was added. Staff from Tidbinbilla replaced the NASA crew that operated the back-end equipment such as the special receivers and tape recorders during Apollo 11. Parkes was ready to support on 7 November. It had been given a new parametric amplifier to improve the noise figure but suffered ‘out of specification’ problems, combined with offset and on-axis feed installation, the antenna wasn’t declared Green and ready to support the mission until 14 November.
President and Mrs Nixon watched the launch from the Firing Room at the Cape, the only time an American President in office witnessed an Apollo launch. After the launch he addressed the team in the Fire Control Room. He promised his government would back the American space program, then referring to the three astronauts in part of the speech, he said,
Chris Kraft, Director of Flight Operations, said: “Launch has always been an uneasy time for me, and I always looked forward to successful separation from the booster. When one adds to this an apprehension caused by bad weather over the Cape, I become even more concerned. It turned out that all of these elements were present for Apollo 12.”
At an altitude of 160.6 kilometres and at exactly 75:49:50.37 GET (0321:50 AEST), after a Trans-Lunar Coast that lasted for 73 hours, 5 minutes 35 seconds, they anxiously scanned their displays to keep an eye on the progress of the 5 minute 57.53 second burn to put them into a lunar orbit of 314.3 by 111.1 kilometres.
Walter Cronkite defines the moment of Apollo 11 before lift-off.
With the spacecraft out of contact with Earth, Mission Control in Houston went quiet, the subdued flight controllers mainly seated at their consoles, some standing up, an odd conversation taking place. Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, and Fred Haise, the Apollo 11 back up crew arrived, and joined McCandless at the Capcom console. Many of the astronauts, including John Glenn, appeared in the viewing room. They were all waiting for the spacecraft to reappear to confirm the burn had gone to schedule.
Apollo 11 heads for space. NASA image KSC-69PC-397.
It was just the first step in a journey that will likely never end.
From countdown to splashdown, Apollo 11's mission was filled with some surprising twists and turns.
From the Apollo 11 Earth Orbit Chart. Scan: Hamish Lindsay.
On board, Four and half tons of fuel, and a spider-shaped spaceship covered with gold and silver foil.
The goal of Apollo 11 was stated very simply.
Category: essays research papers fc; Title: Apollo 11
Now that a complete Moon landing mission had been successfully accomplished with Apollo 11, we settled down to support a steady stream of missions to the Moon, aware things could go horribly wrong, but comfortable in the knowledge that the hardware and personnel could do it. All those moments of anguish we experienced with the unknowns of Apollo’s 8 and 11 faded into the past; we now had a straightforward job to do. The sound of astronauts talking and walking around the Moon became quite normal around the rooms and corridors of Honeysuckle Creek. We prepared for a repeat success of Apollo 11 with the next mission, Apollo 12.
Major changes from Apollo 11 included the possible use of a hybrid trajectory rather than a free-return trajectory and scheduling two periods of lunar surface exploration by both crewmen. Hybrid trajectories were fuel-saving flight paths which, unlike free-return trajectories, would not return the spacecraft to earth if the service module’s main propulsion system failed to put it into lunar orbit. They were designed so that in case of such a failure the lunar module’s descent engine could correct the resulting flight path (which might put the spacecraft with its three occupants into solar orbit) for return to earth.