As the launch approached, excitement grew and as the countdown hit zero, the titanic rocket thundered upwards.
The Apollo 11 Story Part 5: Houston, The Eagle has Landed
Just twelve minutes and two stage separations later, the Saturn V upper stage carrying its precious payload entered into an orbit around Earth. Before settling down for their trip to the moon, the crew performed the transposition, docking, and extraction maneuver.
The now paired CSM and LM spacecraft were then separated from the spent upper stage which entered into a trajectory taking it past the moon. Aside from a minor velocity correction and a minute televised broadcast, the crew spent much of the next two days busying themselves with spacecraft operations. On July 19 at , the Apollo 11 spacecraft passed behind the Moon. The spacecraft fired its service propulsion engine and successfully entered into a lunar orbit.
See a Problem?
Before moving forward, the crew orbited the Moon thirty times studying their landing site in the southern Sea of Tranquility. The landing site had been scouted by the Ranger 8 and Surveyor 5 landers and was chosen because of its relatively flat surface. After a short visual inspection by Collins to ensure the LM had not been damaged, Armstrong and Aldrin began their descent. Although the mission had, until that point proceeded without incident, the descent to the lunar surface would not be a smooth one.
Soon after Armstrong and Aldrin began their descent, they realised that they were passing surface landmarks at least four seconds earlier than they should have been. This indicated that they would miss the landing zone by several kilometers and would like have to make adjustments closer to the ground. After referring the issue to NASA ground control Houston , they were told to ignore it and continue with the descent.
The Eagle Has Landed: The Extraordinary Flight of Apollo 11 in
It was later found that a radar switch had been left in the wrong position due to an error in the checklist manual. The computer had, as a result, been flooded with more calculations than it could complete. Luckily, Apollo software engineers had programmed the guidance computer to ignore lower priority tasks when it was overloaded allowing it to focus on what was most important, landing safely. We're breathing again.
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Thanks a lot. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin raise the American flag on the moon. As commander, Armstrong had the privilege of being the first astronaut to set foot on the moon.
Big men, small moon
As he stepped off the ladder onto the lunar surface, Armstrong famously radioed back to Earth, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. The two men spent the next two hours taking photographs, recording their impressions of the landscape, collecting piles of moon rocks and soil specimens, and deploying a package of scientific experiments, some which would stay on the moon after they left.
After a meal and a few hours of sleep, it was time for Armstrong and Aldrin to rejoin Collins and the CSM in lunar orbit. Neufeld says that this was another nail-biter moment for folks like him watching at home. Thankfully, the ascent engine ignited perfectly and Armstrong and Aldrin cruised into lunar orbit where they pulled off yet another tricky maneuver, docking with the CSM in mid-flight.
Armstrong, who had performed the very first successful space docking ever during Gemini 8, proved more than capable for the job.
This would be the final test for the Apollo 11 crew and the thousands of engineers and test pilots who had made this moment possible. The capsule had to enter the atmosphere at a razor-precise angle. If they came in too shallow, the capsule would skip off the atmosphere like a rock on a pond. Reset to normal contrast. Contrast options Choose a colour combintion to give he most comfortable contrast. Southport Branch. Phone: About the library.
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