Wednesday, December 23, 2020


Ten days before Christmas 1965, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration got an early holiday present: astronauts Walter M. "Wally" Schirra Jr. and Thomas P. Stafford, aboard Gemini 6, rendezvoused in space with Gemini 7, piloted by Frank Borman and Jim Lovell.  

The maneuver required the most exacting pilot and computer control of a space vehicle yet attempted. Its success demonstrated to Mission Control that when it came to linking two vehicles in space, Houston did not have a problem.

Then just before Stafford and Schirra were scheduled to re-enter Earth's atmosphere the pair reported they had sighted some sort of U.F.O. That really alerted Mission Control, but they had little to worry about.

What they heard was Schirra's voice and here was his message. “Mission Control we have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit. You just might let me pick up that thing. I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front and the pilot of the command seems to be wearing a red suit” … and then the ground controllers heard the strains, both familiar and otherworldly of “Jingle Bells”, played on a harmonica backed by (what else?) miniature sleigh bells.

Ho, Ho, Ho and MERRY CHRISTMAS  to all.


Blogger troutbirder said...

wHAT FUN! :)

6:23 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I had forgotten.

7:05 AM  
Blogger David M. Gascoigne, said...

Back then, we followed every space mission with awe. We knew the names of the astronauts, recognized their faces and were enthralled by their exploits. Now space flights have become so routine that we barely know when another space ship has left earth. And it is becoming commercialized even. How soon before it becomes just another sleazy way for humans to make money, far removed from the grand enterprise it set out to be?

3:05 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

From my friend Jan...

I had forgotten about that, too. Like so many other things, when the newness wears off, it all becomes sort of hum-drum to so many people. I remember as a kid standing out on our back balcony in Maine watching Sputnik go over. Who watches for the Space station anymore?
But NASA is a huge part of our Eastern Shore and I was one of many who stood out in the yard and watched the rocket with supplies take off for the ISS. Somehow the excitement returned for the moment watching that fiery light go up until it was out of sight, listening to the engines roar, knowing WHERE it was headed, then listening to the radio to make sure it got there.
As someone who drove past NASA every day on my way to school or home, I guess there is a kind of feeling you get when "your team" wins a game - like you had anything to do with it! LOL! But, still, there is ownership around here since so many of our family or friends work there (or worked).

6:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home