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Sara Howard, Sunday, 8-4-13 August 5, 2013

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Sara Howard, Sunday, 8-4-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2061-BWB-2013-08-04.mp3

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Guest:  Sara Howard.  Topics:  Sara’s new book, “Mischief at Michoud” and her work at Michoud during the Apollo era.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Sara Howard to the program to tell us about her newest book, “Mischief at Michoud” which is available through Amazon.com.  For those of you buying Sara’s book, please use the simple Amazon directions on The Space Show website/blog or the OGLF Amazon portal, www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm so that Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 31 minute program, Sara talked about her time at NASA Michoud in Louisiana from 1965-67 as one of only two women who worked on the first stage, the SI-C stage, of the Saturn V rocket.  Sara described the work environment, the NASA Michoud facility, and the type of work she and others did at the time.  During the segment, retired NASA Apollo era worker John called in and our guest and the caller talked with each other about their respective projects and the work they did to help us get to the Moon.  It was most interesting listening to the stories and experiences of those that helped make going to the Moon a reality for the U.S.

In the second segment, we spent more time with our guest talking about specific chapters in her book. Sara has a great sense of humor and many of the chapters not only have funny and tantalizing titles, but she tells a great story to go along with them.  Some of her stories about not trusting computers and favoring slide rules were not only entertaining but informative.  We talked about how Sara’s friend and Sara were treated as women in a largely male dominated workforce. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say about this along with some of the jokes played on her at the time.  One of her book chapters, “My Terror,” caught my attention and we learned that there were self-destruct explosive charges in each Saturn V fuel tank and that was their fear that they would have to destroy a vehicle.  Sara was asked about the chapter addressing faking the Moon landings. She had much to say about this that you will want to hear.  Star Trek also comes into the workplace and you will want to hear this story as well.  Toward the end, John called back and Sara & John talked about the average age and education of those working on Apollo and attempts were made to compare back then to today.  Sara can be found on Facebook which is where she has all her information and more. Just search for “Sara Howard.”

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Sara, you can do so through me.

Comments»

1. Kirk - January 7, 2015

The Wikipedia link is Friden calculator.

2. Kirk - January 7, 2015

The calculator John asked Sara about was a Friden calculator.[Wikipedia] They started producing electromechanical calculators way back in 1934, and they introduced an all transistorized desktop electronic calculator in 1963. This HP Museum page discusses their 1952 Friden SRW electromechanical calculator which could extract square roots, and the see the “External links” section of the Wikipedia page for links to the Old Calculator Web Museum discussing their early electronic calculators.

Slide rules are wonderful, but sometimes greater precision was needed, and without calculators, an engineer would have to resort to log tables.


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