Kuiper holds up the newspaper from July 21, 1969

Apollo 11, the Long Road Home

ELAPSED TIME 132:42. 2 1/2 HOURS TO TRANSEARTH INJECTION. Kuiper holds today’s newspaper. “Moonday, July 21, 1969”

The upper part of Eagle successfully lifted off the Moon’s surface this morning at 10:54 am Pacific, with a little help from a felt tipped pen. We docked with Columbia at 2:35 pm and jettisoned Eagle at 4:41 pm.

We’re currently preparing for transEarth injection (burn to get out of the Moon’s orbit and head home.) Just a few minutes ago, our astronauts received some updates from Mission Control:

“The world’s press has been dominated by news of Apollo 11. Some newsmen estimate that more than 60 percent of the news used in papers across the country today concerned your mission. The New York Times, which we mentioned before, has had such a demand for its edition of the paper today (even though it ran 950,000 copies) said it will reprint the whole thing on Thursday as a souvenir edition..”

“You’re probably interested in the comments your wives have made. Neil, Jan had said about yesterday’s activities, ‘The evening was unbelievably perfect. It is an honor and a privilege to share with my husband, the crew, the Manned Spacecraft Center, the American public, and all mankind; the magnificent experience of the beginning of lunar exploration.’ She was then asked if she considered the Moon landing the greatest moment in her life. She said ‘No, that was the day we were married.'”

“And Mike, Pat said simply, ‘It was fantastically marvelous.'”

“Buzz, Joan said – apparently couldn’t quite believe the EVA on the Moon. She said, ‘It was hard to think it was real until the men actually moved. After the Moon touchdown, I wept because I was so happy.’ But she added, ‘The best part of the mission will be the splashdown.'”

We’re just about to lose signal again as Columbia goes around the far side of the Moon on its 29th orbit. Just after beginning its 31st orbit, at 9:55 pm Pacific tonight, we’ll fire our engine and begin our journey home. We still have a few days left on our journey.

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