40 Years after Apollo 11: July 14
Originally written on July 14th, 2009…
Two days before launch. Neil looks over volume 3 of the 5 volume flight plan.
“Let’s see… P40 DPS Thrust. MNVR to DOI attitude. Trim Vx residuals. Pitch down, P=195, RR-ON. P20 man lock – on. RR-OFF. P30 ext delta-v. Load PDI + 12 abort. Pitch down to 125 degrees. Yaw left 180 degrees… need… coffee…”
Meanwhile, Buzz looks over photos of the landing area taken from orbit by the crew of Apollo 10. Apollo 10 had flown to the Moon a couple of months earlier. It was a “dress rehearsal” flight for Apollo 11. The lunar module even flew down to within 9 miles of the surface. But they didn’t land. Tom Stafford, the commander of Apollo 10, flew in space 4 times. But he never got to land on the Moon. He only came close that one time, on Apollo 10. Nine miles short.