The human side of the astronauts It may be hard to imagine, but America's three Apollo-ll astronauts haye home liYes, wiYesand children just as do earth-bound mortals.
RECENTLY RECALLINGhis l3l-minute moon walk, Neil Armstrong regretted that there was "far too little time to do the myriads of things that we would have liked to have done." He compared it to "the problem of a five-year-old kid in a candy storethere were just too many interesting things to do." Interesting as their mission undoubtedly was, the astronauts themselves are not a dull lot either. As the world followed their eight-day flight last July from the blastoff to splashdown, the moon crew was seen as a team. But they stamped their individuality in their many exchanges with the mission control. For example, after the Lunar Module landed on the moon, Mission Control in Houston, Texas, reported: "Be advised there are lots of smiling faces here and around the world." To this, Neil Armstrong beamed back: "There are two up here also." And Michael Collins from the orbiting command ship chipped in: "Don't forget the third one up here." To most of us, the Apollo-ll trio may seem difficult to tell apart-imperturbable and, perhaps, inscrutable, too. All three, as aviators and astronauts, have a reputation for cool courage under pressure. All have faced dangers. They cannot be mistaken for the man next door. A new breed of cosmic explorers, the astronauts are dedicated scientists, not daredevils. With their accomplishments symbolizing the triumph of modern man, they are-in the words of President Nixon-"fine examples for young people all over the world." Here are candid close-ups of the three astronauts, rocketed to fame, not by choice but by a combination of fate and their talents. NEIL A. ARMSTRONG,now 39, may seem an archetype of the "strong and silent" personality. But like any other generalization, Alone with her thoughts, Mrs. Janet Armstrong sits in a corner of her living room while her husband Neil, centre, Mike Collins, left, and Ed Aldrin, right, discuss Apollo flight plans.
it does not tell the full story. The astronauts' physician, Dr. Charles A. Berry, says that "he (Armstrong) appears cold, but actually he's bashful. When you know Neil, you find that he can be a very warm individual." But, then, there are not many who know him. He is regarded as shy and diffident. Armstrong spent two days with his father and never once mentioned that the day after they parted, he was going to be officially named as the first man to set foot on the moon. Such reticence is typical of him. Brought up in the Midwest town of Wapakoneta (pop: 7,000) in Ohio, he was moulded by the dominant virtues of life in that community. These included hard work, honesty and church on Sunday. He was born into this heritage on August 5, 1930. Armstrong himself summed up this influence: "People of that community feel that it is important to do a useful job and do it well." In his hometown, Armstrong is remembered as a boy who "always wanted to do something daring and different." Flying was Neil's obsession. It began at the age of two with a casual family excursion to the local airport. Four years later, a delighted Neil, accompanied by his shaken father, returned from his first plane ride. Soon after, the boy built for himself a model plane, the first of hundreds to clutter his bedroom. Unlike many youngsters of his age, Neil had no time for comic books. His pleasure came from poring over aviation books, magazines and drawings. These he bought with money earned from afterschool jobs. His working career, though part-time, began at the age of seven when he cut grass for ten cents an hour. Such odd jobs also helped pay for his flying lessons, started at 15 and costing him $9 for a one-hour lesson. On his 16th birthday, a proud Neil eagerly pedalled home on his bicycle to tell his parents that he had earned his private pilot's licence. That was before he had learned to drive a car. About this time, he developed another hobby-star gazing. During this period he took his first close look at the moon through a homemade eight-inch reflector telescope that belonged to his neighbour. Although he never expressed any interest in moon landing, he did view closely the
Sea of Tranquillity-the site where he was to step down 23 years later. As a child, Neil received much attention and affection from his mother that produced a bright little boy who talked early, read 90 books during the first class in his school and jumped the next class because he c(}uld read on a fifth-class level. Always smaller-and younger than most of those in his class-Neil developed into a reserved, non-assertive, and not particularly athletic teen-ager. At 17, he entered Purdue University in Indiana to study aeronautical engineering. He left Purdue after two year~ to become a navy combat pilot, the youngest in his squadron. After 78 combat missions in Korea and three medals, he returned to Purdue and completed his studies in 1955. A year later he married Janet Shearon, a Text continued
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Cap cocked jauntily, pilot trainee Neil Armstrong poses with maternal grandmother. He flew planes even before he learned to drive.
Edwin Aldrin and his youngest son Andy, Jl, whirl themselves at an amusement park in Houston. Fond of outdoor sports, Aldrin, right, polevaults in the backyard of his home. Brilliant in both athletics and academic studies, he completed a doctoral thesis on space rendezvous.
Having moved from one army base to another in his early life, Michael Collins now enjoys being anchored at home with his family. Collins and wife Patricia join their children, from left, Ann, Mike and Kate in their backyard. Collins attends to rose bushes in his garden, right.
Opposite page: Relaxing from his 14-hour daily schedule of training for the Apollo mission, Neil Armstrong fishes with sons Mark and Eric.
Although the Apollo astronauts worked as a team, their personalities differ sharply. They do share, however, traits of dedication and discipline.
college beauty queen. They have two children, Eric, 12, and Mark, 6. Armstrong's idea of a good week-end is "to go scuba diving with my family." After graduation, Armstrong worked for NASA (then the National Advisory Committee for Astronautics) as a civilian test pilot. He had declined to remain a navy flier partly because of his disdain for heavy social activities that are a compulsory part of such a life. At Edwards Air Force Base in California, Armstrong test-flew the famed X-15 rocket plane at 3,982 miles per hour and at an altitude of 207,500 feet-both records at that time. He had made his mark as one of the world's most accomplished test pilots. In 1959 when the manned spaceflight programme was in its infancy, Armstrong regarded the Mercury programme as a dark horse. He frankly admits now: "I gave them too little credit." Later, he changed his mind and in I962 became one of the second group of astronauts to be chosen and the first civilian to join this exclusive club. What does Armstrong think of Apollo1l's accomplishments? "I think if historians are fair," he says in his quiet way, "they won't see the flight like Lindbergh's. They'll recognize that the landing is only one small part of a large programme." EDWIN EUGENEALDRIN, JR., is better known by his nickname "Buzz." But, says a family friend, "Aldrin is the kind of guy who really shouldn't have a gee-whiz nickname. He should be called Edwin." A . flat voice, laconic speech and penetrating gaze are his chief characteristics. Born in the New York City suburb of Montclair, N.J., on June 20, 1930, Aldrin spent his first 17 years as a relatively sheltered youth. He grew up as the only boy in a household dominated by six womentwo older sisters, mother, grandmother and two maids. His older sister as an infant could not pronounce "brother." It came out as "buzzer" and stuck. It was shortened to "buzz" when he was about 10. Among his colleagues, Aldrin's dedication to work is something of a legend. "He has a good sense of humour," notes Apol-
10-8 commander Frank Borman, "but it's American rocketry. In fact, Aldrin senior sometimes hidden by his dedication." introduced Dr. Goddard to Charles LindIn a recent lecture to a women's group bergh. The result was a S50,000 Gugin Washington, D.C., on "Man in Space," genheim grant to Dr. Goddard for the development of rocketry that would one a listener questioned Aldrin about the title day carry Aldrin's son to the moon. and suggested that "Woman in Space" Coincidentally, the last name of Aldrin's would have been more appropriate for his grandmother was Moon. audience. Without hesitation, he explained Aldrin and his wife Joan have three that he wished to confine himself to a thoroughly familiar subject, and "Woman child.ren: Michael, 13, Janice, 12, and Andrew, 11. is a topic I don't know so much about." MICHAEL COLLINS is one of the most To Aldrin, athletics have always been all popular astronauts. "If ever there was a important. "You were blood brothers with contest for 'Everybody's Favourite Ashim if you were playing football," says a tronaut'," says a friend, "Mike Collins former school chum. When the popular would win it and then discreetly refuse the Royal Canadian Air Force exercise book title." He dislikes the prospect of becomwas published, Aldrin characteristically ing a world figure. turned to the last page reserved for chamOne trait he shares with the others of pion athletes, and zipped through the the Apollo-1 I crew is reticence. In fact, whole series. Collins is reputed as the most reserved of His enthusiasm for sports nearly all the astronauts. Even his wife Patricia wrecked his career as an astronaut. Four describes him as "a man of few words." years ago while playing squash he reinjured a knee that had been earlier -2.~S. damaged while jumping trampoline. ForAt a track rneet at summer camp, young Aldrin tunately, surgery repaired the damage. is joined by his father, an Air Force officer. Among the astronauts, Aldrin stands He says the camps developed his self-reliance. out for his original contribution to the 111•••. theory of space flight. His doctoral thesis •... at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completed in 1963, dealt with orbital· rendezvous in space. His approach was so new that some of his professors had difficulty in understanding him. The NASA scientists, however, were borrowing ideas from his thesis even before he joined the space programme. Significantly, he ended his dissertation by dedicating it to the astronauts and added: "Oh, that I were one of them." His wish came true later in the year when he was selected in the third group of space men. His academic record was brilliant. "He was the most physically and mentally disciplined person I've ever known, then and now," says one of his school-teachers . Youngest in his family, Michael Collins, below, These abilities enabled him to graduate seen with his Army general father, led an easythird in a class of 475 at the U.S. Military going childhood, but impressed his teachers Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1951. with "an intellectual precision." Friends say The shaping of his personality has much his selection as an astronaut gave him purpose. to do with the seven summers he spent at a boys' camp in Maine. "It was the competition, the athletics, being with people," he says. "School didn't really provide that." Aldrin's future seems to have been laid rJ out before his birth. His father, 73-year-old r retired U.S. Army colonel, was an accomplished aviator, having set up a cross- \9 country flying record. He was a student of Dr. Robert Goddard, the father of modern :;
His associates say that he is "a doer, not a talker." He comes from a distinguished military family-his uncle, father and brother earned the rank of general. But he goes out of his way to act as unmilitarily as possible. He enjoys poking fun at the puffy, multi-vowelled titles that the simplest pieces of space equipment carry. Born on October 31, 1930, in Rome, Italy, where his father was posted as a military attache, Mike was the youngest in the family. He grew up on a succession of different Army bases. So he cherishes his family life with his wife, Pat, and three children, Kathleen, 10, Ann, 7, and Michael, 6. "For anybody who lives out of a suitcase as much as I do," Collins says, "it's fun to be at home." The Collins family is among the best liked in the area. "You don't stay strained very long around them," notes a friend. "It is hospitality unlimited."
As a boy, Mike was easygoing-showing lack of concern and a tendency to drift. Joining a fashionable preparatory school in Washington, D.C., Mike quickly became one of the most popular boys there-also the least dedicated and most mischievous. "I've got to say," admits Collins now, "I just didn't like schoo!." Although he did not display any brilliance in his studies, one of his teachers says that Mike displayed "an intellectual precision" and "a desire to see the limits of a problem and then go to the heart of it." In keeping with the family tradition, Collins went to West Point and graduated in 1952. The yearbo.ok notes that his battle cry was "stay casual." His philosophy of life then was: "Live today and don't worry about tomorrow." After he joined the Air Force, he became interested in flying the newest kinds of planes and became a test pilot. Even as a member of a traditionally hard-headed
profession, he gave an impression of "just going to be another guy who was going to drift through life," recalls his West Point classmate and a fellow test pilot. The turning point came in 1963 when he won his astronaut status on the second try. That turned him on and he zoomed ahead. Collins nearly missed the bus on the Apollo-II mission. He was originally scheduled for the Apollo-8 flight, but was grounded a few months earlier because of a bone-spur growth near the neck. Surgery corrected the disability, but he had to take a back seat. What then looked like bad luck eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise when he was selected for the Apollo-II moon-landing mission. For Collins, Apollo 11 is his last mission. After the flight, he announced his retirement from active space exploration, although he reported that he would remain with NASA. END
Posed around a model of the moon are the three Apollo-ll astronaUTswith their families. From left to right are: Edwin and Joan Aldrin with their two sons and olle daughter, Michael and Pat Collins with their two daughters and one son, and Neil and Janet Armstrong with their two sons. Ralph Morse
CHASING DACOITS and investigating murders may be exciting activity but it failed to give job satisfaction to at least one young man. After serving as a sub-inspector of police in Uttar Pradesh for four-and-a-half years, Mr. Jai Prakash Kasana decided on a change of profession. In 1961 he joined the Goodyear factory in Ballabgarh, Haryana, and is now engaged in a different kind of chase-following the manufacture of a tyre through various stages from raw rubber to finished product. Thirty-four-year old Mr. Kasana is a good example of how hard work, coupled with a willingness to handle any kind of job, may build up a man's career. Although he had a college education, Mr. Kasana never wanted an office post and was not afraid of continued
Up-to-date manufacturing techniques and strict quality control ensure that tyres meet the rigid standards of modern road transport. At le/t, tyres in the Goodyear factory are inspected after vulcanization and be/ore despatch to the warehouse. Above, Jai Prakash Kasana( holding a cup), who is acting Superintendent in charge of a night shift, discusses a technical point with Industrial Engineer M.S. Sindhu.
soiling his hands. He came to Goodyear as a machine crew member-one of the lowest-paid jobs in the factory-and has risen in eight years through seven successively higher grades to that of his present position as night superintendent. Now a senior member of the supervisory staff, Mr. Kasana is a contented, happy employee who takes pride in his work. He has bought a plot of land in the neighbouring township of Faridabad and hopes to own a house before long. In the meantime he lives in rented quarters in Ballabgarh with his wife and three children. The story of Mr. Kasana's success parallels that of Goodyear in India. Established in 1961 to help meet the growing demand for tyres from the country's rapidly developing road transport industry, the factory is a notable example of Indian-American collaboration in the private sector. The share capital is 37 per cent Indian and 63 per cent American, and there are more than 31,000 Indian shareholders.The United States Government has given loan assistance to the company amounting to Rs. 3.75 crores. Production at Ballabgqrh has been steadily increasing and reached a peak of 1,400 tyres a day in December 1968. During the last six years the growth in sales has averaged more than 20 per cent a year; in terms of rupee value, 1968 sales amounted to Rs. 27.15 crores. About 10 per cent of the total output was exported. This enabled the factory to earn foreign exchange to pay for essential imports of raw materials and machinery parts. Of the current output about 60 per cent is tyres for trucks and the remainder for passenger cars. Manufacture of scooter tyres started recently. An expansion programme, now in the early stages of implementation, provides for two new plants. One of these, expected to be installed by the end of this year, will manufacture bicycle tyres and tubes-twenty lakhs of each per year. The other plant, which should be in operation by the middle of 1970, will turn out automotive tyres and tubes and double Goodyear's existing output of these products. India produced about 36 lakh automobile tyres in 1968-69. To keep pace with the anticipated increase in road transport, the Fourth Plan provides for an estimated production of 60 lakhs in 1973-74. Goodyear's expansion programme is designed to meet part of this new demand. Discussing it, Mr. R. E. Dagnall, acting Production Director, was optimistic about the factory's future but pointed to the continued need for development assistance from the Government of India. He thought small imports of essential items -nylon fabric, chemicals, spare parts for equipment-would be necessary for some time. Exports of rubber products should generate enough foreign exchange to pay for these items. The Indian rubber industry's problems are similar to those confronting many of India's developing industries at present. In his speech at the company's last annual general meeting, Goodyear's Managing Director Mr. R.E.O. Carey said: "I am sure that we shall be able to overcome these problems and continue to grow at the rapid rate achieved in the past. We are confident that our company will continue to make an important contribution to national objectives and to the Indian economy." The rubber industry, of which Goodyear is an important unit, is of comparatively recent origin and was born no more than a hundred years ago. Although the ancient Egyptians and EthioAfter removal from vulcanizer presses, tyres are kept on special stands for about thirty minutes. This assists curing process, ensures that they retain correct shape. At top right, tyres are trimmed and finished for final inspection. Operating a collapsible tyre-building drum, top left, is Amrik Singh, one of Goodyear's veteran operators.
pians discovered rubber about 600 B.C., they seem to have used it only as a plaything. And so did the Red Indians whom, several centuries later, Columbus saw bouncing little rubber balls. Rubber got its present name in 1770 when an English scientist found that it could erase pencil marks. But it was not until Charles Goodyear of New Haven, Connecticut, discovered in 1839 the vulcanization process-named for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire-that the use of rubber on a large scale became feasible. Goodyear's discovery was accidental. During an experiment he happened to drop a piece of rubber mixed with sulphur onto a hot stove, and found that the heat had turned it into a tough, resilient material which on test proved to be weather-resistant. Named after him, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was established in Akron, Ohio, in 1898. The industry was helped by the development of the internal combustion engine and the advent of the automobile and progressed rapidly. Today Goodyear is the world's largest manufacturer of tyres, making more than 2,500 dilferent types and sizes. The factory at Ballabgarh manufactures tyres not only for passenger cars and trucks but also some for farm tractors and a small number of massive tyres for earth-moving machinery. These giant tyres, each weighing about 600 kilograms, are moved by an overhead crane when they are processed in the factory. They cost about Rs. 20,000 each-roughly the price of a four-seater passenger car. Modern tyre manufacture is a complex business. While the basic material needed is rubber, natural or synthetic, several other ingredients-rayon or nylon fabric, wire, chemical substances and compounds-go into the making of a roadworthy tyre. To meet today's arduous conditions offast speeds., long distance travel and increased loads, research into tyre design has aimed at combining safety with quality. Specialized processes of manufacture have been developed to make tyres last longer ,and resistant to such adverse factors as friction, heat and skidding. At Ballabgarh, about 60 per cent of the rubber used is natural rubber which is grown in South India and despatched to the factory by rail; the remainder is synthetic, made in Uttar Pradesh. Indian workmen have acquired a high degree of skill in operating the sophisticated machinery and processing the raw rubber and fabric into finished products. An experienced operator can make a passenger car tyre in about five minutes and a truck tyre in eleven minutes. Most of the supervisory jobs are held by Indians, and among a total staff of about 1,000, there are now only five Americans in technical or administrative positions. Besides Mr. Kasana and other foremen in charge of factory operations, there are a number of qualified Indian technicians and engineers in senior supervisory posts. One of them, Mr. E.F. Rodericks, Manager, Technical Service, had part of his training at Goodyear's plant in Akron, Ohio. Productivity at the factory is satisfactory, says Mr. P.M. Wilson, Production Superintendent. Sinc.e most of the workers are on the piece-work wage basis, he reports, they have a natural incentive to put forth their best. To increase productivity even further, the management has successfully tried out incentive schemes. Under one such scheme bush shirts were supplied free to workmen who achieved certain production targets. The philosophy behind these schemes is succinctly described in a letter to employees from Mr. Kasana. It ends with the words: "If you projuc~ more, you earn more, your family enjoys more things in life and your company prospers. If the company prospers, you also prosper-as all of you are the company." END
Neil A. Armstrong