Space, The Final Frontier

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quicksilver-wsr
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Re: Being Neil Armstrong

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

I watched this excellent doco when it was first broadcast - which was some time ago. It was, in fact, originally released in 2009, several years before Armstrong became ill and died.

It should be pointed out that the man himself did not cooperate with the film-makers to the extent of actually allowing himself to be filmed for the programme. Instead, what we saw was the presenter sending a succession of e-mails to him inviting him to take part, followed by Armstrong's very gracious replies, each of which amounted to a polite "no".

People have formed the impression down the years that Armstrong was something of a recluse, but he was actually very active in education and research circles. He just didn't court publicity in the way that - say, for example - Buzz Aldrin has always done. And people generally couldn't understand why Armstrong didn't financially exploit his position as the first man on the Moon. It was out of these factors that the "recluse" myth grew and grew.

Nigel

f1steveuk
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Re: Being Neil Armstrong

Post by f1steveuk »

I worked on two doco's on manned spaceflight, our Russian liason was Alexi Leonov, and we were supposed to get Armstrong in the US, but at the last minute we were given Al Sheperd. Al was brilliant, and to be honest I prefered the choice of NASA, Al had done more, being heavily involved in manangement while he was grounded. I did ask Al what had happened to Armstrong and he simply said, "does it all the time, he is just so fed up with the same questions, EVERY time, plus he knows, he didn't do it alone, he likes others to get some screen time!!" We later got a letter of apology from Armstrong, and I took the chance to ask if this was true (not nameing my source), and I got a three page letter, hand written (which I still have) confirming that after the first two years of " What was it like? Who chose the words? etc etc" it was begining to take the shine off it, and as he "I was just the tip of the pyramid, the other guys, both off, and on the ground deserve their say". Jim Lovell on the other hand loved it, as long as he got to promote his resturant!!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

quicksilver-wsr
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Re: Being Neil Armstrong

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

We brought Buzz Aldrin to the UK on a couple of occasions - in 1989 and 1995 - for some promotional activities, which meant I got to spend a lot of time with him, travelling from place to place by road and air, and hanging around at various functions. I never once asked him what it was like on the Moon. It must be the most mind-numbing question, when it comes at them time after time after time.

If they are being paid to answer the question "on air", so to speak, then I guess that's different. But in normal situations, I wouldn't have dreamed of asking. It's all been said so many times before.

I didn't have any dealings with Neil Armstrong, so can't comment from personal experience. But, for the right fee, you could book him as a speaker not so many years ago. So maybe he would answer if the price was right, I don't know. He seemed a really good guy, from all accounts, so that's not a criticism.

I had asked Gene Cernan on tape back in '86 what it felt like to be on the Moon. I got it out of the way on that one occasion - but it was for my readers' benefit more than mine. It was something that from a journalistic standpoint you had to ask once. You want the guys to respect you on some level, so you don't ask them the tedious questions.

Nigel

Jordangbr
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Re: Being Neil Armstrong

Post by Jordangbr »

A bit like asking Bill the 'when?' question.....
;-)
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garyharman
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Re: Space, The Final Frontier

Post by garyharman »

Found the program here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lkvln

And available for next 27 days.

Could not find it on TVs iplayer for some reason.

(Thanks for moving post)

quicksilver-wsr
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Re: Space, The Final Frontier

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

News breaking that Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo space-tourism craft has been destroyed in a flight-test accident over California in which one of the two crew-members appears to have been killed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29857182

A tragic setback for this bold space venture. I reckon this will cost them several years, just when things were finally clicking into place after successive delays year on year :(

I sincerely hope they don't chuck the towel in.

Nigel

quicksilver-wsr
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Re: Space, The Final Frontier

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

Amazed that so many media sources are referring to Virgin Galactic's space endeavour as having been, thus far, "a ten-year venture" ...

It's been going way longer than that. The prototype SpaceShipOne made its flights to suborbital space 10 years ago -scooping up the 10-million-dollar Ansari X prize into the bargain - and those flights were the culmination of a three-year development programme, so that's 13 years for starters. Burt Rutan's ideas for the project began as long ago as 1994, so it could more accurately be said to be "a 20-years-and-counting venture."

These things take time to come right.

Nigel

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Space, The Final Frontier

Post by Renegadenemo »

They're now talking about an uncommanded deployment of the feather - that'd soon pull its wings off. And is Mike Melvill still alive? I well remember his first bid in Spaceship One when he got it in a really fast roll and just hung onto it - made me feel sick watching it. I heard somewhere that he died recently but the Interweb doesn't seem to know for sure.
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quicksilver-wsr
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Re: Space, The Final Frontier

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

As far as I know he's still alive. I've not heard anything about a fatality.

Will be interesting to see what comes out of this NTSB investigation. Already, as you've seen, things are emerging.

Investment is going to be the big challenge going forward. I hope they hang on, because someone's got to make a go of this business, and they had got so damned close.

Nigel

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Renegadenemo
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Re: Space, The Final Frontier

Post by Renegadenemo »

If they have a spare vehicle they ought to get away with it but I think Spaceship Two was a one-off. Having said that, it's a relatively inexpensive system to develop because Whiteknight is classified as a 'first stage to launch' and not a normal civil aircraft and the space-plane has some other peculiar classification that means they don't have to jump through a fraction of the FAA hoops. They made all their control cables and fuel lines out of carbon, for example, and to get that sort of thing flying in a Boeing or an Airbus would take a zillion years and as much money but Scaled did it because they could.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

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