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  First word spoken from the Moon

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Author Topic:   First word spoken from the Moon
John K. Rochester
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posted 02-02-2005 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Johnson Space Center Director Gen. Jefferson D. Howell Jr. said it was fitting that a Columbia memorial was placed in Houston. "As most of us in Houston know, the first word spoken from the surface of the moon was Houston," he said.

...thats what they say!! If you really want to get technical, "Contact" was the first word upon Lunar contact and I'm sure they had set down when they went through the short checklist... ADA to auto detent, 413 is in.

FFrench
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posted 02-02-2005 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, it is one of those nice stories (like Cernan's last words on the moon), which have eclipsed the real events.

From the moment the LM was touching the surface but not yet fully landed, the sequence went:

Aldrin: Contact Light.
Armstrong (on-board): Shutdown.
Aldrin: Okay. Engine Stop.
Aldrin: ACA out of Detent.
Armstrong: Out of Detent. Auto.
Aldrin: Mode Control, both Auto. Descent Engine Command Override, Off. Engine Arm, Off. 413 is in.
Armstrong: Engine arm is off. (Pause) Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.
Aldrin: Thank you.

It was such a soft touchdown compared to later landings, the engine was probably running right until all the footpads were on the surface (neither astronaut could ever say for sure). My guess is, the first word truly spoken from a spacecraft settled on the Moon's surface was Aldrin saying "Okay"...

That would make "Houston" the thirtieth word spoken on the Moon - but the first that was more of a symbolic message, rather than just technical info.

FF

John K. Rochester
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posted 02-02-2005 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I knew this site would have all the info (Houston does sound better than "Okay" though).

DGeraths
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posted 02-02-2005 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DGeraths   Click Here to Email DGeraths     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
(shaking head)

Man, you guys really missed the point.

Take your heads out of the technical manuals for a minute and look at the big picture.

The first actual words spoken on the Moon may have been "Contact" or "ACA out of Detent" or any number of technical jargon that these two men were trained like machines to blurt out as part of the check list...

But in the great human reality of it, the first words spoken by MAN on the surface of the Moon were those eight incredible, time stopping, heart pounding, history making words...

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

At least that is my take on it.

Dana

FFrench
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posted 02-02-2005 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DGeraths:
(shaking head) Man, you guys really missed the point.

Actually, it sounds like you are agreeing with what I stated - that "Houston" was the first word "that was more of a symbolic message, rather than just technical info."

FF

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2005 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DGeraths:
But in the great human reality of it, the first words spoken by MAN on the surface of the Moon were those eight incredible, time stopping, heart pounding, history making words...

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."


If you're not going to be technical about it, then my feeling is that all words spoken prior to "That's one small..." will be greatly forgotten (if not already) to history. I would guess that the great majority believes Armstrong's quote to be the first words spoken by "MAN on the surface".

FFrench
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posted 02-02-2005 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I would guess that the great majority believes Armstrong's quote to be the first words spoken by "MAN on the surface".

Very true, and it's really a shame. When you think about what it means, "Contact Light" is a pretty incredible, time stopping, heart pounding, history making statement in itself... a spacecraft with people in brushing, but not quite landed, on a different solar system body - for the first time in history.

FF

John K. Rochester
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posted 02-02-2005 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm just saying, the mayor of Houston has every right to be proud, but word the statement correctly so it's historically accurate. How many people now think Jim Lovell said "Houston, we've got a problem" due to the movie Apollo 13?

DGeraths
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posted 02-02-2005 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DGeraths   Click Here to Email DGeraths     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John K. Rochester:
How many people now think Jim Lovell said "Houston, we've got a problem" due to the movie Apollo 13?
Actually, Jim Lovell did say that, or to be more precise... he said...

"Ah, Houston, we've had a problem."

Jack made mention of the problem first of course, but Jim did pipe in with those now famous words.

Dana

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2005 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DGeraths:
Actually John, Jim Lovell did say that, or to be more precise... he said...
I think that was John's point: that the quote has been incorrectly popularized/remembered.

Getting back to the original question, like Francis, I have always thought that "Contact Light" was such an elegant, understated-to-the-point-of-not-being-aware, statement of lunar touchdown* that it speaks volumes more than "Houston, Tranquility Base here..." quote.

* Just like in football, a touchdown is when any part of the ball (or in this case LM), breaks the plane of the opponent’s goal line (or Moon's surface).

Wehaveliftoff
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posted 02-02-2005 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After seeing the movie "The Alamo," amazing that a man who had a great historic feat bringing about the succession of Texas to the United States And whom had a bipolar disorder, was the first word uttered on the moon making history again of a different sort(if you believe that word was first.)

Moonpaws
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posted 02-02-2005 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you guys have all missed the point. The point is.... ah, what was the point?

Spacepsycho
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posted 02-02-2005 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about a new point!!!!

What do you think will be the 1st words spoken when we go back to the moon and has the 13th person to walk on the moon been born yet?

The Singing Wheel
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posted 02-02-2005 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Singing Wheel   Click Here to Email The Singing Wheel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I sure HOPE he's been born. Or should I say SHE? We have no idea who NASA plans to send on its next endeavor to the Moon, but we CAN say it could very well be a woman, or a Russian for that matter! All I know is I want to place my personal vote for astronaut Lt. Col. E. Michael Fincke.

Wehaveliftoff
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posted 02-02-2005 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It currently seems those words will be of a Chinese language not American.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2005 10:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wehaveliftoff:
It currently seems those words will be of a Chinese language not American.

I hear Leroy Chiao speaks Chinese well.

star61
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posted 02-03-2005 06:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the next person on the Moon, whoever he/she maybe ,how about saying...

"It might have been a small one for Neil, but its been a long long long ...one for the rest of us"

Phil G

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 02-03-2005 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nah, you're all missing the point.

The point is, the city of Houston should change its name to reflect what the first words spoken on the surface of the moon was....

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 02-03-2005 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which book had a return to the moon with the first words being, "We're back, and we're here to stay?" Anyone? Bueller, Bueller...

MoonMan Jeff
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posted 02-03-2005 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonMan Jeff   Click Here to Email MoonMan Jeff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, if you all want to be technical.. and I know we ALL do!!.. the first word spoken ON THE MOON was...

That's... [as in: That's one small step...]

So the mayor of that quaint town in Texas should actually be petitioning the City Council to change the burg's name to "That's Texas"... which doesnt sound so bad.

Actually, Houston had a tremendous importance inthe history of the US Manned space program (and still does) but for the mayor to boast that "Houston" was the first word spoken from or on the moon is just...as they would say in Texas.. a load of buffalo chips.

MoonMan Jeff
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posted 02-03-2005 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonMan Jeff   Click Here to Email MoonMan Jeff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, it wasnt the mayor, it was the JSC director who spoke about Houston. My apologies to the mayor....

Moonpaws
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posted 02-03-2005 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok, so if we really want to get technical, I would say the first words spoken on the moon would have to be after someone actually touched the moon. No one touched the moon until the spacesuits were doffed inside the Lem. I imagine those words went something like this:

Wow, that smells like gunpowder or
Shucks, this stuff is everywhere or
Man, I got to tinkle.
etc,
etc.

So let's try this:

Shucks Texas
Wow Texas
Tinkle Texas

FFrench
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posted 02-03-2005 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MoonMan Jeff:
but for the mayor to boast that "Houston" was the first word spoken from or on the moon is just...as they would say in Texas.. a load of buffalo chips.

Perhaps the Mayors of Contact, Nevada, or Contact, Montana (yes, they are both real places) will be writing stern letters of protest! Or Okay, Oklahoma...

FF

Duke Of URL
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posted 02-04-2005 12:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duke Of URL   Click Here to Email Duke Of URL     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a question I'd like answered:

Did Buzz Aldrin really say "I'm the first man to take a leak on the moon" while he was on the lunar surface? I read that someplace, but it was the 70s. That means there's a pretty good chance either the guy who wrote it or I (when I read it) were stoned.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 02-04-2005 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FFrench:
Perhaps the Mayors of Contact, Nevada, or Contact, Montana (yes, they are both real places) will be writing stern letters of protest! Or Okay, Oklahoma...
Well, look at how Truth or Consequences, NM got its name... mebbe we should start a petition to get Houston to change its name.

MoonMan Jeff
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posted 02-04-2005 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonMan Jeff   Click Here to Email MoonMan Jeff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Duke Of URL:
"Did Buzz Aldrin really say "I'm the first man to take a leak on the moon" while he was on the lunar surface?
I vaguley remember something like this being attributed to Buzz, but I think it was from the excellent Lunar Surface Journal transcripts, where they were reviewing all the events of the Ap11 EVA and were discussing some aspects of the spacesuit and cooling system, and Buzz may have said at some point; you know I was the first person to tinkle on the moon.

Its just that I don't have the time now to go thru the entire Apollo 11 Journal transcript but I think that is where Buzz said it. He CERTAINLY did not say it on the over-the-air broadcast from the moon... unless he said it in some nefarious NASA code!!!

spaceman1953
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posted 02-04-2005 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reminds me of that old (??) Cosmonaut tradition.....

Gene Bella
South Bend

sts205cdr
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posted 02-04-2005 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceman1953:
Reminds me of that old (??) Cosmonaut tradition.....

As old as manned spaceflight itself. Gagarin started it.

--John

pokey
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posted 02-05-2005 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pokey   Click Here to Email pokey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found myself asking Bill Shepherd about this cosmonaut tradition. Being a female, all I could blurt out was, "Did you do the tire thing?" Bill looked at me totally clueless. Andy Thomas helped me, "She wants to know if you urinated on the tire." Bill didn't blush, but I was by this time. He shook his head no, "I was physically unable." A good ole American boy, goes to the bathroom before the trip. I still can't believe I asked it, but the answer was no. Bill didn't seem to be "pissed off" by the question , which made me feel a little better about asking it.

All times are CT (US)

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