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Eagle lifts off

Context

21 July 1969. Eagle lifts-off from the moon.

Among the items left on the lunar surface by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were a plaque showing drawings of the Earth and inscribed:

Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.

Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the Command Module 'Columbia' and the Lunar Module 'Eagle' was jettisoned (to orbit around the moon until such time as it impacted with the lunar surface). Then the return journey to Earth began.

On 23 July a television link-up allowed the Apollo 11 crew to broadcast to millions of watchers from the Command Module. Aldrin commented: 'This has been far more than three men on a mission to the Moon; more, still, than the efforts of a government and industry team; more, even, than the efforts of one nation. We feel that this stands as a symbol of the insatiable curiosity of all mankind to explore the unknown...'

The astronauts splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on 24 July. Once recovered, they were put into quarantine for 21 days - from which they emerged in perfect health to a welcome for heroes.

Images sourced from NASA.

Transcript

STUDIO PRESENTER:

And they're away. Now, remember they go up 250 feet and then tip over.
Well, it looks as though this is another part of the mission that's working perfectly. Now, is this an automatic procedure from now on or are they actually controlling the movements?

EXPERT:

No, they have exactly the same options that they had during the descent, in that they have a...primary guidance system, back-up guidance system and manual options. ...So, they're now flying at an actual speed, an air speed of 1000 miles an hour.

PRESENTER:

Now, from now on, pretty well everything's been done before, hasn't it?

EXPERT:

Yes, it has indeed. They're now at the point where they are duplicating the mission which was performed by Apollo 10.

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