History was made 42 years ago today, as Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of the moon. It’s also my son’s 16th birthday, which means that my car insurance will very soon cost about as much as a moon shot, so I think that’s a fitting tribute.

Out of all of the moon landing video, animations and footage of various news anchors covering the touch-down, one of my favorite pieces of tape is simply the view from a small window in the Eagle.

Here’s about ten minutes worth of video and audio leading up to the landing. To this day I get chills when they still haven’t landed and somebody from Mission Control reminds them that they have “30 seconds” of fuel left before plunging to the surface. They landed with just a few seconds worth of fuel remaining — no pressure:


21 Responses to “‘The Eagle Has Landed’: 42 Years On”

  1. backwoods on July 20th, 2011 12:01 pm

    I was 10 years old when that happened. I was at a church camp. They landed in midafternoon by the clock in SC but it wasn't until later that evening, at close to bedtime for the kids at camp, that Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lander and onto the lunar surface. I couldn't contain my excitement. I ran across the campground telling everybody I saw that "There's a man walking on the moon RIGHT NOW!"

    I was very much a space buff and even in my adulthood I'm still fascinated by outer space. I'm an amateur astronomer who has tracked down hundreds of deep sky objects without any computerized assistance. Show me where something is on a star map and I'll point my telescope to the right spot in the sky. I like the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of finding an elusive object. Enjoying the company of other astronomers has also been one of my life's greatest pleasures.

  2. cdl on July 20th, 2011 12:38 pm


  3. Marshall_Will on July 20th, 2011 1:07 pm

    Well wasn't Levy-Scoemaker 9 discovered by amateur astronomers? Using some pretty basic equipt. Here in Oregon you'd have to move to the High Desert to get a view of night skies. We're usually too overcast West of the Cascades.

    I was born in 1959 too and MAN was this a big deal. It inspired me to be around aerospace and have been ever since. I went to Avionics School in Biloxi, MS and have been around military aircraft since my teens. Still am.

    My dad promised me he would pull the plug the -exact- second they touched down on our old GE clock-radio to preserve that moment for all time! It's still in my office to this day. Obie wants me to give it back to Jeff Immelt though?

  4. dancermommd on July 20th, 2011 2:05 pm

    Happy Birthday to the young Mr. Powers! I know how special 16 can be. Are you taking him for his license TODAY? What a great way to remember a special event like the moon landing though. I really don't know if we learned anything of significant value from it though. I am not a space buff but the stars are pretty. I tried to look for that object that guy found on Mars (looked like a building of some sort) but couldn't get it to work right. I gave up pretty quickly. You know, trust but verify!

  5. Marshall_Will on July 20th, 2011 3:03 pm


    One trick of the trade we pulled on our ins. co. was our claim [that] neither of the girls "owned" The Car.

    The Car [in question] was in *fact* owned by us, as the parents.

    The MINOR Child was/is/will NEVER be given carte blanche to drive said vehicle, where [or] 'whenever' they see fit! Assuming they keep up their GRADES they may drive to school and BACK. Period.

    I hate to say it ( and it helps our new agent was head equity trader at one of the firms I used to work with ) but this is time for HARDBALL! Every parent in America has been conditioned to get put over a barrel on this so it just makes their job sooooo easy. Fight 'em tooth & nail on this one. IMHE

  6. Dexter_Alarius on July 20th, 2011 3:18 pm

    "They landed with just a few seconds worth of fuel remaining "

    No point in wasting fuel. Those engineers using slide-rules and No. 2 pencils calculated the requirements down to a gnat's @$$, then added a dram or two for wiggle room. Those guys are heroes.

  7. SignPainterGuy on July 20th, 2011 3:30 pm

    Happy Birthday to the junior Powers. May he have at least 84 more and all of them happy ! Good luck with his license to operate a dangerous weapon and your ability to afford it ! High ins. was likely why my parents held out for 364 more days before biting the bullet !

    42 years ago would have been the summer before 11th grade. Exciting times in many ways. My maternal grandma died refusing to believe space travel was happening. It was all fake. "Everybody knows you can`t breath in outer space !" The cheesy artist renditions of the Gemini flights on b&w tv didn`t help matters !

  8. Doug on July 20th, 2011 3:55 pm

    Thanks! I'll pass on the well-wishes.

    42 years ago I was a few days away from turning 3, but my parents let me stay up to watch the landing. Somewhere in the back of my memory I can recall it…

  9. backwoods on July 20th, 2011 5:06 pm

    Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker devoted so much of their lives to astronomy that I believe they could be considered professionals. Their close friend David Levy is officially a writer but has also been so involved with astronomy that the difference is blurred. David Levy was a featured guest and speaker at the first star party I went to back in 2002. It was fascinating to hear him speak of his friendship with the Shoemakers and the discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. One of my most prized possessions is anutographed copy of his book "Impact Jupiter". I found him to be both an excellent speaker and a very good writer. He has for years had monthly columns in one or more of the astronomy magazines and they are always good reading.

  10. backwoods on July 20th, 2011 5:45 pm

    BTW, Gene Shoemaker died in 1997. A portion of his ashes were carried aboard the Lunar Prospector probe which ended its mission by crashing into the Moon, making him the only person to have been buried on the Moon.

    He had been considered a candidate for an Apollo mission, but was disqualified due to health reasons. He was involved in training Apollo astronauts in the geological aspects of their missions.

  11. OK_Loyalist on July 21st, 2011 1:29 am

    I have a scrapbook around here somewhere of a lot of the Apollo missions. This includes the LIFE magazine. I wish I would of snagged the Nat Geographic at Granny's house as well. Like backwoods and M_W, I was 10 when … "Houston, The Eagle Has Landed."

  12. hopy on April 1st, 2014 2:20 am

    great moon landing that dream ghost thousands of people, he did.

  13. unblocked games on April 22nd, 2015 5:41 am

    I was a few days away from turning 3, but my parents let me stay up to watch the landing – See more at: http://dougpowers.com/2011/07/20/eagle-landed/#st

  14. happy wheels on April 22nd, 2015 5:41 am

    "They landed with just a few seconds worth of fuel remaining "

  15. kizi 4 on April 22nd, 2015 5:42 am

    Good luck with his license to operate a dangerous weapon and your ability to afford it ! High ins. was likely why my parents held out for 364 more days before biting the bullet ! – See more at: http://friv4com.net

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