The fascinating part of the historic Apollo 11 landing on the moon (50 years ago today) is the handling of the 1202 and 1201 alarms during the decent of the Eagle to the lunar surface.
Some Apollo-nerd stuff that you only get here: The Eagle's computer had three programs to run from the time it undocked to landing. The first was P63: which controlled Eagle from undocking while it was still in orbit to powered-descent. P63 controlled the attitude (pitch and yaw) of Eagle and ran the burn which took Eagle out of orbit and into a controlled descent to the lunar surface. PDI (powered-descent initiation) occurred about 500 kilometers east of the landing site and 12 minutes to landing. The first go-no-go from Houston after the go-no-go for undocking was for PDI. When the Eagle is three minutes from landing and 7K/M from the site, the computer ran P64. The P64 program pitched the Eagle forward and gave Armstrong a view of the lunar surface so he could check for landmarks. At this point the computer is telling the astronauts and Houston where it intends to land. If you listen to the raw landing tapes, the guidance officer in Houston is indicating that they are headed for a spot longer down-range than anticipated. When the Eagle is 600 meters from the landing site, Armstrong activates P66 in which he and the computer share the throttle while Armstrong alone controls the descent. Somewhere along the way a switch was flipped powering on the rendezvous radar that was supposed to be off. The rendezvous radar began feeding more information to the computer than it was designed to handle at exactly the wrong time- during the dangerous descent phase. How Armstrong and NASA handled this critical error is the stuff legends are made of.
As PDI begins, Houston immediately loses signal and data from Eagle, prompting a call to Collins in Colombia to tell Aldrin to re-aim an antenna. Meanwhile Neil Armstrong has several issues to contend with, including no communication with the men who are supposed to guide him.
As the Eagle descended Armstrong began to realize that the guidance computer was taking him farther down range then it was supposed to and was putting the Eagle into a crater. The Eagle has two guidance systems: PGNS (pings) is the main system, and AGS is the back-up. Both Houston and Aldrin are monitoring both systems and comparing their data to see if it matches as the Eagle descends towards history.
As P63 turns the Eagle around so that now it's Engine is facing the lunar surface, the landing radar and other radar (that's supposed to be off) both lock on to the lunar surface. The computer is overloaded with data, and now come the words that almost ended the mission: "1202...1202 alarm." Eagle is 33,500 feet above the surface of the moon.
In the simulator Armstrong and Aldrin had practiced with several different scenarios, including the loss of various functions of the Eagle, wrong indicators, loss of communication, and the like. But in the thousands of hours of training, they had never encountered a 1202 alarm.
Here is what happened on the ground in Houston and their success showed why NASA was able to achieve the extraordinary moon landing:
Gene Kranz was the flight director, later responsible for the saying "failure is not an option". Kranz was the one who made the final decision to allow the Eagle to land. Jack Garman was an engineer and part of the team working on the computers and the landing guidance system of the Eagle. At a meeting several weeks before the landing, Kranz told Garman to write down every possible alarm and the response to the alarm. Steve Bales was the guidance officer who was one of the men responsible to answer Kranz during various "Go-No-Go" calls when Houston had to tell Armstrong if he could continue to land. Astronaut Charlie Duke was "cap-com" the man responsible for speaking directly to Aldrin and Armstrong.
Several seconds after the 1202 alarm, Armstrong having heard nothing from Houston, asked "give us a reading on that 1202 alarm." When you listen to Armstrong, there is some uncertainty in his voice. He is about 30,000 feet above the surface of the moon and less than seven and half minutes from landing. He is looking for a place to land, watching his fuel, working on the high-gain antenna issue, and now an alarm that he does not recognize is going off which may cause the mission to be aborted.
Meanwhile in Houston, when the alarm went off, Kranz was looking towards his guidance officer Bales or anyone else who knew what the alarm was. Nobody knew. There were blank stares all around as Krantz's landing team statrted scrambling though massive three-ring binders looking for what a 1202 alarm was. Eventually Krantz asked Bales and Bales called over to a back room where there were dozen of engineers One of them- Jack Garman - knew what the alarm meant.
Apollo 11's computer's were rudimentary. The landing radars started giving the computer more data then it could handle. When this occurred the computer had a line of programing to tell it to prioritize its work and to trigger a 1202 alarm to let Houston and the Eagle know what it was doing. Essentially the computer was rebooting without shutting down. If the computer had shut down, Kranz would have ordered an abort. Garman reasoned that as long as the alarm didn't continually repeat, which would mean the computer was in a non-recoverable loop, that they were "go" on the alarm. Garman told Bales. Bales told Kranz. Kranz told Duke and Duke told Armstrong.
There was another 1202 alarm and then a 1201 alarm at 27,000 feet above the surface. Aldrin tells Houston about why he thinks the alarm is occurring. Meanwhile Garman quickly told Bales that the 1201 alarm was the same type of alarm as the 1202 and that they were "go" on that.
Armstrong never doubted what Duke was telling him. Kranz had faith in Bales and Bales knew Garman knew the landing computer software better than anyone.
At about 9 minutes into the landing, and 5200 feet about the surface the computer switches to P64 and the program pitches Eagle over so that the attitude of the Eagle is more upright and it begins to descend in the same attitude that it will have upon landing. Armstrong is now looking at the surface so he can find a place to land. Kranz quickly runs through a "go-no-go" for landing and Retro (the controller monitoring the engines) FIDO (flight dynamics) ECOM (electrical, environmental and consumables) Guidance and the flight surgeon all give Kranz and enthusiastic "GO!" for landing which Charlie Duke relays to Aldrin and Armstrong. At 3,000 feet they get another 1201 alarm, but they are quickly told they are "go on that alarm" and the descent continues. In another minute, at 1300 feet they get another 1202 alarm, but they are still go to land.
At 600 feet the P64 program is steering the Eagle toward a sea of boulders and craters. Armstrong decides to switch to the P66 program and manually take control of Eagle. He began to use the thrusters to navigate the Eagle past a large crater and then looked for a relatively flat area to set his craft down on, all the while monitoring an ever dwindling fuel supply and a host of other issues. They are 300 feet from the surface and Aldrin tells Armstrong that he is "pegged at horizontal velocity" meaning they are going forward at the top speed on the indicator. At 250 feet Armstrong is now slowing the forward velocity. He sees a landmark he recognizes: "Little West Crater" and he pilots Eagle just past it where he sees a relatively smooth surface to land. The forward velocity has slowed from 50 feet/second to 19 feet/second. At 175 feet they have 94 seconds to land or they will get a "fuel-bingo" call from Houston and will have to abort.
The Eagle had one chance to land on the moon. If the landing was aborted, they activated the ascent engine, flew back to Michael Collins in Colombia, and headed back to earth having failed in their attempt to land. There were no second chances on this flight.
At 100 feet they have 75 seconds to land. Armstrong is demonstrating why he was chosen for this mission- he is at the top of his game and pulling off the greatest landing in the history of aviation- and one of the most difficult and dangerous to boot. At 75 feet their velocity has slowed to six feet forward/second. At 60 feet Charlie Duke calls out "sixty seconds": they have a minute of fuel left to land. At 20 feet Charlie Duke calls out "thirty seconds". There is almost no fuel left to land.
With seventeen seconds of fuel remaining Aldrin calls out "contact light": a 1.5 meter probe below Eagle has touched the surface.
The team worked. The system worked, and Armstrong landed the Eagle with 17 seconds of fuel remaining.
The first words spoken by a human being on another celestial body belonged to Buzz Aldrin: "Contact light. Ok. Engine stop. ACA out of descent. Mode control both auto descent engine command override off. Engine arm off. 413 is in." Hardly memorable or historic words, but before Armstrong tells the world that from Tranquility Base "The Eagle has landed" Aldrin had a checklist he needed to run through to make sure the descent engines were shut down and the abort-ascent engine couldn't be accidentally triggered. Charlie Duke responds "we copy you down Eagle". Armstrong says "The Eagle has landed" and Duke responds that there were a bunch of guys about to turn blue but were breathing again. This is in response to the fact that with less than 30 seconds of fuel, the Eagle had not landed and everyone in mission control was holding their breath.
A half a million people worked on some part of the Apollo program. But on July 20, 1969, it was Kranz, Steve Bales, and Jack Garman who gave the go ahead to Armstrong and Aldrin to continue the landing in the face of 1202 and 1201 alarms.
Having stirred the pot and caused a contretemps over those who wear black (Judges) ordering those in white lab coats (MDs) to do their damn job, and having been chewed-out by the Chief, Rumpole repairs to England, for rest, relaxation, and rehabilitation.
You can catch us at the bar at the Savoy, or having at pint at the Dog and Duck. After a few shows and dinners, we will repair to our version of WSC's Chartwell, to paint and read and walk cool country lanes.
In the meantime, do not despair, the blog will run with clock-like efficiency with the quality content, rapier-like wit you have come to expect, and insightful commentary that makes your day and makes this a must-read.
If you want to join the team and submit a few pieces for inspection, now is the time to dust off your keyboard and send us an email with a sample of your work. Many will apply, few will be accepted.
The current President recently saw fit to tell in a tweet four democratically elected congresswomen, all of color, and three born IN the United States "to go back where you came from". Trump has done this before, suggesting United States District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who had ruled against him, could not be fair because he was Mexican. Judge Curiel is a Hoosier, born in Indiana.
The use of a racist trope by the current occupant of the Oval Office is stunning in its raw appeal to racism. We are reminded that President Ronald Wilson Reagan would not take off his suit jacket in the Oval Office out of respect for the institution and the men who had previously worked there. The Oval Office and the bully pulpit of the presidency has now been turned into a corner of the dark web, where conspiracy theories about Jews, Muslims, and people of color are traded and racists advocate violence based on how a person looks or how their name is spelled.
Have you ever wondered what Germans of good character felt as they watched their nation descend into madness in the 1930's?
Now you know.
Someday, sooner rather than later, we shall return to sanity and to a time when thoughtful people of exceptional character, intellect, and ability occupy the highest office in the land. A time when, faced with a nation being ripped in half, a man said this:
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, First Inaugural Address, Monday March 4, 1861.
Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. But there are limits to power and today we write about those limits and a favourite subject: those who wear black robes to work and sit a few feet above hoi polloi.
A judge can take you into custody. They can adjudicate you a felon. They can take your children and sever your rights as a parent. A judge can incarcerate you for decades, or life, and a judge has the power of life and death and can sentence you to die.
But the limits of that awesome power stop at the doorstep of the Dade County Jail. Like the neutral zone in Star Trek, DCJ and the Department of Corrections are where judge's fear to tread.
While a judge can send you to jail, once there, if you're dying and need medical treatment, there is nothing a judge can do. "Es no my job" is the new refrain. If a loved one is in jail and dying of cancer or appendicitis, you are, to use a technical legal term, sh*t out of luck. A judge can call balls and strikes. Federal judges took over school districts and state transportation agencies, and basically desegregated the south. But a judge cannot get a doctor to give you an aspirin if you are in a Miami jail.
Witness this disheartening email from El Jefe Sayfie to all her minions who wear black robes:
Please remember the we cannot order corrections to provide medical care to inmates. And orders “recommending” specific medical care or an evaluation are also not the best practice. They are time consuming and often do not achieve the desired result.
If you have an issue involving an inmate’s mental and/or medical health please use the contact list I am providing you in this email.
Additionally, cc’d on this email are Dr. Patricia Junquera who is the head of psychiatry at CHS and Edith Wright who is the Acting Director of CHS. Also, Ben Simon from the County Attorney’s Office who handles legal matters for corrections and who should be noticed on all motions BEFORE corrections is ordered to do anything.
All of these people are extremely accessible and would prefer an email directly from you or an attorney on the case rather than an order that is often not accurate and takes a long time to reach them.
Please call me if you have any questions about this.
Yes Judge, we have questions about this.*
If not you, who?
Who do lawyers go to when corrections is killing their clients? Who do family members seek justice from when DOC leaves their loved ones in dark, damp, cells, without care, medication or concern? Who does a panicked parent turn to, when their child is in jail, and having an appendicitis attack, and no one cares (which happened in Miami a few years ago)?
Why do judges have jurisdiction over all that is between The Keyes and the evil empire north of the border....except the jail and corrections?
Why does your email seem so troubling in an age when our government throws children into cages and government lawyers argue against them having toothbrushes and soap?
Where are the Judge Frank Johnsons of the world today?
It's not due to the California earthquakes. It's not a sign that the apocalypse is upon us. And it's not the Hindenberg and there are no gasps about the humanity (See below).
But on July 10, 2019, the word, apparently official from the criminal El Jefe Judge Sayfie that division 16, of late being presided over by Judge Del Pino, is, to use the formal legal language, "being collapsed." This means that as of September 13, 2019, (call it "C-Day") the division will cease to exist. As of Wednesday July 10, 2019, the infamous blind clerk in the REGJB will be told to no longer file new cases in division 16. (Many years ago Judge Moreno when he was in criminal court would see how many cases were filed in his division and tongue-in-cheek bemoan that "the blind clerk doesn't like me." This was all based on the "blind-filing" system).
It's sort of like a star going super-nova. The celestial body has used up it's fuel, and wasted, it collapses upon itself, soon to be a black-hole (no, not like Broward County, just a regular black-hole).
So say au-revoir to division 16. The trials; the pleas; the verdicts; the motions; it has all come to an inglorious end. We hope you had the time of your life.
There was life before Starbucks, the internet, Instagram, cell-phones, Uber-eats, 737-Max aeroplanes and the like. In short there was a world before you millennials started uber-eating your way through it. And in this world, there were things called Zeppelins. They were considered marvels of technology. And in this world there were things called cameras that were not attached to phones. They recorded events on something called "film". Here is one such recording. There are many others.
Judge Meenu Sasser, the first Asian American female Judge in West Palm Beach has passed away. DOM has the same post on the SDFL Blog. Judge Sasser merits the attention. It's not her heritage, but her performance as a Judge that merits attention, recognition, and sadness of her untimely death as ag 48.
SO, YOU WANT TO BE A CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, TIMES FOUR .......
It has been a busy Spring season on the Miami-Dade Circuit Court bench. As fast as baseballs seem to be flying out of Yankee Stadium, judges have been flying off one bench, and onto another.
First it was Circuit Judge Monica Gordo who was elevated by Governor DeSantis to the Third District Court of Appeal on April 25, 2019.
Next it was Circuit Judge Rodolfo "Rudy" Ruiz who skipped all the way from Circuit Court to the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, getting confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 2, 2019
Following in Ruiz’ footsteps, Circuit Judge Rodney Smith was elevated from Circuit Court to the same Federal bench. The Senate confirmed his nomination on June 12, 2019.
Finally, Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia resigned her seat on the Circuit Court bench.
The JNC sent out multiple announcements and eventually interviewed 22 candidates (of the 24 that applied) for the four open Circuit Court seats. The JNC has narrowed the field to 15 (including four County Court Judges and two General Magistrates) and sent those names to Governor DeSantis for his consideration.
The nominees include:
Judge William Altfield Judge Gina Beovides Jason Bloch Judge Laura Shearson Cruz Miesha Shonta Darrough Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos Ayana Harris Kevin Hellman Scott Janowitz Gale Lewis GM Steven Lieberman Judge Joseph Mansfield GM Gina Mendez-Locke Julie Harris Nelson Judge Luis Perez-Medina
The Governor has 60 days to appoint the four new Circuit Court Judges.
This is what America is really about, and these NYPD officers, bless them, are true Americans.
The police were called to a Whole Foods in Manhattan as a woman was attempting to leave a store without paying for food containers. The officers didn't arrest her. They paid for her food: Here is the story: https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/us/nypd-officers-whole-foods-trnd/index.html "When you look at someone's face and see that they need you and they're actually hungry, it's pretty difficult as a human being to walk away from something like this," Lt Luis Sojo said.
Sometimes people just need a break. A little kindness to help them through a difficult time. Americans have always stood for kindness and understanding, be it helping a nieghbor, or helping an ally.
When President Roosevelt lent old US Destroyers to England to help the UK fight the German UBoats before the US entered the war, he famously said "You don't try and sell your neighbor a hose when his house is on fire."
Of course England isn't Mexico, and you know who isn't FDR.
This great experiment changed the rivers of history, brining forth upon the earth for the very first time, a government which derived its powers from the consent of its people, dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every person in America, regardless of when they arrived and how they arrived and how long they have been here should spend a few moments one day a year and read this document.
IN CONGRESS JULY 4, 1776 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.