Apollo 15 launched on July 26, 1971 and lasted for just over 12 days. It was the ninth manned mission to the moon and the fourth consecutive Apollo mission to land on the moon. The three Apollo missions prior to 15 all landed successfully on the moon, but the astronauts on those missions were all limited in their ability to explore the Moon’s surface. An objective of Apollo 15 was to find a way to give the astronauts a greater range from the Lunar Module in order to collect broader lunar samples. As such, the Lunar Roving Vehicle was introduced to the mission and the procedures for launch, which had made the three missions prior successful, began to change.
All things considered, the mission was a success. But it did experience issues, partly related to the additional weight from the new equipment the astronauts were bringing with them… partly due to the upgrades on the Command Service Module (the biggest panel in the spacecraft). After an anomaly with the S4b (the engine that fired for orbit insertion) which gave the astronauts only a couple minutes to gaze back on Earth while still in its orbit, the most significant technical flaw encountered on the Command Service Module required a couple mid-course corrections while floating to the Moon. Other problems, tied more directly with the complexity of the machinery, decorated the remainder of the mission… The degree of the malfunctions would freak out people like you and me on a typical basis, but the crew endured by working with Base to resolve the issues and, most importantly, relying on each other to pull from their collective reservoir of knowledge in order to resolve these issues in-flight.
I bring this up because I recently came across the Apollo 15 Launch Checklist, a document spanning over 120 pages of the detailed itinerary of tasks needing to be performed at each stage of the mission’s pivotal points. It’s not just pre-launch items, but each stage of the mission. But dang – it is extensive.
As Brian and I were talking about what type of discussion would be useful concerning co-hosts, I thought about the incredible interviews he’s had over the last 100 episodes of Profitcast and how many of them concern the importance of being prepared prior to podcast launch. While the scale of criticality between a podcast launch and an Apollo launch is almost incomparable, it does expose the fact that there will inevitably be things that go wrong after a launch, in spite of extensive preparation and checklists.
What is comparable is the quality of the team you’ve assembled around your mission. Without the knowledge of each team member on Apollo 15, without their clear-headedness and acute attention to detail, without their team-centric mentality and concern for both the lives of their crew members and the value of the mission NASA had equipped them for, Apollo 15 would have been a failure.
To celebrate Brian’s 100th episode of Profitcast, I have the privilege of joining him behind the mic to talk about a pre-launch item that can be a game changer when confronted with mid-flight course corrections: co-hosting. Who do you want in the co-pilot seat when your podcast encounters technical flaws?
Brian and I met in the summer of 2014, the summer prior to the series premiere of The Flash, for which it was our intention to rock another Golden Spiral Media podcast together. As a trial run, of sorts, Brian invited me onto one of Arrow Squad’s summer installments, since Kevin, his co-host for that show, was unavailable.
Very quickly into the recording session, we knew that everything was going to work out quite nicely! We had a very unique chemistry, got along well, and shared a lot of the same interests. Even though we only co-hosted Central City Underground for half a season, before handing it over to two incredibly qualified guys over at Golden Spiral Media, we were eager to keep co-hosting together. Shortly after handing CCU over to Tony and Joe, I was invited to join Arrow Squad full-time. A year and a half-ish later, here we are!
While Brian’s and my partnership and friendship may be unique or rare in the podcasting world, there are a lot of translatable lessons we’ve learned through our various team-ups. These things are important enough, I believe, that they should be one of the driving forces in helping a podcaster choose a co-host. We hope to provide you with the motivation and encouragement to seek out a co-host that will provide value to your listeners, complement your personality, and be that trusty co-pilot who will take over the controls if you need to take a leak.
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