Kuiper looks like he's hanging on tight in a replica Apollo command module. His ears are up and he is staring into the camera.

Apollo 11 Trans Lunar Injection

ELAPSED TIME 02:50:13.03 (nearly 3 hours.) APOLLO 11 TRANSLUNAR INJECTION. 💉 Don’t worry buddy, no needles!

@stlsciencecenter graciously allowed Kuiper to fly this replica Apollo command module, which was part of their incarnation of the Smithsonian’s @sitesexhibitions #destinationmoon exhibit. A similar replica can be found in the new kids play area at @museumofflight in Seattle (where Destination Moon and the real Apollo 11 command module are currently on display.)

We’ve orbited Earth one and a half times and checked to make sure all our spacecraft systems are working properly. Now it’s time to head out! Next up is a maneuver called “translunar injection.”

If we head straight towards the moon when we leave Earth orbit, we’ll miss it. That’s because the Moon is a moving target. A little like aiming ahead in a video game, we need to make sure that we intercept the Moon where it’s going to be when we get there.

To get us where we’ll need to be, the single engine* on the 3rd stage of the Saturn V is going to re-ignite for a second burn. This will last nearly 6 minutes.

Once we’re on our way, it’s time to connect our command module to our lunar module. Then our astronaut friends can go back and forth in preparation to make history. This is called “transposition, docking and extraction.”

Our lunar module hitched a ride in a little compartment on top of the 3rd stage of the Saturn V, right below the command and service module. Our CSM is going to separate from the rocket and flip around 180 degrees (transposition.) Then we’ll carefully inch back towards the lunar module and dock them together.

Ta da! A 2 bedroom apartment! Now we’ll pull away from the 3rd stage of the Saturn V and bid it adieu.

Our signal is pretty weak at the moment, but we’ve just confirmed to Mission Control at 03:30 that @astromichaelcollins did a great job with the docking manuevers.

We are now traveling at over 14383 mph (23148 km/hr,) and we are 7652 miles (12314 km) from Earth. And we have a long way to go.

* (I haven’t captured a picture of Kuiper with a J2 engine yet, but I have a few leads. 😁)

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz-_VPKF50O/

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