Author Topic: Does a recording of Gene Kranz's pre-landing pep talk actually exist?  (Read 189 times)

Offline ka9q

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In "Failure Is Not An Option", Gene Kranz says he gave his team a pep talk during the break when Eagle was on the far side of the moon before the near-side pass when powered descent would begin:

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The emotion I feel in these final few moments takes over. I have to talk to my team. I call on the loop, "Okay, all flight controllers, go to assistant flight director conference" The AFD conference loop is a private communications channel used principally for debriefings or for soul-searching discussions with an errant controller, and it is used exclusively by Flight or the AFD. No one outside the control room can listen in. After controllers complete their check-in, I begin to speak from the heart:
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Okay, all flight controllers, listen up.
Today is our day, and the hopes and and the dreams of the entire world are with us. This is our time and our place, and we will remember this day and what we do here always.
In the next hour we will do something that has neer been done before. We will land an American on the Moon. The risks are high...that is the nature of the work.
We worked long hours and had some rough times but we have mastered our work. Now we are going to make this work pay off.
You are a hell of a good team. One that I feel privileged to lead.
Whatever happens, I will stand behind every call that you will make.
Good luck and God bless us today!
I pause briefly, then resume "Okay, all flight controllers, return to the flight director's loop". I think my phrasing was a bit more emotional than this, but since there is no recording of this private moment we shared, I have put down my best recollection of what I said..
But the new website https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/ features a multi-track recording of what appears to be all of the flight control audio loops, including the assistant flight director conference loop. I've been searching to see if Kranz's speech actually was recorded after all, but so far I'm unsuccessful. I can't find it during the far-side pass before the landing, nor do I hear Kranz on the regular flight director channel tell his controllers to go to AFD Conference. I do hear occasional other conferences on AFD Conference.
But I haven't given up. It's possible Kranz mis-remembered exactly when he gave his speech, so I've been searching some of the other far-side passes. It seems strange that the recording would include exactly the channel name Kranz mentions, yet not contain his speech. Anybody want to help?

Offline onebigmonkey

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I did see a programme on BBC about the landings and one of the mission control guys there recalled the speech, paraphrasing it as "we came in as a team, we leave as a team and I stand by your decisions."

I was also hoping the loops would reveal the source of the hotly debated "talk" that appears in the first unscheduled broadcast, but no joy there either

Offline ka9q

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There are two channels containing the phrase "Assistant flight director". One is labeled "AFD Confererence" -- exactly matching what Kranz says he used -- and it does seem to be a meeting point for other candid conversations. So this is a puzzle. Maybe somebody manually muted the recorder input during that time?

The other possibility is that Kranz incorrectly remembered exactly when he gave his talk. It would have been during one of the far side passes during his shift, but I haven't searched them all yet.