The Apollo 11 flight plan
June 29, 2014 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Presented for your enjoyment and perusal: the Apollo 11 Flight Plan, and other fun reading material.

The Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal appears to have bitrotted somewhat, but hidden highlights include the Apollo 11 Post-Flight Report on Suits, PLSSs, etc., which describes how well equipment actually worked (worth it for reports in "earth pounds"), and the Apollo Lunar Descent and Ascent Trajectories, which documents "Planning and post-flight analysis for Apollo 11".
posted by TheNewWazoo (23 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
I love this stuff. I wonder how may person-hours and dollars sit behind this?
posted by benito.strauss at 12:51 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also on BBC Radio 4 Extra - streamable worldwide for the next week - Walking On The Moon, a documentary from 2009.

From the programme notes - "To mark the fortieth anniversary of the moon landing in July 1969, Buzz Aldrin relives the dangerous and dramatic moments of the final descent to the lunar surface. The programme features unique oral archive from NASA, broadcast on British radio for the first time, and the recollections of people from around the world who remember the historic event."
posted by Devonian at 12:55 PM on June 29, 2014

Somehow related, a link that I saved - Aircraft Flight Decks from pinterest (no Apollo though)
posted by growabrain at 1:38 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just last night I was watching the raw footage from the Apollo 11 EVA, the "extra vehicular activity" where Armstrong and Baldwin walked on the moon. Spacecraft Films is a small company that painstakingly takes ALL of the footage for a given mission and creates a DVD set for it. A couple years ago they released their Apollo 11 DVD set, and Disc 2 has the moonwalk in its two-hour entirety, with multiple audio and video sources synced together, so you essentially watch it in real time, just like people on Earth did on July 20, 1969. Except you also get to see the FILM (motion and still) photography that was shot at the time, but only developed and viewable later.

Discs 1 and 2 have things like footage of the launch (from 15 different cameras, including on launch pad), raw audio from capsule during cruise to and from moon, audio from the astronaut debriefing after they returned to Earth, and on and on and on.

It's pretty insane, all the stuff that we have easy access to now.
posted by intermod at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2014 [9 favorites]

I think Spacecraft Films are also the people that have a 60 minutes DVD that's just gantry footage of lift offs. It's pretty great.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:03 PM on June 29, 2014

It's pretty insane, all the stuff that we have easy access to now.

It's sort of weird that a NASA never bothered to do this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:00 PM on June 29, 2014

But what about the missing tapes?!? BENGHAZI?!?!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:19 PM on June 29, 2014

My favorite recent NASA find: Audio recording of the Apollo 13 flight director loop. Starts a few minutes before the explosion.
posted by kiltedtaco at 3:31 PM on June 29, 2014 [7 favorites]

Kiltedtaco - thank you!I do love the non CAPCOM loops - I've got (somewhere) a chunk of the FD Apollo 11 mid-cruise loop. Is there an archive of this stuff? More, is there a decent discussion of the architecture of the whole comms system?
posted by Devonian at 5:05 PM on June 29, 2014

Devonian, I don't know if you've seen this or not (pretty sure I first saw it on MeFi), but this makes use of your computer's speakers to but air-to-ground on the left speaker and the flight director on the right speaker, and syncs up video footage, computer data, etc., so you can follow along how it goes. It is an awesome use of web multimedia stuff, and it's astonishing how much is going on on the flight director's channel.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:28 PM on June 29, 2014

where Armstrong and Baldwin walked on the moon.

Put. That Tang. Down. Tang's for closers only. You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you.
posted by bondcliff at 5:47 PM on June 29, 2014 [8 favorites]

I don't think there is a very good archive (online), everything I've found has been very scattered.

Here is the STS-93 launch audio, which involves a power bus anomaly in the first few seconds or so.

There are recordings of the launch director loop (rather than flight director) for some shuttle flights available, but I can't find them at this moment.

If you're listening to the Apollo 13 audio, I recommend trying to make it to the second hour. The first hour seems remarkably calm, but the second hour is when they move to the LEM and it's a bit more chaotic.
posted by kiltedtaco at 5:49 PM on June 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Mr Eyebrows - yes, I've played that a few times (and it was via a reasonably recent Mefi post - MetaFilter: the source for all your spacefaring data ephemera needs. And in the service of that, do check out Sven's Space Place if you're as stupidly in thrall to the details of space comms as I am...)

The Apollo 13 FD loop link is, as the sidebar of related links makes plain, just the first of four. If you want billion-dollar drama played out in real time, there it all is.
posted by Devonian at 6:32 PM on June 29, 2014

kiltedtaco, that is one of my favorite videos of all time. Eileen Collins is a steely-eyed missile (wo)man for getting through that. Shows you why they picked her for the STS-114 RTF.
posted by intermod at 7:11 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love it when a plan comes together!
posted by mazola at 7:21 PM on June 29, 2014

Also of possible interest, Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 PM on June 29, 2014

In case things didn't work out: the statement to be read by Nixon if the astronauts were stranded on the moon. [Via @History_Pics]
posted by Bron at 7:43 PM on June 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

intermod: "Eileen Collins is a steely-eyed missile (wo)man for getting through that. Shows you why they picked her for the STS-114 RTF."

Seconding that Eileen Collins is one tough cookie. She seems really intelligent and more than capable of handling anything spaceflight could throw at her. IMHO, she ranks right up there with the much more well known "greats" of the US space program.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:57 PM on June 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Apollo 11 flight plan
(The TL;DR version)
1.Take off
2. Land on the mutherfuckin MOON!
3. Come back.
posted by ShawnString at 8:32 PM on June 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Pages 3-67, 3-68, 3-69 and 3-70 are out of order. Not that they cover anything all that important, just the actual UN-DOCKING AND TOUCHDOWN ON THE FREAKING MOON.

I hope we don't try to use this document again without a thorough review.
posted by yeti at 7:31 AM on June 30, 2014

The Apollo 11 Flight Journal is a pretty amazing resource with:
  • Radio communications with transcripts and commentary
  • Galleries of photos taken by the crew
  • Mission reports
  • Press Kits
  • Technical reports, debriefings, procedures, etc.
  • Essays
A wonderful rabbit hole to get lost in. Plus, they have similar journals for Apollo 7-12, 15, 16. The Apollo Surface Journal is absolutely amazing, but has many currently broken pages (I've sent a note noting the malformed analytics script tag that is breaking them, so hopefully they get fixed soon, but you could dig into the source if you really want to see the content). Some additional pages of note that are currently working; Apollo 11 Video Library, Apollo 11 Image Library, and Apollo Checklists.

A few other bookmarks I've got: posted by hankscorpio83 at 8:51 AM on June 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Brandon Blatcher: Also of possible interest, Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience.

Virtual AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer emulator) is rather interesting as well.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 9:06 AM on June 30, 2014

That's not cool at all.
posted by NedKoppel at 1:55 PM on July 1, 2014

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