The Apollo II astronauts went into orbit around the moon on Saturday (19 July) and into the final phase of the lunar landing mission.
(Natural sound commentary by astronaut Collins and NASA ground control) Views of lunar surface and horizon; details of craters and surface features including the Napier and Jansky craters; purple-hued crater called Sheibert 'Y'; fairly smooth surface area called 'Alpha' One; various wide and close-up shots of Langrenus crater; close-up of aluminum foil on landing strut of lunar module; portion of lunar module as seen from command ship window showing lower section and thrusters.
EDITORS NOTE: This film was recorded simultaneously as the pictures were transmitted for Apollo II, between 3:56 PM and approximately 4:20 PM, July 19.
LONDON IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS KINE INCLUDES SOME SHOTS OF THE LANDING SITE. THEY ARE MOSTLY DARK AS THE SPACECRAFT HAD ALREADY BEGAN PASSING INTO TERMINATOR SHADOW. YOU CAN FIND THIS SECTION EASILY. IT'S NEAR THE END OF THE ROLL AND IS THE ONLY REALLY DARK SEQUENCE THERE. IT IS A BIT CLUTTERED WITH REFLECTIONS AT TIMES BUT THERE IS ONE ZOOM IN WHICH SHOWS A BRIGHT CRESCENT MARKING THE EDGE OF A CRATER. FOLLOWING THIS SCENE, THEY CHANGED THEIR ATTITUDE TO PICK UP SOME QUITE GOOD SHOTS OF RUGGED TERRAIN ON THE HORIZON.
SEQUENCE SHOWING LANDING SITE IN SHAWDOW WAS NOT CARRIED BY NETWORK, SO SFRAN AND SEATTLE DID NOT GET. WE WERE KINEING FROM POOL FEED, SO WE WERE ABLE TO PICK IT UP.
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Background: The Apollo II astronauts went into orbit around the moon on Saturday (19 July) and into the final phase of the lunar landing mission.
Apollo II passed into the shadow of the moon, then swung behind the moon and out of contact at 1:13 P.M (New York time). Ground controllers waited tensely for 34 minutes for the spacecraft to re-establish radio contact when it came from behind the moon. During the black-out period, Neil Armstrong fired the main rocket on the command ship, slowing the spacecraft's speed from 57-hundred miles an hour to about 37-hundred to be captured by lunar gravity.
During their first two orbits, the astronauts talked extensively with ground control, describing the surface generally, and some of the features.
At approximately 3:56 P.M. began beaming pictures of the lunar surface back to earth, shortly after they emerged from behind the moon.
From an altitude of approximately 110 miles (the perigee, or high point of their orbit), the astronauts commend on lunar landscape and the larger craters seen by the camera.
Michael Collins, the command ship pilot, acted as narrator, point out features by name, describing their colors and also mentioning from time to time the distance in minutes of orbit travel to the landing from a point they were passing over.
Views of the immense crater langrenus were particularly clear and spectacular.
Shortly before ending the half-hour color telecast, Collins focused the camera on parts of the LM (lunar module), showing a landing strut wrapped in red aluminum foil, and overall view of one side of the lower section of LM, showing rocket attitude thrusters and a part of the main landing supports.
As the spacecraft crossed into the dark side, and began its third orbit, Michael Collins ended the broadcast. "And so, goodnight, "he equipped," as Apollo sinks slowly in the West."