Lot 181
  • 181


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FLOWN Apollo 11 Flight Plan, pp 3-126/3-127, a single sheet printed recto and verso. NASA/MSC, July 1, 1969. 8 by 10 ½ inches. With a Typed Letter Signed by BUZZ ALDRIN using his personal stationery.

Catalogue Note

The crew of Apollo 11 had completed Man’s first lunar landing just 3 days earlier and were preparing for their last night in space before re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere the next day, July 24, 1969. Recording this re-entry using their 16mm Maurer motion picture mounted in a forward looking Command Module window was one of the last important tasks for the crew to complete. Neil Armstrong recorded 12 lines of camera notes to insure that the camera was set to the correct exposure, speed, and focus. Additionally, Armstrong made 12 more notes and checks on this same side, which certainly makes this sheet one of the most extensive set if not the most extensive set of note recorded by Armstrong in the entire flight plan. BUZZ ALDRIN'S SIGNED provenance letter reads: “Enclosed with this letter is a sheet numbered 3-126 and 3-127 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 182 through the beginning of hour 186 of the mission.

Page 3-126 has the first two hours of our last rest period of the mission. A few hours before this time, Mission Control radioed instructions for motion picture camera settings. We were to use these settings for proper photography of Columbia’s re-entry the next day, July 24, 1969. Neil Armstrong recorded this information on the left side of 3-126 which reads: “- CIN –F11/250, 6 FTS, 7 FT.” These notes were for us to use an exposure setting of f 11, 1/250 of a second running at 6 frames per second with the focus at 7 feet to view the entry fireball. Neil’s notes of: “F 2.0 / 1/60, 6 FPS, 50 FT, CHUTES” were for us to photograph the parachute opening using an exposure of f 2.0, 1/60 of a second at 6 frames per second with the focus at 50 feet.

Neil’s last photography notes were: “INT, F 16 / 1/500, 6 FPS, 7 FT., F 28/50.” These were different settings in case the film magazine we ended up using had already been used for interior shots. In that case, we would have an exposure of f 16, 1/500 of a second at 6 frames per second, and a focus at 50 feet. This was one of Neil Armstrong’s most extensive set of notes made in the entire flight plan.

In the notes column on the right side of 3-126, Neil recorded the radiation readings for each crew member. These notes read “CDR – 11023, CMP – 10025, LMP – 09027.” He also checked off 9 steps of the Pre Sleep Checklist.

Page 3-127 lists hours 184 to the beginning of hour 186 which were hours 3 and 4 of this rest period. We were a bit busy getting ready for re-entry and Neil and myself only got 5.5 hours of sleep. Michael Collins did a bit better and got a total of 7 hours sleep.

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 has been in my private collection since 1969. I have written on page 3-71: “Carried to the Moon on Apollo XI” and signed it near the bottom of that page. I have also signed page 3-127. Additionally, a copy of the flight plan cover is enclosed.”