DAY 8 - July 23, 1969

The News and Spacecraft Checks

Public Affairs Officer Transcriptions 

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 162 hours, 28 minutes. The Apollo 11 spacecraft Columbia is 138,674 nautical miles [256,824 km] from Earth, approaching at a velocity of 4,692 feet per second [1,430 m/s]. Spacecraft weight, 26,000 pounds [11,800 kg]. Flight Director Glynn Lunney has just completed a status check with all of the flight controllers here. Gotten very good reports from all of them. The Retrofire Officer reports that on the present trajectory, Columbia's entry angle is minus 6.56 degrees. The nominal entry angle is minus 6.51 degrees. Retro expects entry velocity to be 36,194 feet per second [11,032 m/s]. He calls these entry conditions excellent. Flight Dynamics Officer says that tracking is looking very good. Guidance Navigation and Control officer reports the Passive Thermal Control stable, operating very well. Reaction Control System looking very good. EECOM, the Electrical Environmental and Communications officer, reports cryogenics well balanced, the Environmental Control System looking good. All of the antennas and the power status in good shape. And the Flight Surgeon reports the crew sleeping soundly. His data indicates all three crewmen were asleep by 160 hours, 42 minutes; and he reports they've taken no medication. And recovery reports; the weather looks very good in recovery area, and all conditions there are ready for a successful recovery. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 163 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11 is 135,920 nautical miles [251,724 km] from Earth. Velocity; 4,758 feet per second [1,450 m/s]. Crew's been asleep almost three hours now. All systems still performing well. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 164 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11 is 133,131 nautical miles [246,559 km] from Earth; approaching at a velocity of 4,827 feet per second [1,471 m/s]. Crew is asleep. Performance of all systems continues to be normal. We're 30 hours, 34 minutes, 37 seconds away from entry of Apollo 11 into the Earth's atmosphere. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 165 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11 is 130,306 nautical miles [241,327 km] from the Earth. Velocity; 4,900 feet per second [1,494 m/s]. Crew is still asleep and all systems are still performing well. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 166 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11 is 127,431 nautical miles [236,002 km] from the Earth. Velocity; 4,975 feet per second [1,516 m/s]. Crew still sleeping. All systems still normal. The weather bureau's space flight meteorology group reported today that weather conditions for the landing of Apollo 11 tomorrow are expected to be acceptable. Some showers have been reported near the landing area, but these are expected to move westward, leaving the recovery area with partly cloudy skies, east-north-easterly winds, 10 to 15 knots, and 4-foot seas. Although tropical storms will not affect weather in the landing area, the Apollo 11 crew should get a good view of the tropical storm Viola, located in the western North Pacific, and also the remains of the tropical storm Claudia, located southeast of Hawaii. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 167 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11 is 124,520 nautical miles [230,611 km] from the Earth; approaching at a velocity of 5,055 feet per second [1,541 m/s]. All still going well aboard Apollo 11. Maintaining a stable Passive Thermal Control mode, nose pointed toward the Earth, rotating 3 revolutions per hour. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 168 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11's distance from the Earth is 121,550 nautical miles [225,111 km]. Velocity; 5,138 feet per second [1,566 m/s]. All systems still performing well. The crew still asleep. Clock here in the Control Center shows 26 hours, 34 minutes, 37 seconds until entry into the Earth's atmosphere. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 169 hours, 28 minutes. Apollo 11 is 118,542 nautical miles [219,540 km] from Earth; approaching at a velocity of 5,225 feet per second [1,593 m/s]. Crew is still asleep. Performance of all systems continues to be normal. Midcourse Correction number 6, which was scheduled for an elapsed time of 172 hours, has been canceled. The trajectory is such that it will not be required. From the Manned Space Flight Network we have a report of a contribution to the Apollo 11 mission from a 10-year-old boy in Guam. The Guam tracking station is receiving telemetry from this mission. Had a problem with one if its antennas - a bearing. The bearing was replaced with the assistance of a 10-year-old boy named Greg Force who had arms small enough that he could work through a 2½ inch diameter hole to pack the new bearing. We're now showing Entry Interface with the Earth's atmosphere; 25 hours, 33 minutes, 30 seconds from now; and the Green Team of flight controllers led by Cliff Charlesworth is now taking over from Glynn Lunney and his Black Team of flight controllers. This is Mission Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 170 hours, 28 minutes. The Flight Surgeon reports that all three crew emembers apparently are still sleeping, and there are no immediate plans to awaken them at this time. Apollo 11 is presently 115,470 nautical miles [213,850 km] from the Earth and the speed is up to 5,317 feet per second [1,621 m/s]. In about 4 hours; at 174 hours, 24 minutes Ground Elapsed Time, Apollo 11 will be in terms of distance half way home. At that point it will be 102,888 nautical miles [190,549 km] from the Moon, and 102,888 nautical miles [190,549 km] from the Earth. All systems on the spacecraft continue to function normally at this time. The spacecraft weight is almost an even 26,000 pounds [11,793 kg]. At 170 hours, 29 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 170 hours, 54 minutes. The Flight Surgeon reported a few minutes ago that telemetry data now indicates all three crewmen are awake after about 10 hours of rest. We expect we will be hearing from them shortly. Apollo 11 at this time is 114,146 nautical miles [211,398 km] from the Earth and the spacecraft velocity is 5,359 feet per second [1,633 m/s]. A press conference with the principal investigators for lunar samples is scheduled to begin in about 4 or 5 minutes and during that press conference we will tape-record any conversations with the crew and play them back following. At 170 hours, 55 minutes; this is Apollo Control, Houston.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 172 hours, 20 minutes. During the press conference, we established contact with the crew. Capsule Communicator Owen Garriot put in a call at 171 hours, about 10 minutes after the surgeon reported biomedical data showed all three crewmen awake. Neil Armstrong responded. We have received a status report from the crew. We also passed up the information, preliminary information, that they will use in the re-entry tomorrow and gave them a weather report for the prime recovery area in the Pacific landing zone. We'll play back about 12 minutes of taped conversation we've accumulated to date and then stand by for any further live comments from the spacecraft.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 172 hours, 38 minutes. Apollo 11 now 108,669 nautical miles [201,255 km] from the Earth; traveling at a speed of 5,534 feet per second [1,687 m/s].

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 173 hours, 18 minutes. There are virtually no Flight Plan activities scheduled at this time. The spacecraft systems all continue to perform normally, and at the present time, Apollo 11 is 106,482 nautical miles [197,205 km] from the Earth; and velocity is 5,607 feet per second [1,709 m/s]. At 174 hours, 24 minutes the spacecraft will be approximately half way between the Earth and the Moon in terms of distance, and it will be 102,888 nautical miles [190,549 km] from the Earth and the same distance from the Moon. The spacecraft weight at this time is 26,000 pounds [11,793 kg].

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 173 hours, 43 minutes. Apollo 11 now 105,165 nautical miles [194,766 km] from Earth. The velocity continuing to increase gradually; up to 5,652 feet per second [1,723 m/s]. The cabin temperature in the spacecraft has been running around 62 degrees [17°C]. And coming up within the next hour, Apollo 11 will be crossing the midway point in distance - that to occur at 174 hours, 24 minutes and 7 seconds. There will be a briefing at 3 pm Central Daylight Time in the Building 1 Auditorium on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 174 hours, 35 minutes. Apollo 11 now 102,286 nautical miles [189,434 km] from Earth. We crossed the halfway point in terms of distance at 174 hours and 24 minutes and 7 seconds. The briefing on the Lunar Receiving Laboratory is scheduled to begin at MSC in Building 1. We'll tape-record any conversations with the spacecraft and play those back immediately following the press conference. This is Apollo Control at 174 hours, 36 minutes.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 175 hours, 42 minutes. Apollo 11 is now 98,512 nautical miles [182,444 km] from the Earth. The velocity; 5,892 feet per second [1,796 m/s]. During the preceding press conference, we accumulated about 7 minutes of taped conversation which we'll play back for you now.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 176 hours, 44 minutes. Apollo 11 now 94,961 nautical miles from Earth. The velocity has just gone over the 6,000-foot-per-second [1,829 m/s] mark. We're 6,029 feet per second [1,838 m/s]. The next item scheduled on the Flight Plan is a television transmission. That's scheduled to occur at a Ground Elapsed Time of 177 hours, 30 minutes; which would be 6:02 pm Central Daylight Time. Among the clocks counting down or up to and from significant events here in Mission Control, we have one counting down to entry. That clock now shows 18 hours, 18 minutes and 12 seconds until entry. Re-entry is scheduled to begin based on no further midcourse corrections at 195 hours, 3 minutes, 5 seconds. At this time, it appears that Midcourse Correction 7, if it were done, would only require two tenths of a foot per second, and based on current tracking, we wouldn't expect to have to Midcourse Correction 7. However the tracking will be continued and a decision on Midcourse Correction 7 will not be made until closer to the time of the maneuver.

PAO: This is Apollo Control; at 177 hours, 11 minutes. Network controller advises that we’re starting to get some semblance of TV signal from the spacecraft. We suspect we may be getting some checkout. We’ll continue to stand by and be prepared to take whatever’s sent.

PAO: This is Apollo Control. The Network controller now reports that the TV signal is down, apparently having been turned off, and we suspect that what we had was a test of the system by the crew. The television transmission from the spacecraft is scheduled to begin at 177 hours, 30 minutes or about 2 minutes past 6 Central Daylight Time. At the present time, Apollo 11 is 93,218 nautical miles [172,640 km] from the Earth.

PAO: This is Apollo Control at 177 hours, 30 minutes. We're standing by at this time to receive television pictures from the Apollo 11 spacecraft. A short while ago we received the test transmission and apparently everything is functioning normally. We were receiving television signal from Goldstone relayed on through to Houston. We'll continue to stand by for the TV.

PAO: This is Apollo Control. Apollo 11 now 88,442 nautical miles [163,795 km] out from Earth, approaching at a velocity of 6,299 feet per second [1,920 m/s]. Change-of-Shift Press Conference with the Green Team Flight Director Cliff Charlesworth due to begin any moment now in the NASA Apollo News Center Auditorium. And at 178 hours, 34 minutes Ground Elapsed Time; this is Apollo Control.

PAO: This is Apollo Control. Columbia now 85,198 nautical miles [157,787 km] out from Earth, approaching Earth at a velocity of 6,443 feet per second [1,964 m/s]. Still standing by for resumption of air-to-ground communications [background laughter] which may be difficult in as much as CapCom is leaving the room [background laughter]. We'll continue to monitor air-to-ground as the crew prepares for their pre-sleep checklists, sets up the Passive Thermal Control mode and sacks out for about a 10-hour rest period in preparation for tomorrow's entry and subsequent recovery in the mid-Pacific aboard the carrier Hornet, now hove-to on the aiming point or near the aiming point. Standing by at 179 hours, 27 minutes Ground Elapsed Time; this is Apollo Control.

PAO: This is Apollo Control. To recap, briefly, the conversation a few moments ago between Charlie Duke and the crew of Columbia. Because of forecast thunderstorms in the prime recovery area in the mid-Pacific for tomorrow, the Apollo spacecraft's lifting capabilities will be used to stretch the entry path some 215 nautical miles further downrange toward Hawaii to a new landing point or aiming point, with the very rough preliminary coordinates of 13 degrees, 19 minutes North by 169 degrees, 10 minutes West. These numbers will be refined through the night, as Retrofire Officer exercises the computer and comes up with more definitive numbers. These will be passed on as they are available. Apollo 11 now 75,951 nautical miles [140,661 km] out from Earth approaching at 6,899 feet per second [2,103 m/s]. At 181 hours, 50 minutes and standing by on the air-ground circuit, this is Apollo Control.

PAO: This is Apollo Control. 183 hours, 25 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Columbia spacecraft now 69,520 nautical miles [128,751 km] out from Earth, approaching at 6 thou - as you were - 7,262 feet per second [2,213 m/s]. Crew now in their rest period. Started their sleep period a little over an hour ago. To reiterate the change in landing point, this is a weather avoidance situation where thunderstorms are forecast for the aiming point - the original aiming point in the mid-Pacific. Therefore, after the normal Entry Interface, the lifting characteristics of the Apollo Command Module will be used to extend the entry range some 215 nautical miles farther down range toward Hawaii to a preliminary aiming point. That is, the aiming point may shift around between now and entry which is some 11 hours, 36 minutes from now. But at any rate, the aiming point as calculated now is some 13 degrees, 19 minutes North latitude by 169 degrees, 10 minutes West longitude. The preliminary time of drogue deploy is 195 hours, 12 minutes - or as you were - yes 195 hours, 12 minutes, 4 seconds. And the net extension over the earlier splash time is something like 40 seconds. At 183 hours, 27 minutes Ground Elapsed Time, this is Apollo Control.

PAO: This is Apollo Control; 185 hours, 29 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. 9 hours, 33 minutes until entry. Crew is still asleep at this time; scheduled to wake up at 189 hours Ground Elapsed Time, some 3½ hours from now. We've had no word from the crew since the scheduled sleep period began. Apollo 11 now 61,034 nautical miles [113,035 km] out from Earth and a velocity of 7,815 feet per second [2,382 m/s]. At 185 hours, 30 minutes Ground Elapsed Time; this is Apollo Control.

PAO: This is Apollo Control; 186 hours, 28 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. 8 hours, 35 minutes to entry. Crew of Columbia still asleep at this time. Some 2½ hours away from wake-up time at 189 hours Ground Elapsed Time. Because of weather avoidance in the prime recovery zone in mid-Pacific, southwest of Hawaii, it has been decided some time ago to shift the landing point or aiming point some 215 nautical miles downrange from the pre-mission aiming point. And all of the numbers concerned with entry and post-entry events have been generated, and we shall forward them at this time. Pencils ready? Command Module/Service Module separation; 194:48:07 Ground Elapsed Time, 11:20:08 Central Daylight Time. Entry Interface, that's 400,000 feet [121.92 km] above the Earth's surface; Ground Elapsed Time 195:03:07, 11:35:08 Central Daylight Time. Begin blackout; 195:03:25 Ground Elapsed Time, 11:35:26 Central Daylight Time. 05G [twentieth of a g]; 195:03:35 GET, 11:35:36 CDT. End of blackout; 195:06:56 GET, 11:38:57 CDT. Drogue chutes deploy; 195:12:04 GET, 11:44:05 CDT. Main chutes deploy; 195:12:52, 11:44:53 CDT. Touchdown; 195:17:49 GET, 11:49:50 CDT. Maximum g-loading to be pulled during the entry phase will be 6.12 g's. Entry velocity, that's at Entry Interface of 400,000 feet, will be 36,194 feet per second [11,032 metres/second]. Flight path angle, minus 6.5 degrees. Aiming point location; 13 degrees, 19 minutes North latitude; 169 degrees, 09 minutes West longitude. At 186 hours, 32 minutes Ground Elapsed Time; this is Apollo Control.

PAO:This is Apollo Control; 187 hours, 28 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. 7 hours, 34 minutes to entry. Flight Surgeon Ken Beers reports that all three crew members are sleeping soundly at this time. Their sleep period will end probably at 189 hours although they may sleep an additional hour to 190 hours. Spacecraft being tracked now through the Guam station. A line projected out from Earth to what is called a sub-satellite point, or the point directly under the spacecraft, would put it over dead center of Australia. At 187 hours, 29 minutes Ground Elapsed Time, this is Apollo Control.

PAO:This is Apollo Control; 188 hours, 28 minutes Ground Elapsed Time. Apollo 11 now 46,254 nautical miles [85,662 km] out from Earth. Velocity continuing to increase; now 9,081 feet per second [2,768 m/s]. There'll be a dramatic increase in velocity as the spacecraft gets closer in. Here in Mission Control Center, the entry team headed up by Flight Director Milt Windler is beginning to come aboard. Hand-over in progress from Gene Kranz's White Team. Crew still asleep at this time. They're some 6 hours, 34 minutes from Entry Interface. And at 188 hours, 29 minutes Ground Elapsed Time; this is Apollo Control.

PAO:This is Apollo Control at 188 hours, 43 minutes. Mid-Course Correction number 7 has been cancelled, and we will add one hour of rest time to the Flight Plan. Crew will be awakened at 190 hours elapsed time. To repeat, we have cancelled Mid-Course Correction number 7 and we will allow the crew to sleep until 190 hours elapsed time. This is Mission Control, Houston.