That Time Astronauts Discovered the Apollo Spacecraft was a Terrible Boat

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This is a revisit of an old blog at PopSci:

  1. Jim N.

    Point of etiquette: Grissom, White, and Chaffee should be named when you mention the fire. Referring to the fire and calling them “the crew” doesn’t meet the standard of respect required. If they were named them in this piece, I missed it.

  2. Brandon Simmons

    Wish you would do more videos, as I always enjoy them all!

  3. George Capalbo

    As a kid sometime in the mid 60s, my mom took me to see an astronaut speak at the Worcester Art Museum (I’m pretty sure it was William Anders) and when it was time for questions I raised my hand and asked, “Could the capsule sink?” … and he told me not to worry that they test for that!

  4. Eric

    Recently finished listening to Breaking The Chains of Gravity and Fighting for Space via Audible. Thank you so much. Wonderfully researched, so much information.

  5. droid

    “Apollo As A Boat” is my fave Bjork tune.

  6. Bob Blum

    At 1:52, I liked the audio cameo appearance of Pete. 😸
    Say hello to him from all his fans!

  7. Mike M

    After splashdown, did the parachutes get released somehow, or did they stay connected the whole time?

  8. Cody Dockerty

    1:53 yes you make an important point there Pete

  9. Francis Pitts

    This girl is so cool 😊 Smart, beautiful and she covers topics I enjoy.

  10. Rick McQueen

    Thanks Amy! just when I think I have heard everything there is about the early space program, you come up with more interesting content. Any chance of hearing your take on Tindall grams?

  11. Donald Parlett jr

    The Apollo capsule WAS the real “vomit comet”. I’ve read all about this. Being a round bottom it was a dory which is not good for waves.

  12. Ugly German Truths

    Technically it should count as one of the least optimally shaped RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat)

  13. Mark Leavitt

    No one’s done Skylab 2, 3, 4 or ASTP, four missions with Apollo hardware that everyone forgot. For example, I just found out that that they hauled the CM to the deck before egress. There’s probably some interesting stuff there, plus Conrad and Bean.

  14. PTONPC

    I love the “it’s no fuckin boat!”. Often it’s the human side of these things that get forgotten. Oh all hail Pete. He was just adding some commentary.

  15. LadyAnuB

    “…no fucking boat.” It something of the wording I’d expect to come from a sailor. 😂

  16. Damien Tonkin

    I was just thinking that the only problem with the new camera setup is that we never get to see Pete anymore. So that was a nice treat at the end.

  17. rager1969

    Surprise 1: Photo of Amy not in cat-eyed mascara
    Surprise 2: Hearing Amy swear

    I hit the like button three times.

  18. Damien Tonkin

    I love the photos of the astronauts hanging out at the pool with their capsule. I have a Pinterest board of weird and dorky early space photos

  19. SSgt Mole

    Thank you for sharing Jim Lovel’s reaction with us. 🙂

  20. Charlie Behrens

    When I was a kid, we used to watch the SEALs train on recovering the Apollo capsule in San Diego Bay. One day they really blew it and the capsule ended up floating into our backyard in Navy housing on the Amphibious Base. My neighbor and I immediately went and climbed around on it. We were about 12 at the time. 😁

  21. Tom Mosher

    Classic Lovell. Those guys must have been plenty seasick after bobbing around for two days. Nice to see Pete on-camera!

  22. TFuzz58

    Great video Amy. I miss these types of things and truly enjoy when you take us “back stage” in the space program. I really enjoyed your first book and your second one is on my list to get.
    Cheers from Moose Jaw

  23. daffidavit

    I had to purchase the audiobook “Breaking the Chains of Gravity”. I listened to it a few years ago before the Pandemic while driving in my car back and forth to work. It was a very nice piece of Lunar history, and a nice contribution to our NASA library. Thank you for all your hard work over the years as well. From a long time channel follower.

  24. Joseph Raffurty

    So jealous you met Jim Lovell. What a legend!

  25. Bobbys Enterprises

    Great story. And I love the inclusion of the story at the end. I’ve missed you. YouTube hasn’t shown up with your last 4 vids. Now I can binge some more.

  26. Mark Kusler

    Kudos! What a great point and observation! I never even thought about this. Thank you for a great learning video 50 years after the almighty Apollo missions!

  27. Robert Dragoff

    I like how you describe your conversation with Jim Lovell, he sounds like a cool guy! Nice series, great video

  28. Scott FW

    Not to come across as insufficiently appreciating the channel owner/presenter and the content, the musings of handsome Pete do add value to the videos. And yeah, when a sailor makes it clear the thing he went to sea in was no boat that’s about as far the opposite of a compliment as you can go! :D

  29. B.J. West

    Great deep dive — so to speak! You should also do an episode about the manned 2TV-1 thermal test mission!

  30. Robert Destree

    Currently reading Collins’ book. Just finishing the Gemini section and getting into Apollo shortly.

    This video, Amy, was a fuckin’ delight.

  31. GB

    Another thing on the ‘I did not know that’ list. Thank you Amy.

  32. triadmad

    I loved the comment by Mr. Lovell. He was one of my favorite astronauts back in the day, and I’m old enough to remember watching John Glenn’s orbital mission.

  33. Sean V

    As always, you provide great content, Amy! Love watching your shows to learn a little bit more of what wasn’t in my history books!

  34. Matthew Clatworthy

    Thanks Amy! 🚀🙏
    Love it: ‘That was no f*cking boat’! 😅

  35. Joseph Stevens

    “That thing was no fucking boat” – that statement just increased my already immense admiration for Jim Lovell – a space pioneer, great American, gentleman, and just a good down-to-earth kind of guy!

    Thanks Amy – I really enjoy your YouTube videos!!

  36. S Mac

    I have to say, I’d never considered the “floatability” of the command module -until now 😄 Fascinating and superbly-researched content as always & 11/10 for presentation thanks to the bonus Pete at the end!

  37. yorktown99

    Question: what sort of decision-making did the US & USSR go through that led to developing their respective capsule-recovery systems? What sort of challenges did the Soviet program encounter when developing a land-based system? Did NASA develop contingencies for a non-water landing?

  38. Rastersoft

    Always a pleasure to spend time with you to learn new and exciting things!!!

  39. zenmark42

    Pete has important insight, I want to hear it!

  40. TheHylianBatman

    I’m glad to see Pete, I feel like I haven’t seen him in ages!
    Man, nothing really humanizes Jim Lovell like that quote. What a guy.
    I’m certain he was a sailor, he’s certainly got a mouth like one!

  41. Master 123

    Loved it, nice to hear and see Pete, are you aware of the time when NASA lost (well the Royal Navy) an Apollo boiler plate object and the USSR found it

  42. Ron G

    “The crew had been a little uncomfortable at times”. Means they were puking their guts out most of the time.

  43. cordial001

    I love hearing about this kind of stuff and your anecdote with Jim Lovell at the end there was perfect

  44. RedLeader327

    I had no idea this was a thing the Apollo astronauts had to go through. Thanks for the informative vid!

  45. Paul Bervid

    Great insight, great story and Pete speaks.

  46. Bob DeFalco

    01:52 Pete makes his presence known. You may rejoice and give treats, hooman.

  47. Poor Critter

    I was wondering, “was that her cat or mine?”

    Brilliant as usual, and always worthwhile to listen and watch to the end, but speshly when there’s a spicy Southern candid quote!

  48. The Sandwich Maker

    Thanks Amy & Pete!
    I am so happy when your videos drop. Always informative and wonderfully presented. The quote from Captain Lovell made this old sailor’s day.🤣

  49. friendofcoal

    Another great behind the scenes story…. thanks Amy

  50. William Arnold

    I’ve been a fan of the Apollo program. Old enough to remember Skylab.

  51. Darin Scotland

    Thank you, Amy. I love these small but very important footnotes.

  52. James Dunman

    You are doing the work that is going to help the future understand the “why the hell did we do that”. It is priceless capture of knowledge. Bravo Zulu!!! Coming from an old man not a fan of space planes. Reentry ain’t easy.

  53. Brian Ball

    I thought I heard Pete in the background. The line from Jim Lovell cracked me up. Keep up the great work.

  54. Scott Mikusko

    Jim Lovell’s critique of the CM on the water. LOL Nice one!

  55. Alec Earnshaw

    Lovely video Amy! You must have very much enjoyed Jim’s reaction as he realized the knowledge you had of his “boat ride”!

  56. HVAC Quality Assurance

    Jim using navy vernacular, 40 years AFTER that test tells me one thing: That test REALLY, must’ve sucked!
    Of course, sitting in your own urine/ fecal matter for 2 days WOULD suck.

  57. Don Matejek

    I can remember the funeral of the Apollo 1 crew, as my introduction to the space program. I started school in the fall of 1967, but got pushed back for kindergarten. Remember the flight of Apollo 8, during the Christmas flight. Then of course, Apollo 11.

  58. Foxtrot Romeo25

    That Jim Lovell quote just made my day. One of my heroes! Thank you, Amy!

  59. Howie B

    Pete’s commentary at 1:53 is spot on. Always love your videos. Thank You Amy! And Pete.

  60. Darren Signal

    LOL, I love Jim, I’m glad he’s still around.

  61. BKITU

    That Lovell quote is straight gold.

  62. Larry Allan

    Hi Amy! Always great to see another video with these lesser know stories from Apollo! Makes me wonder how long, the longest recovery took and which mission that was? Great to see Pete helping out too!

  63. Waylon McCann

    This was a great story Amy, make sure it goes into your next book!

  64. Steve McAfee

    What a fantastic video! Thank you for doing all your videos, Amy. Great job!

  65. Bruce Berg

    Lovell’s quote made me chuckle. Thanks for including that :-)

  66. Chris Trek

    Absolutely love your channel! You need a T- shirt or a hat. They would sell like hotcakes!👍

  67. Erik Isaksen

    Lol at first I read the headline as “A pollo as a boat”. And I thought “…..yknow, Ive never seen a chicken float… Im guessing they must make terrible ducks…”. Then I realized it was the Apollo spacecraft lol

  68. FlyHigh36

    Always love these nuggets, you so kindly drop!!

  69. biggyfry07

    Lovell has always been my favorite astronaut and that story is yet another reason why.

  70. Musicman81Indy

    EXCELLENT video. I LOVE the Apollo era and every bit of info connected with it. Thank you for this.

  71. Erik Haugan Aasland, priv

    Fantastic video! Gotta love Jim Lovell. What a fun and lively guy! Also, I really appreciate you following the etiquette of introducing the cat to us after his editorializing. :-)

  72. Thessalin

    Ahaha! Love the real life quote from Jim. That’s the brilliance we always come back for. Hi Pete! Hope you’re well!

  73. Ethan Pricco

    I’m jealous that you’ve met Jim Lovell.

  74. acefox1

    Great video! And we can never get enough of Pete!

  75. James Frangione

    Very insightful, Amy! We even heard from Pete and got an AWESOME quote from Jim Lovell! Well done, as always.

  76. Henry Keresey

    Loved Pete’s editorializing in the middle of the video.

  77. Woody

    But as we all know the Mercury spacecraft made an excellent diving bell. 🔔

  78. Hicham Mohsen

    8:20 lmao Jim Lovell is very funny. Thank you for this Amy.

  79. Adam Fairchild

    Jim Lovell is amazing. “Lost Moon (Apollo 13)” is a great autobiography. I’m sure you’ve read it, Amy.

  80. Time Traveller

    I imagine hygiene must have been magnitudes more difficult in there without the manoeuvrability that zero g affords. Also, what kind of radio/aerial would be any use in a bobbing capsule when the rescue ships are over the horizon? Were there dedicated communications satellites for nasa?

  81. Graham Cann

    I not only appreciate your knowledge, and the history you’ve share, but the appreciation you’ve shown our astronauts.
    As always, thank you so very much for the video.

  82. Mikosch2

    This must be about the most Kerbal headline you ever invented! :D

  83. Mark Smith

    Love hearing what Pete has to say too. Please don’t ever edit his comments out. :-)

  84. Chris Hampton

    Amy – Thank you for all you do to preserve and share this history. I grew up in the Mercury – Apollo era and your videos are awesome. Keep it up!

  85. Chris Hampton

    Pete is never a problem on your videos!! His “commentary” is most welcome. ;-)

  86. Peter Anderson

    “I’m on a boat!
    I’m on a boat!
    Take a good hard look at the mother fucking boat!”

    -Things not said by Jim Lovell.

  87. puckay

    Pete o/ He looked so innocent when you got grumpy at him :)

  88. Adrian Colley

    Fry: “How many atmospheres can the ship withstand?”
    Farnsworth: “Well, it’s a spaceship; so I’d say anywhere between 0 and 1.”

  89. MaisieKayGlassCo

    You Rock Amy! I’m new to your channel and enjoy your content. Thank you for keeping vintage space alive!

  90. Jonas Volitsa

    Funny thing : In those years, a French cartoonist (Gotlib, for those who Know) made a Story about a crew of astronauts spending the New Year Eve on Space.
    Back on Earth’s océan, they found out their Space shop was sinking, and the helicopters’ crew diving to save them, while the journalist just wondered about their journey to Space.
    Once they got to the ground, everyone was cheering to them, but they were just frustrated by the end of the mission.

  91. Eric Willett

    Always fun to get these bits of largely untold history from you. The story from Lovell made it just that much better. Keep it up.

  92. Kained but Able

    Stay to the end for a great quote from Jim Lovell!

  93. Glenn Draper

    Hi Pete! Tiger (who could be your twin) also says hi! Very interesting video that, once again, brings to light an unknown aspect about the space program. Take care, y’all.

  94. Screenplaya

    I literally LOLed at the “no fuckin’ boat” quote! Fun one, Amy.

  95. Percy James

    Wow! “it’s no fuckin boat!” It’s these hidden details that really bring perspective to things. Thanks Amy!

  96. Peter Knudsen

    Statements from the true expert (Pete), are always welcome in your blog.

  97. Paul Marshall

    I enjoyed this video, especially the Jim Lovell story!! Nice work!! Cheers!! 🤓

  98. Nick Ingles

    I like what jim said about it, “that thing is no fucking boat”

  99. The Vintage Filmmaker

    Cool beans! Great video as always!!

    Also, is it just me or did it sound like Pete wanted to do his own VO segment at one point lol

  100. Lantern's Own

    Thanks Amy! it’s always cool to learn about the behind the scenes stuff.

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