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in the small print of NASA history
the story of my father: Harold E. Bauer,
known as Hal, technical director
of that workhorse, the Saturn IV-B.
He's quoted on domes, propulsion,
structural integrity, welding
of the bulkhead. He's not quoted
on misanthropic pigeons, cost overruns,
entertaining 'the brass' or how some rockets
blew to smithereens. His staff called him
'Dr. Bauer' though he only had four years
at LACC. In an audio recording,
he says: 'Let me be specific.'
His slow, deliberate voice sounds tired.
Missing from the records, his decades
in the Mojave, at Kwajalein, Holloman
& Huntsville, then Bremen for the Space Lab.
Unrecorded: the drag weight of being
The struggle to de-pressurize. He had
that other family. Complications.
He's buried somewhere in Orange County.
I don't know where. I do have
a beer mug kind of trophy:
Eagle Has Landed
First Manned Lunar Landing
July 20, 1969
Hal Bauer A3 Mission Control
You can come over & see it anytime.
Copyright 2021 Joan E. Bauer. First published in Chiron Review.
On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon.