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Home / Science / "It was very close to a demolition": How the nerve-racking final seconds of the Apollo 11 Moon's landing evolved

"It was very close to a demolition": How the nerve-racking final seconds of the Apollo 11 Moon's landing evolved



When the lunar module of Apollo 11 descended to the moon on July 20, 1969, NASA astronaut Charles Duke eagerly monitored the raging advance of the Mission Control spacecraft in Houston.

Like the Apollo 11 CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) At Johnson Space Center Duke was the crucial link between the air traffic controllers of Mission Control and the astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they headed for the lunar surface.

The landing was by far the most exciting moment Air Force pilot, according to Apollo 11. "It was near a crash due to fuel issues," he told Fox News at a New York City event hosted Friday by lens maker Zeiss, which provided optical technology for the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury missions. "We all held our breath -" can we do it? "

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During the landing, we called out" 30 seconds "from Mission Control, which meant they were 30 seconds had to land, or the next call would be a crash, "explained Duke. "When we still had 4 percent fuel in the descent tanks, the mission rule was" crash "if they were not down."

  Spacecraft communicators are pictured as they remain in contact with the Apollo 11 astronauts during their lunar landing mission on July 20, 1969. From left to right are the astronauts Charles M. Duke Jr., James A. Lovell Jr. and Fred W. Haise Jr. (NASA)

Stay in touch with the Apollo 11 astronauts during the Lunar landing mission on July 20, 1969. From left to right are the astronauts Charles M. Duke Jr., James A. Lovell Jr. and Fred W. Haise Jr. (NASA).

13 seconds later, however, the Eagle module was on the lunar surface and history was written. "We did it!", Duke explained.

When Armstrong was known to confirm that "the Eagle had landed," Duke's response also became part of the Apollo 11 lexicon. "We copy you on the ground. You have a lot of guys just turning blue – we breathe again. Thank you, "he said.

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. Three years later, Duke was on the moon as a moon pilot of Apollo 16. "It was a unique experience – mission control was a very exciting time, but you did not have the emotions you have when you come to the moon," he said. "I think it was tighter on Mission Control than on the Moon – because you do not have a visual image, just listen."

  Air traffic controllers at Mission Control applaud the success of Apollo's 11th moon mission on July 24, 1969. (NASA)

The Air Traffic Controllers of Mission Control welcome the collapse and success of the Apollo 11 lunar mission on July 24, 1969. ( NASA)

The Apollo 16 lunar module, worn by Duke and his colleague astronaut John Young, landed on the Moon on April 20, 1972. At 36 years and 201 days, the astronaut became the youngest person to walk on the moon.

Herzog, of course, had a good idea of ​​what to expect on Earth's natural satellite, thanks to his role in supporting the historic Apollo 11 mission.

TO THE MOON AND BACK: APOLLO 11 LUNAR CHECKLIST ON THE AUCTION 19659005] "We sat on days with meetings that had [the Apollo 11 astronauts] [when they returned to Earth] ," he said. "They talked about every system, every moment of geology. We have to ask questions, the engineers, the scientists have all participated in the debriefing. "

<img src =" https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/01/640/320/apollo-11-spacesuit.jpg?ve = 1 & tl = 1 "alt =" Astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses in his iconic Apollo space suit during the lunar landing mission Apollo 11 in July 1969 for a portrait on the moon. [19659009] Astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses in his iconic spacesuit Apollo for a portrait on the moon Moon during the lunar landing mission Apollo 11 in July 1969.
(NASA)

Only 12 men, all Americans, have run on the moon. Duke was the 10th person to set foot on the lunar surface. He told Fox News that he wants future generations of astronauts to build on the incredible legacy of the Apollo program.

"I think it's important that we remember Apollo, but it's important that we get the kids to be challenged to have tough classes at school and dream big and aim high and you do not know what Life will bring, "he said.

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July 20, 2019 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 moon landing [19659005] Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers


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