Apollo 11 Timeline: From Liftoff to Splashdown
The American flag was planted in the dusty lunar soil by NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969. Below is a timeline of the historic Apollo 11 flight from launch to splashdown, as seen by Vice President Spiro Agnew and former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Mission Time 00:00:00: Apollo 11 Launches
The Saturn V boosters, which were the size of a Navy destroyer and produced 7.5 million pounds of thrust, were 100 times more powerful than the Mercury boosters that launched the first American astronaut, and their ignition was the first of many tense moments on Apollo 11.
02:44:16: One Loop Around Earth, Then Moon-Bound
The spacecraft entered Earth’s orbit at nearly 120 miles above the surface after firing and jettisoning two of the Saturn V’s three engines, and after one swing around the planet, the third-stage J-2 rocket ignited, hurling the Apollo astronauts out of near-Earth orbit.
03:24:03: Vessels Rearrange in Space
The Apollo 11 spacecraft was attached to the Saturn V rocket for the first time, with the Service Module ejecting from the stage three rocket’s tip, turning 180 degrees, and docking head-first with the top of the LM.
75:49:50: Entering Moon’s Orbit
This is a composite image made up of two separate shots taken by the Lunar Module’s Eagle and Command Modules, respectively, as the spacecraft entered lunar orbit around the moon at 62 miles above the surface.
100:39:53: Armstrong Maneuvers Descent
After two hours of piloting the 32,000-pound LM toward the lunar surface, Armstrong realized that the computer’s auto-landing program was dropping them in the middle of a boulder-strewn crater, with fuel supplies running dangerously low.
102:45:40: ‘The Eagle Has Landed’
Armstrong remained calm and collected even as warning alarms blared in the cramped cabin, according to Neufeld. Armstrong and Aldrin brought the LM to a gentle stop and cut the engines, reporting to a white-knuckled Mission Control, “The Eagle has landed.”
109:07:33: Armstrong, Aldrin on the Moon: ‘That’s One Small Step…’
“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong famously radioed back to Earth. The two men spent the next two hours taking photographs and recording their impressions of the landscape.
124:22:01: A Meal, a Nap, Then Lift-Off From the Moon
In lunar orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin rejoin Collins and the CSM; Neufeld says this was another nail-biter moment for those watching at home. “Lift-off made me nervous,” says Neil Armstrong, who was the first man to walk on the moon.
128:03:00: Docking With Command Module
During Gemini 8, Armstrong and Aldrin docked with the spacecraft in mid-flight, making it the first successful space docking ever. The three-man crew reassembled in the CSM, jettisoned the LM for good, and set course for home.
195:07:15: Re-entry into Earth’s Atmosphere
The Service Module was ditched after firing its engines one final time to enter Earth’s orbit, and the three astronauts braced for re-entry inside the cone-shaped Command Module, which would be the final test for the Apollo 11 crew and the thousands of engineers and test pilots.
The Apollo 11 mission ended with a splashdown landing in the Pacific Ocean exactly eight days after launch, with the three astronauts emerging from the damaged CM capsule wearing biological contamination suits for fear of bringing back toxic moon bacteria, and remaining inside a mobile medical quarantine facility for 21 days before being cleared to return to their families.
How many trips did the Moon have since Apollo 11?
Apollo 11 was followed by six more trips to the Moon, five of which landed successfully, resulting in a total of 12 men walking on the lunar surface. However, future Apollo missions were canceled in 1970, and Apollo 17 became the last manned mission to the Moon for an indefinite period of time.
What happen 50 years ago in NASA?
The Apollo 15-16-17 lunar rovers parked American automotive culture on the moon’s surface while also broadening the scientific scope of the missions’ astronaut explorers.
How long was the journey to and from the Moon?
A spacecraft travels about 3 days to reach the Moon, covering at least 240,000 miles (386,400 kilometers), the distance between Earth and the Moon.
Who was the last person to walk on the Moon?
Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon, holds the lower corner of the United States flag during the mission’s first moonwalk on Dec. 12, 1972. Cernan, the last man on the moon, traced his only child’s initials in the dust before climbing the lunar module’s ladder for the final time.
How many times NASA landed on moon?
Between 1969 and 1972, the United States made six crewed landings and numerous uncrewed landings, with no soft landings between August 22, 1976, and December 14, 2013.
Is the flag still on the Moon?
The nylon flag was not designed to withstand the harsh conditions of space and was purchased from a government catalog. However, a review of photographs taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) indicates that flags placed during the Apollo 12, 16, and 17 missions were still standing as of 2012.
Why did Apollo 18 get Cancelled?
Following the Apollo 13 incident and further budget cuts, the next two missions, Apollos 18 and 19, were canceled, as were two Skylab missions. Two complete Saturn Vs were left unused and are now on display in the United States.
How many successful missions has NASA had?
Over 200 crewed flights have been launched by NASA, with two of them failing and killing the entire crew: STS-51-L (the Challenger disaster) in 1986 and STS-107 (the Columbia disaster) in 2003.
What happened July 16th 1969?
The Saturn V rocket launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida, fifty years ago today (July 16), with a brave crew of astronauts, including two who took humanity’s first steps on the moon.
Are there rovers on the moon?
The Lunar Roving Vehicle was driven on the Moon by members of three American crews: Apollo 15, 16, and 17. The Soviet Union, the United States, and China have all had rovers operating on the Moon.
Who made to the Moon?
Aldrin (Apollo 11), David Scott (Apollo 15), Charles Duke (Apollo 16), and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17) are four of America’s moonwalkers who are still alive. Between 1968 and 1972, 24 American astronauts traveled from Earth to the Moon.
Has anyone visited Mars?
NASA’s Mariner 4 made the first successful flyby of Mars on July 14u201315, 1965. The first probes to make contact with the surface were two Soviet probes: the Mars 2 lander on November 27, and the Mars 3 lander on December 2, 1971u2014Mars 2 failed during descent, and Mars 3 landed about twenty seconds after the first Martian soft landing.
How much does it cost to go to the Moon?
Circumlunar flyby: Space Adventures is charging $150 million per seat for a circumlunar flyby mission, which includes months of ground-based training, despite the fact that this is only a fly-by mission and will not land on the Moon.