字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Normally astronaut training takes about one full year, and it includes such subjects as astronomy, astrophysics, flight physiology, orbital trajectories, or orbital management. Another part of the astronaut basic training is survival training. In the days of Gemini, you never knew for sure where a spacecraft might land if there was an emergency, deorbit. So, we had to take desert training, water training, and jungle survival training. So, we had to learn how to cook and eat snake and all other, such other good things as that, and how to make water in a desert. After that year and a half of astronaut basic training, our names were all put on a list and that list was quite a bit longer at that time then there were seats available. And so, we were all given other duties to keep us occupied and to help continue our training. Five of us were assigned to the lunar module, and our job was to be with these lunar modules as they were being built. So, we spent a lot of time there. I must admit that probably I had more time sleeping on the floor of Lunar Module #6 than the crew who flew it on the moon. Well, my next job was to be on the support crew of Apollo 8, and Apollo 8 was the spacecraft that flew to the moon and came back but did not land. When they went behind the moon, they were supposed to do a thrusting maneuver to slow them down so they would be captured into lunar orbit. So we just had to sit and cool our heels when they went behind the moon, and we knew if they came out a little early on the other side, that they had not burned enough, not slowed down enough, and were going to skip out into space, they wouldn't be captured in orbit. If they came out a little bit late, it meant they had over-done it, and they weren't going to be in orbit, but were going to begin a spiral down to the lunar surface. And, of course, without a lunar module, that kind of ruins your whole day. You can imagine how relieved we were at the instant that they were supposed to appear on the other side of the moon that they appeared! My next assignment was again a support crew assignment on Apollo 12, and Apollo 12 was struck by lightning on its way off the pad. A nearby thunderstorm, there was a lightning bolt that went over and hit the very tip of the spacecraft. The charge went down through the spacecraft, through the booster, down the exhaust gases, and grounded out on the launching pad. It killed the electrical power system and the computers all died. You can imagine what it must have been like for them inside because suddenly the lights all went out and then they came back on when the batteries picked up the load. And, every single warning light and caution light in the spacecraft was on and flashing, and all the necessary bells, whistles, and buzzards and things that are in there, all were going off at the same time. The crew was totally confused as to what was going on. When we were settled in orbit, we tested all the various systems and everything looked good. So, that, now I figured this is it, and sure enough, I did get an assignment, a flight assignment. I was assigned to the back-up crew of Apollo 16, which meant that I was to be on the param crew of Apollo 19. And, several weeks into the training, NASA made the surprise announcment that they were going to cancel Apollos 18, 19, and 20. We were in the middle of the Vietnam War, the budget was in bad shape, so you can imagine there were three very, very sad hangdog guys moping around the office because we lost our flight to the moon. But, several weeks later, I got a call from Tom Stafford, the Senior Astronaut at that time, and he wanted me in his office, and I went in, and he told me that he was sorry that I had missed my opportunity for the moon, but he said, "I've got another assignment for you." He said, "I want you to be the commander of the third and final Skylab mission." And, he said, "Do you think you could do the job?" And I said, "Of course, yes!" And, I'll have to admit, a certain lump in my chest and in my stomach, because I was a rookie, and they normally don't assign a rookie to be a commander, usually you have to have at least one flight under your belt, but they assigned me to that, which was really kind of a shock because the last rookie commander was Neil Armstrong on Gemini 8.