Skip to comments.'Apollo's unsung hero' for developing the moon landing strategy in the 1960's dies aged 95
Posted on 04/20/2014 9:50:17 AM PDT by DFG
John C. Houbolt, an engineer whose contributions to the U.S. space program were vital to NASA's successful moon landing in 1969, has died. He was 95.
Houbolt died Tuesday at a nursing home in Scarborough, Maine, from complications from Parkinson's disease, his son-in-law Tucker Withington, of Plymouth, Mass., confirmed Saturday.
As NASA describes on its website, while under pressure during the U.S.-Soviet space race, Houbolt was the catalyst in securing U.S. commitment to the science and engineering theory that eventually carried the Apollo crew to the moon and back safely.
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I believe the Apollo program and the Moon landings was America at its peak(would have loved to have been around then).
Been all downhill from there.
The dream of rocketing Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to the moon just became more unlikely.
When an engineer does a job perfectly, no one notices.
Just need someone who can punch like Ralph Kramden.
I wonder if he thought he’d live to see NASA turned into a hollow agency whose goal is “Muslim outreach”?
THAT would have turbocharged space exploration as every country tried to get there (and elsewhere) to claim their own chunk!
I remember those days as a kid in junior high.There was a different spirit in America then. That ‘’can do’’ feeling. An optimism that we could achieve anything. So different than today.
I was. It was amazing, simply amazing.
I was privileged to work in that program a bit and agree with you. Met some great people. Was introduced to Jesus by some very sharp NASA engineers. Later worked in the shuttle program which was quite different in a number of ways.
A less than glorious passing also today, is the late Hurricane Carter, a boxer. He died virtually alone in Toronto. Many believe he was a murderer. Not so in Canada.
Alas that whole condition is now gone...the engineers disbursed, the space program relying upon another nation to ferry our astronauts and a new goal which has nothing to do with exploration rather the expansion of some Pollyanna view of human coexistence.
I was a teenager when we landed on moon. My terminally ill grandmother was living with us then. Most of the time she was out of it on morphine or something, but for the moon landing she refused her medication so she could be awake to witness this event. She was no doubt in a lot of pain, but this immigrant Italian lady with little education and a modest knowledge of English was able to witness and appreciate this stunning achievement.
Grandma passed away about a month later. I was and still am very proud of her.
My dad worked for a NASA contractor at the JSC for many years. As a kid I can tell you it *was* amazing like nothing since, and for my dad, only the return of Jesus could've topped it.
Been all downhill from there.
Not really downhill, more like and immediately plunge from a cliff. During the years of the Apollo program, The "Great Society" and Third world immigration were enacted. The summer of 1969 also brought us Woodstock, Chappaquiddick, and the Manson murders. During the last moon missions, Nixon gave France the finger and ditched the gold standard, began wage and price freezes, and ultimately left Vietnam twisting in the wind.
Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. As soon as I saw Houbolt’s name, I knew what he had done. That man deserved more praise than he got.
Re#2: Did Houbolt really say that in the letter accompanying his report? If so, cool, but I thought FTETTM just added that for a dramatic flair.
The moon landings happened so long ago that to most people under the age of about 50, they are in the same category of stagecoaches rumbling across the unsettled Plains back in the early 1800s. Even sadder, most young people have no desire whatsoever to return to the exploration of space. Instead, you get the tired liberal cliches like “we need to feed everybody on Earth before we send another rocket up into space.”
The US was just coasting then like a rocket having spent its fuel ... the actual peak was years prior with the cancellation of the Air Force’s top mounted shuttle design and Orion.
The decision to end the Apollo program marked the end of hope and a lot of dreams - not just in the US either.
All of this has been put down to a failure of political will in the US, and the beginning of serious navel gazing.
The only alternative to the above is the US was told by unspecified parties not to return to the Moon in such terms that they were scared S-less, as were the Russians ...