Questions tagged [apollo-program]

NASA's Apollo program was a 17-mission program that focused on landing a human on the lunar surface. The program was the third human spaceflight by NASA, after Mercury and Gemini.

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Technical historical books covering the Apollo-Saturn program

In the preface of "Stages to Saturn", the author Robert E. Bilstein writes: This book is a technological history. [...] Two other histories, already published, deal with subjects keyed to ...
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Why would such a powerful computer (or a computer at all) be needed to go to the Moon?

I keep hearing people say things like: Duuuude! It's so insane that we're carrying around phones in our pockets that are a thousand times faster than the computers that took us to the moon! Why do ...
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On which celestial bodies could you use the Apollo moon suits too?

If you wore the Apollo lunar suit on celestial bodies other than the Moon, on which bodies would you survive (until oxygen run out)? You obviously couldn't wear them on any (recognized) planet because ...
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Was “Apollo” an acronym for “America’s Program for Orbiting Lunar and Landing Operations”?

I came across this paper which, on page 9, says the following: The guidance or “shooting” algorithm is based on the Linear Peturbation Theory (Battin) developed for the America’s Program for Orbiting ...
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What was Apollo “Moon rope” made out of? Was it ever used?

This excellent answer to Did Conrad and Bean balk at entering the 650-foot-wide Surveyor Crater, or just express concern? What data had they seen? contains several references to a 30 foot length of &...
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Did Conrad and Bean balk at entering the 650-foot-wide Surveyor Crater, or just express concern? What data had they seen?

The New York Times' The Moon Is a Hazardous Place to Live says: Throw in the intense contrast between light and dark — unlike anything we see here on Earth — and those changes in the terrain can play ...
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Are there any possible proxies for dust accumulation on the retroreflectors on the moon?

New York Times' How Do You Solve a Moon Mystery? Fire a Laser at It links to the new open access paper First two-way laser ranging to a lunar orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to ...
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What does “all systems are internal” mean?

When watching (once again) a large History Channel documentary series about Gemini and Apollo, in some launch scenes with the original audio, the person doing the countdown usually says "all ...
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Parachutes of Apollo and Crew Dragon capsules, what is different and what is the same?

The number of main chutes is different, Apollo three, Crew Dragon four. Both capsules used drogue and main chutes. Apollo had two drogue chutes with single stage reefing. Apollo used a two stage ...
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Was Apollo 7 flooded with approx. 400 pounds of water after splashdown?

I found this in the APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT COMMAND MODULE UPRIGHTING SYSTEM on page 23: I tried to find other reports of that Apollo 7 leak, but I could find none. Does anybody know another source? ...
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What was the nature of the communication problems during Apollo 11's Eagle's descent? How were other antennas selected?

In the video of Los Angeles station KTLA's Frank Buckley interviewing astronaut & Apollo 11 CAPCOM Charlie Duke a communication problem and antenna selection is described: BUCKLEY: Many of us who ...
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Were these Apollo 14 and 15 recovery images taken (by a Navy frogman) using an underwater camera?

These images were taken after the flotation collar was mounted and inflated by the frogmen. Also the raft was inflated. The divers jumped off a helicopter before, no rescue ship was present. Camera ...
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How many people have witnessed Earthrise?

How many astronauts orbited or went around the moon and saw Earthrise? Am I correct in the conclusion that nine missions orbited the moon or used a free-return trajectory around the moon, Apollos 8, ...
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Procedure to deal with the death of Apollo astronaut during a lunar mission

During Apollo lunar missions, had the command module pilot have died while the other two astronauts were on the Moon, or had only one of the two lunar walkers died, did NASA have a procedure for such ...
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If a car or train freely drove on flat terrain on the Moon, would it eventually be stopped by something?

If you start an Apollo LRV on the Moon and let it go on flat terrain (with motor off), would it be stopped by ground friction eventually, or doesn't that stop a car? Same question for a train on rails ...
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Vibration and noise during launch of the Saturn V and Spaceshuttle in comparison?

I just saw a TV docu about the Apollo mission. Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders said the vibrations and noise during launch were much heavier than expected. I later heard a speech by the Shuttle ...
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Why did the Apollo lunar suits have two visors?

Why did the A7L and A7LB moonsuits have two visors? The astronaut initially had both visors down on his helmet and later during the lunar EVA put the outermost visor up (a yellowish one) and could ...
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In designing the Apollo capsule, was consideration given to lashing it down?

At https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap11fj/cm-107_graffiti.html, there is a picture of CM-107, alias the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, aboard the recovery ship Hornet. So, after splash-down, the ...
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Who carried the slide rule to the moon?

The Apollo stowage lists show that each mission had exactly one slide rule "on crew" (i.e. in somebody's spacesuit) at launch. Who carried the slide rule? Was it always the same role (CDR, ...
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Was the Apollo lunar rover ever “airborne”?

The last three Apollo missions included a lunar roving vehicle. The picture below shows one driven with the front two wheels off the ground (a "wheelie"). A car that is "airborne" ...
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Other than Surveyor 3, were any landers within rover distance of Apollo?

Apollo 12 landed within walking distance of the unmanned Surveyor 3 lander, which had arrived on the moon 2 years earlier. The astronauts photographed and returned parts of Surveyor 3. The last three ...
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Why is Apollo CSM and LM separated by pyrotechnics?

The docking tunnel of the Apollo CSM is cut by pyrotechnics when the LM is jettisoned. (See Fig. 2.13-11 in Apollo Operation Handbook, Fig. 19 in Apollo Spacecraft Pyrotechnics) After this, docking ...
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What is the cheapest possible way to land a crew of 2 on the moon?

During the Apollo moon missions, a single very large rocket sent both the Apollo CSM and the LM to the moon in a single shot and it took only around 3 days to get there. However, after the Apollo ...
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What would have happened if the third stage of Saturn V had exploded during TLI? Could the CM have safely returned to earth?

What would have happened if the third stage of Saturn V had exploded during TLI? Could the CM of Apollo 11 have safely returned to earth?
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Who zoomed the video camera in and out when David Scott dropped the feather and hammer on the Moon?

This answer to Have optical zoom systems been used in space exploration? explains that there were video cameras on the Moon that could zoom. In the video below someone (or something) is zooming the ...
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What is the backstory of this silly picture of the Apollo 1 crew?

The photograph below shows the first Apollo crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee wearing silly hats and acting less seriously than typical NASA publicity photos. All three were later ...
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Why did Charlie Duke catch the brass ring?

Okay, the ring was actually made of gold. Nor did it give Charlie Duke dominion over Middle Earth. According to the Apollo 16 Flight Journal: 219 25 49 Duke (onboard): Guess what I caught ...
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Did Streptococcus mitis survive 950 days in the lunar environment?

The "Apollo 50th" account on Twitter tweets news and events day-to-day as they happened 50 years ago. Yesterday, the following information has been tweeted: The microorganism Streptococcus mitis ...
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Why did Apollo 11 land at the sea of tranquility?

As we all know in 1969 Apollo 11 landing made history but, why did it land specifically at the sea of tranquility also known as Mare Tranquilitatis. Probably they would have chosen this because of ...
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How much silver was left on the Moon by Apollo Lunar Modules?

Both the descent and ascent stages of the Apollo Lunar Module were powered by silver-zinc batteries. Source: Apollo Lunar Module Electrical Power System Overview The total weight of these batteries ...
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Heart attacks & suicides in NASA Mission Control of the 60s?

On page 280 of Mike Gray's book Angle of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon (1992), Gene Kranz, legendary NASA flight director in Gemini & Apollo missions, is quoted as saying: It ...
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How many rising pipes for LOX at the the Saturn V launch tower?

The Saturn V used liquid oxygen for all three stages plus the Apollo Service Module. Were all these LOX tanks filled using the same rising pipe or did they use a seperate pipe for each tank? Using ...
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Where did the floatation collar and sea anchor attach to the command module?

When the recovery helicopters arrived after an Apollo splashdown, one of the first tasks was for Navy divers to attach a flotation collar and sea anchor to the spacecraft. The flotation collar kept ...
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Were the consoles in mission control computers or terminals for displaying information?

Were the consoles simple display terminals or were they computers? If terminals were they tied into a computer for control purposes? If a change in trajectory was necessary was it performed from the ...
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Did they mount the Apollo Mobile Service Structure (MSS) to the launch pad using nuts and bolts to be prepared for a storm?

The Mobile Service Structure (MSS) was used for every launch preparation of the Saturn V. It was removed some hours before launch. The MSS is the white tower on the left side. The MSS was moved and ...
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How did they access the LM to mount the flag package while the Apollo stack was already on the launch pad?

NASA decided rather late to take a flag to the Moon on the Apollo 11 mission. In fact, they were so late that the package containing the flag was only attached to the leg of the LM on July 9th, two ...
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How did lunar quarantine methods compare to COVID-19 quarantine recommendations?

The first three flights that landed on the moon (Apollo 11, 12, and 14) required preparations to prevent possible lunar microbes from infecting the Earth. Equipment was disinfected and the astronauts ...
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Was there any effort made to have Apollo 11 land on July 4? [duplicate]

President Kennedy set a goal of landing a manned mission on the moon by the end of the 1960s, as stated in his well-known speech to Congress on 25 May 1961 ("I believe that this nation should commit ...
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Why/When was a crew of three considered in the first place?

I cannot find why and when during apollo program development, the choice for a crew of three astronauts was made. CSM was built for three, LM for two astronauts. Where does this choice come from in ...
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Why did the Apollo lunar missions not let all astronauts at least set foot on the Moon's surface? [duplicate]

All Apollo lunar missions had a third crew member who remained on board the command module. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing#Crewed_landings Imagine being the guy who has to risk ...
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What was the point of the laser reflectors which were placed on the Moon with the Apollo landings? [closed]

Until today, I had never once heard anyone ever mention these "reflectors" which apparently were placed on the Moon at the landing site in order to verify from Earth that humans were there. On https:/...
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What other options to egress the Apollo Lunar Module were considered, given the height of the LM hatch above the ground?

The egress hatch of the LM is almost 3.5 meters above the Lunar surface. The astronauts descended using a ladder, which is actually quite high above the ground (see also this question). Were any other ...
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How fast were Apollo atmosphere composition reverted back to sea-level atmosphere?

Apollo spacecraft used a pure oxygen atmosphere while in space and an atmosphere with 60% oxygen at launch time. This chapter describes how the atmosphere composition varied from 60% to 100% oxygen in ...
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How much of the Apollo gantry, tower, and pad were destroyed on each launch? How much could be reused?

I have often seen various videos showing the huge fireball beneath a Saturn rocket launching. But I have not seen video or photos of the aftermath. Was the gantry, ...
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How many times were things crashed into the Moon “for science” (seismic events)?

This answer to Did Apollo 13 produce any scientific results? begins: In addition to crashing the Saturn V's S-IVB into the moon to collect seismic data from sensors installed by the crews of Apollo ...
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Why were the openings of the LiOH canisters in Apollo different shapes in the first place?

Many of you probably know the famous "square peg in a round hole" situation on Apollo 13. All three astronauts were in the LM and there was a build up of CO2 from the astronauts exhaling. They had to ...
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Were any Apollo-13-specific procedures added to standard training?

The Apollo 13 accident required a number of unusual procedures to be followed, some of which had to be improvised or learned on the spot. For example: Jim Lovell found that it was difficult to ...
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First radio contact between an Australian and a spacecraft? First voice communications?

Launched east from Cape Canaveral at about 30 degrees north latitude, the first few orbits have an opportunity to pass over Australia because it's big and roughly antipodal, especially as the Earth ...
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Who developed the mathematics used to correct the trajectory of Apollo 13?

The 1967 NASA technical note D-4246, Midcourse Guidance Procedure with Single Position Fix Obtained From Onboard Optical Measurements describes correcting the trajectory of a spacecraft traveling ...
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Were probes of “lunar microbes” taken from the spacecraft?

While I read that the Apollo spacecraft had to be decontaminated from potential lunar microbes, I wonder whether also probes were taken to investigate later on whether there had been any?

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