The man credited with saving both Apollo 12 and Apollo 13 was forced to resign years later while serving as the Chief of NASA when Texas Senator Robert Krueger blamed him for $500 million of overspending on Space Station Freedom, which later evolved into the International Space Station (ISS).
Apollo 12 was struck by lightning during launch and was on the verge of being aborted before a single Flight Controller realised that flipping a little known switch would restore enough systems to save the mission.
Apollo 12 commander Pete Conrad’s first word upon setting foot on the Moon was “Whoopee!” in order to win a $500 bet with an Italian journalist that NASA didn’t script astronaut declarations.
When Conrad, the third man on the moon, who was somewhat shorter than Neil Armstrong, stepped onto the lunar surface, his first words were “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.” This was not an off-the-cuff remark: Conrad had made a US$500 bet with reporter Oriana Fallaci he would say these words, after she had queried whether NASA had instructed Neil Armstrong what to say as he stepped onto the Moon. Conrad later said he was never able to collect the money.