字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント Hank: Thanks to Hack The Moon for sponsoring this very special episode of SciShow. Go to wehackthemoon.com to learn even more about the Apollo 11 mission. Almost 50 years ago on July 20th, 1969, space exploration changed forever. That day the United States landed the first astronauts on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 Mission. And with that famous one small step, they changed the way we think about our planet and ourselves. Apollo 11 wasn't the first time humans had been to space or anything, that happened in 1961 with a Soviet flight followed shortly by an American one. But space, we didn't even really know what that was until fairly recently. The moon, on the other hand, we've been staring at since we existed. Watching it wander through the sky, chasing or being chased by the Sun, moving through its phases. It is another world -- one that has profound effects on our world and also on our species. There's never been a time in human history when we did not gaze at the moon and wonder. And sending people to walk on the surface of another world --the enormity of that giant leap-- It's something that changed us, something that has inspired us as individuals and as a species ever since. So we wanted to do something special to celebrate. We wanted to ask a pretty bold question because while the whole SciShow team loves Apollo, we couldn't help but wonder--and we hope you won't get too mad at us if we ask, was the Apollo program a bad idea? Many people remember it as this beautiful thing that united the world, but if you really think about it, it kind of seems like.. I don't know ridiculous? Only five years passed between when the Soviet Union flung the first satellite into orbit and when President John F. Kennedy said these words, President Kennedy: "We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy but because they are hard." Hank: A year after that Kennedy was dead and only six years later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were standing on another world. In hindsight this looks like a work of genius, but lives were lost and other disasters were only narrowly averted. And if that happened, how far back with those tragedies have pushed space exploration. Ultimately was the risk worth the reward and how many close calls were there, really? These are big questions and ones that you can spend a lot of time thinking about but at the end of the day, we're SciShow. Sitting around in wondering isn't really our thing. So we decided to get to the bottom of it. [ ♪INTRO ] Hank: We realized we weren't gonna get to the bottom of this by looking at peer-reviewed journals. It's pretty subjective stuff. So we decided to talk to experts. And to talk to experts, we have Alexis who has gone all over America to talk to those people. I went to London to talk to one person. Alexis. What do you have for us? Alexis: Yeah, honestly, I think a really good place to start with this is just to know about the politics. If you want to understand why the Apollo program happened, it's important to understand that the political climate of the 1950s and 60s. During this time the United States and the Soviet Union were in the middle of the Cold War which was essentially the showdown between two ideologies. You had the Soviet Union and communism on one hand and the US and capitalism on the other hand. And during this conflict, space became a battleground for these two superpowers to prove which ideology was best. Initially, the Soviet Union was actually winning this race. They launched the first satellite. They sent the first human into space. And in the US, people were concerned that these achievements would cause the public to believe that communism was the better option which the US was just not okay with. So that's when the moon became the goal. Ultimately the United States wanted to be the first to send someone to the Moon to prove how great capitalism was. And the Soviet Union wanted to do it to prove the same thing about communism. So even if most people today remember Apollo as a primarily scientific program, it wasn't. In the beginning, it was mainly about proving a political point. Margaret Weitekamp: The Apollo program came with a lot of risk, political risk. This was a big gamble on a large technology program that was funded and started because they wanted to be able to show it to the world. Brady Haran: The other thing a lot of people would say is we only did it because of politics and the Cold War and a stick it up the Russians and cuz there was this competition going on. And you know what? That's true. Hank: Yeah. Brady Haran: That's completely true. But like I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Like, that is just the circumstances that it took. The technology had to be in the right place and the political climate, the economic climate all had to align in this very unique way and that's what happened and I don't see anything wrong with that. Yes, Apollo was only made possible because of this unique set of circumstances in this competitive political climate that was created, but you know, I don't think that's a negative. I just think we should kind of be a little bit grateful that it happened because if that if that circumstance hadn't happened, we probably --you're right -- we probably wouldn't have gone to the Moon. There probably wouldn't have been the will to spend that much money and do that. Noah Petro: Apollo scientifically started where science had to fit into the corners as much as they could. The initial plan for Apollo 11 included one astronaut getting out, collecting samples, and getting back in and coming back. And several scientists including Jack Schmitt who at the time was an astronaut and training the other astronauts on what they would do when they got to the moon was able to convince NASA management that, No, no, no, we really need to make the most of this one mission. If Apollo 11 is the only time we go to the Moon, we need to deploy experiments on the Moon. Alexis: It's really interesting to think about because like people pointed out, it's this thing that took all of this time and all of these resources. And it brings up the question of like if there had been no conflict to motivate that when we have bothered? Margaret Weitekamp: If you look at the public opinion polls from the time, especially when you asked a question phrased as, "Do you think it's worth the money that's being spent?" Almost never did you get a majority saying that they were fully in support of the Apollo program. When the missions were actually successful, people recognized in the moment that they were seeing history in the making and they wanted to celebrate that and be some part of that so that I think there's a fundamental disconnect between what you see in public opinion polling in terms of our willingness to revert national resources to this program from a general American interest in the idea that we as Americans are explorers and that space is a part of what we do now. Alexis: So growing up something I heard a lot about Apollo is because it was crammed into this really short time period, you had the situation where engineers were working like eight days a week and 25 hours a day to get this done. What was it actually like working on the program? Bob Sieck: Well, it was, it was high activity, high intensity work and the work weeks, work days were long. And in retrospect I would for those of us that did the operations down here where the spacecraft were assembled, the rockets were assembled, and we processed and launched, and it was about as... A marathon at lasted about seven years. That was pretty much it. Hank: So far, it's feeling like the experts aren't really alleviating my concerns here. We have this sort of politically motivated program that you kind of have to eeck some science out of. It's tremendously costly and it's a huge amount of effort necessary to make it happen. We had people in space but the period of time it took for us to go from one person in space to this giant leap into deep space-- it was so fast. Alexis: You hear people say of just like we worked on Apollo around the clock for seven years or how many years or whatever... You think that was like the best idea, of just like trying to cram that in in such a short time frame like-- Destin Sandlin: Deadlines are good. Alexis: Okay. Yeah Destin Sandlin: Yeah, deadlines are good. Like, this video you're making, right? Alexis: Yeah. Destin Sandlin: You got a deadline, don't you? Alexis: Right. Destin Sandlin: Okay, and so it's good to have like we call it popping a chalk line. It's good to have a moment in time, like that's the line. We got to do this by then. Alexis: Yeah. Destin Sandlin: I think it's a good thing to have things like that. Yeah, ultimately. You need if you're going to have a massive engineering program, you have to have a schedule because schedule helps you mitigate different things. Like for example, as an engineer. I can keep working on something forever until it's absolutely perfect. But at some point in time, you have to get it good enough and unless you have a schedule to motivate you to shed all of your uncertainties. You're never going to think it's good enough. Hank: We also don't know very much about space at this point in the '60s. How often are there solar flares that could be completely devastating to a crewed mission? We don't know any of this stuff. It's all guesses. There was so much we didn't know. Alexis: And even as I was talking to people on my trip, they kept bringing up things that I had no idea about. Hank: Of course Alexis: Right, so I talked to you to environmental engineers at Kennedy Space Center and they brought up the fact that during the Apollo program because of all of these things we didn't know, the environment around Kennedy got kind of wrecked. Jacqueline Quinn: You did a little history the US Environmental Protection Agency was established December 2nd of 1970. So there was a year and a half between when we're putting men on the moon and leaving footprints behind and when the regulatory agency started up within the United States, so there's a lot of -- from an environmental perspective, there's a timeline that needs to be understood so that you can understand that, you know, all industries followed regulations, but regulations didn't happen at that point, you know, in 1940, 1950 or 1960. They didn't even begin or come into fruition until 1970 until we'd already put men on the moon. So a lot of our regulations that we do now as protectors and stewards of what you see behind us is different than what we did back in that era. Rosaly Santos: Any industry that use, store, or dispose chemicals in the 50s, 60s, and 70s had some environmental impact that was unforeseen. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act was enacted in the 1970s which provided some guidance of how to manage the waste from whenever you start using it until you dispose of it. And then the Hazardous Waste amendments was enacted in the 1980s. That provided initiated corrective action for any impact that may have happened in the past. So from then on all the industries were in tune with environmental regulations and they complied with all those new requirements that needed to get done. Hank: Basically what I'm getting from this is that you can't be expected to follow a regulation that doesn't exist. Alexis: Right exactly. That was kind of the point they were trying to make. Like technically we could have sat around for like 10 or 20 years to figure all of this stuff out, but it's like we didn't know what we didn't know and we weren't from a political standpoint -- the Soviet Union probably would have landed on the Moon. Hank: Yeah, but that doesn't explain everything here. Like this was a very rushed engineering project, people died, Apollo 1 happened. Apollo 1 was going to be the first crewed mission of the Apollo program. Crewed by Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. On January 27, 1967, during a crewed launch rehearsal, the cabin was pressurized with pure oxygen, higher than atmospheric pressure. After an electrical short nylon in the capsule caught fire and the environment. Because the internal pressure of the capsule was higher than the external pressure of the atmosphere, it was impossible to quickly remove the door and all three astronauts were killed. After the accident, all flights were stopped for 20 months. Alexis: But it's actually possible that Apollo one is the reason the rest of the program didn't go terribly, terribly wrong. Bob Sieck: And there were a number of those close calls and then and then right before our first manned mission on Apollo, the tragedy occured. And everything comes to a stop and you go look at everything you're doing. The first to figure out what happened and and fix that before you get on with the goal. And from a big picture standpoint, and this is not rationalizing to me, the whole purpose of Apollo 1 was to be the first step in getting humans to the Moon. Because of what happened with Apollo 1, we looked at all of our preparation up to that point in time and what everyone said is well, these are the things we got to fix. This is what we really learned from Apollo 1. Margaret Weitekamp: Without the changes that came after Apollo 1, we would not have gotten to the Moon. We were on a path that ultimately would not have worked and that dramatic change cost three lives and people were forever after very aware of the high personal cost because those were people they knew. Those were people they were friends with, they knew their families. They knew their children. So the change that in trajectory there in some ways they did Apollo better starting from 1967. Noah Petro: At the time, it was really important to understand what had happened in the Apollo 1 fire make sure that something like that never happen again, but also that we, you know created a culture of safety acceptance. But at the same time with some risk tolerance too.