After they lifted off from the moon and returned to the command module, Collins bombarded them with questions about what they’d seen.
Collins: How was lift-off? How did lift-off feel?
Aldrin: Well, there was a little—little blast—then we started moving. Then we could see all those …
Collins: [Garble] were you very stable? I mean, you just sort of floated up or was there a bunch of rattling around?
Aldrin: … The floor came up to meet you. I think it multiplied g by [garble] it was about—at lift-off—maybe—half a g or two-thirds of a g.
Collins: Well, you know, well, just looking at that one sample, it was—I’m surprised you didn’t have a lot more dust. Now you saw dust during descent, I think, around 40 feet, something like that, 30 feet maybe.
Aldrin: Yes it was …
Collins: But its pattern is such that it sprays out horizontally, and it doesn’t really come up and engulf you, huh?
Aldrin: All the stuff looks like very light tan and gray, you know, that’s—that’s the color of it. When you get right up there to it, when you see it, why that isn’t the color at all.
Collins: Dark—battleship gray, isn’t it?
Aldrin: Maybe not—I don’t know …
Collins: Well, what kind of …
Aldrin: … what stuck to the spacecraft, I think you can see afterwards …
Collins: What do you think it is from the—geology standpoint, is it basalt dust?
On the way home, they put on some tunes. Armstrong picked this time: “Radar Blues,” a jazzy number that featured the ethereal sounds of a theremin. And, as with any road trip, not everyone enjoyed the selection.
[Charlie Duke, in Mission Control]: Thank you, 11. We appreciate you turning that off. [Laughter.]
Armstrong: Charlie, could you copy our music down there?
Duke: Did we copy what, Neil?
Armstrong: Did you copy our music down there?
Duke: Rog. We sure did. We’re wondering who selected—made your selections?
Armstrong: That’s an old favorite of mine, about—it’s an album made about 20 years ago, called Music Out of the Moon.
Duke: Roger. It sounded a little scratchy to us, Neil. Either that or your tape was a little slow.
Aldrin: It’s supposed to sound that way.
Duke: That’s one of those …
Collins: … it sounds a little scratchy to us too, but the czar likes it.
At one of their last meals in space, Collins, the mission comic, decided to poke some fun at the next crew that would make the same journey—Apollo 12. Their own dangerous reentry was still ahead, but they had completed the purpose of their mission, and they were almost home.
Collins: Breakfast was magnificent as usual. I had sliced peaches, sausage patties, two cups of coffee, and I forget all what else.
[Owen Garriott, in Mission Control]: That does sound pretty good. As a matter of fact, I’m way overdue for a meal myself, here. I could use some of that.
Collins: Why don’t you get Milt to give you five minutes off and grab a hamburger?
Garriott: I suggested that a while ago. He was pointing out about the weight problem here. Got to keep the calories low, so I’d better stand by without it.
Collins: Houston, Apollo 11. We—We’ve been doing a little flight planning for Apollo 12 up here.
Garriott: Roger. Go ahead.
Collins: We’re trying to calculate how much spaghetti and meatballs we can get on board for Al Bean [the lunar-module pilot for Apollo 12].
Garriott: I’m not sure the spacecraft will take that much extra weight. Have you made any estimates?
Collins: It’ll be close.
Garriott: 11, Houston. The medics at the next console report that the shrew is one animal which can eat six times its own body weight every 24 hours. This may be a satisfactory baseline for your spaghetti calculations on Al Bean. Over.
Collins: Okay. Thank you. That’s in work.