Video: See our full interview with Apollo EECOM controller Rod Loe


The EECOM console—that’s, the mission control console answerable for the electrical, environmental, and (first and foremost) communications of the Apollo command and provider module—wound up being home to an outsized choice of famous names. In all probability most popular is John Aaron, the “tremendous EECOM” liable for, amongst other things, the “SCE to aux” call that probable saved Apollo 12 from a mission-terminating launch abort. However equally knowledgeable among EECOMs is T. Rodney (“Rod”) Loe, who become form enough to provide us an hour of his time to dialogue about his Apollo reminiscences.

Loe would were the EECOM sitting on the console during the Apollo 1 fire, if now not for a trouble-free coincidence: his marriage ceremony anniversary falls on January 27, the day of the hearth, and on that day in 1967 Loe had swapped shifts with John Aaron in order that he could celebrate with his wife Tina (she had arranged a celebratory poker recreation at their residence for some friends).

Of course, the poker activity never had a big gamble. Aaron became reportedly so shaken by using the pursuits of that afternoon that Loe had to come as much as the gap midsection and force him residence; right here days and weeks of accident investigation and root-cause trying out were grim work indeed. However within the race to house, perseverance paid off. Pretty much two years later, after Apollo 8 had done what most of the people at NASA considered the gutsiest mission in the complete program, Loe chanced on himself over again alone with Aaron. This time it was at The Flintlock, a wide-spread flight controller watering gap. Even as the rest of the controllers partied themselves foolish, Loe and Aaron stood within the doorway and marveled at the magnitude of the task they’d just helped complete.

On that December night time at the give up of the tumultuous, stunning 12 months of 1968, Loe changed into content material to calm down and absolutely be a proud American.


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