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Apollo 11 Aimed for the Moon While the World Watched

Apollo 11 aimed for the mooon

“APOLLO 11. APOLLO 11. Good morning from the Black team.”

It was six a.m. Michael Collins, loosely belted and floating over the left seat with his headset on, took a while to wake up. “Good morning, Houston… you guys wake up early.”

“It looks like you guys were really sawing them away,” said CapCom Ron Evans.

A few minutes later, the spacecraft disappeared around the moon’s left side for the ninth time. None of them had slept long—six hours at most. Buzz Aldrin had had a fitful night, but the other two had slept soundly. All three ate breakfast. In Mission Control, when Evans saw their craft reappear around the right edge of the moon, he read them the day’s headlines.

He reported that Miss Philippines had won the Miss Universe crown the night before, that congregations in churches around the world were including the Apollo 11 crew in their prayers, and that the Russian Luna probe was still circling the moon, though its purpose remained a mystery and its orbit far from theirs. After the crew heard the latest updates on their families, it was time to get down to business.


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