Collins’ first task was to separate the command and service modules from the Saturn and proceed away from it a safe distance; then turn around and face it.
As Apollo 11 passed over Western Australia, at T+2 hours 26 minutes Houston relayed to Collins, Armstrong, and Aldrin – through Carnarvon – formal permission to go to the moon. “Apollo 11, this is Houston. You are go for TLI.” Mike Collins answered, “Apollo 11. Thank you.”
Many historians agree, the U.S. took its first step toward the moon in the spring of 1957, four years before President Kennedy declared the national goal of landing a man on the Moon, and returning him safely to the Earth. While still preparing for the launch of its first Jupiter (May 31 1957), the Army rocket team at Huntsville, Alabama, began studies of a booster ten times more powerful than the 150,000-pound thrust Jupiter…
A Saturn V liftoff is spectacular, and the launch of Apollo 11 was no exception. But it didn’t give the audience any surprises. To the three Gemini-experienced pilots, who likened the sensation to the boost of a Titan II, it was a normal launch.
On July 16th 1969, nearly a million people crowded the Florida highways, byways, and beaches to watch man’s departure from the earth to walk on the moon. Twenty thousand guests looked on from special vantage points.
In addition to the ordinary taxpayers who gathered on the beaches and roads of eastern Florida, 20,000 VIPs were invited by NASA to watch the lift off from viewing stands near the Vehicle Assembly Building.
In addition to the fixed-base lunar module simulators in Houston and at the Cape, astronauts also practiced at Langley Research Center on the suspended lunar landing trainer which was equipped with realistic surface views and lighting.
Steve Bales (Guido) made a new entry to the trajectory and guidance section of the rules book which excluded lunar module computer program alarms 1201 and 1202 from the abort list.