tv Call-in with James Donovan Shoot for the Moon CSPAN September 4, 2019 10:47pm-11:16pm EDT
let's start 1957. what is effective sputnik on the country quick. >> the first artificial satellite created a sensation and people went crazy. we were stunned. we were wondering what was next. from the next larger satellite space stations of nuclear missiles and it created nasa a year later that people now don't understand people thought world war iii was starting. >> did the fact that sputnik happened did we have a space program at all at that point
quick. >> we had a satellite program you may have heard of on brown the may not see in charge of the program we scooped him up and brought him over here under the auspices of a program called operation paperclip air force, navy and had their own program for space. >> how quickly. >> just a couple months later that day wanted to be sure and tested for safety and then the entire space race like it never happened. >> did eisenhower get it
quick. >> no. he thought it was a huge waste of time and money. a lot of people did not understand or what would happen because of it. >> me 25, 1961. >> that was the challenge before the urgent need speech. challenging america to land a man on the moon bring it back safely before the end of the decade. in reality kennedy was not a space bar fat all until this happened that we need actually was just a few weeks after we needed some good news.
>> was it a political speech quick. >> absolutely. in researching the book i realized it was national security not just to counter the russians but national prestige to show we were not in second place this was the height of the cold war. there were dozens of nations and to be on the winning side and who will be winning this war.
>> what did it cost the us taxpayer through july 20t july 20th, 1969 to put a man on the moon quick. >> about $25 billion that's a lot more in today's dollars. current dollars back then. but the space program pioneered and in 1975 someone estimated that return of investment to be 16 / one. >> four.4 percent of that budget was dedicated to nasa at one point.
>> now it is like.5 percent it is almost nothing. >> was neil armstrong on purpose or an accident quick. >> some people will say it was just his turn. he was chosen to attempt a landing on the moon those didn't think he would make it but something would come up that there were too many unknowns that could be apollo 12 or 13 but he had a reputation as a cool customer to just barely survive daccidents and space one of the few x 15 pilots. >> who was alan shepard quick. >> the first man in space for 15bo minutes in 1961.
but it was a big deal a few months earlier so we had to get somebody up to answer because they beat us. >> so he was the first american in space. >> describe his voyage. >>. >> these were small in those capsules on top of the icbm meant to deliver nuclear warheads. people could not believe they would strap themselves on top and didn't even know back then what weightlessness would do to a human and to get all
space and weird and they had names foror it but considered a true hero. >> how high quick. >> 100 or 125 miles per hour on - - up miles he went up and then came right back down he landed in the pacific down rage - - range from cape canaveral. >> how many people died trying to get to space in pursuit quick. >> there were always rumors there was a soviet cosmonaut that died. russian government they were not open with their space program they only announced the successful ones after it happened so i could never track down anything that was evident of that.
apollo two oh four that was termed apollo one january 1967. who died as a dress rehearsal alon the launchpad that made the program safer. >> we were talking prior so were we watching that live the moon landing or was it taped and how do we see cameras focused on neil armstrong quick. >> so was an alien holding the camera? is not that complicated but it was ornate where he got himself out on the very small porch of the lunar module he reached down and drop
something and it flopped out and it was a camera and it was aimed right at him. >> was alive quick. >> it was live with a few minutes delay it is 240,000 miles away. >> they say there's more technology in this phone than on that capsule. >> the apollo guidance computer with that command module was revolutionary when ibm mainframes took up the room. each had approximately processing power and 1 megahertz memory and 1 megahertz of processing power my iphone has millions more. >> james donovan is the guest
and bethel missouri go ahead. >> >>caller: thank you for taking my call regarding apollo one. did the astronaut suits fail? with a burn towehe death? and in addition if grisham survived would he be the first man on thevi moon quick. >> a great question. >> also tell us apollo one. >> the crew of ed white and roger were scheduled to be the first crew of the first actual crew of the apollo spacecraft in space january 1967. it should have been a routine
dress rehearsal to see if the power worked. unfortunately 100 percent oxygen atmosphere and if anything is highly flammable we know what that does and there was a spark of material that was flammable. they were dead - - and conscious within 30 seconds and then within minutes. they suffocated but that did not cause their death to be burned. thought he could've been the first man on the moon are that the first mercury seven astronauts and he was one of them. he might have been. but we don't know for sure. >> what was the date quick. >> january 67.
>> shoot for the moon nasa publish the qualifications research astronaut candidate starting salary between $8,312,000 the minimum requirements 1500 hours of beflying time, graduation from test pilot school, excellent atphysical condition, between 25 and 40 years old and no taller than 5-foot 11 inches. . . . .
the funny thing was about the qualifications mentioned that was later at first before they decided on test pilots, they didn't know what this was going to be like so they considered having an open call for daredevils, circus performance, contortionist, things like that until it prevailed and they decided we've got all these pilots, test pilots. at the time they were not sure the program was going anywhere for its career track i didn't
it's what is needed the current term in the jet propulsion laboratory we should upgrade to the rocket propulsion laborato laboratory. >> guest: to move marshall to california, texas or florida. >> host: peter and alexandria virginia. mr. donovan. >> guest: there was research into the nuclear propulsion and they stuck with chemical which they haveon been using of cours. but right now, of course they are thinking about going to mars and it is a long way. gminimum of 34 mile 34 million .
>> host: there's a potential thl return to theet moon. do you have an opinion aboutpi that? >> guest: some people say if we could just move on there's a lot of things you can do. >> host: dave is in vancouver washington. go ahead. this dovetails on us going back to the moon. moon. would we not need to go to the moon first before we go to mars to establish a research outpost that could develop fuel on the moon that would get us to mars that much easier because we are out of gravity area and secondly, the soviets propelled
us with nick to do the apollo program. let's say the chinese put a man on the moon, would that motivate us to go forward with establishing the research outpost on the moon to go to mars? >> guest: they are not in the middle of the cold warf with china which propelled us to do all this stuff in the 60s with the space program, so i don't think it's the same situation. i doubt if that would spur, but i see more interest in space and space exploration in the galactic and other companies working in partnership with nasa
said it's wonderful to see. >> host: michael collins, is he still alive? >> guest: he will be 89 on halloween command does aldrin turned 89 recently. i think that kind of says it all. it speaks to the human need and all to explore to find out what is over the next hill. >> host: did he ever express regret being the guy that had to drive a ship around the moon while his two friends --
>> guest: he was a gentleman and never complained. of course he said once or twice in his book carrying the fire which is the best astronaut autobiography of course these were alpha males and everybody erwanted to be highest and fastt and of course he wanted to be able to walk on the moon but he was a team player and was happy to be part of the first crew. >> host: show in new york city please go ahead with your question for the author jim donovan. >> caller: good evening and welcome. i am a proud trojan alumni and special that you are discussing the moon, because the warm strong did his graduate work. with that, i will ask you i was pretty upset to learn that there isn't a celebration in washington for the public
regarding the 50th anniversary of the apollo and i noticed there is a i contractor operatin posted by northrop grumman at the kennedy space center which they are dubbing as the official celebration with tickets also that our $5,000 each so i wondered your opinion about this and whether in fact the notoriety of the media and the movies that have now tarnished the historical significance has overwhelmed the original tenets of what the space program was about in the country and has now just become a psu can part of the program. >> host: i think we got the
idea. thank you. >> guest: grumman is the aircraft company that got the aircraft designed to build the modules are they played an important part of that. i'd heard about the celebration at the cape. it's tough to say what to celebrate, but they will decide to celebrate. it would have been nice to have something on the 50th anniversary. i'm sure they will have a celebration but it doesn't sound like the public is invited. i wish they were. >> what about in the control room at houston and why and how did they get that? >> guest: you could write a chapter on that, and i have. the vice president at th vice pe was lyndon johnson. >> host: was there a connection? >> guest: i wonder. the chairman of the house appropriations committee that was involved in budgeting was
albert thomas and in his district is a place t called houston. so they got that at the lion's share of all fairness, they tried to spread out the goodies over the country in different states they got different parts of the program. of of course it was the spacecraft center. >> host: in california is in there at the jet propulsion lab and a couple of other places? >> guest: cleveland ohio has several places and langley virginia that was the origin of the first headquarters. >> host: and you could pretty clearly draw a political map to those locations is that fair to say?oule >> guest: to a certain extent, yes you are right. the reason houston was chosen, one of the reasons because i
always wondered also why as soon as the spacecraft cleared everything shift over to houston, why don't they did it all in cape canaveral but one reason was that there might be signals mixed up from all the other programs and communications. >> host: thanks for holding. you are on with jim donovan. >> guest: >> caller: my question is what the viability is in doing dimare igoing tomars it just takes so e and money it. what is the value in its? >> guest: right to the core of the question. economically, it is outrageously expensive. spaceflight has alwayssl been
expensive. that's why nasa hasn't done much with manned space exploration since thene early 70s because the budgets were cut. there are economic reasons to end things to be found on mars and on t the moon that might be worth going, but part of it speaks to, and i think i've mentioned it before but this ioyearning for exploration. margaret mead, a and anthropologists said once that a civilization that doesn't move forward by his, and i think there's something to be said for that. and i think no matter how far in the future we are talking, i think as long as some part of this is humanity will still be
exploring and for right now that means leaving the earth. >> host: based in dallas your books are about the alamo, custer and going to the moon. what is the connection? >> guest: i couldn't figure it out, and a friend of>> mine fito be said this fits right in. i said what are you talking about and he said men on the frontier. i guess that's it. >> host: shoot for the moon is the newest book and chances are between now and july of 2019 we will be seeing him quite a bit as the nation commemorates 50 years oful moon landings. thanks for being on the tv. >> this is the story of how this whole new economy was built in diverse as i was working in washington, it's how business and government interact with one another. they have an antagonistic relationship and also a collaborative relationship.
the story in history as one of private public partnerships in many ways that are unseen. so, this was i think the story was a great way to get into that. >> university of washington history professor discusses her book the code, silicon valley and the remaking of america. sunday night at eight eastern on c-span q-and-a. now a look at some of the programs you can watch every weekend.
hello, everyone and welcome. thank you all for being here tonight. we are here to celebrate one giant leap which is the story of the impossible mission to the moon. it's written by charles fishman titles the curious mind, the wal-mart effect into the big thirst. he's a winner of the most prestigious prize in the latest to be in houston and it's almost always because of space, so tonight is a nice night. sunday afternoon july 20, 1969 it was about