Man on the moon 50 years later: How they landed

ABC's Jules Bergman walks through the delicate process of landing on the moon.
4:53 | 07/10/19

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Transcript for Man on the moon 50 years later: How they landed
The number. People are planted more. All. 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. While the US had circled the moon Apollo eleven would be the first time that we would land on the surface what are the procedures. ABC news is Frank Reynolds. Journalists are just exactly what's going to happen if found there on the phone and two mourners walked through this one in process. Here is jewels on the floor of our space headquarters right. Right we're working in front of what our own ABC lunar landscape spirit ABC space headquarters and we're gonna attempt to walk through and show you. The exactly the way it's going to be from artists and initiated for those twelve critical minutes from the time they start that PDI burn. And about 403 PM until the scheduled landing at 4:15 PM eastern daylight time. The manure begins this way they're flying west to east with the engine tail cone. Exhaust novels facing this way to give him a breaking a fact when they fire up the engine. It's a very low sun angle which is the way they want about an eight degree sun angle. Starkly showing us in contrast relief the craters of the moon. To give Armstrong and order a very good feeling for how deep those traders are how treacherous the actual landing area may be. All right they begin the burn this way at about 50000 feet altitude looking down these are the windows Armstrong windows near Auburn's covered by my finger. At 151000 feet altitude they'll be doing a speed of 3700 miles and are as they begin the burn. They fire up the 101500. Pounds to defend propulsion system and in our dips engine and begin. Slowing down even more they thought of that 10% Ronald than go full throttle 100% are. And battle start them falling this way. As they come through 39000 feet and a very strange men overthrowing founding maneuver though roll 180 degree is just like this. Until they look up at the stars and can't be the moon's surface anymore at all reason. So up their landing radar beams back here in the bottom of the tenth page can see the moon to give them exact altitude and high relief. To tell them how far above the moon's surface they are indeed. Nobody to this data is sure how high objects are on the moon. At 39003. Their altitude rate targets a lock on they continue. To descend this way a 22000 feet the other three radar beams mountain offense they'd tell them their rate of this plan you'll hear that called H dot or. Borrowed the parade of dissent. And then they'd continue on down this way until they reach high gate and the critical point 78700. Feet. When they get to high gate they should be slowed until are only doing about 300 miles and our forwards be this way and descending at about ninety miles an our vertical speed. Armstrong for the first time can see the actual landing silent as a high gave its five miles due ahead of them right up there. And that's when he begin to know do I haven't made analyze safe and I safely get eagle down on but I think about aborting. He continues his slow descent backing off on the throttle even more until they get below gave about here low gate 500 feet over the moon at this point. Eagle is slow down to about thirty miles an hour forward speed and about fourteen miles an artist on speed and Armstrong at this point is we showed you earlier because. Takes raider defense command of the space ship. And manually begins to control his descent rate searching very carefully for a smooth area this is where it's really critical because of 500 feet. He's down to 85 seconds of harboring fuel. Meaning as we've practically translated in terms of what Alam descent engine can do. That gives him two miles of down range corrective ability and at the direction and about 400 yard collateral or cross Rangers you'll hear it referred to. He's got to make the landing safely without 85 seconds of hovering fuel left. Or he has to abort and begin heading back up to the safety of re docking with the mother ship. But for the tolerate in the think he won't he'll come through high gated by located 500 feet slowing down even more. Until at a 150 feet he's down to about eight miles an artisan made. Then closer closer until finally as he. Comes within a few feet of the moon's surface he should be slowed to about three or four miles and our touchdowns these. And finally as the probe Wisconsin moon's surface it should be a very gentle landing. At a speed of no more than about a mile and a half or two miles and are. But the way it should go that's kind of a rehearsal if you will many simulations I've seen with the astronauts. And the way we're sure it's going to ago this afternoon about two ours from now.

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

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