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Video Recreates Neil Armstrong’s View During Historic Apollo 11 Landing

by Mata Hari
Neil Armstrong moon landing

If you are a fan of space and want to see Neil Armstrong’s view during the historic Apollo 11 landing, however, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team made a new simulation video to reveal what Armstrong might have seen when he was landing the Lunar Module Eagle (LM) touched down on the moon.

There is just one visual record of the great Apollo 11 landing on the moon, which is from a 16mm time-lapse (6 frames per second) movie camera which was attached to Buzz Aldrin’s window, NASA said in a press release. Due to the small LM windows and angle of the camera, Armstrong’s view while he flew and landed the LM couldn’t be recorded on videotape. Now, the LROC team remake the last three minutes of the landing (altitude, velocity, longitude, latitude, orientation) with altitude and landmark navigation call-outs from the original voice recording, It is simply incredible.

Using high-res LROC Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) photographs, topography, and this trajectory data, the LROC team simulated Armstrong’s view when he was nearing the surface of the moon.

In the start of the video, Armstrong could recognize the aim point, which was on the rocky northeastern side of West crater. This helped him to fly horizontally and take manual control of the lunar lander while he lookout for a safe touchdown spot. During the Apollo 11 landing, only Armstrong was able to see the jagged surface, and it’s thought that he was too preoccupied navigating the LM and talking about the challenge with the mission control team.

Once he flew over the West crater’s bouldery side, Armstrong saw a good landing spot discovered roughly 500 meters down the track, where he carefully lowered LM to the surface of the moon. Right before LM settled on the surface, it flew over the Little West crater. During the mission, Armstrong toured and photographed this crater while looking out to the moon.

The LROC team was able to produce this video with a time-synchronized version of the original movie (Apollo Flight Journal) and the First Men on the Moon website, which blends the original movie with the air-to-ground voice transmission. For the video, these sources were presented in a side-by-side composition with the LROC team’s restoration during its production stage.

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