Earth seen by Apollo crew hours before reentry
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On this day: 50 years ago

23/07/2009 658 views 1 likes
ESA / About Us / ESA history

23 July 1969
At 2:08 a.m. CEST, a live TV transmission to Earth begins. Afterwards the crew start another sleep period.

5:20 p.m. The crew awakens and begins relaxed checking of systems and conversation with Mission Control.

8:56 p.m. Spacecraft passes midway point of journey homeward, 330 000 km from splashdown.

Apollo 11 after splashdown
Apollo 11 after splashdown

11:47 a.m. CEST, 24 July The last day of the mission, the crew awakens after another sleep period and begins to prepare for splashdown.

5:35 p.m. Command and Service Modules are separated and the Command Module re-enters Earth's atmosphere.

5:51 p.m. Spacecraft splashes down 1500 km southwest of Hawaii about 25 km miles from the recovery ship, the USS Hornet.

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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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