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I was 24 years old
Old Whatshisname staff
retired aerospace bureaucrat
User ID: 508102
07-19-2019 10:54 PM

Posts: 2,672




Post: #1
I was 24 years old
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I was 24 years old at the time, working second shift with Sly and Bernie as mainframe operators at the IBM-Federal Systems Division computer center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We were the prime contractor to NASA for ground-based computer systems on all the manned programs: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and ASTP.

The three of us managed somehow to have the entire weekend of Apollo 11 off and saw just about every hour of it in real time over at Bernie's apartment. I remember we cheered when the Saturn V lifted; and sweated when Armstrong and Aldrin landed (and also when the lunar ascent vehicle -- which had never been tested -- took off. Finally, after the communications blackout at re-entry and we saw those three orange parachutes, we all three burst into tears.

If you aren't of an age to remember it, I don't think you could ever understand what most of the people around the Earth felt that week.

But how short-lived it was! Within five years, the manned missions were over, with the powers-that-be telling us that it was better to fight two wars -- in Asia and against "poverty", both of which we lost -- than to continue to the stars.

NASA squandered what little funds they had in building a series of overpriced and worthless flying buses which, when they weren't killing their crew and passengers, were taking mankind absolutely nowhere.

And what are we doing now? Re-building oversized and overpriced Apollo capsules which "may" return to the moon: and no one seems to care. Americans have lost their will, the Russians have lost their money, the Europeans never really cared, and only the Chinese have any real interest, much of which is the same political one-upmanship we and the Soviets used to flog our respective projects.

I think the sentence which best tells America's story regarding space exploration was voiced by Marlon Brando in the movie On the Waterfront:
"I coulda been a contender!"

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!
The Modest Poster
Registered User
User ID: 433612
07-19-2019 10:57 PM

Posts: 9,978




Post: #2
RE: I was 24 years old
Very nice life story.

I think the focus at NASA should be to build powerful nuclear thermal engines to bring people to Mars within six weeks. Because now, it takes a year and a half, which is way too long for most missions.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/m...ines-mars/
(This post was last modified: 07-19-2019 11:00 PM by The Modest Poster.)
PopEye
( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)
User ID: 436592
07-19-2019 10:58 PM

Posts: 11,321




Post: #3
RE: I was 24 years old
5*

I was sixteen at the time of the first landing, man what a nail biter it was!

____________________
Non Sequitur
Luvapottamus
Registered User
User ID: 372884
07-19-2019 11:01 PM

Posts: 24,501




Post: #4
RE: I was 24 years old
So you believe they landed an aluminum can in a vertical landing, with a few rubber bands and a tinker toy computer.

but they can't possibly be spraying aerosols into the Earth atmosphere to reflect sunlight.

chuckle
Sultan of Wings
Registered User
User ID: 504617
07-19-2019 11:17 PM

Posts: 4,108




Post: #5
RE: I was 24 years old
Old Whatshisname  Wrote: (07-19-2019 10:54 PM)
I was 24 years old at the time, working second shift with Sly and Bernie as mainframe operators at the IBM-Federal Systems Division computer center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We were the prime contractor to NASA for ground-based computer systems on all the manned programs: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and ASTP.

The three of us managed somehow to have the entire weekend of Apollo 11 off and saw just about every hour of it in real time over at Bernie's apartment. I remember we cheered when the Saturn V lifted; and sweated when Armstrong and Aldrin landed (and also when the lunar ascent vehicle -- which had never been tested -- took off. Finally, after the communications blackout at re-entry and we saw those three orange parachutes, we all three burst into tears.

If you aren't of an age to remember it, I don't think you could ever understand what most of the people around the Earth felt that week.

But how short-lived it was! Within five years, the manned missions were over, with the powers-that-be telling us that it was better to fight two wars -- in Asia and against "poverty", both of which we lost -- than to continue to the stars.

NASA squandered what little funds they had in building a series of overpriced and worthless flying buses which, when they weren't killing their crew and passengers, were taking mankind absolutely nowhere.

And what are we doing now? Re-building oversized and overpriced Apollo capsules which "may" return to the moon: and no one seems to care. Americans have lost their will, the Russians have lost their money, the Europeans never really cared, and only the Chinese have any real interest, much of which is the same political one-upmanship we and the Soviets used to flog our respective projects.

I think the sentence which best tells America's story regarding space exploration was voiced by Marlon Brando in the movie On the Waterfront:
"I coulda been a contender!"

I was 18 and some when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the Moon.

I also remember Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin's flight and Valentina, the first woman in Space.

I was geeked from a very young age.

What now?

Stupid phones for the sheep so they can post selfies on Instagram and blurb nonsense on Snapchat and Whatsapp or Facebook.

Civilization has regressed at warp speed.

Anon
Mr ifnoc nli
lop guest
User ID: 508193
07-19-2019 11:19 PM

 




Post: #6
RE: I was 24 years old
Jsomrjll

You gotta post a pic of you 3 nerds, or something. You know it will be asked. Like standing next to a building full of what can now be done in a small room? I'm s9me what familiar with early IBMs, I fixed a few. Nerdery Behemoths! I was -2ish years old, so can't imagine the crazy involved.
Probably makes babysitting we ignoramuseseseses, a mental crunching hiatus, no? chuckle
LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 508195
07-19-2019 11:23 PM

 




Post: #7
RE: I was 24 years old
cool story bro
LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 508158
07-19-2019 11:24 PM

 




Post: #8
RE: I was 24 years old
chuckle
A weekend at bernies.
LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 508196
07-19-2019 11:29 PM

 




Post: #9
heart RE: I was 24 years old
the moon is a satanic hologram. Jesus will fix things right soon so stop it y'all please Heartflowers
Old Whatshisname staff
retired aerospace bureaucrat
User ID: 508102
07-19-2019 11:38 PM

Posts: 2,672




Post: #10
RE: I was 24 years old
LoP Guest  Wrote: (07-19-2019 11:29 PM)
the moon is a satanic hologram. Jesus will fix things right soon so stop it y'all please Heartflowers

Actually, the Moon is a holatic santagram.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!
Old Whatshisname staff
retired aerospace bureaucrat
User ID: 508102
07-19-2019 11:41 PM

Posts: 2,672




Post: #11
RE: I was 24 years old
Mr ifnoc nli  Wrote: (07-19-2019 11:19 PM)
Jsomrjll

You gotta post a pic of you 3 nerds, or something. You know it will be asked. Like standing next to a building full of what can now be done in a small room? I'm s9me what familiar with early IBMs, I fixed a few. Nerdery Behemoths! I was -2ish years old, so can't imagine the crazy involved.
Probably makes babysitting we ignoramuseseseses, a mental crunching hiatus, no? chuckle

Back then it was plug-wiring electro-mechanical accounting machines to 1401s to System/360's in 7090 emulation if any of that means anything (NOTE: it doesn't, anymore) LOL.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!
Roddy's Creed
Registered User
User ID: 507010
07-19-2019 11:45 PM

Posts: 5,189




Post: #12
RE: I was 24 years old
LOL

I do not label myself. What I stand for is based on my own convictions, and I don't care which box - the left one or the right one - they happen to belong.
Roddy's Creed
Registered User
User ID: 507010
07-19-2019 11:47 PM

Posts: 5,189




Post: #13
RE: I was 24 years old
Old Whatshisname  Wrote: (07-19-2019 11:38 PM)
LoP Guest  Wrote: (07-19-2019 11:29 PM)
the moon is a satanic hologram. Jesus will fix things right soon so stop it y'all please Heartflowers

Actually, the Moon is a holatic santagram.

Lame move (let me post as a religious tard here)


Dude, pfff....

I do not label myself. What I stand for is based on my own convictions, and I don't care which box - the left one or the right one - they happen to belong.
(This post was last modified: 07-19-2019 11:47 PM by Roddy's Creed.)
He Man
Subscriber
User ID: 426524
07-20-2019 12:15 AM

Posts: 35,424




Post: #14
RE: I was 24 years old
Thanks for the story and your insights into the NASA events.

5* thread. Hugs Cheer Jhikpghf

Making LOP Great again since 06-07-2013!

[Image: PYkec5s.jpg]

"They pelted us with rocks and garbage!"
(This post was last modified: 07-20-2019 12:15 AM by He Man.)
Natura Naturans
Registered User
User ID: 506340
07-20-2019 12:17 AM

Posts: 13,158




Post: #15
RE: I was 24 years old
So just how did the do that complicated docking above the moon with slide rules? Calculating orbits that they probably couldn't know accurately. Hard to do with up to date tech, let alone flying in the dark with slide rules.

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.” --Baruch Spinoza
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