora auction. The document is titled "Demonstration Plan for Flight Crew Hazardous Egress, Apollo Saturn 204 Plugs Out OAT." The document is dated 9 December 1966.

On page 11, these words appear:

*ACTIVATE FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS AS REQUIRED.
Comments?

Tod
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posted 01-13-2005 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tod   Click Here to Email Tod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The fire suppression system referenced in your document is external. Note that the system is to be activated by the personnel manning the Fire Water Control Panel. One would think that any fire suppression system inside the spacecraft would be activated by the crew...

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 01-13-2005 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are right. There were earlier plans on putting a small extinguisher in S/C 012 but it never materialized. Some thought it would be just added weight. I saw a simular extinguisher when I worked in Crew Systms Laboratory and was told that we wouldn't be loading it. An extinguisher was added for Apollo 7 and subsequent flights.

Ray, good job. I wondered where this document was. The problem with this document was many parts had been changed, called deviations, by the time it was used. Sam Beddingfields group did a fine job and covered all bases. I'd like to see the revised copy or the copy that was used that day. If you want more detailed information, as to the pad crew locations and all, let me know.

I noted in particular the location of the TV Cameras. If they had all these cameras added to the tower, I'd like to see the footage. It would give us an idea of what really happened.

Now back to the fire supression system. As far as I know, the only fire suppression system was called pad/tower deluge, operated from the Fire Water Control Panel (RWCP) in the blockhouse. It fed 250,000 GPM per minute through hundreds of spray nozzles on the deck and in the tower around the rocket. It was usually de-activated as inadvertant activation could damage the spacecraft with all the panels and access covers removed. It was only activated for launch operations.

Ray Katz
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posted 01-13-2005 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks! You've clarified this quite a bit for me.

I'm guessing that the "fire suppression system" referred to in the document is the one you describe — the "FIre Water Control Panel." In the test, the system activation was to be "simulated." Perhaps the purpose of the test described by the document was to practice getting the crew out from a fully-fueled Saturn IB on launch day.

This still seems slightly different from the conventional wisdom. Although nobody anticipated a fire during the plugs-out test, this plan shows that they did anticipate the possibility of a fire on the ground.

Another point: there is a second document dealing with Apollo 1's emergency egress plan. It was sold by Aurora at the same auction I bought my document. The other document had a red cover and was, I suspect, more detailed than the document I have.

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 01-13-2005 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's an interesting document. Too bad it wasn't followed.

Have you any other documents that might be pertinate to the fire. I am looking for the documents that appeared that day and haven't been seen since. I am onto a lead where one of the investigators during the early hours following the fire might be able to shed some light on the mindset of those who were looking into the cause.

Should prove to be interesting.

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 01-17-2005 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sy Liebergot, I have not had an opportunity to read your book. Looking forward to it. I imagine it was a time that you can never forget.

I was in the large conference room at Kennedy that night, taking a breather from the long previous three months getting Apollo 13 ready for flight. We had moved back to the MSOB (Operation Building) and had switched shifts, which we did after each launch. I was listening to the audio traffic and watching some television from Houston.

I heard those words "Houston, we have a problem." It got my attention, from what I was hearing, I knew we were in trouble. I almost ran back to our main break area we called the "Apollo Room" where most of the ground crew was eating dinner.

All of us then went back to the conference room. We were hanging on to every word and believe me, that night and the long days and nights to follow, we took back all those things we used to say about the "That bunch of Eggheads in Houston."

You really earned your pay and our real admiration and I would have to say, you and your group became our heroes without any doubts.

I know we didn't get much sleep until they landed safely and I know you didn't. If there is one real high point in the Apollo Program, it would have to be saving Apollo 13. Congratulations.

John K. Rochester
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posted 01-17-2005 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Clemmons:
If there is one real high point in the Apollo Program, it would have to be saving Apollo 13.
...another real high point may have been the Lunar Landing.

Sy Liebergot
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posted 01-17-2005 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sy Liebergot   Click Here to Email Sy Liebergot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stephen, thanks for the nice words and thank you for your detailed accounts of the Apollo 1 fire. I daresay that none of us closely involved will ever forget those two events. My friend Larry Canin was the Assistant Flight Director that night, coordinating the Houston end of the pad test. As I said of him in my book, he told me that he never got the screaming out of his head. He's passed away, now and hopefully the screaming has passed, too.

Don't mean to nit-pick, but on Apollo 13 the actual words were "Houston, we've had a problem!" Please read "The Longest Hour" chapter in my autobiography and Chapter 27 in Charles Murray's "Apollo Race To the Moon" book to get a feel for one example of what a "hot seat" is.

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 01-18-2005 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sy, you are so right. I was only going on what I remember. Sometimes words get muddled and I guess that are what writers are for, to keep us straight.

After that night, I gained a lot of respect for you guys in Houston. These are two real events that stick out in my mind, almost on a daily basis. and yes, I still hear the screams that came over the headset that night. They have become muted over time. But it's still there.

On the night of the Apollo 13 Accident, It was very difficult to just sit there, when men's lives were on the line. Men we had sent off just days previously now so far from home in the cold confines of space in deep trouble and not be able to do anything but pray, which we did a lot of in the week afterwards until they safely touched down.

We were hoping that there was someone that could bring them home. I don't think there was a word spoken in that room at Kennedy as we were hanging on to each comment coming over the speakers.

It was very quite in the MSOB in the days and nights following and I don't believe that I have seen a happier group when we heard the men were safe.

We never met but you and your group were real heroes that night, much more than those of us on Apollo 1 because we lost our crew and I guess that's what hurts the most.

As to what Scott is trying to do on his documentary, I feel he is trying to create fact from fiction. I have examined his theory and nothing jibs with what we know. I think that the men on the investigating team looked at everything they had and published what they found.

It may not be what we want to hear, as all of us have our opinions, but the theory that someone within NASA or North America sabatoged the spacecraft to kill his dad goes beyond the stretch of imagination. There were too many individuals involved to have a clear cut plan to do something like that.

One of the questions he asked was. Who was on the spacecraft that night that wasn't there for Apollo 7? He then said, if we can find that person, we have the murderor.

Now how do you answer a question like that.

I have patiently explained each of his theories, basing my answers on what was published in the investigation reports and what I think happened that night, what was found and I can find no basis for sabatoge.

As I said "It was an accident pure and simple," caused by the oversight of flight rules and procedures by both North American and NASA. Yes,there were mistakes made but in the rush to get to the moon, something called "moon fevor", we plainly "screwed the pooch."

Gus demanded so much as Chief Engineer for NASA in charge of the spacecraft, everyone was in the hurry to get things done, scared of his wrath, and launch within that time frame. No one wanted to oppose him. As I said earlier in one of post, Gus was NASA as far as we were concerned.

Gus can't be blamed because he was only doing what he thought was necessary to keep the program on fast track.

Even so, most everyone respected him for his knowledge and drive and I don't think there was anyone in NASA or North America that wanted him dead, or face the possibility of ending the program.

So no, I didn't sign his petition because I don't know what it would accomplish. It certainly won't bring his dad back and will open old sores that are best left healed.

John K. Rochester
Member

Posts: 1275
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-18-2005 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It brings a chill to my spine to read what these two men had endured that January evening. Of course, we only got the little information that the news provided that evening when they cut into "Batman" or whatever...

Godspeed to you both, and hopefully those memories don't fade over time...'cause after all, only you who were involved can provide the greatest detail of what was a difficult night in NASA history.

Obviousman
Member

Posts: 437
From: NSW, Australia
Registered: May 2005

posted 09-07-2005 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Obviousman   Click Here to Email Obviousman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for a most interesting and informative thread.

Is that book available out here in the colonies yet?

Stephen Clemmons
Member

Posts: 108
From: Wilmington, NC, New Hanover
Registered: Aug 2004

posted 09-07-2005 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the query. No, my book is not ready for publishing, or at least, for the time being.

There are many entries, particular on Apollo 1 that goes against the grain of what has been published that might be detrimental to some of the participants.

Not that these things didn't happen, but not necessarily as later published. My book is not an expose' against NASA or the men who made Apollo fly because most of them were my friends, some close and others that were just in the group. I don't take my membership in this brotherhood lightly and create things just to make up a best seller as other's have done. I'm just that guy who was "That fly on the ceiling".

Over time, we get used to snippits, half facts, writers and participants who take things and blow them completely out of proprtion to make the story interesting. What these writers don't realize is that these stories sometimes become our history.

I have had a lot of personal problems(operations and medical things) this year but hope to get it in the publishers hands this fall.

Anyway, thanks for the inquiry.

And my sincere thanks to this forum, collectSPACE and Mr. Pearlman, some of my musing have been made available to the true fans of space, collectors. I'm always available to answer questions.


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