It has been 50 years since the Earthrise image of Apollo 8 changed our world forever, but this mission to the moon and back would not have happened as if it were not a quantum leap in technique.
This comes out loud and clear in the bold Apollo Mission, a NOVA documentary, which first appeared on public television on Wednesday.
"NASA used to go step by step, in which case they jumped three or four steps," says Anders, 85, who now lives in Anacortes, Washington, during the show.
The story of Apollo 8 sheds light on the effect of Anders' images, which show our planet hanging above the moon, and the magic of Christmas Eve in the crew of Genesis. These moments go back to the "bold mission of Abelo." But the show focuses primarily on the engineering magic that opened the way for history to be made in 1968.
Apollo 8 was not supposed to go to the moon. It was originally supposed to be an initial test of NASA's Saturn V rocket crew and the Apollo command unit in Earth orbit, following an Apollo 7 test flight with the less powerful Saturn 1B launch vehicle.
But CIA images indicated that the Soviets were preparing to send astronauts on a moon flight in late 1968 or early 1969. That prompted NASA planners to abandon their plan and consider sending Apollo 8 astronauts , Jim Lovell and mission commander Frank Burman – on their own journey from the moon. (The fact that the Apollo Apollo unit was not yet ready for testing was another factor behind NASA's plan.)
Can Saturn V and Apollo be ready in time? The NOVA program follows how engineers modified the design of the Saturn V F-1 engines to make sure they did not blow themselves up because of the instability of the combustion. "The solution should have come through trial and error," recalls rocket engineer Sonny Moorea.
It was found that adding barriers to the F-1 injector plate is the key to calming instability. The NOVA animations explain why the solution worked. (You'll get your chance to see the barriers at the Seattle Aviation Museum, thanks to the effort to recover billionaire billionaire Jeff Bezos F-1).
Engineers had to invent an inertial navigation system that worked for a journey from Earth to the Moon, making corrections by looking at stars through space hexagons.
They had to create the first real-time embedded computing system, controlled by routing the codes to the display keyboard. Highlighting the "bold mission of Abelo" in the light of the experience of MIT software engineer Margaret Hamilton, who earned her leadership in the programming of a Presidential Medal of Freedom (and her own LEGO team).
Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins is also in the spotlight, thanks to his role as a capsule mixer in Mission Control. He was the man who told Apollo 8 crew on December 21, 1968, that they had been cleared from leaving the Earth's orbit and heading to the moon, a milestone known as the moon-based injection or TLI.
"I wish I had that moment to live again, because I would tell them, Apollo 8, you can now get out of the earth's tangled links and dance the sky," says Collins. Apollo 8. Sky! Go you! & # 39; "
Go and Apollo's Daring Mission recount the motions that would have worked perfectly, behind the moon and out of touch with Mission Control, to put the unit in orbit around the moon and eventually send it back to Earth again.
Within 20 hours or so the arrival and departure of the moon were separated, the Apollo 8 crew took pictures of a lunar survey of future landing sites. In the middle of the poll, Anders looked from his camera and became the first person to marvel at seeing the earth rising above the moon's horizon.
"Oh my God, look at that picture there," said Anders, turning the camera. "There is the planet." Wow, this is beautiful! "
Burman joked: "Hey, do not take it, it was not scheduled."
But Anders took the picture, first in black and white, then in color. To enjoy a detailed experience of the Earthrise experience, enhanced by recent imagery from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter orbits, see this video from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center:
The prestigious earth shot made a faint blue point in a cosmic perspective where there was no previous picture, and led to the emergence of a phenomenon known as an "overview of influence": a deep sense of interdependence, accompanied by a sense that the protection of the earth should have priority over small divisions.
"We came all this to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth," Anders said after the mission.
But Earthrise was not the only Apollo 8 legacy. "This is the moment when the space race ends," says historian David Mindell, author of Apollo Digital: Man and the Machine in Space, during the NOVA show.
It turned out that the CIA was right about the intentions of the Soviets, but because of technical problems, their round mission was unable to make the moon launch in early December 1968. After Apollo 8, after Apollo 11 moon landing came after seven months , The Soviet satellite program faded out.
Mindle also argues that Apollo 8 paved the way for US precedence over other technological boundaries. "Now, we have digital computers in everything," he explains. "It was the first digital computer in almost anything."
Fifty years later, the digital revolution feeds another golden age for the commercialization and marketing of space. There is no way for commercial space projects like SpaceX and Blue Origin to do what they do without advanced software tools, as well as the front-wheel drive mentality that led the careers of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and many more.
More than Earthrise, the Apollo 8 legacy of technological innovation is what will bring us back to the moon, this time to stay – and propels us towards new heights.
The "Abelo Daring Mission" appears for the first time on PBS stations on Wednesday. Check local listings for times. For another chance on the Apollo 8 mission, check out Earthrise, a 30-minute film by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee.