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  Bill Anders: Apollo assignments (LMP vs. CMP)

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Author Topic:   Bill Anders: Apollo assignments (LMP vs. CMP)
JasonB
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posted 02-28-2012 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just read Gene Cernan's book and in it he mentions that Bill Anders simply wanted to walk on the moon and when he was in line to be made command module pilot (CMP) for Apollo 14 he didn't want it.

My question is, if Anders was the lunar module pilot (LMP) on Apollo 8 and clearly simply wanted to walk on the moon, why was he moved to CMP on Apollo 11 backup and Fred Haise made LMP instead of him? Wouldn't it have made more sense for him to simply stay as LMP? I would think his experience of flying on Apollo 8 would have given him at least some pull to be made LMP for Apollo 14 over Haise or am I missing something? Just wondering.

Rick Mulheirn
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From: England
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posted 02-28-2012 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Imagine if Bill Anders had walked on the moon. That would have been a tough signature to acquire readily.

Delta7
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From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 02-28-2012 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The basic reason is that at the time the early lunar landing assignments were made, Deke Slayton had a rule that the CMP be someone that had flown in space. Anders had, Haise hadn't. And there simply wasn't another veteran astronaut available to fill the spot.

AJ
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From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 02-28-2012 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting! I'd take any trip to the moon over none at all, even if I had been there before!

BBlatcher
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From: Savannah, GA, USA
Registered: Aug 2011

posted 02-28-2012 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BBlatcher     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You have to remember that training to be an astronaut was hard, really hard. Several astronauts turned down virtually certain chances to walk on the moon.

Wally Schirra, commander of Apollo 7, retired, saying the business had devoured him. As an original Mercury astronaut, he would have been at the head of any moon walking line. Deke Slayton strongly believed that those who had been in the program the longest got first crack at "the goodies."

Frank Borman, commander of Apollo 8, supposedly turned down an offer to be first on the moon. He just didn't care that much about "winning the war," felt he had done his part with Gemini 7 and Apollo 8.

Jim McDivitt of Apollo 9, turned down a similar offer.

Mike Colins, CMP of Apollo 11, was pointedly offered to get right back into the rotation, which would have made him backup commander of Apollo 14 and commander of Apollo 17. Why, the training was brutal and leaving him little time with his family and his wife with the burden of many things. He put so much of himself into training for Apollo 11 that he wrote he literally couldn't think of anything beyond the mission. Which is a shame, because he was the best writer of the Apollo astronauts and it would have been great to hear his recollections of walking on the moon.

Anders felt he had already orbited the moon and didn't see much point in doing it again.

Jim McDivitt was supposedly so enraged about having Alan Shepard bump him from command of Apollo 14, he quit being an astronaut. He was offered to be the LMP of Apollo 14 or back up commander and eventual commander of 17, but McDiviit said no.

Poor Fred Haise wanted it badly and immediately got back into rotation after Apollo 13. Had Apollo 19 flown, he would have commanded it.

Dick Gordon, the CMP of Apollo 12 rejected a chance to get in on the ground floor of Skylab and stuck it out for command of Apollo 18, only to see it canceled.

Cernan, was a lucky SOB, as you know. Turning down a guaranteed seat on Apollo 16 in hopes of being commander of a mission was ballsy/idiotic.

JasonB
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posted 02-29-2012 06:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JasonB   Click Here to Email JasonB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delta7:
The basic reason is that at the time the early lunar landing assignments were made, Deke Slayton had a rule that the CMP be someone that had flown in space.
Thanks, that answers my question as to why it happened.

edorr
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Posts: 39
From: Chelmsford, MA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 02-29-2012 08:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for edorr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought that McDivitt quit from the astronaut corps because he was unsuccessful in getting Cernan removed as commander of Apollo 17. If I recall correctly, he felt that crashing a helicopter was beyond the pale.

Update: Should've done my research. According to Check-Six.com:

James McDivitt, an Apollo Manager at the time, demanded that Cernan be removed from flight status and not be given command of Apollo 17, as the master Apollo manning plan called for. However, Cernan was defended by the chief astronaut, Deke Slayton, and given the Apollo 17 command. Upset by the decision, McDivitt resigned as an Apollo Manager shortly after the Apollo 16 mission in June of 1972.

robsouth
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From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 02-29-2012 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BBlatcher:
As an original Mercury astronaut, he would have been at the head of any moon walking line.
The Mercury 7 astronauts were not really in the pipeline for the moon landing missions, Shepard was the exception when he forced his way back into the crew rotation. It was expected that they would step down and let the new groups of astronauts fly Apollo.

Glenn, Slayton, Carpenter and Shepard were not available at the beginning of the program with Cooper a doubt and Grissom and Schirra getting early missions but not figuring in the later flights.

Delta7
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From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 02-29-2012 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, one exception. Grissom was on track to become the first man to walk on the moon at the time of his death. Years later it was revealed that Slayton told him so in a private conversation. Schirra was never in line, and Cooper lost his chance when he angered management one too many times and was bumped by Shepard. Neither Carpenter or Glenn ever figured into Apollo.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-29-2012 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When it comes to Anders, you can read his thoughts on this subject direct at the top of P.320 of our 2007 book "In the Shadow of the Moon," with some backround info on P.319.

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