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  McDivitt Q & A (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   McDivitt Q & A
Novaspace
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posted 05-23-2006 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After the Jim McDivitt signing, we are going to do a video Q&A session for inclusion on our website. We're fielding interesting questions.
Got any?

Kim Poor

nasamad
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posted 05-23-2006 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Which do you feel is your greater achievement and why, flying Apollo or managing Apollo ?

Thanks Kim !

Adam

Matt T
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posted 05-23-2006 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why green?

Cheers,
Matt

------------------
www.spaceracemuseum.com

Blackarrow
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posted 05-23-2006 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kim,
It was always argued that Neil Armstrong had to leave "Eagle" first because the LM hatch opened inwards towards Aldrin, effectively blocked the LMP's exit until the commander had got out. Therefore, every commander got out first, followed by the LMP. The only exception to this was Apollo 9. The LMP, Rusty Schweickart did the EVA rather than the commander. My question to Jim McDivitt is where did he go to let Rusty get past the hatch to get out? Was he in the tunnel?

Tom
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posted 05-23-2006 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My question is:
Did you ever seriously consider the offer to fly with Alan Shepard on the original Apollo 13 crew?

Novaspace
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posted 05-23-2006 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All right! Great queations all! More!
Kim

mjanovec
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posted 05-23-2006 08:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Question #1: Is there a book from the hand of Jim McDivitt in the works?

Question #2: Was McDivitt happy with the portrayal of his Apollo 9 mission in the From the Earth to the Moon HBO series? Was the portrayal accurate...or does he feel it was flawed?

Question #3: What was the most rewarding part of his career...or the accomplishment(s) he is most proud of: Pre-NASA test flying? Gemini IV? Apollo 9? Post NASA? Something else?

Moonpaws
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posted 05-23-2006 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonpaws   Click Here to Email Moonpaws     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a queation:

Boxers or briefs?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-23-2006 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was the red "D" in your name on the Apollo 9 patch present from the start or was it added at some point?

For reference, here is an image of a vintage patch sans the red "D":

Or is/was the above a production mistake?

Aztecdoug
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posted 05-23-2006 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would love to hear of any stories that he would like to share about his days flying at Edwards AFB. He flew chase on some of the X-15 flights, and I imagine that he may have some tales that he could share with us.

I admit being ignorant about his specific role in NASA management. But if he could share any insight that he might know about the crew selection process that would be of interest.

------------------
Kind Regards

Douglas Henry

Enjoy yourself and have fun.... it is only a hobby!
http://home.earthlink.net/~aztecdoug/

dss65
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posted 05-23-2006 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know that this is risking bringing up a very sad subject, but please tell us a happy story about a huge hero: Ed White.

------------------
Don

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-23-2006 11:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
*As far as I know, you haven't visited Kennedy Space Center publicly since your induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame back in '93. May I ask why and would you consider doing so, even just to appear at a future induction ceremony?
Thanks so much,
Rob Joyner*

mjanovec
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posted 05-23-2006 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dss65:
I know that this is risking bringing up a very sad subject, but please tell us a happy story about a huge hero: Ed White.


I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall (in a fly's pressure suit that is) when Ed White finished his EVA and he got a chance to talk to McDivitt about the experience. Perhaps it would be good to ask McDivitt what the mood was like following the EVA (after they got the pesky hatch closed). Ed White is one of the few astronauts of that era to really express his joy so openly during a mission. I cannot help but get a big grin when he says "I feel like a million dollars!"

TrueNorth
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posted 05-24-2006 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TrueNorth   Click Here to Email TrueNorth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rusty's space sickness on A9: if he wouldn't have been able to do the EVA, the target dates for subsequent flights would have slipped and JFK's "end of the decade" goal would have been in jeopardy. Was he surpised when Rusty recovered and how much of a relief was it (keeping in mind that all commanders were fiercely proud about all major mission objectives nbeing achieved)? Were they as cool about it as portrayed on FTETTM?

Thanks Kim!

John

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 05-24-2006 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could Jim be persuaded to appear at a show in the UK?

Regards,

Rick.

nasamad
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posted 05-24-2006 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Do you still fly aircraft, if yes, what do you fly ?

Adam

Blackarrow
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posted 05-24-2006 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A second (and, I think, better) question:

When the problem arose with the SPS engine in lunar orbit on Apollo 16, one of the justifications for going ahead with the landing was a series of tests conducted on your Apollo 9 mission. In your opinion, did NASA break its own rules by going ahead with the landing, or were you personally satisfied that safe system-redundency had been demonstrated? Putting it another way, was proceeding with the landing a case of "Go Fever"?

Dwight
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posted 05-24-2006 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwight   Click Here to Email Dwight     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My question is:

Gen McDivitt, you appear at the midnight press conference during the Apollo 13 conference. All of you appear quite grim at that table. What chance did you give the Apollo 13 crew of successfully making it back to earth at that point in the mission given the current data you had available? How much of the bits of information you were working with were (at that point) educated guesses versus definite pinpointed problems.

thanks,
Dwight

[This message has been edited by Dwight (edited May 24, 2006).]

Ken Havekotte
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posted 05-24-2006 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is perhaps too much of a personal question: In leaving your position as Manager of NASA's Apollo Spacecraft Program at MSC/JSC in Aug. 1972, was there any truth to a rumored story that it was because Gene Cernan commanded the last manned lunar landing mision?

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-25-2006 03:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
*Would you mind sharing what was said at your initial contact, in-person or by telephone, with the astronauts of Apollo 13, as a crew or individually, after they safely returned home to Earth?
Thanks,
Rob Joyner*

Moltke
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posted 05-25-2006 05:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moltke   Click Here to Email Moltke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the end of the Gemini 4 mission, in dedicating photographs of yourselves, you inscibed the phrase 'The day the straw man fell down'. Can you explain why you chose these particular words of dedication ?

TRS
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posted 05-25-2006 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TRS   Click Here to Email TRS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi from New Zealand

Did you experience a "perfect moment" in you career as an astronaut? By this I mean a moment which as 'burned' itself into your memory as touching you in a way that you can take yourself back to it and expereince the feelings you had at that moment?

Thanks for being open to this Q&A - it is a wonderful opportunity for us all to ask something of the people who have inspired us.


Craig Forbes
Auckland, New Zealand

spaced out
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posted 05-25-2006 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This one's as much a request as a question -

Will you do another signing next year?

The reason is simple - I already have one more item that I'd love to get signed that arrived too late for this signing. Over the next year I fully expect to have several more items that I would love to get him to sign.

I'm quite sure that the demand would be sufficient to justify an annual signing. Don't make us wait two or three years... please!

Novaspace
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posted 05-25-2006 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is great! We will have at least 1/2 hour to question Gen. McDivitt, we'll post some of it on our website, but if it runs long, we'll sell (cheap) CDs of the full Q&A.

We'll have him rerprise some of the questions we asked during his visits to the gallery (one funny one about signing baseballs.)

Keep 'em coming!

Kim Poor

leslie
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posted 05-26-2006 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for leslie   Click Here to Email leslie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the original four NASA objectives for the Apollo programme was:

"To develop man's capability to work in a lunar environment"

Do you think this objective was met fully
or will be be starting again as and when we reach the moon again?

Thanks

------------------
Leslie

mjanovec
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posted 05-26-2006 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's another:

What does Gen. McDivitt feel was the cause for the early end of the Apollo program? Having met Kennedy's goal...and not having a high profile goal beyond that? Waning public interest? Lack of Congressional support? Changing administrations? The failure of the Russian program to send a man to the moon? Something else?

[This message has been edited by mjanovec (edited May 26, 2006).]

cddfspace
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posted 05-26-2006 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kim,

As someone who sent in a baseball, I'm curious- exactly how many baseballs came in to be signed?

CDDFSPACE

Novaspace
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posted 05-26-2006 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cddfspace:
Kim,

As someone who sent in a baseball, I'm curious- exactly how many baseballs came in to be signed?

CDDFSPACE



Maybe 20 or so. More than ever before. Everyone's getting a goood batting practice in here.<G>
Kim

nasamad
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posted 05-26-2006 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

As a UK resident I'm curious as to why baseballs are desirable to have autographed by people unrelated to the game ?

Adam

Novaspace
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posted 05-26-2006 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's an American thing, Adam. I guarantee you all the astronauts, politicians, etc. have played organized baseball at one time. Even though much of the world now plays (sometimes better), there's nothing more distinctly American, and Apollo was a home run.

Besides, it's too hard to sign a golf ball.

Kim

taneal1
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posted 05-26-2006 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taneal1   Click Here to Email taneal1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
1.)Gen. McDivitt had received the same EVA training as Ed White for Gemini 4. For Apollo 9, he and Schweickart had trained for an emergency LM/CSM EVA transfer in the event that the docking mechanism failed.

If Schweickart had not recovered enough to do the EVA at all, had you considered performing the EVA yourself? Perhaps just hanging out on the porch as Rusty did for his actual EVA...

2.)In an interview with Donald Pealer, he asked "Were you ever approached for command of a lunar mission?" You response was "Yes. I could have commanded Apollo 13 if I had wanted it."

Slayton only relates his (and Shepard's) idea of assigning you as LM pilot with Shepard as LM commander for Apollo 13. Did Slayton simply not mention, or forget offering you the CDR assignment? Or was that offered by the managers above him after he "submitted" Shepard as CDR and you as LMP?

Thanks to Kim and General McDivitt for this great interview idea!!

Tom

[This message has been edited by taneal1 (edited May 26, 2006).]

machbusterman
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posted 05-26-2006 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
General McDivitt, What did you think when your C.O. at Edwards AFB organised a night-time formation flight during which he instigated a (failed) loop? I know one of the pilots (ex RAF) from that flight and he wondered what direction you took after your C.O. gave the order to break?

BTW, the ex RAF pilot still thinks that night formation flying is crazy!

Thanks for answering my question,

Derek

[This message has been edited by machbusterman (edited May 26, 2006).]

mjanovec
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posted 05-26-2006 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Novaspace:
Besides, it's too hard to sign a golf ball.

Have you ever gotten any other types of balls for a signing? Footballs (American or European), basketballs, tennis balls, billiard balls, etc.

Novaspace
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posted 05-26-2006 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tennis balls?? that'd be a hoot! I think we had one golf ball once, but I'll bet THAT never happens again. Looked pretty bad.

Kim

poolman18
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posted 05-26-2006 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for poolman18   Click Here to Email poolman18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you had to choose one flight, would it be Gemini 4 because of the historical significance or Apollo 9 because of the techical demanding flight.

Thank You

David D'Angelo

freshspot
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posted 05-27-2006 04:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pro tennis players sign tennis balls all the time. The use a big thick sharpie. Unfortunately the sigs look terrible, but it is appropriate to the athlete to sign the ball of their own sport. One of the tennis ball manufacturers makes a basketball-sized tennis ball specifically for getting a bunch of sigs at tounaments. I was at the Champions Tour in Boston several months ago and got John McEnroe to sign - no not a tennis ball - my copy of his great book "You Cannot Be Serious".

All that being said, I can't imagine an astro signing a tennis ball...

mensclub10@aol.com
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posted 05-27-2006 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensclub10@aol.com   Click Here to Email mensclub10@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kim, you are right. Some great questions!

Here's mine:

Being chosen to become an astronaut and eventually fly in Gemini 4 and Apollo 9 (a tremendous achievement in itself) were you hoping to become one of the very few men chosen who would get the chance to walk on the moon? Were you disapointed not to be able to do so?

Dave

mjanovec
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posted 05-27-2006 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Novaspace:
Tennis balls?? that'd be a hoot!

Just sign 'em with a nice sharp pencil.

Novaspace
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posted 05-27-2006 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Novaspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:

All that being said, I can't imagine an astro signing a tennis ball...

Sally Ride might... but I digress. More questions!!

Kim

Tom
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posted 05-27-2006 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having been the commander of two very important spaceflights, I always wondered wether or not the CDR had any input on who actually flew with them?
Thank you.


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