Archive for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

40 years ago: J-W publisher gives eyewitness account of recent Apollo launch

February 2, 2011


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 2, 1971:

Dolph C. Simons Jr., publisher of the Journal-World, reported on his visit to Cape Kennedy to tour the facility and to witness the launching of the Apollo 14 spacecraft. “No matter how many times an individual may have viewed an Apollo spacecraft launching by means of live television,” he wrote, “there is no way to absorb the full impact of a blast-off except by being present.” He described the silence of the 1,500 press representatives as the countdown neared its end and a “belch of bright orange fire and smoke” became visible at the launch site three miles away. “Soon there is a deep rumbling and then a shattering roar.... It is impossible to hear or speak to anyone standing only inches away.” When the sound waves arrive at the press site, “the ground seems to tremble... and the cracking, ripping blasts from the rocket continue far past the time the rocket is out of sight.”


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