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Armstrong in Command Module Columbia

On this day: 50 years ago

17/07/2009 712 views 1 likes
ESA / About Us / ESA history

17 July 1969
At 12:54 a.m. CEST (7:54 p.m. EDT), Apollo 11 is reported as 47 700 km from Earth and traveling at 3.9 km/s. Crew members are busy with housekeeping duties.

1:52 a.m. Mission Control in Houston, Texas, says good night to the crew as they prepare to go to sleep two hours early.

3:59 a.m. Because of the pull of Earth's gravity, the spacecraft has slowed to 2.2 km/s at a distance of 116 700 km from Earth.

Collins in Command Module Columbia
Collins in Command Module Columbia

1:48 p.m. Mission Control wakes the crew with a brief review of the morning news, including sports developments. They are informed about the progress of the Russian spacecraft Luna 15 and that Vice-President Spiro Agnew called for putting a man on Mars by the year 2000.

5:17 p.m. A midcourse correction is made with a 3-second engine burn, sharpening the course of the spacecraft and testing the engine that must get them in and out of lunar orbit.

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ESA is joining the international space community in celebrating the 50th anniversary of humankind first setting foot on the Moon and paying tribute to the men and women who took part in this endeavour, some of whom went on to work in later NASA, ESA and international space programmes. Today, ESA and our partners are busy preparing to return humans to the surface of the Moon. During this week, we will focus on the different lunar missions being prepared by ESA and highlight of some fascinating European contributions to lunar exploration.

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