The Apollo Program
The Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched from Cape Kennedy at 13:32:00 UT on July 16, 1969. After 2 hr and 33 min in Earth orbit, the S-IVB engine was reignited for acceleration of the spacecraft to the velocity required for Earth gravity escape.
began at 75:50 ground elapsed time (GET). The spacecraft was
placed in an elliptical orbit (61 by 169 nautical miles), inclined
1.25 degrees to the lunar equatorial plane. At 80:12 GET, the service
module propulsion system was reignited, and the orbit was made nearly
circular (66 by 54 nautical miles) above the surface of the Moon.
Each orbit took two hours. Photographs taken from lunar orbit provided
broad views for the study of regional lunar geology.
The lunar module (LM), with Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin aboard, was undocked from the command-service module (CSM) at 100:14 GET, following a thorough check of all the LM systems. At 101:36 GET, the LM descent engine was fired for approximately 29 seconds, and the descent to the lunar surface began. At 102:33 GET, the LM descent engine was started for the last time and burned until touchdown on the lunar surface. Eagle landed on the Moon 102 hr, 45 min and 40 sec after launch.
Immediately after landing on the Moon, Armstrong
and Aldrin prepared the LM for liftoff as a contingency measure. Following
the meal, a scheduled sleep period was postponed at the astronauts'
request, and the astronauts began preparations for descent to the
Astronaut Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on which the surface television camera was stowed, and the camera recorded humankind's first step on the Moon at 109:24:19 GET (pictured at left). A sample of lunar surface material was collected and stowed to assure that, if a contingency required an early end to the planned surface activities, samples of lunar surface material would be returned to Earth. Astronaut Aldrin subsequently descended to the lunar surface.
astronauts carried out the planned sequence of activities that included
deployment of a Solar Wind Composition (SWC) experiment, collection
of a larger sample of lunar material, panoramic photographs of the
region near the landing site and the lunar horizon, closeup photographs
of in place lunar surface material, deployment of a Laser-Ranging
Retroreflector (LRRR) and a Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP),
and collection of two core-tube samples of the lunar surface.
Approximately two and a quarter hours after descending to the surface, the astronauts began preparations to reenter the LM, after which the astronauts slept. The ascent from the lunar surface began at 124:22 GET, 21 hours and 36 minutes after the lunar landing. In transearth coast only one of four planned midcourse corrections was required. The CM entered the atmosphere of the Earth with a velocity of 36,194 feet per second (11,032 meters per second) and landed in the Pacific Ocean.