Exactly 45 years ago today, after months of preparation, Apollo 11 embarked on its now-legendary mission to the moon. But what exactly does it take to send three men into the great, vacuous unknown? See for yourself.
This 353-page document is the entire Apollo 11 flight plan in all its scientific glory. And if it gets a little confusing it’s because this is one of those rare cases where, yes, it actually is rocket science.
Thankfully, the National Archives does provide a small amount of decoding of the highly technical literature. This acronym key should be of some help:
- CSM = Command Service Module
- CMP = Command Module Pilot (Mike Collins)
- LM = Lunar Module
- CDR = Commander of the Mission (Neil Armstrong)
- LMP = Lunar Module Pilot (Buzz Aldrin)
- MCC-H = Mission Control Center-Houston.
- LLM = Lunar Landing Mision
- S/C = Spacecraft
And as an added bonus, NASA has also kindly made available the entire Apollo 11 onboard voice transcription. Yep — you get to be privy to every last word uttered between our three space heroes as they were making history happen. It’s a long read, but we’ve dug out a choice excerpt for you.
The lesson here, boys and girl, is to never relieve relieve yourself near your lunar module in space. It never ends well.