Overnight Australia Eastern Standard Time the Apollo 11 crew will begin events that will lead to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon in the Apollo 11 Lunar Module.
Looking ahead, these are the major events over the next 13-14 hours (text taken from transcript of mission control to Apollo 11 crew at http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11transcript_pao.htm):
This is Apollo Control at 100 hours, 14 minutes. We are now less than 2 minutes from reacquiring the spacecraft on the thirteenth revolution. When next we hear from them the lunar module should be undocked from the command and service module. We’re presently about 25 minutes away from the separation burn which will be performed by Mike Collins in the command module to give the LM and the CSM a separation distance after descent orbit insertion maneuver of about 2 miles.
We have some times on the upcoming events. The separation maneuver is scheduled to occur at a ground elapsed time of 100 hours, 39 minutes, 50 seconds, the descent orbit insertion maneuver which will be performed on the backside of the moon set for 101 hours, 36 minutes, 14 seconds, and the beginning of the powered descent at 102 hours, 33 minutes, 4 seconds.
We’re now 55 seconds from reacquiring Apollo 11 on the thirteenth revolution. During this revolution we will be doing the separation maneuver. We’ll also be giving the crew on the lunar module a GO-NO/GO for the descent orbit insertion maneuver. We’ll stand by now to reacquire the spacecraft. We have confirmation of acquisition of signal. We’ll stand by for a call to the Crew.
APOLLO 11 MISSION COMMENTARY 7-20-69 CDT 14:44 – GET 102:12
This is Apollo Control at 102 hours 12 minutes into the flight of Apollo 11. We’re now 2 minutes 53 seconds from reacquring the spacecraft, 21 minutes 23 seconds from the beginning of the powered descent to the lunar surface.
It’s grown quite quiet here in Mission Control. A few moments ago Flight Director Gene Kranz requested that everyone sit down, get prepared for events that are coming, and closed with a remark "Good luck to all of you".
Here on the front of our display boards we have a number of big plot boards which will be used to keep track of the burn progress. Along the more important of those is one which will show the performance on onboard guidance systems, both the primary and the back up guidance system and compare the guidance systems with the Manned Space Flight Network tracking. These displays, by the time this is all over, will look a great deal like a combination Christmas tree and Fourth of July.
We’re now 1 minute 39 seconds from reacquiring the command module, Columbia. Acquisition of the lunar module will come a little less than 2 minutes after that.
At the time we acquire the LM it should be at an altitude of about 18 nautical miles descending toward the 50,000 foot pericynthion from which point the powered descent to the lunar surface will be initiated. If for any reason the crew does not like the way things look as they are coming across the pericynthion, simply by not initiating the maneuver they will remain in a safe orbit of 60 miles by 50,000 feet, and if they desired they would be able to attempt the powered descent on the following revolution at a ground elapsed time of about 104 hours 26 minutes.
We’re now coming up on 30 seconds to acquisition of the command module and we’ll stand by for that event.
APOLLO 11 MISSION COMMENTARY 7-20-69 CDT 15:10 – GET 102:38
Eagle, Houston. You are go. Take it all at 4 minutes. Roger, you are go – you are go to continue power descent. You are go to continue power descent.
Lights on. Down 2-1/2. Forward. Forward. Good. 40 feet, down 2-1/2. Picking up some dust. 30 feet, 2-1/2 down. Faint shadow. 4 forward. 4 forward, drifting to the right a little. 6 (garbled) down a half.
(garbled) forward. Drifting right. (garbled) Contact light. Okay, engine stop. ACA out of detent. Modes control both auto, descent engine command override, off. Engine arm, off. 413 is in.
We copy you down, Eagle.
Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.
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