The round-the-world tour began on September 29th and lasted until November 5th covering 28 cities in 25 countries in 38 days. The astronauts’ wives were allowed to go along on the trip, as well as a large staff.
On August 10th, 1969 quarantine officially ended for the Apollo 11 crew, but that did not end the duties required for a flight of such magnitude. On August 12th, the Astronauts conducted a post flight press conference. They were greeted with a standing ovation from members of the media.
The helicopter door slid open and Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins stepped out of the helicopter onto the lower deck of the carrier Hornet to the accompaniment of a brass band. They appeared to many, like men from another world. They were outfitted from head to toe in gray-colored Biological Isolation Garments.
At launch, Apollo 11 weighed 6,000,000 pounds, now all that was left of Columbia weighed in at a mere 11,000 pounds.
The next critical event in the Apollo 11 mission was the Trans-Earth Injection burn. The burn involved firing the big service propulsion engine for two and a half minutes on the back side of the moon.
The ascent of the Eagle was strikingly swift compared with the liftoff of the huge Saturn V rocket from Cape Canaveral. Of course for the Moon launch, there was no atmosphere resisting Eagle, and there was only one-sixth gravity to overcome.
Until now they had been focused on reaching the moon, landing, taking a walk on its surface, setting up experiments, exploring, and gathering evidence. With those tasks completed and their lunar bounty was board, the top priority was to fly back to Earth.
Without a word to Houston, while Buzz made his way back to Eagle, Armstrong took off running.
Long strides carried Armstrong into the sun’s glare to the edge of a crater that looked to be 80 feet across and 15 or 20 feet deep.