Lockheed SR-72

Lockheed unveils SR-72 hypersonic Mach 6 scramjet spy plane

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works has confirmed that it is developing the SR-72 spy plane. The successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, which was capable of Mach 3.5, the SR-72 will be a hypersonic unmanned aircraft capable of Mach 6, or just over 4,500 mph. At hypersonic speeds, the SR-72 will be able to traverse any continent in around an hour — meaning, if they’re strategically positioned around the world on aircraft carriers, the US military can strike or surveil any location on Earth in about an hour. It is also suspected that the SR-72’s hypersonic engine tech — some kind of hybrid scramjet — will find its way into the US military’s High Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW), a missile that can theoretically strike anywhere on Earth in just a few minutes.

The SR-71, or Blackbird as you probably know it, was the pinnacle of the US military’s Cold War reconnaissance efforts. Introduced in 1966, the Blackbird, with its hybrid turbojet/ramjet engines, was the fastest manned aircraft in the sky until it was retired in 1998. Despite being utterly massive — 107 feet (32 meters) long with a 55-foot (17-meter) wingspan — the SR-71 only had two crew and no weapons (it was loaded up with cameras, radio antennae, and other surveillance-oriented loadout). Due to high running costs, and reallocation of funds towards other efforts such as UAVs, the SR-71 was retired after 32 years of active service. Of 32 aircraft that were built, 12 were lost in accidents — but none were ever shot down or captured by the enemy.

The SR-71 Blackbird

The SR-72, despite the similar name, is a completely new plane. At the moment, the SR-72 is still only a concept, though Lockheed has now confirmed that the plane is in active development. An optionally piloted scale version of the plane with a single engine will be built in 2018, with test flights scheduled for 2023. If all goes to plan (funding hasn’t yet been secured by Lockheed Martin), a full-size SR-72 (about 100 feet long) will be built and tested by 2030. As it stands, the current plan is for the SR-72 to be unmanned. It will be a very, very large drone. It will probably be unarmed, too, and outfitted entirely for intelligence gathering, though it’s too early to say for sure.

The view out of the window of an SR-71 at 73,000 feet

While the SR-72 will undoubtedly be a paragon of stealth and fashioned from monolithic crystals of titanium wrapped in carbon fiber, its defining feature is its operational speed of Mach 6 — or 4,567 mph (7,350 kph). At this speed, the SR-72 can cross the Atlantic (or Europe or China or…) in about an hour — or circumnavigate the planet in six hours. At an operational altitude of around 80,000 feet (24,300 meters) and Mach 6, the SR-72 will be almost impossible to shoot down.

To reach Mach 6, some aeronautic magic needs to occur, otherwise we would’ve built a Mach 6 aircraft years ago. Basically, turbofan engines — like you would find in every big airliner — are only really efficient up to around Mach 2.5. Ramjets can then take you to around Mach 4, but then they too lose their efficiency. To get to Mach 6, Lockheed’s Skunk Works lab — which has developed such luminaries as the U-2, SR-71, F-22, and F-35 — is working with Aerojet Rocketdyne to create a turbojet/scramjet hybrid engine that uses a turbine at low speeds, and a scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) at higher speeds. Like the SR-71, these engines will have the same inlet and nozzle, with some kind of mechanical system that shifts the airflow between the two portions of the engine as airspeed changes. Whereas a ramjet decelerates incoming air to subsonic speeds, a scramjet is supersonic throughout, allowing for much higher air speeds (no one knows quite how fast, but we’re talking about at least Mach 10).

SR-72, hybrid turbine/scramjet engine operation

The SR-72 isn’t the first attempt to crack hypersonic flight, too. Boeing has been working on the X-51 scramjet tech demo for the last decade, and in 2013 it finally completed a successful hypersonic (Mach 5.1, 3,400 mph, 5,400 kph) test flight. The scramjet within the X-51 may eventually find its way into the US military’s High Speed Strike Weapon, an air-launched missile that travels fast enough to evade early warning systems and countermeasures. Hybrid engines, such as the SR-72’s, may eventually find their way into long-range missiles that can travel great distances to strike almost anywhere on Earth.


TR-3 Black Manta

The TR-3 Black Manta is a revolutionary concept in aviation. The TR-3 Black Manta is a 200 foot wide triangle shaped flying craft that can travel in the Earth’s atmosphere and in space, well beyond the Earth.


The TR-3 Black Manta is propelled by a Mercury Plasma Field Engine. A large engine is mounted in the center of the craft and smaller engines are mounted at the far corners of the triangle.

The entire craft is made of Carbon fiber, with aluminum super-structure. This is required in order to avoid magnetic interference with engine produced torsion fields.

The crew seating and cockpit are placed around the center engine Torus. This allows the crew to be within the Torsion field. This renders the crew weightless and unaffected by the normal effects of gravity and inertia. Crew members will not suffer from any G-forces produced by the craft as long as they remain within the Torsion field.




The TR-3 Black Manta is powered by RTG- Nuclear Batteries. 200 batteries supply all the electric power for every system on board, including life support, ship power, engine needs, and computer systems.

The TR-3 Black Manta is constructed entirely of Carbon Fiber and machined aluminum. A cross frame of aluminum is covered with carbon fiber components. The large carbon fiber sections are cured in a large heated conclave that cures the large pieces under a vacuum.


The TR-3 Black Manta uses steam powered thrusters at all 3 corners for orientation in space. The steam is generated by a electric heated compression chamber and then channeled to the thruster nozzles. A joystick controls the release of steam jets to provide precise steering in space. Main propulsion for space travel is provided by the Mercury Plasma Field Engines. The engines can repel the craft away from the Earth’s gravity at great distances. In the vacuum of space the craft can generate high rates of speed by the repelling force. All for engines can be focused for maximum repulsion. This can produce speeds of 30,000 plus miles per hour.


crew members are able to conduct operations in an Earth like environment. The craft is very quite and makes little sound. Up close it emits a hushed white noise like water running from a faucet. At thirty yards it is silent. In the crew cabin the sound levels are on par with the cabin of a commercial airliner. The TR-3 Black Manta is essentially a flying submarine. The craft carries all the necessary component equipment to generate oxygen, scrub carbon monoxide, recycle fresh water, cool and heat the crew area to a comfortable 72 degrees at all times and in any environment, From -200 F to +300F. The craft can travel at 1200 miles per hour in atmosphere and Mach 9+ in space.

The forward travel is created when a combination of power levels are applied to the Torus Drive Engines. The only limiting speed factor in the atmosphere is the heat on the outer skin. The engines could push the craft to destruction by causing it to burn up. Once in the higher altitudes, 100,000 feet and up, it can accelerate to Mach 9+.

Computer controlled rotation of Mecury Ferro fluids and Field patterns. The upper Torus moves up or down changing the focus of the magnetic field propulsion.


Basic Design of the Dual Mercury Torus Propulsion System.

Below: Carbon Fiber Torus Structure with Gold wire windings placed Integral to the structure. Each band of windings is a separate electro-magnet that can be turned on and off by a computer program. The Mercury –Ferro fluid inside Is accelerated to great speeds by the switching on and off of the electro magnets that circle the Torus. Carbon Fiber Torus vessel with encased electro magnet windings. These multi channel windings allow a computer program to accelerate the Mercury Ferro fluid around the inside of the Torus at tremendous speeds.

Mercury Fluid, the base element of the Ferro Magnetic fluid that is accelerated in a circular motion inside the Torus vessel.

Ferro Magnetic material consisting of Nano Iron particles is blended with the Mercury to form a highly magnetic material that can be accelerated within the Torus Vessel by the banded electro magnets that encase the Torus. The fluid is rotated in opposite directions in the upper and lower vessels.


Flow of electromagnetic energy about the Torus Vessel. The vessel is maintained at 0 atmospheres. The Ferro/Mercury is moving through a complete vacuum. This reduces the neeed to move in air and eliminates the resistance the air would cause.

Example of Gold wire windings of the Torus vessels. The windings encased in the Carbon Fiber vessel are made from gold and transfer the highest possible magnetic Energy to the Mercury Ferro fluid inside the Torus vessel.

Double Magnetic field created from counter rotating Mercury Torus Drive. This field creates a Gravity cancelling effect. At the center of this magnetic field gravity is interrupted. The interruption of earth’s gravity field allows the the TR-3 Black manta to rise and travel on a plane of gravity. Double Toroidal Vortex, atom structure theory


(200 ) RTG Nuclear Batteries provides all electrical power needs for engines, life support and Hydrogen fuel production. These batteries are currently in use in a wide variety of spacecraft and military equipment.


7 Irregularities that suggest Earth’s Moon was engineered


But what is it about the moon that fascinates everyone? Well, there are many people who firmly believe that Earth’s moon is actually a terraformed and engineered piece of hardware that has a 3-mile thick outer layer of dust and rocks. Beneath this layer it is believed that the moon has a solid shell of around 20 miles made of highly resistant materials such as titanium, uranium 236, mica, neptunium 237Definitely, elements that you would not expect to find “inside” the moon.

There are many UFOlogists around the world who speculate that the moon is actually a giant base where extraterrestrials survey mankind’s progress.

There are so many mysteries surrounding Earth’s moon that there are those who have proposed that the moon could be something entirely different.

Robin Brett, a scientist from NASA stated, “It seems easier to explain the non-existence of the Moon than its existence.

Here are 7 Irregularities that suggest Earth’s Moon was engineered and might be a giant hollow base:

1) The Moon seems engineered. On November of 1969, NASA intentionally crashed a lunar module that caused an impact equivalent to one ton of TNT on the Moon. The shock waves built up and NASA scientists listened to what was happening on the Moon. Strangely, after impact, NASA scientists said that the Moon rang like a bell and the reverberation continued for thirty minutes. According to Ken Johnson, supervisor of the data and photo control department, the Moon not only rang like a bell but the whole Moon “wobbled” in such a precise way that it was “almost as though it had gigantic hydraulic damper struts inside it.

2) The Moon has elements it should not have. In the 1970’s, Mikhail Vasin and Alexander Shcerbakov from the Soviet Academy of Science wrote an article called: “Is the Moon the creation of Alien Intelligence?” It was a very interesting article that asked some important questions. How is it possible that the surface of the moon is so hard and why does it contain minerals like Titanium? Mysteriously there are some lunar rocks that have been found to contain PROCESSED METALS such as Brass, Mica and the elements of Uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 that have NEVER been found to occur naturally. Yet there are traces of them on the Moon. Uranium 236 is a radioactive nuclear waste which is found in spent nuclear and reprocessed Uranium. More interestingly, Neptunium 237 is a radioactive metallic element and a by-product of nuclear reactors and the production of Plutonium. You have to ask the question: What is happening on Earth’s Moon? From where do these elements and minerals come from?

3) Earth’s Moon does not have a solid core like every other planetary object. Researchers are nearly 100 percent sure that the Moon is, in fact, hollow or has a very low-intensity interior. Strangely, the Moon’s concentration of mass is located at a series of points just below the surface.

4) The Moon is older than Earth. Our Moon is unlike any other satellite discovered in the known universe. Researchers know the Moon is 4.6 billion years old and that raises a lot of questions. This means that the moon is older than the Earth by nearly 800,000 years according to scientists.

5) Incredible orbit. Earth’s moon is the only moon in the solar system that has a stationary, nearly “perfect” circular orbit. It’s a fact that the Moon does not spin like a natural celestial body. In other words, our Moon does not share any characteristics with other moons found in our Solar System. If that isn’t strange enough, consider that from any point on the surface of our planet only one side of the Moon is visible. What is the moon hiding?


6) Lunar rocks and titanium. There are some lunar rocks that have been found to contain ten times more titanium than “titanium rich” rocks on planet Earth. Here on Earth, we use Titanium in supersonic jets, deep diving submarines and spacecraft. It’s unexplainable. Dr Harold Urey, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry said he was “terribly puzzled by the rocks astronauts found on the moon and their Titanium content. The samples were unimaginable and mind-blowing since researchers could not account for the presence of Titanium.

7) Precise position. If all of the above points do not get you to think differently about the Earth’s moon; here are some more interesting things about the Moon. What is keeping the moon in its nearly perfect position? The moon has a precise altitude, course and speed, allowing it to “function” properly in regards of planet Earth.

Simply put the Moon should not be where it is currently. Everything points to the possibility that Earth’s moon was in fact placed into its current orbit in the distant past. The Moon’s unnatural orbit and irregular composition raise hundreds of questions that neither NASA scientists, astronomers or geologists are able to answer today. Despite all efforts to understand Earth’s “natural” satellite, the truth is that we have very little information about the Moon’s origin and purpose. What do you think the moon is? A nearly perfect natural occurrence? Or do the Moon’s origins surpass human understanding?


7 Irregularities that suggest Earth’s Moon was engineered

Why Does the Moon Sound Hollow?


When Apollo astronauts conducted an experiment to see what the moon’s core was made of, the results shocked everyone.


     If the music behind the moon gave you the creeps, I don’t blame you – but I doubt it would have been the single reason for NASA not returning to the moon in over 40 years. After all, 12 men actually walked on it’s surface following that.

Nevertheless, official NASA transcripts and blatant censorship of audio transmissions don’t get any more ominous.
Over the past year, I have discovered that there are many mysteries in which NASA and the moon share. I’ve already provided some evidence of NASA obscuring certain elements during the Apollo Missions (more below) – but were they already aware and prepared for spooky things being seen or heard on the moon before the Apollo missions were even launched?
Strange lights and objects have been recorded on our moon for hundreds of years.  In 1787, legendary astronomer, Sir William Herschel, recorded strange lights traveling across the dark lunar surface.  On one particular occasion of that same year, he spotted 3 red lights in the darkness of the lunar surface, describing the brightest one as being brighter than a recently discovered comet. He also believed there to be large “lunar cities” within the moon’s craters and strongly believed in extraterrestrial life – something almost  laughable during the 18th century.
The classical Greek philosopher, mathematician and scientist Plato also reported anomalous lights on the moon sometime around 400 BC.  There is even a crater named after him which experiences high volumes of ‘transient lunar phenomenon‘ – a term that NASA uses to describe these spooky lunar lights.  Between the years of 1540 and 1967, over 570+ lights and flasheswere recorded over the moon’s face.  While NASA and other lunar scientists attribute these moving and flashing lights tooutgassing and impactsfew reports concerning these phenomena are ever published in peer reviewed scientific journals and are rarely ever discussed among the scientific community.
So could great historical minds like Sir William Herschel have been correct?  Could it really be possible for a race of extraterrestrials to have been living on our moon for hundreds or thousands of years without public knowledge on Earth?  
There are several official NASA photos taken throughout it’s lunar expeditions which often depict some extremely large, artificial-looking, structures on the lunar surface.  Some of these structures have been estimated to be several miles tall.
However, NASA has tried their best over the years to blur and obscure many of these structures.  Often their attempts areextremely blatant.
So now we’ve got some evidence of moving luminous objects and large structures on the moon’s surface, and furthermore, that NASA is trying very hard to hide and explain away these things.  But what else can we look at?  How about the moon’s interior?  If an extraterrestrial race is hiding on the moon, wouldn’t the interior would be the safest and most reclusive spot to hide?
In 1962, NASA scientist Dr. Gordon McDonald stated inAstronautics magazine;
…according to an analysis of the moon’s motion, it appears that the moon is hollow: if the astronomical data are reduced, it is found that the data require that the interior of the moon is less dense than the outer parts. Indeed, it would seem that the moon is more like a hollow than a homogeneous sphere.
In a March 1970 article of Popular Science titled ‘How APOLLO 13 Will Probe the Moon’s Interior‘, former SS Nazi & director at NASA, Dr. Wernher von Braun wrote, concerning the crash of Apollo 12’s 2.5 ton Lunar Module into the lunar surface;
The astounding result of that crash: The moon rang like a bell for nearly an hour, indicating some strange and unearthly underground structure.
In that same article, published a month before Apollo 13’s failed lunar landing, von Braun goes on to say;
An Apollo 13 “spectacular” will be the meteor-like crash on the moon of the great Saturn V rocket’s whole top stage and instrument unit, totaling more than 15 tons…
…This will be a dramatic scale-up of the Apollo 12 experiment.
Indeed it was. Despite technical malfunctions preventing the Apollo 13 crew from landing on the moon, they still managed to carry out the task of crashing the Saturn V third stage rocket (S-IV B) into it.
                               This time the moon rang out for over 3 hours!
Back at NASA headquarters in Houston, CAPCOM made this remark to the Apollo 13 astronauts after impact;
Aquarius, we see the results now from 12’s seismometer.Looks like your booster just hit the Moon, and it’s rocking a little bit.
However more recently, based on new ‘state-of-the-art’ seismological analysis of  the same Apollo-era data, NASA has concluded that the moon is not hollow – but rather has an ‘Earth-like core’ made up of mostly mantle with a solid inner core surrounded by a fluid outer core.
So why then, did it ring like a bell for over 3 hours!?
Many scientists opposed to the idea of a hollow moon argue that the lunar crust would have to be extremely dense in order to support the theory – based on the behavior of objects interacting with the moon’s gravitational field.
This is something that makes sense – if you are thinking in context of the moon being a 100% natural body. One thing you have to take into account though, is that scientist to this daystill have no solid claims as to where the moon actually came from.
Is it possible that it was once a natural celestial body that was hollowed out into various cavities with massive tunneling systems? Could that help to explain the highly anomalous mass concentrations of gravity (mascons) throughout the moon?
New evidence discovered in 2009, confirmed a network of underground tunnel systems, which would be ideal for human habitation.  Arizona State University’s lead researcher on the topic, Mark Robinson, had this to say;
They could be entrances to a geologic wonderland… The tunnels offer a perfect radiation shield and a very benign thermal environment…
In 2010, NASA released a series of images taken by their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) which displayed the moon’s topography in never before seen clarity and detail.
I can’t help but notice how similar our moon looks in comparison to a metal-plated ball covered in dust that’s been sprinkled with water.  Not much variation of crater depth – as if something below the dusty surface is preventing much impact damage to the inner-exterior & interior.
Does all of this truly indicate that the moon is a partially artificial object inhabited by an extraterrestrial civilization?  I would once again like to point out that we haven’t been back there in over 40 years.
Even after the Bush administration announced a return to the moon by 2020 (which could very well have just been a cover),many have criticized a return to the moon. It was only too soon before President Obama cancelled the entire project.
So where does this leave us?
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that someone doesn’t want us to know the whole truth.  But why?  What does NASA know about the moon that we don’t?  For starters, NASA knows, at the very least, that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth.  
How do I know this?  Because NASA astronauts told me so.

If multiple former NASA astronauts are admitting the presence of extraterrestrial life on and around Earth – why are so many people still clueless about it today?

Apparently, NASA wants to distract us from our own Earth and moon.  They would like us instead to focus on another celestial duo.  Freemasonic NASA spokesman Buzz Aldrin explains:

…and what else have we recently learned about Mars’ orbiting celestial potato?
That it too – might be artificial.
All of this evidence ultimately seems to be going in one very bizarre direction…

  …Was our solar system invaded by artificial ‘moons’ in ancient times? 

APOLLO: Humankind’s first step on the Luner Surface


                                                     Humankind’s first step on the Luner Surface
 One of the first steps taken on the Moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
 One of the first steps taken on the moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin's bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA


Apollo: A Legacy

More than 40 years ago, men from Earth left our home planet and journeyed to the moon.

It all started on May 25, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy announced the goal of sending astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade. Coming just three weeks after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space, Kennedy’s bold challenge set the nation on a journey unlike any before in human history.

Eight years of work by thousands of Americans came to fruition on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module and took “one small step” in the Sea of Tranquility, calling it “a giant leap for mankind.”

Six of the missions — Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 — landed on the moon, studying soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields and solar wind. Apollos 7 and 9 tested spacecraft in Earth orbit; Apollo 10 orbited the moon as the dress rehearsal for the first landing.

An oxygen tank explosion forced Apollo 13 to scrub its landing, but the “can-do” problem solving of the crew and mission control turned the mission into a “successful failure.”

For the past half-century, the moon has been the destination of some of humanity’s most monumental and challenging expeditions. As the moon becomes more accessible to both national space programs and private enterprise, steps are being taken to protect lunar artifacts for both their historical and scientific value. A Compilation of Human Artifacts on the Moon’ on the moon based on data available as of July 2012. A comprehensive catalog of man-made material on the moon is also available.

             NASA’s Next Giant Leap

Artist's concept image of a boot print on the moon and on Mars.
                                     Concept image of a boot print on the moon and on Mars.

The first humans who will step foot on Mars are walking the Earth today.
It was 45 years ago that Neil Armstrong took the small step onto the surface of the moon that changed the course of history. The years that followed saw a Space Age of scientific, technological and human research, on which we have built the modern era. We stand on a new horizon, poised to take the next giant leap—deeper into the solar system. The Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today we are extending that path to near-Earth asteroids, Mars and beyond.

Technology drives exploration and we’re building on the Apollo program’s accomplishments to test and fly transformative, cutting-edge technologies today for tomorrow’s missions. As we develop and test the new tools of 21st century spaceflight on the Journey  to Mars, we once again will change the course of history.

The Path to Mars begins with research on Earth and extends beyond its bounds, aboard the orbiting laboratory of the International Space Station, with our international partners. Some 250 miles above our heads, astronauts are conducting hundreds of experiments not possible on Earth, teaching us how humans can live, work and thrive for longer periods in space.
To help this nation send humans to deep space and return them to Earth safely, engineers across the country are developing a new space transportation capability, destined to travel far beyond our home planet. The Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket will be the most advanced space vehicles ever built. Together, they will take us farther into the solar system than humans have ever traveled. They are our spaceship to Mars and beyond.

As we build on the lessons of the space station and turn our eyes toward Mars, we are designing missions to take us to a “proving ground” around the moon called cis-lunar space, where some of the very building blocks of the solar system can be explored.

Near-Earth asteroids provide a unique opportunity to test the new technologies and capabilities we need for future human missions to Mars. Around 2019, we’ll launch a robotic mission to rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid. The spacecraft either will capture an asteroid in its entirety or retrieve a boulder off of a much larger asteroid, then redirect the asteroid mass to a stable orbit around the moon.

In the mid 2020s, astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft, launched by SLS, will explore that asteroid and return to Earth with samples.

The new technologies we test through the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and the new human spaceflight capabilities we prove by sending astronauts to study the asteroid, will make important advances to safely send humans to Mars. This includes tools like Solar Electric Propulsion, a highly efficient way to help us transport large objects and heavy cargo to support future Mars missions.  NASA will continue to make significant investments in new technologies vital to achieving exploration goals. This includes advancements in entry, descent and landing technologies such as Low Density Supersonic Decelerators.

Sending humans to deep space around the moon also will help advance techniques for space operations on and around Mars and its moons. The space around our moon is different than low-Earth orbit but very similar to what an Orion spacecraft will experience on the trip to and from Mars. For instance, solar and cosmic radiation is intense. We also can use cis-lunar space to begin practicing activities in deep space, like spacewalks, and learn to cope with delays in communication with Earth because of the distance.

Mars beckons us to explore. Missions to Mars could answer some of the fundamental questions of humanity: Does life exist beyond Earth? Could humans live on Mars in the future?

The journey to answer these questions has risks, but the rewards for humanity are worth it. Meeting the remaining challenges ahead of us to send humans to Mars will take the ingenuity and innovation of the entire nation and our international partners.

This next decade of exploration will be an exciting time of rapid technological development and testing. In December 2014, we’ll conduct the first test flight of Orion. In 2015, the New Horizons mission will fly by Pluto and see the icy world up close for the first time. 2016 will see launches of two other Mars missions, InSight and the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, as well as asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-REx. By the end of 2017, U.S. commercial companies will begin launching astronauts from U.S. soil to the space station. In Fiscal Year 2018, we’ll fly SLS and Orion together on a test mission to a stable orbit around the moon called a “Distant Retrograde Orbit” (DRO), where astronauts will explore a relocated asteroid in the 2020s. In 2018, Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, will extend our senses farther into space and time, to see light from the universe’s first stars. In about 2019, we’ll launch the robotic spacecraft to capture and redirect an asteroid. In 2020, we’ll send a new rover to Mars, to follow in the footsteps of Curiosity, search for evidence of life, and pave the way for future human explorers. In 2021, SLS and Orion will launch humans on the first crewed mission of the combined system. In the mid-2020s, astronauts will explore an asteroid redirected to DRO around the moon, and return home with samples that could hold clues to the origins of the solar system and life on Earth. In doing so, those astronauts will travel farther into the solar system than anyone has ever been.

Many more missions will follow on the Path to Mars. In our lifetimes, NASA and the world will take the next giant leap to explore the Red Planet.

                         Apollo 11 Mission Overview

Apollo 11 crew portrait

“The Eagle has landed…”

Mission Objective
The primary objective of Apollo 11 was to complete a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961: perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.

Additional flight objectives included scientific exploration by the lunar module, or LM, crew; deployment of a television camera to transmit signals to Earth; and deployment of a solar wind composition experiment, seismic experiment package and a Laser Ranging Retroreflector. During the exploration, the two astronauts were to gather samples of lunar-surface materials for return to Earth. They also were to extensively photograph the lunar terrain, the deployed scientific equipment, the LM spacecraft, and each other, both with still and motion picture cameras. This was to be the last Apollo mission to fly a “free-return” trajectory, which would enable a return to Earth with no engine firing, providing a ready abort of the mission at any time prior to lunar orbit insertion.

Mission Highlights

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin into an initial Earth-orbit of 114 by 116 miles. An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong’s televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969.Two hours, 44 minutes and one-and-a-half revolutions after launch, the S-IVB stage reignited for a second burn of five minutes, 48 seconds, placing Apollo 11 into a translunar orbit. The command and service module, or CSM, Columbia separated from the stage, which included the spacecraft-lunar module adapter, or SLA, containing the lunar module, or LM, Eagle. After transposition and jettisoning of the SLA panels on the S-IVB stage, the CSM docked with the LM. The S-IVB stage separated and injected into heliocentric orbit four hours, 40 minutes into the flight.

The first color TV transmission to Earth from Apollo 11 occurred during the translunar coast of the CSM/LM. Later, on July 17, a three-second burn of the SPS was made to perform the second of four scheduled midcourse corrections programmed for the flight. The launch had been so successful that the other three were not needed.

On July 18, Armstrong and Aldrin put on their spacesuits and climbed through the docking tunnel from Columbia to Eagle to check out the LM, and to make the second TV transmission.

On July 19, after Apollo 11 had flown behind the moon out of contact with Earth, came the first lunar orbit insertion maneuver. At about 75 hours, 50 minutes into the flight, a retrograde firing of the SPS for 357.5 seconds placed the spacecraft into an initial, elliptical-lunar orbit of 69 by 190 miles. Later, a second burn of the SPS for 17 seconds placed the docked vehicles into a lunar orbit of 62 by 70.5 miles, which was calculated to change the orbit of the CSM piloted by Collins. The change happened because of lunar-gravity perturbations to the nominal 69 miles required for subsequent LM rendezvous and docking after completion of the lunar landing. Before this second SPS firing, another TV transmission was made, this time from the surface of the moon.

On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin entered the LM again, made a final check, and at 100 hours, 12 minutes into the flight, the Eagle undocked and separated from Columbia for visual inspection. At 101 hours, 36 minutes, when the LM was behind the moon on its 13th orbit, the LM descent engine fired for 30 seconds to provide retrograde thrust and commence descent orbit insertion, changing to an orbit of 9 by 67 miles, on a trajectory that was virtually identical to that flown by Apollo 10. At 102 hours, 33 minutes, after Columbia and Eagle had reappeared from behind the moon and when the LM was about 300 miles uprange, powered descent initiation was performed with the descent engine firing for 756.3 seconds. After eight minutes, the LM was at “high gate” about 26,000 feet above the surface and about five miles from the landing site.

The descent engine continued to provide braking thrust until about 102 hours, 45 minutes into the mission. Partially piloted manually by Armstrong, the Eagle landed in the Sea of Tranquility in Site 2 at 0 degrees, 41 minutes, 15 seconds north latitude and 23 degrees, 26 minutes east longitude. This was about four miles downrange from the predicted touchdown point and occurred almost one-and-a-half minutes earlier than scheduled. It included a powered descent that ran a mere nominal 40 seconds longer than preflight planning due to translation maneuvers to avoid a crater during the final phase of landing. Attached to the descent stage was a commemorative plaque signed by President Richard M. Nixon and the three astronauts.

The flight plan called for the first EVA to begin after a four-hour rest period, but it was advanced to begin as soon as possible. Nonetheless, it was almost four hours later that Armstrong emerged from the Eagle and deployed the TV camera for the transmission of the event to Earth. At about 109 hours, 42 minutes after launch, Armstrong stepped onto the moon. About 20 minutes later, Aldrin followed him. The camera was then positioned on a tripod about 30 feet from the LM. Half an hour later, President Nixon spoke by telephone link with the astronauts.

Commemorative medallions bearing the names of the three Apollo 1 astronauts who lost their lives in a launch pad fire, and two cosmonauts who also died in accidents, were left on the moon’s surface. A one-and-a-half inch silicon disk, containing micro miniaturized goodwill messages from 73 countries, and the names of congressional and NASA leaders, also stayed behind.

During the EVA, in which they both ranged up to 300 feet from the Eagle, Aldrin deployed the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package, or EASEP, experiments, and Armstrong and Aldrin gathered and verbally reported on the lunar surface samples. After Aldrin had spent one hour, 33 minutes on the surface, he re-entered the LM, followed 41 minutes later by Armstrong. The entire EVA phase lasted more than two-and-a-half hours, ending at 111 hours, 39 minutes into the mission.

Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon’s surface. After a rest period that included seven hours of sleep, the ascent stage engine fired at 124 hours, 22 minutes. It was shut down 435 seconds later when the Eagle reached an initial orbit of 11 by 55 miles above the moon, and when Columbia was on its 25th revolution. As the ascent stage reached apolune at 125 hours, 19 minutes, the reaction control system, or RCS, fired so as to nearly circularize the Eagle orbit at about 56 miles, some 13 miles below and slightly behind Columbia. Subsequent firings of the LM RCS changed the orbit to 57 by 72 miles. Docking with Columbia occurred on the CSM’s 27th revolution at 128 hours, three minutes into the mission. Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the CSM with Collins. Four hours later, the LM jettisoned and remained in lunar orbit.

Trans-Earth injection of the CSM began July 21 as the SPS fired for two-and-a-half minutes when Columbia was behind the moon in its 59th hour of lunar orbit. Following this, the astronauts slept for about 10 hours. An 11.2 second firing of the SPS accomplished the only midcourse correction required on the return flight. The correction was made July 22 at about 150 hours, 30 minutes into the mission. Two more television transmissions were made during the trans-Earth coast.

Re-entry procedures were initiated July 24, 44 hours after leaving lunar orbit. The SM separated from the CM, which was re-oriented to a heat-shield-forward position. Parachute deployment occurred at 195 hours, 13 minutes. After a flight of 195 hours, 18 minutes, 35 seconds – about 36 minutes longer than planned – Apollo 11 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, 13 miles from the recovery ship USS Hornet. Because of bad weather in the target area, the landing point was changed by about 250 miles. Apollo 11 landed 13 degrees, 19 minutes north latitude and 169 degrees, nine minutes west longitude July 24, 1969.

Neil Armstrong, Commander
Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot
Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot

Backup Crew
James A. Lovell, Commander
Fred W. Haise Jr., Lunar Module Pilot
William A. Anders, Command Module Pilot

Columbia (CSM-107)
Eagle (LM-5)

Prelaunch Milestones
11/21/68 – LM-5 integrated systems test
12/6/68 – CSM-107 integrated systems test
12/13/68 – LM-5 acceptance test
1/8/69 – LM-5 ascent stage delivered to Kennedy
1/12/69 – LM-5 descent stage delivered to Kennedy
1/18/69 – S-IVB ondock at Kennedy
1/23/69 – CSM ondock at Kennedy
1/29/69 – command and service module mated
2/6/69 – S-II ondock at Kennedy
2/20/69 – S-IC ondock at Kennedy
2/17/69 – combined CSM-107 systems tests
2/27/69 – S-IU ondock at Kennedy
3/24/69 – CSM-107 altitude testing
4/14/69 – rollover of CSM from the Operations and Checkout Building to the Vehicle Assembly Building
4/22/69 – integrated systems test
5/5/69 – CSM electrical mate to Saturn V
5/20/69 – rollout to Launch Pad 39A
6/1/69 – flight readiness test
6/26/69 – Countdown Demonstration Test

July 16, 1969; 9:32 a.m. EDT
Launch Pad 39A
Saturn-V AS-506
High Bay 1
Mobile Launcher Platform-1
Firing Room 1

Altitude: 118.65 miles
Inclination: 32.521 degrees
Orbits: 30 revolutions
Duration: eight days, three hours, 18 min, 35 seconds
Distance: 953,054 miles
Lunar Location: Sea of Tranquility
Lunar Coordinates: .71 degrees north, 23.63 degrees east

July 24, 1969; 12:50 p.m. EDT
Pacific Ocean
Recovery Ship: USS Hornet