John Aaron’s (EECOM) next call made him a legend in Mission Control. He said quickly and conﬁdently, “Flight, try S-C-E to Aux.”
It was 68 degrees, overcast, and raining at Cape Kennedy on November 14, 1969. The ceiling was 2,100 feet and the winds were light. There was some discussion, while the astronauts were suiting-up, of scrubbing the launch, but that would mean ramping this whole thing down, draining every drop of fuel out of the Saturn, and sitting on their hands for a twenty-eight-day hold.
The Saturn V’s control system was housed inside and also referred to as the Instrument Unit (IU). Marshall Space Flight Centers Astrionics Laboratory categorized the IU as the “brain” and “nerve center” of Saturn V.
John Young enjoyed the longest career of any astronaut thus far. Over the course of 42 years of active NASA service he made six space flights and is the only person to have piloted, and been commander of four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle.
Pete Conrad joined NASA as part of the second group of astronauts, known as the New Nine, on September 17, 1962. He was regarded as one of the best pilots in the group, and was among the first of his group to be assigned a Gemini mission.
The third man to walk on the moon, Charles Conrad Jr. was born on June 2, 1930, in Philadelphia, to Charles and Frances Conrad. He was their third child and their first son.
After completing a four-year tour of duty, he attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. He trained under the direction of Pete Conrad, who would later become Commander of the Apollo 12 moon flight, and who would be instrumental in getting Bean assigned to that mission.
After graduating from the University of Washington, Gordon joined the US Navy, and after his first exposure to planes decided to become a pilot. Gordon said “Once I found what the airplane could do for me, or I could do for it, it was love at first sight.”