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When Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida 50 years ago this week, the astronauts on board were prepared to abort the mission in the event of a catastrophic malfunction shortly after launch.
The emergency plan was devised in part by Kenneth Garren, the current president of the University of Lynchburg who once worked on the Apollo program.
The plan describes how the astronauts piloting the craft could eject the command module from the rest of the powerful Saturn V rocket and steer the craft toward Earth to ensure its heat shield provided protection during the descent.
For the astronauts, the plan could have meant life or death.