Description

    "Carried in Eagle to the Lunar Surface on Apollo XI"

    Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown LM G and N Dictionary PGNS-33/34 Page Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, Certified and Signed, with Signed LOA. A 5.5" x 8" page, printed on cardstock and three-hole punched, from the "LM G and N Dictionary," P/N "SKB32100074-361" and S/N "1001" (a copy of the front cover of this book is included with the lot). This page is signed on the recto: "Carried in Eagle/ to the Lunar Surface/ on Apollo XI/ Buzz Aldrin" and on the verso "Used to Begin Eagle's Ascent (Non-Land)" and "Buzz Aldrin". Excellent condition.

    Included with this historic piece is an amazing signed Letter of Authenticity on Aldrin's personal letterhead. We transcribe it in full because of its important and interesting content, as follows:

    "Enclosed with this letter is a sheet numbered PGNS-33 and PGNS-34 from the Apollo 11 LM G and N Dictionary, Part No. SKB32100074-361, S/N1001. It is part of the entire document that was carried to the lunar surface in Lunar Module Eagle on the first lunar landing mission during July 16 to 24, 1969. This sheet is from the Primary Guidance and Navigation Section (PGNS) and has critical flight procedure steps. It is one of the most significant pages from the entire dictionary.

    "Side PGNS-33 has the P41 RCS THRUST or Reaction Control Subsystem Program steps. The RCS was a group of four 100 pound thrust rocket engines placed at four approximately equal distant areas on the outside of Eagle's Ascent Stage. These steps Neil Armstrong and I performed when we planned to use the RCS. The first several steps are to properly configure Eagle for RCS use and the last steps starting at -:35 (time minus 35 seconds) begins the countdown sequence prior to RCS activation as the jets become active.

    "Neil and I used the RCS several times. The first was the RCS hot fire test while in lunar orbit. The second was to provide "ullage" prior to our Descent Orbit Insertion (DOI) to "settle" the fuel and oxidizer tanks of Eagle's main descent engine. During the DOI and later Powered Descent Initiation (PDI) burn, the RCS system was active to keep Eagle in the proper attitude. The DOI lowered Eagle's orbit to about 50,000 feet above the Moon. This occurred on the back side of the Moon while out of radio contact with Mission Control. Once we came into contact and reported our successful burn, we waited for a go ahead to perform the actual landing during the same orbit. After Mission Control verified our flight status, they gave us a "GO" for landing.

    "Our lunar landing was an experience I will never forget. All was going well until Neil and I saw our instrument panel flash a "1202" program alarm. We both queried Mission Control about this alarm because we had never seen it before in any simulation. After a few tense moments, Houston radioed us that we were "GO on that alarm." That was good news but not that reassuring when a few seconds later the same alarm occurred. The alarm coincided when I asked the computer for the difference between our altitude based on our radar system versus the computer guidance system. The alarm was basically indicating that the computer had too many tasks to perform and was overloaded. About 3 minutes later, an additional alarm "1201" flashed. Mission Control told us that it was of the same type as the "1202" and that we were still "GO" for landing.

    "At about 8 and 1/2 minutes into our descent engine burn, we started the approach phase of the landing sequence. Neil was monitoring our instruments and the visual view out his window plus cross­checking our descent rate with the descent grid from our LM Timeline Book. We had just pitched over and got our first good view of the general landing area. I then became totally focused on the computer descent readouts as Neil monitored the area the computer was targeting for landing. Neil became increasingly concerned as a large crater surrounded by boulders became the exact spot for landing by the computer. At around 500 feet above the lunar surface, Neil Armstrong entered the commands to manually fly Eagle to the lunar surface with computer support. He slowed the descent rate to just a few feet per second and studied the surrounding terrain. Neil asked me about our fuel status and I indicated we had 8 percent remaining. I was then able to glance outside and began to understand why we were still flying, the craters and rocks seemed to be everywhere.

    "As I continued to relay our altitude and descent rate to Neil, Mission Control radioed we had "60 seconds" of fuel remaining. I made more descent data calls. Then we heard "30 seconds" ring in our headsets. Neil was almost to the surface when a haze of dust was kicked up by engine exhaust. Neil lost his ability to see the surface and had to locate something just above the dust cloud.

    "Finally, Neil was able to see a rock that appeared fixed in the stream of dust. This gave him a surface reference and he expertly nulled out a slight backward drifting motion and corrected for a small sideways drift. Just as Neil placed Eagle gently on the lunar surface, I spoke the first words from the Moon: "CONTACT LIGHT!" This was the indicator light on our control panel that told us that Eagle had touched the lunar surface. We only had about 20 seconds of fuel remaining onboard.

    "If the landing did not go as planned and we needed to return to lunar orbit, we would have relied in part on the procedures listed on page PGNS-34. This side lists the P42 APS THRUST which was the Ascent Propulsion Section Program to fire the ascent engine. The top of this side has the proper switch settings to set and then verify FDAI or Flight Director Attitude Indicator performance prior to the event timer countdown. We would only have had time to do this in a non-emergency situation. The bottom of this page has, starting at -:35 or time minus 35 seconds, the beginning of the countdown sequence. This side ends at 30 seconds before the lunar the ascent engine would ignite. During an abort, much activity would be in an automated mode using the Abort Guidance Section of our guidance and navigation system. I am certainly glad we did not have to refer to this page during our flight!

    "The flight plan actually had a rest period scheduled before our planned surface exploration. Needless to say, Neil and I had an abundance of energy and adrenaline surging through our bodies after this historic event and starting a rest period was the last thing on our minds. Neil asked and received concurrence from Mission Control to start the EVA activities about 5 hours earlier than was written in the flight plan. The preparations in configuring our space suits and other equipment took a bit longer that planned but we soon began the depressurization of Eagle's cabin to allow us to open the hatch and step onto the lunar surface. At 109 hours and 24 minutes, which was 10:56 pm EOT on July 20, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step upon the Moon. He then said: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for Mankind."

    "Some 19 minutes after Neil's first step, I started down Eagle's ladder and set foot upon the Moon. Not as well known as Neil's words but very appropriate, I spoke after stepping on the surface: "Magnificent Desolation." The lunar surface was indeed desolate, but had a striking beauty all its own. Gray was the dominate color, but that color changed in tone as I turned to various sun angles. Walking on the lunar surface was not difficult to get accustom to and I found the ballistic type trajectory of the surface dust kicked up by my boots fascinating to observe on this airless world. Walking and exploring on the Moon was something only eleven others experienced during the 20th century.

    "Near the bottom of page PGNS-33 I have written: "Carried in Eagle to the lunar surface on Apollo XI" and signed that page. On side PGNS-34 I have written: "Used to begin Eagle's ascent, (non - land)" and signed that page."




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    Auction Dates
    November, 2012
    2nd Friday
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