Entering lunar orbit: the LOI manoeuvre
On the journey to the Moon, two events symbolised the crew’s daring and acceptance of risk more than any other. One was the landing itself, which committed two crewmen to an utterly inhospitable lunar surface unless a small rocket engine worked properly to get them off and begin their journey home to Earth. The other was lunar orbit insertion (LOI), the point in the journey when Apollo crews committed themselves to the gravity of the Moon. After LOI, there was no possibility of a return to Earth except by the successful operation of one major system within the service module. This was the service propulsion system (SPS), whose most obvious component was a large bell that protruded from the engine at the rear of the module.
KeywordsLanding Site Lunar Surface Circuit Breaker Service Module Lunar Orbit
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