Transcript: Apollo 9: The Space Duet of Spider and Gumdrop | May 04, 1999

A full-screen caption reads "Apollo 9." Another reads "The Apollo Years."

(Unclear)

Man Over Radio says OKAY, HE'S, UH, HE'S ON THE
LIST.

Voices sing and say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR
CHRISTOPHER
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU"

Man Over Radio says THAT WAS MAGNIFICENT.
HE MAY EVEN OVERSHADOW THE
RENDEZVOUS WITH PERFORMANCES
LIKE THAT.

An Apollo rocket ignites and rises into the atmosphere. Below the image of
the flying rocket, three small frames show Mission Control, family and
other observers.
[Rocket launching]
[Epic music plays]

A split screen shows fire spurting from the base of a rocket and the letters
"U.S.A." on its side as it slowly rises. The red hot booster section ejects.
A three-way split screen shows the rocket ascending, the lander above the
surface of the Moon and an orbital view of the Moon.

John F. Kennedy says WE CHOOSE TO
GO TO THE MOON IN THIS DECADE,
AND DO THE OTHER THINGS, NOT
BECAUSE THEY ARE EASY, BUT
BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD.
[Radio chatter]

WELCOME TO THE MOON.

THANK YOU.
(Astronauts speaking)

10 PERCENT FUEL.
(Astronauts speaking)

OK 30 SECONDS.
(Astronauts speaking)

Different clips show the Moon landing. The footprint left on the powdery
Moon surface is prominently displayed. A split-screen caption reads "The
Apollo Years."

A voice says HOUSTON, TRANQUILLITY BASE HERE.
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED.

With a mock-up of the Moon Landing behind him, Marc Garneau, clean-shaven
in his forties, says HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE APOLLO YEARS,
I'M MARC GARNEAU.
AFTER THE SUCCESS OF THE APOLLO
8 MISSION AROUND THE MOON, NASA
WAS ON A ROLL, AND WAY AHEAD OF
THE SOVIETS IN THE SPACE RACE.
THE COMMAND AND SERVICE MODULE
HAD PASSED WITH FLYING COLOURS.
NOW IT WAS TIME TO TRY OUT THE
LAST PIECE NEEDED TO LAND ON THE MOON.
THE LUNAR EXCURSION MODULE, OR
"15-TON TAXI," AS IT WAS KNOWN,
WAS THE FIRST VEHICLE BUILT TO
OPERATE ONLY IN THE VACUUM OF SPACE.
IT WAS DESIGNED TO CARRY THE
ASTRONAUTS DOWN TO THE SURFACE
OF THE MOON AND RETURN THEM BACK
UP TO THE LUNAR ORBIT, WHERE
THEY WOULD REUNITE WITH THE MOTHER SHIP.
WHILE ORBITING THE EARTH, THE
APOLLO 9 CREW WOULD BE THE FIRST
TO CHECK OUT THE COMPLEX DOCKING
AND CONTROL SYSTEMS THAT ALLOWED
THESE TWO INDEPENDENT SPACECRAFT
TO RENDEZVOUS.
THEY CODE NAMED THE LUNAR MODULE
"SPIDER" AND THE COMMAND MODULE "GUMDROP."
THIS IS TRULY THE ZANIEST OF
NASA'S APOLLO FILMS.
IT CERTAINLY REFLECTS THE HEADY
TIMES OF THE '60s.
HERE ARE ASTRONAUTS JIM
McDIVITT, DAVID SCOTT AND RUSTY
SCHWEICKART IN APOLLO 9, "THE
SPACE DUET OF SPIDER AND GUMDROP."
(The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" plays)

The three astronauts march in line, wearing spacesuits. Against the entrance
door of the spacecraft, a caption reads "Apollo 9... The Space Duet of Spider
and Gumdrop."

An announcer says SPIDER AND
GUMDROP ARE SPACESHIPS
HIDDEN ATOP THIS ROCKET.
OFFICIALLY, SPIDER IS A
LUNAR MODULE THAT ONE DAY
SOON WILL TOUCH DOWN ON THE MOON.
GUMDROP IS A COMMAND MODULE,
A MOTHER SHIP THAT TRAVELS
TO THE MOON AND ORBITS WHILE
TWO ASTRONAUTS DESCEND IN A
SPIDER TO THE SURFACE.
THE THREE APOLLO 9
ASTRONAUTS RIDING INTO SPACE
IN GUMDROP HAVE A PRIME
MISSION TO TEST SPIDER IN
PREPARATION FOR ITS JOB TO
LAND MEN ON THE MOON.
ASSIGNED AS LUNAR LANDING
MODULE PILOT IS RUSSELL
SCHWEICKART, A CIVILIAN ON
HIS FIRST SPACE FLIGHT.
PILOT OF THE COMMAND SHIP
GUMDROP IS COLONEL DAVID
SCOTT, A SPACE VETERAN OF GEMINI 8.
BOARDING GUMDROP IS COLONEL
JAMES A. McDIVITT, VETERAN
OF GEMINI 4, NOW THE FIRST
U.S. COMMANDER EVER TO HAVE
RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE
SIMULTANEOUS FLIGHT OF TWO
SPACECRAFT AND THE TEAM OF
THREE TO MAN THEM BOTH.

Against a stage curtain, an easel holds a round blue shield with a drawing
of Apollo 9 and the names of the astronauts around it.

McDivitt speaks and says THERE WE NOW HAVE AN OPEN
TUNNEL AND WE HAVE, IN THE
COMMAND MODULE, THREE PEOPLE AND
THREE PIECES OF EQUIPMENT, EACH
OF WHICH IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A
PERSON, AND WITH SIX OF US IN
THERE, IT IS REALLY CROWDED.
THE... ONE OF THE DIFFICULTIES
IN LEARNING HOW TO OPERATE THESE
MECHANISMS IS THE WEIGHT.
PRIMARILY IT GIVES US THE
CAPABILITY TO TRANSFER FROM ONE
VEHICLE TO THE OTHER THROUGH A
PRESSURISED TUNNEL.

Red haired Russell says I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO
REALISE THAT, UH, THAT JIM AND I
END UP LEAVING DAVE IN A THREE-
MAN SPACECRAFT, WHICH TAKES
THREE MEN TO RUN IT.

Scott says WHEN WE FIRST GOT THESE TWO
SPACECRAFT, I FIGURED, WELL, IF
IT'S, IF IT'S SO HARD TO DO...
TO TRAIN FOR THIS SPACECRAFT,
AND WE NOW HAVE TWO, IT SHOULD
BE ONLY BE TWO TIMES AS HARD AS
THIS, BUT I FOUND OUT, MUCH TO
MY AMAZEMENT, THAT IT'S MUCH
MORE DIFFICULT THAN TWO TIMES
THE OLD TRAINING PROBLEM, WE...
BECAUSE I HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO
FLY THIS ONE, I HAVE TO LEARN
HOW TO FLY THIS ONE, THEN I HAVE
TO LEARN HOW TO FLY THESE TWO TOGETHER.
THEN I HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO FLY
THEM THIS WAY AND THIS WAY AND
SOME OTHER WAY, AND THERE'S SO
MANY DIFFERENT MODES THAT WE CAN
GET INTO THAT WE REALLY HAVE
MORE THAN JUST TWO
CONFIGURATIONS, WE PROBABLY HAVE
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN EIGHT AND TEN
OR 12, MAYBE.
WHEN WE CONSIDER THE S4B AND
THE... AND THE COMMAND MODULE
AND THE SERVICE MODULE AND THE
DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN HOOK 'EM
TOGETHER.

A voice says GOT A LOT OF VARIABLES THERE.

Scott says RIGHT.
SO IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO TRAIN
FOR THIS MISSION.

A round simulator appears.

An announcer says IN A SIMULATOR,
THE ASTRONAUTS PRACTISE
DOCKING SPIDER WITH A FULL-
SCALE MODEL OF GUMDROP.
(Slow dramatic music plays)

McDivitt appears through the window of the simulator. A clip shows the
astronauts practicing. A docking is simulated. Out in the desert, a four
legged metal grid structure is piloted by an astronaut. It rises and turns.

The announcer says A LUNAR LANDING
RESEARCH VEHICLE.
(Slow orchestral music)

An astronaut in a sling is pushed off a platform and slides down a rope.

Another treads water as he is towed wearing a red and white gliding parachute.
(Bouncing music plays)
(Quick orchestral music plays)
(Slow Indian music plays)

An astronaut gets into the landing capsule in artificial weightlessness.

The announcer says ON APOLLO 9, SCHWEICKART WILL ALSO TEST
IN SPACE A NEW, INDEPENDENT
LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM TO BE
USED BY THE FIRST MEN ON THE MOON.

He is shown doing this. Then he poses with his wife and five small children.
the other two astronauts are seen training underwater and posing with their
families. they then pose in their space suits.

(Slow Indian music plays)
(Slow orchestral music plays)

Authorities stand beside a model of "Spider."

The announcer says A MODEL OF
SPIDER LOOKS STRANGE ENOUGH.
THE REAL THING LOOKS EVEN
STRANGER.

McDivitt says IT'S THE MOST UNAERODYNAMIC
SHAPE I THINK I'VE EVER SEEN.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, ALL THE
MODELS I SEE, IT HAS... THE
MODELS HAVE NICE, STRAIGHT SIDES
AND THEY'RE HARD AND THEY'RE
RIGID AND THEY'RE... THE FIRST
TIME I SAW REAL LM, I LOOKED AT
IT AND IT HAD WHAT LOOKED LIKE
CELLOPHANE SIDES AND ALUMINUM
FOIL ROOF AND OH, THEY'RE
KIDDING!
BUT IT'S REALLY, THAT'S WHAT IT
REALLY IS, BUT IT DOESN'T NEED
TO BE STRONG, IT DOESN'T NEED TO
ALL THOSE AERODYNAMIC SHAPES ON
THE OUTSIDE, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT
ITS MISSION.
(Dramatic music plays)

A reporter asks I MEAN, RELATIVELY, WITHIN
THE MISSION, WHICH OF THE
MANOEUVRES ARE MORE CRITICAL?

Russell says WELL OBVIOUSLY, THE
UNTETHERED E.V.A. WITH A LIMB
PROBABLY IS, BECAUSE THE LIMB
GOES TO 90 MILES, IT HAS NO HEAT
SHIELD AND NO TETHER.
SO IT'S ESSENTIAL THAT THE LIMB
RETURNS TO THE HEAT SHIELD.

McDivitt says ONE THING THAT WE SHOULD KEEP
IN MIND IS THAT ONLY ONE OF
THESE VEHICLES HAS THE
CAPABILITY TO LAND...
SAFELY, I GUESS I SHOULD ADD,
THEY BOTH HAVE THE CAPABILITY OF LANDING.
[Laughter]
WE ONLY HAVE ONE SET OF
PARACHUTES AND ONE HEAT SHIELD.
(Dramatic music)
(Slow orchestral music)

Clips show the rocket being assembled. The astronauts gear up.

An announcer says 7-40 a.m.,
MARCH 3rd, DAY OF THE FLIGHT
OF APOLLO 9.

The three walk out to the spaceship.

A spokesman says IT'S GONNA BE A PRETTY
STANDARD LAUNCH, WE DON'T EXPECT
IT TO BE ANY DIFFERENT THAN ANY
PRECEDING LAUNCHES OR ANY
LAUNCHES THAT'LL FOLLOW US.

The rocket stands on its gantry.

A Mission Control voice says T MINUS 25 SECONDS AND
COUNTING, ALL ASPECTS...
(Both talking at once)

A spokesman says IF WE THOUGHT THIS WAS
DANGEROUS AND IT WAS CRITICAL
AND THEY WERE HIGH RISK, WE
WOULDN'T DO IT.

Man Over Radio says GO, P.D.M.

Man Over Radio says P.D.M. GO.

Man Over Radio says BERMUDA.

Mission Control says ... 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, TEN,
NINE, WE HAVE THE INITIATION
SEQUENCE START.

The ignition is seen in slow motion.
(Upbeat orchestral music)
(Rattling)
(Slow orchestral music)
(Orchestral version of "Yellow
Submarine")
(Vibrating)
(Upbeat orchestral music)
(Thundering roaring)

The rocket rises off the pad. Clouds of smoke and flame billow around it.
Feed hoses detach.
(Yellow Submarine plays)

As it gradually flattens its climb to go into orbit, the rocket and booster
thrusters leave separate wakes, one inside the other. It sheds its booster and
its main rocket fires.

An announcer says IN ORBIT, THE
APOLLO 9 ASTRONAUTS ARE
BEGINNING TEN DAYS OF THE
MOST COMPLEX MISSION EVER
ATTEMPTED IN SPACE.
THIS FILM IS THE VISUAL
RESULT OF THE MISSION'S
COMPLEXITY, VIEWS OF THE
FLIGHT AND THE MEN.

A voice says ... THIRD STAGE, IT'S TURNED
AROUND AND IT'S NOW STATIONED...

The announcer says FROM GUMDROP,
NOW SEPARATED FROM THE
ROCKET, THE ASTRONAUTS
INSPECT SPIDER, THEN DOCK
WITH IT TO SPRING IT FREE
FROM THE ROCKET SECTION, NOW
VISIBLE BELOW THE SKIRT OF
THE SPIDER.
INSIDE GUMDROP, THE
ASTRONAUTS PREPARE FOR FIRST
SCHWEICKART, THEN McDIVITT
TO ENTER THE L.M.
IN THEIR WEIGHTLESS WORLD,
UP IS WHERE YOUR HEAD
HAPPENS TO BE AND MOVING
AROUND CAN BE FUN.
(Playful music)

An astronaut opens his mouth and takes a snap at the camera.

The announcer says MOVEMENT IS
ACCELERATED BY THE SPEED OF
THE CAMERA. ON THE THIRD
AND FOURTH DAYS, McDIVITT
AND SCHWEICKART PASS THROUGH
THE TUNNEL INTO THE SPIDER
AND TRANSMIT TELEVISION
PICTURES TO THE GROUND.
NOW ON THE FOURTH DAY, THEY
WILL DON PRESSURE SUIT
HELMETS FOR SCHWEICKART'S
SPACE WALK ON THE EXTERIOR
OF THE SPIDER.
(Crackling)
(Indistinct conversation)

The announcer says OUTSIDE SPIDER,
SCHWEICKART IS STANDING ON
ITS PORCH.

Man Over Radio says OKAY.

The announcer says DAVE SCOTT HAS
OPENED GUMDROP'S HATCH JUST
A FEW FEET FROM
SCHWEICKART'S POSITION ON SPIDER.

Man Over Radio says HELLO THERE.
(Indistinct conversation)

Man Over Radio says OKAY, DANNY, YOU WANNA START
GETTING YOUR HATCH CLOSED.

(Unclear)

(Unclear)

Man Over Radio says START GETTING YOUR HATCH
CLOSED IF YOU'RE NOT ALREADY
DOING IT.

(Unclear)

The announcer says ON THE FIFTH
DAY, McDIVITT AND
SCHWEICKART GIVE SPIDER ITS
CRUCIAL TEST FLIGHT,
UNDOCKING FROM GUMDROP TO
MANOEUVRE 100 MILES OUT
BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO FIND
THEIR WAY BACK TO THE VITAL
DOCKING WITH GUMDROP AND ITS
CAPABILITY TO RETURN THEM TO EARTH.
(Gentle, solemn Bach music plays)

The announcer says McDIVITT AND
SCHWEICKART SEE GUMDROP AND
SCOTT FALL AWAY AS THEY FIRE
SPIDER'S "MOON DESCENT."
ENGINE.

The announcer says AT 86 MILES,
THE PART OF SPIDER THAT WILL
REMAIN ON THE MOON, A SMALL
LAUNCH PLATFORM, IS CAST
OFF. FOR THE TRY TO RETURN TO
GUMDROP, SPIDER FIRES ITS
"MOON ASCENT" ENGINE.
(Gentle orchestral music)

The announcer says FROM GUMDROP,
DAVE SCOTT SEES HIS FRIENDS
RETURNING IN A CHANGED
SPIDER.
WITHOUT EVEN A MOON LANDING
GEAR, IT IS NOW TOTALLY A
SPACESHIP, WITH A LOOK THAT
SEEMS STRANGELY APPROPRIATE
AND EVEN BEAUTIFUL.
(Slow orchestral music)

The announcer says WITH McDIVITT
AT THE CONTROLS, SPIDER
MOVES IN TO TRY THE CRUCIAL
DOCKING TO REUNITE HIMSELF
AND SCHWEICKART WITH THEIR
HEAT SHIELD, PARACHUTES AND
DAVE SCOTT.
SUCCESS... AND SCOTT SEES HIS
FRIENDS EMERGE FROM THE
TUNNEL HAPPY AND TIRED.
BUT THEY CAN ALL RELAX A BIT
NOW, AS SPIDER IS FIRED OFF
INTO ITS OWN ORBIT AND THE
ASTRONAUTS BEGIN FIVE DAYS
OF VALUABLE SCIENTIFIC EARTH
PHOTOGRAPHY, NAVIGATION AND
SYSTEMS CHECKS.
AFTER TEN DAYS IN EARTH
ORBIT, GUMDROP PREPARES FOR
ITS FIERY RE-ENTRY INTO THE
EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE.
(Roaring)
(Orchestral version of "Yellow
Submarine")

Gumdrop descends to the ocean, hanging from three pink parachutes. It sits
in the ocean with a floater ring around it and two dinghies beside it. An
aircraft carrier waits nearby. The astronauts emerge on the carrier's
deck and wave.

The announcer says THE THREE ASTRONAUTS COMPLETED ALL OF
THEIR ASSIGNED OBJECTIVES IN
A NEAR-PERFECT MISSION,
AIDED BY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE
ON THE GROUND AND NEW AND
COMPLEX SYSTEMS OF
COMMUNICATION AND CONTROL.
GUMDROP CARRIED ITS CREW
SAFELY INTO SPACE AND BACK,
HOUSING MOST OF THEM MOST OF
THE TIME AND PERFORMING ITS
MANOEUVRES WELL.
NOW BURNED AND BLACKENED, IT
WILL NEVER FLY AGAIN.

The announcer says SPIDER, STILL
CIRCLING THE EARTH, FLEW SO
WELL THAT THE FIRST MEN
SCHEDULED FOR LUNAR LANDING
MAY TAKE OFF LATER THIS YEAR
WITH THEIR OWN SPIDER,
PROVEN AND TESTED, TO FLY
THEM FROM THEIR GUMDROP IN
LUNAR ORBIT DOWN TO THE
SURFACE OF THE MOON AND
SAFELY BACK.
(Orchestral version of "Yellow
Submarine")

A full-screen caption reads "Produced by Drew Associates for NASA. Producer,
Robert Drew. Editor, Ann Gilbert, Narrator, Don Morrow."

A full-screen caption reads "Next Time,,, Apollo 10. The Apollo Years."

Man Over Radio says ... DON'T FORGET WHAT YOUR
JOB IS DOWN THERE.

WE'RE READY.
FOR WHAT WE ARE ABOUT TO...
(Playing "Fly Me To The Moon")

ROGER, THANK YOU FOR YOUR
THOUGHTS.

[Theme music plays]

Against a shoe making the famous footprint on the powdery surface of the Moon,
the end credits roll.
(Theme music plays)

Executive Producer, Rudy Buttignol.

Producer, Murray Battle.

Host, Marc Carneau

Editor, Michael Morningstar.

Footage courtesy of Johnson Space Center Jet Propulsion Lab.

Deep Space. TV Ontario 2004.

Canadian Space Agency and York University.

Man Over Radio says WE LEAVE AS WE CAME AND, GOD
WILLING, AS WE SHALL RETURN,
WITH PEACE AND HOPE FOR ALL MANKIND.
GOD SPEED THE CREW OF APOLLO 17.

The return module rises from the surface of the Moon.

Man Over Radio says WE'RE ARRIVED.
WE'RE ARRIVED.
[Beep]

A Production of TV Ontario. 1997.

Watch: Apollo 9: The Space Duet of Spider and Gumdrop