Want to know what it’s like to be part of an Apollo mission? In celebration of the legendary Apollo 11 spaceflight, during which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon’s surface 45-years-ago, the full 353-page flight plan has been released. Now all you would-be astronauts can look through and see what kind of preparations need to be made in order to send three men to the moon. The entire three-man crew consisted of Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins.
It’s amazing to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at such a big part of history. The final draft, as shown in the flight plan, was posted on July 1, 1969—just weeks before the mission actually launched. The entire mission itself lasted just over eight days, producing a number of iconic pictures, along with Armstrong’s famous quote: “One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
There’s a lot of rocket science jargon thrown into the plans, but luckily the National Archives has deciphered all the smarty talk.
- CSM = Command Service Module
- CMP = Command Module Pilot
- LM = Lunar Module
- CDR = Commander of the Mission
- LMP = Lunar Module Pilot
- MCC-H = Mission Control Center-Houston
That’s just a snippet of what’s included in the document. Suffice to say, the knowledge and effort it took those involved to land three men on the moon is astounding. I feel accomplished when I remember to take out the trash. These people were able to do something that will forever be part of history—and now you can see all the juicy details.
In addition to the plans, NASA has also shared the entire onboard transcript of the Apollo mission. There are some really fascinating exchanges between Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, so I definitely recommend checking that out. There’s one exchange in particular, highlighted by Gizmodo, that details urine particles and equipment.