As a writer, you use critiques and criticism to get better. As a teacher, you try to get things right, and you correct mistakes. Greg, my Armstrong museum friend and colleague, pointed out a few mistakes, and here are my corrections:
Neil never flew this plane over Korea, but he did fly it later as a test pilot for NASA. Neil flew everything from bombers to experimental rocket planes to futuristic simulators. Greg said this plane is an F5D Skylancer. I googled and discovered it was once cutting edge technology! Neil flew it low towards a marker, then rocketed up 7000 feet into the atmosphere, like 1.3 miles. He did a loop, rolled the plane upright, and finished with a smooth unpowered landing. Wow, what a ride! But, this plane led Neil to even bigger and better things. As a test pilot, he once flew 39.2 miles into our atmosphere. He didn’t make it into outer space, yet. You have to go 50 miles to get there, and Neil did!
This is the real F9F Panther. Neil flew planes like this over Korea. He didn’t fly 72 combat missions. He flew more…78. Here’s the best fact Greg gave me: In 1951 Neil flew a bombing run over North Korea and ejected because his plane was damaged. Aren’t you glad he made it back safely!
The only correction for the Gemini 8 mission is that Neil and Dave only stayed in space for 10 hours and 40 minutes. I don’t think Neil was thinking about those seats. I bet he was disappointed his 3-day ride was cut way too short.
This is Neil’s suit, but I’m sorry to tell you, it didn’t make it to the moon.
But, it really was his back-up suit, and it really was one of the three
suits made just for him. The suit you see weighed about 47 pounds,
but, when Neil was completely dressed for spacewalks, he wore 190
pounds of suit. Talk about heavy duty! With all that weight, Neil
could survive outside the space capsule for 6 hours. His back-up
life support gave him an extra 30 minutes, in case he had an emergency.
This post reminded me that it’s OK to make mistakes. It’s even better to correct them. But the best thing… is to learn from them. I learned, for anything technical about air and space, I need to proof my content with an expert before posting. Greg read this before I published it, and you can bet I’ll check with him in the future!
I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes too. I also hope you’ll get something good from them like learning more about Neil and the Armstrong Museum exhibits. That’s a great thing! Here’s to mistakes, and, turning them into opportunities!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!