NOVA; To the Moon; Interview with Gene Kranz, NASA Flight Director, part 1 of 5
LOR, did it make your job easier, tougher, because we're going to spend a lot of time talking about which mode to the moon. From a flight controller, flight director standpoint, we were too busy trying to get man into space and to demonstrate that he could perform out there. We were too busy trying to pull a network together in the teams and to build the technical database we needed. So from my standpoint, I could have cared less. That was a given in the program. That was somebody else's job to do. My job was to get the mission teams ready. Gemini, big story. A lot of people, I refer to it as like a forgotten program. How important was Gemini to getting to the moon on time? And can you meet like a laundry list of things that we had to accomplish? Well, I think it was probably the essential step. There is no question we could have gotten. We couldn't let me start talking about the moon. Gemini was the essential step.
There was no way we would have gotten to the moon unless we went through the Gemini program. A big thing for me and I think for the majority of the teams. Most of us were technical dinosaurs. We were unfamiliar with the new technologies we needed to go to the moon, computers and cryogenics and fuel cells and by-product rocket engines. Each of these technologies was just emerging from the laboratory. So we had to get our hands on experience. We had to figure out how to apply these new tools to the business of mission operations, space flight control. We had to get confidence in them. In fact, there were times when we'd sit down and talk about, well, what is a cryogenic in somebody saying, well, it's just a super dense vapor. It's a cold vapor, a fog in the tanks. And we'd say, gee, that's neat. Now, how do we use this thing? How do we take this minus 400-degree liquid and get it in? How do we warm it up? So we would ask the most rudimentary, the most fundamental questions and the thing that was real neat about it.
We had these engineers that had just had the mercury experience. And we found ourselves in this new world. So we brought in the young college kids who were learning about all of these things we needed to know in the laboratory. So we took this infusion of youth and merged them with the mercury veterans. And we built this chemistry that we needed to move further.
- To the Moon
- Producing Organization
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Contributing Organization
- WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
- AAPB ID
- Program Description
- This remarkably crafted program covers the full range of participants in the Apollo project, from the scientists and engineers who promoted bold ideas about the nature of the Moon and how to get there, to the young geologists who chose the landing sites and helped train the crews, to the astronauts who actually went - not once or twice, but six times, each to a more demanding and interesting location on the Moon's surface. "To The Moon" includes unprecedented footage, rare interviews, and presents a magnificent overview of the history of man and the Moon. To the Moon aired as NOVA episode 2610 in 1999.
- Raw Footage Description
- Gene Kranz, aerospace engineer and retired NASA Flight Director and manager, is interviewed about the Gemini program's role as a stepping-stone to the moon. Gemini enabled the engineers and mission control team to learn about the necessities of space flight.
- Created Date
- Asset type
- Raw Footage
- American History; Gemini; apollo; moon; Space; astronaut
- Media type
- Moving Image
Interviewee: Kranz, Eugene "Gene", 1933-
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 52052 (barcode)
Format: Digital Betacam
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- Chicago: “NOVA; To the Moon; Interview with Gene Kranz, NASA Flight Director, part 1 of 5,” 1998-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 9, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-p55db7x161.
- MLA: “NOVA; To the Moon; Interview with Gene Kranz, NASA Flight Director, part 1 of 5.” 1998-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 9, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-p55db7x161>.
- APA: NOVA; To the Moon; Interview with Gene Kranz, NASA Flight Director, part 1 of 5. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-p55db7x161