Sun.,Aug. 15, 1971 The Birmingham News

Three Huntsville teens go with Apollo 15 to moon, back

Huntsville teens follow Apollo 15 to moon, back By JOYCE NORMAN, News staff writer Flight Commander Paul Childs, Command Module Pilot Patrick Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Bill Klieber returned from a 12-day voyage to the moon last week and reported a "great trip," although they never left the ground. Apollo 15 B, a simulated flight of Apollo 15, was conducted in its entirety by the Butler High School Aerospace Team. The three boys used special mock-ups of the Apollo spacecraft and lunar roving vehicles located in the Rocket Park area of the Alabama Space and Rocket Center. The whole idea was conceived by Frank Putnam, senior at Butler who acted as flight director for the mission, and Col. Ralph Newman, ROTC director at Butler High School. The two presented the idea to the people úat NASA and the Rocket Center and received an "All Systems Go" reply, PREPARATIONS GOT underway for the simulated mission, the primary crew was picked, and mission control was set up in the main lobby of the Center. The students monitored the astronauts' every move and were contantly tuned in to Mission Control in Houston. With Putnam were Assistant Flight Director John Meadows, Flight Medical Officer David Shollenburger, and Launrh Communications Director Terry May. Fourteen others served as mission support personnel. Three were girls. After gaining parental permission to be away overnight for 12 days, obtaining suits for the flight., and familiarizing themselves with the equipment, the primary crew was set for litioff at 8:34 a.m. CDT, July 26, 19il. All went according to schedule and the crew settled down to business. The second day in flight brought their first problem. At 8 p.m. on July 27, the command module, Endeavor B, developed serious leakage just like the real crew, only theirs was the result of a rainstorm. COLLINS REMARKED, "Our spacecraft leaked and we got soaked every time it rained and it rained the first three days. However, with the aid of a tarpaulin we corrected the problem." As Scott and lrwin walked on the moon, Childs and Klieber roamed the Center's moon crater exhibit, and slept in the lunar module. "It was good to get out of that cramped capsule," said Klieber "but in the LM we only had a three by five sleeping area for the two of us and it was tight quarters, I'll assure YOU." "While we were on the moon's surface," Paul Childs reported, "It was rough too. We wore regulation space suits that weighed approximately 40 pounds and it really got hot out there in that sun. The real astronauts had it better, I believe. Their air conditioning systems beat the heck out of ours. CHILDS AND Klieber used a rover too -- the one used by the Marshall Space Flight Center for testing. "Problems occurred here, too,'' said Childs. "Since this machine was designed for use in the moon's gravity we couldn't put it into actual operation because it wuould have just collapsed under our weight." "So during the time Scott and Irwin were riding in their rover on the moon," added Klieber." we went through the same maneuvers of operating the little car, only we didnt go anywhere. "We didn't kick up any dust, on our trip as the moon surface in Huntsville is made of a chemical slag and is very hard." CHILDS ,AND KLIEBER went through EVAs along with the real moon men. They picked up rocks and shoveled up gravel with mock-up lunar tools. ''Believe it or not," said Childs, "we ran into problems right here on earth with these tools. Our rake broke twice and our tongs once. "Our main problem, however, was the heat. Our suits began to stick to us and we felt like it wass 100 degrees in them." Meanwhile, Patrick Collins was "orbiting the moon" while sitting in the very warm spacecraft a few yards away. " I really got tired during the time Childs and Klieber were on the moon crater and I missed them, too," said Collins. I spent three days by myself, but it had its advantages. While Childs and Klieber were on the moon, female of the ground crew brought me food and conversation. The real astronauts didn't have this added feature." THE APOLLO 15 B crew also had another advantage over the real moon men. They had "nature breaks" and during these "holds" the astros went into the building and used the restroom facilities. The boys didn't bathe for 12 days and that was the first thing they did when they got home. All agreed that warm shower was "Great!" "Our beards got a chance to grow over the 12-day period," rematrked Collins, boasting a healthy patch of dark hair on his chin. "Well, not all of us," broke in Klieber. "I only managed to get a very minute moustache." It was obvious he was proud of it. For food, the three boys fared well. Six local restaurants brought meals to them and "good old moms" came through with pies and fried chicken. THE LOCAL television stations carried coverage of the simulation and even went so far as to create a fuzzy picture to give home viewers a believable vision of the Huntsville "moon men." "We were never alone, really," said Collins, "except at night. The tourists were continually peering in at us. During our rest periods this got a bit unhandy. The Apollo 15 B crew had their flashes of light and we had the tourists." The Mission Control Center at Huntsville was in constant touch with Houston and the Apollo 15 B crew carried out as many of the activities as was possible, especially many astronomy experiments. Would they do it again? "Yes, mam," they said in unison. "We learned how to get along in close quarters with other people," said Childs, "and we got a very detailed conception of what the astronauts went through. We kept up with their schedule as closely as we could." "I learned patience and how to cool it," said Collins, "and I mean that literally. At one time it got so warm I dropped ice cubes down my space suit. It was uncomfortable at times, yes, but I'm ready to do it again right now." KLIEBER ADDED, "I gained a better understanding of what the astronauts must feel and experience and I learned a lot more about astronomy." The three boys, seniors at Butler High, plan to go into various fields of science and would like to simulate Apollo 16. All became enthusiastic when asked if they would like to meet the real crew of Apollo 15. "We feel like we were shadows of three men," said Klieber, "and we'd like to catch up with them. That's our dream right now." They were only No. 2, but as Collins said, "We try harder."

  Huntsville Times - July 1971

Three Young Astronauts Eagerly Awaiting Liftoff

 The lunar module sits resting on the rocky terrain of the moon's surface, Old Glory blowing in a slight breeze a few feet away, In the command module sit three Butler High: School students awaiting lift-off.

 All this activity was the means used by the Alabama Space and Rocket Center Friday afternoon to announce a simulated lunar "flight"" of the Apollo 15 mission slated to blast off from Cape Kennedy Monday.

 Paul Childs, Patrick Collins and Bill Klieber, all students at Butler, will spend 12 days at the Rocket Center-- the same length of time of the Apollo flight -- eating, sleeping and providing realistic flight simulation for tourists at the center,

 Childs  and  Klieber  will "separate"  from  the command modlule shortly into the "flight," walking over to the lunar module resting in the crater at the center on Governors Drive, leaving Astronaut Collins alone in the command module for three days.

 The boys will eat space food cubes provided by the center, in addition to regular meals. "We have $35 to spend for food," Collins said, "but maybe somebody will cook us something."

 They discovered their 12-day  voyage  plans  only Wednesday. "We heard something about the Butler Air Force ROTC class looking for three volunteers," said Collins, "and we didn't hesitate one minute," The idea was conceived  by  Butler Air Force ROTC commander Col. Ralph  Newman.  who  has been discussing the "flight" with rocket center officials. The idea was finally  approved Wednesday, and the short-lived search for three "astronauts" was on.

 The boys have known each other for more than three years, and forsee no difficulties living with one another for nearly two weeks. "We'll play cards, talk and read," Childs said, "I don't think we'll get bored."

 They plan to follow the real flight to the pin,  and have been studying the NASA flight plan intensely. In only one circumstance  will  they  be forced to abandon the flight plan -- their module is not equipped with: NASA's waste disposal  system. This will necessitate an occasional trip by the astronauts to Mission Control, located in a room at the center.

 Each astronaut will be suited up in regulation space gear, provided by the center. And a local  department store has donated an air conditioning system to keep internal atmospheric conditions at a bearable level.

 When the "real" Apollo 15 astronauts descend from the lanar module to take their first steps on the moon, the Huntsville boys will follow in their steps. And at the time of the EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) Friday -- when the LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle) is  reved  up  to  roam  the moon's surface, the Huntsvillians will man thier own LRV on the center's crater

 It will all be somewhat of a "first" in Huntsville and  most other communities across the country,

 Visitors can peer into the lives of the Huntsville  astronauts daily beginning Monday morning, and continuing through Aug. 7. Radio comunications with the modules will be constant, and closed-circuit  television  will  heep visual track of the boys..

 Was it difficult for them to peuade their parents to allow them to take part in the 12-day simulationtion?

 "I think they were glad to get rid of me," said Childs.

Huntsville Times - July 1971

Butler GroupWill Simulate Apollo Flight

When the three Apollo 15 astronauts blastoff from Cape Kennedy on Monday they will be joined, on the ground, by three Huntsville "astronauts" in Apollo 15B. Members of the Butler High School Aerospace Team have selected three youths to use special mock-ups of the Apollo spacecraft, and Lunar roving velucle at the Space and Rocket Center here to participate in a simulated version of the moon venture. Flight Director Frank Putman, a member of the Butler High team, says the primary Hutsville crew for the flight will be flight commander Paul Childs, command module pilot Patrick Collins and lunar module pilot Bill Klieber. The crewmen will simulate all phases of the Apollo 15 flight including liftoff, landing on the moon and lunar exploration by the special roving vehicle. A mission control center
will be located in the center's Spacecraft Tracking Station in the main lobby and manned by team personnel: assistant flight director John Meadows, flight medical officer David Shollenburger and launch communications director Terry May. The moon simulation sequence will be held on the center's moon crater exhibit using the lunar module model.
The high school crew members will take part in most of the planned activities of the Apollo 15 crew including sleeping and eating in the assorted spacecraft for the 12-day night. Other members of the Butler High Aerospace Team are: Janice Davidson, Mike Holmes. Carole Cozene, Robert Lawson, Douglas Edwards, Michael Provancha, Ronald Suerman, Gahan Breithaupt, Bentley Erwin, Marc Hawkins, Tommy Bruggeman, John Askins, Rickey Parker and Peggy Windsor. Air Force Colonel Ralph Newman serves as the faculty advisor and instructor to the team.

Huntsville Times - July 1971
  Butler High School students Paul Childs and
William Klieber arrange a lunar roving vehicle
during their 12-day "Apollo 15B" mission simulation
at the Alabama Space and Rocket Center.
The simulation began with lift-off July 26.
   (Times Photo)

Huntsville Times - July 1971

Apollo 15B To Simulate Lunar Mission

By Linda Cornett, News staff writer

Monday morning at 8:34 Apollo 15 is scheduled to left off for the moon on a cushion of flame. Apollo 15B with her crew of three will remain earthbound at Huntsville's Space and Rocket Center, puppeting the movements of the original capsule, mimicking the flight. Three boys from Butler High School's Aerospace Team have been chosen to simulate the entire 12_day lunar mission, using the command module, lunar excursion module and lunar roving vehicle located at the center's Tranquility Base. THE BUTLER crew members are Flight Commander Paul Childs, Command Module Pilot Patrick Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot, Bill Klieber. Frank Putnam will be flight director aided by his assistant John Meadows, Flight Medical Officer David Schollenburger and Launch Comnunications DirectorTerry May. The command module to be used served as a prop in the movie "Marooned,' as did the suits worn by the crew. The capsule is constructed by plywood, but the control panel was supplied by NASA and a hydraulic system will allow the crew to make inslight maneuvers. The ground crew, made up of members from the Aerospace Team, has already begun countdown as they work to connect the instruments in the capsule, and to install additional
equipment. There will be a television set to allow the astronauts to see telecasts from their counter-parts, and a walkie-talkie for communications with ground control inside the space
center. A closed circuit television camera will monitor the entire Apollo 15B mission 24 hours a day. In preparation for their adventure, Childs, Collins and Klieber have been
studying official booklets and press kits from NASA "They are ready and eager to do this, and very enthusiastic," said Putman. The entire flight simulation will be as authentic as possible; controls will be attached to warning lights, the crew will carry out all maneuvers, and will spend the entire flight time in either the capsule, the LEM or the LRV. Air conditioners in the capsule and LEM will attatch to the suits of the crew. Certain concessions have been made, however. A hole will be left in the capsule to allow the monitor television
and visitors to the center to view the crew's actions. Hatches are removable to allow the astronauts to egress in cases of "necessity." Meals will be brought to the crew by members of the ground crew, although they will have space food for snacks. When the moment arrives for the LEM to separate from the command module, Childs and Klieber will climb out of the capsule, make the trek across the sidewalk and into the crater where the LEM mock-up is positioned. "We've got to get that dummy astronaut off the steps," said Klieber. "It's murder to get around him." The LEM is fitted with seats and a control panel similar to those in the
capsule. "We're going to rig up a radio antenna on the LEM to let them communicate with control," said Putman. Childs and Klieber will elress from their craft in unison with NASA's lunar team, exploring their landing sight and collecting moon rocks supplied by the ground crew. "We are hoping to get a LRV from NASA that is as authentic as possible," said Putman. "If that doesn't work out, there is a LRV in the space center we can use. They aren't going to go anywhere anyway." The idea for the simulation was Putman's. Child's volunteered for the mission, and the other crew members were chosen with compatability in
mind. "Everyone has been very co operative," said Putman. "The space center has done more than we could have asked."

Huntsville Times - August 1971
The 12-day simulation of the Apollo 15 space flight continues at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. The mission is still reported "go" as three Butler High School students spend days and nights in a space capsule set up in Rocket Park at the center. Above, from left, Astronauts Bill Klieber, Patrick Collins and Paul Childs test instrumentation in their command module as the mission flight plan dictates. A ground crew of 20 Butler students man mission control around-the-clock, watching the condition of the three "moon-bound" boys. At center, John Kelsey, communications director, and Carole Cozine, secretary, maintain capsule communication. At left Carole and Luanne Putnam serve the astronauts home-cooked spagetti, salad and chocolate cake -- a feast for earthlings. Visitors may view the entire flight operation at the Space Center through Aug. 7.
(Times Photos by Dudley Campbell)


 C/Col Frank Putnam's brainstorm took place this summer at the Alabama Space and Rocket Center and lasted for twelve days,  The activity; of course, is the Apollo 15-B launch and 'Space Flight' during the flight of the Apollo15. All activities were run at the same times as the Apollo 15 schedule.

 The work in preparation of the pending flight was hurried at top speed once the capsule was procured from the Fox Movie Studios in Hollywood, California, where it was used in the movie, MAROONED. A calamity arose when the control panel dislodged from its position and thus removing much of the wiring which was replaced and rewired through the efforts of John Meadows, Greg Stuk and David Schollenburger,

 The LEM also contained problems in that the control panel was different than the Astronauts had expected.  Cooling for the LEM was solved thru the courtesy of the Sears-Roebuck Company,

 Space suits and jumpsuits were used during the flight for the Lunar EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) by Paul Childs and Bill Llieber and for Pat Colins space walk in which he initiated a film change outside the capsule,

 Mr. Edward Buckbee deserves special credit for his position as head of the Space and Rocket Center.  It was his job to coordinate the activities to include film and TV coverage and having NASA technicians check the equipment as being authentic as well as securing much additional space hardware.

 The Ground Control was in charge of communications, activity control and foor preparation.  The communications were established by the use of a radio which was manned by a young lady of the name of Lynn Windsor who was also the Public Relations Officer.  Food was supplied by Burger King,  Jack's Hamburgers, Shoney's Big Boy and Burgerons's Kentucky Fried Chicken.

 Once on the Moon, the Astronauts conducted experiments such as a solar wind particle trap, a soil collection station, Laser reflector, Moonquake Recorder and the deployment of the American flag. A lunar 'Moon Buggy provided transportation to points of interest on the moon, the buggy was furnished through the courtesy of Marshall Space Flight Center.

 As the members of the Aero Space Team must be congratulated and there is not enough space, we can only name a few of the outstanding members:

Col, Ralph A, Newman-Faculty Advisor
C/Col Frank Purnam-Project Head
C/Maj Paul Childs-Flight C.O.
C/Maj Bill Klieber-Lunar Module Pilot
C/2nd Lt Pat Colins-Conrmand Module Pilot
C/Maj Ricky Parker
C/TSgt Robert Lawson
C/SSgt Doug Edwards
Mr. John Meadows

submitted by C/Maj Holmes