Sunday, 19 November 2017

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The most dramatic escape of all time?

You are about to witness one of the most dramatic escapes from death ever captured on film.

But most people don't realise that when they watch this clip.

Because it is also one of the most celebrated events in the history of mankind…

The drama begins just minutes before Apollo 11 is set to land on the Moon. Neil Armstrong turns to Buzz Aldrin and says: "We went by the three-minute point early. We're [going to land] long."

The Apollo 11 crew has not trained for this. Neil Armstrong has simulated the Moon landing hundreds of times, but never three miles beyond the landing target, and never running out of fuel.

In the control room there is horror - something close to panic.

But together in the Lunar Module, the two men who must stay calm, are staying calm.

The composure in their voices is astonishing.

Armstrong's comments to Aldrin, not picked up on the intercom, but included here below the video, tell the true story of how close they came to spending eternity in space.


3:52: Aldrin, monitoring the craft's altitude while Armstrong steers, says: "750 [feet]. Coming down at 23 [feet a second]".

Immediately afterwards Armstrong says privately to Aldrin: "Pretty rocky area". Armstrong manoeuvres Eagle above the surface, hunting for a place to land.

A smooth touchdown is critical. Even if Armstrong and Aldrin survive the impact of a bad landing, the Lunar Module may not - leaving Armstrong and Aldrin stranded on the Moon, 225,000 miles from home. It's why they each have a cyanide pill.

4:03: Aldrin: "350 feet".

Just 350 feet above the Moon's surface and Armstrong still cannot find anywhere to land. Most of us would panic. Armstrong sticks to his task. Then, with time running out, Armstrong sees what he has been looking for. "Okay. Here's a... Looks like a good area here," he says. And with those few words it appears he has averted disaster.

But wait…

4:39: Charlie Duke in mission control calls out "30 seconds". It means the Lunar Module has just 30 seconds of fuel left until aborting is no longer an option. They have just 50 seconds worth of fuel in all.

28 seconds later, Armstrong comes on the intercom: "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

Rare Apollo 11 memorabilia

Today the bravery and the pioneering achievements of the Apollo 11 crew are as momentous and miraculous as ever.

If, like me, you are moved by the actions of these great men, you will want to view these stunning pieces of Apollo 11 memorabilia. 

How to order    

Apollo 11 artefacts are among our fastest sellers. If you see a piece you want, please act quickly.

To place your order:

Call +44 (0)117 933 9500


Risk free
→         Lifetime moneyback guarantee of authenticity on each item.
→         FREE, fully insured, express delivery to anywhere in the world.
→         30 day full refund if you change your mind - no questions or quibbles.


Paul Fraser

PS. You can view all our space memorabilia for sale here


Last updated: 18 July 2013