GUEST SPEAKER – Don Crawford
Our guest speaker today was our own Don Crawford, our resident History Teacher. Don gave us a very informative and expansive overview of the Apollo 11 recovery in 1969. Don first reminded us of some highlights from the “Space Race” between the USA and USSR, starting with the Russian launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, the formation of NASA by President Eisenhower in 1958, Gagarin’s first orbit of the earth, Project Mercury, JFK’s challenge to NASA to safely put a man on the moon and bring him home by the end of the decade, followed by a 500% increase in the NASA budget. Getting to the moon and back isn’t cheap.
Don also gave us a little overview of the history of the UDTs and SEALs and why the Navy UDTs were selected to be the on scene recovery teams for the capsules after splash down. Basically NASA wanted the best for our boys from space.
As for the actual recovery operation, we learned that it consisted of four stages. Find, which of course means exactly what is sounds like. It might seem obvious, but its a big ocean and a small capsule. Stabilize, which is basically getting the capsule upright and attaching a flotation ring so it doesn’t sink. Remove, which is getting the astronauts out of the capsule. On Apollo 11 they had to have the astronauts put on BIG (Biological Isolation Garments) before they could be removed form the capsule due to concern for unknown pathogens from the surface of the moon. I would love to hear a recording of the conversation in the capsule while the guys were trying to do that. Retrieve, which is plucking the unmanned capsule out of the ocean and back to the waiting carrier. In this case it was the USS Hornet.
The Apollo 11 recovery went off almost flawlessly and in record time. Of course that took many hours of training and practice ahead of time. Like anything really great that happens, its usually the result of a lot of hard work, practice and teamwork.
Thanks Don for helping us all remember a great moment in US History.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Next Week’s Speaker
Installation Dinner: The installation dinner will be Tuesday September 24 at Spyro’s Gyros (ferry Landing) No host bar starts at 5:00 PM, Dinner Buffet 6:00-7:00, followed by the induction Program. Cost will be $30/person, (drinks are on your own). Please RSVP to Reneee Cavanaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Thursday 9/19. Come prepared with your best jokes to honor our out going President Carla and welcome our new President Dennis Dorman.
Super Frog: Super Frog is just around the corner on September 15. Please see Irish Flynn to sign up to help.
Lawn Bowling: The annual match with our friendly Rotarians is scheduled for November 2. There was a sign up sheet going around today, but if you missed it, please contact Bill Carinder. He’s our Captain again his year.
Dime-A-Day: Please consider signing up for the Dime-A-Day program to help support the charitable work of Optimist International. Forms will be available at the welcome table.