Back in space

''Our recommendations on the activities for the next hour or so,'' said Duke at 57 hours, ''are to continue your LM familiarisation as desired until 58 hours, then ingress to the CSM, close the hatch, and set up PTC shortly thereafter.'' In view of the extent to which a water dump had upset the roll axis, it was decided that the tank should be totally vented prior to re-establishing PTC. As the spacecraft had been oriented perpendicular to the ecliptic for the telecast and was stable, it would...

Info

* Three of these names were coined by Gus Grissom to celebrate his Apollo 1 crew ('Navi' was his middle name, 'Ivan', spelt in reverse 'Dnoces' was the reverse spelling of 'second', as in Edward H. White II and 'Regor' was the reverse spelling of 'Roger', as in Roger B. Chaffee) and, as far as the International Astronomical Union was concerned, they were unofficial. screen on one end. The flight plan called for a test of the system by sending to the Goldstone station of the Manned Space Flight...

Small Details

When NASA began to launch pairs of spacecraft during a single Apollo mission, it became necessary to introduce individual call signs while the vehicles were being operated independently. On seeing their CM arrive at the Cape tightly wrapped in a blue sheet, like a sweet, the Apollo 9 crew decided to name the CSM 'Gumdrop', and the LM was named 'Spider' for its arachnid appearance. In March 1969, after the Apollo 10 crew decided to name their vehicles 'Charlie Brown' and 'Snoopy' -characters in...

Flight

As the scheduled end of the sleep period approached, Cliff Charlesworth, now in charge, decided that since the crew were sleeping soundly and there was nothing on the flight plan requiring urgent attention they should be left in peace. An hour later, telemetry indicated that the astronauts were stirring. Armstrong and Aldrin had slept for 8 hours, and Collins for 9 hours - consistent with the early retirement and late awakening. ''Apollo 11, this is Houston,'' McCandless called. ''Good morning,...

Descent Orbit Insertion

Gene Kranz

During Eagle's near-side pass on revolution 13, Gene Kranz polled his team on the descent orbit insertion (DOI) manoeuvre. After studying their telemetry, the flight controllers pronounced Eagle to be in excellent condition, and 10 minutes before it went 'over the hill' Duke relayed the decision to proceed. Kranz recalled of this loss of signal, ''the adrenaline, no matter how you tried to hide it, was really starting to pump''. He instructed his team to ''take five'', thereby prompting an...

Lunar Surface Activity

Because the astronauts who landed on the Moon would be required to act as field geologists, a series of lectures and laboratory exercises were given in 1964 by the US Geological Survey (USGS) in a ramshackle shed of Second World War vintage at Ellington Air Force Base, which served as the airport for the Manned Spacecraft Center. On being introduced to the vocabulary of geology and basic mineralogy, the astronauts were taught how to describe rocks and to characterise a geological setting in...

Csm 60

The main manoeuvres and trajectory planned for Apollo 11. consider aborting the burn. As the rattle built up, Aldrin became concerned that it might shake loose the Maurer camera that he had mounted in window 4. Collins, not wanting the camera to fall on his helmet, checked that it was secure. As they climbed, they emerged from Earth's shadow rather earlier than if they had remained in low orbit. The sunlight that suddenly flooded in made it difficult to read the instruments, but Armstrong had...

Into The Moons Sphere Of Influence

At 061 40, Apollo 11 entered the Moon's sphere of influence. The strength of a gravitational field is directly proportional to the mass of the gravitating body and inversely proportional to the square of the range from the body. With Earth fully 81 times more massive than the Moon, the 'neutral point' was roughly 90 per cent of the way to the Moon more specifically, 186,437 nautical miles from Earth and 33,822 nautical miles from the Moon. By this milestone, the velocity of the spacecraft had...

Cd P

Joe Schmitt assists Mike Collins during suiting up. Neil Armstrong waves as he approaches the television crews outside the Manned Spaceflight Operations Building. Joseph W. Schmitt led a four-man team. He had supervised the suiting up of every American astronaut since Al Shepard in 1961. After the countdown demonstration test on 3 July, the three primary suits had been stripped, inspected for wear and tear, cleaned and reassembled - a four-day task. On arriving at 3.30 am, Schmitt had...

Parking Orbit

The USNS Vanguard had relayed communications as Apollo 11 entered orbit, then there was a hiatus until the spacecraft came within range of the tracking station on the island of Grand Canary, off northwest Africa. A valve in the command module had opened during the ascent through the atmosphere, and while its regulator had slowly allowed the cabin pressure to fall to 5 psi the environmental system started to increase the oxygen ratio and slowly purge the nitrogen that had been present to reduce...