50 years ago: the hybrid trajectory

Halfway on our way to the moon

                          something is about

to happen

              that did not happen

          on the previous Apollo voyages

to the moon.

Something happens

                  at 6:14 pm EST

                            Nov. 15, 1969 

        30 hrs., 52 min., 44 sec. after launch

                  about 130,000 miles from home.

          .

We the crew of Apollo 12 do this something,

fire our main SPS engine for 9.19 seconds

    which pulls us away from the free-return trajectory

            that would slingshot around the moon

                 and back toward Earth, should our engines fail.

We’re are flying a hybrid trajectory needed to set

       our arrival to the proper lighting conditions

            at the landing site.  

We have left the safety of the free return

            as will the next flight, Apollo 13.

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