Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goodbye to an era: voice of "The Right Stuff" passes

A man who lived in my state in recent years, and who was the voice of the early NASA broadcasts has died.

Paul Haney, who was known as the "voice of NASA's Mission Control" for his live televised reports during the early years of the space program, died last Thursday of cancer at a nursing home in Alamogordo. He was 80.

Haney became NASA's information officer in 1958, only three months after the agency was formed. Haney pioneered a real-time system of reporting events as they happened in the first manned flight program, Project Mercury. In 1962 he became the public affairs officer of the Office of Manned Space Flight and moved to Houston to work in what is now Johnson Space Center.

Later he went on to manage information from the Gemini and Apollo flight programs. During those early years, Haney worked in the Mission Control Center, where he broadcast live to television viewers, and the news media covering launches. If you are old enough to remember watching the Mercury flights on television in your high school cafeteria when they used to let classes out because of the importance of those events, then you have heard Paul Haney's voice.


I have a thirst for new knowledge and am constantly searching. Not all that I come across is worthy of taking up brain-cell space. Here is some interesting (and not-so-interesting) information in my travels around the internet; things you simply MUST be aware of...

There are 200 million Blogs which are no longer being undated (3 years ago)

More than one in eight people in US shows signs of addiction to the internet (how could you know something like that?)

Fathers tend to determine the height of their child. Mother’s tend to determine the weight. (I doubt that. Unless you are talking about parental supervision and not genetics)

Panspermia is the idea that life on Earth originated on another planet (for scrabble players, no?)

The Mona Lisa used to hang on the wall of Napoleon’s bedroom (but then, Napoleon use to sleep in the Louvre, right?)

Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts (I'm trying really hard to think of something I care less about. Nope.)

Cows can have regional accents according to a Professor of phonetics. (Who wants to bet me that he got a grant from the U.S. Government to study that crap?)


Photo credit: The New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo.


  1. There are a lot of folks associated with the early days of human spaceflight who aren't with us any more. It makes me very sad, not just because it's the end of an era, but because we may never know the information that dies with them, the experience, the magic they had.

    You have a gift for finding weird stuff. Congrats, I guess.

  2. I'm sorry to say the cow professor was British, or that University College London thought it was sufficiently important that they should duplicate the research.

  3. I knew who Haney was - I heard him too. I was 6 when they walked on the moon. (well, not Haney, but you know what I mean.)

    That panspermia idea makes sense. Look how we're destroying this planet - we're gonna need another one pretty soon.

  4. @Stephanie B - So true. I only single him out because he died a few days ago. So many that did so much aren't with us any more.

    My stuff isn't weird. What are you talking about? :) :)

    @A. - And I am equally sorry you have actually used some memory cells to know this fact. :)

    @Janet - Well, she returns! Finally! Haney was probably still around during the Apollo program, so you never know. You probably heard his voice.

    Our old friend Grumpus was from Saturn. She has gone to prepare us a place. That was probably a different blog.

  5. "Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts (I'm trying really hard to think of something I care less about. Nope.)"

    'Scuse me? That is probably the most compelling factoid of all.

    Oh how you can waste your silly mind....



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