Lunar Module Eagle

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Eagle
Part of Apollo 11
Apollo 11 Lunar Lander - 5927 NASA.jpg
Eagle at Tranquility Base, July 20, 1969.
Neil Armstrong photographs Buzz Aldrin.
TypeLunar module
ClassApollo Lunar Module
ManufacturerGrumman
Specifications
Launch mass33,294.5 lb (15,102.1 kg)[1]
History
Fate
  • Ascent stage: Unknown; either crashed on the Moon or in lunar orbit
  • Descent stage: Landed at Tranquility Base; still there

Lunar Module Eagle (LM-5) is the spacecraft that served as the crewed lunar lander of Apollo 11, which was the first mission to land humans on the Moon. It was named after the bald eagle, which was featured prominently on the mission insignia. It flew from Earth to lunar orbit on the command module Columbia, and then was flown to the Moon on July 20, 1969, by astronaut Neil Armstrong with navigational assistance from Buzz Aldrin. Eagle's landing created Tranquility Base, named by Armstrong and Aldrin and first announced upon the module's touchdown.

The name of the craft gave rise to the phrase "The Eagle has Landed", the words Armstrong said upon Eagle's touchdown.[2] The phrase was used as the title of a best-selling 1975 book, set during the Second World War, and the 1976 film adaptation.

Flight[edit]

Eagle was launched with command module Columbia on July 16, 1969, atop a Saturn V launch vehicle from Launch Complex 39A, and entered Earth orbit 12 minutes later.

Eagle entered lunar orbit on July 19, 1969. On July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin entered into the LM and separated it from Command module Columbia.

Eagle was landed at 20:17:40 UTC on July 20, 1969, with 216 pounds (98 kg) of usable fuel remaining.

After the lunar surface operations, Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the Lunar Module Eagle on July 21, 1969.

At 17:54:00 UTC, they lifted off in Eagle's ascent stage to rejoin Michael Collins aboard Columbia in lunar orbit.

After the crew re-boarded Columbia, the Eagle was abandoned in lunar orbit. Although its ultimate fate remains unknown, some calculations by the physicist James Meador published in 2021 showed that Eagle could theoretically still be in lunar orbit.[3]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Selected Mission Weights". history.nasa.gov. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  2. ^ Cresswell, J. (2007). The Cat's Pyjamas: The Penguin Book of Clichés. Penguin Books Limited. p. 427. ISBN 978-0-14-102516-2. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Meador, James (2021). "Long-term Orbit Stability of the Apollo 11 "Eagle"Lunar Module Ascent Stage". arXiv:2105.10088 [physics.space-ph].

Further reading[edit]