A CRASH AT RENDEZVOUS, THE FINAL THREAT
"And our prayers will be with you for the rendezvous, tomorrow...," radioed Jim Lovell to the Eagle's crew. Those who record ground-to-air communications between capcom and crew often take for granted phrases like "God's speed. John Glenn," or "our prayers are with you." Yet, analysis of subsequent mission events demonstrates that God does not take such spoken petitions lightly. God's speed is an old English derivative of III John 2...that God prosper and maintain one's health. Scripture gives specific evidence where special bonds among people add unique prayer power to intercession. A parent's prayer for a child or a friend's petition for a comrade are examples. Should not then, Apollo 11's backup commander and capcom Jim Lovell's prayers offer special protection for his fellow astronauts' rendezvous with the mother ship Columbia?
Space missions experience greatest jeopardy during launch, reentry, rendezvous and docking. During these phases, crews don space suits. This prevents a fracture of their fragile cabin structures from causing death should the interior atmosphere evacuate into space. A later Russian reentry proved this American practice essential. The Russian hatch leaked killing the three cosmonauts.
As the Eagle's suited crew rendezvoused with Columbia, docking was imminent. Unexpectedly, thrusters fired, a misalignment between vehicles arose, and the docking became a crash-like collisions of the two spacecraft. Collins, the Command Module pilot, cried out,
"ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!"
So severe was the collision that the docking forces severely stressed the docking structure causing numerous cracks. Despite the cracks, the structure remained tightly sealed without leaking. Again, the powers of darkness had failed. Jim Lovell's prayers had prevailed. Later, when asked about his comment that all hell broke loose, Mike Collins could not recall having made the remark. Yet, his statement accurately reflected the unseen spiritual battle which threatened Apollo 11. Satan and his hellish powers had failed. The docking system performed flawlessly as Armstrong and Aldrin passed from Eagle into Columbia, undocked from Eagle and returned to Earth.
The Apollo 11 story is unlike any other manned space mission. Man's first landing on a celestial body apart from Earth is obviously unique. Yet, looking beyond Apollo 11's historical significance reveals a fascinating spiritual dimension. Scripture speaks of Jesus Christ being the same yesterday, today, and forever. His sameness guided Eagle's journey as surely as God's fire by night and cloud by day led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Christ's unchanging character did not fail the imprisoned Paul and Silas facing execution. Nor did the changeless Christ forsake Armstrong and Aldrin at Tranquillity Base during the threat of a fiery death imprisoned in their landing craft.
Apollo 11's story symbolizes the Bible's promise that Greater is He (Christ)...than he (Satan) that is in the world (or on the Moon). Through alarms, potential explosions and collisions, Jesus Christ prevailed for the first men on the Moon. His name triumphed above every name...of those things in heaven (the Moon), or on the Earth or under the Earth. This is WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO APOLLO 11. If there were a gospel of lunar manned space exploration, perhaps, Apollo 11's testimony would be the gospel of John for...In the beginning (John 1:1) ...did God show himself to dwell among our astronauts...that you may believe. (John 20:31)