50 years ago today: Tower clear



Three minutes, 25 seconds and counting . . .  Neil Armstrong reported back when he received the good wishes, “Thank you very much.  We know it will be a good flight.

Firing command coming in now; we are on the automatic sequence. . . and we are go with all element of the mission at this time.


Forget the Cold War origins of Apollo.  Forget the Russians, the race for the moon.


Two minutes, 30 seconds and counting.  We’re still go on Apollo 11 at this time.  The vehicle starting to pressurize as far as the propellant tanks are concerned . . . The target for the Apollo 11 astronauts, the moon, at liftoff will be at a distance of 218,019 miles . . .  We continue to build up pressure in all three stages here at the last minute to prepare for liftoff.


Forget the turbulent decade nearing it’s end, the protests and unrest.  We laying on our backs in the Command Module exist outside time.


T-minus one minute, 35 seconds on the Apollo mission, the flight to land the first men on the moon.  All indications coming into the control center at this time indicate we are go.   . . . We’ll go on full internal power at the 50-second mark . . .


Forget the predictions for the future, the beginning of a new era, a bright future for human kind amid the stars.  We are of the timeless moment.


T-minus 60 seconds and counting . . .   Fifty-five seconds and counting.  Neil Armstrong has just reported back, “It’s been a real smooth countdown.”

We have passed the 50-second mark.  Power transfer is complete.


It is a day for the ultimate explorers — the dreamers who dream in moonlight.


. . . Thirty-five seconds and counting.  We are still go with Apollo 11.

Thirty seconds and counting.  Astronauts report, “It feels good.”

T-minus 15 seconds, guidance internal.

Twelve, 11, 10, 9, ignition sequence start, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Zero


We, the crew going to the moon, look upwards.


All engines running.  Liftoff!  We have liftoff, 32 minutes past the hour.  Liftoff on Apollo 11.


We’re on our way., slowly at first, our Saturn V leaning away from the launch tower as we slowly climb its rungs.


Tower clear.


We’re on our way, we explorers of the dream.  We, the crew voyaging to the moon fifty years later, have never stopped flying.

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