Between the recent passing of Neil Armstrong and this weekend’s Blue Moon, the Apollo 11 mission has been in the forefront of my thoughts. While considering the enormous distance from the Earth to the Moon, I thought about the loneliness Michael Collins experienced while orbiting the Moon, alone, while his fellow astronauts were together on the surface.
The following videos put that event in a new light for me:
Related post: Michael Collins and the Dark Side of the Moon
English: Transmission antenna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NASA’s tracking station on Guam enabled communications between the Apollo spacecraft and Mission Control via a very powerful antenna. On July 23, the night before the Columbia astronauts returned to Earth, a bearing in the antenna failed and as a result the unit was nearly useless.
Charles Force was in charge of the station and realized that to dismantle the antenna, replace the bearing and reassemble the unit would take too much time. The station on Guam was the last point of communication during the re-entry procedure. A working antenna was vital to the lives of the astronauts and the successful splashdown. Continue reading
43 years ago today Apollo 11 Astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, became the first men to walk on the moon. Their crew mate, Michael Collins, orbited the moon as they collected rock samples and set up scientific instruments.
Apollo 11 Mission Patch
Design by Michael Collins
“Not since Adam has any human known such solitude as Mike Collins is experiencing during this 47 minutes of each lunar revolution when he’s behind the Moon with no one to talk to except his tape recorder aboard Columbia.” That is what Mission Control observed as they woke up Collins in the Command/Service Module, Columbia, prior to his reunion with the two Lunar Explorers. Continue reading