Very shortly, moon bound astronauts will be making their most historic of all space flights as they prepare for man's first landing on that nearest of earth's celestial neighbors.
Instrument Unit Sequence
Three Stages of The Saturn Rocket
Earth Orbit Animation & Moon Course
Moon Vehicle separating from Apollo
Moon Landing & Return Animation
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Background: Very shortly, moon bound astronauts will be making their most historic of all space flights as they prepare for man's first landing on that nearest of earth's celestial neighbors.
At Cape Kennedy, an Instrument Unit similar to this one, was recently shipped in and carefully hoisted into place within a giant Saturn rocket.
Its position, critical to moon missions, is just below the Apollo spacecraft....and just above the three stages of the rocket. Over seven and one-half million pounds of thrust will send it on its way.
After liftoff, IBM computers at the NASA Mission Control complex will signal the Instrument Unit to cut loose the first stage and ignite the second. Following that...and at the precise moment, jettison the second stage and ignite the third.
With the spacecraft in a now-familiar earth orbit, computers will then help determine the correct course to the moon.
Once mon their way, the Apollo spacecraft...as during previous exploratory missions...will again separate from the third stage of the rocket, turn around, and pull away with the moon landing craft.
The astronauts will then proceed to the moon...this time, however, to make their historic landing, brief exploration, and then return back to earth.
The thundering liftoff of this next Apollo mission will indeed mark man's most important step forward in space technology and exploration.