Two days until launch and . . .

apollo_11_crew_press_conf_ksc_jul_14_1969_s69-39763

Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins (L to R) answer to the press and public, as they will the rest of their lives

 

Delta V

You are the crew of Apollo 11

It is the evening of July 14, 1969,

little more than 50 hours until launch

and counting.

 

And you are sitting in a glass cage,

TV cameras on the other side,

questions from four reporters pumped in from miles away.

Two days until launch and you are

 

answering questions, some simple,

some unanswerable, some inane.  You answer

them all.  This is your life, this is what,

when the questions posed in future tense

 

shift to past tense, you will answer

for the rest of your life,

locking you in the past, no matter

how you try to achieve escape velocity,

 

no matter how much “delta V” you carry

— change in velocity, as measured in fuel.

When asked if there is anything about the LM

you’d change, you think delta V, fuel for hovering time:

 

“You’d always like to have more delta V.”

This will be your life after the flight,

more real than the moon.

You’ll never have enough delta V to escape it.

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