To restore and reprint the original 1969 Apollo 11 flight plan in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
In the early 1960s, America was in the midst of a quest to land a man on the moon. It all began with President John F. Kennedy's address to Congress on May 25, 1961, when he proposed a national goal of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the 1960s. The Apollo 11 mission accomplished this goal on July 20, 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin landed their lunar module on the moon and took those first historic steps on the surface.....and 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of that mission.
It took years of preparation and the culminated efforts of an estimated 400,000 Americans to make this dream a reality.
The details involved in undertaking such an unprecedented mission were immense. The original flight plan that these astronauts used illustrates just how well-structured the planning was, down to the minutes and seconds of every stage of the journey.
This original flight plan has now been restored and - with your support - will be reprinted in various editions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this monumental accomplishment.
Just what is a flight plan? A flight plan is an incredibly detailed document that outlines all activity of a mission. It was a necessary document to ground crew members and the astronauts in order to complete their mission. Every Apollo flight had a flight plan and most of them underwent various "revision" stages before a final one was issued by NASA. For the Apollo 11 project, this final version was issued on July 1, 1969, twenty days prior to the launch.
At museums one may come across "Preliminary" Apollo 11 flight plans, preliminary plans with "Change A" or "Change B" marked on it, or even "Preliminary Option 1" in addition to the Final plan. At auction, these original manuals range in price from $900-$11,000 depending on who may have owned the manual or whose signature is on it.
The flight plan is a marvelous collectible for any space enthusiast because it shows every aspect of the Apollo 11 mission outlined in one hour segments, down to minutes and seconds during the launch phase. You can follow along with every stage of the mission to the moon!
The image below shows the part of the plan that told the astronauts how much burn was required to stay in orbit around the moon. Otherwise, they would swing around the moon and return to earth.
The majority of these pages were taken from scanned original flight plan books, two belonging to NASA centers here in the United States, one from the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station in Australia, and another from a hard copy a collector was generous enough to loan to me. I used multiple documents because some of the flight plans contained pages in poor condition. On most of the pages, I removed the hand-writing or marks that appeared but I did leave a few pages with handwriting on it - just to retain a bit of authenticity.
THE UNBOUND EDITION
The unbound version attempts to replicate the original flight plan books as closely as possible with the Page 7-1 fold-out page, the salmon-colored cover, white interior, and the five hole-punches on the left side for binder use. The mock-up below shows a 3-hole punch but it will have five holes in the final version. These books were initially delivered to the various NASA centers unbound in order to make it easier for individual revised pages to be inserted. They were later placed in binders by the men and women who were using the books. It will be shipped loose-leaf, with each book individually shrink-wrapped.
THE PAPERBACK EDITION
This version isn't "authentic" but I thought it would be neat to offer a paperback version with a re-designed cover for those who don't want to place it in a binder. The interior pages will be in white - or possibly cream ( when the proofs are made I will see which looks best ). The Page 7 foldout will be reduced to one page. Please note, that because the book is 363 pages, the paperback version does not lie flat when open. You'll just have to use your moon-rock paperweight to keep the book from closing.
THE LEATHER-BOUND EDITION
For stellar Apollo fans. A lasting version, leather-bound in navy blue with foil lettering on the cover.
A FEW NOTES ON THESE EDITIONS:
- 01. Proudly restored by the sister team of Constance & Diana Metzinger in North Olmsted, Ohio...just a few miles away from the NASA Glenn Research Center.
- 02. Cover: 11pt uncoated cardstock ( Unbound ), 12pt coated cardstock ( Paperback ), leather-bound with foil ( Anniversary Edition )
- 03. Innards: 70lb offset in white ( Unbound ), 60-70lb offset in cream or white ( Paperback and Anniversary Edition )
- 04. Binding: unbounded with drill holes for binder use and shrinkwrapped ( Unbound ), perfect bound ( Paperback ), leather bound ( Anniversary Edition ).
- 05. Printed right here in the good ol' USA!
THE APOLLO 11 LUNAR LANDING CHART - $30
One Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Chart + the sticker set. Did you miss last year's project? Here is your chance to snag a chart! This high-gloss chart is a restored and recolored edition of the original 1967 Apollo lunar landing chart and it measures 12" x 36" ( 30cm x 92cm ). As a bonus, you'll also receive some Apollo stickers!
THE APOLLO 11 FLIGHT PLAN - $50
One Apollo 11 Flight Plan Book. Your choice of the Unbounded or Paperback version. Each measures 8.5x11" with 364 pages. In the image above the drill holes are not pictured for the unbounded version, but they will be there.
THE APOLLO 11 FLIGHT PLAN PACKAGE - $80
One Apollo 11 Flight Plan Book + Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Chart. Your choice of the Unbounded or Paperback version. Each measures 8.5x11" with 364 pages. Plus the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Chart.
THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION - $120
The Make 100 Special! This limited edition flight plan book will be bound in navy blue leather bearing the original Apollo logo on its cover. The cover design you see above may change slightly, I haven't quite decided on this one. The interior is printed on 70lb cream offset paper. You'll also receive the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Chart.
THE APOLLO PACKAGE X2 - $125
Two Apollo 11 Flight Plan Books + ( 2 ) Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Charts. Your choice of two of flight plan books. You can take the Unbounded or Paperback version....or one of each. Each book measures 8.5x11" with 364 pages. Plus you'll receive two Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Charts and a special mystery bonus!
If funding is successful, then printing will commence in March 2019 with the first books being shipped in April and all books being shipped out prior to the end of May 2019.
While this project is listed under my name - Constance Metzinger - it will actually be a joint effort by my sister, Diana, and myself. I enjoy the restoration work, all design aspects of the project, and handling "customer service" while Diana takes care of packaging duties. Our mother was an engineer for thirty-five years at NASA Glenn Research Center ( formally Lewis Research Center ) so we grew up with space-stuff as kids and this Apollo project had to be born eventually.
A fun bit of trivia: It was Dr. Abe Silverstein, director of the Lewis Research Center who was responsible for naming the mission "Apollo" after the Greek god. Bet you didn't know that!
NASA is in no way connected with this project, but I'd like to thank them anyway for generously providing images of the Apollo 11 project and making various copies of the flight plan available to the public. Be sure to check out the NASA Flickr Commons for tons of stunning photographs of all of their space missions and this website to learn more about the Apollo project.
I would also like to thank Colin Mackellar, who took the time to scan the Honeysuckle Creek flight plan book which was an invaluable resource for this project. Thank you, Colin!
Our last project - The Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Chart - was accomplished and fulfilled on time, and this one will be too - we'll see to it one way or another! But if you want to look into the risk factor further, just read more down below.
If funding reaches $50,000, then your book will be tucked inside a mylar bag ( just like space food! ) and shipped in a schnazzy custom-made Apollo-themed mailer.
If funding reaches $75,000 then everyone will be receiving a special 12"x18" poster showing details of the lunar and command modules. I collected graphics from the original Apollo 11 press kit and designed this poster to look like a chart that a NASA engineer would have had hanging on their wall at the time. This isn't the final design, but pretty close to it.
If funding reaches $100,000 then everyone who backed at the $50 and above levels will receive a newly-printed replica version of the 1969 Apollo 11 Mission Information Display slide-rule. This gem of a collectible was issued by TRW Systems as a giveaway to reporters and dignitaries during the Apollo 11 program. I have no idea how I am going to reproduce this, but if we reach the goal, it will be made one way or another and you'll be receiving it!
Risks and challenges
The book has already been restored, that's one major step accomplished. The printer that I will be working with always does amazing work, so no worries there. The only part that gives me slight concern is overseas shipping, but I'm looking into that already. I want to lower the cost as much as possible so overseas backers will not have to pay an outrageous shipping cost and that may mean having to use a European shipping distributor....but that all depends on if the project gets funded and how many international backers there are, so I'm not worried about it too much for now.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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