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Author Topic: 1980: Buzz Aldrin - After The Moon Landing  (Read 7711 times)

Offline Duncan MacRae

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1980: Buzz Aldrin - After The Moon Landing
« on: August 21, 2023, 10:11:32 AM »
1980: Buzz Aldrin - After The Moon Landing

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1980: Buzz Aldrin - After The Moon Landing
« on: August 21, 2023, 10:11:32 AM »

Online Joe Elliott

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Re: 1980: Buzz Aldrin - After The Moon Landing
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2023, 11:22:59 PM »

1980: Buzz Aldrin - After The Moon Landing

I'm not certain that it was just luck that Armstrong and Aldrin were on the first landing mission. Armstrong was on Gemini 8, which had the greatest crisis in the American space program, that happened in space, until Apollo 13. And he handled it very well, adverting a disaster by a fairly narrow margin.

Aldrin took on a very difficult mathematical problem, how to manually control the spacecraft so the command module and the lunar module could rendezvous while in lunar orbit, if the computers onboard stopped working. Much more difficult to do than if one is far from the Earth and the Moon. A mathematical problem that would have taxed a professional mathematician. An outstanding accomplishment. And a problem that Aldrin just decided to tackle on his own initiative.

I suspect that someone worked the schedule, so that if nothing went wrong with Apollo 8, Apollo 9 and Apollo 10, Armstrong and Aldrin would be on that all important Apollo 11 mission. And like Gemini 8, the unexpected happened, though not nearly as severe. Needless computer error messages, and an unexpected overshooting the landing zone, caused unexpected problems. Like Gemini 8, Armstrong, on the fly, came up with the appropriate corrective action, to land the lunar module with less than a minute to spare. And was ably assisted by Aldrin who kept to his task of monitoring the instruments and reporting the readings, and not distracted by the problems they were having.

I met Aldrin once in the early 1990's. He wanted various nations to work together to explore space. Hopefully leading to man space flights throughout the solar system, and maybe someday beyond. That had become his dream. He did not approve of the United States cutting back on manned space exploration after the Apollo program. He invited a Russian cosmonaut to speak with him and I got to meet him as well.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, I don't know if he wants to work with Russia anymore, but I would guess he still respects the Russian space program and the people who have worked on it.