SCE To AUX

 

If you don’t know the story of SCE to AUX, you’ve missed what might be one of NASA’s finest moments. During the Apollo 12 mission, 36 seconds after liftoff, the craft was struck by lightning. Astronaut Conrad said that “Almost every warning light that had anything to do with the electrical system was on”. Sixteen seconds later, another discharge struck the craft.

At mission control, John Aaron, a flight controller in charge of the electrical system, lost all the flight telemetry on his screen. Mission Control had mere seconds to decide whether or not to abort the mission. In the midst of the chaos around him, John Aaron remained calm and in control.

He had seen the exact same thing occur nearly a year before. In a clear voice he said, “Flight, try SCE to AUX”. Pete Conrad, the flight commander didn’t know what John Aaron meant. Neither did anyone at Mission Control. Alan Bean knew exactly where the switch was located and flipped it to the ‘AUX’ position. Telemetry was immediately restored.

It was John Aaron’s extensive experience that provided a solution to the problem. For years he had lived and breathed his job, consuming every bit of knowledge that might be relevant to the mission and the lives of the astronauts that he was responsible for.

And this story was my answer today to the client that called and wanted me to handle his PPC campaign. I told him he needed an expert. He said that he thought I could do it, or that maybe, he could do it. And I said, “Maybe, but an expert will know exactly when to try SCE to AUX”.

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