HOW THE VOYAGE TO THE MOON WAS SIMULATED
"Site Y, as Los Alamos was called, was smaller than the other two secret cities of the
Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge and Hanford. But, like them, its name did not appear
on any map -- neither was it used as an address."
-- Stephen Groueff, Manhattan Project, The Untold Story
Once the decision to simulate all moon voyages was made, NASA and the Defense Intelligence Agency moved swiftly. A code name was created : ASP (Apollo Simulation Project), and the effort was divided into the following tasks:
1. Secret top level organization and management
2. Intensive security, including counter-intelligence
3. Undercover procurement of personnel
4. Clandestine equipment design, manufacture, installation and operation
5. Coverup communications, including wiretaps and taping
6. Covert planning and special projects (Aerospace "plumbers")
A detailed discussion of each of these tasks will best describe how the entire project was successfully conducted.
SECRET TOP LEVEL ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
"It was not easy (in 1943) to locate the Manhattan District. No such organization was
listed in the phone book; no one seemed to know anything about it."
-- Stephen Groueff
Since WWII, it has not been unusual for the United States to create special groups for clandestine political tasks. All are descended from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the brainchild of William J. Donovan. He convinced Roosevelt in 1942 that the U.S. needed a special organization to conduct secret intelligence activities, engage in special operations, wage psychological warfare and use any means to undermine the enemy's morale and interests.
One of the most sophisticated activities of OSS was research on subjects of strategic interest. In this effort they drew upon such high-level organizations as the Office of Scientific Research and Development headed at one time by Vannevar Bush. Bush was a leading scientist associated with the Manhattan District.
Although the OSS was disbanded after the war, personnel of three of its branches were kept on duty and incorporated into the new Federal intelligence structure. On January 22, 1946, President Truman issued an executive letter establishing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Please see: http://www.septemberclues.info/historical.htm for more on the historical precedence for the CIA and widescale hoaxes. - HP
Subsequently, the National Security Act of 1947 authorized the President to use the CIA to "perform such services of common concern as the National Security Council determines can be more efficiently accomplished centrally; to perform such other duties affecting the national security as the Council may from time to time direct."
It is not required that one be a constitutional lawyer to recognize the tremendous power these clauses give the President to use the CIA for covert political warfare.
The phrases "services of common concern" and "such other duties affecting the national security" have been interpreted as legal authority for such diverse [activities] as : the U-2 episode, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Pueblo, Tonkin Gulf, My Lai and Watergate.
These cancerous outgrowths of the original intent of the National Security Act reveal that the CIA became the American Gestapo as well as a close copy of the dreaded Russian OGPU. As such, they are more than capable of implementing and executing any covert effort. The ultimate implication is that the public is the enemy -- to be manipulated, fooled and defrauded without mercy or conscience.
THE ASP GROUP
In 1961, the overall direction of ASP was coordinated under the aegis of a new federal entity, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). As cited by L. B. Kirkpatrick in the book "The U.S. Intelligence Community", the DIA was "conceived as an organization to assist in the coordination of the military contributions of the nation."
Obviously the DIA was expertly contrived to "help" NASA with their technical problems by establishing a totally simulated moon mission. After all, as most aerospace insiders know, the Apollo project was actually a military mission to determine the feasibility of using the moon as a military base of operations against foreign powers. Furthermore, almost 75 per cent of all NASA effort was basically military -- not space!
Author's conception of the ASP control center near Mercury, Nevada. Here, the top DIA simulation controllers directed the entire worldwide operation. Note maps of the then-AEC base on wall and TV monitors of the moon "set".Personal comment: this does resemble a cross between typical NASA outfits and images of the inside of STRATCOM in Omaha, Nebraska. - HP
[Transcript of the image:]
The NTS technical or experimental areas are contained in two desert basins called Yucca and Frenchman Flats and in Rainier, Buckboard, and Pahute Mesas. Timing and firing equipment for most nuclear detonation experiments is located in the main Control Point (CP-1), a complex of permanent facilities about 20 miles north of Mercury, Nevada. The Control Point is located on the crest of Yucca Pass between Yucca and Frenchman Flats.
Frenchman Flat is the dry lake basin just north of Mercury. The first nuclear test series in Nevada was conducted there. In subsequent years the area was used primarily for civil effects tests ad military experiments conducted to determine the effects of nuclear detonations on structures, military materiel, communications facilities, and transportation equipment. Many battered structures built for effects studies still stand in the dry lake bed. In recent years Frenchman Flat has been used only for occasional underground tests.
Yucca Flat, a valley roughly 10 by 20 miles in area extending north from the Control Point, has been the location for most of the nuclear detonations conducted at NTS.
Most underground tests are conducted in Areas 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 in Yucca Flat, and in Area 12, the location of the tunnel test complex in Rainier Mesa at the northern end of Yucca Flat.
Areas 15 and 16 have been used for a few underground military effects test experiments in emplacement environments not available on Yucca Flat.
Two additional testing areas, 19 and 20, were developed for higher yield detonations in 1964-65 on the 7,500-foot high Pahute Mesa at the northwestern corner of the Test Site. A Pahute Mesa Control Point and a 5,800-foot air strip were constructed in Area 18, which adjoins the Pahute Mesa addition. This area was used for number of nuclear tests and chemical high explosive cratering experiments in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The Pahute Mesa Control Point has been dismantled and its functions incorporated in the Main Control Point, CP-1.
Area 1, used for tower tests in the 1950's, now is used for civi effects research and experimental activities.
Various camps and facilities provide NTS support. These include Mercury, Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, CP-1, Area 12 Camp, temporary camps, and a number of construction support centers.
Mercury (Area 23), headquarters for NTS, and a major support facility, is about five miles north of U.S. Highway 95 which runs from Las Vegas toward Reno. (The Federal Government funded $9,000,000 of a $10,000,000 construction program completed in 1965 for making a four-lane divided highway between NTS and Las Vegas. The State of Nevada funded the other $1,000,000). Mercury provides office space, overnight living quarters, utilities, mess halls, recreation facilities, and administrative offices for test organization personnel. Mercury has separate men's and women's dormitories, but no accomodations for families.
Camp Desert Rock (Area 22) was a U.S. Sixth Army installation used to house troops taking part in military exercises at NTS involving atmospheric nuclear detonations. Its real estate was added to the Test Site in 1964, and its air strip was extended to 7,500 feet to serve.NTS.
Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, a satellite facility of Nellis Air Force Base at Las Vegas, is about 24 miles southeast of Mercury. It is used in part for basing aircraft assigned for NTS operational and technical support.
The Area 12 Camp offers warehousing, overnight housing, and a cafeteria for personnel working in the northern part of NTS.
Description of ASP base. Careful research indicates that the most likely areas for an ASP facility were the least used by the AEC. These are underlined.
Although termed Area 6 by the AEC, this could be the headquarters of ASP near Mercury, Nevada. Note especially the air strips on the dry lake beyond facility. Also note banks of micro wave antennae.I cannot distinguish 'microwave antennae' here, but would they have existed, I'm curious if they might be capable of skywave signals for propagating the hoax of a 'satellite system' for these missions? - HP
Another secret installation probably related to the ASP effort. Isolation has always been the key to such activities whether a concentration camp or a secret rocket base. Who could enter here unseen?
More importantly, note the striking resemblance of the terrain to a lunar landscape.
When the capability of controlling orbiting H-bombs became a reality, the moon became far less important to the Pentagon's planners. Who needs a moon base when it's possible to destroy any or all of the planet with bombs disguised as communications satellites that orbit the earth 24 hours a day, they reasoned.
However, despite this diminishment of interest, the military was still strongly supportive of any activity that would enhance U.S. prestige worldwide. Thus, the DIA was structured to provide services to NASA, as shown in the chart. How these various departments or divisions functioned is described in the interpretive tabulation.
Defense Intelligence Agency Organization
NOTE: The column at left is from the DIA organizational chart
itself, while the column at right is our interpretation
of their duties with Apollo Simulation Project (ASP),
DIVISION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TASK
Scientific Advisory Committee . . . . . . Input from NASA's secret ASP staff.
National Photo Interpretation . . . . . . . Create all simulated mission photos,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . including color views of earth from space.
Imagery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Special effects on earth and simulations
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . on model of moon
Human Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Procurement and management of key
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . simulation personnel including astronauts
Requirements, Systems Control . . . . Design and manufacture of simulation hardware.
Operations Coordination . . . . . . . . . . Worldwide communications control for
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . entire moon mission transmissions.
Targets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leak elimination (Apollo 'plumbers')
Imagery Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . Double check on Imagery Division output.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Ensures accurate simulations, both visible
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and electronic.)
Scientific and Technical Intelligence . . Gathers and analyzes NASA simulation data.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Makes recommendations.
Mapping, Charting & Geodesy . . . . . . Responsible for earth and moon sets, plus
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . authentic photos, moon rock and other
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fraudulent materials.
Special Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ensures compliance with international agreements,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Can be assigned to collect moon rocks from
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Twin Falls, Idaho.
Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Press and public relations as well as all
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . technical and scientific transmissions.
Counter-Intelligence and Security . . . . Responsibility for ensuring that potential
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . open-mouths do not have public voice.
DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE SCHOOL
Training center for ASP personnel: Washington and Nevada
As may be seen by the interpretation of the DIA chart, this group was not only a managerial body but an action force that instigated, implemented and fulfilled the ASP project. Its budget was enormous but still less than the above ground Apollo effort; estimates range from four to seven billion dollars, as against more than 30 billion for the visible Apollo. Secrecy is expensive but, inversely, large sums often attract attentions that can prove damaging to a covert operation.
In general, the ASP program was approached in the same manner as the production of the atomic bomb: total secrecy, total compliance and costs be damned! There was no margin for error. The prestige of the U.S. was at stake. Also, the national and international repercussions that would have resulted from exposure of the fraud would have dwarfed the Bay of Pigs or Watergate affairs.
INTENSIVE SECURITY INCLUDING COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE
"Not more than a half-dozen men were entrusted with complete information concerning the project and its objective, although a total of 800 were involved. Each floor of the building had an armed guard on duty. Burglar alarms were installed on all doors and windows. Everyone had two wastebaskets -- one painted red for classified information. Every evening these were taken downstairs and their contents incinerated in the presence of a security officer. Only American citizens were permitted to work on the project and then only after being cleared by Intelligence Services. Visitors had to fill out a slip and tear off a stub of this slip. By so doing, they left, without suspecting it, their fingerprints on the specially sensitized paper of the stub . . . The word 'uranium' was never used."
-- From "The Manhattan Project"
Although more than 300,000 persons were directly involved in the building of the atomic bomb (1942-45), no significant information whatsoever reached the public. Thus was established a viable precedence for ASP. The ASP managers could not only point to the Manhattan's success in secrecy, but could use their methods. After all, in an America which has been sliding towards a police state for years (wiretaps, no-knock, civilian surveillance), it was a relatively simple matter to apply these techniques of cloak and dagger to ASP.
Rigidly tight security develops itself a perfect position. Anyone can be excluded by the principle of "need to know". Since NASA has always been 75 per cent military and certainly ASP was in this category, preventing anyone high or low from seeing certain hardware, data or locations, was as easy as dropping a thick curtain. Further, anyone who comprised a threat or knew too much could be taken care of in a number of interesting ways. And all of these measures were justified as being protection of the national interests.
One of the first security measures undertaken by the ASP Security Staff was the establishment of a base of operations.
PRIVACY WITH RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
The chart which compares methods of connection with protection was used to determine the optimum location for the ASP base. Beyond these prosaic considerations was the exciting appeal of a nearby resort city. Thus, it was no accident that the ASP base was located 32 miles east of Mercury, Nevada. The land surrounding the base has long been controlled by the U.S. Air Force and the Atomic Energy Commission -- a double threat to any interlopers.
In this view of the region it may be seen that any trespassers would show up instantly on the screens of the constantly-on TV monitors. Also, control of personnel through the few checkpoints could be accomplished with efficiency and dispatch.
The Mercury ASP base was desirable from a number of security-related standpoints:
1. Strange shipments could be delivered inside trucks marked with the dreaded "radiation" sign.
2. Staff could come and go via the heavily guarded airfield. An elaborate warning-wave-off radio-radar protection system prevented any private planes from using the field except for dire emergencies. Even then, strangers were prevented from actually seeing anything of a compromising nature.
3. Odd noises, weird devices, excavations were permissible since no outsiders had visual or audio access.
4. Coded communications could be made by regular or incredibly high frequency microwave radio.
5. Tensions could be relieved by making the less-than-one-hour trip to Las Vegas, a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week, anything-goes resort boasting more than 30 large casinos.
Last but far from least, a [liaison] was established with the hidden rulers of Las Vegas, the crime organization chieftains. When needed, services could be exchanged on a mutually beneficial basis, i.e., large sums of money for use of expert "button men". The Cosa Nostra staff presented no problems for ASP Security; they had centuries of practice remaining silent.
NOTE: U.S.-Mafia criminal cooperation was hardly new. During the invasion of Sicily during WWII, Mafia chieftains aided American troops.
UNDERCOVER PROCUREMENT OF PERSONNEL
Staffing ASP was not as difficult as it might appear to the layman. First, everyone has a price although sometimes the price is one's life. Notwithstanding diehards, recruiting of ASP people went swingingly. People love to know secrets and they also love to have lots of money to spend. ASP provided both.
Salaries of $50,000 for minor technicians were not uncommon. We have deleted the pay of higher staff personnel out of sympathy for the taxpayer who might be reading this chapter.NOTE: Adjusting for inflation, a "small" salary of $50,000 is akin to the mid-level CEO in today's market getting paid several times the rate of his employees. So $50,000 or higher in the 1960's would be significant incentive indeed. Today, a CEO can make 400 times the rate of his employee, and yet $50,000 is a high salary in America. As an example, many young persons of this generation can expect half of that or less for much of their lives, and that's not even assessing their taxes or debt. In other words, the poor have gotten some magnitudes poorer, but the rich have gotten several hundred magnitudes richer. - HP
In addition to salaries, expense accounts for "rest and relaxation" were virtually unlimited. It is interesting to note that during the build-up of ASP facilities near Mercury, income for many of the Las Vegas casinos hit new highs.
Three major categories of ASP personnel existed:
1. Top level management, including DIA and supplemental agency support.
2. Interface personnel, many on "need to know" basis.
3. The astronauts themselves.
Recruiting of the first two categories was done on a money first, patriotism second, basis. It was eminently successful. More discretion was required in obtaining the cooperation of astronauts. For these dedicated and brave men, the following arguments were used:
A. The moon mission was tremendously important to the continuance of the United States as (or THE) power in political, military, scientific and technical areas.
B. Billions of dollars and several lives had been spent so far; to scratch the mission at this point (1963) would be disastrous to the administration from a public relations standpoint. NASA was in the same position as a Vegas gambler who is in too deep to quit. (NASA's self-interest was also a strong influence: it is a truism that all bureaucracies seek to expand or at least perpetuate themselves.)
C. There would be no danger since the men would not exit the earth's gravitational field.
D. Fame and fortune would be theirs, tarnished only slightly by the fact that the voyage would be illusionary.
E. Intimations that refusal could bring reprisals ranging from demotion to in-flight "accidents". There was no need to remind the candidated of the eight astronauts who had died accidentally during the early phases of Apollo.
NOTE: Thomas R. Baron, an employee of North American Aviation, Apollo's prime contractor, submitted a 500 page report on the inadequacies of the program following the fatal fire of Pad 34. Shortly thereafter, Baron was killed when his car apparently stalled in front of a locomotive.
In addition to these cogent persuasions, the men approached had lifetime histories of obedience. All were or had been in the armed forces and were accustomed to accepting assignments regardless of the risk or rather, in spite of the risk.
Most pilots are extroverted, game-playing individuals. Thus, it was a relatively simple matter to train the astronauts to play their respective roles in the high drama of ASP. As with most machinery, strains may develop in humans under stress. The recent breakdown of Edwin A. Aldrin, the lunar module pilot, could be an indication of second thoughts.
In summary, ASP recruitment was an unqualified success. That no information has been revealed to this day is not surprising. A CIA-sponsored group known as Air American is noted for its two distinct types of alumni: The silent and the silenced.
CLANDESTINE EQUIPMENT DESIGN, MANUFACTURE
INSTALLATION AND OPERATION: SIMULATION HARDWARE AND
Once a base was established and security in effect, the preparation of simulation equipment could begin.
A complete set of the moon was built in an underground cavern at the ASP base. Every location that would be used for landings was created in exact detail. This elaborate sound stage was code named Copernicus, after one of the lunar craters. It soon earned the name "Cuss" because of problems in lighting and sound.
In addition, scale models of the earth, sun, moon and other bodies were carefully built and mounted within a planetarium-like device so that they could be positioned and photographed with accuracy, repeatability and believability.
The underground sound stage resembled those at a major Hollywood studio complete with overhead catwalks for lighting, camera dolly tracks and other basic filming and TV equipment. In addition, there was a plethora of special effects tools, including high intensity lighting to imitate the harsh glare of sunlight on the airless moonscape.
All scenes of the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) were filmed on this set with astronauts as "stars". There were no more problems than would appear during the filming of "Star Trek:, "2001, A Space Odyssey", or "Silent Running". After all, Hollywood grips and gaffers, cameramen and directors had acquired long experience in science fiction film production. A plus for the project was the advantage of filming silent. All voices and equipment sounds were dubbed in by an elaborate sound creation ad dubbing studio immediately adjacent to the moon set.
SPECIAL NOTE: In the film "Diamonds Are Forever", with Sean Connery playing the role of Agent 007 - James Bond, there is a curious and unexplained scene. He enters a secret research facility in the Nevada desert by ruse. Suddenly he finds himself in a large room in which there is an authentic moon landscape. Lumbering about in their clumsy space suits are two would-be astronauts. Nothing happens, the scene is not explained, and the viewer is left to ponder its significance. Could it be...? Yes, it could!
Also installed at the "Cuss" base was the master control of which the so-called Mission Control and the Spacecraft Center at Houston were merely satellites or slaves. The master [control] of Cuss (MASCONCULL) collected all data, programmed it into a computer which then coordinated the entire moon landing simulation. Since all releases were by well-edited tape, there was no chance of a blooper. Again, the total control of news by the American corporate state set an effective precedent for the totally controlled output of MASCONCULL. From prelaunch countdown to the final descent to the ocean, all sound and video transmissions emanated from the flawless and mechanistic heart of a specially modified IBM 370-C computer.
SIMULATION PROPULSION HARDWARE
The term "hardware" became a standard term in the aerospace industry for anything that was not stored in a file cabinet or recorded on tape. In short, it meant anything that was manufactured: from an Automatically controlled solenoid to an IDIOT (Intermediate Digital On-Line Transducer).
From the date of the decision to simulate, a modified hardware program was conducted. For example, the Saturn C-5 moon rocket assembly was built to specifications with one major modification: instead of the totally unreliable F-1 engines, five booster engines of the more dependable B-1 type as used in the C-1 cluster for the Atlas missile were used.
Although a cluster of five B-1 engines produced only one-half of the output of a single F-1 chamber, the power (750,000 pounds thrust) was sufficient to launch the virtually empty Apollo vehicle. If the rocket had been in its designed form it would have weighed 6,000,000 pounds, or 3000 tons fully loaded. This is the weight of a U.S. naval destroyer, further pointing out the total impracticality of the venture. However, by eliminating every aspect of the moon voyage -- fuel, heavy engines, LEM vehicles, etc., the total weight of the modified, shortrange, simulated voyage Apollo was less than one twentieth of the original, or about 150 tons. This loading was well within the capabilities of the B-1 propulsion units. Also, since the originally planned two million parts were reduced to a mere 150,000 gadgets, the success of the limited mission was virtually assured.
However, even C-1 Atlas engines were known to explode on the pad or shortly following launch. Thus, the escape module for the astronauts was left intact and functioning. If there had been an accidental loss of thrust or other mishap, it would have been simple to have the "saved" astronauts merge from the escape module after its recovery.
COVERUP COMMUNICATIONS, INCLUDING WIRETAPPING AND TAPING
Although the most critical element from the standpoint of press and public relations interface, simulated communications and printed data were technically the simplest to produce.
First, an agreement was obtained by DIA and ASP representative working with and through the semi-secret Council on Foreign Relations. This agreement being a reciprocal one that would ensure silence on any revelatory Apollo information by major foreign powers.
Russia was the only nation that has the sophisticated tracking radar capable of following Apollo and thus sabotaging the simulation. But Russia was planning extensive commercial exchange with the U.S. and intelligently recognized that they would gain no real advantage by destroying the U.S. myth. After all, their space program had always been ahead of ours and this fact was well-established worldwide.
Actually, there has never been a real problem between or among major nations where control of the masses has been a consideration, i.e., cold and hot wars to keep the masses occupied while they are being fleeced before slaughter. For further information in this area, read "The Rich And The Super-Rich" by Phillip Lundborg.
The presentation of "on-scene" data was divided into these categories:
1. Visual presentations to the public or uncleared personnel.
. . . A. Launch
. . . B. Re-entry (Although out of sight of carrier crews)
2. Radio transmissions during launch, trip to moon, exploration and return.
3. TV transmission from the moon.
4. Still pictures; black and white and color.
Hair-raising for the simulators but most convincing to the public were the launches. After all, if people could drive to the Cape, park and see an immense rocket lift itself off the pad, was this not the ultimate proof that a trip was, indeed, being made to the moon itself? The fact that once out of sight, the vehicle traveled a sub-orbital trajectory to the south polar sea (and jettisoned), did not diminish in any way the blazing glory of the launch to the moon.
The return to the earth by the astronauts in their re-entry module was far less risky than the launch. This was true since it was effected by dropping the module from a C-5A cargo plane. Just prior to this drop, they were picked up at a super-secret, well camouflaged island south of Hawaii.
It is interesting to note that the module was always dropped out of sight of the carrier's crew. Had the simulators desired, it would have been possible to drop the module into the Pacific from a far-ranging nuclear submarine. However, the plan method was chosen since it required a smaller crew "in the know" and ease of security that evolves from a hidden air base (Tauramoto Archipelago)
Of utmost simplicity, once installed and checked out, was their radio data transmitted "from" the moon vehicle. Secret, leased and well-secured telephone lines were connected to the antennae inputs of all space communications centers. These included the major tracking stations in Australia, Africa and the west coast of the United States.
To accommodate amateur radio operators who might want to tune it, identical broadcasts were made from an orbiting satellite. So perfect were all of these simulations, that the momentary blackout when the module was supposed to be behind the moon was faithfully reproduced.
[Unquestionably] the most interesting and entertaining for all concerned (simulators and fools alike) were the scenes of astronauts gamboling about the lunar set. In addition, these delightful frolics were really elementary exercises for the stage crews. After all, decades of special effects development for the motion picture industry preceded the need for this expertise.
A curious anomaly [occurred] with respect to this phase of the simulation. The set had to be photographed through filters and electronic "noise" had to be added to avoid a too-perfect picture. Otherwise these scenes would resemble too closely the action from "Star Trek" and other science fiction presentations. Even so, many viewers in bars and country clubs all over the U.S. suspected rather loudly that the scenes were a fake. Little of this reached the newspapers.
Note in this montage of photographs of the astronauts "at work" on the moon that the simulation was simplicity itself. With a totally black space background, a rough but firm moon surface and the LEM featured prominently, the reasonably authentic lunar scene was well within the capabilities of motion picture set designers and special effects experts. The range marks lend an uncanny resemblance to reality -- a tribute to the painstaking work of the simulators on an unlimited budget.[No such imagery follows, so one can presume this part of the text was altered or not completed. Please post in the CHATBOX if you have a more complete volume of this book, and I will update it here. -HP]
STILL PICTURES: BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOR
These photographs of moon models created early in the Apollo program by NASA show how simple it was to take authentic appearing shots of the moon in space. The simulators had a choice of several expensive earth models fro their "blue-green-island-in-space" photos. Again, highly developed Hollywood techniques allowed many types of pictures to lie with great believability. Here are some typical NASA press shots with Hollywood stills placed adjacent for comparison. The reader may make his own judgements.[Again, no such imagery follows. Please post in the CHATBOX if you have a more complete volume of this book, and I will update it here. -HP]
PLANNING AND SPECIAL PROJECTS
This department was charged with the overall responsibility for planning and direction of the simulation. They also undertook (an appropriate word) to cover up any errors of theirs or any other ASP group.
Using the proven principles of the PERT system (a U.S. Navy method for coordinating many different activities simultaneously), this group generated a flexible but effective plan of action. It included such elements as:
FAVORABLE PUBLICITY RELEASED THROUGH ALL MEDIA
The astronauts and their families as viewed through a bottle of syrup. The success of various flights and tests, heavily colored. Advantages of space flight. Many articles were ghostwritten for such characters as Wernher von Braun and appeared in popularized science magazines. Diagrams of space trips. Photographs of lunar landing vehicles, space suits, food and drink, including a new radiator cleaning agent called Tang. Puffery for such over-fed NASA pontiffs as James E. Webb.
PASP was a most important arm of ASP. They ensured that fee if any questions would be asked. If questioners persisted, they found themselves deluged with offers they couldn't refuse. The limited number of recalcitrants found it hard to swim with formfitting cement tennis shoes....
SCHEDULE OF CHRONOLOGY OF SIMULATED MOON FLIGHTS
ITEM / REMARKSL-72 hours, pre launch activities
Normal with the exception of substituted flight
hardware. Example: B-1 boosters placed within
F-1 combustion chambers. Lox RP-1 combo
rather than touted LH2 O2.L-1 hour, highly publicized and photographed entry
of the astronauts into the Apollo vehicle
Analogous to a magician putting his "victim"
into the box preparatory to sawing him in half.L-20 minutes
The three astronauts depart the module via a
high speed elevator. They go to heavily secured
room in which there is an exact duplicate of
the flying module. During this transitional period
the TV picture is "lost accidentally."Launch + one second
Normal in appearance with the five B-1
boosters functioning as F-1'sL + 23 minutes
Following booster engine cutoff (BECO) a mock
J-2 second stage cuts in. This is followed by a
third stage mock J-2 which places the Apollo
into a parking orbit. Meanwhile, the astronauts
are flown to the moon set in Nevada by high
altitude jet. Communication switchover to
Nevada takes place.
Inputs of a phantom Apollo vehicle are now
transmitted to the Deep Space Instrumentation
Facilities at Goldston, Calif.; Johannesburg,
South Africa; and Woomera, Australia.L + 2 hours
All ASP systems are "GO". The Apollo has
been jettisoned into the South Polar Sea. The
three astronauts are comfortably seated in
their subterranean module mockup surrounded
by top ASP directors. Within this fantastic
and well-equipped building is [every] conceivable
luxury, including a few of the shapliest showgirls
from Las Vegas, cleared for secret [...meetings, perhaps?]
, of course.L + 72 hours
Activities of the astronauts pick up as lunar
holding orbit is approached. Moon set held
in readiness for "touch-down". Studio grips
and gaffers sprinkle moon dust on moon rocks,
adjust lighting from sun arc. Green cheese
sandwiches are served. (?)L + 74 hours
The astronauts assume their respective positions.
The lunar orbiting pilot remains behind
in the command module while the "landing
party" enters the LEM for the trip to the
(SOUNDS OF ENGINES STARTING, METAL
CLANKING WITH VOICE OVER):
ARMSTRONG: "Is my antenna out? OK, now
we're ready to hook up the LEC here."
ALDRIN: "Now that should go down. . .
(static). . . put the bag up this way. That's
even. Neil, are you hooked up to it?"
ARMSTRONG: "Yes, OK, now we need to
With all TV cameramen in position, the director
calls for "lights, camera, action". Protected
by a seven second delay in transmission and
the watchful eye of the ASP moon walk
director, the exciting scenes of the moon landing
take place. The commander makes his well-
rehearsed remark as he steps carefully from
the LEM to the meticulously prepared surface
of "moon", just 90 miles north of the bright
lights and jangling slot machines of Las Vegas.
NOTE: It's not a great performance, but good
enough considering the actors and the audience.
The balance of the flight is almost an anti-climax. The return to the LEM, the reunion with the orbiting command module, the routine trip back to earth and touchdown. Simulated re-entry involves a minimum of equipment: simply a command module dropped from a C-5A. The astronauts are flown to a small atoll south of Hawaii; they board the plane, enter the module and are dropped safely just out of sight of the pickup carrier.LANDING PLUS 21 DAYS
A team of ASP psychologists determines that
the astronauts require a transitional period
before confronting the press directly. This is
1. Eliminate guilt feelings[.]
2. Study and memorize moon data.
3. Practice responding to questions.
In short, orient themselves so that they behave
like returning heroes instead of highly paid actors.LANDING PLUS 22 DAYS
On their own but closely watched, the astronauts
do their utmost to exude the aura of triumph,
the facade of victory. For the majority of viewers,
the simulation is a success.
The schedule is exact but flexible; flexibility lends authenticity. In all, a difficult operation, but far less so than a genuine trip to the moon would have been.