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Bring Them Home From the Moon!

We all remember Neil Armstrong’s famous quote upon landing the moon: “One small step for man…” 50 years ago! What?!! But who remembers the quote from President Richard Nixon on returning from the moon? Which was that?

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.”

It IS AN ACTUAL QUOTE! Really!? HOWEVER, it just was never used because those “brave men” did return from the moon! Nixon had it all ready to go… just in case. What most don’t know is the story of one single engineer who likely kept us from ever hearing that quote from Nixon! He had an idea on how to bring them back from the moon… and he didn’t give up to convince others he was right! Totally different from the old pics of a huge rocket on the moon. Instead a lunar landing craft and a lunar orbiting craft.

​​ A single NASA engineer, John C. Houbolt, figured out how to bring them home from the moon. He innovated when almost everyone else was thinking along the line of the old cartoons where the same rocket you blast off earth in, also blasted off from the moon. Had Houbolt not figured out a way to have a lunar orbit rendezvous and done all the innovating to make it happen, we all may have mourned those poor men stuck on the moon. John Houbolt was willing to think outside the box AND do the hard work of convincing all the others who believed he was out of his mind that a lunar orbiting spacecraft and a lunar landing module could solve the biggest challenge facing a moon landing – “How do you get those guys home once they get there??” His story is now told in the book, available on Audible, The Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon. by Todd Zwillich. Fascinating stuff! Quick Coaching Tip: Know what you believe strongly enough in to risk your own reputation, time and energy to accomplish. Then don't give up! What is that for you? Do you have an idea that solves a problem others can’t or won’t solve? If so, don’t waiver! Even when others think you’re wasting time and “out of your mind.” It just may be what makes the difference between celebrating success 50 years from now or mourning failure!

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