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All the engineers and everybody else at NASA in Houston were working hard at recovering the moonshot, and they were in real trouble, weren’t sure they could get it back. They got a phone call from a grad student at MIT who said he knew how to get them back. They put engineers on it, tested it out, by God it worked. Slingshotting them around the moon. They successfully did. They wanted to present the grad student to the President and the public, but they found him and he was a real hippy type — long hair and facial hair. NASA was straight-laced, and this was different than they expected, so they withdrew the invitation to the student. I think that is a disgrace.
History recounts the decision to slingshot around the moon as one that was weighed against what’s known as a “direct abort”. That is, burning every last drop of fuel in the craft to put it into an about face and return it to Earth. Flight Director Gene Kranz reportedly made the decision to slingshot around the moon in a bid to get the astronauts home. No grad student has yet been mentioned in the pages of history.
When they got to the moon, Armstrong was the first one on the moon, and Aldrin passed the camera down to Armstrong. When we got pictures back at 4 o’clock in the morning, everybody wanted them for the newspapers and magazines. I had a whole photographic lab standing by to prepare the stuff for issuance. Problem was, I didn’t know who was who because everybody looked the same in the space suits. But I figured Aldrin passed the camera to Armstrong, so the famous picture of the astronaut by the flag, I figured had to be Aldrin. So that’s who I said it was. When Aldrin came back, he told me no, first thing Armstrong did was pass the camera back to me. So that is Armstrong by the flag, not Aldrin. We sent out corrections to everyone, of course, and some people printed the corrections, but most people and newspapers still think it’s Aldrin. I suggested that after that they have some distinguishing marks, so since then the mission commander has a stripe on his sleeve. But I always feel like that was my contribution to screwing up history.
Thanks for the link. As soon as I can actually see it I will comment further!
Do you think if one aspect of the story is wrong the other is too?
Apparently it all revolves around the second snippet offered by the source in which the former NASA official tells a story about initial confusion about which astronaut was taking a picture of which when they first left the lander. But this video is not necessarily of that moment... and we already know that there were a number of sequences for the activities outside the lander... so please amplify the contention... just so we can be sure that the ostensible "obvious" solution the NASA engineers had to have come up with on their own as they have maintained.