This is the most famous portrait of Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission.
Buzz Aldrin is seen communicating with Mission Control on Earth during the checkout of the LM Eagle docked to the CSM Columbia on the way to the Moon. Apollo 11 was 178,236 nautical miles [330,093 km] from Earth. He is on the left side (Armstrong’s pilot station) of the cabin and is placing a pair of sunglasses in his jacket’s arm pocket.
“In our preliminary flight plan I wasn’t scheduled to go to the LM until the next day in lunar orbit but I lobbied to go earlier [...] to make sure that the frail LM and its equipment had suffered no damage during the launch and long trip. [...] It was surprising to me how much at home I felt in Eagle because of all the simulations we had done back home. The view of the Moon from the surface and the EVA itself have much less reality to me now than have those familiar operations inside Eagle.”
—Buzz Aldrin (NASA SP-350, pg.207 and LIFE, 22 August 1969)
From the mission transcript when the photograph was taken:
057:04:00 Public Affairs officer (Mission Control):
At the present time, Apollo 11 is 178,236 nautical miles [330,093 km] from Earth, and the velocity has dropped down now to 3,146 feet per second [959 m/s]. At 57 hours, 4 minutes; this is Mission Control, Houston.
057:04:05 Duke (Mission Control):
Apollo 11, Houston. Our recommendations on the activities for the next hour or so, as far as Flight Plan goes, are: Continue your LM familiarization as desired until about 58 hours, then ingress to the CSM, close the hatch, and establish PTC shortly thereafter. Over.
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© All texts by Victor Martin-Malburet