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  Apollo: To walk on the moon twice?

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Author Topic:   Apollo: To walk on the moon twice?
Columbiad1
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Posts: 38
From: Lakeland, FL, USA
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 02-19-2018 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Columbiad1   Click Here to Email Columbiad1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of all the Apollo astronauts only three got to go to the moon twice. Two got to orbit the moon on their first mission and walk on the moon their second mission. They were John Young (Apollo 10 and 16) and Eugene Cernan (Apollo 10 and 17). Jim Lovell orbited the moon twice (Apollo 8 and 13) and would of walked on the moon on Apollo 13.

Deke Slayton (the man who selected the astronauts for Apollo missions) was considering sending back several of the men who already went to the moon and walked on it for the last Apollo missions, most likely Apollo 18, 19 and 20 (the cancelled missions).

Which astronauts came the closest to walking on the moon twice? Fred Haise would have walked on the moon as LMP on Apollo 13 and was scheduled to walk on the moon again as commander of Apollo 19 before it was cancelled. Ed Mitchell was another, as he walked on the moon on Apollo 14 as LMP and was training as a backup for Apollo 16 which would of put him on Apollo 19 or 20 giving him the chance to walk on the moon again as LMP or as commander.

I also heard Jim Irwin who walked on the moon on Apollo 15 as LMP was being considered by Deke Slayton to walk on the moon again as a commander. Does anyone have more information on this and do you know of any other astronauts who came close to walking on the moon twice?

My theory is that Ed Mitchell came the closest to walking on the moon twice as his first walk on Apollo 14 was early enough and his possible mission on Apollo 19 or 20 to walk again was still in the Apollo moon mission timeframe before these missions were cancelled. Fred Haise would of been the closest prior but lost his chance to walk on the moon twice since he lost his first chance to walk on Apollo 13. Does this sound right?

It's possible Jim Irwin could of walked again on a theoretical Apollo 21 but that mission was never a reality and Apollo 20 was the farthest planned mission before being cancelled. Does anyone know any other astronauts that walked on the moon and were staying in the Apollo program to get a chance to walk on the moon again? Look foward to finding out more on this topic from others, thanks!

If history turned out differently it could of been: Fred Haise, first human to walk on the moon twice (Apollo 13 LMP and Apollo 19 commander) and Ed Mitchell, second human to walk on the moon twice (Apollo 14 LMP and Apollo 19 or 20 as LMP or commander). Jim Irwin possibly third (Apollo 15 LMP and theoretical Apollo 21 as LMP or commander).

Delta7
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From: Bluffton IN USA
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posted 02-19-2018 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mitchell only got the Apollo 16 backup assignment after Apollo 19 was cancelled. Originally Jerry Carr had been selected for that spot with the plan that he would rotate into the Apollo 19 prime crew LMP slot. Carr was assigned to fly on Skylab when the Apollo 16 backup spot became a dead-end.

It seems Slayton's system was to rotate CMPs into CDR slots after they flew (Lovell, Scott, Young, Collins-declined offer, Gordon). He probably intended to select Mattingly as Apollo 16 backup CDR/Apollo 19 CDR prior to Mattingly getting bumped from Apollo 13. When 13 failed to land it made sense to give Haise another shot at a landing. I doubt Haise would have got another landing had Apollo 13 succeeded and Apollo 19 flown.

Deke was quoted as saying about someone getting a second lunar landing: "You only get one of those!"

Kite
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posted 02-19-2018 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Pete Conrad possibly had the best chance but stepped out of the order when he realised that missions were going to be cancelled and switched to Skylab. Alan Bean, his fellow moonwalker on Apollo 12 followed suit who also would have been a contender.

I don't believe Ed Mitchell was in line as he was already planning on leaving before his Apollo 14 flight and according to Deke Slayton in his autobiography 'Deke' was threatened to lose his flight if he wasn't prepared to back up Apollo 16, for which he was selected when Slayton changed the back up crews, as after the cancellations they were left with dead end roles.

Jim Irwin was ruled out after the 'stamp scandal' after Apollo 15 although he had been back up to '17 up to that time.

It would appear that the best chance to walk on the moon twice fell to the eventual back ups to '16 and '17, Ed Mitchell on the former and John Young and Charlie Duke on the latter if in the unfortunate circumstances of a planned moon walker being incapacitated.

Had there been no cancellations I recall seeing somewhere that nobody would be allowed to walk on the moon twice as there was a sufficient amount of astronauts to select and that it would have been unfair.

carmelo
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From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
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posted 02-19-2018 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Theoretically, if Apollo 13 had been performed out as planned, and the Apollo program had come until Apollo 20, the last three CDRs would have been Gordon on Apollo 18, Mattingly on Apollo 19 and Roosa on Apollo 20.

I not think that Deke would have given to Swigert the job of CDR on Apollo 19.

So if Apollo 13 had landed on the moon, but the switch between Mattingly and Swigert had occurred, I think that is possible that Roosa would have Apollo 19 and Worden Apollo 20. No way for a man that already had walk on the moon to back again on the surface (not as prime crew member).

ManInSpace
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From: Brooklin, Ontario Canada
Registered: Feb 2018

posted 02-19-2018 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ManInSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Slayton's decision to recycle the later landing crews as backups for the final flights, almost led to a repeat moonwalker scenario.

While training for Apollo 17, Gene Cernan crashed during a helicopter training run and after leaving NASA he admitted that pilot error was responsible (Deke has some interesting insights regarding the accident's aftermath in his biography). Pending the release of the Accident Investigation Report, there was speculation that Cernan might be removed from active flight status.

John Young was the backup Cdr. for 17 and spoke years later about his anticipation over making another landing; if this had occurred.

Skylon
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posted 02-20-2018 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Skylon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are a lot of unknowns in this scenario of hypothetical crew assignments on Apollo 19 and 20. There are the suppositions that LMPs would be able to command landings twice and frankly there is a lot to support that — Haise, Mitchell and Iriwn were highly regarded in terms of their knowledge of the LM — to deny them the chance to fly the LM as commanders, just to "share the wealth" for landings seems a waste of talent. This isn't to say the early members of the 1966 selection who ended up as CMPs weren't well regarded — they clearly were.

I feel like from Slayton's POV it could be a toss-up — a matter of "who is he more comfortable with" between Mattingly-Haise, Roosa-Mitchell and Worden-Irwin.

For Mattingly-Haise — I think the logic about being a LM specialist plus Haise's "top marks" as a member of his astronaut group would lead to him edging out Mattingly as a CDR even if 13 landed safely. I think there is little question if the decision is between Swigert and Haise, that Haise would have been Slayton's pick.

For Roosa-Mitchell — ignoring Mitchell's decision to retire before 14 even flew, I would lean towards Roosa who impressed Slayton enough to be the only member of his group to support Gemini (as a Capcom) and the only member of his group to never be on a backup crew before an assignment on a prime crew. Mitchell seemed to alienate too many people based on the accounts of others. Of course it is Slayton's final call, but Roosa seems to fit the mold of one of Deke's "boys."

Ignoring the stamp scandal, the strain of the Apollo 15 EVAs would seem to take Irwin out or the running for going back, in my opinion, and probably bump up Worden's odds of flying as CDR.

Again, this may be fun to consider, but there are too many unknowns. Such as 13 landing safely, when an astronaut would decide "once is enough" like Mitchell did, or the whole stamp debacle. Reality can indeed throw curves to the based laid plans...

ashot
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posted 02-20-2018 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ashot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ManInSpace:
John Young was the backup Cdr. for 17 and spoke years later about his anticipation over making another landing; if this had occurred.
In fact, Young seems to come real close to making another landing than anybody else.

With Cernan's infection and twisted foot quite close to the launch date of Apollo-17 he was really walking on a thin ice and had things been gone in a slightly worse than they actually went, he could have been replaced by the backup CDR Young.

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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posted 02-20-2018 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Columbiad1:
Jim Lovell orbited the moon twice (Apollo 8 and 13)
Lovell only "orbited" the moon on Apollo 8.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 02-20-2018 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Columbiad1:
It's possible Jim Irwin could have walked again on a theoretical Apollo 21 but that mission was never a reality and Apollo 20 was the farthest planned mission before being cancelled.
As CMP, Worden would have had priority over Irwin, but more importantly: what evidence is there to show how many lunar landings were planned in 1966 (i.e. before Apollo 1)?

If funding had continued at 1966 levels, would Apollo not have been open-ended? Did the plan (later rejected) to send astronauts to Mars in the mid-1980s require an end to Apollo lunar landings, or would Apollo have continued in parallel with the Mars plan?

I personally remember, in July 1969, that the plan was to conduct lunar landings up to Apollo 20, probably followed by a month-long lunar mapping mission, but of course by 1969 funding had been slashed. What was the thinking in 1966?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2018 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wernher von Braun proposed Mars by the early 1980s because he saw the nation (and by that, I mean politicians) losing interest in the moon. If I recall correctly, the plan called for cancelling Apollo 14 onwards.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 02-21-2018 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Charlie Duke was hospitalized for double pneumonia in January 1972. Had that happened a few months later and closer to the launch date, who would have replaced him? His backup (Apollo 14 moonwalker) Ed Mitchell or someone else? Or would Apollo 16 have been postponed?

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 02-21-2018 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's what back-ups were for. Apollo 13 wasn't postponed, Mattingly was replaced by Swigert a few days before the launch. I see no reason why Apollo 16 would have been postponed if Duke had been sick and Mitchell was ready. Apollo 16 had already been postponed. Another delay would have started impacting on the future schedule (Apollo 17 and Skylab).

Probably the only astronaut who would NOT have been substituted (except by a long-term incapacity) was Schmitt, because of the importance of sending a geologist to the Moon. I think NASA would have allowed a one-month delay to Apollo 17 if Jack Schmitt had developed flu, or something else which would have resolved in a month.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 02-21-2018 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would delaying Apollo 16 by a month have affected Apollo 17 which was 7-8 months down the road? Financial costs would've been a more likely reason. We are talking about an agency that was using CM panels from Apollo 15 on Apollo 16.

ashot
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posted 02-21-2018 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ashot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ManInSpace:
While training for Apollo 17, Gene Cernan crashed during a helicopter training run...
Cernan's helicopter crash was on January 23, 1971, i.e. before Apollo 14 flew (and the Apollo 17 crew was announced). So, in case Slayton really wanted to remove Cernan from upcoming Apollo 17 command, he would have probably replaced him with Dick Gordon (who was still backup CDR of Apollo 15 by then.)

Also, the original backup crew for Apollo 17 was Scott, Worden and Irwin (until the stamp scandal surfaced, leading to their removal and assignment of Young, Roosa and Duke around early 1972 or so).

Cernan's infection and foot injury (as he writes himself in his book) were just few weeks before the launch of Apollo 17, so had Cernan to be replaced because of his medical condition only few weeks before the launch, logically the CDR slot would have been given to his backup CDR (i.e. Young).

schnappsicle
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From: Houston, TX, USA
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posted 03-22-2018 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting reading here, but I can't imagine Irwin would ever be considered for a second flight based solely on his heart condition during the Apollo 15 EVAs. Slayton himself was grounded for a simple (and non-life threatening) irregular heartbeat.

To send someone up a second time who basically had a heart attack while walking on the moon is not something NASA would ever want to risk.

oly
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From: Perth, Western Australia
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posted 03-22-2018 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lunar Diastolic Hypertension was a medical condition that Armstrong was found to have experienced during a review conducted post mission. This phenomena was found among many of the astronauts, both post flight and during missions.

As NASA developed improved methods of testing, it also began research into why astronauts experienced it. Some of the first Skylab medical tests addressed the issue, and NASA today still identify it as a risk for long duration spaceflight.

It may not directly rule out Irwin for a second mission, considerations on why he experienced it, including diet, rate of work effort, heat, and other factors would need to be addressed. Many of these were addressed, including John Young's orange juice, food snacks in space suits, better cooling, improved suit design, changes to surface work loads etc. were all a work in progress.

If NASA believed any improvements to their procedures and equipment would allow Irwin to re-fly, he may have been considered.

Headshot
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From: Streamwood, IL USA
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posted 03-22-2018 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As info, NASA scheduled three launch dates in early December 1972 for Apollo 17, three launch dates in early January 1973 and two launch dates in February 1973. Anything after that might have jeopardized Taurus-Littrow as the landing target.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 03-22-2018 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think there is much doubt that the man who came closest to landing on the moon twice was John Young. The other options (discussed earlier) were hypothetical.

In the case of Apollo 17, Gene Cernan wrote in his autobiography that he severely strained a tendon in his lower right leg, playing softball, six weeks before launch. He couldn't walk without crutches for a couple of weeks. The leg did recover enough to avoid a substitution, but Cernan experienced intermittent pain during the mission.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 04-07-2018 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
if Duke had been sick and Mitchell was ready
Perhaps backup CDR Fred Haise could have replaced Duke, giving Haise another shot at a moonwalk. Mitchell had already walked on the moon.

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