Apollo 11 - Approaching the Moon Despite Warning Alarms

As the astronauts approach the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission, they make ready to separate the lunar landing module from the main ship. Even if things go right, it’s a dangerous mission. Mission control asks for a “go, no go” from the individual controllers. 

Descending too fast, Eagle (the landing module) could overshoot its landing target. Will that cause trouble for the astronauts? 

THEN ... a program alarm goes off. It is a "1202."

The astronauts have no idea what the alarm means. Should the descent be aborted or should the alarm be overridden? During tension-filled moments, the decision comes down to one man. 

What should the astronauts do? 

A decision to override allows the lunar landing module to continue its descent. The astronauts are "go for landing."

Armstrong looks out the window, and his heart rate skyrockets. About a thousand feet above the Moon’s surface, the landing craft is heading straight for a crater filled with boulders.  Those boulders are about the size of Volkswagens.

What if the alarm has actually signaled a major problem?

See, also:

Part 1 - Launch and Journey to the Moon

Part 3 - Lunar Landing and Return to Earth

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 11, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jun 16, 2016

Media Credits

Clip from the BBC series, Days that Shook the World - Moon Landing

Online, courtesy BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.


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"Apollo 11 - Approaching the Moon Despite Warning Alarms" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 11, 2013. Feb 19, 2020.
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