Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

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 The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is a record of the lunar surface operations conducted by the six pairs of astronauts who landed on the Moon from 1969 through 1972.i The Journal is intended as a resource for anyone wanting to know what happened during the missions and why. The astronauts from Apollo 11 were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.ii The Astronauts from Apollo 12 were Charles Conrad Jr. and Alan Bean.iii The astronaut from Apollo 14 was Edgar Mitchell.iv The astronauts from Apollo 15 were David Scott and James Irwin.v The astronaut from Apollo 16 was Charles Duke.vi The astronauts from Apollo 17 were Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.vii .

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The Apollo 11 was the first space mission to land on the moon and the crew members consisted of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins. It took eighty six hours and five and a half lunar orbits to land.viii The whole Apollo 11 mission took 8 days, 3 hours, and 18 minutes.ix There were no seats in the LM, Armstrong and Aldrin were standing, held in place by elastic cords attached to the flooring.x After Apollo 12, scientific considerations were given considerable weight but, for the very first landing, the site was chosen entirely for operational reasons.xi During the Lunar Orbiter missions, the high resolution cameras had been focused on promising sites strung out along a 10-degree-wide band straddling the lunar equator.xii Equatorial sites were of interest because they could be reached with a minimal expenditure of fuel.xiii Sites were also sought at least 45 degrees west of the east limb of the Moon – the right edge as seen from the northern hemisphere on Earth – because the landers were going to orbit from east to west and Houston was going to need several minutes of tracking data so that the landing computer could be updated prior to the descent.xiv Eighty six hours and five-and-a-half lunar orbits into the mission, the crew of Apollo 11 settled down for their last rest period before the landing.

xv As Jack Schmitt relates in his Apollo 17 commentary, six hours of intermittent sleep in orbit can be as restful as six hours of uninterrupted sleep on Earth and, during the outbound trip from Earth, the Apollo 11 crew had been getting between 9 and 10 hours during each of the rest periods.xvi The final rest before the landing was necessarily a short one, but the three of them each got six hours of deep sleep.xvii When the wake-up call – answered by a very groggy Mike Collins – came at ninety-three hours into the mission, they were rested for the historic day ahead.xviiiFor sixteen minutes they looked out the windows and timed the passage of landmarks below them (across a scale marked on Armstrong’s window) to confirm the tracking data that Houston was getting.xix With Houston’s help,

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