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zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


Everyone knows Neil, Buzz, and Mike, and no shame if one of them is your fave. But what about lesser known astronauts? Shouldn't they have their time in the sun?

I have always been a big fan of Rusty Schweickart, who flew on Apollo 9.



Nicknamed for his red hair, Rusty is notable for a few different things:

-He was somewhat left of center politically, making him stand out from early astronauts, who tended to either be "apolitical" or rather conservative

-He wasn't the first to get sick in space, but he was the first to be honest about it being a problem

The Apollo command module was the first American spacecraft to let astronauts unbuckle and move around a little, and that meant all kinds of fun for the inner ear. Frank Borman got sick as hell on Apollo 8 but barely admitted it, and sure wasn't going to say it was a problem. What if it made him look weak, or forced an abort?

Rusty was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 9, the first flight to test both the CM and LM. Not the most high profile mission but a critical one to be able to go to the moon. And shortly after the mission, began Rusty found himself throwing up in space. And unlike Frank Borman, he was honest with Houston about how crappy he felt.

The first planned EVA was postponed, but eventually he was able to perform a short EVA with his feet anchored to the LM. The EVA ran ahead of schedule, and Rusty got to experience a rare thing for an astronaut: five minutes outside the spacecraft with absolutely nothing to do. Rusty felt he underwent a profound experience during this time, and got into Transcendental Meditation back on earth.

NASA learned a lot about space sickness and how to recover from it from Rusty's experience. Unfortunately, the price he paid was to never fly in space again. NASA was too spooked. Being known as the "hippie astronaut" didn't help either.

We know now that space sickness affects around half of people who fly in space, and it has little to do with one's tendency to get motion sick on earth. Astronauts today owe Rusty a debt for his honesty in helping NASA recognize it as a problem that needed to be dealt with. And by the way, Apollo 9 proved the worth of the LM and set the stage for Apollo 11.

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HugeGrossBurrito
Mar 20, 2018



You see one fuckin alien and itís all I have space sickness, frankly Iím tired of it

Bloody
Mar 3, 2013



Apollo astronauts took shits by just sticking a bag to their asses and hoping for the best

Do Not Fear Jazz
Feb 1, 2005

W-WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T LIKE MY POST?



Edgar Mitchell because he was absolutely insane

Chairman Capone
Dec 17, 2008



It always makes me laugh that of the twelve men to walk on the moon and have these reputations as cool scientific heroes, one believed in UFOs and psychic powers, and one was a Young Earth Creationist who tried to find Noah's Ark.

Hell, even Neil Armstrong got tricked into going on an expedition to find an ancient alien base in Ecuador.

Also Buzz Aldrin is a hardcore Republican who endorsed Dan Crenshaw.

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


Do Not Fear Jazz posted:

Edgar Mitchell because he was absolutely insane

I'm trying to imagine him explaining his ESP experiments to Gene Kranz.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

~this is me posting irl~


I think my favorite is Alan Bean.



Alan Bean was the LM pilot for Apollo 12, and also the commander of the second Skylab crew. He was the guy who toggled the SCE switch to AUX after the Yankee Clipper got hit by lightning during the ascent to orbit. He'd hoped to play a prank during his moonwalk by secreting away a camera timer for the Hasselblad and setting up an "impossible" photo of himself and Pete Conrad ("who took the darn photo?? we didn't include a timer in the mission equipment!") but sadly couldn't find it in time.

In the mid-70s he was also in a brief promotional film with Nichelle Nichols as NASA reached out to recruit a new generation of astronauts for the Space Shuttle program.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFdlPpEHsM0

But what really stands out to me is that in 1981 he retired from NASA to pursue a career in painting.

https://twitter.com/DrPhiltill/status/1000565682088632320

He realized that as one of the very few people who had been amongst the first group humans to land on the Moon, he had an extremely rare perspective and insight as to what the Moon looked like and what it felt to be there.



He scavenged moon dust from the patches of his spacesuit that NASA had given to him, and infused them into the paintings he created. He also used spacesuit boots and other spaceflight tools to create the texture of his paintings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOSwviecHo4

I strongly encourage any space fans to read Homesteading Space because I love the Skylab program overall, but it also has Alan Bean's flight diary, which is a great insight into the man as well.



RIP Alan Bean, NASA's greatest astronaut-artist.

Wall Balls
Jun 3, 2007

Spanish Castle Magic



i don't remember who it was but one of them touched a moon rock to his dick. he's my favorite, whoever it is

aniviron
Sep 11, 2014



I was going to say Harrison Schmitt, I saw him give a presentation about Helium 3 mining on the moon when I was a kid, and he was one of the only actual scientists sent to the moon, which is cool.

But, uh, I looked him up before posting this out of curiosity and apparently he's a climate change denier and thinks it's a hoax by communists to bring down the US by bloating its government, among other things, which isn't terribly cool.

So instead I am going to say Pete Conrad because he had a reputation as a joker and I am not going to look him up before posting this.

Stanley Tucheetos
May 15, 2012



Michael Collins. If you ask 100 random people to name the Apollo 11 astronauts 100 would get Neal Armstrong, 95 would get Buzz Aldrin, and 5 would get Michael Collins. There is even a decent chance after searching for his name that an irish politician from the early 1900s will appear before his. The eagle on the Apollo 11 mission patch was traced by Collins from a picture in the national geographic magazine.

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


Stanley Tucheetos posted:

Michael Collins. If you ask 100 random people to name the Apollo 11 astronauts 100 would get Neal Armstrong, 95 would get Buzz Aldrin, and 5 would get Michael Collins. There is even a decent chance after searching for his name that an irish politician from the early 1900s will appear before his. The eagle on the Apollo 11 mission patch was traced by Collins from a picture in the national geographic magazine.

Collins also wrote "Carrying the Fire," the best of the astronaut memoirs. You should read it if you haven't! His speech on Apollo 11's return journey, about how the 3 astronauts are like the periscope of a submarine, representing the thousands of anonymous people who worked to get them to the moon, gets me emotional.

aniviron posted:



So instead I am going to say Pete Conrad because he had a reputation as a joker and I am not going to look him up before posting this.

Pete Conrad was a short man. His first words on the moon were "that was a small step for Neil, but it's a long one for me!"

He also dared Neil to say "oh my god, what's that?" and cut his mic. Can't believe Neil didn't do it.

Anne Whateley
Feb 11, 2007
i like nice words


Moondust is really interesting imo. You have all these super competitive, highly driven Apollo astronauts. They make it to walking on the moon, and then they come back to Earth. What happens when they know for a fact their biggest accomplishment is behind them?

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


Yeah Buzz Aldrin in particular had a tough time with that. A lot of them went on to various corporate positions. I always appreciated that Mike Collins became the first director of the Air and Space Museum.

theflyingexecutive
Apr 22, 2007




Farmer Crack-rear end posted:

Alan Bean was the LM pilot for Apollo 12, and also the commander of the second Skylab crew. He was the guy who toggled the SCE switch to AUX after the Yankee Clipper got hit by lightning during the ascent to orbit. He'd hoped to play a prank during his moonwalk by secreting away a camera timer for the Hasselblad and setting up an "impossible" photo of himself and Pete Conrad ("who took the darn photo?? we didn't include a timer in the mission equipment!") but sadly couldn't find it in time.

RIP Alan Bean, NASA's greatest astronaut-artist.

Bean also fried the first color TV camera in space almost immediately by accidentally pointing it at the sun and then took a loose camera to the face during splashdown. The man did not have good luck with cameras.

poisonpill
Nov 8, 2009

The only way to get huge fast is to insult a passing witch and hope she curses you with Beast-strength.



zakharov posted:

Frank Borman got sick as hell on Apollo 8 but barely admitted it, and sure wasn't going to say it was a problem. What if it made him look weak, or forced an abort?

Frank Borman was kind of cool in his own right. In the Air Force he went flying while sick as hell and blew his entire eardrum out. Instead of Korea he was taken out of the pilot roster and sent to the Philippines where he found a doctor that shoved a bunch of radium in his ear, which somehow regrew enough skin in there for him to get back to flight status.

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


Frank Borman was indeed cool as hell. He and Jim Lovell did one of the few early space missions that just sucked: Gemini 7, two weeks in space in a tiny capsule. Lovell said it was like flying in a men's room after awhile.

TotalLossBrain
Oct 20, 2010

Hier graben!

aniviron posted:

I was going to say Harrison Schmitt, I saw him give a presentation about Helium 3 mining on the moon when I was a kid, and he was one of the only actual scientists sent to the moon, which is cool.

But, uh, I looked him up before posting this out of curiosity and apparently he's a climate change denier and thinks it's a hoax by communists to bring down the US by bloating its government, among other things, which isn't terribly cool.

So instead I am going to say Pete Conrad because he had a reputation as a joker and I am not going to look him up before posting this.

a lot of those guys have bad opinions about a lot of things. My fave is John Young.
Owen Garriott is another, but only for the connection to Richard.

I met Bill Anders a few years ago but wasn't aware of who I was talking to until a few weeks later. He was pretty chill.

quote:

Collins also wrote "Carrying the Fire," the best of the astronaut memoirs. You should read it if you haven't! His speech on Apollo 11's return journey, about how the 3 astronauts are like the periscope of a submarine, representing the thousands of anonymous people who worked to get them to the moon, gets me emotional.

Absolutely the best astronaut memoir, hands down. The chapter on survival training had me laughing pretty hard. Something about eating lizards that I don't quite remember now.
The worst one I've read was All American Boys. I get that Eisele and Cunningham didn't have much influence over what Schirra did (lol) but Cunningham's book was all salt. He was specifically angry over Cernan's selection to Apollo 17 after crashing a helicopter or something.

TotalLossBrain fucked around with this message at 03:37 on Feb 26, 2021

poisonpill
Nov 8, 2009

The only way to get huge fast is to insult a passing witch and hope she curses you with Beast-strength.



Schirra was the guy who just stopped responding to ground control and refused to put his helmet on because he had a cold, right?

TotalLossBrain
Oct 20, 2010

Hier graben!

Yes, he got pretty testy. Probably didn't help that they all had a cold, but still - none of them ever went up again.

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


The characterization of the Apollo 7 rebellion varies depending on who you're asking.

Schirra has said he simply felt their schedules were too jam-packed and felt he had to exercise his commander's prerogative to postpone some work for the sake of his crew.

Chris Kraft has called it the "Wally Schirra bitch circus."

Other controllers have said the air-ground conflicts were overblown.

But it's true that they all got colds, refused to wear their helmets for re-entry in defiance of a direct order from both the flight director and Deke Slayton, and never flew in space again. Of course, Schirra was retiring anyway and didn't particularly care. Cunningham has said he was pressured into going along with Schirra's attitude, but tough luck for him.

TotalLossBrain posted:

He was specifically angry over Cernan's selection to Apollo 17 after crashing a helicopter or something.

Prior to being selected for Apollo 17, Gene Cernan tried to get a peek at some ladies on the beach while flying a helicopter and flew a perfectly good machine directly into the Indian River.

Deke Slayton offered him the chance to say the engine quit and it wasn't his fault. Cernan (according to his own book, anyway) refused to lie and owned up to his mistake. However, Slayton still covered for him (allegedly without Cernan's knowledge) and it didn't affect his selection.

The funny part is that the first time Chris Kraft knew about Cernan's bad piloting was when he read Cernan's book in 1999. He had believed Slayton's cover story about engine failure. Had he known that it was just poor piloting, Kraft wrote in his own book that he might not have approved Cernan for Apollo 17.

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



I think the best moon going pair has to be John Young and Charlie Duke. Those two are clearly just having so much fun together. Young's book is good as hell too, haven't read Duke's (though lol that Amazon includes the full subtitle https://www.amazon.com/Moonwalker-Astronaut-Enough-Satisfy-Success/dp/0840791062)

ShaneMacGowansTeeth
May 22, 2007



I think this is it... I think this is how it ends


I'll go with either Lovell or Collins, but the true hero of the Apollo program is Bruce McCandless's sweater during the EVA on Apollo 11



Look at this magnificence

TotalLossBrain
Oct 20, 2010

Hier graben!


I like that Bruce got to be on one of the Space Program's most iconic photographs.

poisonpill
Nov 8, 2009

The only way to get huge fast is to insult a passing witch and hope she curses you with Beast-strength.



Honorable mention to Chuck Yeager, who was a hotshot fighter/test pilot who hated astronauts and the space race so much that he constantly badmouthed it and tried to wreck the careers of people who became astronauts. I love what a curmudgeon he was about people who didnít even control their own vehicles

zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


poisonpill posted:

Honorable mention to Chuck Yeager, who was a hotshot fighter/test pilot who hated astronauts and the space race so much that he constantly badmouthed it and tried to wreck the careers of people who became astronauts. I love what a curmudgeon he was about people who didn’t even control their own vehicles

A lot of that criticism died out after Gordon Cooper manually re-entered the atmosphere on the last Mercury mission. He timed the retrofire on his wrist watch.

Ranzear
Jul 25, 2013



Buzz Aldrin gets my vote. Not for being the second on the moon or anything, but for literally writing the book on orbital rendezvous.

I mean, it's a thesis paper, but it's 300+ pages. That qualifies as a book to me.

Semi-related: One of the best and most understated decisions of the Apollo program was that the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, be a civilian.

I understand there's some want to shy away from these guys, but there are reasons they were the first.

Ranzear fucked around with this message at 00:58 on Feb 27, 2021

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



Chuck Yeager was a piece of poo poo. His behaviour looks lovely compared even to astronauts, and that's saying something.

TotalLossBrain posted:

I like that Bruce got to be on one of the Space Program's most iconic photographs.



And notable for being only three times that thing was ever used. This flight to test it, and twice more for astronauts to grab satellites, before being retired (correctly IMO) for being way too risky to use.

poisonpill
Nov 8, 2009

The only way to get huge fast is to insult a passing witch and hope she curses you with Beast-strength.



Tell some Yeager stories. Heís as much a part of the Space race as a lot of guys.

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





Ranzear posted:

Buzz Aldrin gets my vote. Not for being the second on the moon or anything, but for literally writing the book on orbital rendezvous.

I mean, it's a thesis paper, but it's 300+ pages. That qualifies as a book to me.

Semi-related: One of the best and most understated decisions of the Apollo program was that the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, be a civilian.

I understand there's some want to shy away from these guys, but there are reasons they were the first.

Aldrin also has some orbits named after him which he used to come up with the concept of the Mars Cycler which is pretty neat.

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zakharov
Nov 30, 2002

Tater Love


Buzz Aldrin also drove everyone crazy by considering himself the world's foremost expert on rendezvous and talking about nothing else. They called him "Dr. Rendezvous" and it wasn't an affectionate nickname.

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