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INTERVIEW WITH ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG By William J.

Cromie

&

L p.P- .Li

Q-

What situation schedule we're all in

are you in with worked


out?

Apollo

11 now?

Got a firm

training A. plan Well,

the process

of attempting as we can, effort to get


8, 9

to get

a mission

delineated

in as much detail a big

and procedures them to compare so then

fonnated. as closely we can take of course hurdle shooting out

We are making as we can with the most

the Apollo

and 10 procedures doing. will And,

use we can of what 9 goes, they that, get all

they're

when Apollo

hopefully,

be a big that flight they're being

of the way if We're


success.

the objectives on that

for.

very

strongly that

dependant goes well, we'll

a resounding through into with

Assuming colors, doing phases then

and the LJZM comes be ready to step

flying

I think of

a mode where we're on the mission up with out of Apollo

a lot

simulations Simulators trying

and actual are pretty to get all the

practice much tied decisions that


Q.

of that.

9 and 10, so we're and agree

the way first, to use. you know that

on procedures

and techniques

we're Neil,

going

when did flight? about8

you were going

to be commander

of this A. c oh,

I donDt

remember

exactly

the really

day,

but

about

or 4

And I shouldn't days before you did. ".-_.._-. --\ that point that I was being proposed before
Q-

say that.

I knew at

for it

it.

And I knew one day

the Well,

official

announcement feelings, I'd


be

that

had been approved. overjoyed? an automobile

what were your pleased.

were you surprised, pleased feeling


togut

A.
Q.

I was very

any flight. winning

But how would

you compare

the

with

Armstrong 01 being A. Well,

-2selected an astronaut? pleased but I shouldn't at getting say wildly any flight. They're special one. all elated Now this good flights hand it

I was very are, I'd

because happens but it w this could

facts

be elated

to be a particularly one really just is

good flight.

a particularly become.

On the other

as easily

depending

on how 9 and 10 goes,

could be just emotion will

become another as happy that

Earth least the

orbital I'd

or at

flight. I would be --I'd _. _~..~ --have to take that with the for 11 with.

have to same

I accepted flight,

responsibility

We hope it

be a landing flight. _--c_ case I'll if it

a landing ,y--.-..-.------in which


Q.

so __ I have every .-But you know, it could still be very


out,

confidence that it will be -1 turn out to be something else

glad you'll

to fly. go down in history kind of thoughts and you'll do you have

Well,

does turn quiet

be famous. about A. that? Several all

In your

moments,

what

people

have mentioned

thaty2.u

and the public

and hope r, ,... .,--..-will .~ recognize ..--the thing .._. 1---group effort as a -_-_ _. _--- .- -.. ._..-_ . . happens That's
just

that

and I really

do feel

because it really is that. - Who the individual ,...w,,.-_ ". .- ..-----to make first landing, that's happenstance. things the it that fell out. It It could probably just as easily

to be that

gets

the way the next fell, flight or

have been the on how the cards

one before. as a group it's that

depending

so I see recognize

achievement and because your

and I hope you all that would feelings,

and the people and fair. at it

be appropriate how you look

Q*
A.

Nor 1 meant part

own quiet

yourself

as being

of history. about now the the that, time job about those kind about it of views in the right for

I have been thinking of years, fashion but

a number checklist and that's


Q.

is to think now is to do it

because

and do it

the way we're

bending

our efforts. and a thought kind . hits you--gosh, go on then? -_-suppose

When you wake'up flight

at night what

that

is successful,

of thoughts " .e.-

Armstrong A, I'm

-3planning that flight on it will being successful. Why do you always say ; i

suppose
Q.

be successful? as a moon landing you at that to say I'm but and all. What kind

No, but

I mean successful or emotions

of thoughts A. Well,

come over not going

time? without I think emotion we sort that at that of have to

I'm

certainly that think

thought

because

wouldn't more about parts and don't Now it actually I've ever

be factual

unconsciously be done-- the this and that

day to day factual down on the think It very will flight

things surface

factual job--

of touching probably will exist. exist flown

and doing the now and

much about exist itself. between

emotional the flight

aspects. and will every change said time it

on the

As a matter no matter how

of fact little always sayI that


Q.

in a new airplane that off it.'

was from

something

I had done before, the ground then 11, proceed I look on.

why I've around and

in a new one when I get I'm really will flying

"By George, those thoughts

I suspect

come on Apollo of concern

Do you have any sort mishap? I don't for

since

'By George I'm really here'! .-_--.. -. .-. . . ..you flew this LLTV and had

that A. only

have any concern but only for

for

myself. that

I have a greater'concern, if we had some kind would feel of that

not

my flight, that-not

any flight but

problem tragedy. Q. A.
had

the program

the country

Have you been down to the Cape and seen your Yeah. I have seen some and they're going I'm on this very week on both with coming vehicles

hardware? very well. We've

along

some tests

in the docked tests of the

configuration. spacecraft
Q.

pleased

the way the

have been going. wife Jan think about it. about you're getting this flight? I was, too. f

What does your She was very I was. Is she going

A. I said
Q.

pleased

She wanted

to know if

to the Cape to watch

it

go off?

Armstrong A.guess,
Q-

-4-

I don't I'd

know,

I haven't

specifically

asked her but

if

I had to i,

say probm. training on time? say, we may not. for the We may not make it. July window. plus the all We've got We may not about 900 you schedule look from here to JULY. Are you

How does the to be ready I can't really

going A.

be able ' hours can't


of

to get

ready

i time training

identified

requirements there are

the ones that

identify.

And of course will come about don't still

uncertainties

of changes between If

and so on that now and July. things up our yet


Q.

as a result know whether be tough.

of tests

and flights or not.

I really it will

we can make it We're trying,

go well, training we will.

we're

setting be sure

schedule

to make the July

window,

now we can't

that

What do you think part

will

be the hairest last

part

of the feet

landing--the

most critical
the moon?

of that

6 or 7 hundred

as you go down to

A.

It

is true

that

we have uncertainties

in the navigation at that to get that that point over the

and we in time. transition was in that 7 _

have less fuel .._..----margin than You'd like to have --.-_ ...-.. -. I think I would consider the critical hurdle -+-...- ___..-. -from automatic to manual control. Assurance F-------responding the way you wanted it to. I think situation surface
hurdle

the

vehicle

once we get it

then safely and the it.

we'll with vehicle

know at least, the fuel

whether

we can get

on the past that good .

rema' \ ing.

As soon as we get I think we'll feel

is responding,,

pretty

about
Q.

Would you like Vehicle)? I would.

to have some more time

in the

I.&RV (Lunar

Landing
i

Research A.
Q.

Yes,

You probably cm hoping still

won't that

though? but aren't I don't they? know. '/

A.'
Q.

I will, grounded

They're

Armstrong
A. Yes,

-5But I certainly hope they won't be grounded b Y/ July. hope

Q.
A.

How many hours

have you got

now and how many more do you

to have? I have

20 some flights
many more. that they

on the

thing

right

now and I'd

like

to

have maybe that

Q.
any? A.

If

it

happens

stay

grounded,

will

that

delay

~p0110

11

I don't

think

so.

We'll

just

perform

it

with

a little

less and a little I

confidence higher risk

in our ability of aborting the there

to make a successful during the descent. of deciding touchdown. who's

touchdown

Q.
A.'

What about that that's

business is a safe

going

to exit

first, .

assuming Well

going

to be decided method

on the basis of using the

of the time

tests

at to

hand and the most practical get the most results. When will the decision

available

Q. A.
flight

be made? be able.,_.to decide -.--.- -__,_. __ .-.... -._._ all --- - __ _.-__ it won't you, before the details of the -'--.---A. ._

I ----. would. hope --..-.-----------. _-.. that we'll in the next You'll want couple to simulate

of months. you go?

Q.
A.

Oh, yeah. So presumably Well, it's it going will be decided by the time of the of the first simulation?

Q.
A. that we'll

to be decided various surface.

on the basis approaches

simulations the activities answer is it's

we do here perform

in trying lunar

to performing we can't

on the

The ,reason

just

not black

and white.

Theres
don't

advantages and disadvantages


know, for the mission

both

ways right

now and we just if

Q.
got A.

I was wondering turned down from

anybody

was proposed going out

and then

on high,

of here?

Not to my knowledge. Did you know ahead of the other at the same time? two crew members or were you all

Q.

notified

I,_

--.-

-__-JI..

.I.

_..._A_-

..-__.

1.1

. . _I.. I

._ -

. __.___-

Armstrong A.

-6first, do it. said that it was being proposed, to turn our crew I think. At least I was alone at the time.

I was notified How did they

Q.
A. around

Deke Slayton for Apollo

the slot that r, No objections

11 and they were going to put Mike Collins back in Y P he had been removed from. And was that agreeable with me. -.. to that. I was glad not to be out of a job.

Q.
A.

And did No. c-NO?

you pick

up the phone and call

your wife

immediately?

Q.
A.

Did you wait

until

you got home that

night

to tell

her?

Yes. Do you think Sure there's anything dangers spots that. at all of the dangers is of this flight? out

Q.
A. where all

and our business

trying

to find

the danger doing

are and make them less It'd that's be silly what

dangerous.

We spend think

our time

to say that the

we don't

of the dangers

because

we do all

time.

In trying

to make them less But we don't not really

dangerous think danger

and more productive about it from a personal

and more efficient. point of view so much--

from personal What did

consideration. from Apollo of Apollo ll? 8 that will be the most valuable

Q.

you learn

to you as the commander A.

We were somewhat concerned about what communications would be * -\p__I_ -__ ..-.---I.. --.--.- __.-~-----____---... -.--.-------... .-.__ _ _ ____, like at lunar distance. The manned spaceflight network has the __.------. _. __...~..--. --._._.. prime navigation, responsibility, that implies communication ability. If that doesnst exist, why then you're left with
a single

system

for

navigation
Q.

namely your own and no alternative,


an answer3 As you probably remember, of course,

so that was a big question.

Did you get Yeah,

A.

much better than we expected, or at least ._ We were very pleased with that. The second was the on-board believe that this navigation business capability. of taking

communications _~.-.- _. were ----.. ~~~~~~ .._. much better than I expected. thing of real significance really didn't

A lot sextant

of people

measurements - -...and -computing ..-.~.-- -...-.

Armstrong

-7computer that would be able with in that the to do a good navigation colors, too. job but It also job. gave all I

them in a digital But of course, us a lot the related flights, different

came through not only

flying

of confidence jobs LEM will jobs that

particular same equipment. will

you do with

On other programs-us

be aboard being

and there overall things better

be different system.

done by the those

the confidence We nm feel that

concerning

that chance

Apollo 8 gives + we haven't done yet. of doing that it them because did

we have a lot of that really systems you see. of level with their that big

of the performance So those about are the

system things,

in the

jobs

do on 8. wonder a lot to

in my mind we always kind of work. people

propulsion there aspects

in this

But you get are really and give to work system.

of tests test high That's operation the optics tell where the

The propulsion system it is,

able

on the ground in like but fact, going

you a real in the air. A computer about how

competence not

so true

a thing

a guidance there

you can do underground work.

are questions them,

Can you see stars, is, all those finding

can you measure kind of things

can you

the horizon You've the for got

are completely analysis. which

unknown.

no way of that first about programs

them out you most

through

Q.

I guess

things the

bother time? the

are the

things

you must prove A. That's You always

worry

things

that

haven't

been done before. take too many

why we build

the way we do so you don't You just for. have a limited

new things things that

on any one flight, you can prepare more deeply about than all

number of new learn

On new things that's

you have to

them a lot

something

been looked and look

at before. at the whole i

You have to think spectrum to work granted worry of possible pretty that well that's

the possibilities After load going a thing

occurences. under a certain

has been demonstrated take it for

why you sorta to work side

the mode it's a lot of these

in and you don't effects.

so much about

possible

Armstrong
Q-

-8is going to be more risky, the


landing

What do you think takeoff? well, the But landing should

or

the A.

is more complex something That puts less go wrong it

because

the

system from On the

is more it using

complex. the ascent

you can abort

engines. hand,

in one pedestal. alternatives. but If

ascent, quits, so I'd

on the other you're

you have trouble, equal.

the is

engine simpler

in serious about

you know,

everything

say they're
Q*

Are you going of plane out

to have any navigation from underneath where

problems?

Youre

going

to got

move out to figure for A. couple stars After because a gravity here

the command module, in relation to the

so youve spacecraft

exactly

you are

blastoff? Oh, there's of a couple of things that we need to prove the platform yet, a of

unknowns.

We know we can align and not

by use

when we're we land,

in the dark, there's

so well about

in the daytime. alignments We can use can be done That's

some question we may not us. never use. This

platform

in the daytime vector

be able is

to see stars. that

to align but it's

something

on the Earth

really Also,

been demonstrated. there's several It's sitting I think pick different

probably options to drift

the method

we'll

on how you can align some during consider the it time

your that

platform.
youre

certainly on the

going lunar surface.

But I don't options that's

to be a problem. we can certainly

we have enough fran those@ one

available satisfactory.

to us that It

has to be a yes answer

to the question.