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  [ASF Astro Chat] GT-11, Apollo 12 Dick Gordon

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Author Topic:   [ASF Astro Chat] GT-11, Apollo 12 Dick Gordon
ASF1984
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posted 04-28-2011 08:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASF1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's (ASF) Astro Chat series continues with Gemini and Apollo astronaut Richard Gordon! Got questions? He's got answers!

Decide what you want to ask a man who's flown to the Moon, and post your questions here by 9:00 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) on Wednesday, May 4.

Richard F. Gordon Jr. walked in space on Gemini 11 and orbited the moon on Apollo 12...

Gordon will answer as many as possible in a video response, which will be posted the following week here and on the Foundation's website.

Previous ASF Astro Chats: Al Worden

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-28-2011 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What was the most impressive lunar surface feature that you observed during your time in lunar orbit? Was it a specific crater or mountain range? What an amazing sight that must have been. I miss the excitement of the Apollo flights.

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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posted 04-28-2011 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Following the Apollo 12 mission, your crewmates Pete Conrad and Alan Bean moved over to Apollo Applications and as a result they flew again on Skylab.

Looking back with hindsight, do you have any regrets that you stayed with the lunar program in hopes of landing on the moon with (the cancelled) Apollo 18? Or was the chance to land on the moon more important that it was worth the risk of giving up the chance to fly again?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 04-28-2011 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As the expected commander of the Apollo 18 flight, have you been to the Cradle of Aviation Museum and seen LM-13? Any thoughts as to the CSM and LM call signs?

cosmos-walter
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Posts: 406
From: Salzburg, Austria
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 04-28-2011 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was Apollo 18 cancelled rather due to high cosmic radiation which occurred due to solar flares between Apollo 16 and 17 than due to saving of funds?

canyon42
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Posts: 170
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 04-28-2011 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 18 (and 19) missions were canceled in 1970, well before Apollo 16 flew in 1972.

Delta7
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From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 04-28-2011 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is your most vivid memory of your spacewalk on Gemini XI?

Rob Joyner
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From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 04-30-2011 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aviation has been a very important part of your life. Do you have any desire to fly aboard one of the future sub-orbital commercial flights?

jasonelam
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Posts: 443
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-30-2011 10:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is your favorite memory from either Gemini 11 or Apollo 12?

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2458
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-01-2011 03:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has the nagging of everybody in Pontefract, as well as your own children, persuaded you to change your mind about writing your autobiography; I am quite sure Al Worden's forthcomming book will tell it like it is so why not you?

Regards, Rick (Not your son)

PS. Did you get an upgrade for your flight home from Pontefract?

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 05-01-2011 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could moonwalkers Conrad and Bean have seen the Command Module "Yankee Clipper" fly overhead from the lunar surface ... and did they?

Apollo Redux
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Posts: 346
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 05-02-2011 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mr. Gordon, what would you like to see done in future American space efforts, and where do you think NASA's priorities should lie?

Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 05-02-2011 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What do you think is needed to get America's attention back into space so that we have the enthusiasm that we did during Mercury-Apollo era? Thanks!

David

Tom
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From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 05-02-2011 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Following your launch aboard Apollo 12, did you or your crewmates ever feel that the events during ascent may have changed your lunar mission to an abbreviated earth orbiting flight?

Nigel Mc
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Posts: 96
From: Sheffield, UK
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 05-03-2011 04:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nigel Mc   Click Here to Email Nigel Mc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is your favourite book or film?

golddog
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Posts: 176
From: australia
Registered: Feb 2008

posted 05-03-2011 04:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for golddog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's your favorite aircraft? Was it the F4?

Paul23
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From: South East, UK
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posted 05-03-2011 04:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was there a single moment where you felt like you were 'home from the moon'?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-03-2011 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given your almost-command of the real Apollo 18, what's your opinion of Hollywood and other entertainers' using the mission in their projects? For example:
  • the band "They Might Be Giants" released a 1992 album called "Apollo 18";

  • in his 1982 novel "SPACE," author James Michener sent Apollo 18 to the far side of the Moon; and

  • this August, director Timur Bekmambetov re-imagines the mission as having actually launched and made it to the moon — albeit in secret — in The Weinstein Company film "Apollo 18" (former flight director Gerry Griffin was technical advisor).
Does it surprise you that as great a real adventure was Apollo that it has given way to fiction?

nasamad
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Posts: 1890
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 05-03-2011 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When you awoke after your catnap during EVA aboard Gemini XI, what were your feelings waking up to a view of earth from orbit?

Adam Bootle from Essex, UK

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 05-03-2011 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do you ever dream of space?

moorouge
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posted 05-03-2011 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You once said that alone in lunar orbit was a welcome respite from having to share the CM with characters such as Pete Conrad and Al Bean. Given that you wouldn't wanted to have swopped them as crew-mates, who would you have liked to have flown with?

Kite
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Posts: 231
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 05-03-2011 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A question I never got around to asking in Featherstone was did you go into the lunar module before it departed to the moon or as command module pilot was this just not done. Do you know if other CM pilots ever did this on the outward journey? I ask this just out of interest.

dog320
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From: West Sussex, United Kingdom
Registered: Jul 2010

posted 05-03-2011 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dog320     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As you headed out from Earth on Apollo 12, did you reach a point where the lag in radio communications (due to the finite speed of light) became noticeable or a nuisance?

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2458
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-03-2011 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Documentaries I have seen from Apollo 12 suggest that Al Bean is the only crewman who knew the "SCE to AUX" procedure following the lightening strike. Is that correct or did you know it also?

Rick Mulheirn
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From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-03-2011 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 1 fire investigation concluded, (based on little definitive evidence) that chaffed wiring was the likely ignition source on that fateful January day.

North American Aviation had evidence to support one likely scenario but it involved Gus Grissom accidentally knocking cables creating an electrical arc.

Any findings that may have implicated the crew, however involunatarily were not to even considered by the Review Board.

Naturally you would wish to protect the standing of your deceased friendes and colleagues. But as a test pilot were you comforatble with the rather vague findings of the review board?

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 05-03-2011 08:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 12 Command Module is on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center. When was the last time you saw it?

What a flood of memories that must have generated!

stsmithva
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Posts: 1319
From: Centreville, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 05-03-2011 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You attended the Navy's Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, and served as a flight test pilot there. Was this as harrowing as portrayed in the first chapter or two of "The Right Stuff"? What was the surrounding area like? (I went to college a few miles away, where Alan Bean first started taking art classes.)

What was something you had been worried about before either of your NASA missions that in fact went much smoother than you'd feared?

What was a useful bit of advice that the crew of Apollo 11 told you after their mission that hadn't come up during training - someone had to experience a mission like yours to learn about it?

The crew of Apollo 12 seems to have been the closest of the Apollo crews. Do you remember the circumstances of when you first met Pete Conrad and Alan Bean? Can you tell us a story or two about the three of you, either while on the clock or after hours, that even space program enthusiasts probably don't know about?

perineau
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From: FRANCE
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 05-04-2011 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why (or how) did you choose to become a command module pilot instead of a lunar module pilot?

ASF1984
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posted 05-20-2011 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASF1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for Gordon to answer! Here are his replies to as many questions as we could fit in:

Stay tuned for information on our next Astro Chat!

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 05-20-2011 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great program, thanks to all involved.

LM-12
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Posts: 809
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 05-20-2011 01:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you ASF and many thanks to astronaut Richard Gordon for answering my questions. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2458
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 05-20-2011 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good to see Dick looking so well. Thanks ASF for putting these on.

Fezman92
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From: New Jersey, USA
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posted 05-20-2011 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would love to see if they could to a Q&A with Armstrong...

MCroft04
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From: Smithfield, Me, USA
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posted 05-20-2011 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM-12:
Could moonwalkers Conrad and Bean have seen the Command Module "Yankee Clipper" fly overhead from the lunar surface ... and did they?

David Harland cites in Apollo 12 On the Ocean of Storms several times when Pete and/or Al observed Yankee Clipper passing overhead. I'm almost through this book and if you don't have a copy, you gotta get one. Great book!

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
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posted 05-20-2011 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Command Module orbit was only about 60 miles above the lunar surface, so a CM flyover must have been quite a sight to see for the moonwalking astronauts.

alanh_7
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Posts: 889
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 05-21-2011 09:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another great job by the folks at the ASF. Astro Chat is a great way to ask those questions we have all wanted to ask and never had the chance. Great idea.

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