Oct 18

Space Rocket History #228 – Apollo 11 – The Return

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.

Apollo 11 heading for home

Apollo 11 leaving the Moon

Apollo 11 returning to Earth

Oct 11

Space Rocket History #227 – Apollo 11 – Rendezvous, Docking and Jettisoning

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.

Columbia photographed from Eagle

Eagle inspection and rendezvous

Eagle returns to Columbia with Earth watching

Oct 04

Space Rocket History #226 – Apollo 11 – Moon Launch

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.

Rear of the LM ascent stage with Earth beyond

Buzz after his moonwalk

Rocketdyne’s artist concept of the Apollo 11 LM ascent stage launched from the surface of the moon

Sep 27

Space Rocket History #225 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 3

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.

Armstrong and the lunar lander are reflected in Aldrin’s visor in the iconic “Visor Shot”

Armstrong working at the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA)

Armstrong back inside the LM after the historic moon walk

Sep 20

Space Rocket History #224 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 2 – One Priceless Moment

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“For one priceless moment, in the whole history of man, all the people on this earth are truly one. One in their pride in what you have done. And one in our prayers that you will return safely to earth” President Nixon.

Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 AD

The flag was not a territorial claim but was intended as a symbol of freedom and to identify the nation that achieved the first landing

Aldrin’s boot during soil mechanics test

Sep 13

An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #26 – Why the Moon?

“We have been plunged into a race for the conquest of outer space. As a reason for this undertaking some look to the new and exciting scientific discoveries which are certain to be made. Others feel the challenge to transport man beyond frontiers he scarcely dared dream about until now. But at present the most impelling reason for our effort has been the international political situation which demands that we demonstrate our technological capabilities if we are to maintain our position of leadership. For all of these reasons we have embarked on a complex and costly adventure. It is the purpose of this report to clarify the goals, the missions and the costs of this effort in the foreseeable future, particularly with regard to the man-in-space program.” From 1960 Ad Hoc Panel on Man-In-Space.

JFK Houston

JFK at NASA Houston

413px-John_F._Kennedy_speaks_at_Rice_University

JFK Rice University

1962

JFK Congress Address

Sep 06

Space Rocket History #223 – Apollo 11 – Moonwalk – Part 1

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Silently and carefully, Armstrong raised his left boot over the lip of the footpad and lowered it to the dust. Immediately he tested his weight, bouncing in the gentle gravity, and when he felt firm ground, he was still, one foot on the last vestige of earthly things, the other on the moon. Then he spoke:

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong descending the ladder

Neil on the footpad, about to step on the moon

Buzz descending the ladder

Aug 30

Space Rocket History #222 – Apollo 11 – Post Landing & EVA Prep

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Inside the Eagle Buzz and Neil knew every second was crucial. The T1 time was only 2 minutes so They hastily ran down through their checklists, preparing as though they were going to lift off within the two-minute window.

Animated gif of LM shadow before and after landing

Panoramic view of the landing site before and after the Moon walk

Moon suit