Steely-eyed Missile Man is a Scottish ale that is very malt forward with a chewy mouthfeel. This is not a smoky/peaty Scottish ale.
What’s the name mean?
A Steely-eyed Missile Man is an astronaut or engineer who quickly devises an ingenious solution to a tough problem while under extreme pressure. The name originates from the Apollo 12 mission and NASA engineer John Aaron. Aaron is credited with saving the Apollo 12 mission when it was struck by lightning soon after launch.
Thirty-six seconds after liftoff, Apollo 12 was struck by lightning, causing a power surge. Instruments began to malfunction and telemetry data became garbled. Instead of aborting the mission, Aaron realized that he had previously seen this odd pattern of telemetry.
A year before the flight, Aaron had been observing a test at Kennedy Space Center when he had noticed some unusual telemetry readings. On his own initiative, he traced this anomaly back to the obscure Signal Conditioning Electronics (SCE) system, and became one of the few flight controllers who was familiar with the system and its operations. For the case that first drew his attention to the system, normal readings could be restored by putting the SCE on its auxiliary setting, which meant that it would operate even with low-voltage conditions.
Aaron surmised that this setting would also return the Apollo 12 telemetry to normal. When he made the recommendation to the Flight Director, “Flight, try SCE to Aux”, most of his mission control colleagues had no idea what he was talking about. Both the flight director and the CAPCOM Gerald P. Carr asked him to repeat the recommendation. Aaron repeated himself and Carr responded “What the hell’s that?” Yet relayed the order to the capsule; “Apollo 12, Houston. Try SCE to auxiliary.” Fortunately Alan Bean was familiar with the location of the SCE switch inside the capsule, and flipped it to aux. Telemetry was immediately restored, allowing the mission to continue. This earned Aaron the lasting respect of his colleagues, who declared that he was a “steely-eyed missile man”.
Our Munich Dunkel, SCE to AUX, is also named for this event.