In the final minutes of the Apollo 11 LM’s descent to the surface, Armstrong noticed that the intended landing site was too rocky and took manual control of the descent in order to find a better spot. The LM had never been flown in this manner, and Armstrong didn’t have time to discuss it with mission control.
We’ve all heard recordings of those final minutes of the LM descent. But we’ve never seen exactly what Armstrong saw until now. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team has reconstructed Armstrong’s view of the surface in those final minutes.
Pairing the audio recording with this footage is edge-of-the-seat exciting, as you imagine Armstrong coolly working the LM down while the voices at mission control have no idea of this extra drama under way at the time.
Watching this original coverage of the Apollo 11 launch today, I was struck by the professionalism. There is no attempt to entertain or sensationalize here. Just calm and composed communication of the most momentous event in human history.
Here’s the most thorough evaluation of the the latest push for the Moon that I’ve found. The TL;DR is that the winds are all over the place. This push is likely to fail. But we should root for it anyway because it’s shaking things up.
This is a fascinating development. The head of NASA just opened the door for commercial launch of NASA lunar missions.
“If we tell you, and others, that we’re going to launch in June of 2020 around the Moon, I think we should launch around the Moon in June of 2020. And I think it can be done. We should consider, as an agency, all options to accomplish that objective.”