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Apollo 11 re-enactment – On the way home

apollo_11_photo_aldrin_outof_lm Man has been to the Moon, walked on it, slept on it and is now returning to Earth.

APOLLO 11 MISSION COMMENTARY    7-20-69     CDT 12:46  –  GET 100:14

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 evnts. 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 14:07  –  GET 101:35

This is Apollo Control at 101 hours, 35 minutes. We’re. now. less than one minute from the scheduled time for the descent orbit insertion maneuver performed by the lunar module on the backside of the moon.

Of course, we don’t have radio contact with the spacecraft. In mission control here normally maneuvers of that sort would be monitored on plot boards in front, and we have the boards set up there for the powered descent. To occur about 1/2 rev from now over landing site 1. Flight controllers standing around in little groups. Not much that we can do at this point until reacquiring spacecraft.

We’re now 20 minutes – or 20 seconds rather from ignition on the descent orbit insertion. It will be a 29.8 second burn of the 9800-pound thrust descent propulsion system. We should be burning at this time. The result of this maneuver will be to put the spacecraft into an orbit 57.2 by 8.5 nautical miles, and it would remain in that orbit until powered descent.

We should have a cut off by this time. That should have completed descent orbit insertion maneuver. We would expect to reacquire the command module first. Command module acquisition time is 102 hours, 14 minutes, 38 seconds. That will be just about 2 minutes prior to the time that we will have reacquired the lunar module.

The LM acquisition time is 102 hours, 16 minutes, 25 secomds. That is about 37 minutes, 20 seconds from now on the CSM at about a little less than 2 minutes longer than that for the LM.

At 101 hours, 37 minutes, this is Apollo Control, Houston

APOLLO 11 MISSION COMMENTARY    7-20-69     CDT 15:15  –  GET 102:43

35 degrees. 35 degrees. 750, coming down at 23. 700 feet, 21 down. 33 degrees. 600 feet, down at 19. 540 feet, down at 30 – down at 15. 400 feet, down at 9. (garbled) 8 forward. 350, down at 4. 330, 3-1/2 down. We’re pegged on horizontal velocity. 300 feet, down 3-1/2. 47 forward. (garbled) Down 1 a minute. 1-1/2 down. 70. Got the shadow out there. 50, down at 2-1/2. 19 forward. Altitude-velocity lights. 3-1/2 down, 220 feet. 13 forward. 11 forward, coming down nicely. 200 feet, 4-1/2 down. 5-1/2 down. 160, 6-1/2 down, 5-1/2 down, 9 forward. 5 percent. Quantity light. 75 feet, things looking good. Down a half. 6 forward.

60 seconds.

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.

30 seconds.

(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.

EAGLE (Armstrong)
Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.

APOLLO 11 MISSION COMMENTARY    7-20-69     CDT 21:52  –  GET 109:20

I’m at the foot of the ladder. The LM foot pads are only depressed in the surface about 1 or 2 inches. Although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It’s almost like a powder. Now and then, it’s very fine.

I’m going to step off the LM now.

That’s one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.


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