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.
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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.
“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.
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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.”