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A long shot (Apollo missions)

ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morningAnd the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
This is a long shot. I'm pretty sure there's no way, but I'm hoping there is someone out there who is better at google than me because I can't find anything.

My grandfather worked on multiple Apollo missions, likely as a contractor. He even had a bunch of the coins hanging on his wall. Growing up I heard stories, but I wish I'd thought more of them now. He designed part of... something, I don't remember, and it's so frustrating.

Is there any way to find out who those people were? I can't find a list of contractors, the designers for different machinery, or individuals in mission control. I would love to find out what exactly he worked on, and if the few stories I remember were true. If they are... man, they're great stories.

And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn

Posts

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    It's super long shot but the DC national archives tracks that sort of stuff.

    ceresElvenshaeSkeith
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    It's super long shot but the DC national archives tracks that sort of stuff.

    https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/255.html

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
    ceres
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    edited February 12
    I also found this.

    https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4104.pdf

    Which says they had a lot of total personnel over time. Read appendix b.

    JebusUD on
    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
    ceres
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    edited February 12
    twitter.com/NASAhistory

    Is the official NASA history Twitter. You could try asking them.

    https://history.nasa.gov is their official office website.

    JebusUD on
    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
    ceresBrodyRingo
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Some searching basically says there's a near infinite number of contractors, unless you can narrow it down a bit:

    https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4205/app-f.html

    What is this I don't even.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I also found this.

    https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4104.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiElsufibXgAhUI4YMKHXlbAHgQFjALegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw22-lQcQYUEIhAoJk-T9Esq

    Which says they had a lot of total personnel over time. Read appendix b.

    This one doesn't seem to want to work. Contacting them via twitter is.. well hopefully I won't have to do that, I've managed to make it this long without twitter.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    this is a overview of the major contractors for the CSM (with the big bits of the LM thrown in)

    https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4205/app-f.html

    this is a general breakdown of the major contractors on the saturn v

    figc-3.jpg

    and further down from that, this is probably as exhaustive of a list of subcontractors from the major players on the saturn v that could be compiled

    https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4206/app-e.htm

    hope this helps

    aeNqQM9.jpg
    Hahnsoo1ceresDarkPrimus
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    You might try tweeting photos at some space centric youtubers like @astVintageSpace or Scott Manley.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
    ceresKetBra
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Homer Hickam is pretty active on Twitter, he may be worth a DM.

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I also found this.

    https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4104.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiElsufibXgAhUI4YMKHXlbAHgQFjALegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw22-lQcQYUEIhAoJk-T9Esq

    Which says they had a lot of total personnel over time. Read appendix b.

    This one doesn't seem to want to work. Contacting them via twitter is.. well hopefully I won't have to do that, I've managed to make it this long without twitter.

    I truncated the link some more.

    The short of it is that appendix B says yhey had something like 30k personnel between 63 and 69.

    However it breaks it down by job which make me think someone actually has some kind of list somewhere by job you might be able to find.

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    Here's a totally rando link to someone asking a similar question. There's a few links in there to various lists of contracts for the various major chunks of the finished product.
    http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/000910.html

    If you know where he was geographically, that would probably help a lot.

    The following has a few useful charts.
    https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/mission_oriented_r_and_i_policies_case_study_report_apollo_project-us.pdf

    Figure 4 (can't scrounge the actual page number, sorry) has some names attached to project areas, if anything rings a bell. Figure 9 has a breakdown of who made what on the payload side.

    The Lunar Module article on Wiki seems to have a map of where its parts came from, so maybe you'll get lucky there.

  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I also found this.

    https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4104.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiElsufibXgAhUI4YMKHXlbAHgQFjALegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw22-lQcQYUEIhAoJk-T9Esq

    Which says they had a lot of total personnel over time. Read appendix b.

    This one doesn't seem to want to work. Contacting them via twitter is.. well hopefully I won't have to do that, I've managed to make it this long without twitter.

    It is by far the best method of contacting companies for customer support. I've gotten immediate responses from blue Cross blue shield on the weekend when they are closed by sending a bitchy tweet at their account. And I have like 13 followers all of whom are bots.

    It's a really good way to contact customer support if you don't want to wait on hold for hours and talk to dozens of robots

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    With all the help here and some conversations with and pictures from my mom (who still has a bunch of his commemorative stuff), and spending a huge chunk of today reading through reports and transcripts and stuff instead of like.. cleaning or whatever, I still have a ton of questions but at least more info.

    I have most of what I need confirmation of this one story though. It's one of my favorite stories about my grandfather. He was one of those people who was just... a genius, at so many things. I mean, he was a genius-genius, but also he loved to draw and paint and work with wood and design things and build furniture and write computer programs. My grandmother and grandfather were probably the smartest people I will ever know, and I had no appreciation for that until after they died.

    Anyway, when I have more toward what I'm looking for I'll post some of those stories.

    hodv50i06d0h.jpg
    zez30bjlioga.jpg

    Because of course he got two. :P

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    QuidCambiataHappylilElfDivideByZeroShadowfireElvenshaeElbasunuL Ron HowardBrodyAridholVishNubXaquinHahnsoo1BobbleRingodjmitchellaTNTrooperCalicaAldospool32
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    What is this I don't even.
    ceresHahnsoo1DarkPrimusKetBra
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    With all the help here and some conversations with and pictures from my mom (who still has a bunch of his commemorative stuff), and spending a huge chunk of today reading through reports and transcripts and stuff instead of like.. cleaning or whatever, I still have a ton of questions but at least more info.

    I have most of what I need confirmation of this one story though. It's one of my favorite stories about my grandfather. He was one of those people who was just... a genius, at so many things. I mean, he was a genius-genius, but also he loved to draw and paint and work with wood and design things and build furniture and write computer programs. My grandmother and grandfather were probably the smartest people I will ever know, and I had no appreciation for that until after they died.

    Anyway, when I have more toward what I'm looking for I'll post some of those stories.

    hodv50i06d0h.jpg
    zez30bjlioga.jpg

    Because of course he got two. :P
    ceres wrote: »
    With all the help here and some conversations with and pictures from my mom (who still has a bunch of his commemorative stuff), and spending a huge chunk of today reading through reports and transcripts and stuff instead of like.. cleaning or whatever, I still have a ton of questions but at least more info.

    I have most of what I need confirmation of this one story though. It's one of my favorite stories about my grandfather. He was one of those people who was just... a genius, at so many things. I mean, he was a genius-genius, but also he loved to draw and paint and work with wood and design things and build furniture and write computer programs. My grandmother and grandfather were probably the smartest people I will ever know, and I had no appreciation for that until after they died.

    Anyway, when I have more toward what I'm looking for I'll post some of those stories.

    hodv50i06d0h.jpg
    zez30bjlioga.jpg

    Because of course he got two. :P

    Are those the flown metal medallions?

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 13
    I knew he was with General Electric, I believe they were his employer. But he also worked hand-in-hand with other contractors and traveled a lot. I think he worked with NASA in some capacity or other for the vast majority of his career. He was in the military for a short time and worked as a meteorologist when he was pretty young. I want to say he went off to college when he was 15, I have his ring somewhere.

    Yesterday when I was talking to my mom about this, I said that I feel like with everything he was a part of and everything he did with NASA (some of which bordered on heroic levels of ingenuity) someone somewhere should at least know his name. Like, I should be able to find it somewhere. Her response: "There are countless people behind the scenes that made those launches happen whose names will not be known." That's both inspiring and a little depressing to me. So many worked on these projects not thinking about their careers or their names, but just to be a part of something larger.. and chances are we'll never know who most of them were or what they did to make something so important come to fruition.

    daveNYC wrote: »
    Are those the flown metal medallions?
    I have literally no idea what you mean by this. I vaguely remember him saying once that not many were made, but I was too busy being an asshole in my teens to take a lot of note. They were just sort of always around on their mantle.

    edit: I looked this up and the answer is "I don't know." I've asked my mom for a picture of the other side of the coins. If I lived less than 2000 miles away I could just look. Also, it appears the flown metal coins were not rare for Apollo 11. I don't know where I got the idea that they were, because he actually seemed really nonchalant about these so maybe he was talking about a different coin.

    I also very vaguely remember asking about his career for a report in school, and he said something about heading one of the plants that piloted the thermonuclear weapons program, so good job remembering important and interesting facts, teenage me. I asked him if the ethical implications of that ever bothered him, and he said not really because that's not what he did, that his work focused on using the technology to produce usable energy.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Darkewolfe wrote: »

    That's really cool, but also weird to me that it focused on like.. the boots. I know they're iconic and the suits were important, but I'm pretty sure my grandfather didn't do that.

    I got some more images of the stuff and looked into it, I'll post them in a little bit.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    JaysonFourBouwsTElvenshae
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Not to be debby downer, but is it possible that the stories were made up and he just had those coins because he was a space nerd and collected them.

    camo_sig.png
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    mts wrote: »
    Not to be debby downer, but is it possible that the stories were made up and he just had those coins because he was a space nerd and collected them.

    This is... unlikely. First of all he wasn't the type to make up stuff about himself, and second, he really didn't care much about these coins. He had them out, but they weren't particularly on display. They were some of the few things that he had related to his job work with GE. My mom has memories of some things from when she was a teen, and yeah.. there isn't really any doubt in anyone's mind that he earned the things he displayed.

    My mom was about 12, so she remembers some of the terms involved, but I don't think she ever had a great understanding of it. At this point trying to piece together what exactly he did for these missions is really hard. What's more, he had these plates and searches are giving me nothing. It's possible someone made them for him.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    Might be worth trying to contact someone at GE. There were a lot of people there that worked on a whole lot of different things for the Apollo program.

    If you know where he lived and his full name it's possible there are some company records, somewhere, on it.

    ohKiGmg.png
    Steam Bnet:KetBra#1692 Yo Satan
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 14
    Okay I think I have pieced together what he did, at least in part. I always knew he worked for GE as a contractor to NASA, he was pretty proud of it. But he didn't start with the Apollo program. He'd been there quite a while already, and I have an idea from my mom of what he worked on there toward the start of his career and before the space program had a home, but there is absolutely no way he would have talked about that much with his family, and probably before his work with NASA much of it would have been classified for quite a while longer. I doubt anyone I could call or talk to on twitter would be willing to give me the specifics of anything that happened before NASA.

    Buuuuuuuuut... my mom did end up sending me pictures of those plates, which filled in a whole lot of blanks in combination with what we knew of him.

    snhiyfaa53g4.jpg
    70814tvhux81.jpg
    cr015pfb5bff.jpg
    dawpqdo7qs2g.jpg
    515wn5i81hn3.jpg

    She said he worked on Project Gemini from the start, had a role in engineering and design for the SNAP program, and stayed with the SNAP-27 units for the duration of their use in the Apollo program. No one I can call at GE is probably going to give me that info. :/ I had no idea where to even start before I made the thread, and now with the links from here and talking to my mom I know what all those words mean.

    It was the GE facility in King of Prussia, which is near where my mom (and I) grew up. Hopefully my uncle can add something.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    DarkPrimusRingoKetBraElvenshaeDivideByZeroElbasunuspool32Knight_JaysonFourmatt has a problem
  • RingoRingo Stardust, Golden Caught in a Devil's BargainRegistered User regular
    I didn't know where King of Prussia was

    So now I know when and where the first supermall (bigger than 2 million square feet of leaseable space) was built

    (it's not the one in King of Prussia, which is an area in Pennsylvania by the way, that one is just the current biggest (but they cheated by joining two malls together so I dunno))

    goddamnit wikipedia

    ceres wrote: »
    I'm just going to go ahead and lock this thread before I feel any worse about humanity.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG now featured at the Exigency Forum
  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    Oh wow, your grandpa helped design and operate the RTGs for the Apollo program?

    That's fucking cool as hell.

    ohKiGmg.png
    Steam Bnet:KetBra#1692 Yo Satan
    BouwsTKnight_JaysonFour
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Ringo wrote: »
    I didn't know where King of Prussia was

    So now I know when and where the first supermall (bigger than 2 million square feet of leaseable space) was built

    (it's not the one in King of Prussia, which is an area in Pennsylvania by the way, that one is just the current biggest (but they cheated by joining two malls together so I dunno))

    goddamnit wikipedia

    (it was totally cheating)

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    RingoXaquinElbasunuDarkPrimus
  • m!ttensm!ttens Registered User regular
    edited February 15
    I found a neato article about the SNAP program on the DOE's website (link, PDF warning). We're going to mars in the mid-eighties everyone!

    That division of GE, btw, was sold to Martin Marietta in 1993, who later merged with Lockheed to form Lockheed Martin.

    m!ttens on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    He retired in 1981.

    My mom said she remembers the space landing (age 12) because they just happened to be visiting New York to sight-see and go to a show and when they got back to the hotel my grandfather got a call and had to run in to give a statement.

    Yeah mom, you just happened to be in New York. What a coincidence.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    RingoJaysonFourDarkPrimusKetBraElvenshaeQuid
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    That's really cool. The ALSEP systems were rad. And one of the reasons we smashed the S-IVB into the moon for funsies in later apollo missions.

    I wonder if he has a plate from Apollo 12 as well, since 6 missions (12,13,14,15,16,17) had a SNAP-27 to power the ALSEP on the moon (apollo 13's obviously came back).

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Knight_ wrote: »
    That's really cool. The ALSEP systems were rad. And one of the reasons we smashed the S-IVB into the moon for funsies in later apollo missions.

    I wonder if he has a plate from Apollo 12 as well, since 6 missions (12,13,14,15,16,17) had a SNAP-27 to power the ALSEP on the moon (apollo 13's obviously came back).

    As far as I know, that's all of the plates. There are a couple things missing from the collection, that might be one of them, I'm not sure. I think 12 was the one that happened when he was in New York. We think my uncle might have some of that stuff. My mom's been really busy the past couple days but promised to call him when she gets the chance. He's 4-5 years older than her and might remember more of it, but there is just one thing I'm really looking for info about before I go into this story.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    I've been following this thread just because it's awesome. Space is huge. Your grandpa helped humanity get into space. There was such a massive effort made by so (relatively) few people. I'm hoping for more pictures of cool stuff to be honest. Pet rules apply here!

    RingodavidsdurionsKetBraHappylilElfAldo
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