On This Day-Apollo 11
it’s 6:00 am in a So Cal suburb of Los Angeles, 16 July 1969, get up!, get up!, my dad says as he rousted me out of bed, it’s almost time get dressed son hurry up!. I mutter ohhh k. My father was an aerospace engineer for North American Rockwell (now known as Rockwell International), a sub contractor for the space programs, Atlas, Mercury, Apollo and the Space Shuttle. His team is responsible for many of the electronics and avionics components of the various space craft in service and on the drawing board. To say he was quite excited on this particular launch was beyond words. My dear old dad is normally calm in demeanor. But this was something special and he wanted me to witness what was about to happen.
16 July 1969, 50 years ago this day, at 9:32AM EDT, Cape Kennedy Space Center, Pad 39A. The Saturn V rocket lifts off the pad into space with 3 astronauts on boards. Commanded by Neil Armstrong, pilots Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins on board.
This amazing journey a legacy of President John F. Kennedy when he said that we would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade will come to pass. That we could achieve so much in less than 10 years with what we had to work with. Micro technology does not exist yet. The Apollo program started in 1961. Yet the Space Shuttle was on the drawing board in 1965. But we didn’t have the technology to build it. And talk of a space station was also in the mix. Those were the days when NASA had basically Carte Blanche to move forward with the space program. Amazing what this country can do when it is determined to accomplish whatever this nation needs to do. But it was and
is an expensive endeavour. 1969 what a year. The Amazing Mets, Woodstock, the riots in LA, the Manson murders, the on going Vietnam War, I was only 9 years old.
It’s day 1 as the Saturn V departs the earth. The command capsule and lunar module separate from the boosters as it orbits the Earth and about to slingshot to the moon. Now the 76 hour journey to the moon.
The lunar module docks with the command capsule.
Will continue with day 2. What is amazing it has been the 50 years. Dad is still around, I may just go roust him on the 20th and watch Neil step on the moon again for the memories of that historic day.
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.