Earth orbit and TLI
In only 11 1/2 minutes, the Saturn V had accelerated the Apollo spacecraft to nearly 8 kilometres per second. The length of the stack had been reduced by two-thirds and the remaining stage, along with the spacecraft, had been lifted to an altitude of 170 kilometres above Earth and above the vast majority of the atmosphere though by no means out of it completely. It was in orbit and the crew were experiencing weightlessness. They had just less than three hours to give their ship a thorough checkout before being sent Moonward with an engine burn called translunar injection (TLI), and no one was keen to ignite it unless they knew it was sending a good ship. In that time, they would make not quite two orbits of Earth although, if required, there was a contingency for an extra orbit.
KeywordsLanding Site Earth Orbit Flight Path Elliptical Orbit Guidance System
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