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ToSeek
2009-Aug-03, 10:23 PM
The latest favorite book for Apollo hoax believers to quote appears to be Gerhard Wisnewski's One Small Step. Wisnewski is a journalist and professional conspiracy theorist who has written books about 9/11 as well.

Sections of the book are available on Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=EwEEIzdTfW0C&dq=wisnewski+one+small+step&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=Sl93Su-XMtWplAe_kKiQCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=onepage&q=&f=false). Most of it's run-of-the-mill stuff when it's not totally dishonest. (Wisnewski is a great magician in terms of misdirection: he'll mention the three crashes of lunar landing training vehicles without ever mentioning the 100+ successful flights. He uses a similar tactic for pretty much every element of the space program from the Redstone rocket to the lunar module.)

Anyhow, I did find a couple of novelties I wanted to share here:

1. "The Hasselblad equipment described is not necessarily what one would recommend for reportage in extreme circumstances, and certainly not for situations in which there is a lack of time or space, as was the case with the Apollo 11 mission...."

He also says that they shouldn't have used slide film because it's very sensitive. He doesn't mention what sort of camera they should have taken.

2. He wonders why Charlie Duke left a family photo on the Moon wrapped in plastic, since the plastic wouldn't have done much good.

I have my own thoughts in this regard but am interested in inputs. If I find anything else without an obvious rebuttal, I'll let you know. (I'm currently writing rebuttals for a discussion on another forum - I'll share those here once I'm done.)

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-03, 10:29 PM
My dad would have done the exact same thing. I don't know if Duke was as protective as my dad, but it seems to make sense as something a father would do.

Gillianren
2009-Aug-03, 11:09 PM
2. He wonders why Charlie Duke left a family photo on the Moon wrapped in plastic, since the plastic wouldn't have done much good.

You know, I just spent the weekend in a field full of volcanic dust. (In sight of a very large volcano indeed.) Where plastic comes in handy in a place full of scratchy, scratchy dust is that the dust scratches the plastic, not the thing.

LaurelHS
2009-Aug-03, 11:44 PM
Referring to Apollo 12's Alan Bean and Pete Conrad and their allegedly suspicious behaviour on the Moon: "One gets a feeling that one is listening to a game of volleyball on a Saturday afternoon rather than the wearisome steps taken the human species on a foreign and deadly heavenly body. Some people are overcome by anxiety sitting in a rubber dingy in a great earthly ocean, yet these two chaps on the Moon don't allow the desolation of their environment to spoil their bit of fun at all." Yeah, maybe that's because military test pilots don't scare as easily as other people, especially since Conrad was on his third spaceflight.

Personally, I like the picture that Charlie Duke left on the Moon. So does Paul Simon. He used the image in the liner notes of his album Surprise.

slang
2009-Aug-03, 11:54 PM
he'll mention the three crashes of lunar landing training vehicles without ever mentioning the 100+ successful flights.

Cherry picking? Noooo.... they wouldn't do that, would they? :rolleyes:


1. "The Hasselblad equipment described is not necessarily what one would recommend for reportage in extreme circumstances, and certainly not for situations in which there is a lack of time or space, as was the case with the Apollo 11 mission...."

He also says that they shouldn't have used slide film because it's very sensitive. He doesn't mention what sort of camera they should have taken.

Right. I assume he also does not mention the engineering applied to make sure the cameras would be protected and work. But sure, they should have taken a tiny portable HD cam, or a Sony Cybershot. "What do you mean, small buttons?"


2. He wonders why Charlie Duke left a family photo on the Moon wrapped in plastic, since the plastic wouldn't have done much good.

So some emotional token was not thought through to the deepest possible scientific details.. So what? He could have drawn a stick figure picture of his family in the regolith without any protection, and it would still be emotionally meaningful to him. Even to me. What's the problem? He did something to make him feel good. "Feel" being the key word.

novaderrik
2009-Aug-04, 12:07 AM
is there a conspiracy being put forth here that anyone wishes to defend?

GalacticBeatDown
2009-Aug-04, 01:57 AM
Jeez, why don't these conspiracy theorists give it up? They are like little mosquito's buzzing around. For most of the conspiracies its just the same babbling and suspicion against heavy evidence from professionals.

LaurelHS
2009-Aug-04, 02:28 AM
This is going to come out wrong, I'm sure, I'm a little upset and probably not wording it very well, but could someone please tell me where this claim on page 95 of the book about the Apollo 1 astronauts living for a long time comes from? Is there any actual evidence for this? I know the claims about nobody trying to rescue the Apollo 1 crew aren't right, I know people did try to rescue them but they suffered smoke inhalation and burned their hands trying to open the hatch from the outside. But is there any evidence for the claim that the astronauts survived for several minutes? It's just that this is the second time I've heard this HB claim and I find it very distressing.

JayUtah
2009-Aug-04, 05:30 AM
The IMU on an Apollo spacecraft registers motion of the spacecraft caused by crew displacement. That is, the guidance system is so sensitive that the launch vehicle's response to the crew moving about the cabin is detected and telemetered. The last crew movement registered by the IMU occurred approximately 18 seconds after the "Fire in the cockpit!" callout.

The notion that the crew survived for several minutes comes from rumors that circulated around the Cape, but were not substantiated. The rumors are reported in the official investigation documents, but only as rumors. It would be quite easy for an unscrupulous author to reproduce the notion and cite the document as an authority, neglecting to inform the reader that it was a rumor only.

LaurelHS
2009-Aug-04, 05:36 AM
Thanks, Jay.

kucharek
2009-Aug-04, 06:17 AM
Uhhh... This crap made it into an english translation?
As Wisnewski is a German journalist, we have some history of dealing with him here.
The German sister site of Clavius has some analysis of one of his books.
http://www.clavius.info/bibwisnewski1.htm
It is, of course, in German.
Wisnewski was a journalist, but seems at some point he recognized he can do much more money by "finding" conspiracies in almost anything that happens. Moon landings, 9/11 or the death of famous Austrian right-wing politician Jörg Haider who drove fast and drunken and ended up driving against a wall.

ineluki
2009-Aug-04, 11:40 AM
Wisnewski was a journalist, but seems at some point he recognized he can do much more money by "finding" conspiracies in almost anything that happens.

As long as he can blame a evil governments (which includes all of them, except for North Korea and the Iran, strangely enough he doesn't want to move to these great countries)...

By now he is a cross between A Jones and Bart Sibrel..

ToSeek
2009-Aug-04, 12:33 PM
Uhhh... This crap made it into an english translation?
As Wisnewski is a German journalist, we have some history of dealing with him here.
The German sister site of Clavius has some analysis of one of his books.
http://www.clavius.info/bibwisnewski1.htm
It is, of course, in German.


I think it's the same book with the title changed in translation, unless he's written two books about Apollo.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-04, 12:38 PM
The IMU on an Apollo spacecraft registers motion of the spacecraft caused by crew displacement. That is, the guidance system is so sensitive that the launch vehicle's response to the crew moving about the cabin is detected and telemetered. The last crew movement registered by the IMU occurred approximately 18 seconds after the "Fire in the cockpit!" callout.

Well, of course an agency capable of faking a $125 billion Moon project could easily fake IMU readings, of course. (Not that I believe this; I'm just channeling the author.)


The notion that the crew survived for several minutes comes from rumors that circulated around the Cape, but were not substantiated. The rumors are reported in the official investigation documents, but only as rumors. It would be quite easy for an unscrupulous author to reproduce the notion and cite the document as an authority, neglecting to inform the reader that it was a rumor only.

Wisnewski's MO involves, as someone else noted, a lot of cherry-picking. He'll take whatever evidence that bolsters his case as gospel while side-stepping any evidence to the contrary. For one thing, he goes on for pages about Scott Grissom finding a special switch in the cockpit that would have caused a short-circuit - not something I've heard mentioned anywhere before, even in circles where Grissom is given some sort of credibility.

NEOWatcher
2009-Aug-04, 01:05 PM
2. He wonders why Charlie Duke left a family photo on the Moon wrapped in plastic, since the plastic wouldn't have done much good.
Others made good points as to why its a "who cares" idea, but I did want to add just a bit more.
If the plastic were to protect it for the trip, then it did plenty good.
The problem is, how do you remove it from the plastic with those bulky gloves?

JayUtah
2009-Aug-04, 02:57 PM
For one thing, he goes on for pages about Scott Grissom finding a special switch in the cockpit that would have caused a short-circuit - not something I've heard mentioned anywhere before, even in circles where Grissom is given some sort of credibility.

As you may know, I was intimately involved with this. Wisnewski's version of the story barely resembles the facts.

It was not a switch per se that Scott discovered, but simply a shard of metal packaged with a disassembled switch from the Apollo 1 spacecraft, whose origin and purpose were initially unknown. Scott proposed an elaborate theory for how this shard was used to short a circuit at the switch and start the deadly fire. He sent me photographs of the switch, shard, and panel. I performed a typical forensic analysis of the photographed parts and presented my findings that Scott's theory was about as credible a cause for the fire as transvestite space gnomes.

Later we discovered that NASA had already investigated the source of the shard by the request of a member of Congress. My conversations with Scott Grissom suggested he had been aware of the report all along. The shard had been cut from a bracket holding the panel in place, so that an arc pit on the shard could be micrographed. The entire bracket won't fit in the microscope.

Wisnewski tries to undermine the credibility of this thorough and professional report by typical suppositional arguments such as asking why the shard hadn't been stored with its parent bracket. The answer is that large parts were wrapped loosely in plastic and stored in cardboard boxes on shelves in the storage facility, whereas small parts like disassembled switches were bagged. The shard would have been lost had it been packaged with the bracket. Switch S-11 had been part of the investigation of the arc pit (which was determined to have occurred long before the fire, probably during qualification testing), so it's logical to store the shard in its parts bag.

Yes, Scott's claims are largely a tempest in a teapot. After the revelation that he had misled his followers into thinking nothing had been done to investigate his accusation, and the generally credible nature of NASA's findings about it, Scott's support all but dried up. There is no technical merit whatsoever to his claims, and he has withdrawn from public comment.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-04, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the information, Jay. That seems to be par for the course for Wisnewski. I'll add it to my rebuttal list.

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2009-Aug-04, 10:24 PM
1. "The Hasselblad equipment described is not necessarily what one would recommend for reportage in extreme circumstances, and certainly not for situations in which there is a lack of time or space, as was the case with the Apollo 11 mission...."

He also says that they shouldn't have used slide film because it's very sensitive. He doesn't mention what sort of camera they should have taken.

Obviously, they should have used a camera that was recommended for "reportage in extreme circumstances." Because something like, say, combat photography in Vietnam is exactly like taking photographs on the Moon.

Also, if they'd used color print film instead of slide film, the astronauts could have just dropped off the film at the nearest Photomat when they got back to Earth, and had it developed in an hour (and if they did it on a Wednesday, they could have had a free second set of prints).

It is fun speculating what camera Wisnewski may be thinking of. What camera was the well-equipped photojournalist of 1969 using? The 35mm SLR proliferation was just beginning. So, Rolleiflex? Nikon F? One of those 35mm Leica rangefinder cameras that nobody remembers? Was some poor fool still lugging around a Speed Graphic? I can't really see how any of these would be better suited for lunar photography than the Hasselblad.

Alan G. Archer
2009-Aug-05, 11:13 AM
Wisnewski may have in mind that the Nikon F (http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/technology/d-archives/history-f/index.htm), which was used for astronomical photography (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=781066&id=2&as=false&or=false&qs=Ns%3DPublicationYear%257c1%26N%3D4294939058) by way of a 55mm f/1.2 lens and Kodak 2485 high-speed recording film (ASA 6000) through the Command Module rendezvous window during the Apollos 15, 16, and 17, would have been a better choice than the Hasselblad for photography from the lunar surface.

Larry Jacks
2009-Aug-05, 12:32 PM
The Nikon F was a good camera but how useable would it have been while wearing thick gloves during a moonwalk? My guess is not very. Also, it's kind of hard to look through the viewfinder while wearing a helmet.

ineluki
2009-Aug-05, 01:01 PM
Also, it's kind of hard to look through the viewfinder while wearing a helmet.

I think in that regard there is no big difference between the Nikon and the Hasselblad.

Andreas
2009-Aug-05, 01:32 PM
The Nikon F was a good camera but how useable would it have been while wearing thick gloves during a moonwalk? My guess is not very. Also, it's kind of hard to look through the viewfinder while wearing a helmet.

Plus it's a small format camera. The middle format Hasselblads make bigger frames and so the record more detail on film. Which should be, one would assume obviously, of advantage for documenting the moon and the EVAs.

Roll film with electrical winding would be a must so the Hasselblad would be the biggest practical (in size and weight) camera. There are bigger format cameras for such purposes but that means heavier camera with heavier lens and heavier film backs for the same amount of frames.

DonM435
2009-Aug-05, 01:53 PM
Referring to Apollo 12's Alan Bean and Pete Conrad and their allegedly suspicious behaviour on the Moon: "One gets a feeling that one is listening to a game of volleyball on a Saturday afternoon rather than the wearisome steps taken the human species on a foreign and deadly heavenly body. Some people are overcome by anxiety sitting in a rubber dingy in a great earthly ocean, yet these two chaps on the Moon don't allow the desolation of their environment to spoil their bit of fun at all." Yeah, maybe that's because military test pilots don't scare as easily as other people, especially since Conrad was on his third spaceflight.

Personally, I like the picture that Charlie Duke left on the Moon. So does Paul Simon. He used the image in the liner notes of his album Surprise.

Exactly. Rubber Dingy Man flunks out of astronaut training pretty quickly.

Larry Jacks
2009-Aug-05, 02:09 PM
Also, it's kind of hard to look through the viewfinder while wearing a helmet.

I think in that regard there is no big difference between the Nikon and the Hasselblad.

According to this article (http://sterileeye.com/2009/07/23/the-apollo-11-hasselblad-cameras/), the Hasselblads didn't have viewfinders. Most of the settings were worked out in advance and the astronauts trained with simple sights to aim the cameras. A single lens reflex (SLR) camera like the Nikon F uses the viewfinder to help frame the picture, focus the lens, and set exposure settings. the controls on a typical SLR would've been hard to use while wearing thick gloves. Also, as mentioned above, the Hasselblad's film was several times larger than the Nikon's 35mm film. Large format allows for greater enlargement without the film grain showing up in the image.

Alan G. Archer
2009-Aug-05, 02:30 PM
It looks like Wisnewski has dismissed (http://grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.blogspot.com/2009/07/verschworungstheoretiker-uber-die.html) with a wave of his hand the initial Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html)'s images of the Apollo landing sites. Essentially, he said that this is just NASA confirming that NASA has always been truthful about the lunar landings.

Andreas
2009-Aug-05, 02:42 PM
According to this article (http://sterileeye.com/2009/07/23/the-apollo-11-hasselblad-cameras/), the Hasselblads didn't have viewfinders. Most of the settings were worked out in advance and the astronauts trained with simple sights to aim the cameras. A single lens reflex (SLR) camera like the Nikon F uses the viewfinder to help frame the picture, focus the lens, and set exposure settings. the controls on a typical SLR would've been hard to use while wearing thick gloves

Well, the Hasselblad 500 EL on which the Apollo cameras were based on are also single lens reflex cameras with a viewfinder to frame the picture and focus the lens. Only the exposure meter isn't included with the basic folding focusing hood. Had a Nikon F been used it would have been similarly modified.

Also, another thing coming to mind which makes the Nikon F unsuitable: It uses 135 cartridges for film which would be impossible to change with spacesuit gloves. The camera would need major modifications to use film magazines, whereas the Hasselblads are magazine based from the start. Film can be loaded into magazines in advance and to change film only the magazine needs to be replaced on the camera.

Buttercup
2009-Aug-05, 02:50 PM
You know, if Apollo had been one (1) mission, I could sort of understand the hoax crowd.

But it was MULTIPLE missions.

You can't get that many people (professionals mostly - scientists, engineers, pilots) to all willingly participate in serial lies spanning years. You cannot get that sort of agreement and complicity.

That should be obvious to anyone with half a brain...

NEOWatcher
2009-Aug-05, 03:07 PM
That should be obvious to anyone with half a brain...
It's not the brain, it's the firewall.

I've seen some very clever arguments, unfortunately, something is blocking a lot of the relevant information.

Alan G. Archer
2009-Aug-05, 03:27 PM
Well, the Hasselblad 500 EL on which the Apollo cameras were based on are also single lens reflex cameras with a viewfinder to frame the picture and focus the lens. Only the exposure meter isn't included with the basic folding focusing hood. Had a Nikon F been used it would have been similarly modified.

Also, another thing coming to mind which makes the Nikon F unsuitable: It uses 135 cartridges for film which would be impossible to change with spacesuit gloves. The camera would need major modifications to use film magazines, whereas the Hasselblads are magazine based from the start. Film can be loaded into magazines in advance and to change film only the magazine needs to be replaced on the camera.

This page (http://www.mir.com.my/michaeliu/cameras/nikonf/fmotors/fmotors.htm) has a photo of a Nikon F featuring the F250 Motor Drive, a battery pack, and a waist-level finder. The F250 will allow the use of 250-exposure film cassettes. Even if it were further modified for lunar work, if I were a Moonwalker, I would go with the Hasselblad system.

From what I understand, the Nikon F used for Apollo was fitted with the FTn finder (http://www.mir.com.my/michaeliu/cameras/nikonf/ffinders/ftnfinder.htm), a metering prism.

Gillianren
2009-Aug-05, 04:43 PM
It looks like Wisnewski has dismissed (http://grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.blogspot.com/2009/07/verschworungstheoretiker-uber-die.html) with a wave of his hand the initial Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html)'s images of the Apollo landing sites. Essentially, he said that this is just NASA confirming that NASA has always been truthful about the lunar landings.

Well, those of us who knew what was going on did say that the new images wouldn't stop the HBs.

ineluki
2009-Aug-06, 12:49 PM
Well, those of us who knew what was going on did say that the new images wouldn't stop the HBs.

Especially those Liars who make ("earn" wouldn't be appropiate) their money with those claims.

Extracelestial
2009-Aug-07, 06:32 PM
Uhhh... This crap made it into an english translation?
As Wisnewski is a German journalist, we have some history of dealing with him here.
The German sister site of Clavius has some analysis of one of his books.
http://www.clavius.info/bibwisnewski1.htm
It is, of course, in German.
Wisnewski was a journalist, but seems at some point he recognized he can do much more money by "finding" conspiracies in almost anything that happens. Moon landings, 9/11 or the death of famous Austrian right-wing politician Jörg Haider who drove fast and drunken and ended up driving against a wall.

You're absolutely right - it is crap! I've read his book "Lies in Space" and it is as crappy as it comes (I'm sorry Mr. Moderator, but sometimes it is necessary to say out loud what something is because niceties would veil the truth).
His book is not only full of blatant lies, half-truths and deliberate misleadings but outright bad. I couldn't understand how this book made it past the editor as there are many inconsistencies and contradictions.

E.g. he maintaines that astronauts couldn't bend over due to their suits rigidity and therefore weren't able to peer down or take photos from objects at their feet. He argues that a photo where a boot-cap is clearly visible must be faked. But this guy also managed to include a photo of earth based training where astronauts, fully suited up, excercised their excursions. And in these photos it is plain to see that the astronauts could bend over to a certain degree; making photos subsequently.
I personally can't imagine a worse demotion for a book than an author delivering himself the material to debunk it!

Ex

ToSeek
2009-Aug-08, 04:00 AM
There's an independent website that uses a lot of material from the book at:

http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/atmosphaerenfahrt-index.html

Be warned than in addition to the usual HB incoherence, it's clear that the author's first language isn't English.

Extracelestial
2009-Aug-08, 10:23 AM
There's an independent website that uses a lot of material from the book at:

http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/atmosphaerenfahrt-index.html

Be warned than in addition to the usual HB incoherence, it's clear that the author's first language isn't English.

It is also evident that this site author's first language isn't German either.

Ex

kucharek
2009-Aug-08, 10:32 AM
And it is also pretty evident that the site's author seems to have some serious mental problems

Alan G. Archer
2009-Aug-08, 02:12 PM
Moon cranes and spooks?

From http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/atmosphaerenfahrt-index.html:


...The headquarters of the CIA are at the same place where the simulation center with the moon crane is: at Langley near Hampton (Virginia)...

The Lunar Landing Research Facility in Hampton, Virginia, was opened by the Langley Research Center in 1965. Langley Air Force Base is located nearby. CIA headquarters at that time, however, was located in Langley, Virginia, about 215 km from the crane as the crow flies.

Who is Michael Palomino?

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-08, 08:42 PM
The Lunar Landing Research Facility in Hampton, Virginia, was opened by the Langley Research Center in 1965. Langley Air Force Base is located nearby. CIA headquarters at that time, however, was located in Langley, Virginia, about 215 km from the crane as the crow flies.

Bad Geography.

Ben321
2009-Aug-09, 11:10 AM
Grissom finding a special switch in the cockpit that would have caused a short-circuit - not something I've heard mentioned anywhere before, even in circles where Grissom is given some sort of credibility.

What? Now NASA is including a "self destruct" mechanism in space craft? What do they expect, that astronauts will have to blow the ship to keep evil aliens from capturing it? Don't be ridiculous! There is no such thing as a "self destruct" switch or "short circuit" switch inside NASA space vehicles. There's no reason to have one.

R.A.F.
2009-Aug-09, 04:13 PM
There is no such thing as a "self destruct" switch or "short circuit" switch inside NASA space vehicles.

Perhaps not, but I do know that on Grissom's "lost" Mercury capsule, there were explosive distruct charges that had to be disarmed before it could be recovered.

Let me see if I can find some on web validation for that.

OK...here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Redstone_4#Recovery_of_Liberty_Bell_7) it is. It was "intended" to explode if the capsule sank, but failed to do so.

kucharek
2009-Aug-09, 04:27 PM
I doubt there were destruct charges. But there may have been other explosive bolts that are not fired during a nominal descent and landing.

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-09, 08:35 PM
What? Now NASA is including a "self destruct" mechanism in space craft? What do they expect, that astronauts will have to blow the ship to keep evil aliens from capturing it? Don't be ridiculous! There is no such thing as a "self destruct" switch or "short circuit" switch inside NASA space vehicles. There's no reason to have one.
But pretending there is one is a great way to keep Mission Specialist trainees at Space Camp from interrupting Pilot trainees by randomly pressing buttons in the cockpit "just to see what happens". (It stopped ME.)

slang
2009-Aug-09, 09:37 PM
What? Now NASA is including a "self destruct" mechanism in space craft? What do they expect, that astronauts will have to blow the ship to keep evil aliens from capturing it? Don't be ridiculous! There is no such thing as a "self destruct" switch or "short circuit" switch inside NASA space vehicles. There's no reason to have one.

No, but Virgil Grissom's son thinks NASA murdered his father, and apparently he thought that this piece of metal was the intended murder weapon, causing a short that would lead to a lethal fire. It's even more ridiculous than there being a "self destruct" button, but that never stops CT's anyway.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-21, 01:57 PM
I posted my rebuttals to a thread on a conspiracy forum. Rather than force people to endure that site, I'm going to repost them here.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-21, 01:57 PM
I was able to find a significant chunk of Wisnewski's "One Small Step" book online at Google Books and so will address aspects of what I was able to read here. I realize there's a lot more, but I wasn't able to access those, and I'm not about to buy a book from a guy I consider a fraud. (I might consider buying it used, but the sources I checked had prices that were actually higher than the new price from Amazon.)



I will say that he has a superficial plausibility, and I can understand how he might be persuasive to someone not all that familiar with the Apollo program. However, to someone who is familiar it's clear that he's egregiously ignorant and dishonest about his claims. So let's get to those.

He starts out by claiming that there were many more Soviet crewed missions than the history books tell us, basing his claims largely on tranmissions allegedly picked up by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers. This isn't unreasonable: the Soviets were notoriously secretive, and it's impressive that they went straight from no manned flights to an orbital one when the Americans tried a couple of suborbital flights beforehand. However, he goes along with a ridiculous claim on pages 16-17 from the brothers, who say they picked up a distress call from a Russian spacecraft that was leaving Earth orbit. They conjecture that the spacecraft might have fired its retro-rockets in reverse and left orbit rather than re-entering the atmosphere. However, this is a ludicrous possibility: the change in velocity to de-orbit is around 70 meters per second; the change in velocity to leave orbit is over 3,000 meters per second. This is just the first example of Wisnewski's ignorance of his subject matter.



Page 72: He goes on for quite a bit about the Russian program, but let's skip ahead to the Americans. On page 72, he wonders why the US chose a Moon landing as the goal rather than a space station: "Surely a manned laboratory in orbit would be an easier exercise than the complex journey to the Moon? ... A space station would also have been an easily attainable propaganda success, since one could have declared anything to be a space station...." Wisnewski is forgetting the entire point of the exercise, which is to outdo the Russians. The Russians at this point have far better booster capability than the Americans, and, if the stated goal had been to launch a good-sized space station, would have beaten us easily. If you're in a race where you're behind but think you might be able to catch up given time, you don't say, "Let's go to the next tree" but "Let's go to the hill there on the horizon."



Page 75: Wisnewski notes that in May 1961 that the Redstone rocket used for Mercury had clocked up 20 failures in 35 flights. He doesn't provide a reference, and I haven't been able to figure out quite how he comes up with the figure, but it's probably misleading, regardless: odds are that most of the failures were in the early flights, and the later ones were more successful. That's the way these things work. In fact, the exact configuration flown for the manned mission was tried four times before Alan Shepard's flight. Three of those were entirely successful, with one failure, that being the first one, and the failure would not have been threatening to the astronaut had there been one on board. So the 20/35 figure isn't quite a lie, but it's pretty misleading, and like a good magician, Wisnewski builds on the misdirection for several pages in order to suggest that the first manned flight was much riskier than it actually was.

In particular, he makes much of the fact that NASA is a lot more confident of a successful Redstone launch in March than in January, never mentioning that there were two totally successful launches in that interval.



Page 78: Wisnewski casts aspersions on Robert R. Gilruth's qualifications to be in charge of NASA's manned space program. "This is remarkable because Gilruth was actually an expert on remote-controlled, unmanned aircraft... This cannot have been much of a recommendation for becoming head of manned space flights and moon landings." Wisnewski never indicates what he would consider a solid background for such an assignment - it's not as if there was anyone with existing expertise in manned space flight! I presume he's hinting that Gilruth would have been expert at doing a fake mission, but considering the high degree of automation required even for manned missions, I don't see his background as unreasonable.



Okay, I now have to skip to page 107 because the intervening pages are not accessible.



Page 107: He notes the problems in 1968 with the lunar module, then says "Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were supposed to be landing on the moon in eleven months' time in a vehicle like this. Um, no, the landing had not been scheduled - even the crew assignments weren't set at this point. More ignorance.



Page 108: He marvels at Gene Cernan saying, "Quite frankly, there was no need for lunar module pilot LLTV training," the LLTV being the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle. What Wisnewski doesn't know is that the "lunar module pilot" title was a courtesy one and in fact it was the mission commander who flew the lunar module.



Page 110: Wisnewski notes that three of the five training vehicles crashed (without ever mentioning their 100+ successful flights), then gets really ridiculous, saying that the LLTV should be the more stable vehicle because it has three engines (two to compensate for Earth's gravity and one to simulate the lunar module engine) rather than the single engine of the LM. This, in a word, is nonsense. Nevertheless, he goes on and on about the issue, even indicating that the LLTV's should have been more reliable with the three engines when in fact they were less reliable since a failure of any of the engines would make the machine unflyable.



Page 112: Wisnewski talks about the testing of the lunar modules in flight. He mentions that on Apollo 5 "the landing engine only functioned for 4 seconds instead of 39 seconds after ignition", not mentioning that the problem was found to be with the guidance software, not the engine, and that the engine was successfully fired two more times, once for 33 seconds. I think that amounts to lying by half-truths.



Page 113: Wisnewski marvels that they didn't fly a manned flight with the LM until March 1969. Well, that's how long it took them to get a LM ready for human beings. He claims that on Apollo 9 the descent engine "began to spit and splutter" and classifies that as a failure. I can't find a reference to this, and the Apollo 9 mission report indicates that all mission success criteria were met, so the failure designation is simply a lie.



I have access to about 40 more pages and have commentary on those which are more to the meat of the issues, but I'm well past my lunch break at this point and need to get back to work. I'll try to finish this tomorrow.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-21, 01:59 PM
Haven't had much time for this thread this week, but here's some more on Wisnewski:



Page 120: Wisnewski goes off on a sidelight with regard to the argument in favor of the Moon landings that the secret could not possibly have been kept for this long. He claims that this means that "no one is capable of keeping secrets. And this would mean that military and intelligence organizations chase after nothing but illusions." This is nonsense. Almost all secrets - certainly military secrets - only need to be kept for a certain amount of time. Military and intelligence organizations work out ferreting out opposition secrets when they're still relevant while maintaining their own for as long as possible. That they make this effort says nothing about whether or not secrets will come out in the long run.



(There are some intervening pages that make the reasonable point that not all that many of those who worked on Apollo needed to be in on the conspiracy. I won't argue with this, though I will note that it would take even more people to do a conspiracy than to do the real thing, since you need people to work on the fake elements as well as the real stuff.)



Page 138: Wisnewski correlates Apollo missions with bad news back home, suggesting that the former were scheduled as a distraction from the latter. He states that Apollo 14 "commands the 'undivided attention of the public." I can tell you as one who was there that very few people were paying attention - most of the networks didn't even broadcast the Moon walks for the later missions.



Page 141: He claims that Harrison Schmitt is the only astronaut whose face is seen inside his helmet. There are in fact numerous cases of this, including Armstrong and Aldrin.



This is all part of a discussion on how to confirm the Moon landings, something he compares to climbing a mountain or reaching the North Pole. Obviously, there are limitations here, but Wisnewski makes it sound worse than it is. For example, "Neither manned nor unmanned missions, nor the strongest telescopes in the world have so far been able to catch sight of that supposedly abandoned equipment." Anyone who knows anything about optics knows that there are at present no telescopes on or near Earth capable of imaging the landing sites.



He dismisses the Moon rocks as evidence because they might have been brought back by Soviet missions. He doesn't bother mentioning that the Russians brought back grams while the Americans brought back kilograms, and the Moon rocks had characteristics that could only have developed from billions of years of exposure to micrometeorites, surface radiation, and other factors that don't exist on Earth and couldn't have been fabricated.



Page 145: Okay, now he's all in a tizzy because the Hasselblad doesn't have a viewfinder. He also points out that the Hasselblad 500 EL taken to the Moon is a sophisticated and fair-sized camera and suggests that they should have taken a more suitable camera. He never mentions what a more suitable camera than a precision, German-engineered instrument reknowned for its quality and ease of use might be, that takes film magazines (not rolls), has an electric winder, and uses film with twice the width and therefore four times the resolution of the more standard 35mm film.



He also objects to the use of slide ("diapositive") film and says that 160 ASA film is "very sensitive." Well, slide film has much better resolution than print film, and ASA 160 film is not all that sensitive. When I bought camera film, the options were generally ASA 100-400. If you wanted something really sensitive, you got ASA 800-1000. You could get sub-100 film, but it was generally for use in studios or where there was exceptionally bright lighting.



Page 149: He points out that the astronauts had to set the aperture, exposure time, and focus manually, summarizing by saying "the problems an limitations of photography on the moon were grotesque. The astronauts had little chance of bringing back useable photos. So the result is all the more astonishing, by which I don't mean that a few of the photos on the moon worked out quite well but that all the photos on the first film of Apollo 11 came out perfectly."



As is typical for Wisnewski, he doesn't tell you the whole truth. He doesn't tell you that the astronauts were issued with Hasselblads to practice with and therefore had months to become familiar with them. He doesn't tell you that it's easy to figure out what the lighting conditions are on the Moon and to tell the astronauts which setting to use in which situations. And, finally, it's simply a lie that all the photos on the first film came out perfectly.



Here are some I came up with:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5859HR.jpg - blurred

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5860HR.jpg - poor focus

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5894.jpg - underexposed

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5895.jpg - underexposed

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5896.jpg - underexposed

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5897.jpg - underexposed

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5898.jpg - underexposed

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5900.jpg - underexposed

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5901.jpg - strangely tilted

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5904.jpg - oops!

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5916.jpg - astronaut half-in-shot, half-out

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5935.jpg - glare from Sun

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5936.jpg - glare from Sun

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5951.jpg - top of astronaut cut off

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5966.jpg - very underexposed (but may have been taken to finish off roll)



You can peruse the whole roll if you go to

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/images11.html#Mag40



I'll have to continue the rest of this in part three because I have an appointment.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-21, 02:03 PM
More Wisniewski: THE photo



To harp on the photo issue a little more, let's go to the most famous one of all. You know which one it is:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11-69-HC-684.jpg

Right? Well, wrong. That's how it showed up on all the magazine covers, nicely centered and framed, but the original actually looks like this:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/as11-40-5903sm.jpg

Far from being perfectly framed, Armstrong actually has the camera aimed at the vicinity of Aldrin's right toe. Wisnewski attempts to make a virtue out of a deficiency by stating that the photo of Aldrin has "the top of his helmet exactly fitting the upper edge of the frame." It's much more reasonable to point out Armstrong very nearly commits the tyro's error of cutting of the top of his subject's head.



More about Wisnewski in my next post.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-21, 02:04 PM
Page 152: The lack of a blast crater and lack of dust on the lunar module. This is good for several pages. Again, I think this is more evidence for a non-hoax than a hoax because it was unexpected. Why is there no blast crater - presumably because the Moon's surface is extremely hard below the first few inches of dust. In any case, there are photos taken of the area underneath the lunar module that show clear signs that the area was scoured by the descent engine.



As for the lack of dust on the lunar module itself, there isn't any great reason there should be. This isn't Earth, after all, where the dust is kicked up and hangs in the air before slowly settling. The Moon dust would have been blown outward and settled very quickly.



Page 155: "Although NASA claims that the cameras were fixed to the astronauts' chests, here they can suddenly be pointed vertically 'downwards.'" This is accompanied with a few well-known photos of bootprints on the Moon. Now, when NASA says the camera (and there was only one on the Apollo 11 moonwalk unless you count the geology camera) was fixed to the chest, they don't mean it was superglued. It was attached there but could be removed. In fact the camera gets handed back and forth a couple of times between Armstrong and Aldrin during the EVA.



Page 156: Depth of field. Wisnewski is disturbed by the lack of depth of field in the bootprint images. This is true: the bootprint is nicely focused, while the quality of focus diminishes rapidly toward the top of the frame, where the surface is farther away. Wisnewski thinks this is an anomaly since the camera should be stopped down due to the bright surface, something that increases the depth of field. What he doesn't mention is that the closer you are to your subject, the less depth of field you have. It's one thing to take a photo of a landscape (as are most of the Apollo surface photos, of course) and quite another to take something right at your feet. So I don't see this as a significant issue.



Page 158: Charlie Duke's family photo. Charlie Duke took a photo of his family, shrink-wrapped it, took it to the Moon, put it on the surface, and took a photo of it. Wisnewski tells this story and marvels at it. Why shrink-wrap it? (To keep it from getting scratched or smudged, maybe?) Why does he expect it to last a long time on the Moon? (Well, he doesn't. He was just happy to take the photo of the photo.)



Page 160: Bright spots. Even Wisnewski admits that the previous items are pretty trivial, but then he goes to image AS11-40-5902:



http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5902.jpg



and wonders about the bright area behind and to Aldrin's right. He claims that the surface lighting should be completely even and harsh due to the single light source and the lack of an atmosphere. What he doesn't mention is how reflective the Moon's surface is, as can be seen best in a down-Sun image like this one:



http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5906.jpg



In the case of the previous photo, the bright area is where the sunlight is bouncing off the surface and possibly enhanced because Armstrong is in the LM's shadow.



Page 161: Bright spot in TV coverage. I'll have to look at this one when I can track down the segment he has an issue with.



Page 162: Details visible on an astronaut in the sunward direction from the photographer. Reference photo is AS16-114-18423:



http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/apollo/apollo16/hires/as16-114-18423.jpg



He compares this to a photo of a kid standing in snow and blocking the Sun. The kid, not surprisingly, is a silhouette. The basic problem I see here is that the Moon photo is of a bright white object against a dark setting (the Moon's surface is about as reflective as asphalt), while the Earth photo is of a dark object against a brilliant white background. This is not a fair comparison.



He also claims that "there is another light source reflected in the astronaut's visor", which I don't see at all. I see the reflective surface around the astronaut's shadow and a bright white speck which has got to be the astronaut taking the picture, not another light source.



Page 163: No difference between the Moon and a hangar. He claims there's no significant difference between a photo of the astronauts training:



http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/ap11-69-H-698HR.jpg



And the real ones:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5868HR.jpg



http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/AS11-40-5902HR.jpg



Probably true, but so what? The equipment was identical, and the surface material was intended to be as similar as possible. He never really explains why this is "suspicious", just states that it is.



Page 178 (previous pages missing from the Google excerpts): Invisible ascent engine flame. I've addressed this before, pointing out that the Titan II engines, using identical fuel and oxidizer, put out a transparent flame despite having many times the thrust. And when Wisnewski claims that the space shuttle engines and Apollo landing engines, which produce visible flames, run on "almost identical fuels" he is either incorrect or taking a very generous reading of "amost identical".



Page 179: No noise from the ascent engine. Wisnewski does some beautiful sleight-of-hand here. He points out that there is no noise heard from the ascent engine on liftoff. He then constructs a strawman argument that the sound would not be carried in a vacuum (one he attributes to proponents like me even though I've never heard it from anyone on my side) and refutes it with the example of the astronauts hearing the "pretty large bang" on Apollo 13. He concludes that "this really does call for some explanation."



Did you catch the sleight-of-hand? The original question was whether or not the sound should be heard on Earth. He turns it into a question of whether or not the astronauts should have heard it, which is a whole different issue. The Apollo 13 example in fact refutes, not supports, his claim. I mean, Houston didn't hear the "pretty large bang" - it took the astronauts saying the famous "Houston, we've had a problem" for them to start becoming aware that something was awry.



And that is the end of the book segments Google provides that are extensive enough to argue with. My conclusion, based on this segment, is that Wisnewski is typical of the Moon hoax proponents I've encountered:



- They're appallingly ignorant of the relevant science and technology, while at the same time

- They project far more knowledge and confidence than is justified by their understanding

- They tell only the parts of the story that support their claims while ignoring the full context.

- They try to poke holes in the official version but don't have a clear, coherent alternative to offer that would stand up better than the official version.

- They take a shotgun approach, firing dozens of claims without much consideration of their strength or validity in the hopes that one of them is bound to stick.



All in all, I'm not impressed.



There's more refutation of Wisnewski at the German Clavius site:



http://www.clavius.info/bibwisnewski1.htm



If you don't speak German, you can use Google language tools to get the gist of it:



http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.clavius.info/bibwisnewski1.htm&ei=LjKMSquoJJGMMeDJxZMO&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=6&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwisnewski%2Bclavius%26hl%3Den%26clien t%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DRRU

Dave J
2009-Aug-21, 02:32 PM
Nice summary, To Seek. The problem with these HB folks is that all they are interested in is the hoax, the conspiracy. They don't spend any time at all studying the Apollo program, the hardware, and how NASA claimes it was all accomplished. They just look at each others sites.

Meanwhile, we become well versed in both everything Apollo (and the sciences involved) AND all the hoax theories. It's like being in the ring with a one-armed opponent...so they keep on with their totally ignorant, repetetive claims.

JayUtah
2009-Aug-21, 02:41 PM
...

Military and intelligence organizations work out ferreting out opposition secrets when they're still relevant...

As the Soviets did for Apollo, even capturing an Apollo boilerplate CM.

There are some intervening pages that make the reasonable point that not all that many of those who worked on Apollo needed to be in on the conspiracy.

Those who ostensibly worked on Apollo, however, were well known in their fields and had reputations for technical prowess and engineering skill. While they would not necessarily be told about the conspiracy, they were being asked to work on a cover story. Their intelligence and perseverance would make it difficult to hide the true nature of their own work from them. Cover stories aren't expected to work. Who best to know whether their technology would work than those tasked to build it?

Conspiracy theorists deal only in speculative numbers of people involved, not their nature.

He also points out that the Hasselblad 500 EL taken to the Moon is a sophisticated and fair-sized camera...

It's about the same size as any other medium-format camera. As for sophistication, the 500/EL body is little more than a precision-machined box. The lens goes on one end (and is surprisingly small) and the longroll magazine goes on the other (and is surprisingly large).

...than a precision, German-engineered instrument reknowned for its quality...

Swedish, actually; although the Zeiss lens was made in Germany.

He also objects to the use of slide ("diapositive") film and says that 160 ASA film is "very sensitive."

The Ektachrome E-3 emulsion allows for maximum exposure and tonal corrections in the darkroom. You send that film because you have relative amateurs exposing the film and top experts in the darkroom processing it. You provide the best tools to the best experts.

ASA/ISO 160 is not very sensitive in the grand scheme of things, even in 1969. Reversal film is more sensitive to variations in light levels, meaning you have to be fairly accurate in setting the exposure. But I shot almost exclusively on reversal film in the late 1980s and took many wonderful photos that are still in my portfolio. No one told me it had a narrow exposure latitude, consequently I didn't worry about it.

He points out that the astronauts had to set the aperture, exposure time, and focus manually...

As did almost every photographer at that time. As I had to do for years. As I still do in my studio for some tasks. To hear conspiracists talk, no one would ever have a prayer of being a photographer because it's just too difficult.

He claims that the surface lighting should be completely even and harsh due to the single light source and the lack of an atmosphere.

When shooting up-sun, the texture of the surface has the primary effect on how bright it appears.

All in all, I'm not impressed.

Nor am I, which is why I have not really paid much attention to Wisnewski. Same old, same old.

ToSeek
2009-Aug-21, 02:43 PM
Nice summary, To Seek. The problem with these HB folks is that all they are interested in is the hoax, the conspiracy. They don't spend any time at all studying the Apollo program, the hardware, and how NASA claimes it was all accomplished. They just look at each others sites.

Meanwhile, we become well versed in both everything Apollo (and the sciences involved) AND all the hoax theories. It's like being in the ring with a one-armed opponent...so they keep on with their totally ignorant, repetetive claims.

I think the other issue is that they never come up with a coherent alternative scenario but are content to poke holes in the mainstream one. Okay, so it was faked. Did the astronauts lift off in the Saturn V? If not, how did they get minutes-long videos of weightless astronauts in the command module? If so, where did they go? If they just went into orbit, why didn't anyone notice an extremely bright new satellite going around the Earth?

Graham2001
2009-Aug-21, 04:00 PM
This is going to come out wrong, I'm sure, I'm a little upset and probably not wording it very well, but could someone please tell me where this claim on page 95 of the book about the Apollo 1 astronauts living for a long time comes from? Is there any actual evidence for this? I know the claims about nobody trying to rescue the Apollo 1 crew aren't right, I know people did try to rescue them but they suffered smoke inhalation and burned their hands trying to open the hatch from the outside. But is there any evidence for the claim that the astronauts survived for several minutes? It's just that this is the second time I've heard this HB claim and I find it very distressing.

The might have got the idea from fiction. Barry N. Malzberg's 'The Falling Astronauts' contains the following:


Grissom, at the very end had said terrible things before the flames knocked out transmissions. But fire would force curses from anyone. (Barry N. Malzberg, The Falling Astronauts, Arrow Books, pg 109)

It would not take much for this to enter the HB repertoire, after some of them seem to think 'Capricorn One' is a documentary...

NGCHunter
2009-Aug-21, 04:08 PM
What? Now NASA is including a "self destruct" mechanism in space craft? What do they expect, that astronauts will have to blow the ship to keep evil aliens from capturing it? Don't be ridiculous! There is no such thing as a "self destruct" switch or "short circuit" switch inside NASA space vehicles. There's no reason to have one.
Actually, even the space shuttle has a "self destruct" mechanism (called the Range Safety System), and there's a very good reason for it; if the shuttle veers off-course during the ascent it's activated at cape canaveral to prevent damage to life and property. Every rocket I know of that launches from the Cape has one. There's no way to activate it (or deactivate it) from inside the orbiter, and the destruct charges are only located in the solid rocket boosters and the external tank. Once armed, an indicator is illuminated on the Pilot and Commander's stations, the second command issued fires the charges on the SRB's and external tank simultaneously. This system has even been used before, on Challenger's fatal launch. Put that way it sounds like a disgusting conspiracy theory, but it's actually true; after Challenger broke up the system was activated to detonate the rogue SRB's. There are antennas on each of the SRBs and ET, so they do not need to be connected to each other to properly function.

Extracelestial
2009-Aug-21, 04:20 PM
...

All in all, I'm not impressed....

Hello ToSeek,

well you didn't expect to be, didn't you?

Being German, I've read Wisnewskis book in German and as I've said before it's crap. The reasoning is weak, his evidence is doubtful at best and his train of logic is sloppy. This, however, this is really the positive side of his book because most of it is cherry picking, willful ignorance and deliberate omission of facts or evidence to the contrary.
You did an extensive (and a good one on top of it) debunking, but one hardly neesd to be a rocket scientist to spot the most egregious faults:

#1 the tired old "blast crater" claim. Of course, he can't let that be so he adds his two pence. All he manages to come up with is a pencil drawing showing the LEM upon touchdown (with crater below) to support his claim. Oh boy (head shaking in tired disbelief)
# 2 suits rigidity: his claim is that an astronaut couldn't possibly bend over in an inflated space suit and therefore photos showing the boots of the photographer had to be faked. This genius however manages to include a photo of a training run clearly showing astronauts bending over. (eyeballs rolling towards the ceiling)
#3 the only issue he focuses on are photos. Understandably, as this is the only subject he might be familiar with as a journalist. And that makes it easier to dismiss evidence from other fields (selenogy?! Doppler shifts, triangulation) (shrugging of shoulder with a smirk)

My advice, don't honor him with too much attention, because it's what he's after. So far his book din't make it on any best seller list and it should stay that way ;-)

Ex

Donnie B.
2009-Aug-21, 08:59 PM
If they just went into orbit, why didn't anyone notice an extremely bright new satellite going around the Earth?
Oh, that's easy. They just activated stealth mode once they reached orbit.

Yeah, it'd be nice to be an HB. Never an unanswerable question.

KaiYeves
2009-Aug-21, 09:41 PM
Actually, even the space shuttle has a "self destruct" mechanism (called the Range Safety System), and there's a very good reason for it; if the shuttle veers off-course during the ascent it's activated at cape canaveral to prevent damage to life and property. Every rocket I know of that launches from the Cape has one. There's no way to activate it (or deactivate it) from inside the orbiter, and the destruct charges are only located in the solid rocket boosters and the external tank. Once armed, an indicator is illuminated on the Pilot and Commander's stations, the second command issued fires the charges on the SRB's and external tank simultaneously. This system has even been used before, on Challenger's fatal launch. Put that way it sounds like a disgusting conspiracy theory, but it's actually true; after Challenger broke up the system was activated to detonate the rogue SRB's. There are antennas on each of the SRBs and ET, so they do not need to be connected to each other to properly function.
The guy from Air Force Space Command who talked to us at Space Academy said he knew the guy who pushed that button. (And while he talked about all of this, he was smiling. Very creepy guy.)

mahesh
2009-Aug-21, 10:07 PM
Yesterday, I started reading Dan Parry's beautifully written Moonshot!

Just the Acknowledgements / Introduction on page one captured my heart already....