To: Letters IHT
Date: Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM
As a long-time subscriber [...] I was looking forward for today’s (27/8) newspaper, but obviously got the wrong one. You see, the death of Neil Armstrong is a tiny mention on the front and a minute area at page 5.
I am sure nobody at the IHT can be such an ignoramus as to reduce one of the biggest stories of 2012 at the level of a small footnote in history. PLEASE SEND ME THE VERSION WITH AN APPROPRIATE EULOGY FOR SOMEBODY DEFINED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AS A “GREAT AMERICAN HERO”.
In the meanwhile, conscious that the biggest sin for a journalist is to not be read, I am sending you back via post the newspaper delivered this morning, 99.99% of it absolutely pristine.
As microblogged live on my (other) Twitter account, @mmorabito67 on May 25, 2011:
- At the BIS British Interplanetary Society in London for Alan Lawrie’s SaturnV presentation. live microblogging 6pm GMT
- Title is “Saturn V Manufacturing and testing” – room packed
- Special anniversary of Kennedy’s announcement of the Moon attempt in 1961
- Lawrie has 30 years of space technology experience
- Kennedy spoke at around 1.09pm EDT – Also 45th of first full rocket
- Mastermind was Von Braun – developed in record time, new materials invented
- Huntsville Al. was a small city when Von Braun went there in the 1950s -
- Picture of Von Braun team member meeting Korolev’s daughter -
- Saturn was a military concept for testing rockets at the start -
- Pictures of Marshall Spaceflight Center test facilities -
- RL10 h2 / o2 rocket test facility. Neosho rocket production facility in Missouri near Joplin -
- Details of rocket. First stage S-1C by Boeing and MSF.
- Welded tanks but bolted intertanks. Manufacturing details. Fairings around external engines blown after separation
- Pictures of retrorockets firing – heroicrelics.org
- S-1C firing test at MSF. Walt Disney visiting Huntsville
- Picture of Saturn V in test stand
- People measuring rocket’s vibrational modes by pushing it – same happened for Ares -
- Stage built vertically but engines inserted horizontally -
- First stage of Apollo 16 caught fire during tests. Engineers forced to look at the failed parts.
- S-II second stage by NAA in California. Not kerosene but hydrogen. One tank with one bulkhead within
- Testing at same Mississippi facility still used
- Story of mistaken loading to explosion due to incorrect procedures
- First stage o2 not insulated but second h2 had to be. Several attempts up to Apollo 13.
- Third stage S-IV B similar to second stage but one engine.
- Tanks hemispherical in 3rd ellipsoidal in 1st and 2nd
- 2nd stage external insulation strong metal inside. 3rd stage insulation inside by tiles that didn’t fall off.
- Picture of Skylab being built out of 3rd stage
- Explosion in Jan 1967 of S-IVB-503 3rd stage one week before Apollo 1.- problem with Helium tanks
- Problem with welding of He tanks.
- Pictures comparing sites in 1967 and 2006 -
- F-1 rocket engines – tested at Edwards
- J-2 tested near Hollywood
- Overview of Saturn V flights. Second flight not so well (Apollo 6) with 2 lost engines then Apollo 8
- Apollo 8 – a major structural failuree in California a day earlier but launched anyway
- Pictures of test firings of Apollo 11. Lightning striking Apollo 12. Apollo 17 3rd stage never test fired.
- How did they make it so perfect? Leadership, mindset. Von Braun and other German managers
- Many things worked by dodging bullets
- Personally I would not be surprised the programme was stopped before a major accident would kill it and spaceflight
The lecture followed the publication of “Saturn” by Alan Lawrie with Robert Godwin.
My first ever podcast, entitled “Moon Colonies”, is now available at “365 Days of Astronomy” for January 23, 2011. The 10-min MP3 audio recording is at this link (including the shortest guitar solo in history, but hey, it’s my first musical recording too!).
Transcript will follow soon.