Si, c'est pour ça que ça a été tronqué. Il s'agissait selon toute vraisemblance d'un des 4 panneaux SLA éjectés au moment de la séparation avec le S-IVB, trop petits pour être suivis depuis la terre par la NASA, et ne portant pas de transpondeur.
L'histoire complète est dans James R. Hansen
Less significantly from the point of view of science, but of import for those who want to believe in UFOs, was a second “sighting” that the crew could not explain—or at least be 100 percent sure of their explanation.
It took place the evening of the third day—the day of the first sojourn into the LM—shortly after 9:00 P.M. Aldrin apparently saw it first: “I found myself idly staring out of the window of the Columbia and saw something that looked a bit unusual. It appeared brighter than any star and not quite the pinpoint of light that stars are. It was also moving relative to the stars. I pointed this out to Mike and Neil, and the three of us were beset with curiosity. With the help of the monocular we guessed that whatever it was, it was only a hundred miles or so away. Looking at it through the sextant we found it occasionally formed a cylinder, but when the sextant’s focus was adjusted it had a sort of illuminated ‘L’ look to it. There was a straight line, maybe a little bump in it, and then a little something off to the side. It had a shape of some sort—we all agreed on that—but exactly what it was we couldn’t pin down.”
The crew fretted, “What are we going to say about this?” Aldrin remembers, “We sure as hell were not going to talk about it to the ground, because all that would do is raise a curiosity and if that got out, someone might say NASA needed to be commanded to abandon the mission, because we had aliens going along! Our reticence to be outspoken while it was happening was because we were just prudent. We didn’t want to do anything that gave the UFO nuts any ammunition at all, because enough wild things had been said over the years about astronauts seeing strange things.”
At first the crew speculated that what they were seeing was the shell of the Saturn S-IVB that had been slingshot away more than two days earlier. After the S-IVB’s propulsive maneuver, the astronauts had seen it traveling well out of their way, on a trajectory that would miss the Moon and send it into solar orbit. (On later Apollo missions, NASA intentionally maneuvered the S-IVB to impact the Moon for the purpose of taking seismographic readings, but it did not do that on Apollo 11.) So, at two days, twelve hours, forty-five minutes, and forty-six seconds of elapsed time into the flight, Neil radioed, “Houston, Apollo 11. Do you have any idea where the S-IVB is with respect to us?” The answer came back some three minutes later: “Apollo 11, Houston. The S-IVB is about 6,000 nautical miles away from you. Over.” “Okay. Thank you,” replied Neil.
The astronauts scratched their heads. At far closer than 6,000 miles, the object in sight could not be the S-IVB, but rather one of the four panels that had enclosed the LM’s launch garage. When the LM was extracted for face-to-face mating with the command module, the side panels had sprung off in different directions. Analytical studies had indicated the most likely trajectories for the four ejected panels, but NASA could not track the panels because there were no transponders on them.
The Apollo 11 crew was convinced that what they saw was one of the panels. According to Aldrin, “We could see it for about forty-five seconds at a time as the ship rotated, and we watched it off and on for about an hour…. Its course appeared in no way to conflict with ours, and as it presented no danger we dropped the matter there,” and went to sleep. Nothing more was said about the sighting until one portion of NASA’s classified debriefing. Armstrong is confident that no one in NASA suggested what they should or should not say in the future about the UFO. What was to be said was left to the individual crew member.
In Armstrong’s mind today, there is still no doubt that what they all saw was a detached part of their own spacecraft. “We did watch a slow blinking light some substantial distance away from us. Mission Control eventually concluded—and I agree—that it was one of the Saturn LM adapter panels. These panels were enormous and would have been given a rotation in the process of their ejection from the S-IVB. The reflection from these panels would, therefore, be similar to blinking. I do not know why we did not see the other three panels, but I suspect that the one that was directly down from the Sun from us would have provided the brightest reflection.”
How the panel had kept up with the Apollo 11 spacecraft for over two days—and in fact, was out in front of it—was a simple matter of Newtonian physics. “When the SLA panels were ejected,” Neil explains, “they had a very slight outward relative velocity, but their velocity along the flight path was essentially identical to that of the CSM-LM combination. The panels, therefore, having no atmospheric drag to slow them, traveled at the CSMLM speed, but developed an ever-increasing lateral separation from it.” As for why the S-IVB was so far behind the spacecraft, that was explained by the fact that the S-IVB was traveling along the same velocity vector but after separation was traveling slightly slower than the CSM-LM. Over a couple days’ time, a sizable distance developed between the two.
No matter the thoroughness of the scientific explanation, however, the fact of the matter is that Apollo 11 did see what technically has to be called an unidentified flying object. “When somebody asks, ‘Did you see a UFO?’ Aldrin admits, “technically we should say we did. But given all the misstatements that would come forth from that, I’ll only tell the story if I’m given enough time. I’ll tell a complete story to somebody with the idea that, once they understand the whole story, they won’t make a big thing of it. I’ll try to manage the information in the right way. But immediately after Apollo 11 we all thought it was so, ‘No, no, no.’”