Apollo 11: This past week marked the 50th anniversary. Doctor Aviation will post a daily blog recounting each day of the voyage. July 23 marks Day 8, the seventh day after the launch.
The Early Morning Hours
The crew continues work from the previous evening. They finally bed down at 2:14am. After the long day, Mission Control allows them over 10 hours of sleep. They awake at 12:20pm.
This is the most relaxed day of the entire mission. The crew does some per functionary checks and chats with Mission Control. At 3:56pm, the crew passes the midway point of the journey home. They are 101,000 miles from the earth. At 7:03pm, the crew begins their final color television transmission.
Edwin Eugene Aldrin was born in New Jersey, like Armstrong the year was 1930. He attended West Point and graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He flew 66 combat missions in Korea as an Air Force fighter pilot in the F-86 Sabre, scoring two MIG-15 kills.
After the war, he attended MIT where he earned a doctorate in Astronautics. In October of 1963, he was selected in the 3rd Group of Astronauts, the first to hold a doctorate degree. His first space flight was on Gemini 12. On this mission, he spent over five hours in space walks.
Collins was born in Italy, as his Dad was a career military officer. He has many similarities to Buzz Aldrin. Both were born in 1930. Both went to West Point (Collins graduating a year after Aldrin). Both flew F-86 Sabres in Korea for the Air Force and both were selected in Group 3 of astronaut selections.
His first space flight was on Gemini 10 with John Young (later to be the first to fly the Space Shuttle). Collins became the first man to accomplish two space walks in one space mission. Ironically, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were all born in 1930; all weighed about 160 pounds and were within one inch of each other in height at 5’ 11”
More on Aldrin and Collins can be found in Doctor Aviation Session 7.