NASA: Behind the Scenes Snippets

By James A. Henrie


One could only begin to speculate the significance of those words spoken nearly fifty years ago by the late astronaut Neil Armstrong. As a commander of the Apollo 11 manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong along with Lunar Module pilot Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin, became the first earthlings to step onto another celestial body, while Command Module pilot Michael Collins orbited the moon.

Planet earth figuratively stood still. To my understanding, that moment became the only time in history of mankind that the whole world stopped and marveled at what human beings had just accomplished.

Even though this first in-a-lifetime event took place in a highly scientific technological arena, it was interesting to witness episodes of mundane human behavior from time to time, proving you can place man in an exotic, futuristic environment but you can’t always expect exotic, futuristic behavior from him.

No matter the environment we may be placed in, we never move afar from who we really are. The snippets described in the body of this short story exemplify some of those down-to-earth behaviors, no matter what the circumstances may be.

Sad events, humorous events, even bizarre events can and will arise.

About the author:

James A. “Jim” Henrie is a veteran of the United States Project Apollo: NASA’s manned lunar landing program. Reared in the Greater New Orleans Area, Jim resides with his wife, Linda, in Covington, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.

After attending both Tulane and Louisiana State Universities without graduating, he pursued a career in public relations/public affairs in the New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama areas. While serving with NASA during the 1960s and early 1970s, Jim’s assignments included serving at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama; the Mississippi Test Facility (now Stennis Space Center), Hancock County, Mississipi; the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and during the Apollo missions at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas; and aboard NASA’s Primary Recovery Ships in the Pacific.

Clear selection

Category: .