"Can you hear me now?" is a trademark question
brilliantly conceived of by Verizon and repeated ad nauseam by its geeky repair
guy in TV commercials. 30 years earlier, NASA outdid them big-time. On July 20,
1969, the as yet unbroken long distance phone call record was set by President Nixon
from the Oval Office. Per the
president's daily diary, "The President held an interplanetary
conversation with Apollo 11 Astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the Moon."
Get that? Interplanetary! I am not sure where the moon was in relation to the Oval
Office, but the distance could have been anywhere from about 226 kmiles to 257 kmiles.
If you listen closely, you can hear the 2.5-second echo caused by the round-trip
radio signal propagation time (note "to join" at
1:18, then echo at 1:20). Do not be tempted, as some commenters on the video did,
to claim the Moon call does not count because a radio was required between the desk
phone and Eagle (re-designated Tranquility Base while on the surface);
that is how your cellphone works. From the Oval Office to Tranquility Base - what
an accomplishment! The only way to beat that record would be to send a human out
beyond the orbit of the moon, which is not going to happen for a long, long time...
unless China decides to do so.
Distance Phone Call Ever Made - From the Oval Office to the Moon
Very First Verizon Advertisement with the "Can You Hear
Me Now?" Guy
Posted August 2, 2011
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