Posts Tagged ‘Grumman’

Co-Winners: the Driver and Lena, followed by Tom, Rosebud, and Pluto

Lena, an au pair from Potsdam (that’s East Germany, not upstate New York) joined us tonight and showed how good the German education system is.

Before the game, Pluto beseeched Lena: “This is a game of American trivia. Please don’t win. You will make us all feel like village idiots.” She then proceeded to finish tied for first in regulation and became our first international winner.

Good Question!: Which Apollo mission had an oxygen tank explode?

Choices: a. Apollo 7   b. Apollo 13   c. Gemini   d. Apollo 11


Answer: Apollo 13

“Houston, We Have a Problem”

On April 11, 1970, NASA launched the Apollo 13 mission to send three astronauts to the moon and mark the third manned lunar landing. The mission aimed to send commander Jim Lovell and lunar module pilot Fred Haise to the lunar surface, while command module pilot Jack Swigert remained in orbit. But on April 13, the mission suffered a crippling explosion that would nearly doom the spaceflight and its crew.

Apollo 13 carried an oxygen tank with a troubled history. The tank had been damaged in testing, but the spacecraft builders were not aware of a problem. At about 56 hours into the flight of Apollo 13, Jack Swigert was instructed to “stir the tanks,” or agitate the super-cold liquid oxygen. Moments later, oxygen tank 2 exploded. Photos taken near the end of the flight reveal the extent of the damage. “One whole side of the spacecraft is missing!” exclaimed Lovell. The command module’s normal supply of electricity, light and water was lost, and they were about 200,000 miles from Earth.

The explosion was accompanied by a sharp bang and vibration at 9:08 p.m. April 13. Swigert saw a warning light that accompanied the bang and said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”

Grumman Lunar Module Saves the Day

With the command module losing power fast, the astronauts had to move into the lunar module, or LM, to use it as a lifeboat. This was the lunar module built right here on LI by your neighbors, who worked at Grumman.This was the same Grumman that had caused Vice Adm. John McCain Sr. to say during World War II: “The name Grumman on a plane is like sterling on silver.”

Designed for two, the LM’s cabin was a tight fit for three people, with Swigert keeping mostly to the small section at the rear of the cabin.

The LM did not have enough carbon-dioxide-scrubbing chemical canisters to keep the air breathable for three men all the way back to Earth. The astronauts had to build a crude adapter using spare parts on board, to make use of canisters meant for the command module.

At the time of the accident, Apollo 13 was on a path that would cause it to miss Earth by 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers). To return home the astronauts had to fire the lunar module’s big landing engine several times to get back on the right trajectory.

The near-disaster of Apollo 13 was a stunning reminder of the perils of human spaceflight and how NASA, through ingenuity and perseverance, managed to overcome the incident and save the mission’s three-man crew. In 1995, director Ron Howard would retell the Apollo 13 story in the film “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell.

This is a wonderful, very tense 3 minute clip: “Houston We Have a Problem”



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Winners: Butch and Pluto (with Tiffany, our hostess)

Tonight’s crowd was SRO, all looking forward to a quiz that was supposed to be for 4th and 5th graders. Yeah, right! Leading the pack of 22 players, was Butch, a first time player and winner. If he hadn’t changed his answer on the last question he would have been the sole winner. Instead, he finished tied with Pluto.

Some of us know Butch as one of the stars of the LI Senior Softball league. Pluto, on the other hand, made every ground ball an adventure and was definitely not one of the stars in that league. Tonight we learned again that Devil’s Tower was the first US National Monument. A useful fact to remember – for some reason this question re-appears every few months.

Good Question:
A few days after his birth, this Greek God killed a dragon named Python.

Choices:   Apollo  –  Zeus  –  Poseidon  –  Triton

Answer: Apollo

Apollo was the great Olympian god of prophecy and oracles, healing, plague and disease, music, song and poetry, archery, and the protection of the young. All of which made him a busy god.

Four days after his birth, Apollo killed the dragon Python, who lived in Delphi beside the Castalian Spring. This was the spring which emittedui god select apollo vapors that caused the oracle at Delphi to give her prophecies. Hera, jealous wife of Zeus, had sent the serpent to hunt Apollo’s pregnant mother Leto to her death. To protect his mother, baby Apollo begged Hephaestus for a bow and arrows. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi, and that was the end of Python.

Other famous myths of Apollo include:

The slaying of the giant Tityos who attempted to carry off the god’s mother Leto;

His music contest with the satyr Marsyas, who lost and was flayed alive;

The murder of the Kyklopes, who had forged the lightning bolt used to destroy his son Asklepios;

All of which shows you shouldn’t mess with Apollo.  Also:

His love for the youth Hyakinthos who was killed by a discus throw and then he was transformed into a flower;

His love for the nymph Daphne who fled from him and was transformed into a laurel tree;

His love for Koronis who was slain by Artemis for her infidelity;

UnknownSeems this god went both ways, and the list of his consorts and children exceeds 60! And we think online dating is dangerous.

BTW, he is also alleged to have brought plague to the Greeks and helped Paris slay Achilles in the Trojan War. Apollo aided Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles’ heel. One interpretation of his motive is that it was in revenge for Achilles’ sacrilege in murdering Troilus, the god’s own son by Hecuba, on the very altar of the god’s own temple. Not a good idea.3705638921_e80e6d7f1a_z

Let’s not forget that Apollo was the name of the American Space program that landed men on the moon. Let us also remember that the LEM (lunar excursion module) which actually landed men on the moon was built right here on LI at the Grumman Corporation in Bethpage. If you want to relive those tense moments on July 20, 1969, as the Grumman Eagle headed in for man’s first landing on another planet, try this:

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