I never knew this, do you?


Few days back, I was seeing the Apollo 11 expedition documentary on Netflix. Highly recommended watch. With real footage in color, right from the launch till landing on the moon and back home. The humanity’s effort to make the impossible possible, the scale of people involved, the tension, suspense with its highs and lows of emotions makes this a must watch for me.

There were many aspects along the documentary I was unaware of. Whereas, one thing which I knew was Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins went on this expedition and landed on the lunar ground. Till date I was thinking they all landed. But, that is not the case.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the only two who actually landed on the moon. Whereas, Mike Collins journey was only till the moon’s orbit. I had no clue of this. How is this the case?

Retracing a bit on the journey, nearly after four days of cruising through the space, the vehicle arrived closer to moon and started its revolutions in the moon’s orbit. During these involuntary revolutions of the vehicle, decisions around what could be the ideal landing point were decided, and post that vehicle separates into two. Essentially, there is this lunar landing module which actually landed on the moon’s surface, and the command control module which just orbited the moon.

Inside this lunar landing module was Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The one orbiting the moon in the command control module was Mike Collins. The plan is the landing module completes it’s landing being the prime task, launches back from lunar ground and attaches back to the command control orbiting the moon.

The narrator in the documentary says, “The kind of seclusion Mike Collins would have gone through is similar to what Adam would have felt after he was on the earth”. This is so so true. Being 3.8L kilometres from the planet earth, and the other two on their way to the expedition, here’s Mike just orbiting in the void. The very fact of how he would have managed his state of mind till they were reunited, just puzzles me!


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