At 9:32 a.m. EDT, the engines fire and Apollo 11 clears the tower. About 12 minutes later, the crew is in Earth orbit. (› Play Audio)
After one and a half orbits, Apollo 11 gets a "go" for what mission controllers call "Translunar Injection" - in other words, it's time to head for the moon. Three days later the crew is in lunar orbit. A day after that, Armstrong and Aldrin climb into the lunar moduleEagleand begin the descent, while Collins orbits in the command module Columbia.
Collins later writes thatEagleis "the weirdest looking contraption I have ever seen in the sky," but it will prove its worth.
When it comes time to set Eagle down in the Sea of Tranquility, Armstrong improvises, manually piloting the ship past an area littered with boulders. During the final seconds of descent,Eagle'scomputer is sounding alarms.