Kuiper poses with aviation goggles and an orange and white striped parachute.

Apollo 11 Splashdown


15 1/2 minutes ago, at 195:03:05, we smashed into Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 24678 mph (39715 km/hr,) enduring forces of 6.56 g. When we hit 24000 ft (7315 m), our two “drogue” parachutes popped out and started to slowly deploy over the course of 10 seconds (this is called “reefing.”) If any of our parachutes deploy too quickly, we’re gonna have a bad time.

At 10000 ft (3048 m) our drogue parachutes “are disconnected by ordnance cutters” ? (I’m not exactly sure how that works, but I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t try it at home.) According to the Apollo Parachute Landing System documentation, three pilot parachutes are then “mortar deployed simultaneously,” ? and the pilot chutes pull out the three main parachutes.

Because this is real life and not Kerbal Space Program, we built some redundancy into our systems. We only need one drogue and two pilot/main parachutes to land safely. If one of our mains fails (as it did in Apollo 15), we’ll hit the ocean a little faster at 24.5 (39 km/h) vs. 21.8 mph (35 km/h) but we’ll still survive.

Ok, all parachutes deployed flawlessly, we’re hitting the ocean 900 miles southwest of Hawaii as predicted and wait for it….Yup. We’re upside down in the water. There’s a chance this would happen no matter what. Don’t worry; we planned for this, too. @astromichaelcollins will inflate special balloons in the top of the command module, and in about 7 minutes we’ll be right-side ? again.

In an hour, we’ll all be aboard the @usshornetmuseum, and just before noon President Nixon will be beaming and clapping at us through the window of our quarantine Airstream. ? Nixon will invite us to the White House on August 13th, where the governors of all 50 States and ambassadors from all around the world will celebrate with a very special dinner. Neil, Buzz and Mike’s wives already accepted on their behalf, but Nixon jokingly double checks.
Stay tuned; our story isn’t over just yet.

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0TsOZOFCao/

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