Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apollo 11 Launch


Date: July 16-24, 1969
Crew: Commander Neil Armstrong (38)
Command Module Pilot Michael Collins (38)
Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Aldrin (39)

Command Module Call Sign: Columbia
Lunar Module Call Sign: Eagle

Mission Distinction: First manned landing on Earth’s satellite.
Moon Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis

Apollo 11 Crew
On July 16, 1969, exactly 40 years ago today, the Saturn V rocket with the Apollo 11 mission on board was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Lift off took place at 9:32AM. Orbit was achieved 12 minutes later. After one and a half orbits, the S-IVB third-stage engine pushed the spacecraft onto its trajectory toward the Moon with the Trans Lunar Injection burn. After about 30 minutes, the Command/Service Module pair separated from this last remaining Saturn V stage and docked with the Lunar Module still nestled in the Lunar Module Adaptor.

Over three-quarters of a million people gathered near the Cape to watch Apollo 11 take to the sky. Among them were Jimmy Stewart and ex-president Lyndon Johnson. President Richard Nixon watched from the Oval Office.

Will a launch such as this one, where the entire world was watching, ever take place again? Go weight in on CNN's daily poll:

Moon Poll
(my vote is probably pretty obvious :)