A former NASA astronaut described the moment when he watched the Apollo 9 mission with Buzz Aldrin's family as he tried to comfort her as "tense and worried."
83-year-old Russell Schweickart sat with Buzz's wife and children in their Houston, Texas home when his friends Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took their historic first steps on the moon in March 1969.
Interest in the Apollo missions has risen again as NASA held festivities in October on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the program.
In the context of this interest, memorabilia of Neil Armstrong and John Glenn – the first American to orbit the earth – have been auctioned off in recent days.
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Former NASA astronaut Russell Schweickart, 83, was sitting in her home in Houston, Texas, with Buzz's wife and children when his friends Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took their first steps on the moon
Mr. Schweickart helped lay the foundation for the Apollo 9 mission when he conducted extensive tests of the lunar module used by Aldrin and Armstrong in March 1969
"I was in the Aldrin house for the landing, along with Buzz's wife and children, to help them understand what was going on, and in case something went wrong," Mr. Schweickart said Fox News.
"That was something we often did as astronauts. As expected, there was a bit of tension.
"There is a bit of fear and some tension and worry and that."
Mr. Schweickart supported the Apollo 9 mission as he conducted extensive lunar module tests that Aldrin and Armstrong docked on the lunar surface.
The former astronaut said he was no stranger to Aldrin's household. He was there to assist Buzz's wife and children when her father was on a mission.
Mr. Schweickart said it was tense to watch the moon landing with the Buzz family pictured. From left to right: Andrew, Edwin Sr., Edwin Jr. (Buzz), Joan, Janice and Michael
Interest in the Apollo missions has risen again as NASA held festivities in October on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the program. This picture Buzz Aldrin, which ran in 1969 on the lunar surface near the leg of the lunar module (picture photo)
Mr. Schweickart also had some technical aspects of spaceflight in the new Neil Armstrong-Biopic First Man.
He said real space travel was boring, slow, majestic, and quiet compared to the movie he called loud.
The former US Air Force pilot even said at a start, it was much quieter than shown in the film.
Mr. Schweickart's comments came after it was announced that memorabilia of Neil Armstrong and John Glenn – the first Earth-orbiting American – were auctioned this week.
Mr. Schweickart said First Man – the new Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling (photo) – did not pinpoint some of the technical aspects of space travel
Glenn was one of the Mercury Seven, the group of astronauts who piloted America's first manned spaceflights in the 1960s.
The golden helmet he wore during the "Project Bullet" of 1957, when he set the transcontinental speed record, is now available to the public.
The helmet will be auctioned today in Dallas by Heritage Auctions.
Glenn donated it to Matt Carpenter, the son of Scott Carpenter, who also belonged to Mercury Seven.
Matt said, "When we were young, we were, as far as I can remember, playing naval aviation on the couch, and either my brother or I were wearing the golden Glenn Navy helmet and one of us wore a helmet that included my dad . & # 39;
The helmet worn by John Glenn during the historic flight called Project Bullet, in which the future astronaut set the transcontinental speed record in 1957, is now being sold
The sale is a kind of astronautical supplement to a larger, previously announced sale that includes the personal collection of another famous astronaut, Neil Armstrong.
A series of auctions with around 2,000 artifacts and memorabilia owned by Armstrong also began today, running until November 2019.
Amongst Armstrong's personal belongings are parts of a wing and a propeller from the Wright Flyer of 1903, the first successful aircraft heavier than the air.
Armstrong, who came from Ohio like Glenn, took the items to the moon.
As with the Glenn helmet, Armstrong's items landed in the womb of the next generation after the famous astronaut's death in 2012.
Carpenter died in 2013 and Glenn followed in 2016 at the age of 95, the last surviving Mercury-Seven astronaut. In March, a sale of his belongings took place.
The golden headdress was a gift from Glenn – the first American circling the earth – to Matt Carpenter, the son of Scott Carpenter, who also belonged to the Mercury Seven Astronaut team
When the carpenters discovered that the sons of Armstrong had organized a sale of their famous father's memorabilia, Matt Carpenter said the helmet seemed an ideal fit.
"Of course we would like to make the most money for it, but we would also like to win someone who appreciates it," he said. "I think that's a very special thing."
The now 40-year-old Carpenter and his brother Nick, who turns 39 this week, want to use the proceeds to support a documentary they produce about the Glenn Carpenter friendship. Matt Carpenter said they interviewed both astronauts in 2012 and hope to release the film in 2019.
His working title is the famous Glenn quote: "Zero-G and I feel good."
WHAT WAS THE APOLLO PROGRAM?
The NASA photo taken on July 16, 1969 shows the huge, 363-meter-high spacecraft Apollo 11 Spacecraft 107 / Lunar Module S / Saturn 506), which was launched by Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 9:32 am (EDT).
Apollo was the NASA program, which was launched in 1961 and brought people to the moon.
The first four flights tested the equipment for the Apollo program, and six of the other seven flights managed to land on the moon.
The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8, which circled around him on Christmas Eve 1968, but did not land.
The crew of Apollo 9 spent ten days orbiting Earth and completed the first manned flight of the lunar module – the section of the Apollo rocket that would later land Neil Armstrong on the Moon.
The Apollo 11 mission was the first to land on the moon on July 20, 1969.
The capsule landed in the Sea of Tranquility with Mission Commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface while Collins remained in orbit around the moon.
When Armstrong was the first to enter the moon, he said, "This is a small step for a man. a big step for humanity. & # 39;
Apollo 12 later landed on November 19 at the Ocean of Storms, NASA writes.
Apollo 13 was supposed to be the third mission to land on the Moon, but just 56 hours before departure, an explosion of an oxygen tank forced the crew to break off the moon landing and enter the Aquarius Moon Module to return to Earth.
Apollo 15 was the ninth manned moon mission in Apollo's space program, and was at that time the most successful manned space flight due to its long runtime and greater emphasis on scientific exploration than would have been possible with previous missions.
The last Apollo moon landing took place in 1972 after a total of 12 astronauts had landed on the lunar surface.
Astronaut Edwin & # 39; Buzz & # 39; Aldrin unpacks experiments from the Moon Landing Module on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Photographed by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969