- Posted July 16, 2009 by
Greenville, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
40th anniversary of a man on the moon
My part in Apollo 11
At 50 years old I am proud of this country and my very small part played in Apollo 11. As a 10 year old boy I helped "save the day" at the Guam tracking station on Apollo 11's return to earth. My dad, Charles Force, was the NASA Tracking Station Director on Guam at the time. A bearing in the stations largest antennae failed after the moon landing. With Guam being a crucial link in NASA communications with Apollo 11 as it returned it was not possible to not use the antennae. My dad's solution was to get his 10 year old son out to the station (because my arm was small enought to fit through the only access hole) and pack grease around the failed bearing so the stations could finish its support role in the mission. The story was picked up by news outlets around the world.
For this I got a thank you note from Neil Armstrong and more importantly the pride of being a small part of one of the greatest achievements of our country.
As a side note: I am lucky also to be able to attend 'Celebrate Apollo' on the 40th anniversary of the moon landing which will be held at the Air and Space Museum, July 20th. The Apollo 11 crew is supposed to be there along with many of this country's astronauts and professionals that have made the NASA program what it is. I got this invitation through my dad's former role as an Associate Administrator for NASA. He passed away in 2007 but I will be lucky enough to attend with my mom (who is the real invitee). I am very excited and looking forward to being lucky enough to attend this event !