FLOWN APOLLO 11 FLIGHT PLAN SHEETA STAR CHART USED DURING THE FLIGHT.
Apollo 11 Flight Plan, pp 102F, a single sheet printed on recto. NASA/MSC, July 1, 1969. 10½ by 8 inches. With a Typed Letter Signed by Aldrin.
The star chart is one of the few printed celestial navigational aids carried on the mission. It was used to verify that the Apollo 11 astronauts were safely on the way home to earth after the first lunar landing.
BUZZ ALDRIN'S letter reads in part: "Enclosed with this letter is a sheet that was added to the Apollo 11 Flight Plan, Part No. SKB32100080-350, S/N 1001 prior to our launch which is labeled: 'PAGE 102F.' It was inserted just after page 3-102 of this manual and is part of the entire document that was carried to the Moon in Command Module Columbia on the first lunar landing mission during July 16 to 24, 1969.
This sheet illustrates what was the expected view through our scanning telescope while we performed an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) alignment just after our TransEarth Injection (TEI) burn which brought us back from the Moon. That spacecraft burn had to work. If it did not, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and myself would remain in lunar orbit, never to return to earth. Mike took a navigational reading after locating the stars named ACRUX and MENKENT. After a series of star sightings, these 'readings' would provide our IMU with a new 'platform' of our location in space after the TEI burn.
One we had this information, we then set Columbia into the TEC PTC mode or Passive Thermal Control during the TransEarth Coast period of our flight. PTC was simply a rotation of Columbia along one axis to keep an even distribution of temperatures while being heated by the sun.
Flight events were extremely busy prior to making these star sightings. Before the TEI burn, we had just jettisoned the Lunar Module at about 131 hours and 52 minutes into the mission. Neil and I had completed the rendezvous with Columbia a few hours before and then started the task of transferring equipment and lunar material from Eagle to Columbia after docking at about 128 hours into the mission. That docking came after we left the lunar surface at around 124 hours and 22 minutes on July 21, 1969. A day earlier, Neil and I became the first humans to land and walk on the Moon's surface.
This page has been in my private collection since 1969. I have written: 'Carried to the Moon on Apollo XI' and signed it along the right side of the page." A copy of the flight plan cover is included.