To the Moon and Back
Anyone else watch this drama/documentary tonight?
It was about the eight days trip to the moon and back and the Apollo 11 landing fifty years ago this month. Hard to believe it was so long ago - I got the same feeling of tension I got when I watched the original landing in 1969.
It showed never before footing of the conditions inside the space module on the way to the moon and the `Eagle` lunar module and the discussions with the astronauts. One part never revealed until now was a circuit breaker on the Eagle having a broken switch meaning that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could have been marooned on the moon forever. Mission control at Houston couldn't find a way to by-pass the breaker so Aldrin hit on the idea of shoving a pen into the hole left by the broken breaker. Thankfully, the idea worked and they managed to take of again and rendezvous with Michael Collins who was in orbit above the moon to receive the Eagle lander. This was jettisoned and it orbited the moon for three months before it crashed onto the lunar surface.
I always felt sorry for Collins as he didn't get the same recognition as Armstrong and Aldrin by dint of not having walked on the moon but he was instrumental in making the mission a success. It was due to his impeccable flying of the spacecraft, and his pinpoint accuracy in detaching the Landing Module from the spacecraft and attaching it to the Lunar Module for the flight to the moon. If he missed his target, the whole mission would have had to be aborted. He also recovered the Eagle as she blasted off from the moon and brought the whole crew back home safely.
Stirring stuff. There's a few more shows this month celebrating the achievement if anyone wants to watch, I know I will.