Earthrise seen from Apollo 11
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On this day: 50 years ago

22/07/2009 957 views 2 likes
ESA / About Us / ESA history

22 July 1969
At 12:42 a.m. CEST, the Lunar Module Eagle is jettisoned. Nearly five hours later, while behind the Moon, the ‘transearth injection burn‘ of Apollo 11 begins at 5:55 a.m. to send the spacecraft out of lunar orbit towards Earth.

9:30 a.m. Astronauts start sleep period.

6:00 p.m. Astronauts begin waking for first full day of return trip.

6:39 p.m. Spacecraft passes the point in space where Earth's gravity takes over from momentum and begins drawing the astronauts homeward.

9:02 p.m. Midcourse correction is made to readjust the flight path of the spacecraft.

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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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