Diary

Apollo 11 - Day 2: Between the Earth and the Moon - 50th Anniversary

The second day of Apollo 11 was a true journey into outer space.

Having left behind the earth, gotten a ‘night’s’ sleep, and with the moon more than a day in the future, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were occupied with checklists and a great many adjustments, many of which were manually performed, as well as a mid-course correction burn of the engine. They exercised and ate meals, and periodically rolled the spacecraft to distribute heat from the sun.

Their communications reveal few expressions of the beauty of space, and were mostly business-like in performing a multitude of vital tasks. This is ‘the right stuff.’ Laser-focused.

Samplings of communications between the crew and Houston show the relaxed attitude of the crew as they worked:

024:45:35 Collins: It’s really a fantastic sight through that sextant. A minute ago, during that Auto maneuver, the reticle swept across the Mediterranean. You could see all of North Africa, absolutely clear; all of Portugal, Spain, southern France; all of Italy, absolutely clear. Just a beautiful sight.
024:45:54 McCandless: Roger. We all envy you the view up there.
027:27:47 Lovell: How does it feel to be airborne again, Buzz?
027:27:51 Aldrin: Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve been having a ball floating around inside here, back and forth, up to one place and back to another. It’s like being outside, except more comfortable.
027:28:04 Lovell: It’s a lot bigger than our last vehicle.
027:28:11 Aldrin: Yes. It sure is nice in here.
027:28:13 Lovell: I said it’s a lot bigger than the last vehicle that Buzz and I were in.
Jim Lovell is referring to his and Buzz’s flight in Gemini 12.
027:28:17 Collins: Oh, yeah. It’s been nice. I’ve been very busy so far. I’m looking forward to taking the afternoon off. I’ve been cooking, and sweeping, and almost sewing, and you know, the usual little housekeeping things.
027:28:30 Lovell: It was very convenient the way they put the food preparation system right next to the nav station.
027:28:43 Armstrong: Everything’s right next to everything in this vehicle.
027:28:48 Aldrin: Not where the waste management’s concerned.

Each of the three had done orbital missions in the Gemini program, but there might have been something entirely different in leaving the somewhat familiar orbit of earth; to leave behind our world. Outside the windows it was either the black of space, the sun, or a diminishing earth and a growing moon. Here’s Buzz Aldrin describing one view:

034:18:28 Aldrin: We see out our side windows the Sun going by and, of course, out one of our windows right now we’ve got the Earth. Right behind my window, of course, we have the Sun, because the Sun is illuminating the star charts that we see. This line represents the ecliptic plane and these lines, vertical lines, represent our reference system that the spacecraft is using at this time. As we approach the Moon, the Moon will gradually grow larger and larger in size and eventually it will be in eclipse. It will be eclipsing the Sun as we go behind it, as we approach the Lunar Orbit Insertion maneuver.

In this video you can see views in the command module and watch the crew exercising.

While day two was relatively relaxed, the tasks will increase on day three.

More tomorrow.

Read my account of the first day–the launch!

https://www.redstate.com/artharman/2019/07/16/apollo-11-launch-50th-anniversary-day-the-world-watches-with-awe-and-excitement-art-harman/

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Read More Red State Articles by Art Harman

Art Harman is the President of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration, a space advocacy organization supporting the return to the moon by 2024. He was the Legislative Director and foreign policy advisor for Rep. Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress, and is a veteran policy analyst and grass-roots political expert. His expertise includes foreign relations, border security/amnesty, national security, transportation, foreign broadcasting and NASA/space policy.

He has travelled the world and been behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet era, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, was arrested by the KGB, and stood in the footprints of those who sacrificed everything for freedom at Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Harman developed the strategy to kill the 2013 Senate “gang of eight” amnesty bill as violating the Constitution’s Origination Clause–and was dubbed “The Bill Killer” by Roll Call for his work. He provided policy advice to the Trump campaign, transition and the White House. He wrote what became the ‘bible’ for post-Brexit trade relations which was introduced in 2016 by Sen. Mike Lee as S. 3123, the United Kingdom Trade Continuity Act, and he advised the Trump administration to return Americans to the Moon by 2024–now official policy. Harman is a frequent guest expert on radio shows on key policy issues, an award-winning filmmaker, and an award-winning fine-arts photographer.