How did the Eagle reconnect with Columbia in Apollo 11

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thablakester

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Ok, I understand the details about the lunar landing and the takeoff, but what I'm curious about is how did the Eagle actually reconnect with Columbia whenever it blasted off the moon's surface? I understand that Columbia was orbiting around the moon, but what's the process involved with getting it linked back up with the orbiter?

thanks in advance for the answer and I hope this isn't a dumb question!
 
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MeteorWayne

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It's not a dumb question, and welcome to Space.com.

However, this is probably not the best forum to ask the question. I will move it to the Apollo 11 forum (leaving a link here until I see you have noted the change)

It's the same way with any other rendevous. You get into almost exactly the same orbit until your paths intersect, then do small maneuvers to get into the precise position until you very slowly touch. Then latches engage, other latches make the connection tighter until there is an airtight seal.

Wayne
 
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thablakester

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I see where you moved it and thanks for that. I thought that this particular forum was just about the 40th anniversary (where were you when it happened and such) so that's why I didn't post it here.

In any event, thanks so much for the answer!

So if I understand it correctly, the Eagle blasted off and entered into orbit and so the Eagle & Columbia went into synchronous orbits with each other and that's how they hooked back up? I ask because I never knew this information before and no one ever seems to discuss exactly how this process happens. It seems like we're just left to our imaginations as to how it happens :)

thanks again!
 
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MeteorWayne

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thablakester":3av8zabx said:
I see where you moved it and thanks for that. I thought that this particular forum was just about the 40th anniversary (where were you when it happened and such) so that's why I didn't post it here.

In any event, thanks so much for the answer!

So if I understand it correctly, the Eagle blasted off and entered into orbit and so the Eagle & Columbia went into synchronous orbits with each other and that's how they hooked back up? I ask because I never knew this information before and no one ever seems to discuss exactly how this process happens. It seems like we're just left to our imaginations as to how it happens :)

thanks again!
No problem, I'll remove the link in Free Space (it's not a avery scientific place :) )

See the other posts above which explain the process in more detail

Yep, two spacecraft meetng is basically just a matter of getting the orbits very similar. Once you do that, the rest is easy {said the armchair quarterback :) }
 
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babea

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thablakester":229c9szo said:
Ok, I understand the details about the lunar landing and the takeoff, but what I'm curious about is how did the Eagle actually reconnect with Columbia whenever it blasted off the moon's surface? I understand that Columbia was orbiting around the moon, but what's the process involved with getting it linked back up with the orbiter?

thanks in advance for the answer and I hope this isn't a dumb question!
Here's an excellent depiction of the flight path...

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-350/profile.html
 
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