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Old July 19th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #1
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Webcast: complete Apollo 11 mission in real time

Have been enjoying a real treat these past few days: NASA is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing mission by webcasting the entire Apollo 11 mission in real time. Basically it's all of the space-to-ground radio communication between Mission Control in Houston and the Apollo 11 crew, with occasional comments by a Public Affairs Officer to explain what's going on, just as it was originally recorded in July 1969.

Since it's in real time, there's a lot of dead air, with just the sound of the carrier wave punctuated by static every so often. The webcast began a few days ago -- at the very moment of the 40th anniversary of the launch -- and continues through next week. The highlights, of course, come tomorrow (July 20th, 1969) with the landing, and the moonwalk a few hours later.

Right now, Apollo 11 is in lunar orbit and Neil and Buzz are pressurizing the LEM. It's pretty cool to listen to... I've had it on all day for the past few days. Can't wait to hear the complete landing phase tomorrow afternoon... the link is Listen to the Apollo 11 Radiocast
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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #2
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Hey, thanks! I was nine years old when all this happened.

You're sure right about the dead air. I was just downloading WMP 11 (thinking I must need it) when someone finally spoke. It was Buzz Aldrin.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Yeah, at this point right now they're in a sleep period (or rather, they were at this point 40 years ago), so it's kinda quiet at the moment. The radio activity should pick up quite a bit tomorrow since it's the lunar landing in the afternoon and the EVA on the moon tomorrow night.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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Complete silence right now; makes me wonder if this thing is working...

Say, Chris, have you seen this link for "real time" television coverage? Now I'm torn.
Apollo 11 Live TV Coverage

Edit: Just heard them talking. I thought I heard, "The Eagle has landed," and thought, "Did I miss it AGAIN?!?" :)
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for that link, Lorinda...

About an hour ago -- when you posted -- I think the webcast was completely down, because I wasn't even hearing a carrier wave. Just went out to run errands, and now that I'm back, it's definitely on again: Mike Collins just relayed some some message to Eagle from Houston.

There are entire 45 minute periods of silence as the spacecraft go around the back side of the Moon and are therefore out of communication range, and there's not a whole lot that goes on then except for some occasional Public Affairs announcements.

They just gave the "go" for DOI, descent orbit insertion, and the landing phase begins soon. Right now Neil Armstrong is talking to Charlie Duke, they're about to lose the radio signal going behind the Moon, and all the action, the actual landing which was quite a nail-biter picks back up again about an hour from now...
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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Yeah, sounds like nothing's there, like it's not on, during the loss-of-signal phase when they're behind the Moon, but actually it is on, there's occasional PAO statements and such. The seemingly empty aspect of it is due to the real-time playback, is all. When something happens, it comes on again.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
...and all the action, the actual landing which was quite a nail-biter picks back up again about an hour from now...
I've been reading about it! Had no idea. Bet my stomach will be in knots hearing it 40 years later--just like a great movie! Of course, we won't hear Buzz Aldrin's "body English." :)
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:11 PM   #8
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12 02 Alarm! Heh.

Even better now that I'm old enough to really appreciate the drama of this...
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #9
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Wow! I just watched the landing at Lorinda's link. It was quite emotional. I guess I remember more than I thought from the original, when I was only 7.

Thanks for this, Chris and Lorinda. Amazing stuff what humans can do.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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I don't have the words...

Except, thank you, Chris. If not for you I would have missed this.

Oh man, I just heard Neil Armstrong talking about the "nail-biting" part! :D

Houston: "Lots of smiling faces in this room...all over the world, over." Oh yeah.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #11
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Gene Kranz, flight director, was just mentioned!

...and Armstrong and Aldrin just said they don't know just where they are yet! Wow!

Sorry, this is just too much fun. I'll log off for awhile... :)
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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Well, the drama still ain't over just yet...

"Tranquility, Houston, please vent fuel and ox again, over, it's building back up."

"Tranquility, Houston, you can open both fuel and ox vent now, over."

"Tranquility, Houston, please vent the fuel, it's increasing rapidly, over."

Tranquility, Houston, please take the fuel vent switch and hold it open, over."

"Tranquility, Houston. We have indication that we've frozen up the descent fuel helium
heat exchanger and there's some fuel trapped in the line between air and the valves
and the pressure we're looking at is increasing there, over."


At this point, only the first half of Kennedy's goal has been achieved...
the other part, returning safely to the Earth, was still up in the air.

The PAO just announced that Armstrong's heart rate was 156bpm at touchdown.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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That would be enough to get a guy's heart racing, all right.

How about Michael Collins asking Houston, "Let me know when it's lunch time?" Houston didn't hear it, when asked to repeat Collins said, "Disregard," so now we get to smile at the comment 40 years later.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #14
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Drat... I missed most of the landing sequence, which of course was the most dramatic, getting logged back in at about 45 feet (meters ?) before touch down. I had lost my hookup as I tried to figure out a way to record, and lost the connection.

Edit, found this version on line, from Honeysuckle station recording: http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/msfn...o11_audio.html
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Old July 20th, 2009, 09:57 PM   #15
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"One small step..." Wow.

This webcast is one of the best things I've ever heard the Net.
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