by P W Laurie
A note regarding this version
This work was a much longer piece in its original form until a decision was taken to prune it to suit a booklet publication. After further deliberation, it was decided that it was a piece much better suited, after all, to the internet, and for the following reasons: 1) in its booklet form, its availability would have been subject to donations made to the FBEL website which, given that its audience, casual, regular or otherwise, apparently doesn’t think that FBEL material is worth the paying for, would have meant in reality that only one or two people would been able to read what is actually quite an important piece of literature; 2) the material is heavy with images – dark ones, at that – and there was a concern as to whether they would have been reproduced on paper so as to show the detail satisfactorily – besides which, images take up space and cost more money (and apparently there is no appetite amongst the FBEL audience to invest in this sort of thing).
The first alteration was designed to get to grips as early as possible with the problem of light in the Apollo 11 Command Module, and how that led to the discovery of the Magic Window. Chapter 8 was dropped after being deemed unnecessary, as was a whole couple of chapters-worth of material about the size and apparent fixed location of the Earth in the window, and the problems with the cooling of Apollo 11. Only Chapter 8 has been reinstated at this time, but the other material might be added later as an appendix – the heat problem is particularly fascinating. Chapter 3 was initially edited to remove Armstrong’s observations of the Earth, his conversations with Ground Control and related material. This meant adding an extra chapter (Seven) to deal with the Earth image anomalies, and so the required reduction of pages for booklet publication was a problem that wasn’t getting solved. The internet, of course, is never so restricting.
Update 13/01/2018: This piece is unavailable at this time due to the decision to restore the material as discussed above.