There was adrenaline in Pete Conrad’s voice as he counted down the last seconds before ignition. He and Bean were still weightless, but their bodies were secured to the cabin floor by harnesses. “Seven, six, five.” Conrad pushed the PROCEED button on the computer, and a moment later Intrepid’s descent engine ignited 50,000 feet above the moon.
At 83 hours mission elapsed time, the long lunar coast was almost over. It was time for the lunar orbit insertion burn. This burn would put Yankee Clipper and Intrepid into lunar orbit.
It was impossible to check out the entire spacecraft; that could only be done on the ground. In the short time available, Grifﬁn’s team ran a pre-maneuver check list, re-aligned the CSM platform, and discussed proceeding with the mission with the crew.
John Aaron’s (EECOM) next call made him a legend in Mission Control. He said quickly and conﬁdently, “Flight, try S-C-E to Aux.”