Thanks to my father’s newspapers, we know what the astronauts ate on the moon (Armstrong and Aldrin-Meal of a Lifetime) and the fact that a lemonade stand was providing cold beverages, for a mere fourteen cents a cup, to all the news media parked on the street. (See Young Entrepreneurs on Neil Armstrong’s Street) How many of us thought of the necessity of packing drugs for a headache, diarrhea, or a stuffy nose?
According to the July 18 article in the New York Daily News, packed tightly into a 5x5x8 inch pouch were aspirin, Band Aids, and Neosporin. For pain, I found it fascinating to learn that NASA packed two narcotics: Demerol and the now banned Darvon.
For those nights when the astronauts were too excited to sleep, they could open up the Apollo 11 Drugstore and retrieve a Secanol. The Houston Space Center attempted to anticipate all ailments—motion sickness, red eyes, and infections.
Doctors at Mission Control could monitor the heartbeats, fatigue, and respiration from afar. They needed to know if each of the three men had any allergies to any drugs, so they could provide alternatives. They did this by feeding them each drug prior to liftoff.
Sounds kind of boring, doesn’t it? I guess there was just not much happening on planet Earth between the day the spacecraft left our planet until the historic day when they landed.