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Alsj Mp3s, Apollo audio
dvandorn
post May 5 2005, 08:02 AM
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I discovered a while back that Eric Jones' excellent NASA website. the Apollo Lunar Surface Journals, has been incorporating links to MP3 files of the air-to-ground audio. So far, it's complete for Apollos 15 and 16, and I believe is complete through EVA-1 for Apollo 17.

Now, I grew up with Apollo -- I was born 10/17/55, so I was 13 in the summer of 1969. And, just the way the dates lined up, I was 15 years old when Apollo 15 flew, 16 y.o. during Apollo 16, and 17 y.o. during Apollo 17.

I took pictures off the TV screen of the moonwalks, and I set up a microphone from my little tape recorder in front of the TV set's speaker and recorded audio of the (progressively more scarce) TV coverage of the moonwalks. For several years I fell asleep at night listening to the moonwalks, memorizing details and allowing my subconscious to fly me to the moon in my dreams... smile.gif

So, when I discovered the MP3s, it occurred to me that I could download them from their source and burn CDs from them... hehehehe...

I finished Apollo 16 -- every bit of air-to-ground from the beginning of Rev 16 (PDI Rev) until ascent and injection into lunar orbit three days later. A total of 32 CDs. And I can listen to them in my car as I drive to work... *big grin*...

I guess this is just a heads-up for any other Apollo junkies out there who might want to do something similar.

-the other Doug


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Bob Shaw
post May 5 2005, 08:42 AM
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I too taped the majority of the Apollo missions, mostly BBC coverage. I still have the tapes, and will at some point try to rescue them (if they're still playable). Interestingly, for the Apollo flights Gene Shoemaker provided commentary, making him actually rather well-known at the time in the UK. Presumably he was cheaper than an ex-astronaut at the time of Apollo, what with the US networks and their largesse being flung about for the first few flights. Until important stuff like The Lucy Show took over the Apollo slots!


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edstrick
post May 5 2005, 11:11 AM
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:grin:

I've got audio of the launch of Ranger 3, John Glenn's first two orbits, Ranger 9's "live from the moon" pictures to impact... First 2 orbits of
Gemini 3, Spotty coverage of later Gemini starting from 6/7.

Prize possessions are the launch of Saturn 501.. the first Saturn 5 test flight.. the Landing of Surveyor 1 on the moon. Fairly comprehensive coverage of Apollo, steadily increasing <as broadcast coverage permitted> with time. Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz... bits of unmanned mission coverage. Shuttle Enterprize's first free flight and landing test. etc.

Starting with Apollo 14, I have "prime" bits of coverage in stereo.. 2 different tv networks's live coverage. Line input on the tape recorder attached to the TV speaker leads.. much better audio than the microphone trick.

Tapes seem to be in pretty good condition. be careful copying tapes.. The tape can get brittle, the oxide coating can flake as it's being played.
Be prepared to record it when you try to play it. you may not get a second chance.
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Bob Shaw
post May 5 2005, 06:51 PM
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Darn right!

Not to mention print-through, and general attacks by mice...

Once (if) the job is ever done, I'll turn 'em into MP3s and release them into the wild. Or the WWW (same thing).


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lyford
post May 6 2005, 02:02 AM
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Dooood! Time to get baking! tongue.gif

At least that's analog, and providing you still have the original tape deck in working order the problems are surmountable. Digital archiving is a real problem, even within a single career-span there have been so many different data formats that I don't envy those charged with preserving the past!

Please post your MP3s if you ever break the tapes out....!

(Now if I could only resurrect my old betamax tapes of Benny Hill....)


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GregM
post May 6 2005, 02:17 AM
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Gentlemen, if you are into this sort of thing (and I assume that you are):

You may or may not be aware of this, (but if not) Spacecraft Films has restored all of this stuff to the highest visual and audio standard available and transferred it all to DVD for sale to the public. ALL (and I mean all) inflight film and video records that exist of all of the Apollo, Gemini, and soon Mercury missions (including unmanned test flights and all early Saturn test flights) are on these products. There is no corny music or narration to interfere - just as it happened at the time. The Apollo stuff has all of the air/ground audio matched to the visuals. The Gemini stuff has post filght crew debriefings matched to the visuals. If you have old recordings that you made at home of the moon landings - preserve & store them for posterity's sake, and then get this stuff to view and listen to for practical use. If you are into human spaceflight from 1961 to 1972, I guarentee that you will NOT be disappointed. There is nothing else like this collection of complete and restored material available commercially anywhere else in the world. No matter what audio/visual record that you may have of human missions of that era, this stuff is one hundred times better.

I would never normally shill a comercial product like this, but I have purchased their product and have come away astonished at their work.

If you are an Apollo Junkie - this is the ultimate. Just get them. Trust me. You will thank yourself.
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edstrick
post May 6 2005, 09:53 AM
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The Spacecraft films stuff is "The Real Stuff" I've got some and will steadily collect more.

But it's not what we watched and listened to in real time. Before about 1975, we weren't condemmed to 100% Talking Airheads and Celebrity space coverage. The space reporters were reasonably technically literate and then generally let you hear astronaut talk and mission control announcements. And they had "articles" prepared to fill dead air time... technically interesting articles.

Reel-to-reel tape recorders are widely available. I recently bought a refurbished "Prosumer" level 4-channel deck from a local stereo repair and reselling shop for a few hundred $. I bought that unit as my older tapes are 2-track mono, and a regular stereo deck only plays 1/2 of the width of each mono-track... the other track during playback is the other side of the tape in reverse.
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djellison
post May 6 2005, 10:56 AM
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Being too young to have experienced Apollo - I just like to listen to the 40-odd minutes of Opportunity landing chatter that's on the dvd that came with the 2nd volume of the mars misison reports smile.gif

Does anyone know if similar footage for pathfinder exists?

Doug
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Bob Shaw
post May 6 2005, 11:16 PM
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I think the point about the 'off-air' recordings made by us guys is that they reflect the mass experience of the time - there's no doubt that there are far superior archival recordings, but it's the 'being there' which counts, So, a bald NASA recording of the Apollo 4 launch pales into insignificance beside the experience of the window falling in, and - secondhand- listening to it happen.

The Holy Grail, however, might be the Apollo 15 video with the cleaning up applied which was done for later flights...


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dvandorn
post May 7 2005, 03:57 AM
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QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ May 6 2005, 06:16 PM)
I think the point about the 'off-air' recordings made by us guys is that they reflect the mass experience of the time - there's no doubt that there are far superior archival recordings, but it's the 'being there' which counts,  So, a bald NASA recording of the Apollo 4 launch pales into insignificance beside the experience of the window falling in, and - secondhand- listening to it happen.

The Holy Grail, however, might be the Apollo 15 video with the cleaning up applied which was done for later flights...
*


Yeah -- while I really enjoy my Apollo CDs, I miss the commentary a bit. Somewhere on my original cassettes from 33 years ago, I have John Chancellor commenting on the exuberance of Young and Duke, saying "Do you think that when these fellows come home from the office at night, they say things like 'Gee, the key fits in the door! Out-STANDING!'?"

-the other Doug


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edstrick
post May 9 2005, 01:41 AM
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What I *don't* have, probably is the quote from Apollo 16 after the first EVA, when they were eating and relaxing and having "private time' with the link to Houston nominally turned off... the switch wasn't quite in the off position and they had a live mike... (I'd have to dig up the source for a perfect quote but...)

"Christ, Charlie, I had the farts out there.. I don't know what does it .. I think it's that G__dammed orange juice.... I really do...
....
...
Houston: Apollo.. you're on the way to having a hot mike...

(Printed in Aviation "Leak" the following week)

I said to myself... My ghod!... this proves it, despite the best effort of the NASA PR flacks... The astronauts are human after all!
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ElkGroveDan
post May 9 2005, 03:22 AM
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QUOTE (edstrick @ May 9 2005, 01:41 AM)
What I *don't* have, probably is the quote from Apollo 16 after the first EVA, when they were eating and relaxing and having "private time' with the link to Houston nominally turned off... the switch wasn't quite in the off position and they had a live mike... (I'd have to dig up the source for a perfect quote but...)

"Christ, Charlie, I had the farts out there.. I don't know what does it .. I think it's that G__dammed orange juice.... I really do...
....
...
Houston: Apollo.. you're on the way to having a hot mike...

(Printed in Aviation "Leak" the following week)

I said to myself... My ghod!... this proves it, despite the best effort of the NASA PR flacks... The astronauts are human after all!
*

According to Encyclopedia Astronautica, the story goes like this:

Duke had been hypnotized to keep him from using his customary cuss words while being broadcast live from the moon, which led to his constant singing to compensate... Tang, orange-drink sponsor of CBS coverage of the mission, was not pleased when Young confided to a crewmate, not knowing that his words were being broadcast live: "I got the farts again... I mean, I haven't eaten this much citrus fruit in twenty year...in another twelve f***ing days, I ain't never eating any more...I'll be damned if I'm goint to be buried in oranges.."

here: http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apollo16.htm


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dvandorn
post May 9 2005, 04:40 AM
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QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ May 8 2005, 10:22 PM)
QUOTE (edstrick @ May 9 2005, 01:41 AM)
What I *don't* have, probably is the quote from Apollo 16 after the first EVA, when they were eating and relaxing and having "private time' with the link to Houston nominally turned off... the switch wasn't quite in the off position and they had a live mike... (I'd have to dig up the source for a perfect quote but...)

"Christ, Charlie, I had the farts out there.. I don't know what does it .. I think it's that G__dammed orange juice.... I really do...
....
...
Houston: Apollo.. you're on the way to having a hot mike...

(Printed in Aviation "Leak" the following week)

I said to myself... My ghod!... this proves it, despite the best effort of the NASA PR flacks... The astronauts are human after all!
*

According to Encyclopedia Astronautica, the story goes like this:

Duke had been hypnotized to keep him from using his customary cuss words while being broadcast live from the moon, which led to his constant singing to compensate... Tang, orange-drink sponsor of CBS coverage of the mission, was not pleased when Young confided to a crewmate, not knowing that his words were being broadcast live: "I got the farts again... I mean, I haven't eaten this much citrus fruit in twenty year...in another twelve f***ing days, I ain't never eating any more...I'll be damned if I'm goint to be buried in oranges.."

here: http://www.astronautix.com/flights/apollo16.htm
*



It's something of a shame that John Young, one of the most capable astronauts who ever wore the pin, is remembered by most people primarily for two things:

1) The corned-beef sandwich he "smuggled" onto Gemini 3, and

2) The "acid stomach" comments he made on a hot mike (that he had *no* idea was hot) on Apollo 16.

Actually, my favorite moment in re the "acid stomach" incident during Apollo 16 happened the next day, near the end of EVA-2. Young and Duke were lobbying Houston for an EVA extension, so they could finish up their close-out without the need to hurry through it (and perhaps forget something, or screw something up). Since I have the exchange memorized, I can tell you it went like this:


Duke: Tony, how about an extension, you guys? We feelin' good.

Young: Yeah -- you said all we was gonna do tonight was sit around and talk! ((Young spoke the word "talk" like it was the most disgusting thing he could think of.))

CapCom Tony England: Oh, we like to hear you talk. Especially about the orange juice...


((Less than two minutes later, the Flight Director agreed to grant a 15-minute extension, to which Duke replied "Let's here it for ol' Flight! An Attaboy for Flight!" To which Tony added a spontaneous "yea!"))

BTW, I don't know how the otherwise excellent Encyclopedia Astronautica got this so wrong, but the story about Duke is actually about Pete Conrad, and it is an apocryphal story. Conrad, as anyone who ever spoke with him could tell you, used profane words as grace notes. He swore every three or four words, usually. In Bartlett's Quotations, the phrase "swear like a sailor" has a picture of Pete next to it...

Anyway, before Apollo 12, NASA PAO was having conniptions, convinced that their Third Man on the Moon was *never* going to be able to control his language. His LMP, Al Bean, even talked to Pete about it, saying he was really concerned that Pete was going to slip and swear a lot on the Moon. Pete told Al not to worry, he would be fine -- and that, furthermore, it was guys like Al, who rarely swore in everyday life, who would be *more* likely to slip up and swear on a live mike. Sure enough, Pete only swore once or twice, mild things like "damnits" under his breath, and Al slipped up five or six times.

Now, a naturally ebullient Conrad was absolutely ecstatic to be walking on the Moon, so as he went about his business, he hummed and sang little wordless ditties. The apocryphal story was that NASA had convinced Pete to undergo hypnosis, and that he was under a post-hypnotic suggestion forcing him to hum or sing whenever he felt like swearing. But it's not true -- Pete, good to his word, knew how to keep his language fit for a G-rated audience when he was on a live mike.

As for Duke, he was a good ol' Carolina boy, but also a devout Christian who, after his astronaut career, took up a career in the ministry. Charlie was naturally pretty mild-mannered and soft-spoken, with that marvelous deep-South accent that will forever be linked in my mind with the moment men first landed on the Moon (Duke was the CapCom who responded to Armstrong's declaration that Eagle was now Tranquility base with an emotion-choked "Rog, Twan - Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathin' again -- thanks a lot.") His swearing, as revealed on the onboard recordings, was always very mild and infrequent. So this entry is a little unfair to Duke.

I need to remember to write Mark Wade an e-mail about this...

-the other Doug


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edstrick
post May 9 2005, 10:53 AM
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Remembered background bit...
on Apollo 15, the flight medicos noticed some heart arrythmias in the working-awfully-hard crew during or after an EVA. This was attributed to low blood potassium...
So the 16 crew had potassium laced pseudo-tang to counter any possible problem
I really think it wasn't tang. We had some K-juice like that for my grandfather or somebody in the family who was on a low salt/extra potassium diet about the same time and it was worse than tang.
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dvandorn
post May 9 2005, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (edstrick @ May 9 2005, 05:53 AM)
Remembered background bit...
on Apollo 15, the flight medicos noticed some heart arrythmias in the working-awfully-hard crew during or after an EVA.  This was attributed to low blood potassium...
So the 16 crew had potassium laced pseudo-tang to counter any possible problem
I really think it wasn't tang.  We had some K-juice like that for my grandfather or somebody in the family who was on a low salt/extra potassium diet about the same time and it was worse than tang.
*


Tang is an interesting subject, since Tang itself (the exact formulation that was sold commercially) never flew in space. The same people who made Tang formulated the various citrus drinks that NASA included in Apollo meal packs, but the formulation was slightly different from the commercuial product. And yes, after the Apollo 15 situation, in which low potassium levels were identified as a contributing factor to the bigeminal heart rhythms that both Scott and Irwin displayed (Irwin more than Scott), the fruit drinks for the LM crews on the remaining flights were enriched with potassium. Which encouraged stomach acid and intestinal gas production.

The citrus drinks weren't the only culprits for gas production, either. On Apollo 17, Jack Schmitt blamed the corn chowder for a rather pungent episode of gas-passing during translunar coast, and felt he had to warn Cernan about it when the corn chowder showed up on the menu for their first post-landing meal. Since they were going to begin EVA prep right after eating and Schmitt would be cocooned in his own suit (with his own stink) for the next eight hours or so, Cernan didn't seem too worried about it...

But every single American space flight through the end of Apollo ran across some level of problem with intestinal gas. On Apollo, this was partially blamed on leftover hydrogen gas bubbles in the drinking water (the water having been produced by combining hydrogen and oxygen in the electricity-generating fuel cells). One flight surgeon even tried to blame it on the 5 psia cabin pressure -- the rationale was that the intestines always contain a certain amount of gas, and that if you lower the outside pressure, the gas will, in response, increase in volume and push harder to escape. Of course, the body maintains the same pressure against the intestines at 5 psia as it does at sea level, so that argument never made a lot of sense... but it was put forth back in the 60s.

But for whatever reason, early American spaceflights were all flown in a cloud of methane at some point. The issue was made a lot more obvious by the fact that the smell of the gas can't dissipate, like it would even in an indoor room on Earth. With such a relatively small volume of air and limited scrubbing for aroma removal, *any* farting became immediately obvious and stayed around for hours. So even a normal amount of intestinal gas became much more obvious.

-the other Doug


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