Apollo Expeditions to the Moon

CHAPTER 7.9



CONTRIBUTIONS OF FLIGHT SURGEONS

Chuck Berry and Dick Johnston and their medical personnel also played an important role as members of the Operations Team. Working with engineering personnel, they developed the monitoring techniques used to observe the critical medical parameters of man in flight. The flight surgeons' judgment and ability to assess the astronauts' well-being in flight as well as their confidence in the crew's readiness to undertake each of the missions were very necessary to achieving success. In the beginning, there were some who doubted man's capability to even exist, let alone work, in the environment of space. Chuck Berry had no such doubts and worked bard to alleviate such concerns. I do not believe that we could have gotten to the Moon without the contributions of the flight surgeons.

The Apollo Operations Team was a unique group brought together to accomplish a successful landing on the Moon and return to Earth. I do not believe that the dedication and the capabilities of these people have ever previously been duplicated, and I doubt that such a group will ever be brought together again. A great amount of preparation preceded the actual flying of an Apollo mission. The spacecraft had to be designed, built, and tested, but the group that actually flew the mission was faced with an awesome responsibility. President Truman had a sign on his desk in the White House stating that "The buck stops here". This comment could well be applied to the Apollo Operations Team. For these young men and women, the Apollo missions were their finest hour - the truly great adventure of their lives as well as of mine.


Previous Next Index