Alternate Apollo 11 Crew

Is it possible that Apollo 11 could've had a different crew? If so, who are the most likely to replace Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as the first men on the moon?
 
With the right POD, you might get Gus Grissom as first on the moon. Or at least that's what Deke Slayton used to hint at.
 
Jim Lovell and Alan Shepherd are the two most likely mission commanders. Jack Swigert would have been a good choice for Command Module pilot since he specialized in it, though Vance Brand would also be a good choice. And assuming we can get NASA to think ahead a little bit, Harrison Schmidt would be perfect for Lunar Module pilot. A trained geologist, sending a scientist to the Moon early in the program (instead of it's final fight) might get NASA more support by showing that they're actually going there for scientific reasons and might get them funding for missions up though Apollo 19.
 
I read some NASA documents that listed Neil Armstrong, Gordon Cooper and Alan Shepherd as the top choices for the first moon landing.
 
Jim Lovell and Alan Shepherd are the two most likely mission commanders. Jack Swigert would have been a good choice for Command Module pilot since he specialized in it, though Vance Brand would also be a good choice. And assuming we can get NASA to think ahead a little bit, Harrison Schmidt would be perfect for Lunar Module pilot. A trained geologist, sending a scientist to the Moon early in the program (instead of it's final fight) might get NASA more support by showing that they're actually going there for scientific reasons and might get them funding for missions up though Apollo 19.
Alan Shepard is still medically grounded and if he gets around that has no in-space/flight experience with APOLLO (which was a big deal for the "first" try missions). Schirra is retired, and burned a lot burns on AS 17, Cooper is done. Borman, McDivitt, and Stafford are the most experienced with command experience on the active roster other than Schirra .
 
Alan Shepard is still medically grounded and if he gets around that has no in-space/flight experience with APOLLO (which was a big deal for the "first" try missions). Schirra is retired, and burned a lot burns on AS 17, Cooper is done. Borman, McDivitt, and Stafford are the most experienced with command experience on the active roster other than Schirra .
Lovell was actually the most qualified at the time IMO. Hell, he was on the backup crew for Apollo 11. Moving him to prime crew wouldn't have been a big deal
 
There was no shortage of qualified crew members. Armstrong won with the most assertive-sounding name. And Aldrin sounds a little like adrenaline.
 
There was no shortage of qualified crew members. Armstrong won with the most assertive-sounding name. And Aldrin sounds a little like adrenaline.
Lovell was actually the most qualified at the time IMO. Hell, he was on the backup crew for Apollo 11. Moving him to prime crew wouldn't have been a big deal
Yes, Lovell was, but reading the various books, he appears to be racked right below Borman, McDivittt, Conrad, and Stafford which still isn't bad in any way (note, he didn't get a command in the first crews plan, 7-12, in the original plan). So... if this is a replace (by Leadership) just Armstrong, its very, very likely it's Borman if it's changing crews, Borman, Lovell, and Anders (NASA leadership and the Slayton/Sheppard really believed in the "crew/team" rotation approach).

Now, based on Slayton's (and most of NASA leadership) wish to have an Original 7 first on the moon, I have no doubt that if Shirra i wanted it would have gotten another (THE) right-hand seat, note getting a seat on the "likely" 1st landing attempt (as well as Cooper if he have played by the rules).

One note, I seem to remember there was "talk" in Houston (I'll try and find the reference tonight), of grabbing the AS-8 crew (consider the "best" "crew"), and putting them on AS-11 when it became apparent AS-11 (very likely) was going to be the first landing attempt, and if AS-11 failed put at least McDivitt and Gordan on AS-12. BUT Slayton killed that idea as soon as he heard it, as long you did your job, and didn't screw up outside of the capsule, you got your ride!
 
there is also the 800 pound gorilla that no one mentioned yet. If enough political clout was used and He hadn't decided to get completely out of the astronaut business, John Glenn just might be put on the crew as lead. Would you want to be the one to say we don't want John Glenn to land on the moon?
 
there is also the 800 pound gorilla that no one mentioned yet. If enough political clout was used and He hadn't decided to get completely out of the astronaut business, John Glenn just might be put on the crew as lead. Would you want to be the one to say we don't want John Glenn to land on the moon?
I think his head injury around 1964 was serious enough that he could not be considered.
 
there is also the 800 pound gorilla that no one mentioned yet. If enough political clout was used and He hadn't decided to get completely out of the astronaut business, John Glenn just might be put on the crew as lead. Would you want to be the one to say we don't want John Glenn to land on the moon?
Yea, if Glenn "really" wanted it, and stayed In NASA Full Time (which means saying NO to the JFK)… flying in Gemini, and being willing to do the "dirty" support stuff (including PR trips).... and "getting along with both his bosses, and his fellow astronauts...."

Even then he still needs to cease being; "COL John Glenn, Hero, first Free Man to orbit the Earth ..." I don't see any President allowing NASA or Glenn to risk his LIFE.... trying to be first on the Moon.
 
Keep in mind, Glenn retired because he was the oldest member of the astronaut corps by far. NASA's timetable when he retired wouldn't have seen a Lunar landing until Glenn was in his 50s. As it was, Apollo 11 happened when he was 48. To keep him in the astronaut corps, you need NASA to revise their schedule and make a Lunar landing seem possible before Glenn gets too old.
 
I read that Buzz Aldrin always thought he would be first to walk on the moon, and was pissed that Armstrong got the nod. He held a bit of a grudge against Neil for that, and as a result, never took pictures of Neil on the moon (the only still picture of Neil on the moon, is his reflection in Aldrins helmet when Neil took Aldrins picture).

Ric350
 
So far i know the story

The Mercury seven had to be Commander for apollo mission (by Kennedy or NASA i don't know)
but on way to Moon things not went good for the Seven.

Donald Slayton - diagnosed with an erratic heart rhythm grounded during Mercury - Gemini - Apollo, flew ASTP the last Apollo CSM.
Alan Shepard Jr. - flew Mercury-Redstone 4, 1963 diagnosed with Ménière's disease, grounded until 1971, flew as only Mercury seven Apollo 14
Virgil Grissom - flew in Mercury and Gemini mission died in Apollo 1 fire 1967
John Glenn Jr. - first American in Orbit - flight status removed, retired from NASA in 1964, flew mission STS-95 in 1998.
Malcolm Scott Carpenter - had in 1964 motorcycle accident what cripple his his left arm, resigned from NASA in August 1967.
Gordon Cooper Jr. - flew Mercury-Atlas 9 and Gemini 5 was planed as mission commander for Apollo 14 in 1971 but his lax attitude toward training and his personal safety, he was replaced with Alan Shepard Jr.
Walter Schirra Jr. - flew Mercury-Atlas 8 and Gemini 6A and Apollo 7, He resigned from NASA in 1969 after Issue with Apollo 7

other men who could get to moon
Charles Bassett and Elliot See were prime crew for Gemini 9, but died in airplane crash in 1966.
There dead let to crew reshuffle that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, from backup to prime crew.
Had the accident never happen Charles Bassett and Elliot See would be prime crew for Apollo
 
I like the fact that several people have included:​

Cmd. Virgil "Gus" Grissom,

and in honor of the other two crew members of Apollo 1 who died in the fire on Jan. 27, 1967, I'd like to also suggest:​

Ed White, and

Roger Chaffee
 
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Every book I've read, makes it clear, if Gus have survived (Slayton, NASA Senior leaders, the Flight Directors, the engineers agreed), he would have gotten the first landing mission.

As for Cooper, Slayton supposedly told Cooper, that IF he did a "great' job as backup commander on AS-10 he would have a chance at a Apollo flight down the line....
 
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