ONE OF THE MOST EXTENSIVE SET OF NOTES RECORDED WHILE ON THE MOON.
FLOWN TO THE LUNAR SURFACE, LUNAR SURFACE CHECKLIST SHEET.
Apollo 11 LM Lunar Surface Checklist, pp SUR-48/SUR-49, a single sheet printed recto and verso. NASA/MSC, June 16 and 25, 1969. 5½ x 8 inches. With a Typed Letter Signed by Buzz Aldrin.
As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin prepared to leave the lunar surface, Aldrin discovers that a critical circuit breaker switch to activate their ascent engine was broken. He ponders the best method to engage this breaker as he records information relayed from Mission Control concerning radar tracking of Command Module Columbia.
Accompanied by BUZZ ALDRIN'S letter, which reads in part: "Accompanying this letter is a sheet numbered SUR-48 and SUR-49 from the Apollo 11 LM Lunar Surface Checklist.... The entire checklist, including this sheet, was carried to the surface of the Moon in Lunar Module Eagle during the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969. This is one of the few sheets that actually has some mission notes made during our lunar surface stay. They were written just hours before leaving the Moon after history's first manned lunar surface exploration.
Side SUR-48 has the steps Neil Armstrong and I performed just after completing our rest period. We were about 2.5 hours away from Lunar Module Eagle's liftoff. Mission Control sent us some procedures if we encountered computer program alarms during our P22 or the Lunar Surface Navigation Program which was our means of tracking CSM Columbia as she passed overhead while we were still on the surface. I made the following notes: 'Op 1, No update mode --- if 503, Key Pro, Tape meter H H.' This meant during option 1 use the no update mode. If a 503 program alarm occurred, key in proceed and allow the rendezvous radar to search for Columbia. I was also to place the tape meter to the altitude/altitude rate, noted in mathematical terms as 'H' and 'H dot' to keep it from driving itself into limit stops. Neil and I then completed the remaining steps on side SUR-48.
Side SUR-49 has additional steps we performed around 2 hours and 20 minutes before liftoff. Neil and I did a series of star sights to realign our guidance and navigation platform. These steps were critical to insure that we could actually rendezvous with Mike Collins and Columbia in lunar orbit.
A few hours earlier, after we returned to the LM interior once completing the first lunar moon walk, I noticed that the ascent engine arming breaker push/pull switch was broken. Apparently during movement wearing our large space suit 'backpacks,' either Neil or I bumped into this panel and broke off that particular switch. This switch was the direct means of arming our ascent engine which would allow us to leave the lunar surface. Mission Control verified that the switch was open, meaning that the engine was currently unarmed. If we could not get the engine armed, we would be stranded on the Moon. They advised us to leave the switch in the open position until the timeline called for it to be engaged. I started to think of ways to activate the switch if pushing it by hand failed. As it turned out, the very pen I used to record these notes was the perfect tool to engage this circuit breaker. I have written on side SUR-48: 'Notes made by myself while on the lunar surface during Apollo XI.' On side SUR-49, I have written: 'Used by Neil and myself while on the Moon' and signed it near the right center of that page."