NASA Releases Apollo 11 Cockpit Tapes To Mark Anniversary

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Pilots are generally curious about what it's like to fly other aircraft -- airline pilots dream about aerobatics, military aviators wonder about Boeing cockpits, and piston drivers might imagine trying out gliders or DC-3s or jetpacks. But there was one cockpit that only one crew ever got to experience -- the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle. This week, in honor of the 40th anniversary of that first trip to the moon, NASA is releasing online the cockpit tapes of the conversations between Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they descended to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

All of the Apollo spacecraft included onboard voice recorders, and transcripts of those recordings were publicly released years ago. But only recently were the recordings from Apollo 11 digitized so they could be posted on the NASA Web site. Some of the clips, such as the lunar landing and lunar takeoff, are mainly noise, and the voices can be hard to understand, but it's still interesting to hear conversations that were recorded 40 years ago on the moon.

Click here to listen to the Apollo 11 onboard audio highlights, or click here to check out the complete collection of Apollo 11 onboard audio.