Why would the worry be great? Based on the odds, it's a minor bug or even a non-infectious system upset. Because in non-Apollo situations, that's what it is, 90% of the time. Among healthy young men, kept in isolation for a good period, odds would go up much higher.
Cholera, typhoid? WAAYYY down the list of possibilities.
What fattydash/DoctorTea/MaryB/Sicilian, etc fails to appreciate is that while best medical practice may not have been followed there are reasonable explanations for that which have nothing to do with a hoax. Apollo 8 was not originally scheduled to go to the moon. The profile was changed for a number of reasons but one that loomed large was that the Soviets might be planning a circum-lunar mission to steal Apollo's thunder. Thus I suspect that unless the flight surgeon declared that there was an imminent danger of death from a medical emergency they were going to press ahead with the mission. Perhaps a cynical view but I think rather more credible than believing they hoaxed the whole thing.
One thing I wonder (and forgive me if this has already been covered), is whether fattydash's demand for "questions from the doctor" was already satisfied.
I mean, how likely was it that the questions fattydash expects, the questions that an ER doctor or a GP would ask of some patient they've seen rarely or never, were all already answered by the doctor as a natural result of his day-to-day supervision of the astronauts.
It seems to me that a doctor asks you what you did yesterday because he has no idea at all what you did yesterday. He asks you what you ate, because your diet is a complete mystery to him. But these questions would be redundant and a waste of time, for the Apollo flight surgeons. They know exactly what the astronauts did yesterday, and exactly what they ate.
Could it be that it's not so much a matter of questions not asked, but rather questions already asked and answered, before the conversation even began?
Last Edit: Jul 7, 2011 22:19:30 GMT -4 by stutefish
but asserting that the missions must have been faked is an unsupported and unsupportable jump based on a "No True Scotsman" fallacy
Indeed. 'fattydash' is developing a history of making statements that, even when they're true, do not support the conclusions that he draws from them.
One must remember how the Apollo flight control teams were structured. The controllers all reported to a singularly powerful figure, the Flight Director, with the authority to take any action he deemed necessary to protect the crew and the mission. Every good flight director listened carefully before making an important decision. But like any manager, he had the privilege to accept or reject any piece of advice. That includes advice from the Surgeon, who was just one of a dozen or so controllers, each with a specific area of responsibility. And once Flight made a decision, it was law. Not even NASA management could overrule it except by firing him on the spot.
Historians still debate the various decisions taken by Apollo flight directors. Whether the decisions concerning Borman's illness are among them, I do not know. Nor do I have an opinion on whether the Surgeons gave the appropriate medical advice given the information available to them; that's something best evaluated by someone with medical training.
But to say that the decisions taken (or not) in this case somehow call into doubt the reality of the entire mission is a leap of illogic that cannot be sustained no matter how much medical training someone might have.
Thus I suspect that unless the flight surgeon declared that there was an imminent danger of death from a medical emergency they were going to press ahead with the mission.
Indeed. This wasn't just a casual drive to Vegas. It was the very first trip ever by human beings to the moon. Years of development, planning and training, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars of tax money, had gone into preparing for this and subsequent missions. It was closely watched every step of the way by the whole world.
The three astronauts had already spent years of their lives doing nothing but prepare to fly on Apollo. One (Borman) had been heavily involved in the recovery from the Apollo 1 fire, including running a hostile gauntlet at a Congressional hearing. He, Lovell and Anders were all too aware of the risks they were taking, and of the especially gutsy nature of the Apollo 8 flight. Yet each also knew that if he withdrew, dozens of other pilots just like them would instantly volunteer to take his place. This was an extraordinary opportunity that might never come again (and indeed only Lovell did fly again).
Under those conditions it's perfectly reasonable to think that unless it was glaringly obvious that the mission simply could not be continued all three astronauts would have insisted on continuing it. What was a minor bout of gastrointestinal nastiness next to the opportunity to be the first human beings to see the far side of the moon with their own eyes?
Patients who "look like Borman" with diarrhea, vomiting, chills get interrogated big time regardless of "familiarity". Some cases of infectious diarrhea must be reported to the local board of public health for obvious reasons. This is fairly significant stuff.
Some cases of infectious diarrhea must be reported to the local board of public health for obvious reasons. This is fairly significant stuff.
Yes, because a norovirus can make hundreds of public workers sick which impacts upon services such as social care, teaching, hospitals and doctors' surgeries etc. The impact of not having enough trained and qualified staff to deal with real emergencies is where the balance of risk lies. The reporting is so that monitoring and measures can be put in place to limit the impact and manage the situation. It does not necessarily imply a fatal epidemic of black death proportions.
The fact that Bormann, Anders and Lovell were half way to the moon is not the same as a public outbreak of a norovirus on Earth. Two different situations and two different courses of action. I still fail to see your point. We're talking about physically fit specimens, and as ka9q explained, taking part in the cumulation of years of research and engineering, and what was about to be a human first - seeing the far side of the moon with their eyes.