the first lunar landing as told by the astronauts

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  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


    KE FIRST LUNARLANDINGAs Told by The Astronauts-rIP-TJ) i ' I f c S T L U N A B L A N D I N G : A 3TOLD B Y T H E A U T S (National Aeronauticsaa ^ i p a o e Administration) 25 p A v a i o . :

  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


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  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts



    As Told bythe AstronautsArmstrong,Aldrin,and Collinsin a Post-f l ightPress Conference


    At 10 a.m. CDT, Aug ust 12, 1969, Julian Sc heer, NASA 'sAssis tant Administ rator for Publ ic Affa i rs , opened the tele-vised Apol lo 11 post - f l ight press conference in the audi-tor ium of the Manned Spacecraf t Center , Houston, Texas.Address ing some tw o hundred representat ives of the newsmedia from th e United States and abroad, he said:"Ladies and gent lemen. Welcom e to the Manned Space-craf t Center . This is the Apol lo 11 press conference. Theformat today wi l l consist of a 45-minute presentat ion bythe Apol lo 11 crew, fo l lowed by quest ions and answers.A t this time, I would like to introduce the Apollo 11 crew,astronauts Nei l Armstrong, Michael Col l ins, and EdwinAldrin, Jr."Nei l Armstrong, commander of Apo l lo 11, began th ef i rs t-hand report to the wor ld of the epic voyage of Eaglean d Columbia to the Moon and back to Earth.The voya ge began at 9:32 a.m. E OT, July 16, w hena Saturn V rocket launched Apollo 11 into Earth orbit fromCape Kennedy. Af te r one and a half orbits of the Earth,the third stage of the Saturn V refired to send Apollo oni ts outward journey to the Moon. Short ly afterward, th ecommand/service module, ca l led Columbia, separated fromthe Saturn third stage, turned around, and connected noseto nose with the lunar mo dule, ca lled Eagle, wh ich hadbeen stored in the third stage. With Eagle at tached to itsnose, Columbia drew away f rom the third stage and con-t inued toward th e Moon.On Ju ly 19 , Apo l lo 11 neared an d went behind the Moon.At 1:28 p.m. E OT, it f ired its serv ice module rocket to gointo lunar orbit . After 24 hours in lunar orbit Armstrongand Aldr in separated Eagle f rom Columbia, to prepare fordescent to the lunar su rfac e. On July 20 at 4:18 p.m. EOT ,the Lunar Module touched down on the Moon at Tranquil i tyBase. Armst rong repor ted "The Eagle Has Landed." A ndat 10:56 p.m., Arm stron g, descend ing from Eagle's ladderand touching one foot to the Moon's surfa ce, announced :"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap formankind."Aldr in soon jo ined Armstrong. Before a l ive televisioncamera which they set up on the sur face, they per formedtheir assigned tasks.

    Man's f irst drama tic venture on the lunar surface endedat 1:54 p.m., July 21 when Armstrong and Aldrin liftedof f from th e Moon on a tower of f lame. They rejoined Eagleto Columbia, in which Col l ins had waited fo r t hem, in lunarorbit . They returned to C olum bia and cast Eagle adrift.The ast ronauts then f i red their serv ice module rocketto break from th e Moon's gravi ta t ional grip and head fo rhome. They reached Ear th 's v icin i ty at a speed of about25,000 mph, threaded their w ay into its atmosphere toavoid burning up or bouncing bac k into space, and fin allywith parachutes bil lowing landed in the Pacific Ocean south-west of Hawaii at 12:51 p.m. EOT , July 24.This volume is a transcript of the Apol lo 11 post-flightpress confere nce. It 's a descript ion of ma n's historic f irs ttrip to another celest ial body by the men who made thejourney.

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  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


    A R M S T R O N G I t was our plea sure to participate in onegreat adventure. It 's an adventure that took place, no t justin the month of July, but rather on e that took place in thelast decade. We had the opportuni ty to share tha t adventureover its developing an d unfolding in the past months an dyears. It's ou r priv i lege today to share wi th you some of thedetai ls o f that f inal month of July tha t was cer ta in ly th ehighl ight, for the three of us, of that decade. We're goingto talk about the things that interested us most and par-t icular ly th e th ings that occurred on and about th e Moon.We wi l l use a number of pictures, wi th th e intent of point ingou t some of the things that we observed on the spot, whichmay not be obvious to those of you who are looking at th emfrom the surface of Earth. The f l ight as you know startedpromptly, a nd I th ink that was characte r is t ic of al l theevents of the f l ight . The Saturn gave us one magni f icentride, both into Earth orbit and on a t ra jec tory to the Moon.(Photo 1.) Our memory of tha t ac tua l l y differs little f romthe reports that you have heard f rom the prev ious Saturn Vf l ights and the prev ious f l ights served us wel l in preparat ion

    for this f l ight in the boost as w ell as the subs equent ph ases.We would l ike to skip directly to the translunar coast phasean d remind ourselves of the chain of eventsthat longchain of events that a ctual ly permi t ted th e landing, start-ing with the undocking, th e t ransposi t ion and dockingsequence.

    COLLINS This was our f irst look at the magn if icentmachinery which ha d been behind us until this point. Theboosterof course the f i rs t and second stages had longsince separated, but this shows th e LM tha t ' s the LMinside of the third stage ( the S-4B) af ter th e t rans lunarinject ion burn. (Photo 2. ) This maneuver was an in terest ingcombinat ion of manual and automated techniques in thatwe programmed th e onboard computer to make th e turn-around. Then the f inal maneuvers were made completelymanual ly . As I approached the LM I had an easy t imebecause I had a docking target (Photo 3) which al lowedm e to al ign th e probe and the drogue. D uring this time, I alsochecked out the proper vehic le response to m y str ic t inputs.

  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


    A LD R I N We made two en tr ies into the lunar module. Thisis th e f i rs t v iew of the inside of this. (Photo 4.) The f i na lact ivat ion was made on the day of power descent and on thetwo prev ious days when we entered, we removed the probean d drogue, and found that we had a rather long tunnelbetween the two vehic les. In enter ing the lunar module oneha s to do a sl ight f l ip maneuver or a half gainer to get intoposit ion, for the lunar module is in a sense upside downrelat ive to the command module .COLLINS This is in lunar orbi t af ter separat ion of thelunar module f rom th e command module as v iewed throughmy window. (Photo 5. ) This was a busy t ime for me in thatI was taking motion pictures through the r ight h and windo wat the same t ime I was taking st i l l photos through th e lefthand window and also f ly ing my vehic leand probablypoorlyand taking a close look at the LM as he turned itaround. M y most important jo b here was to make sure thatal l hi s landing gear was down and properly locked prior tohis descent and touch dow n. Nex t came his yaw maneuverand the whi te dots that you see are the landing gear pads.This shows th e LM ei the r right side up or upside downI 'm not sure which. It looks more to me like a praying mant isthan it does a f i rst class f ly ing machine in this v iew, but

    i t was a beautiful piece of machinery. The landing gear isat the top and you can see the probes which indicate lunarcontact as thin wires extending upward from th e landinggear.ALDRIN Of course before we could undock we had tocomplete th e act ivat ion. Now the day before w e undockedwe entered the LM and went through an ent ire swi tch con-f iguration check and we exerc ised the var iou s commu nica-tion modes. In retrospect, since we did have a little bit ofa communicat ion problem dur ing power descent, we wouldrecommend that we might make a more thorough checkof this on the day before descent. On the day that we didfinal ly enter the LM for the landing maneuver we wentthrough a staggered sequence of sui t ing and we found thatwi th all the simulat ions that we had run back in Houston or wi th Houston t ied wi th our simulat ions at the Capethat we were quite conf ident that w e would be able tocomplete this LM act ivat ion in the given t ime per iod (whichwa s approx imate ly 4 hours) . W e managed to get 30 minutesahead of the t ime and i t a l lowed us to get a more accurateplat form al ignment check at one point. A f te r th e undockingmaneuver we went through a br ief radar check and then thecommand module executed a 2 foot -per -second maneuv er

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    away from us so that we would both be able to independentlyexercise our guidance system s through a star al ignmentcheck which we did following this separat ion maneuver.(Photo 6.) Soon after we were in the vicinity close to thelanding si te and then the command module was t ravel ingright over the center of our targeted point. It appro ache dwhat we ca l l th e Cat's Paw. Following this separat ion maneu-ver on the back side of the Moon we made a descent orbitinsert ion which was slight ly over 70 feet per second thatlowers our alt itude down to 50 thousand feet. We had twoguidance system s working for us. They behaved perfect ly.Both of them agreed ext remely closely as to the resul ts ofthis m aneuv er. Following this w e used the radar to c onfirmth e actual departure rate from th e command module.A R M S TR O N G This is a view of the descent t ra jectoryarea as viewed through the LM window dur ing our act ivat ion.(Photo 7.) In the bottom right of the photograph is the craterMaskelyne and the bottom center is the mountain calledBoot Hill. Immediate ly above Boot Hi l l is a smal l sharp-r immed crater cal led Maskelyne W which was the craterwe used to determine our downrange and crossrangeposit ion prior to complet ing the fin al phases of the descent.The landing area i tself is in the smooth area at the top ofthe picture just before we arr ive at the shadow or what iscal led th e terminator . We had seen a number of picturesfrom Apol lo 's 8 and 10 which gave us an excellent under*standing of the ground track over which we would passduring th e descent . The crater Maskelyne W appeared ap-prox imate ly two to three seconds late and gave us the cluethat we would probably land somewhat long. Af ter com-plet ing those posit ion checks we rol led over face up so thatthe landing radar could lock on the ground and confirm ouractual alt i tude. Now, at this phase in the t ra jectory we werepointed direct ly at the planet Earth. In the fina l phases ofdescent after a number of program alarms, we looked atthe landing area and found a very large crater. (Photo 8.)Th e camera is located in the right window an d looks to theright and it just b arely sees the boulder f ield that we arepassing over. We are at 400 feet and the boulders are about10 feet across. This is the area wh ich w e decided w e wo u ldnot go into; we extended the range downrange and saw thiscrater which we passed over this 80-foot craterin thefinal phases of descent and later took some pictures of i t .

    Th e ex haus t dust was kicked up by the en gine (Photo 9)and th is caused some concern in that it degraded ourabil i ty to determine not only our altitude and alt i tude-gradein the final phases, bu t also, an d probably more importantly,ou r t ranslat ional ve loci t ies over th e ground. It's quite im -portant not to stub your to e during th e final phases of

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    touchdo wn. O nce sett led on the surface, the dust se t t ledimmediately and we had an excel lent v iew of the area sur-rounding the LM. We saw a crater surface, pock-marked withcraters up to 15, 20, 30 feet and many smal ler craters downto a diameter of 1 foot and, of course, the surface was veryf ine-gra ined. (Photo 10.) W e could te l l that f rom our viewout the window, but there were a surpr is ing number ofrocks of all sizes.AL D RIN This is the v iew out the right window. (Photo11.) Up close to the horizon you see a boulder f ie ld thatwas probab ly deposi ted by some of the impacts in the crate rstha t were behind us. You see, most of the craters haverounded edges, however, there is a variation in the ageof these as we can tel l by the sharpnes s of the edge of thecrater. The immediate foreground area we wi l l see moreof later. I t was relatively f lat terrain in contrast to some ofth e more rol l ing terrain that we could see out the f rontwindow and out the left window. This is the v iew look-ing forward along where the shadow of the LM is caston the surface (Photo 12) and we see a zero-phased glowaround the upper portion of the LM. The general color ofthe terrain looking dow n-Sun was a very l ight tannish color.This blended as we looked more cross-S un to sharp er, morewell-defined features to more of a gray color. During theinit ial t ime period after touchdown, w e went through var ioussequences to prepare us for immediate abort or l i ftoff, if

    we found that this was necessary. We found tha t we had tovent th e fuel an d oxidizer mani folds a good bi t earl ier thanwe had thought. We went through these va r ious checks andprepared for a l iftoff that would have to occur about 21 min-utes after the beginning of powered descent. The ground(network) gave us a stay during this period and we did nothave to m ake use of that. W e then proceeded, at that point,into our simulated countdown which consisted of checkingou r guidance systems. We made use of a grav i ty-al ign fea turewhere th e inertial platform of the primary guidance systemwould defuse th e gravity vector to determine th e local ver-t ical . W e then compared this wi th th e al ignments that we hadpreviously. We also made us'e of the stars through thete lescope in al igning a cross hai r by rotating th e f ie ld ofview so the cros s hair superimposed on the s ta r th is wouldgive us the angu lar measurem ent of the star wi th in th efield of v iew of the telescope. W e then determined th e dis-tance out by al igning another radical spiral on th is. We wentthrough an averaging technique onboard and then fe d thisinformation into th e computer and came up wi th our var iousalignment checks. This was al l in preparation for a possiblel i f toff tha t would occur about tw o hours after touchdownas Mike and Columbia came over for the f i rs t revolution.The ground network gave us a stay and we continued throughth e remainder of the checklist in our simulated countdownand at this point we terminated and powered down th esystems aboard th e spacecra f t and went into an eat period.A R M S T R O N G A number of experts had, prior to thefl ight, predicted that a good bit of diff iculty might be en-countered by people at tempting to work on the surface ofth e Moon due to the var iety of strange atmospheric an dgravi ta t ional character is t ics that would be encountered. Thisdidn' t prove to be the case and af ter landing we fe l t verycomfortable in the lunar gravity. It was, in fact, in our viewpreferable both to weight lessness and to the Earth's gravity.A ll th e systems on the LM were operat ing magni f icent lywe had very few problems. We decided to go ahead withth e surface work immediately. W e predicted that we mightbe ready to leave the LM by 8 o'clock, bu t those of you w hofol lowed on the ground recognize we missed our estimate agood deal. This was due to a number of factors: 1; we hadhousekeeping to perform (food packages, f l ight plans, al lth e i tems tha t we had used in the previous descent had to bestowed out of the way pr ior to depressuriz ing the lunarmod ule) 2; It took longer to depre ssur ize the lunar m odulethan we had ant i c ipa ted and 3; i t also took longer to getth e cooling units in our backpacks operat ing than we hadexpected. In subs tance, it took us approx imate ly an hourlonger to get ready than w e had predicted. Whe n we actual lydescended th e ladder i t was found to be very much l ike th e

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    lunar grav i ty s imulat ions we had performed here on Earth.N o di f f icul ty was encountered in descend ing th e ladder. Th elast step was about SVa feet f rom th e sur face, and we weresomewhat concerned that we might have di f f icul ty in re-entering the LM at the end of our ac tiv i ty period. So wepracticed that before doing th e exercise of bringing th e

    camera down which took th e subsequent surface pictures.Here you see the camera being lowered on what might becal led th e "Brooklyn c lothesl ine." (Photo 13.) I was oper-at ing quite careful ly here because immediately to my rightand off the picture was a six- foot-deep crater. And I wassomewhat concerned about los ing m y balance on the steep

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    slope. The other item of interest in the very early stages ofEVA, should i t have been cut short for some unknownreason, was the job of br inging back a sample of the lunarrocks. The photograph s how s the col lection of that init ialsample into a smal l bag (Photo 14) and then that ba g beingdeposited in my pocket. This was the first of a number oft imes when w e found two men were a great help. I quicklyput up the TV camera. A nd then more leisurely Buzz and Ijoined together to erect th e American flag. (Photo 15.) W efound on a number of occasions when we were able tohelp each other in m any way s on the surfac e. You probablyrecal l th e t imes that I got my foot caught in the te lev is ioncable, and Buzz was able to help m e ex t rac t it wi thoutfal l ing down.

    ALDRIN We had some difficulty at first get t ing the poleof th e flag to remain in the surface. In penetrating th esurface, w e found that most objects would go down about5, maybe 6 inches, and then meet with gradual resist-ance. At the same t ime there was not much of a supportforce on either side, so we had to lean th e f lag back slightlyin order for it to maintain th is position. So many peoplehave done so much to give us this opportunity to place th isAmer ican f lag on the surface. To me it was one of theprouder moments of my l ife, to be able to stand there an dquickly salute th e flag. (Photo 16.)A R M S T R O N G Th e rest of the activi ty seemed to be veryrushed. There were a lot of th ings to do, and we had a hardt ime gett ing them f in ished.ALDRIN We did f ind that mobi l ity on the surface wasin general a good bit better th an p erhaps we had anticipatedit. There was a sl ight tendency to be more nearly toward therear of a neutral stable position. Loss of balance seemedto be quite easy to identify. And as one would lean a sl ightbit to one side or the other, i t was very easy to ident i fy whenthis loss of balance w as approaching. In maneuvering around,one of my tasks fairly early in the EVA, I found that a stand-ard loping technique of one foot in f ront of the other workedou t quite as wel l as we would have expected. One could alsoj u m p in more of a kangaroo fashion, two feet at a t ime.This seemed to work , but without quite th e same degree ofcontrol of your stability as you moved along. W e found thatwe had to ant ic ipate three to four steps ahead in comparisonwith the one or two steps ahead when you're walk ing onthe Earth.A R M S T R O N G We had very l i t t le t rouble, much lesstrouble than expected on the surface. It was a pleasant

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  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


    operat ion. Temperatures weren ' t h igh. They were very com-for table. The l i t t le EMU, th e combina t ion of spacesui t andback pack that provided or susta ined our life on the sur face ,operated magnif icent ly. We had no cause fo r concern atany t ime wi th the operat ion of that equipment . The pr imarydiff iculty that w e observed was that there w as just far tooli t t le t ime to do the variety of things that we would havel iked to have done. In earl ier pictures, you saw rocks andth e boulder field out Buzz 's window that were 3 and 4feet in size very l ikely pieces of the lunar bedrock. Andit wou ld have been very interest ing to go over and getsome samples of those. There were other craters thatd i f fered widely, that w ould have been interest ing to examineand photograph. We had the problem of the f ive-year-o ldbo y in a candy store. There are just to o many interest ingthings to do. The sur face as we said was f ine-grained withlots of rock in i t . It took footprints very well, and the foot-prints stayed in place. (Photo 17.) The LM was in good shape,an d it ex hibited no damage from the landing or the de scent.Here is a picture of the ladder with th e wel l -known plaqueon th e primary strut. (Photo 18.) There was a question asto whether the LM would sink in up to its knees. It didn't,as you can see. Th e footpads sunk in , perhaps, an inch ortwo. And the probe in this picture was fo lded over an d sticksup through th e sand in the bottom right-hand corner (Photo19) showing that we were t ravel ing sl ight ly sidew ise attouchdown. There was a wide var ie ty of sur faces. Here Buzzis standing in a small crater (Photo 20), and gives a verygood picture of the rounded r ims of what we believe arevery old features. The LM was in a re lat ive ly smooth areabetween th e craters and the boulder f ield. (Photo 21.) A ndwe had some di f f icu l ty in determining just what straight upan d down was. Our abil i ty to pick out straight up and downwas probably several degrees less accurate than it is hereon Earth. An d it caus ed som e diff iculty in having things l ikeour cameras and scient if ic experiments maintain the levelat t i tude we expected.

    ALDRIN The two ex perim ents that you saw in the previ-ou s picture were deployed in the Scientif ic Equipment Bay.We found that gett ing them down produced no significantproblem. A nd here you see a view of my carrying these tw oexper iments out to the deployment site (Photo 22), about70 feet south of the lunar module. Y ou have a very goodview of the vary ing depths of the upper surface layer. You seethat along th e crater rima smal l crater r im off to my leftalong this, th e upper surface appears to be about 2 to 3inches. The subsur face has a slope that is rather ill-defined,and one has to be very careful in treading around these s ma ll

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  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


    craters. A ny long excurs ions, I feel , would take a good bitof attent ion in moving along to avoid walk ing along or downthe slope of some of these smaller craters. This is thePassive Seismic Experiment (Photo 23) that was deployedand has been giving u s good returns on the interactions ofth e Moon. We had a little diff iculty deploying one of thepanels. I had to move around to the far side and release th erestraining lever, and then th e second panel came out. W ehad a l i t t le bit of di f f icul ty determin ing, as Neil said, th e

    exact local hor izontal , and I think th is is due to the decreasein the cues, that a person has as to which way up real ly is.On e has to lean a little bi t more off to the side before youget th is body cue that your approaching of f -balance, and ofcourse th e surface var ied considerably in this area. Thissecond experiment is the Laser Ref lector. (Photo 24.) We'vebeen successful in bouncing laser beams of f th is, f romits hundred arrays of reflectors. The other experiment, th eSolar W ind Experim ent (Photo 25), you can see, was de-

  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


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  • 8/8/2019 The First Lunar Landing as Told by the Astronauts


    ployed quite ear ly in the f l ight and was rolled up, j us t one ofth e last things before I reentered the LM. In t h is p ic tu re , yousee m e driving th e core tube into th e surface. (Photo 26.)We co l lec ted tw o di f ferent core tube samples. I t was quitesurprising, th e resistance that was met in this subsur facemedium, and at the same t ime, y ou see that i t did not suppo rtvery wel l th e core tube as I was dr iv ing it into th e sur face .A R M S T R O N G This is a closeup p icture. (Photo 27.)It 's actually a stereo picture of f ine particulate material onth e Moon. This is taken from about an inch or two awayf rom th e sur face , and shows a sh iny coa t ing on some of theclumps there. This appears to be melted glass and an anal-ysis of the cause fo r that character ist ic is of ext reme inter-est to the scient i f ic comm unity. The second p icture takenwith that scient i f ic camera shows th e nature of the clods


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    of lunar surface material (Photo 28), and this picture showsth e 80-foot crater, which, you observed earl ier dur ing th ef inal phases of descent (Photo 29). We had very muchhoped that th is crater would be deep enough to show th elunar bedrock. It was about 15 or 20 feet deep, and al-though there ar e rocks in the bottom, there is no ev idenceon th e inner walls of the lunar bedrock.ALDRIN W e deposited several i tems on the lunar sur-face. I 'm sure you're aw are of these. One was a disc wi th73 messages from nations of the wo rld. There was a patchf rom Apol lo 1, and var ious medals f rom th e cosmonauts .We also elected, as a crew, to deposit a symbol which wasrepresentative of our patch; that is, the U.S. eagle carry ingth e ol ive branch to the lunar surface. W e thought i t wasappropriate to deposit this repl ica of the olive branch beforewe left.A R M S T R O N G After reenter ing the LM, we could see theeffects of our ac t i v i ty on the sur face. (Photo 30.) Yo u'l l notethat th e surface looks considera bly darker in the area whereth e major i ty of the walk ing took place. However, on theleft side of the picture, where it is not as dark, there wasalso a good bit of walking. That indicates that the walk ingprobably just increases your abi l i ty to notice the effects o fth e strange l ighting that Buzz talked about ear l ier , where th ecross-Sun l ighting is a good bi t darker than th e down-Sunl ight ing.A LD R I N Fol lowing th e EVA, we had a sleep period,which in a word, didn ' t go quite as wel l as we thought itmight. We found i t was quite di f f icul t to keep wa rm. Wh enwe pul led the window shades over the windows, we foundthat th e envi ronment wi thin the cabin chilled considerablyand af ter about two or three hours, we found that i t wasrather diff icult for us to sleep. You see mounted in the righthand window, th e 16-mil l imeter camera (Photo 31). thatwas mounted fo r taking th e pictures on the surface. Follow-ing the sleep period, as we're approaching th e l ift-off pointwe progressed with a gradual power-up of the lunar module,which included another star al ignment check, and as Mikecame over in Columbia, one revolut ion before l i f t -of f , we

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    used the radar to track him as he went over. W e cont inuedthe check out. You see here, one of the da ta books that'smounted up in f ron t of the instrum ent pane l (Photo 32),that wa s used to re cord the var ious messages that were sentup to us, a whole host of numbers , for the part icular maneu-vers that were coming up , that we would copy down. W ewould log these on that sort of a data sheet.A R M S T R O N G This f i lm c l ip shows our final look at Tran-qui l i ty Base (Photo 33), before our departure, and theascent was a great pleasure. I t was very smooth . W e werevery pleased to have the engine l ight up. (laughter) It gaveus an exce l lent v iew of our takeof f t ra jectory, and Tra nqui l i tyBase as we left, and at al l times through the a sce nt, we

    could pick up landmarks that assured us tha t we were onth e proper track. There were no diff icult ies with th e ascentand we enjoyed th e ride, more than we could say.ALDRIN Both guidance system s agreed very c loselywhen we were f inal ly inserted into orbi t . I bel ieve they weresomething on the order of a hal f a mile, or seven-tenths ofa mile difference in the apogee, in the resulting orbit. Fol-lowing an alignment check after insertion into orbit , wepreceded with gathering radar data of relative positionsbetween the two vehic les. The solution for the f i rs t sequenceof rendezvous maneuvers was extremely c lose and agreedvery closely wi th th e value that th e ground had given us.Th e surpr is ing feature was that many of us were expect inga fai r ly large out-of-planeness, due to perhaps some mis-al ignment in azimuth on the surface. W e were expect ingsomewhere up to, maybe 20 or 30 feet pe r second out-of-plane veloci ty . W e found that we didn't even have to makeus e of a part icular out-of-plane maneuver that ha d beeninserted between tw o other sequent ia l maneuvers. In com-parison wi th many s imulator runs, w e found tha t this wasabout as perfect a rendezvous as we could have asked for.COLLINS This is Eagle (Photo 34), or perhaps half anEagle would be better since th e landing gear an d lower partof th e descent s tage, of course, remained on the surface.This was a very happy part of the f l ight for me. I, for thefirst t ime, real ly fe l t that w e were going to carry this thingof f at this stage of the game, and it looks like, al thoughwe were fa r f rom home, w e were a lot closer to it than th epure distance might indicate. Neil made th e initial maneu-vers to get turned around, and then again I did the f inal


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    docking. The probe is the dark bundle on the top of theLM and the docking target is below it and to the left in thel ighter po rtion of the LM . As Buzz said, the rend ezvous wasabsolutely beaut i fu l . They came up f rom belowas if theywere r id ing on a rai l . There was absolutely no disturbance orany of f-nominal events during th e last part of the rendezvous.Upper right you can see the R CS QUADS, and down below thevar ious antenna and other protube rances. This gives yousome idea of the rough surface avai lable on the Moon. (Photo35.) Of course, th e maria on the f ront side are smoother thanth is, but in general th e back side of the Moon is quite rough.I have a series of s l ides which, in the interest of t ime, I'mnot going to dwel l on, but I just l ike to point out that we didtake a number of pictures, I bel ieve, f rom Columbia. W e tookprobably a thousand sti l ls and some of them show very inter-est ing surface features, var ious types of unusual craters, and

    some of them pose many r iddles which we hope the geol-ogists wil l , in time, be able to answer for us. That l ine ofcraters (Photo 36), fo r example , is di f f icul t to exp la in ; or atleast wi thout an argument it is. Here is a nearer crater wi thth e whi te mater ial hav ing come from it. (Photo 37.) A nd thisis a picture of the solar corona. (Photo 38.) N eil, wo uldyo u l ike to close with that?A R M S T R O N G During our f l ight to the Moon, we f lewthrough the Moon shadow, in fact the Moon was ecl ips ingthe Sun. We took the oppo rtuni ty to try to take some photo-graphs of i t but our f i lm was just not suff iciently fast tocapture the event. Howeve r, th is does show the br ightestpart of the solar corona. It extends several Moon diam-eters on each s ide. They're roughly paral le l to tha t light,but the striking th ing to us, as observers, was not thesolar corona, but the Moon itself. (Photo 39.) Of course, it

    i t - ;

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    was dark, uni l luminated by the Sun but i t was i l luminatedby the Earth and at this relatively close range i t had a de-c ided three-dimensional ef fect and was undoubtedly oneof the most impressive sights of the f l ight . As we left theMoon, af ter successful TEI, th is is the view that we ob-served. The co lors that you see there are quite close to beingactual ly represen tat ive of the Moon as seen f rom that dis-tance. We were sorry to see the Moon go, but we were cer-tainly glad to see that Earth return. (Photo 40.) W e took alarge number of photographs on the way out and backand had our wris twatches set on Houston t ime. An interest-ing use can be made of that. If you were looking at thispicture and you looked at your watch and your w atch said7:00 in the evening, then you'd know that Houston is about7:00 in the even ing and i t 's about an hour away f rom sun-set. So i t wo uld be about one -twe nty-fourth of an Earth's

    c i rcumference away f rom the shad ow, which is just about15 degrees there, so at anyt ime by looking at our wris t-wa tch and looking down at the Earth, we knew what wasunderneath th e c louds and it aided us in some ways inpicking ou t wha t we should be seeing. W e could see a largenumber of detai ls on the Earth 's surface, certainly al l thecont inents a nd is lands and detai ls , many of which yo ufol lowed perhaps in our discussions over th e radio communi -cations but i t was interesting to us to f ind out how wel l wecou ld observe weather patterns no t only on the world widescale that you see here, but in specif ic local i t ies. This par-t icular shot shows th e coas t of Nor th Amer ica , th e equator ia lc loud layers, wha t we th ink is probably the intertropical con-vers ion zone and cirrus c louds over the Antarct ic .

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    A R M S T R O N G I think that we can say that o vera l l we wouldn ' t change the p lan that we used orthe p lan that they intend to use. You know that there are a large number of indi-v idua l deta i ls which w e think could s tand improvement and we have had the op-por tun i ty in the past couple of wee ks to go over those deta i ls wi th the crew mem-bers and var iou s people f rom around the p rogram. In genera l I 'd say that w ewouldn ' t recomm end any ma jor changes in the p lan.REPORTER Will you recommend any changes in procedures for the Moon-walking and explora-tion procedure and did you find that your suits were mobile enough in view of thechanges or would you recommend further mobility features for them for operationon the Moon?A L D R I N W ell, one gets used to the type mobi l i ty that your su it affords you a nd of cours ew e wo uld l ike to always have more and more dexter i ty wi th arms moving and f ingersmoving. These th ings are under s tudy. Of course the Apo l lo 12 miss ion wi l l havetw o dif feren t p eriods of EVA : one early in the mission, and then a sleep p eriod,and then ano ther EV A fo l lowing that. We in genera l looked at their plans and weta lked to them about the dura t ions. We ta lke d to them about a br ie f per iod at thebeginning of the i r EVA for their f am i l i a r i za t ion w i th the EVA , the 160 env i ronment .I don' t think w e have any par t i cu la r recommenda t ions for how they should changetheir miss ion. I t is a cont inu ing ev olvem ent of EVA capa bi l i ty and sc ient if ic ex-p lorat ion that they ' re undertaking on that flight.REPORTER / would like to ask Colonel Aldrin if he would elaborate a little bit on his commentearlier about having to anticipate where you were going to walk three or four stepsin advance as compared to just one or two on Earth. Did you mean that in respectto avoiding craters or deep pits or what?AL D RIN We l l , I meant it with respect to the inert ia that the body has in moving at thisrate of f i ve to six miles an hour that w e found to be fa i r ly convenient . Due to thereduced force of gravi ty your foot does no t come down so o f ten , so you have to

    ant ic ipate ahe ad and contro l your body movem ent, and s ince you foot is not on thesurface for a long period of time in each s tep you ' re not ab le to bring to bear largechanges in your force appl icat ion w hich wo uld ena ble you to s low down. So in gen-eral we found we had to ant ic ipate three or four s teps ahead ins tead o f m aybe thaton e or two that you do on the surface of the Earth.REPORTER You are now national heroes and you 've had a couple of weeks in isolation in theLR L to think about that. Wh at are your initial feelings about being heroes? How doyou believe it will change your lives and do you think that maybe you'll get anotherchance to go to the Moon or are you going to be too busy being heroes?A R M S T R O N G Prob ably to get an answ er to that quest ion w e m ight have to spend as long pre-par ing as we had to prepare for Ap ol lo 11. In the Lunar R eceiv ing Laboratory wehad very l i t t le time for meditation, as i t turned out, we were qui te busy throughoutthe t ime per iod wi th the sam e sor t o f th ings that the crew s of past f l ights havedone a f t e r their f l ights. T h e debr ie f ing schedules and wr i t i ng th e pi lot reports an dget t ing a l l the fac ts down for the use of a l l the people who wi l l inc lude that in thefuture flights.REPORTER I'm struck from the movies and the still pictures by the difference in the very hos-tile appearance of the Moon when you're orbiting over it or some distance from itand the warmer colors and the relatively apparently more friendly appearanceof it when you're on the surface. I'd like to ask Colonel Collins if he gets thatsame impression from the pictures and the two of you who were on the Moon, whatimpression do you have along those lines?COLLINS The Moon changes character as the angle of sunl ight striking i ts sur face changes.A t very low Sun angles c lose to the terminator a t dawn or dusk, i t has the harsh,forb idding cha racte r is t ics which you see in a lo t o f the photograph s. On the othe rhand whe n the Su n is more c losely overhead , the m idday s i tuat ion, the Moon takesnn mnrp nf a hrown color . It becomes a lmost a rosy looking p lacea fa i r ly f r iendlyplace so that from dawn through midday through dusk you run the whole gamut. Itstar ts off ve ry forbidding, becomes f r iendly and then becomes forbidding again asthe Sun d isappears.REPORTER Neil, were you and Buzzdid you get the feeling that you were getting a little lowon fuel during the landing? Were you concerned at that point about being low onfuel; and the second part of it, I suppose for Buzz, is, out of your experience howtough do you think that pin-point precise landing will be on the lunar surface onfuture flights?A R M S T R O N G Ye s, we were concerned about running low on fuel. The range exten s ion we d idwas to av oid the boulder f ie ld and crate rs . We used a s ign i f icant percentage of ourfuel margins and we were quite c lose to our legal limit.REPORTER Wh a t changes willbe based on your experience?AL D RIN W e l l , I think it requi res some very pinpoint determinat ion of the orbit that the ve-hicle is in before it begins power descent. This requi res extre me care in makingsure of ground t racking because th e entire descent is based upon th e knowledgethat the ground ha s and puts in to the onboard com puter ex act ly where the space-craf t is and th is s tar ts severa l revolut ions before and then is carr ied ahead as thecomputer keeps t ra ck of the craf t 's pos it ion. So during sequences l ike undockingw e have to be extre mely carefu l that we do not disturb th is knowledge of exact ly

    where it is, because th is then re la tes in the compute r to bringing the LM down ina di f ferent spot than whe re everyone thought w e we re coming. This is what de-f ines th e error e l l ipse, where w e might poss ib ly land having targeted for the cen-ter. N ow the abi l i ty to be able to contro l where you are requires that you be able 21

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    to ide nt i fy feature s and, of course, in our par t icu lar landing s i te th is w as selec tedto be as vo id of s ign i f i can t fea tu res as poss ib le to give us a smoother sur face. Inany area l ike th is there are always certa in ident i fy ing featu res that you can p ick out certa in pa t terns of c raters to the e xte nt that th is can be used. If the crewsees that they are not go ing exac t ly toward the preplanned point , they can begin totell the computer to move to a s l ight ly d i f ferent landing locat ion. N ow th is canoccur up in the region of 5 to 6 thousand feet . Then as Nei l took over contro l o four spa cecr af t to exte nd the range to get beyond th is large crater W est Craterthis aga in may be requi red i f ide nt i f icat ion is made in the v ic in i ty of 3 , 4 or5 hundred feet to be able to ma neuv er that las t few seconds in the v ic in i ty of1000 or 2000 feet to make a p inpoint landing. So much depends on the ear lyt ra jec tory , the abi l i ty to then re des ign ate, and the f ina l manu al contro l .R E P O R T E R For Mr. Arms t rong and more on the landing. Did you at any time consider an abortwhile you were getting the alarms and so for th?A R M S T R O N G We l l , I thinkin s imu la t ions w e have a la rge number o f f a i l u res and we are usu-al ly spr ing- load ed to the abort pos i tion and in th is c ase, in the real f l ight , we arespr i ng- l oaded to the land pos i t ion. W e we re cer ta in ly going to con t inue w i th thedescent as long as we could safe ly do so and as soon as program compute r a la rmsmani fes t themse lves , you rea l i ze tha t you have a poss ib le abort s i tuat ion to con-tend with, but our procedure throughou t the preparat ion p hase was to a lwayst ry to keep going as long as we could so that we cou ld bypass these types ofproblems.A L D R I N T he compute r w as cont inu ing to issue guidance throughout th is time period andi t was cont inu ing to f ly the v ehic le down in the same way that i t was programm edto do. The only th ing that was miss ing dur ing th is t ime per iod is that we d id no thave s o m e of the disp lays on the compute r keyboard and we had to make severa lentr ies a t this time in order to c lear up that area.REPORTER Would the crew consider a Moon mission of a similar nature again or would youprefer to have some other kind of mission; and secondly, I think this questionwasasked, but I did not get the complete answer . How do you propose to restore somenormalcy to your private lives in the years ahead?A L D R I N I w i s h I knew th e answer to the latter part o f your quest ion.A R M S T R O N G It kind of depends on you . B u t I think tha t th e landings that are presently con-s idered for the next number of fl ights are approp r ia te to the conc lus ions that wereached as a resu l t o f our descent. I wo uld cer ta in ly hope that we are able to in-vest igate the var ie ty of types of landing s i tes that they hope to accom pl ish.REPORTER / have two brief questions that I would like to ask, if I may. When you were carryingou t that incredible Moon walk, did you find that the surface was equally firm every-where or were there harder and softe r spots tha t you could detect. And, secondly,when you looked up at the sky, could you actually see the stars in the solar coronain spite of the glare?A L D R I N The first part of your question, th e surface did vary in its th ickness of penetrations om ew her e in fla t reg ions. The footpr in t wo uld penetrate a hal f an inch or some-t imes on ly a quarter o f an inch and gave a very firm response . In other regionsnear th e edges o f these c ra te rs w e could f ind that th e foot would s ink down maybe2, 3, poss ib ly 4 inches and in the s lope, of course , th e var ious edges of thef oo tp r in t might go up to 6 or 7 inches. In compac t ing this mater ia l it wouldtend to produce a s l ight s idew ays mot ion as i t was com pacted on the mater ia lundernea th i t . So we feel that you cannot a lways te l l by looking at the sur face w hatth e exact res is tance wi l l be as your foot sinks into a point of firm contact . So onemus t be quite caut ious in moving around in this rough surface.A R M S T R O N G We were never able to see s tars from the lunar surface or on the dayl ight side ofthe Moon by eye wi thout looking through the op t ics . I don't recal l during th e

    per iod of time that we were photographing the so lar corona what s tars we couldsee.A L D R I N I don ' t rememb er seeing any.REPORTER Neil, you said you were a little bit concerned you said about stubbing your toe atthe point of landing because the surface was obscured by dust. Do you see anywa y around that problem for future landings on the Moon?A R M S T R O N G I think th e s imu la t ions tha t w e have at the present time to enable a pilot to under-s tand the problems of a lunar landing ( that is , the s imu lator and the var ious lunarland ing tra in ing fac i l i t ies and t ra ine rs tha t we have) wi l l do that job suf f ic ient ly wel l .Ab o ve that, I think i t is just a matte r of pi lot experien ce.REPORTER This is for Neil Armstrong. You said earlier in your presentation that MaskelyneW. occurred about three seconds later giving you the clue that you might land some-wha t long. Now this was before you got the high gate so that it had nothing to dowith maneuvering to find a suitable place to land. I am wondering what would havecaused this three seconds delay. Did it have something to do with the time that

    you began the powered descent or what?

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    A R M S T R O N G


    A R M S T R O N G

    R E P O R T E R

    A R M S T R O N G


    R E P O R T E R



    The time that we started powered descent was the planned time but the questionis where are you over th e surface of the Moon at the time of ignition and where thatpoint is, is largely determined by a long chain o f prior events: tracking that hastaken place several revolutions earlier, th e flight maneuvers that have been donein checking out the rate control systems, the undocking and the ability to station-keep accurately without ever flying very far a w a y from where the computer thinksyo u ought to be at that time. And, of course, the little bit of dispersions in a ma-neuver such as the deal I burned on the back side of the Moon that were not quiteproperly measured by the guidance system. Each of those things will accumulateinto an effect that is an errora position errorat ignition and there is no wayo f compensating until you get to final phase for that error.Based on your own experiences in space, do you or any of you feel that there willever be an opportunity for a woman to become an astronaut in our space program?G o s h , I hope so./ would like to refer back to something that Neil Armstrong said a while back, thatthere was so many other things he would have liked to have done. As it was, youended up a considerable number of minutes behind the schedule. Is that becausethe schedule was overloaded for the EVA or can we expect all astronauts, when theyreach the Moon for the first time, to enjoy themselves and spend as much timedoing so as you seemed to?W e plead guilty to enjoying ourselves. A s Buzz mentioned earlier, we a re recom-mending that we start future EVA's with a 15- or 20-minute period to get thesekinds of things out o f the way and to ge t used to the surface and what you see,adapt to the 1/6 G in maneuvering around and probably we just included a littlemore in the early phase than we were actually able to do.Tw o questions. Where did the weird sounds including the sirens and whistles comefrom during the transEarth coast. I believe ground control had asked for explana-tions saying it had come from the spacecraft. Secondly, I understand that althoughlow-angle lightingcaused no problem walking around, there was a problem seeingobstacles in time when traveling at high speeds. I understand this might indicatethe need for flying machines rather than a rover for long distance lunar surfacetravel. Can you explain this?W e are guilty again. We sent the whistles and(Laughter) and bellswith ourlittle tape recorder which we used to record our comments during the flight inaddition to playing music in the lonely hours. We thought we'd share that withth e people in the Control Center. The Sun angle w as less a problem for the thingsyou mentioned than the lunar curvature and the local roughness. It seemed to meas though it was like swimming in an ocean with 6-or 8-foot swells and w a v e s .In that condition, you never can see very far a w a y from where you are. And thiswas even more exaggerated by the fact that the lunar curvature is so muchmore pronounced.This is for Mr. Armstrong. Had you planned to take over semi-manual control, orwas it only your descent toward the West Crater that caused you to do that?The series of control system configurations that were used during the terminalphase were in fact very close to what we would expect to use in the normal case,i r respec t i ve of the landing area that you found yourself in . However, w e spent moretime in the manual phase than we would have planned in order to find a suitablelanding area.Many of us and many nthpr npnn/e in many places have speculated on the meaningof this first landingon another body in space. Would each of you give us your esti-mate of what is the meaning of this to all of us?Y ou want to try it?After you.Well, I believe, that what this country set out to do was something that was goingto be done sooner or later whether we set a specific goal or not. I believe thatfrom th e early space flights, w e demonstrated a potential to carry ou t this type o fa mission. A nd again i t was a question of time until this would be accomplished.I think the relative ease with which we were able to carry out our mission which,o f course, came after a very efficient and logical sequence of flights ... I thinkthat this demonstrated that we were certainly on the right track when we took thiscommitment to go to the Moon. I think that what this means is that many otherproblems, perhaps, can be solved in the same way by making a commitment to solvethem in a long time fashion. I think, that we were timely in accepting this missionof going to the Moon. It might be timely at this point to think in many otherareas of other missions that could be accomplished.To me there are near and far term aspects to it. On the near term, I think it atechnical triumph for this country to have said what it was going to do a number ofyears ago, and then by golly do it just like we said we were going to do ... not just,perhaps, purely technical, but also a triumph for the nation's overall determination, .

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    A R M S T R O N G

    R E P O R T E RA R M S T R O N G

    R E P O R T E R


    R E P O R T E R


    A R M S T R O N G

    R E P O R T E R

    A R M S T R O N G

    A L D R I N

    wi l l , economy, a t ten t ion to de ta i l , and a thousand and one o ther fac tors tha t wentinto it. That 's short term. I th ink, long term , we f ind for the f i rst time that manhas the f lex ibi l i ty or the opt ion of ei ther walk ing this planet or so me other p lane t,be it the Moon or Mars, or I don' t know whe re. And I 'm poorly equipped to evalu-at e where tha t m ay lead us to.I just see it as beginning, not just th is f l ight, but in th is program which has real lybeen a very short p iece of human historyan instant in historythe entire pro-gram. It 's a beginning of a new age.Neil, how much descent fuel did you have left when you actually shut down?M y own instruments would have indicated less than 30 second s, probably some-thing l ike 15 or 20 seconds, I think. The analyses made here on the ground indi-cate something more than that, probably greater than 30 seconds40 or 45.That sounds l ike a short time, but it real ly is quite a lot.This is for Colonel Collins. You used a rather colorful expression when f f tere seemedto be some problem with docking. Could you tell us precisely wha t wasgoing on atthat time? Were you docked and thenA re you referr ing to the lunar orbit docking when af ter the two vehic les made con-tact, a yaw osci l lat ion developed? This osc i l lat ion covered, perhaps, 15 degrees inyaw over a per iod of one or two seconds and was not normal . I t was not anythingthat an y of us ex pecte d. It was not a serious problem . It was all over in an ad-di t ional s ix or eight secon ds. The sequen ce of events is that the two vehic les areheld together ini t ial ly by three capture latches and then a gas bottle, when fired,in i t iates a retract cycle wh ich al lows the two to be m ore r ig idly connected by 12strong latches around the pe r iphery of the tunnel . N ow this takes s ix or eight sec-onds fo r this cycle, between initial contac t and the retract. And i t was during thisperiod of t ime, that I did have a yaw osci l lat ion, or we did. Neil and I both tookmanual correct ive act ion to bring the two veh ic les back in line. A nd whi le th iswas going on the retract cycle was succes sful ly tak ing place. And the latches fired,and the problem w as over .Two questions. Col. Aldrin, the pictures taken on the surface, your fold portrait,show the distinct smudges of lunar soil on your knees. Did you fall down on thesurface or kneel? And then for Mr. Armstrong, during the last few minutes there,before the landing when the program alarms were coming on and et cetera, wouldyo u have gone ahead and landed had you not had ground support?To my recol lect ion, my knees did not touch the surface at any part icular time. W edid not feel that w e should not do this. W e fel t that th is would be quite a naturalthing to do to recover objects f rom th e sur face, but at the same t ime w e fel t thatw e did not wan t to do this u nless it was absolutely necessa ry. We found quite earlyin the E VA hat th e in tersurface mater ial did tend to adhere considerably to any partof the c lothing. I t wo uld get on the gloves and would stay there. Whe n you wouldknock ei ther your foot or your hand against something, you would tend to shed theouter surface of th is mater ial , but there remained considerable smudges. I don'tknow ho w that got on the knees.Ne i ther of us fel l down. We would have cont inued the landing so long as the trajec-tory seemed safe. And a landing is possible under these condi t ions, al though withconsiderably less conf idence than when you have th e information f rom th e ground,and the co mputer in i ts normal manner is ava i lable to you.For Mr. Armstrong and Col. Aldrin. Would youplease give us a bit more detail aboutyour feelings, your reactions, your emotions during that last several hundred feet ofpowered descent? Especially when you discovered that you were headed for acrater full of boulders and had to change your landing spot.We ll, fi rs t say that I exp ected that we wou ld probab ly have to make some localad jus tmen ts to f ind a sui table landing area. I thought i t was highly unl ikely thatwe wou l d be so f o r tuna te as to come down in a very smooth area, and we plannedon doing that. As i t turned out, o f course, we did cons iderab ly more m aneuver ingc lose to the su r f ace than we had planned to do. And the te rmina l phase w as abso-lutely chock ful l of my eyes looking out the windo w, and B uzz looking at the comp uterand informa tion inside the cockpi t and feed ing that to me. That was a ful l - t ime job.My role dur ing th e latter tw o hundred feet is one of relaying as much informationthat I can that is ava i lable ins ide the cockpi t in the form of al t itude, al t itude rate,and fo rward or lateral veloci ty . And i t was my role of relaying this information toNei l so that h e could devote most of his at tent ion to looking out. Wh at I was ableto see in term s of these ve loci t ies and the a l t i tudes appe ared qui te s imi lar to theway that we had carr ied out the last two hundred, one hundred feet in many ofour simulations.

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    Thus ended the Apo l lo 11 post-flight pressconference . Twe nty-seven days e lapsed betweenliftoff at Cape Kennedy and this report to the people.Only history wi l l bear witness to the importanceof the events that took p lace during this period. $ K A R S H , O T T A W A

    Command Module P i lotMichael Col l ins Lunar Module P i lotEdwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr .

    Produced by the N a t iona l A eronau t i cs and SpaceA d m i n i s t r a t i o n , Off ice o f Publ ic Affa i rsThis book was a pro jec t of Murray Na thans pfN A S A who died on January 28 , 1970, and isdedicated to him.

    CommanderN e i l A r m s t r o n g

    Fo r sale by the Superintenden t of Documents,U.S . G overnment Printing Off ice, Washington, D.C.20402Price 75 cents *u.s. G O V E R N M E N T P R I N T I N G OFFICE: 1970 o376-ieo

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