Monday, June 1, 2009


Today's download is a real treat. This is the Apollo 11 descent map, prepared shortly before the historic mission embarked. Note the converging lines towards the optimal landing zone. While Armstrong and Aldrin encountered numerous difficulties during descent- a balky computer among them- this map was the best aid available to predict what lay ahead as they flew towards the surface. Unfortunately, orbital photography was not always the best predictor of actual surface conditions, and interpretation of these images was not an exact science. What greeted the astronauts as they descended was more frightening than what was foreseen, and Armstrong had to hover until he was almost out of fuel to find what he considered a safe anding area. This image is featured as an enclosure in "Missions to the Moon."

No comments:

Post a Comment


Welcome to the Missions to the Moon book blog. This is a place to re-live the heady days of the Apollo and Soyuz lunar programs- perhaps the crowning achievements of the 20th Century. Many blog entries will include a new downloadable image or artifact from the space age- items rarely seen and not available in print. It's all in the spirit of my newest book, Missions to the Moon- to remember the great adventure of the Golden Age of space exploration, and ponder what wonders await us in space.

For more info on the author, go to