At 10:56 P.M. Tonight, will u be joining millions from around the World on a Celebratory Toast to Mankind’s 1st Step on the Moon? (Once upon a time, 50 years ago)

APOLLO 11 Tribute Article

The Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon in all its glory is now laid out right before your eyes.  This Article is a SALUTE to all the men and women at NASA who have brought the World a very enviable amount of Successes, amazing technological feats, and sadly, some gosh darn awful tragedies.

But tonight, raise your glasses high as Mankind took OUR 1st step on the Moon!  Congratulations NASA!  I remembered it then and I remember it now.  And this Huge Step was done for all Mankind and for every one of us then, now, and all to come.

God Bless…the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author of A Panther’s Father Book Series.

Below is all NASA baby!


FIRST are the Videos!

SECOND is the Entire Mission Report!

THIRD is the Apollo 11 Mission Log!






“We stand here in the dusk, the cold, the silence, and here, as at the first of time, we lift our heads.”

(From his poem Voyage To The Moon) Archibald MacLeish

    At 10:56 P.M. EDT, Sunday, July 20. Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, spacecraft commander of Apollo 11. set foot on the moon. His descent from the lowest rung of the ladder which was attached to a leg of the lower stage of the Lunar Module {LM), to the footpad, and then to the surface of earth’s only natural satellite constituted the climax of a national effort that began in 1961. It was an effort that involved, at its peak, more than 300,000 people in industry, the universities and in government.

    As he took his epochal step, Armstrong commented “Thats one small step for a man, one giant leap for Mankind.”

    Sharing this electric moment with Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the LM pilot, were an estimated half-billion TV watchers in most of the earth’s nations. As the astronaut descended the ladder, he pulled, a “D” ring that deployed a black and white television camera which was focused to record the event. Framed by parts of the LM’s under-carriage, Armstrong’s heavily-booted left foot descended across millions of TV tubes until his boot sole made contact.

Work on The Moon.

    With the post landing checks completed, Armstrong climbed out of the LM and descended to the lunar surface. The moon walk began more than five hours ahead of schedule as a result of deciding not to have a rest period on schedule. Armstrong’s attention was first directed at the nature of the surface material. He reported that the top layer was a fine, powdery material. He noted that he sunk in only a quarter of an inch or less, and that the footpads of the LM, which are convex discs 32 inches in diameter, had penetrated only a few inches. He also observed that the exhaust of the descent engine had not cratered the area directly below the LM engine nozzle.

    After a quick visual check of the LM, Armstrong went ahead with his scheduled task of collecting the contingency sample – several pounds of lunar surface material which he stowed in a spacesuit pocket. In the course of his collecting, he noted that as he dug down five or six inches below the surface, he encountered hard, cohesive material. Armstrong had been assigned this collection as a first task to make sure that there would be samples aboard in case an early abort of the mission was necessary.

“Buzz” Aldrin descending the ladder of the LM.

Astronaut footprint on the moon.

Aldrin Leaves the LM.

    Once the LM inspection and the sample collection were completed, Aldrin got out of the LM and climbed down the ladder, with Armstrong providing voice guidance. Armstrong was taking pictures of the event at the same time. The two then “unveiled” the plaque mounted on the strut behind the ladder by removing a protective covering. They read the inscription for the benefit of their world audience.

“Here Men From Planet Earth
First Set Foot Upon The Moon
July 1969 A.D.
We Came In Peace For All Mankind”

Report On The Lunar Surface.

    Armstrong removed the TV camera that had covered his first step on the moon and transmitted several panoramic shots of the area surrounding the LM. The pictures came through with remarkably good definition and showed a fairly level area pitted with small craters. There was a scattering of boulders of varying sizes and shapes, some of them as large as two feet in their biggest visible dimension.

    The astronauts described the surface color as varying from a very light to a dark grey. When in the spacecraft, Armstrong reported seeing some boulders that had apparently been fractured by the exhaust of the descent engine. Their surface was a light grey — perhaps coated with the powdery surface material. The fractures were very much darker. From the astronauts’ comments, it appeared that the sun angle was a factor in color. When the variation between the sun angle and the viewing angle was zero, the surface looked almost white. The brilliance of the sun made the astronauts careful not to look in its direction. Conversely, the depth of the shadows made it difficult for Armstrong to watch his footing. It was evident that the wide swing in temperature between the 180 degrees F in the sun and the -160 degrees in shadow created no problems. At one point, Aldrin reported being cool and corrected the problem with an adjustment of the thermal control on his suit.

    Armstrong set the TV camera on a tripod some 40 feet from the LM and adjusted its field of view so that it would encompass their subsequent operations. Mission Control suggested an adjustment to the left so that the camera’s field of view centered on the LM in the background with a viewing angle wide enough to cover the area in which most of the activities would take place.

Approach to Landing Site #2 taken from lunar orbit. Crater Maskelyne at lower right. Shadow at lower left thrown by part of spacecraft.

Setting Up The Experiments

    Aldrin then took the solar wind experiment and set it up. This was a narrow rectangle, about 4 feet long, of a foil-like material suspended from a rod that extended horizontally from the top of an aluminum staff. Aldrin forced the staff far enough into the moon’s surface so that it would stand alone. He adjusted the rectangle so that it was aligned with the sun. After sufficient exposure, it would be taken down and brought back to earth.

    The crew next deployed a specially structured 3′ x 5′ American flag. They fitted together its two-piece aluminum staff and deployed a support along its upper edge so that it would remain unfurled in the lunar vacuum.

A Phone Call From The White House.

    With this task completed, Mission Control put through to the crew the longest long-distance telephone call in man’s history. It originated in the White House and was relayed by the facilities at Mission Control to one of the giant dish antennas handling ground-moon communications, and thence to the LM crew. Advised that President Nixon wanted to talk to them, Armstrong responded, “That would be an honor.”

    President Nixon told the astronauts, “As you talk from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to double our efforts to faring peace and tranquility to earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one.”

    When the conversation was finished, Armstrong and Aldrin faced the camera and saluted.

Collecting Samples.

    The collecting of samples in bulk went forward without incident. Armstrong and Aldrin between them bagged upwards of 50 pounds {earth weight) of the loose surface material and selected rocks. These were stowed in small beta cloth bags and sealed and then packed in two large containers – also sealed – for eventual stowage aboard the LM. The crew used a scoop for the loose material and a pair of tongs to pick up the rocks. These tools were provided because it was thought that the space suits might make it impossible for the astronauts to bend far enough to retrieve objects from the surface. However, Armstrong subsequently dropped a film case and, after steadying himself against a strut of the LM, bent his knees and picked it up.

    Both astronauts made a slow circle of the LM, examining it closely for damage resulting from the flight. They found nothing. The small thrusters called quads, the antennas, the struts and the skin of the lunar lander were in good condition.

    The two main experiments were taken out of the LM and set up approximately 70 and 80 feet south of the LM. The distance was a safeguard against damage to the instruments by the ascent engine exhaust at take-off. The seismometer, designed to record and report events affecting the physical structure of the moon, began returning data immediately. It was sensitive enough to record the impact of the astronauts’ feet on the moon’s surface as they walked. The laser reflector which was to provide very precise information on the moon’s distance from earth and its orbital path did not immediately function. The reason for this is not clear. A few days later it commenced operating.

Ease Of Movement.

    In the long prelude to the flight, scientists had reservations about man’s ability to move around in the lunar environment. The space suit, with its back pack of life support equipment, has an earth weight of 180 pounds. Moreover, in the lunar vacuum, the suit’s internal pressure inflates it – a condition that substantially reduces its flexibility. There were also doubts as to human ability to adapt to the one-sixth gravity of the moon. It was feared that there might be a disorientation that might make movement awkward.

    Armstrong and Aldrin quickly demonstrated that these fears were groundless, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly in doing so. Armstrong reported that the one-sixth G simulator in which they practiced at Houston. Both observed that the back pack tended to tip them backwards. Aldrin went through a series of movements, with a running commentary, to show TV watchers what could be done. He noted that it was important to know where the body’s center of mass was and to keep a foot under it. He found it helped to lean in the direction of the movement and that turns were made easier by “cutting” in the manner of a running back in football. The “kangaroo lope”, which some scientists thought might be the best method of lunar locomotion, worked – as the astronauts demonstrated -but not as well as the time-tested earthly method of simply putting one foot in front of the other.

    The ease of movement on the moon’s surface attested to by the fact that the astronauts ignored the rest periods that had been scheduled for them during the moon walk. Despite this, at no time during the exercise was there any heavy breathing. For the most part, the astronauts’ heartbeat was lower than expected – lower, in some cases, than that of those at Mission Control who were watching. Armstrong’s heart rate at one point reached 160 beats a minute, twice normal, but this was at the end of the walk when he was loading the rock samples into the LM. Pulse rates for both men were within the acceptable range throughout.

    As he moved around, Aldrin commented that the rocks were rather slippery. “The powdery surface fills up the fine pores on the rocks,” he said, “and we tend to slide over them rather easily.”

    During the moon walk, the TV transmission had a ghostly quality. The astronauts’ white space suits, the grey tones of the moon’s surface, the buoyancy of their movements, and the strange configuration of “Eagle” combined to give the impression that what viewers were seeing was truly from another world.

     Besides the TV camera, the astronauts used a trio of other cameras for surface photography. They got both stilt and sequence coverage with a Hasselblad still camera, a Maurer data acquisition camera and the Apollo Lunar Surface Close-up camera.

“Buzz” Aldrin walking in vicinity of Lunar Module. Footpad of Module is at right.

Re-entering The LM

    After assurance from Mission Control that al! assigned tasks had been compieted, the astronauts prepared to re-enter the LM. Aldrin went in first and Armstrong transferred up to him the lunar samples and the film packs. At 1:09 A.M. EOT, Armstrong climbed the ladder and went through the hatch. Two minutes later, the hatch was secured. Armstrong had walked on the moon for 2 hours, 31 minutes and 37 seconds; Aldrin roughly 40 minutes less.

    After removing the life support systems that had sustained them on the lunar surface, the two astronauts began a rest period lengthened beyond plan by the addition of the pre-walk rest that had been omitted after they first touched down. Armstrong rigged himself a hammock and Aldrin curled up on the LM floor. Neither slept well.

    Shortly after 11 A.M. EOT, Ground Control roused the astronauts, and they began the last phase of their housekeeping in preparation for return to lunar orbit.

    A tense countdown began and at 1:54 P.M. EOT, the LM ascent engine roared to life and propelled the LM upper stage upward on a vertical course at a rate that reached 54 mph at the thousand foot level. A burn of roughly 7 minutes of the ascent engine placed the LM in an elliptical orbit of approximately 9 nm by 45 nm. A short phase burn nearly circularized it at 49 x 45 nm, and four short additional burns of the reaction control thrusters brought the LM to the rendezvous with Collins in the Command and Service Module {CSM). Save for a brief and unwanted burn by a thruster, docking was accomplished without incident on the far side of the moon at 5:35 P.M. EOT. The LM was cast off and the Service Propulsion engine was fired at 12:56 A.M., July 22, to place the CSM on the long voyage home.

Oblique view of the lunar far side from lunar orbit. Large central crater is International Astronomical Union #308. It has a diameter of 50 statute miles.


    Four days earlier at 9:32 A.M. EOT, July 16, the five great engines of the Saturn V first stage ignited precisely on time, flaring a huge skirt of flame around the base of the rocket. After several static seconds for thrust buildup, the six-million-pound Saturn/Apollo lifted from the launch pad and moved purposefully up past the retracted gantry, gaining speed as it climbed. It was a perfect beginning for a nearly flawless flight

    It was a The technical events of the pre-orbital phase -the roll sequence, jettison of the launch escape tower, first stage cut-off, second stage burn, second stage cut-off and third stage burn – took place with clockwork precision. With the shutdown of the third stage engine, both spacecraft and the stage entered a 103 nautical mile circular orbit exactly as planned.

On Course To The Moon

    The crew spent the next full orbit and part of the checkout. Over a point northeast of Australia, Ground Co ntrol gave them “go” for insertion into their translunar course. Re-firing the third stage engine increased velocity to roughly 24,200 mph – sufficient to break out of low-earth orbit into a free-return trajectory, an elliptical course that if undisturbed, would loop the spacecraft around the moon and bring it back to earth.
Once on course, the crew set about separating the CSM from the third stage which still housed the LM in the protective shelter of the panelled adapter section. The CSM was pitched 180 degrees, the adapter panels were disposed of and the CSM was flown slowly back for docking with the LM. The latter was separated from the third stage and the newly joined components moved a safe distance from the stage. Ground Control ordered the stage to dump its fuel – a move that propelled it into a course around the moon and thence into solar orbit. The spacecraft continued its outward coast to the moon.

    Though it left its earth orbit speeding at more than 24,000 mph, relative to earth, the gravitational pull of the home planet steadily slowed the spacecraft until itsvelocity had been cut to slightly over 2,000 mph. At this low point, the Apollo was approximately 34,000 nrn gravitational field is stronger than that of earth and the spacecraft, accordingly, began to pick up speed.

    The acceleration continued until, at the point of insertion into lunar orbit, the spacecraft was travelling roughly 4,000 mph relative to the moon.

Astronaut Edwin Aldrin is in the process of taking a lunar soil sample. In the background is the solar wind experiment.

Into Lunar Orbit

    When Ground Control had given “go” for insertion into lunar orbit, the crew braked the spacecraft with a retrograde burn of the Service Propulsion engine and slipped into an egg-shaped orbit of 61.3 nm at low point and a high point of 168.8 nm. A short retrograde burn at the low point altered the orbit’s dimensions to the nearly circular course of 65.7 nm by 53.8 nm. After the LM had separated for its descent to the lunar surface, Collins in the Command Module (CM), would remain in this orbit, a lonely monitor of surface operations until Armstrong and Aldrin flew the LM up to rejoin the mother ship.

    Following the orbital correction Armstrong and Aldrin crawled through the docking tunnel into the LM for housekeeping and a systems and equipment checkout in preparation for their descent to the moon’s surface. At 1:46 P.M. EOT, the LM undocked from the CSM.

To The Surface Of The Moon

    An hour and 22 minutes later, the descent maneuver began with a retrograde burn of the LM’s descent engine that placed the LM in an elliptical orbit with a low point 8.5 nm above the moon. When the orbital low point was reached, the powered-descent stage started. This involved dropping the LM out of orbit into an arching glide with a terminus on the moon’s surface. The glide path had two check points: one called “hi-gate” at an altitude of 7,600 feet and 26,000 feet laterally from “lo-gate,” 500 feet in altitude and adjacent to the landing zone. During the glide the spacecraft’s velocity would be cut from 342 miles an zero. The descent went as planned and as the LM reached “lo-gate,” its attitude approached the vertical to the moon’s surface. As the LM dropped below 500 feet in altitude, the crew transmitted a staccato numerical report to Ground Control on its rate of drop and lateral movement.

    A few seconds from touchdown, there was a break in communications providing a few tense moments, the next thing heard from the crew was:

“Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

    During the communications break, the crew saw that their line of approach would take them into a crater the size of a football field covered with large rocks. Armstrong took manual control and flew the LM to a site four miles away and then gently set the LIVI on the lunar surface. When he cut off the descent engine, he had 30 seconds worth of fuel remaining. During this maneuver, Armstrong’s heartbeat went from a normal 75 to 150. Point of touchdown was estimated to be about 120 miles southwest of the crater Maskelyne, although for a considerable period no one was sure of Eagle’s exact location.

    Aldrin immediately began describing the view from his window. “. . . . it looks like a collection of just about every variety of shapes, angularities and granularities, every variety of rock you could find. … it looks as though they’re going to have some interesting colors to them.”


    Compared to the earlier stages of the flight, the return leg of the mission was routine. So precise had been the Service Propulsion engine firing that only one of several planned midcourse corrections was needed, and that a velocity change of only 4.7 feet per second.The astronauts busied themselves with housekeeping chores and rested. Early on July 24th, the crew began make ready for re-entry and splashdown. Rough weather in the planned landing area forced a shift to an alternate aiming point 215 miles down range. The spacecraft re-entered the atmosphere at 400,000 feet at 12:35 P.M. EOT, and 13 minutes later splashed into the Pacific Ocean approximately 825 nm southwest of Hawaii. The landing was within 13 nm of the prime recovery ship Hornet.

A Scrubbing

    A half-hour after splashdown, a frogman in an isolation suit passed three isolation suits through the spacecraft hatch. The only difference between the suits worn by the frogmen and those given the astronauts was in the helmet. The astronauts’ exhalations and the frogmens’ inhalations were filtered. With President Nixon looking on from the bridge of the Hornet, the astronauts climbed into a rubber boat and were scrubbed down with an iodine solution by a frogman. The astronauts, in turn, scrubbed down the frogman. After the crew had been lifted into the helicopter, the Apollo spacecraft got a similar scrubbing. The isolation garments and the scrubbing were phases of the elaborate precautions against possible, but unlikely, contamination by lunar organisms.

    Aboard the carrier, the crew entered the mobile isolation unit where they remained until reaching Houston. At the Manned Spacecraft Center they were Laboratory where they were to complete their 21-day period of quarantine (calculated from the time of their departure from the moon).

    The President’s greeting to the astronauts was delivered below decks on the Hornet to the trio who were clustered behind a small window in the rear of the mobile unit. In congratulating them he stated, “As I travel into Asia and Europe, I’m going to find that as a result of what you’ve done, the world’s never been closer together. We can reach for the stars just as you have.” The President also extended an invitation to dinner.

Safeguards Against Contamination.

    Precautions to ensure that the astronauts would not introduce to earth microorganisms peculiar to the moon began before the liftoff from the lunar surface. The crew left on the moon items that had sustained maximum exposure to lunar material such as their outer foot gear. Before rejoining Collins in the CSM, Armstrong and Aldrin gave themselves a thorough vacuuming with an attachment that hooked onto the air hose of their suits. The LM interior was also vacuumed, and the cabin atmosphere triple-filtered. As they crawled through the docking tunnel, Cotlins maintained higher atmospheric pressure in the CSM than in the LM which had the effect of erecting an air barrier against the LM atmosphere transferring to the CSM. Once in the CSM, with the tunnel sealed, the vacuuming operation was repeated.

Aldrin prepares to deploy two experiments: the seismometer and the laser reflector.

Records and Firsts.

    As might be expected from the nature of the mission, Apollo 11 established a number of records and “firsts.” It put the largest payload ever in lunar orbit. In the 8-day mission, the TV networks beamed abroad, via satellite, telecasts totaling 230 hours. Comsat estimated viewers totaled 500 million. It was the healthiest flight. None of the crew had to resort to the medical kit for any reason. All phases of the lunar touchdown, the rnoon walk, and the ascent to 50,000 feet were “firsts.” A record number of people watched the launch. Local Civil Defense officials estimated 1,000,000. Watchers pitched tents on nearby beaches and dunes, filled the motels and hotels and created a massive traffic tie-up. More than 3,000 newsmen from 55 countries besides the U.S. were on hand to report the event. Japanese news media were represented by a press corps of more than 100 correspondents.

TV from Space.

    Highlighted by full in situ coverage of the moon walk in black and white, the astronauts’ telecasts began with an unscheduled transmission on the second day of the flight, followed by a second scheduled effort lasting an a half-hour. At 4:40 P.M. EOT on the third day, the crew put on a color telecast that lasted more than an hour and a half. Picture resolution and quality were exceptional. Coverage included the interior of both the CM and the LM. The opening of the docking tunnel was photographed and the astronauts were depicted at work in the LM. Exterior views of the spacecraft were also shown, as were views of the earth.

    The telecast of the moon walk had a double value. It brought to the general audience a portrayal of humans in the lunar environment and gave, as well, scientists and provided by the astronauts on their capabilities to move and work on the moon.

    On the return leg, two programs were transmitted. An eighteen-minute sequence featured a demonstration of the physics of weightlessness. Collins filled a teaspoon with water and demonstrated “pouring”; i.e., he turned the spoon upside down and the water remained in place. A spinning can of cheese served to illustrate how a gyroscope works. There was a lesson on how to drink water in space. Some final shots of the earth and the moon were included. The second transmission featured messages of appreciation from each crew member to all the people who helped make Apotlo 11 possible.

Foreign Reaction.

     Interest in Apollo 11 was intense and worldwide. The heads of state of 74 nations sent message of Godspeed and good luck. By a microdot process, these were reduced 200 times so that they all fitted on a silicon disc about the size of a silver dollar. Although each message is no larger than the head of a common pin, they remain readable under a microscope. The disc was left on the moon.

    Besides three American flags, the crew carried with them the flags of the 50 states, of U. S. territories, of the United Nations and of each nation diplomatically recognized by the United States. Two American flags were brought back for presentation to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    The crew also had with them medals in memory of Astronauts Grissom, Chaffee and White who were to have been the crew of the first manned space flight in the Apollo program. They also left a memorial for the two Russian cosmonauts who were killed.

British insurance underwriters, Lloyds of London, rang the Lutine bell, only done on rare occasions, tocelebrate the success of the mission.

    Czechoslovakia and a number of other foreign nations, including the tiny Maldive Islands, issued special postage stamps. Several hundred Poles crowded into the lobby of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to watch the telecast of the moon walk. Applause was frequent during the transmission, and congratulations flowed freely. Among those cabling congratulations to President Nixon were Pope Paul VI, UN Secretary General U Thant, and Soviet President Nikolai V. Podgorny. Moscow radio began its 8 P.M. newscast with the term “Flash” and then reported that word of the completion of the Apollo mission had just come in and that “The courageous astronauts. Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins are again on our planet.”

    On the personal side, a Peruvian mother named her baby, born during the flight, after Neil Armstrong.

    Thus, in 195 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds. Apollo 11 and Astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins moved the world into a new era.

Astronauts Neil A.Armstrong (Commander for Apollo 11), Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot), Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot).




EP-72 Log of Apollo 11


Cover: Aldrin stands by deployed experiment package, with lunar module, flag and TV camera breaking the monotony of the lunar surface in the background.

Apollo 11 Crew: (left to right) Commander Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr.

[2] JULY 16 

9:32 a.m. EDT– On schedule to within less than a second, Apollo 11 blasts off from Launch Pad 39A at Cape Kennedy, Florida to start what is looked upon as the greatest single step in human history-a trip to the Moon, a manned landing and return to Earth.

Watching is a world-wide television audience and an estimated million eyewitnesses. Standing three and one-half miles away on the sandflats or seated in grandstands are half the members of the United States Congress and more than 3,000 newsmen from 56 countries.

Strapped to their couches in the command module atop the 363-foot, 7.6-million-pound thrust space vehicle are three astronauts, each born in 1930, each weighing 165 pounds, all within an inch of the same height-five feet, 11 inches. They are Commander Neil A. Armstrong, civilian and ex-test pilot; Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., the latter two, officers of the U. S. Air Force.

The launch comes after a 28-hour countdown. It takes place in highly suitable weather, with winds 10 knots from the southeast, temperature in the mid-80’s, and clouds at 15,000 feet.

At 4:15 a.m., the astronauts had been awakened. After a breakfast of orange juice, steak, scrambled eggs, toast and coffee, they began suiting up at 5:35 a.m. At 6:27 a.m., they left in an air-conditioned van for the launch pad eight miles away. At 6:54 a.m., Armstrong entered the command module and took position on the left. He was followed five minutes later by Collins, on the right, and Aldrin, in the center.
Two minor problems that developed in the ground equipment, a leaky valve and a faulty signal light were corrected while the astronauts were en route to the pad.
The Apollo access arm retracted at 9:27 a.m. Eight and nine-tenths seconds before launch time, the first of the Saturn V’s first stage engines ignited. From the viewing stands, the flame appeared as a bright yellow-orange star on the horizon. Soon the other four engines fired and the light of the first engine became a huge fireball that lit the scene like a rising Sun. No sound was heard. For two seconds the vehicle built up thrust. The hold down clamps were released and the space vehicle began moving slowly upward from the pad, as near 9:32 a.m. as human effort could make it.
As it reached the top of the service tower, the hard-edged clattering thunder of the firing engines [3rolled over the scrubby Florida landscape and engulfed the viewers like a tidal wave. They witnessed the beginning of the fifth manned Apollo flight, the third to the vicinity of the Moon and the first lunar landing mission.
From Launch Control the last words were: “Good luck and Godspeed.” Commander Armstrong replied, “Thank you very much. We know this will be a good flight.”

9:35 a.m.– The spacecraft is 37 nautical miles high, downrange 61 nautical miles and traveling at 9,300 feet per second or about 6,340 miles per hour. Armstrong confirms the engine skirt and launch escape tower separations.

9:44 a.m.– With the three Saturn stages fired one after another and the first two jettisoned, Apollo 11 enters a 103 nautical mile-high Earth orbit, during which the vehicle is carefully checked by the astronauts and by the ground control crew.

12:22 p.m.– Another firing of the third-stage engine, still attached to the command service module, boosts Apollo 11 out of orbit midway in its second trip around the Earth and onto its lunar trajectory at an initial speed of 24,200 miles an hour.

12:49 p.m.– While the spacecraft moves farther and farther from Earth, the lunar landing craft, code-named Eagle is unpacked from its compartment atop the launch rockets. The astronauts first fire some explosive bolts. These cause the main spaceship, given the name Columbia, to separate from the adapter and blow apart the four panels that make up its sides, exposing the lunar module (LM) tucked inside. They stop the spacecraft about 100 feet away -34 feet farther than they were supposed to-turn the ship around, facing the landing craft, and dock head-to-head with it. The docking complete, the LM’s connections with the adapter are blown loose and the mated command/service and lunar modules separate from the rocket and continue alone toward the Moon.

2:38 p.m.– By dumping its leftover fuel the third rocket stage is fired into a long solar orbit to remove it from Apollo 11’s path.

2:43 p.m.– With the flight on schedule and proceeding satisfactorily, the first scheduled midcourse correction is considered unnecessary.

2:54 p.m.– The spacecraft is reported 22,000 nautical miles from Earth and traveling at 12,914 feet per second. Crew members keep busy with housekeeping duties.

8:52 p.m.– Mission Control at Houston, Texas, says good night to the crew as they prepare to go to sleep two hours early.

10:59 p.m.– Because of the pull of Earth’s gravity, the spacecraft has slowed to 7,279 feet per second at a distance of 63,880 nautical miles from Earth.


JULY 17 

8:48 a.m.– Mission Control gives Apollo crew a brief review of the morning news, including sports developments. They are informed about the progress of the Russian space ship Lunar 15 and that Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, ranking government official at the Apollo 11 blastoff, has called for putting a man on Mars by the year 2000.

12:17 p.m.– Midcourse correction is made with a three-second burn, sharpening the course of the spacecraft and testing the engine that must get them in and out of lunar orbit.

7:31 p.m.– Astronauts begin first scheduled color telecast from spacecraft, showing view of the Earth from a distance of about 128,000 nautical miles. During the 36-minute transmission, views are also shown of the inside of the command module.

9:42 p.m.– Mission control bids the crew goodnight.


JULY 18 

9:41 a.m.– Mission Control lets Astronauts sleep an hour later than scheduled on the third day of the outward journey. After breakfast, they begin housekeeping chores, such as charging batteries, dumping waste water, and checking fuel and oxygen reserves. Announcement is made to them that course corrections scheduled for afternoon will not be necessary.

2:57 p.m.– Astronauts are given report on day’s news.

4:40 p.m.– One of the clearest television transmissions ever sent from space is begun, with the spacecraft 175,000 nautical miles from Earth and 48,000 from the Moon. It lasts an hour and 36 minutes. While in progress, the hatch to the LM is opened and Armstrong squeezes through the 30-inch-wide tunnel to inspect it. He is followed by Aldrin.

10:00 p.m.– Mission Control tells the crew goodnight.

11:12 p.m.– Velocity of spacecraft has slowed to 2,990 ft. per second just before entering the Moon’s sphere of influence at a point 33,823 nautical miles away from it.


JULY 19 

6:58 a.m.– Astronauts call Mission Control to inquire about scheduled course correction and are told it has been cancelled. They are also advised they may go back to sleep.

8:32 a.m.– Mission Control signals to arouse crew and to start them on breakfast and housekeeping chores.

10:01 a.m.– Astronauts are given review of day’s news and are told of worldwide interest in Moon mission.

10:31 a.m.– Collins reports: “Houston, it’s been a real change for us. Now we are able to see stars again and recognize constellations for the first time on the trip. The sky is full of stars, just like the nights on Earth. But all the way [4] here we have just been able to see stars occasionally and perhaps through monoculars, but not recognize any star pattern.”

10:42 a.m.– Armstrong announces: “The view of the Moon that we’ve been having recently is really spectacular. It about three-quarters of the hatch window and, of course, we can see the entire circumference, even though part of it is in complete shadow and part of it’s in earth-shine. It’s a view worth the price of the trip.”

12:58 p.m.– The crew is informed by Mission Control: “We’re 23 minutes away from the LOI (Lunar Orbit Insertion) burn. Flight Director Cliff Charlesworth is polling flight controllers for its status now.” Then quickly, seconds later: “You are go for L0I.” Aldrin replies: “Roger, go for LOI.”

1:13 p.m.– Spacecraft passes completely behind the Moon and out of radio contact with the Earth for the first time.

1:28 p.m.– The spacecraft’s main rocket, a 20,500-pound-thrust engine, is fired for about six minutes to slow the vehicle so that it can be captured by lunar gravity. It is still behind the Moon. The resulting orbit ranges from a low of 61.3 nautical miles to a high of 168.8 nautical miles.

1:55 p.m.– Armstrong tells Mission Control: “We’re getting this first view of the landing approach. This time we are going over the Taruntius crater and the pictures and maps brought back by Apollos 8 and 10 give us a very good preview of what to look at here. It looks very much like the pictures, but like the difference between watching a real football game and watching it on TV-no substitute for actually being here.”

About 15 minutes later he adds: “It gets to be a lighter gray, and as you get closer to the subsolar point, you can definitely see browns and tans on the ground.”

And a few moments still later: “When a star sets up here, there’s no doubt about it. One instant it’s there and the next instant it’s just completely gone.”

3:56 p.m.– A 35-minute telecast of the Moon’s surface begins. Passing westward along the eastern edge of the Moon’s visible side, the camera is focused especially on the area chosen as a landing site.

5:44 p.m.– A second burn of the spacecraft’s main engine, this one for 17 seconds, is employed while the spacecraft is on the back side of the Moon to stabilize the orbit at about 54 by 66 nautical miles.

6:57 p.m.– Armstrong and Aldrin crawl through the tunnel into the lunar module to give it another check. The spacecraft is orbiting the Moon every two hours.


JULY 20 

9:27 a.m.– Aldrin crawls into the lunar module and starts to power-up the spacecraft. About an hour later, Armstrong enters the LM and together they continue to check the systems and deploy the landing legs.

1:46 p.m.– The landing craft is separated from the command module, in which Collins continues to orbit the Moon.

2:12 p.m.– Collins fires the command ship’s rockets and moves about two miles away.

3:08 p.m.– Armstrong and Aldrin, flying feet first and face down, fire the landing craft’s descent engine for the first time.

3:47 p.m.– Collins, flying the command ship from behind the Moon, reports to Earth that the landing craft is on its way down to the lunar surface. It is the first Mission Control has heard of the action. “Everything’s going just swimmingly. Beautiful!” Collins reports.

4:05 p.m.– Armstrong throttles up the engine to slow the LM before dropping down on the lunar surface. The landing is not easy. The site they approach is four miles from the target point, on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Seeing that they are approaching a crater about the size of a football field and covered with large rocks, Armstrong takes over manual control and steers the craft to a smoother spot. His heartbeat has risen from a normal 77 to 156.

While Armstrong flies the landing craft, Aldrin gives him altitude readings: “Seven hundred and fifty feet, coming down at 23 degrees . . . 700 feet, 21 down . . . 400 feet, down at nine . . . Got the shadow out there . . . 75 feet, things looking good . . . Lights on . . . Picking up some dust. . . 30 feet, 2 1/2 down . . . Faint shadow . . . Four forward. Four forward, drifting to the right a little . . . Contact light. Okay, engine stop.”

When the 68-inch probes beneath three of the spacecraft’s four footpads touch down, flashing a light on the instrument panel, Armstrong shuts off the ship’s engine.

4:18 p.m.– The craft settles down with a jolt almost like that of a jet landing on a runway. It is at an angle of no more than four or five degrees on the right side of the Moon as seen from Earth. Armstrong immediately radios Mission Control: “The Eagle has landed.”

Aldrin, looking out of the LM window, reports: “We’ll get to the details around here, but it looks like a collection of just about every variety of shapes, angularities and granularities, every variety of rock you could find. The colors vary pretty much depending on how you’re looking…. There doesn’t appear to be much of a general color at all; however, it looks as though some of the rocks and boulders, of which there are quite a few in the near area . . . are going to have some interesting colors to them.”

A few moments later he tells of seeing numbers of craters, some of them 100 feet across, but the largest number…


[5] Left: This is the scene on television witnessed by millions on Earth as Armstrong descends the LM ladder just prior to becoming the first human being to set foot on the Moon.Below: The footprint on the Moon, something new in man’s long stretch of history.


….only one or two feet in diameter. He sees ridges 20 or 30 feet high, two-foot blocks with angular edges, and a hill half a mile to a mile away.

Finally, in describing the surface, Aldrin says: “It’s pretty much without color. It’s gray and it’s a very white chalky gray, as you look into the zero phase line, and it’s considerably darker gray, more like ashen gray as you look up 9O degrees to the Sun. Some of the surface rocks close in here that have been fractured or disturbed by the rocket engine are coated with this light gray on the outside but when they’ve been broken they display a dark, very dark gray interior, and it looks like it could be country basalt.”

The first task after landing is that of preparing the ship for launching, of seeing that all is in readiness to make the ascent back to a rendezvous with the command spacecraft orbiting above.

6:00 p.m.– With everything in order, Armstrong radios a recommendation that they plan to start the EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity), earlier than originally scheduled, at about 9:OO p.m. EDT. Mission Control replies: “We will support you anytime.”

10:39 p.m.– Later than proposed at 6:00 p.m., but more than five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opens the LM hatch and squeezes through the opening. It is a slow process. Strapped to his shoulders is a portable life support and communications system weighing 84 pounds on Earth, 14 on the Moon, with provision for pressurization; oxygen requirements and removal of carbon dioxide.

Armstrong moves slowly down the 10-foot, nine-step ladder. On reaching the second step, he pulls a “D-ring,” within easy reach, deploying a television camera, so arranged on the LM that it will depict him to Earth as he proceeds from that point.

Down the ladder he moves and halts on the last step. “I’m at the foot of the ladder,” he reports. “The LM footpads are only depressed in the surface about one or two inches. . . the surface appears to be very, very finegrained, as you get close to it, it’s almost like a powder.”

10:56 p.m.– Armstrong puts his left foot to the Moon. It is the first time in history that man has ever stepped on anything that has not existed on or originated from the Earth.

That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong radios. Aldrin is taking photographs from inside the spacecraft.

The first print made by the weight of man on the Moon is that of a lunar boot which resembles an oversized galosh.

[6] Its soles are of silicon rubber and its 14-layer sidewalls of aluminized plastic. Specially designed for super-insulation, it protects against abrasion and has reduced friction to facilitate donning. On Earth, it weighs four pounds, nine ounces. on the Moon, 12 ounces.

Armstrong surveys his surroundings for a while and then moves out, testing himself in a gravity environment one-sixth of that on Earth. “The surface is fine and powdery,” he says. “I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch. Maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine sandy particles.

“There seems to be no difficulty in moving around as we suspected. It’s even perhaps easier than the simulations….”

Feeling more confident, Armstrong begins making a preliminary collection of soil samples close to the landing craft. This is done with a bag on the end of a pole.

“This is very interesting,” he comments. “It’s a very soft surface, but here and there . . . I run into a very hard surface, but it appears to be very cohesive material of the same sort…. It has a stark beauty all its own. It’s like much of the high desert of the United States.”

He collects a small bagful of soil and stores it in a pocket on the left leg of his space suit. This is done early, according to plan, to make sure some of the Moon surface is returned to Earth in case the mission has to be cut short.

11:11 p.m.– After lowering a Hasselblad still camera to Armstrong, Aldrin emerges from the landing craft and backs down the ladder, while his companion photographs him.

“These rocks . . . are rather slippery,” Armstrong says. The astronauts report that the powdery surface seems to fill up the fine pores on the rocks, and they tend to slide over them rather easily.

Armstrong fits a long focal length lens into position on the TV camera and trains it upon a small, stainless steel plaque on one of the legs of the landing craft. He reads: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the Moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Below the inscription are the names of the Apollo crew and President Nixon.

Armstrong next removes the TV camera from its fixed position on the LM and moves it away about 40 feet so it can cover the area in which the astronauts will operate.

As scheduled, the astronauts set up the first of three experiments. From an outside storage compartment in the LM, Aldrin removes a foot-long tube containing a roll of aluminum foil. Inside the roll is a telescoped pole that is driven into the lunar surface, after which the foil is…

[6-7In this sequence of photographs taken by Armstrong, Aldrin is shown as he descends LM ladder.

[8] …suspended from it, with the side marked “Sun” next to the Sun. Its function will be to collect the particles of “solar wind” blowing constantly through space so that they can be brought back and analyzed in the hope they will provide information on how the Sun and planets were formed.

11:41 p.m.– From a leg of the spacecraft, the astronauts take a three-by-five-foot, nylon United States flag, its top edge braced by a spring wire to keep it extended on the windless Moon and erect it on a staff pressed into the lunar surface.

Taken to the Moon are two other U.S. flags, to be brought back and flown over the houses of Congress, the flags of the 50 States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, the United Nations flag, as well as those of 136 foreign countries.

11:47 p.m.– Mission Control announces: “The President of the United States is in his office now and would like to say a few words to you.” Armstrong replies: “That would be an honor.”

11:48 p.m.- The astronauts listen as the President speaks by telephone: “Neil and Buzz. I am talking to you from the Oval Room at the White House. And this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made For every American this has to be the proudest day of our lives. And for people all over the world I am sure they, too, join with Americans in recognizing what a feat this is. Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man’s world. As you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth. For one priceless moment, in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one.”

As the President finishes speaking, Armstrong replies: “Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States but men of peace of all nations. And with interest and a curiosity and a vision for the future. It’s an honor for us to be able to participate here today.”

The two astronauts stand at attention, saluting directly toward the television as the telephone conversation concludes.

Armstrong next sets up a folding table and opens on it two specimen boxes. Using tongs and the lunar scoop, a quantity of rocks and soil are picked up and sealed in the boxes, preparatory to placing them in the ascent stage of the landing craft.

Aldrin, meanwhile, opens another compartment in the ship and removes two devices to be left on the Moon, taking each out about 30 feet from the ship. One is a seismic detector, to record moonquakes, meteorite impact, or volcanic eruption, and the other a laser-reflector, a device designed to make a much more precise measurement of Earth-Moon distances than has ever been possible before.

Aldrin deploys instruments to collect particles of “solar wind.” 

[9] Left: Aldrin approaches leg of landing craft.Below: The flag that established Tranquility Base, Aldrin beside it.Lower left: Aldrin, walking away from camera, prepares to set up two instruments from the experiment package.


[10] Tranquility Base. Reflected in the golden face visor of Astronaut Aldrin are the Eagle, Commander Armstrong, the flag and deployed experiment instruments.
The commemorative plaque bearing the names of the crew members and President Nixon.
Right: Armstrong and Aldrin unfurl U.S. flag on Moon and are photographed by automatic camera in LM window. 

[11] JULY 21 

12:54 a.m.– After checking with Mission Control to make sure all chores have been completed, experiments set up, and photographs taken, Aldrin starts back up the ladder to re-enter the LM.

1:09 a.m.– Armstrong joins Aldrin in the landing craft.

1:11 a.m.– The hatch is closed. The astronauts begin removing the portable life support systems on which they have depended for two hours and 47 minutes.

4:25 a.m.– Astronauts are told to go to sleep, after attending to final housekeeping details and answering a number of questions concerning the geology of the Moon.

9:44 a.m.– Shortly after arousing Collins, still circling the Moon in the Command/Service Module, Mission Control observes: “Not since Adam has any human known such solitude as Mike Collins is experiencing during this 47 minutes of each lunar revolution when he’s behind the Moon with no one to talk to except his tape recorder aboard Columbia.”

11:13 a.m.– The astronauts in Eagle are aroused. Aldrin announces: “Neil has rigged himself a really good hammock . . . and he’s been Iying on the hatch and engine cover, and I curled up on the floor.”

12:42 p.m.– Answering a question raised before they went to sleep, Aldrin reports: “We are in a boulder field where boulders range generally up to two feet, with a few larger than that… Some of the boulders are Iying on top of the surface, some are partially exposed, and some are just barely exposed.”

1:54 p.m.– Ascent engine is started and LM, using descent stage as a launch pad, begins rising and reaches a vertical speed of 80 feet per second at 1,000 feet altitude.

The astronauts take with them in the ascent stage the soil samples, the aluminum foil with the “solar wind” particles it has collected, the film used in taking photographs with still and motion picture cameras, the flags and other mementos to be returned to Earth. Behind they leave a number of items, reducing the weight of the ship from 15,897 pounds as it landed on the Moon to 10,821 pounds.

The largest item left behind is the descent stage, that part of the landing craft with the plaque on one of its spidery legs. Others include the TV camera, two still cameras, tools used in collecting samples, portable life support systems, lunar boots, American flag, rod support for the “solar wind” experiment instrument, laser beam reflector, seismic detector, and a gnomon, a device to verify colors of objects photographed.

5:35 p.m.– Eagle redocks with Columbia while circling on the back side of the Moon.

7:42 p.m.– The landing craft is jettisoned.

Homeward bound. Armstrong and Aldrin, inside the ascent stage just after taking oft from the Moon, start the first leg of their return trip to Earth, shown above the curving lunar surface.


JULY 22 

12:56 a.m.– While on the back side of the Moon, with the LM 20 miles behind the CSM, the transearth injection burn of Apollo 11 is begun, with the spacecraft traveling at 5,329 feet per second at an altitude of about 60 nautical miles.

4:30 a.m.– Astronauts start sleep period.

1:00 p.m.– Astronauts begin waking for first full day of return trip.

1:39 p.m.– Spacecraft passes point in space, 33,800 nautical miles from the Moon and 174,000 from the Earth, where the Earth’s gravity takes over and begins drawing the astronauts homeward.

4:02 p.m.– Midcourse correction is made to readjust the flight path of the spacecraft.

9:08 p.m.– Eighteen minutes of live TV transmission to Earth begins.


JULY 23 

2:14 a.m.– Crew starts sleep period.

12:20 p.m.– Crew awakens. Begins relaxed checking of systems and conversation with Mission Control.

3:56 p.m.– Spacecraft passes midway point of journey homeward, 101,000 nautical miles from splashdown .

7:03 p.m.– Final color television transmission begins.


[12] JULY 24 

6:47 a.m.– Crew awakens and begins to prepare for splashdown.

12:21 p.m.– Command and service modules are separated.

12:35 p.m.– Command module re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

12:51 p.m.– Spacecraft splashes down 825 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu and about 13 nautical miles from the recovery ship, the U.S.S. Hornet.

1:20 p.m.– Hatch of command module opens and frogman hands in isolation suits.

1:28 p.m.– Astronauts emerge from the spacecraft in isolation suits and are sprayed with a disinfectant as a guard against the possibility of their contaminating the Earth with Moon “germs.”

1:57 p.m.– Astronauts arrive by helicopter on the flight deck of the Hornet. Still inside the helicopter they ride an elevator to hangar deck and then walk immediately into the mobile quarantine trailer in which they will remain until they arrive at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at Houston early July 27.

3:00 p.m.– President Nixon welcomes the astronauts, visible through a window of the trailer. Speaking over an intercom, he greets them, extends them an invitation to attend a dinner with him August 13. and tells them:

“This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation…. As a result of what you have done, the world’s never been closer together …. We can reach for the stars just as you have reached so far for the stars.”

3:55 p.m.– The command module arrives on board the Hornet after traveling 952,700 nautical miles since July 16.


Above: Pararescueman is shown after the splashdown spraying the astronauts, dressed in biological isolation garments, with disinfectant. 
“A-Ok” is the theme of this mutual signaling through the window of the Mobile Quarantine Facility between President Nixon and the astronauts on board the U.S.S. Hornet.

So ends man’s first mission to the Moon. It has lasted 195 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds or a little more than eight days. It is recognized as the most trouble-free mission to date, almost completely on schedule and successful in every respect.