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On This Day-Mission to the Moon Day 3

18 July 1969, Apollo 11 is now 178,236 nautical miles from the Earth, the velocity has now dropped down to 3146 feet per second. It has been 57 hours since lift off. At this time the crew were preparing to enter the Eagle for the first time.

As Neil Armstrong prepare to enter the Eagle the crew decides to tape and broadcast the event. I have never seen this tape before. Mission Control was not prepared, but quickly was able to get set up to receive the broadcast. There is a 10 second lag time before the video reaches Houston.

There is a scheduled course change but it is not executed as Houston has determined that Columbia is on course. And are where they are supposed to be at this point of the flight. Armstrong and Aldrin perform system checks within the LeM. No damage is observed on the vehicle. The crew also will get their first gift from Houston, an extra hour of sleep.


Even the daily meals are planned.

Must feel good to move about, Think about just a simple car ride, some like me can stay comfortable for hours on end in a car. Can stop anytime get out and stretch. But I know quite a few people that they can get quite fidgety after a few minutes much less hours in a day trip in a car. Now i don’t know about days on end in a cramped capsule. I remember 15 hours on a 747 flying to Korea from Los Angeles. The last 3 hours was the worst. Even the stewardesses were physically putting passengers back in their seats.

A diagram of the docking process used by Apollo 11 pulling the LeM out of its booster.


It will the fly in this configuration to the Moon.

As this is the first moon landing, all these procedures taking place are being written as a manual for the next flight. The sequence being followed by the Astronauts as Houston relays each step to initiate in the Eagle. The flight plan for the rest of the Lunar day is a meal period and a 9 hour sleep period. You can hear intermittent music in the background as the Astronauts have tape players to enjoy their favorite tunes.

As day 3 ends, the Moon is getting closer, and still much to do to prepare for the landing process.
No rest for the most important moments that will take place in less than 2 days. Incredible achievement about to happen.

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.


7 responses to On This Day-Mission to the Moon Day 3

  1. Great writing Chuck, looking forward to the next meal already! 🙂

  2. Keeping in the 60’s mood…… “Getting Better All the Time”
    Thanks again, Chuck, for the time and efforts. I’m enjoying this series.
    When I see the meal pack, I’m reminded about the drink, Tang, and the tv commercials touting the drink the astronauts drink. Good stuff!
    Something that caught my eye in the second pic, is what appears to be handwriting on the triangular panel, down and left from the red cross, next to the breaker panel.

  3. What I miss is the space food sticks. Used to love those on hunting trips. Caramel, peanut butter, chocolate,…

  4. Yes, those space food sticks, and Tang!

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