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Apollo 11 astronauts look back at Earth

On this day: 50 years ago

18/07/2019 796 views 2 likes
ESA / About Us / ESA history

18 July 1969
At 12:31 a.m. CEST, the astronauts begin first scheduled colour television broadcast from spacecraft, showing views of Earth from a distance of about 237 000 km. During the 36-minute transmission, views are also shown inside the Command Module.

2:42 a.m. Mission Control bids the crew goodnight.

2:41 p.m. Mission Control lets the astronauts sleep an hour later than scheduled on the third day of the outward journey. After breakfast, they begin housekeeping chores, such as charging batteries, dumping waste water and checking fuel and oxygen reserves.

Armstrong checks out Lunar Module
Armstrong checks out Lunar Module

9:40 p.m. One of the clearest television transmissions ever sent from space is begun, with the spacecraft 324 000 km miles from Earth and 88 900 km from the Moon.

The hatch to the Lunar Module is opened and Armstrong squeezes through the 70 cm-wide tunnel to inspect it, followed by Aldrin.

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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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