The Moon has its face hidden and, it is said little, its comic side. Two Saturdays to commemorate 50 years of an odyssey that, in comparative terms, reduced the epic return of Ulysses to Ithaca to a simple go to buy bread at the corner of the house, before the thing gets serious is not of more repescar the most funny moments of the space race, there were. Not all astronauts were like the hieratic and seriote Neil Armstrong, which seems to have been carved with the same dry wood as Charles Lindbergh.
Charles Pete Conrad, the third man on the Moon, commander of the mission Apollo 12It was the opposite. As already anticipated in the previous chapter of these lunatic chronicles, the solemnity was brought to the pairo. He had crossed a bet of 500 dollars with the journalist Oriana Fallaci: when he descended from the lunar module Intrepid I would say what I wanted, oblivious to that being a television broadcast on a planetary scale. Did.
To understand the phrase is necessary, before, a bit of anthropometry. The first man on the Moon, Armstrong, was a well-planted guy, a 1.8-meter-tall Earthman, just in case the Selenites had to make a good impression. His great step for humanity was, as he said that July 20, 1969, a simple step for him. The point is that Fallaci, who became a regular in the corridors of NASA to write one of his books, was skeptical that after the sentences for the story of the conquest of the Moon there were writers, but Conrad assured him that , that there was a free bar and he set out to prove it to him, so when the time came, that astronaut barely 168 centimeters tall, size S in the space closet, said what he said: "Wow, this will have been a small step for Neil Armstrong, but it's been a big step for me. " Gagarin, the giant Soviet space hero, measured 158 centimeters, by the way.
Although Conrad, years later, had a tragic end like that of Lawrence of Arabia, who died aboard his "scary motorcycle," as he called it, has not gone down in history for his exploits, but for being the funny the missions of NASA. In that expedition he had conchabada with Alan Bean, the other astronaut of the lunar module, a joke that both guarded jealously in secret. Without the control center knowing, Conrad placed a self-timer for one of the cameras in his personal luggage. Failed at the crucial moment, but the purpose was that one of the images that came to Earth was a portrait of both together and thus lead to all kinds of speculations. It would have been the perfect icing on the conspiracy theories that were going to be so popular in the years to come and then, in 1969, were unpredictable. Ralph Rene, to name one of those conspirafílicos, had taken oil. He is the author of a book with a title not sufficiently weighted because of the translation. NASA mooned America, which would be something like that NASA shows the ass to the US.
In his own way, Conrad picked up the witness of the guasa that Virgil Grissom, a space pilot already in the days of the program's ships, carried years before. Gemini.
Like Paul Tibbets, in 1945, he named his bomber B-29 with his mother's name, Enola Gay, the commanders of NASA considered themselves military with the same right to leave their mark in the civil registry of the space. Total, that Grissom, a man with an intellectual quotient that removed the hiccups, wanted his rocket to be called Titanic. Even NASA had a limit and said no. Grissom countered. Molly Brown It was his new proposal. She was one of the lucky souls that was saved in the sinking of the Titanic and it was known since then, because that's what she wanted, like "the unsinkable Molly Brown."
In fact, the gazetteer of the space missions walked along the years by a very fine line that separated the epic from the pitorreo. It was fortunate that he was the Apollo 11, with his Eagle as a lunar module, the one that finally settled on the satellite, because in the Apollo 10, his predecessor, it was called Snoopy. "We have lost Snoopy", in case of catastrophe, as a dog joke I would have surpassed the legend of the My Tits.
Nor was the name of the ship of the Apollo 9, Gumdrop, that is, the candy, very little seriousness, without a doubt.
In their own way, it might seem that the astronauts behaved like capricious demigods. They played their lives, right, so maybe they paid their salary in spices. Grissom, for example, died in the terrible fire of Apollo 1. But for whimsical demigod, none like Scott Carpenter, pilot of a Mercury, who disobeyed as many orders as he wanted when he began the maneuver of reentry into the atmosphere.
It seems he liked the views through the hatches. He took the controls and, as if driving a BMW, do you like to drive? He enjoyed the scenery more than necessary. It was about 400 kilometers beyond the planned point. When he was considered missing, they found him roasting in the Caribbean sun, while the waves rocked his ship. That put an end to his trajectory as an astronaut.