Guest Host: Jennifer Levasseur
Curator, National Air & Space Museum
Jim Lovell is narrating a tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building. He explains that astronauts are only the most visible members of a very large team.
” — right down to the guy sweeping the floor, are honored to be a part of it,” explains Lovell. “What did the man say? ‘Give me a lever long enough and I’ll move the world?’ Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing here. This is divine inspiration, folks. It’s the best part of each one of us – – the belief that anything is possible. Things like: a computer that can fit into a single room, and hold millions of pieces of information. Or the Saturn V rocket.”
A group of VIP visitors stands on a balcony high inside the VAB. Overhead, an S-IV-B stage is about to be mated to an S-II stage in the high bay.
“Now, this is the actual launch vehicle that will be taking Alan Shepard and his crew on the first leg of the Apollo Thirteen mission,” explains Lovell.
“When are you going up again, Jim?” asks a Congressman.
“I’m slated to be the commander of Apollo Fourteen, sometime late next year,” replies Lovell.
The Congressman grins. “If there is an Apollo Fourteen,” says the Congressman.
Lovell smiles weakly.
“Now, Jim,” continues the Congressman, “People in my state have been asking, why we’re continuing to fund this program, now that we’ve beat the Russians to the Moon?”
“Imagine if — if Christopher Columbus had come back from the New World, and no one returned in his footsteps, ” replies Lovell.
IN THIS MINUTE:
Jim Lovell: Tom Hanks
Congressman: Roger Corman
NASA PAO Henry Hurt: Xander Berkeley