After checking with
Mission Control to make sure all chores have been completed, experiments
set up, and photographs taken, Aldrin starts back up the ladder to re-enter
Armstrong joins Aldrin
in the landing craft.
The hatch is closed.
The astronauts begin removing the portable life support systems on which
they have depended for two hours and 47 minutes.
Astronauts are told
to go to sleep, after attending to final housekeeping details and answering
a number of questions concerning the geology of the Moon.
Shortly after arousing
Collins, still circling the Moon in the Command/Service Module, Mission
Control observes: "Not since Adam has any human known such solitude as
Mike Collins is experiencing during this 47 minutes of each lunar revolution
when he's behind the Moon with no one to talk to except his tape recorder
The astronauts in Eagle
are aroused. Aldrin announces: "Neil has rigged himself a really good
hammock . . . and he's been Iying on the hatch and engine cover, and I
curled up on the floor."
Answering a question
raised before they went to sleep, Aldrin reports: "We are in a boulder
field where boulders range generally up to two feet, with a few larger
than that... Some of the boulders are Iying on top of the surface, some
are partially exposed, and some are just barely exposed."
Ascent engine is started
and LM, using descent stage as a launch pad, begins rising and reaches
a vertical speed of 80 feet per second at 1,000 feet altitude.
The astronauts take
with them in the ascent stage the soil samples, the aluminum foil with
the "solar wind" particles it has collected, the film used in taking photographs
with still and motion picture cameras, the flags and other mementos to
be returned to Earth. Behind they leave a number of items, reducing the
weight of the ship from 15,897 pounds as it landed on the Moon to 10,821
The largest item
left behind is the descent stage, that part of the landing craft with
the plaque on one of its spidery legs. Others include the TV camera, two
still cameras, tools used in collecting samples, portable life support
systems, lunar boots, American flag, rod support for the "solar wind"
experiment instrument, laser beam reflector, seismic detector, and a gnomon,
a device to verify colors of objects photographed.
Eagle redocks with
Columbia while circling on the back side of the Moon.
craft is jettisoned.