Apollo 14 Field Trip - News Article 2
Published 13 August 1970 in the Augsburger Allgemeine. Used with permission.
Scan and German-to-English translation by Klaus Zeitner.
Click on the image for a larger version.
Four Maß (Note 1 below) beer for each-one in the evening
Moon-flyers are resting in the Sun ( Note 2 below )
The Apollo-14 astronauts collect moon-rocks and earth-mugs
from our chief-reporter Karl Pflugmacher
Nördlingen. The journey to the Moon starts in the Ries. Anyone watching America's astronaut-quartet at their geological field-training in the Ries depression of Nördlingen must have this opinion. Since Tuesday noon, the four spacemen have landed in seven quarries around Nördlingen without having lessened in their efforts. Incessantly they knock off gravel walls in the quarries, climb steep rocky slopes, smash rocks in order to examine their broken surfaces and always are carefully listening to the explanations of their scientific company; geologist professor Wolf von Engelhardt from Tübingen is involved in investigating lunar rocks as a "principal investigator" on behalf of NASA.
No office outing
With their remarkable working-speed, the astronauts want to prove that their visit in Nördlingen is more than just a happy outing by astronauts. Following similar geological excursions in Mexico, Alaska and Iceland, their 3-day-stay in Ries serves as a "rush"-course in mineralogy . As it is not possible at the moment to take scientists to the moon as passengers in a spacecraft, the astronauts are being given as much geological basic knowledge as possible, so they can bring back from their landing sites more samples than just a few bags full of carelessly collected material - as it was the case during the missions so far.
Everything for science
From the upcoming moon mission in 1971, space-experts hope to get as many different rock samples as possible. They should be a clue to scientists to the composition of the Moon, to its origin and to its age. Maybe the good Moon is older than the 4.6 billion years (Note 3 below) assumed so far. Should the yield of rocks be accordingly big (that is, if the crew collects a large and varied set of samples), scientists believe they can calculate (more accurately determine) the age of the solar system. "We know very well what's being expected from us. That's why we are taking this field work absolutely serious. Even if we look a little ridiculous when we climb the stone walls and wave our geological hammers like tomahawks", spacecraft commander Alan B. Shepard says.
Lessons from the beerologist (Note 4 below)
"We've learned a lot thus far. Not only about lunar material but also about the Bavarian beer. Man, it's great", Shepard admits. And his comrades agree during a beer-test with mugs and big glasses. The explanation, however, is no longer given by professor Wolf von Engelhardt but by brewery chief and director Georg Beyschlag, who was invited as a "beerologist" for proper assistance by hotel manager Altreuter. The fact that the astrologers (sic! The reporter mixed the words astronauts/astrologers; or a printing-error ?) may keep the "beer-stones" (Note 5 below) - wonderful 3-liter mugs decorated with coats of arms - as a souvenir pleases them as well as the taste of the barley-juice. (Note 6 below) Four liters of Weizenbier (Note 7 below) had been drunk by everybody at the end of the beer-lessons in the evening. Spacecraft commander Shepard finally retires saying: "No more, otherwise my tailor-made space suit would no longer fit."
The Nördlingen beer tastes good to the American astronauts of Apollo 14, who will land on the Moon early next year. From the left: lunar module pilot Mitchell, backup pilot and experienced astronaut Cernan, backup crew member Engle and spacecraft commander Shepard. [Harald Kucharek has provided a scan of another photo from the same evening.]
Bavarian super Brotzeit (Note 8 below)
America's moon-flyers not only surprise (observers) with their ability to stand hour-long stone and beer tests, but also with their preference for the sun. They stay in the "Sun" hotel in Nördlingen and were dining in the "Sun" restaurant in Wemding on Wednesday noon. Apollo commander Shepard orders something typically Bavarian to accompany his beer and is offered a plate with twelve different sorts of sausage (Note 9 below). Seeing this, all the other moon-flyers regret having been persuaded by the scientists to order loin-steak. Especially when Shepard offers them some tasty slices of sausage.
Up the Daniel (Note 10 below) by foot
This Mr Shepard, by the way, is the shining part of this "clover-leaf" of moon-flyers. Having the stature of a successful football (soccer) player, he leaves no doubt that he is a man prepared for taking risks, but always convinced of success. Edgar D. Mitchell, who will land on the moon together with Shepard, is of a different nature. Space rookie Mitchell seems like an excellent A-student, weighing each word and likes most just to sit among his colleagues smiling quietly. Eugene A. Cernan also likes to behave as a joker besides Shepard. The heroic astronaut who was the first man to leave the Gemini-capsule in order to perform a 66,000-kilometer ride around the world, was jokingly asked if he gets nauseated when climbing to the top of the 90-meter high Daniel church tower. He shyly answers: " I don't exactly know. The rockets that take us to the moon are 20 meters higher, but there I always take the elevator."
A young woman is writing her name
into the palm of lunar module pilot Mitchell.
(1) "Maß" (MUS) = Bavarian word, meaning one liter of beer, generally served in a mug that size. (Munich - Oktoberfest - best example!) The letter "ß" exists only in the German language and stands for "ss" following a long vowel.
(2) Sun - "Sonne" - in Germany a very popular name for hotels or restaurants. A little word-game in the headline.
(3) Please remind that in German use, a "Milliarde" is 1000 millions, so 4.6 Milliarden translate to 4.6 billion in American use.
(4) "Bierologe" = beerologist. A self-invented "fun"-word. Means a beer expert. Bavaria - as you may know - is famous for its beers (Munich - Oktoberfest - we had that already_)
(5) "Bierstein" = beer-stone. Another game of words (as we are constantly talking about stones). Huge beer mugs are often made of baked clay instead of glass or china.
(6) "Gerstensaft" = barley-juice, is occasionally used as a synonym for beer.
(7) Beer brewed from wheat - a unique Bavarian specialty ! It's offered in big glasses as can be seen in the picture. Tastes most deliciously !
(8) Brotzeit ("bread time") - a meal consisting of bread, butter, sausage (not the sausages like in a hot dog, for example!!), cold meat, mustard, cheese etc. Snack.
(9) Here again "sausage" does not have the meaning of a sausage you'll find in a Hot Dog or on the bar-b-q.
(10) "Daniel" is the name of the church tower (belfry) in Nördlingen.