Apollo 11 mission director's briefing for news media
Publisher Information: Washington DC: NASA, 1969.
[Apollo 11.] Hage, George H. (1925-2008). Apollo 11 mission director’s briefing for news media. Reproduced typescript. 78pp. (irregularly numbered), including diagrams. Washington, DC: NASA, 16 June 1969. 268 x 205 mm. Unbound (stapled). Some damage from paper clips on a few leaves, including rust stains and small marginal tears, minor spotting, but very good.
First Printing. On 16 June 1969, one month before the launch of the historic Apollo 11 spaceflight to the moon, George Hage, the Apollo mission’s director, held a lengthy and detailed briefing on the project for the news media. The briefing’s main purpose was to calm the public’s fear—stoked by inflammatory stories in the press—that the Apollo 11 astronauts might bring back to Earth some unknown deadly lunar disease. “One month before the Apollo 11 liftoff, a media briefing was held in Washington to describe the details of the mission and . . . allay any fears that the first landing and return from the Moon’s surface posed any danger to life on Earth. The final portion of the briefing was conducted by Air Force colonel John Pickering, who had served on the Interagency Committee on Back Contamination and now held the title director of lunar receiving operations . . . He went to great lengths to describe the procedures that would be followed, from collecting and packaging the samples on the Moon through recovery and transport of the samples and astronauts to the LRL [Lunar Receiving Laboratory] . . . This openness and attention to detail defused this issue for most of the media, and it never surfaced again as a major public concern” (Beattie, Taking Science to the Moon: Lunar Experiments and the Apollo Program, p. 261).Book Id: 45278