Monthly Archives: August 2012

Excerpt from transcript of the Technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transmission from the Apollo 11 mission

CC – Mission Control Center, Capsule Communicator

CDR – Commander, Neil A. Armstrong

LMP – Lunar Module Pilot, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr


04 06 45 21          LMP       30 feet, 2 1/2 down. Faint shadow.

04 06 45 25          LMP       4 forward. 4 forward. Drifting to the right a little. Okay. Down a half.

04 06 45 31          CC           30 seconds.

04 06 45 32          CDR        Forward drift?

04 06 45 33          LMP       Yes.

04 06 45 34          LMP       Okay.

04 06 45 40          LMP       CONTACT LIGHT.

04 06 45 43          LMP       Okay. ENGINE STOP.

04 06 45 45          LMP       ACA – out of DETENT.

04 06 45 46          CDR        Out of DETENT.


04 06 45 52          LMP       413 is in.

04 06 45 57          CC           We copy you down, Eagle.

04 06 45 59          CDR        Houston, Tranquility Base here.

04 06 46 04          CDR        THE EAGLE HAS LANDED.

04 06 46 06          CC           Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.

04 06 46 16          CDR        Thank you.


04 13 22 48          CC           Okay. Neil, we can see you coming down the ladder now.

04 13 22 59          CDR        Okay. I just checked getting back up to that first step, Buzz. It’s – not even collapsed too far, but it’s adequate to get back up.

04 13 23 10          CC           Roger. We copy.

04 13 23 11          CDR        It takes a pretty good little jump.

04 13 23 25          CC           Buzz, this is Houston. F/2 – 1/160th second for shadow photography on the sequence camera.

04 13 23 35          LMP       Okay.

04 13 23 38          CDR        I’m at the foot of the ladder. The LM footpads are only depressed in the surface about 1 or 2 inches, although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It’s almost like a powder. Down there, it’s very fine.

04 13 23 13          CDR        I’m going to step off the LM now.


04 13 24 48          CDR        And the – the surface is fine and powdery. I can – I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of inch, maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine, sandy particles.

04 13 25 30          CC           Neil, this is Houston. We’re copying.

04 13 25 45          CDR        There seems to be no difficulty in moving around as we suspected. It’s even perhaps easier than the simulations at one-sixth g that we performed in the various simulations on the ground. It’s actually no trouble to walk around. Okay. The descent engine did not leave a crater of any size. It has about 1 foot clearance on the ground. We’re essentially on a very level place here. I can see some evidence of rays emanating from the descent engine, but a very insignificant amount.

04 13 26 54          CDR        Okay, Buzz, we ready to bring down the camera?

04 13 26 59          LMP       I’m all ready. I think it’s been all squared away and in good shape.

04 13 27 03          CDR        Okay.


04 13 39 43          LMP       All right.  The backup camera’s positioned.

04 13 39 57          CDR        Okay. Your PLSS is – Looks like it is clearing okay. Your toes are about to come over the sill. Okay. Now drop your PLSS down. There you go; you’re clear. And laterally you’re good. You’ve got an inch clearance on top of your PLSS.

04 13 40 18          LMP       Okay. You need a little bit of arching of the back to come down … How are my feet from the edge?

04 13 40 27          CDR        Okay. You’re right at the edge of the porch.

04 13 40 30          LMP       Okay. Back in *** little of foot movement *** porch. Little arching of the back. Helmet comes up and clears the bulkhead without any trouble at all.

04 13 40 48          CDR        Looks good.

04 13 41 08          CC           Neil, this is Houston. Based on your camera transfer with the LEC, do you foresee any difficulties in SRC transfer? Over.

04 13 41 18          CDR        Negative.

04 13 41 28          LMP       Okay. Now I want to back up and partially close the hatch.

04 13 41 47          LMP       Making sure not to lock it on my way out.

04 13 41 53          CDR        (Laughter) A pretty good thought.

04 13 41 56          LMP       That’s our home for the next couple of hours and we want to take good care of it. Okay. I’m on the top step and I can look down over the RCU, landing gear pads. It’s a very simple matter to hop down from one step to the next.

04 13 42 18          CDR        Yes. I found I could be very comfortable, and walking is also very comfortable.

04 13 42 28          CDR        You’ve got three more steps and then a long one.

04 13 42 42          LMP       Okay. I’m going to leave that one foot up there and both hands down to about the fourth rung up.

04 13 42 50          CDR        There you go.

04 13 42 53          LMP       Okay. Now I think I’ll do the same ***

04 13 43 01          CDR        A little more. About another inch.

04 13 43 05          CDR        THERE YOU GOT IT.

04 13 43 08          CDR        That’s a good step. About a 3-footer.

04 13 43 16          LMP       Beautiful view!

04 13 43 18          CDR        Isn’t that something! Magnificent sight out here.

04 13 43 24          LMP       Magnificent desolation.

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“Armstrong” released by Reg Lindsay

Black boy in Chicago

Playin’ in the street

Not enough to wear

Not near enough to eat

But don’t you know he saw it

On a July afternoon

Saw a man named Armstrong

Walk upon the moon


Young girl in Calcutta

Barely eight years old

Flys ’round the market place

See she don’t get old

don’t you know she heard it

On a July afternoon

Heard a man named Armstrong

Walk upon the moon

Heard a man named Armstrong

Walk upon the moon


Rivers gettin’ dirty

Wind is gettin’ bad

War and hate is killin’ us

The only earth we had

But the world all stopped to watch

On a July afternoon

Watched a man named Armstrong

Walk upon the moon

Watched a man named Armstrong

Walk upon the moon


And I wonder if a long time ago

Somewhere in the universe

They watched a man named Adam

Walk upon the earth


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Excerpt from “Half to Remember” by G.H.Fearnside

John Murray, who had led our No.5 Section in the attack, came up and indicated he had something to say. By the set look on his face and the way the others kept clear, it could only have been bad news. He said that Fred had died of wounds in Tobruk. He put his hand on my shoulder and went his way. I thanked him and wandered off along the ridge and sat down on the ground and wept. There are few die well that die in battle. What of those who die on the perimeters of battle – in the casualty clearing stations and the field hospitals? Those who die alone and in a strange and unfamiliar place?

Sometime later old Jim Wright, the platoon’s mortarman, reported there was a wounded German soldier about fifty metres in rear of our position. I went back to kill him. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. He was wounded and alone and he would die in a strange and unfamiliar place. The instrument of death would be an Italian Biretta pistol and perhaps there was something ironic in that. He lay in a fold of the rocky slope of the ridge. He had been wounded in both legs, which were heavily bandaged and soaked in blood. He couldn’t have been more than 18 years of age and even in the poor light I could see that his hair was red, the same as the bandages wrapped around his legs. He was perspiring profusely and his face was gleaming. His face was pale, devoid of blood, which seemed to be draining out of his legs, and he looked frightened. He moved before I did, raising his hand in a half salute. “Wasser, bitte, kamerad!” he whispered. I hesitated, impulsively looking around to see if there were any to witness my guilt. Then I gave him a drink of water and went back up the ridge, angry and confused, the unused Biretta cold in my hand. Men were adding the finishing touches to the flimsy defences from which they would face the uncertainties of the coming day. It would be daybreak soon. The moon had set and far out across the Desert a faint light glowed with a friendliness and constancy that promised hope to men whose minds were near to madness. It was the North Star.


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“Ballroom Blitz” released by The Sweet

Are you ready Steve? Uh-huh
Andy? Yeah
Mick? Okay
Alright fellas – let’s go!

Oh it’s been getting so hard
Living with the things you do to me
Well things are getting so strange
I’d like to tell you everything I see

Oh, I see a man in the back as a matter of fact
His eyes were as red as the sun
And the girl in the corner that no one ignores
Cause she thinks she’s the passionate one

Oh Yeah! It was like lightning
Everybody was frightening
And the music was soothing
And they all started grooving

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah-Yeah-Yeah
And the man in the back said everyone attack
And it turned into a ballroom blitz
And the girl in the corner said boy I want to warn you
It’ll turn into a ballroom blitz
Ballroom blitz, ballroom blitz, ballroom blitz, ballroom blitz

Oh reaching out for something
Touching nothing’s all I ever do
Oh I softly call you over
When you appear there’s nothing left of you

And the man in the back is ready to crack
As he raises his hands to the sky
And the girl in the corner is everyone’s mourner
She could kill you with a wink of her eye

Oh Yeah! It was electric
So frantically hectic
And the band started leaving
Cause they all stopped breathing


Guitar Solo

Oh Yeah! It was like lightning
Everybody was frightening
And the music was soothing
And they all started grooving


It’s it’s a ballroom blitz
It’s it’s a ballroom blitz
It’s it’s a ballroom blitz
Yeah, it’s a ballroom blitz

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“Flame Trees” released by Cold Chisel

Kids out driving Saturday afternoon pass me by
I’m just savouring familiar sights
We share some history, this town and I
And I can’t stop that long forgotten feeling of her
Try to book a room to stay tonight
Number one is to find some friends to say “You’re doing well
After all this time you boys look just the same”
Number two is the happy hour at one of two hotels
Settle in to play “Do you remember so and so?”
Number three is never say her name
Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there’s nothing else could set fire to this town
There’s no change, there’s no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won’t be around
But Ah! Who needs that sentimental bullshit, anyway
Takes more than just a memory to make me cry
I’m happy just to sit here round a table with old friends
And see which one of us can tell the biggest lies
There’s a girl falling in love near where the pianola stands
With her young local factory out-of-worker, holding hands
And I’m wondering if he’ll go or if he’ll stay
Do you remember, nothing stopped us on the field
In our day
Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there’s nothing else could set fire to this town
There’s no change, there’s no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won’t be around
Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there’s nothing else could set fire to this town
There’s no change, there’s no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won’t be around

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Excerpt from “The Valley of the Shadow” by H. Oloff de Wet ~~End~~

“It was an indescribable sensation of bliss to be yet alive, if only for a short time, if only for just one little hour longer. Anything might happen in an hour …”


Back in my cell, evil thoughts encircled me, knowing all too well the significance of this visit to the hospital. The end of the war in sight; that was the bitterness. Ironical that I had dodged so many, so many of those sanguine afternoons down there.

Monday morning I looked down into the yard. There were the boxes, piled six high, three laterally – eighteen! I wonder on which label might be indited my name.

Before leaving my cell in the afternoon when they came to fetch me, I insisted on washing my eating-bowl and spoon and putting them where they were wont to be, knowing how loathsome it is to discover a bowl crusted with the dried relics of food of some other person. So I washed that bowl for the next to come.

They took me down into the cellar. I looked at all things as I passed and I saw all things in a new, quite different way, different from the manner in which I had seen them before.

How friendly seemed the little cell I’d left – the most charming place in all the world; the sort of place I would not have minded inhabiting for the rest of my life! I wondered why I had ever bemoaned my lot there. I could not understand how I could have even believed winter really cold; for the coldness in my heart was of a quality I had never known before.

Into one of a row of little, little, very little cells I was put. Its door had a panel of thick glass with wire in it.

“Take off your clothes,” I was ordered.

I looked at my waistcoat with its embroidered roses and smiled affectionately upon it before, with the rest of my apparel, it was taken away.

They thrust a paper shirt in at the door – a benvenute of their white paper, sleeveless. This insulting garment filled me with anger. All other emotions left me – sorrow, fear, loneliness – whatever they may have been. A cold, contemptuous rage possessed me. The mean, petty mind of my enemies!

I put the cold garment over my head and waited. By degrees my anger subsided and I was suffused with an irrevocable sympathy for those who loved me and would suffer the pain of my passing. And I think, from what I know from others, that this is always a man’s last consideration. Whatever he may be, a craven or one of fortitude, it is not about himself that his ultimate thoughts revolve, but about one or more cherished beings who he knows will support a terrible burden in their ignorance of how easy it is when the end really comes.

They came down the cells in order, taking out the doomed in rapid succession. I waited. Back came the steps, a halt, someone went back down the passage. I heard someone say –

“No, next!”

I heard the next door open; the man padded away on his bare feet.

Standing there, I felt a slight twitching of the flesh of my cheeks. I tried to keep it still. Tremors went down the back of my knees.

Suddenly – I had not heard their approach – the door opened. I made to move out.

“No,” said the warder. “Dress.”

And he thrust my clothes in to me. He was alone. He grinned at me in a half-apologetic manner. It was young Fitche; he was white as a sheet; he had told me before how he hated duty at the executions. It made him ill; he had fainted twice in the death chamber.

Before shutting the door he glanced quickly down the passage, poked his head in and whispered –

“Have no fear. A try-out. Some trick a-foot. Gestapo here. Two of them. Look out how you go. Hals und Beinbruch Kamerad!” And he slammed the door.

That last remark of sympathy and encouragement brought the tears in floods to my eyes, and I am not ashamed to say that I wept profusely as I dragged on my clothes until I was wearing again my waistcoat embroidered with roses.

It was an indescribable sensation of bliss to be yet alive, if only for a short time, if only for just one little hour longer. Anything might happen in an hour . . .

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Excerpt from “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe ~~Leaving~~

When I took leave of this island, I carried on board, for relics, the great goatskin cap I had made, my umbrella, and one of my parrots; also I forgot not to take the money I had formerly mentioned, which had lain by me so long useless that it was grown rusty or tarnished, and could hardly pass for silver till it had been a little rubbed and handled, and also the money I found in the wreck of the Spanish ship. And thus I left the island, the 19th of December, as I found by the ship’s account, in the year 1686, after I had been upon it eight-and-twenty years, two months, and nineteen days; being delivered from this second captivity the same day of the month that I first made my escape in the longboat from among the Moors of Sallee. In this vessel, after a long voyage, I arrived in England, the 11th of June, in the year 1687, having been thirty-five years absent.

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