Man on the moon 50 years later: How they got there

ABC's Jules Bergman walks through the process of getting to the moon.
5:26 | 07/10/19

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Transcript for Man on the moon 50 years later: How they got there
Polar Lander and pork. Our. Our. I'm David Curley at the Smithsonian air and space museum where we are marking fifty years since man landed and walked on the moon in a Lander just like this one. We're going to show you some of the actual ABC news coverage from fifty years ago during that eight day mission of this remarkable achievement. The space program is filled with acronyms one of them is TL a lie that is transit lunar insertion. Basically NASA was used in the gravity of the earth to send Apollo eleven of the moon and then the gravity of the moon descended back. Trans little insertion was the rocket burn coming out from the back side of earth and heading to the moon. Our science editor at the time fifty years ago jewels Bergman explained it to our audience. The first stage burns out and drops away and then the second stage ignites delivering more than a million pounds of thrust. Some three minutes into the mention the launch escape yeah. Once the Apollo spacecraft is reached an altitude of a hundred miles the second stage separates. A burned out stated that way and carrying it beyond the point when it does burnout cuts into the effectiveness of the Saturn rocket. When the third stage inspired the astronauts will then be inserted into an earth parking orbit. The guidance system is already computer the trajectory needed to intercept the moon. The confirmation of that trajectory or course we relay by Houston for the astronauts. To Mars in forty minutes after launch over the Pacific. The third stage engine will be restarted. And when an escape velocity of nearly 25000. Miles per hour has reached Apollo eleven will be injected into the kind of project. Soon after the panels of the spacecraft lunar module adapter are jettisoned. The Apollo command and service module then separates from the booster. The astronauts start the docking maneuver rotating Apollo 180 degrees and then using their small thruster rockets dock with the lamb. But Thursday will be jettisoned from the docking maneuver is completed about two hours after planned lunar injection. The astronauts using star sightings backed up by mission control of guidance radar and computers. Then work up the data to make that who have production and that there of course to intercept the moon three days later. Depending on how accurate rocket engine burns to get away from earth known or as many as three midcourse correction may be needed. Apollo speed decreases from 25000. Allows them or about ten miles per hour and wrote. Then near the moon as lunar gravity begin to exert its influence the speed of the spacecraft increases up to 6000 miles. Apollo eleven has been a free return trajectory which will carry around the moon and back to earth for recovery if problems I've developed. But applause gone well Apollo eleven's onboard service module engine will be fired and the spacecraft will be placed in the lunar orbit. Because of the danger of mechanical failure all of the systems can be overridden by the astronauts if the automatic systems aren't working perfectly. 81 hours into the flight Armstrong and Aldrin transfer into the lunar module for the second time completing our check out of the lunar landing spacecraft. They remove the docking probe and drove from the tunnel connecting the command and modules and equalized the pressure in both vehicles. The little module pilot then vote for the docking tunnel overhead and into a lab. One of the first half of the lunar module pilot is to activate the lump environmental control system and the changes food connection problems umbilical. While I'm is still in lunar orbit its landing gear is extended and the radar as tested. Then the critical decision is made to undock and begin the landing sequence the lemons reaction control jets are used now to separate the lamb from the command module. Mike Collins aboard the Apollo command module remains in lunar orbit seventy miles overhead until the -- returns. Armstrong and Aldrin checked the operation of their radios guidance systems and rendezvous radar. They take optical sightings on the stars to a line and double check the guidance system and have it all looks good the second critical decision is made to land. Dilemmas turned around and its descent engine is fired a maneuver that takes it down from sixty miles to 50000 feet above the moon's surface. A second braking maneuver powered descent initiator PDI is executed at a point 260 nautical miles from the landing site and then the descent engine has throttled to regulate the speed of descent. The level of lending rate all be locked onto the moon's surface to tele astronauts exactly how high they are. If there's a problem of that radar there will be no moon landing. The final approach begins at about 7700 feet the vehicle has pitched forward a few degrees until the commander can feel a moonscape. The defense Benton has further throttled at 500 feet at a 150 feet the lemon is now moving downward at about three to five miles per our. And of Armstrong has been properly miserly with his fuel you'll have 85 seconds of harboring fuel left the Milan. This means you can goes several hundred feet in either direction to find a suitable place to land. Armstrong takes manual control mowlam for the final descent and touchdown. Lunar probes may contact Apollo eleven has reached the moon.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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