Pro-Family Legislators Conference With Charlie Duke, Part 2 – Visiting The Moon:  What was it like to walk on the moon? What did it feel like to view what the biblical prophets Isaiah and Job wrote about? How did an evolution-believing astronaut come to believe in the Creator? Tune in to hear this special broadcast with astronaut Charlie Duke!

Air Date: 12/31/2020

Guest: Charlie Duke

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, we’re talking about the hottest topics today from a biblical, constitutional, and historical perspective. Normally, David Barton is here America’s premier historian and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.

And usually, the three of us would be talking about those hot topics of the day. But today, we’ve got a special program for you that we started yesterday. Charlie Duke, one of the few people that actually walk on the moon was with us at the ProFamily Legislators Conference just a few weeks ago. And by the way, you should encourage your state rep and state senator to attend the ProFamily Legislators Conference. 

It’s a great time for them to exchange ideas, sharpen each other’s countenance and get ready for those legislative sessions. We had so many great speakers, but Charlie Duke was just outstanding. We wanted to share that with you, our listeners. And so yesterday, we started that presentation, it’s going to take three WallBuilders Live programs to share it with you. So today we’re picking up right where we left off yesterday and then we’ll get the conclusion tomorrow.

Let’s dive right back in. Here’s Charlie Duke at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

Charlie:

We were just focused on this mission. We left earth April 16th, 1972 and on board the Saturn V. Anyway, the Saturn V, if you’ve never seen one, it’s the biggest rocket ever launched. It’s just 363 feet tall, 33 feet in diameter, and weighed 6.5 million pounds at liftoff. And you’re sitting up on top of this thing, and there’s five engines at the bottom. 

A Whole Lot of Shaking

And four of them gamble, they move to control the trajectory. And so when they let the engines at t-minus eight seconds, eight seconds later, it took eight seconds for the engines to get up to full power, and has been clamped down on to the launch pad. And when they say okay, let’s go, they let go and it starts to go.

Well, it’s when they lit the engines, we started to shake up in the cockpit, the spacecraft. But it’s like being on a 363 foot limber fishing pole and big John is shaking it down here and you weigh out on the other end, and you were going like this. 

And the windows are covered over, so you can’t see outside at this point. And so I didn’t remember anybody telling me it was supposed to shake this much. And so I was really nervous but I’m focused on my side of the spacecraft.

And later on when I got back, I asked a flight surgeon, I said, what was my heartbeat at liftoff? He said, you were excited, Charlie. I said, well, I know that but what was it? He said 144. And I said, well, what was John? John’s on the left. He’s a commander and he’d ridden a Saturn V on Apollo 10, and so he was used to it. He kept saying where go Houston, where go Houston, Houston saying you’re going, man, I’m thinking we’re shaking to pieces.

And so anyway, he told me well, John’s heartbeat was 70, so you can see who the cool stone was. When we left Earth orbit over Australia, and we turned around, and our spacecraft and I’m just writing stuff down from Houston and Madding is flying this spacecraft to retrieve the lunar module.

And I look, now the windows are uncovered in into my window floats the earth. And it was breathtakingly beautiful and I just stopped riding and I just kept looking out the window. We were about 20,000 miles away at this point, and you could see the whole circle of the earth.

Like the Prophet Said…

And at the top, well, off to the right, we’re going towards the equator at a 28 degree angle, and so the earth was tilted a little bit, but we could see the coast of California and Baja and Mexico and the Southwestern US, the Rocky Mountains, the Arctic Circle, Canada, the US, Mexico, Central America. The land was all brown. The snow and the clouds were pure white, and the oceans were crystal blue, and hung up in the blackness of space was the earth.

Later on I discovered in Isaiah, God sits in throne above the circle of the earth. And it’s true. It’s a circle. Anybody in here thinks it’s a black sphere? It is not a flat earth, let me tell you. It is a sphere.

Rick:

Alright, friends, going to interrupt Charlie Duke for just a second here as we take a break, we’ll be right back. You are listening to WallBuilders Live.

A Moment From American History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Today, there are numerous documented accounts of individual students being disciplined simply for bringing a Bible to school. Fisher Ames would have been appalled at this open hostility toward the Bible. Fisher Ames was the founding father who authored the House of Representatives language for the First Amendment.

In his day, he vehemently objected to any attempt to minimize the Bible of schools. In fact, he declared, “Why should not the Bible regain the place at once held as a school book? Its morals are pure. It’s examples captivating and noble.

The reverence for the sacred book that is does early impressed last long and probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.” Founding Father Fisher Ames, the man most responsible for the wording of the First Amendment believe that the most important school book was the Bible.

For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, today’s special program. Charlie Duke is sharing from the ProFamily Legislators Conference. Let’s dive right back in where we left off before the break.

Charlie:

In the book of Job, it says when God made the earth he suspended it upon nothing. And that’s exactly what it looks like. But I didn’t know that in back in those days. I was an evolutionist, so that was all we learned, the geology and all of the science from… There was a book out years ago that I read and so this is not my original quote. But this book was titled “From Goo to You by Way of the Zoo” and that’s what I believed.

Five Missions

And so we were going to the moon and took three days in Apollo to get there. And we on the one hour before you land on the fifth day on the backside of the moon out of contact with Earth, Madding had done light the main engine to changes orbit. And as he was checking this engine, he said something wrong with this engine is shaking the spacecraft to pieces. John says, oh, no, don’t burn. And when he said don’t burn, we were in an abort mode, and we weren’t going to get the land in that next hour on the front of the moon.

And so you can imagine trying in two years, eight miles beneath us is my landing spot and they tell me to come home. No landing. Well, thank the Lord for Mission Control. They were the unsung heroes of Apollo and they save the day on just about every Apollo mission.

I worked on five of the nine missions to the moon. I was in Mission Control and support crew for Apollo 10. I was cap com for Apollo 11 in Mission Control, I was backing up on Apollo 13. I was landed on the moon on Apollo 16, is the story I’m telling you and I was back up on Apollo 17. So I was almost so with over half the missions, I was intimately involved and I saw Mission Control in every case solve the problems that saved the crew, or made it missions successful. They were really truly the unsung heroes.

Well, it took them six hours to figure out what was wrong and they couldn’t fix it. But we got to work around. So Madding try this, if it works, then you guys can land the next time around. That was the last orbit for us. The moon was turning very slowly underneath us in our orbit track, our landing site was turning out from under us. And well, it’s the last chance we had to get back into that landing site was this land when we started down.

So we were successful in our landing in the Descartes Highlands, it’s the mountains of the moon. If Neil Armstrong landed at sea level, what we call sea level we were 8,000 feet above that, and it was the mountains of the moon, a place called a Descartes Highlands. And our objective was to explore this for three days.

On the Moon

And let me tell you, when you land on the moon, you’re like a little kid at Christmas. I’m on the moon. I’m on a moon. Wow! Like it is you describing every rock out the window, and you can’t wait to touch them. And so it was really exciting.

People say, what did you feel like? Well, I was excitement, wonder, all of the things that you have, you are an adult, but it was just like a little kid at Christmas. You know, I’m on the moon, I’m on the moon. And it was so thrilling and so exciting, and so wander, and yet I felt right at home in this hostile environment.

It wasn’t like I was an alien in a foreign land. And so there we were, and it was the moon is sort of mostly gray in color, but very rough, and rolling and cratered in rocks everywhere. We had a car called the lunar rover, which is we left up there. So if you want an $8 million car with a dead battery, I can tell you where they go get it. You can see it in a pictures now taken.

So anyway, we spent 72 hours on a surface. The moon is mostly gray in color, but some rocks are white, some are black, is covered with very fine dust like powder. So everywhere you walk, you left your footprints. Everywhere you drove the car, you left your tracks. Let me tell you it is impossible to get lost on the moon.

All you got to do is a U-turn and follow your tracks back. The rover was an amazing car. It was electric and had four wheel drive. It steered the front, steered the brake, steered. And it was very maneuverable. If you didn’t like your parking place, you had a great advantage, you could just pick it up and turn it around up on the moon. It only weighed 80 pounds.

So the situation was right at home. We had a lot to do. We had a lot of rocks to collect, a lot of soil samples. So this dust is so fine, it gets into your fabric of your suit, which was a real tight weave beta cloth, and which was nonflammable by the way, and so you can’t brush it off. And if you look at the videos, then you understand the suits turn from white to gray and you track a lot of dust back inside, but it stays on the floor.

Constitution Alive!

With all of my equipment on down here on earth, I weighed 363 pounds, but upon the moon, only 60 pounds. So you have this feeling of like bouncing like this. But you can fall down very quickly and very easily because you don’t see your feet and you’re looking out in front of you, and you can hit a little rock or a little hole and over you go. And to get up there, if you’re on your face, you just do a series of pushups and you sort of rock yourself up and took about three pushups and you were up.

Rick:

Alright, friends, another interruption here of Charlie Duke. We got to take another break. You are listening to WallBuilders Live, you’re listening to Charlie Duke share at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. We’ll be right back.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know but it gets frustrating because they don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it The Quickstart Guide to the Constitution, because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizens guide to America’s Constitution, you’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now and wallbuilders.com.

Charlie Duke at the ProFamily Legislators Conference

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. You’re listening to Charlie Duke at the ProFamily Legislators Conference, and we’re going to pick up right where we left off before the break, and we’ll get the conclusion of this program tomorrow. If you joined us in the middle of the program today, Charlie, Duke, Moonwalker, one of the few people that actually walk on the moon.

He’s been sharing about “One Nation under God” at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. And we shared the first part yesterday, which is available on our website right now at wallbuilderslive.com. We’re sharing the second part today and then tomorrow, we’ll get the conclusion. Let’s join once again, Charlie Duke at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

Charlie:

It was exciting being and we had fun. I mean, I must have said fantastic 1,000 times, you know, and it was wonderful. It was beautiful. Buzz Aldrin called it “Magnificent Desolation.” And it was desolate, but had a beauty about it. And you looked out at the horizon, and since there’s no atmosphere on the moon, it’s perfectly clear. And then the contrast between the gray bright moon and you look up, and it’s the blackness of space. You don’t see any stars when the sun’s shining. So think about this.

You go into Mars, six months travel to Mars, you’re always in daylight, you won’t have any night. Natural. You can make night by putting up curtains and turn the lights off. But the sun’s always shining. During Apollo, the sun was always shining. From sunrise to sunset on the moon day is two weeks.

So we were there early morning on the moon day, and the sun climbed very slowly. The temperature of the moon was like this, you could have a temperature on the floor, and the sun would try to get your body hot, or the suit hot, but you didn’t feel it. And it wasn’t like air in this room.

Always Daylight

And so when we landed, the average temperature of the surface was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When we left, it was probably 230 degrees Fahrenheit. And so it was always daylight and always beautiful. People say, well, what was it like, standing on the moon? I’m looking up at you and you’re looking down at me.

And I said, well, on the moon, when you look down, you’re looking at your feet, just like you do here. The moon is a big object and if I’m going to see what’s in the sky, I got to look up. Unfortunately, the Earth is right over our head and it never moved. It’s always there in relation to the moon.

So when Apollo, I look up, and I’m looking at top of my helmet. The only time I can remember seeing the Earth was when I set the high jump record on the moon and I jumped up and I fell over backwards. And as I did, I landed and fortunately, I was terrified actually, but the suit held together because I helped myself land softly. And now the front of my visor, well, there’s the Earth right outside and, and it was a half Earth at a time.

So anyway, we got back safely in 11 day mission. And the fastest you go in Apollo is during reentry. And I remember looking at the computer and we were going through 38,000 feet per second. That’s over 26,000 miles an hour.

And you quickly get this fireball around the spacecraft as you plunge into the atmosphere. The heat from the heat shield ionizes the atmosphere and it’s like you’re in, we heard about Shadrach Meshach and Abednego last night, and that’s what I felt like. I was in the fiery furnace 65 degrees in the spacecraft, but a 5,000 degrees outside. But the heat shield was a perfect thing.

A Hero’s Welcome

So I came back to hero’s welcome, General Miss Lewis were here, he was at Fort Bragg at that time in my hometown, which was like 9,000 people had this Charlie Duke day. And they were there representing the US Army from Fort Bragg. And so it’s good to see you all again.

And so it was a hero’s welcome, but I’ve never felt like a hero. I was doing my job. I’m not a hero. I was just doing my job and very excited about doing it. And so it was a successful mission.

After Apollo was over, I went to work on the Space Shuttle Program, but left NASA 1976. You know, I got back from the moon and here I am 36 years old, and I climbed to the top of the ladder and I was at the pinnacle of my career at 36. And the thought occurred to me, what are you going to do now, Charlie? See that drive that’s inside that took me to the moon was still there. Where do I go with it? I had no peace.

We were in church. Our family believed in God. We were at Episcopal Church in La Porte, Texas. We had two young sons when I went to the moon, five and seven. And so our family instead of getting closer and closer during these next three years, got farther and farther apart because I was so frustrated with my career, and I didn’t have any peace in my life.

Rick:

You’re listening to Moonwalker, Charlie Duke. He is one of the few people actually walk on the moon, he shared with us at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. That’s who you’ve been listening to today. We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back, we’ll join Charlie Duke again at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.

The American Story

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today. And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil and everything in America was built off slavery.

Which is certainly not true or things like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out of statement, Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.

Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story. Starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America, not as the story of a perfect nation or a perfect people, but the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out wallbuilder.com, The American Story.

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. You’ve been listening to Charlie Duke share at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. Let’s pick up right where we left off before the break. Here’s Charlie Duke

Contemplating Suicide

Charlie:

Dorothy and I we were steaming full speed towards the rocks of divorce. And it got so bad that she’s thoughts of suicide. You know, if this is all there is to life, and it’s so painful and so tough, why live any longer if there’s nothing after this? She’d gone from believing in God, very godly family, her grandfather was an Episcopal priest, her uncle was the Bishop of Atlanta at the time and married us in 1963. So it was a godly family. But being a godly family doesn’t make you a follower of Jesus.

And she’d gone from, you know, in the Episcopal Church at that time they baptize babies, well, you’re in. You know, you’ve been baptized. And so that was the attitude, and she couldn’t have any concept of the love of God or there really was a God. If life is so tough, and it really what do you so live in, why don’t you just better off and I kill myself? A lot of people have same thoughts today. But fortunately, some people came to our a little church on a weekend.

From Sadness to Joy

They called it Faith Alive, there’s about 10 couples, and they really knew Jesus. And they were sharing their story like I’m sharing my story. And they had love and joy and peace. Jesus is alive. And we follow Jesus. And we seek Jesus. We’re under God. We seek his direction. God saw this love and joy that they have.

And she has a little booklet called from “Sadness to Joy”, it’ll be on the table out here, you can see. And in this story, she tells how she tried everything but God, everything but Jesus. And after that weekend, she went into our bedroom unbeknownst to me, and basically our prayer was God I don’t know whether you’re real or not, Jesus, I really don’t know whether you’re Son of God or not, but these people say you change their lives.

I made a mess of my life. Come into my life if you’re real. I give you my life. If you’re not, I want to die. Prayed to die, God didn’t show up. Well, God can accept those challenges and he shows up and begins to answer her prayers, and tells your husband not to love you. She was saying this to God. Well, God was saying to her, your husband might not love you, but I love you and I’ll never leave you. Follow me.

Pro-Family Legislators Conference With Charlie Duke, Part 2 – Visiting The Moon

And over the next two months, I watched her change from sadness to joy. This was October 1975, and I decided to leave NASA and take my eyes off the moon and put them all money. And so I was going to be get rich in the beer business in San Antonio. And I was a Coors beer distributor for two years. I went into the Air Force reserves so that I could have enough time to retire when I got to 20. This was like 18.5 year service for me. And so I made a lot of money, but I didn’t have any peace.

Rick:

Hi, friends, we are at a time for today. You’ve been listening to Charlie Duke sharing at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. We will get the conclusion of that presentation tomorrow. If you joined us halfway through, then both yesterday and today’s programs are available right now at wallbuilderslive.com and then tomorrow we’ll get the conclusion with Charlie Duke.

But while you’re there at wallbuilderslive.com, please consider making a one-time or monthly contribution. Here we are at the end of the year, final few days to make those contributions and get those tax write-offs. We sure would appreciate you considering WallBuilders Live as a part of your end of your giving.

Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!