The Apollo 11 Re-entry



The Apollo 11 re-entry, photographed from a USAF KC-135 (tail no. 123) at 43,000 feet, flown by Col. Oakley Baron of the ARIA fleet.

Click to play a 14MB MPEG4 file (320 x 240 pixels)

Or here for a 44MB MPEG4 file (640 x 480 pixels).

16mm film courtesy Bob Mosley (Lt. Col., retired.)

Please note that the position of the audio with respect to the picture is a ‘best guess’.

Stereo sound. The right channel audio is from Peter Pockley’s broadcast courtesy Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Bob Mosley writes,

“The film is coverage of the re-entry of Apollo 11, upon its return from the moon, and was made at approximately 12:20 EDT 24 July 1969, by USAF Col. Oakley Baron and his crew, in a photo equipped US Air Force C-135 (707) aircraft at 43,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.

Coming from the West, the non heat-shielded Service Module soon disintegrates into a flaming fire ball, sending burning material in all directions; which turns night into day momentarily. The Command Module, is then seen to continue on, as a diminishing light, in an easterly direction, and a not too distant, highly successful, splash down; Man had been on the Moon and returned safely, as per one of the National Objectives set down by President John Kennedy, approximately 7 years earlier.”

Grateful thanks to Matthew Magee and Ian Mackenizie for the 16mm transfer.

Video compiled by Colin Mackellar, July 2009.


Back to the Apollo 11 section