Armstrong and Aldrin had completed their lunar contact checks and an alignment of their navigation system using stars seen through their telescope. This was part of a process to make sure they were able to leave the Moon, including putting back on their space helmet and gloves to be ready for an emergency lift-off. They had enabled the P-12 computer program for a possible lunar ascent. All these tasks enable them for the “STAY/NO STAY FOR LUNAR SURFACE OPERATIONS.”
Full details are provided with BUZZ ALDRIN'S SIGNED provenance letter, which reads: “Enclosed with this letter is a sheet numbered 3-71 and 3-72 from the Apollo 11 Flight Plan, Part No. SKB32100080-350, S/N 1001. It is part of the entire document that was carried to the Moon in Command Module Columbia on the first lunar landing mission during July 16 to 24, 1969. This sheet is from the detailed timeline section and covers hour 104 through the beginning of hour 106 in the mission.
Page 3-71 lists the steps for the STAY / NO STAY FOR LUNAR SURFACE OPERATIONS. Neil Armstrong had just made history’s first manned lunar landing less than 2 hours before these steps. Since that time, we were in a posture to leave the lunar surface if an emergency occurred. By this point in the flight plan, we and Mission Control had verified all our systems were operating properly. We were then given a go to stay on the lunar surface during our 104th hour in the mission.
Needless to say, Neil and I has an abundance of energy after this historic landing and starting a rest period as listed on page 3-72 was the last thing on our minds. At about 104 hours and 30 minutes into the mission, Neil asked and received concurrence from Mission Control to start the EVA or moon walk activities about 5 hours earlier than written in the flight plan. Thus, we were actually doing EVA Prep work during this period on page 3-72. These tasks consisted of configuring our space suits to be able to strap on our PLSS (Portable Life Support Systems) or “back packs,” then performing space suit pressure and communication checks.
The flight plan was probably the single most important document related to the success of our mission. It provided a time schedule of crew activities and spacecraft maneuvers to accomplish the first lunar landing. This page in particular from a Ground Elapsed Time (GET) standpoint has some of the most significant events that occurred during the entire Apollo 11 flight.
This page has been in my private collection since 1969. I have written along the top of page 3-71 and along the bottom of page 3-72: “Carried to the Moon aboard Apollo XI” and signed both sides. Additionally, a copy of the flight plan cover is enclosed.”
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