In Senator Obama’s recent patriot speech he said he was sitting on his grandfather’s shoulders as he watched the astronauts come ashore in Hawaii.
I have already written about the things I found to be peculiar in this speech, but something keeps bugging me, when did the astronauts come ashore in Hawaii? When exactly was that? (See https://bellalu0.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/93/ )
After a lot of searching, I believe it has to be the Apollo 13 mission, the near-failed mission that blasted off on April 11, 1970. That would put Obama at about, what, nine-years-old at the time. It was interesting to review Apollo 13, the subject of the 1995 movie by the same name starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon.
The Apollo 13 mission was launched at 2:13 p.m. EST from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and was the third mission that was supposed to land on the moon. It was manned by James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise, and John Swigert.
Only a short time into the flight, one of the oxygen tanks exploded and the crew was forced to orbit the moon and return to earth without a landing. The call was made that the only chance they had of saving the crew was to shut down the command module entirely and save their batteries for reentry. So they used the lunar module Aquarius as a lifeboat. It was equipped for two men for two days but would have to keep the three men alive for four days. They were hopeful it would be their lifeboat and not their tomb.
One of the worst problems was the cold and the temperature dropped to 38 degrees F, making it so uncomfortable they could not sleep. They were worried that fatigue would keep them from functioning, but they were probably worried about much more than that.
Somehow they got back down in the command module and this is where Hawaii comes in. They splashed down in the South Pacific on April 17, 1970, at 1:07 p.m. EST, 5 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, and 41 seconds after it launched. It came down near the USS Iwo Jima, the recovery ship, and they were aboard within 45 minutes. They were then flown to Hawaii for a reunion with their families. They were very lucky or blessed to get back here alive.
Anyhow, Kansas values Hawaiian style. And when you add that to Barack’s mother reading to him the first lines of the Declaration of Independence while he was living with her in Indonesia, that makes for one genuine American patriot! Ha!
More about the Apollo 13 astronauts below: