Esta entrada del blog es algo especial. Y espacial.
Es la primera de una serie en las que voy a transcribir las charlas que los astronautas del Apollo impartieron en el V Festival STARMUS.
Ha sido un ejercicio complicado pues algunos de ellos tienen un acento que me resulta complicado. Pero tras varios intentos creo que puedo liberar la primera de ellas. Me ha servido para afinar el oído (con una gran pequeña ayuda de mi amiga Beanca).
No podía sino empezar por la de Al Worden, piloto del módulo de Servicio (CSM), “Endeavour” del Apollo XV.
Mientras sus compañeros Dave Scott y James Irwin se divertían conduciendo el primer rover lunar, él permaneció en órbita realizando observaciones y experimentos a la espera de recogerles cuando regresaran con la parte superior del módulo lunar, denominado en esta misión con el alias “Falcon”.
Al Worden tiene dos récords reconocidos por el famoso libro Guinness:
- Primera persona que realizó un paseo espacial fuera de la órbita de la Tierra.
- Persona que ha estado más lejos de cualquier otro ser humano (3.957 km le separaban de sus compañeros. Del resto de los seres humanos estaba bastante más lejos…).
Os dejo la transcripción de su charla tras las tres líneas horizontales.
No puedo subir el audio porque no lo permite mi cuenta gratuita de WordPress. Pero voy a ver si lo convierto en un vídeo subtitulado en Youtube y lo enlazo desde aquí.
Es un placer escuchar los poemas de boca del autor. Una oportunidad única. Muy afortunado de haber estado allí presente.
“Forwards! Greetings from Endeavour!
You know, I said that 75 times going around the moon.
Every time the Earth came over the horizon, I said activation control.
Forwards! Greetings from Endeavour!
I said it in 20 different languages because we’re trying to make a point that then. That.
We’re all humans on this planet that we call Earth.
And uh space planets. Something for a…
I grew up on a small farm in Michigan.
And I truly believe I lived the American dream.
How do you go from being a farmer on a 10 acre farm in Michigan, to be going to the moon?
Pretty incredible, I think.
Takes a lot of persistence. Takes a lot of dedication. And It takes a lot of training.
And the training only begins when you get down to Houston.
I’m going to go off a little bit here.
I’m not going to talk in a sort of traditional way about, about thrust and weight and that kind of stuff.
I’m going to read you some stuff that I wrote many years ago.
Training is endless it takes alI my days, Flying and trying To work through the maze. Meetings and mockups Reports and phone calls, Instructors go wild And climb up the walls. You never will make it The clock seems to say, What I did wrong last week I got right today. Simulators humming Practice the burn, Try staying cool When at last it's your turn. Pump down the chamber Let's see how he does, In the vacuum of Houston My head is a-buzz. 700 switches The joke is on me, I've studied the systems They're off 23. Simulated malfunction, To us it looks real. They're driving us crazy inventing the wheel. Crashed on the moon? For the tenth time today, We must do it right For the program to pay. Houston is calling: “You've lost Fuel Cell 3 Switch to the other And you'll be home free.” The training is endless It takes all your days, But then comes the flight And you find it all pays.
We went through all that training for our flight.
Three years of specific training just for a flight.
And that’s on top of all the training that we did all of us before we got into the space program again so…
training was so important.
But then the morning comes for launch.
You get all dressed up and you go through the things you’ve got to do and you get it and then you go out to the launch pad and you get ready to launch.
Houston is like
Blast off! Fast off! Sky clear Watch here; Speed up, Straight up Lights flash Controls thrash; Vibrations Palpitations A fragile link Just here to think This wasn't intended Becoming extended. Stop, stop. Stages drop. On we soar Engines roar Smoother ride Vacuum outside Horizon is in view Launch phase is through.
and it’s kind of what you go through its nerves.
It's nerves: The task is here now Stay cool, they won't know, And then it will be too late. I know I can do it. A vibration, a roar, Motion, Shaking, rattling, we lift Straight up. Lights flash, panel moves, Floating in nothingness Then softly, Softly, the motion begins again. Push up to switch: Suddenly, light everywhere Slowly, softly, as in a dream Streaking down Trying to return… too fast. Flashes again, only more gentle, Relief -everything works- Is it possible? Men is a fragile thing. Didn't we realize that? Faster, faster, but Only in numbers, There is no speed, No motion. Where are we? This is a mistake: Am I the only one who cares? Upside-down Trying to fall Off the edge of the Earth. We've got to go on Compelled by God knows what To find answers And rocks. And then nothing; Lights stop, hearts start, In one monstrous moment We are in orbit.
Once we get into orbit, on my flight, we went around the world one-and-a-half times.
At 90 miles, which is a little low for a long term space flight.
So we had to do all our checks quickly. And get ready to go to the moon.
One-and-a -half revolutions over Hawai. We fired up our engine again.
And we went to the moon.
Took us three and a half days to get there.
And we went into a 60 mile orbit around the moon.
And here’s kind of what it’s like; two hundred and forty thousand miles away from home.
Sliding silvery wings through day night light Barely turning Edging on to new worlds. Tranquility on the surface. Anxiety within; Conquering the mountain of space is not for the weak hearted. Spinning Earth in view. Home-plate port All Calls for the question: Why climb this hill? Because it's there is not enough. Inexorable, yet comprehensible like the tick of a clock; Study the history in rocks and we learn more about our own planet And all the others. One thing becomes clear When floating 240.000 miles from home. God did it all.
So we spent six days. At the moon.
And I came around the Moon worse for sixty one hundred and fifty rubles. Seventy five revolutions.
Basically, by myself.
And every time we came around I saw the Earth, and you see the planet.
And it’s so special. It´s where we live.
We don’t see any other place where we can live. But the Earth is where we live…
Hello Earth: I see you shining Through the glaze of space Floating in the oil-slick void A quilt around your face. Hello Earth: it's clear you're hiding Worldly problems from my view Could it be you are forgetting I am worldly too? Hello Earth: Please stop pretending You are sinless, new and pure The scars that you are hiding Only heighten your allure. Hello Earth: I wish you'd answer And in answering take stock It's clear you are a spaceship And must do with what you've got, Hello Earth: Your life is finite Does the answer lie out here? If we don't resolve your problems Life on Earth may be too dear. Hello Earth: Greetings from Endeavour!!
This is thanks of a very very good friend of mine: Farouk El-Baz
Who, as an Egyptian, was my geology instructor.
And a wonderful person.
He is the one who translated all the Earth´s greetings from Endeavour into 20 languages for me to say.
So, we leave lunar orbit. And we’re on our way back home when I do a spacewalk and that is to collect from film canisters that we had inside. Out in the service module and to our cameras.
And spacewalk is kind of a unique thing.
Gives you a chance to disconnect from everything.
Gives you a chance to be outside by yourself.
Here’s what I thought it was like
A spacewalk Is like Being let out At night For a swim By Moby Dick.
Think about that a little bit.
That’s kind of like it because I’m floating along next to this huge white machine.
It was kind of like an
Umbilical Breaking free Being born. Growing up Getting wise Being worldly No surprise. Learning to fly Getting wings Rise above Those earthly things. Something special Comes along Go to moon As in the song. Umbilicals EVA Out the hatch In light of day. Far away Mother Earth Floats along Watching birth. Cycle over Doing fine I was born At thirty-nine.
From there and I must admit I probably take a lot of time.
But we got to it one.
What´s space-flight all about? It´s hard to describe.
I did my best. And you know what… I love about poetry?
I have a musical background.
I was going to be a musician before I was, kind of, pushed into going through the military academy because of family finances.
So, I had to give up my musical career.
But I think that impacted me a little bit.
I don’t play anything anymore.
I think music is the bedrock for everything.
And I think poetry is kind of in there along with the music.
So what is spaceflight all about?
Let me try and draw a picture for you:
In the distance, barely seen, The thin horizon knifes between The ocean and the sky. I know that I could reach it If I had wings to fly. Then gazing upwards, far away, The stars and planets dance and play In an infinite ocean of space, Like Sirens of old they beckon me To join in their embrace. Close at hand the pelicans pass As wind whispers softly through the grass And waves gently stride upon the beach. The world is calm and peaceful… Do further than my reach. How can I leave this lovely place To venture forth in outer space? Consider the dangers I might find Exploring Ganymede Another question in my mind. While I love the scene around My mind imagines, without bound. Why I feel the call to roam Could it be a Lunar flight to one small step towards home?
So, with that I’m going to put one more which I wouldn’t sure I want to do but
we always try to depict the kind of people that would go to the moon and come back.
And this was an attempt to kind of explain.
What are heroes? Bits of steel And bronze and silver you can feel With steady eye and chiseled chin Iron muscle, leather skin. Their marvels are for all to see, They step where others dare not be To save us all from anarchy Or monarchy— or democracy . . . Do not question their master plan Or try to psych the metal man Because he has a hollow brain And tarnishes quickly in the rain. What are explorers? Men who are bold Who strive and struggle in the cold To find a place not yet discovered . Return the treasures not yet recovered; To place their name upon a feature Or assign it to some new-found creature. The world is always far away In the mind of this marvelous man of clay. Because he's not involved, you see, In the problems of humanity . . . And so he shuns society While craving notoriety. What are pilots? Men of wings Who soar in space and do the things That earthbound mortals would not try Because they think God's in the sky. So pilots do their daring feels In the air, and under the sheets, As their reward for taking flight. Keeps them awake most every night. These men of fearless flying skill Have no conscience, but the thrill Of conquest burns them deep Regardless of those at home who weep. What are astronauts? And What am I? Hero, pilot, explorer, in love With myself and with my work, Unheeding the many dangers that lurk In outer space or here on earth I accept all as due my birth; Magnificent performance, on lunar surface Belies my need of an earthly purpose, Accepting gifts as my just reward Taking grey money to be on the board. I do my job way out in space But, God forgive, the friends erased.
Thank you very much.”
Fue una auténtica sorpresa descubrir la faceta poética de Alfred Worden…
Por supuesto, me lleve su libro dedicado.
Si quieres oir la voz original de Al con estos poemas puedes hacerlo aquí:
Afortunadamente grabé las charlas de todos los astronautas del Apolo. Además, con gran esfuerzo, he puesto subtítulos en inglés y en español.
Sed indulgentes conmigo pues la traducción es muy libre ya que lo de traducir poesía y que rime es muy complicado.
Si consideras que es mejorable (que lo es y mucho) admito sugerencias para mejorar la transcripción y la traducción.