Apollo 11 : the NASA mission reports by Robert Godwin

By Robert Godwin

Contains the whole group of Apollo 11’s own observations upon returning to earth.

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Extra info for Apollo 11 : the NASA mission reports

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Excess time and fuel were expended during the first period because of difficulty in locating the substellar point of each star. Ground-supplied gimbal angles were used rather than those from the onboard computer. This technique was devised because computer solutions are unconstrained about the optics shaft axis; therefore, the computer is unable to predict if lunar module structure might block the line of sight to the star. The groundsupplied angles prevented lunar module structure from occulting the star, but were not accurate in locating the precise substellar point, as evidenced by the fact that the sextant reticle pattern was not parallel to the horizon.

The primary-system altitude error in existence at powered descent initiation manifests itself at touchdown when the powered flight processor indicates a landing altitude below the lunar surface. Figure 5-4 contains a similar comparison of lateral velocity from the three sources. Again, the divergence noted in the final phases in the abort guidance system data was caused by a lack of radar updates. Figure 5-5 contains a time history of vehicle pitch attitude, as recorded by the primary and abort guidance systems.

The Lunar Module Pilot estimated he slept fitfully for perhaps 2 hours and the Commander did not sleep at all, even though body positioning was not a problem. Because of the reduced gravity, the positions on the floor and on the engine cover were both quite comfortable. 13 LAUNCH PREPARATION Aligning the platform before lift-off was complicated by the limited number of stars available. Because of sun and earth interference, only two detents effectively remained from which to select stars. Accuracy is greater for stars close to the center of the field, but none were available at this location.

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