083 – How Apollo Flew to the Moon

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This episode is a conversation with W. David Woods about his wonderful book How Apollo Flew to the Moon where he describes in great length all the detail a geek wants to know about how the Apollo spacecraft and the flights to the Moon worked. In the episode, we basically go through an Apollo mission and discuss aspects such as the mission structure, the workshare between the crew and mission control, communication and telemetry, guidance and navigation, approach, landing and re-launch on the Moon as well as re-entry and landing on earth.

41 Responses to 083 – How Apollo Flew to the Moon

  1. Liam Friel says:

    Really great episode with someone knowledgeable and passionate about his topic.

  2. Another superb podcast. Crisply clear and brim-full of technical insights. I didn’t want it to end! Thank you Markus and Nora.

  3. Mike says:

    Great detail. Looking forward to the details of the surface activity next year.


  4. admin says:

    thanks for saying that :-)


  5. Chris says:

    How fascinating and informative. Thank you Markus and David both. For years I have read many of the relevant popular books by the astronauts but they all lack the detail that particularly interests me. And here it is. I must now get a copy of David’s book. I would definitely encourage you to get David back for a further chat. He’s a great communicator too. Thanks again.

  6. admin says:

    Thanks Chris! We will set up a second one next year!

  7. Martin says:

    Excellent – immediately ordered the book!

  8. Marc says:

    Great podcast

  9. David Stevenson says:

    The whole series has been great, but this episode is the best yet. Awesome stuff. Have ordered David’s book (2 copies, my Dad will want one too)

  10. iota says:

    Wieder einmal ist Dir ein außergewöhnlicher Podcast gelungen! Immer und immer tiefer tauchte ich in die unglaublichen Ideen und Einfälle derjenigen Menschen ein, die das Apollo-Programm zu so einem Milestone gemacht haben, der wohl tatsächlich die Geschichte der Menschheit begleiten wird wie die Entdeckung Amerikas, der Bau der Pyramiden und so weiter.
    Hier über diesen Podcast durch so einen kompetenten Gesprächspartner Hintergründe zu erfahren, die man selbst als Raumfahrt- und Astronomieinteressierter einfach noch nicht wusste – das ist die große Stärke Deiner Arbeit! Danke dafür und für den tiefen Einblick in die vielen trickreichen Details der Apollo-Missionen!

    Das ist kaum noch zu übertreffen!

    Muss der angekündigte zweite Beitrag wirklich so lange auf sich warten lassen?…

  11. admin says:

    Hi Jochen, danke für Deinen Kommentar :-) Wir werden den 2. Teil irgendwann im Frühjahr machen. Wir müssen aufpassen, dass omega tau nicht zu nem kompletten Luft- und Raumfahrt-Dingens wird :-)


  12. Todd says:

    This is IMHO the best podcast you have ever done. I was amazed! I thought I knew a fair amount about space, but the details of things that I imagined were basic turned out to be much more of an exercise in thought and possibilities. Those engineers were truly out of this world.

  13. Jake Brownson says:

    Fantastic episode! So many great ones, but this is probably my favorite yet. I’ve always been really hungry for technical details about space travel and this is it! Didn’t hesitate to pick up a copy of the book

  14. Roger (New Zealand) says:

    Another gold-standard podcast Markus … you’ve done it again (and again!)

  15. It was amazing. It is the first time when the man landed to the moon. Thanks for posting and recalling the history which is part by science and technology.

  16. Randy Post says:

    I was always interested in how the first flights to the moon were accomplished. This was a great podcast.

  17. Elena Lawrence says:

    This podcast was a fascinating perspective of the engineering aspects of the Apollo missions, rather than the more typical (and also interesting) viewpoint of the personalities involved. Great stuff. David Walker knows his material inside and out and Markus did a well-prepared, enthusiastic, excellent interview. Thanks for putting all the effort into this!

  18. Erik Sprangers says:

    Very interesting topic, listening to it again now on the noagenda stream. Well done!

  19. Hardeep Virdee says:

    Just brilliant! I loved David’s enthusiasm of his subject. He is fantastically knowledgeable. Many thanks Marcus for producing this episode. Please get David on again as suggested. And do not make us wait a year!

  20. Albrecht says:

    Schade, daß David es nicht geschafft hat, ein auch nur einigermaßen zivilisiertes Englsch zu sprechen. Ich habe irgendwann entnervt abgeschaltet…

  21. MaNo says:

    Ich finde Deinen Kommentar nicht besonders angemessen. David spricht ganz normales Schottisch.

  22. jbburnett says:

    This was a great show – 5 stars. I’ve got Week’s book but confess I didn’t get around to reading it yet, but now I will. I definitely look forward to Pt. II of the podcast: On the Moon. Why wait a whole year? Strike while the iron is hot! From Hawaii, aloha.

  23. MaNo says:

    Hi – I will meet David personally at the Code Generation 2012 conference at the end of March. We’ll record the conversation live and in color there. So it will likely be published in April.

    Greeting to Hawaii :-)

  24. chris says:

    Sehr interessant, aber das Gespräch war wegen des sprechrhytmus nur sehr schwer zu verstehen.
    Ich habs bestimmt 3mal gehört bis ich völlig folgen konnte.
    Inhaltlich wie (fast) immer top

  25. Renium says:

    Muss Albrecht beipflichten.
    Topic top, der englische Akzent
    war suuper- extremst nervig.
    M.E. hat sich David
    sogar bemüht, Englisch und kein
    Schottisch zu sprechen. Letzteres
    sprechen die Snooker Spieler wie
    Higgins, Maguire, Dott etc. oft, und
    da versteht man fast nur noch Bahnhof.

    Ich habe nach 30 Minuten abgeschaltet
    und mir das Buch bestellt.

  26. MaNo says:

    Was mich an Albrecht’s Kommentar gestört hat war weniger die Inhaltliche Aussage, sondern seine extrem unangemessene Formulierung!


  27. Gurbir says:

    Fabulous podcast. ausgezeichnet Danke.

    Anyone interested seeing David in person – he will be speaking at the British Interplanetary Society Northern Meeting in York (northern England) – May 19th. More here

  28. Pingback: Podcast Recommendation | AstrotalkUK

  29. MaNo says:

    Thanks Gurbir :-)

  30. Martin says:

    Wonderful episode. I’m old and got to watch the Apollo missions as a kid. I can’t believe it’s taken over 40 years to learn some of this fantastically interesting stuff. Thanks!

  31. Pingback: omega tau » 97 – How Apollo Explored the Moon

  32. Pingback: Apollo’s Flights to the Moon | omega tau podcast

  33. Galileo says:

    Absolutely great episode, that’s what podcasts are for!

    The scottish accent wasn’t really a problem, it was a pleasure to listen to David, and I don’t speak or listen to english much, only at the movies.

    The only thing that annoyed me was the difference in the volume of David an Markus, I twiddled with the car stereo quite often :))

  34. MaNo says:

    Sorry for the audio issues. I listened to it myself and didn’t notice it. But I’ll try to be more careful in the future.


  35. Christoph says:

    Great episode! I also liked Dave’s epilogue. He seems as passionate about everything as the engineers who worked on this in the 1960s. Wonderful, thanks.

  36. Darko Krizic says:

    It was not problem to understand David, it is a matter of a few minutes. Actually I like this accent.

    Regarding the content: Absolutely stunning. I was so much impressed by the challenges and the solutions. I did not have any clue how complicated some problems are and how simple some solutions can be.

  37. MaNo says:

    I am actually a fan of the Scottish accent as well :)

  38. Anderson says:

    Excellent episode! I found this podcast by searching for podcast interviews about the Apollo program. This is the best interview I have ever listened to regarding the technical aspects of Apollo. What an informative interview! I thought David did an excellent job describing extremely technical details in an easy to follow manner.

    Please have David on again to discuss Apollo! I have listened to the both of his interviews on Omega Tau and would gladly listen to several more.

  39. MaNo says:

    Thanks Anderson for your nice words. I have forwarded them to David :-) With regards to doing more interviews, that is certainly a great idea, but I have such a long list of other topics I want to cover, I’m not sure if I find the time. I guess at some point I have to do omega tau full time :-) But then you guys have to feed me somehow.

  40. Pingback: How did Apollo get to the Moon?

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