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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Falcon 9 vs Apollo Landing: Key Differences?

So I'm struggling to model a Falcon 9 vertical landing. And because Falcon 9 info is scarce, I'm looking for more public info sources---like the apollo missions. The Apollos did basically vertical ...
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Is the telemetry from the Apollo Lunar rovers available?

Are there publicly-available datasets of the telemetry from the Apollo lunar rovers? Was rover telemetry even recorded during those missions? If such datasets exist, I would love to retrieve the (...
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What exactly makes the “bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang!” sound just before “Houston, we have hard dock.” in the Apollo 13 movie?

About seven seconds after "Capture!" and just before "Houston, we have hard dock" in the feature film Apollo 13 there are about seven loud bangs at about 3 Hz repetition. At this ...
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What was the space helmet “vomit port”?

Based upon centrifuge test results, MSC directed Hamilton Standard to modify the space suit helmet. The vomitus port and other obstructions to the line of sight in the downward direction were deleted....
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Lunar sample return cost per kg - Apollo vs Luna vs Chang'e

Lunar samples (rocks, soil etc.) were returned by US Apollo program, Russian Luna and Chinese Chang'e. How does the cost per kg of the samples compare among these missions? Who got it the cheapest per ...
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What does the Moon's gravity feel like? If you don't move, could you still tell you're on the Moon?

I am interested in descriptions and discussion from the Apollo astronauts. Almost all animals and many plants are sensitive to the earth's gravitational field. This is important for large mammals and ...
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Saturn V's external blueprints

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but I don't know where to ask. I want to get a high quality orthographic blueprints of NASA's Saturn V rocket with dimensions and everything (I need it ...
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Was the Apollo Programme the best option for long term space exploration?

Let us take the following as axiomatic: The long-term future of humanity is dependent upon the successful colonisation of space, The Apollo Programme was the greatest technological achievement in ...
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Separation of the stages of Saturn V by pyrotechnics, what about electrical and mechanical connections?

We know that the stages of Saturn V were mounted to each other with explosive bolts. Separation was done by ignition of these pyrotechniques. But we also know the control computer of the Saturn V was ...
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Which instrument did astronauts use to measure their position?

I once read up about astronauts measuring their position on the moon, or perhaps it was on the way to the moon and I would like to know more. What I remember reading was they used an instrument that ...
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What is this unlikely-looking contraption (“plutonium battery and scientific equipment”) they're making Jim Lovell cary around a parking lot?

The BBC's Did nuclear spy devices in the Himalayas trigger India floods contains the following image and caption. Questions: What scientific equipment and which plutonium battery is this? Since this ...
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How much open source is the Apollo program today?

What percentage of NASA's Apollo program is considered to be open source as of today? I mean if I wanted to replicate a lunar mission from scratch exactly the same way they did it, regardless of the ...
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Lowest possible lunar orbit and has any spacecraft achieved it?

Because the Moon has no atmosphere a spacecraft can theoretically cruise at a very low orbit. What is the lowest possible lunar orbit and which spacecraft achieved it? Was it the Lunar Module of ...
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How was an emergency landing site at Diego Garcia used during the Apollo program?

On the current Starlink mission as the 2nd stage passed over the Indian Ocean I heard mention of contact with a ground station at Diego Garcia. Checking that article I found the subsection Space ...
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Did the Apollo Command module really “skip” within, or off of the atmosphere as a part of it's reentry program?

This answer to a question about the Shuttle reentry begins: Skipping reentries aren't unheard of. The Apollo command module performed a single skip when returning from lunar missions. but Wikipedia'...
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Why didn't NASA simulate the conditions leading to the 1202 alarm during Apollo 11?

If I understand it, the alarm during the first Lunar descent was due to the computer being overloaded by too much RADAR data. That sounds like something that they would have thought to simulate, but ...
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Apollo prelaunch timeline?

I'm looking for a resource that will tell me all the important pre-launch events of an Apollo mission from when the rocket rolls out of the VAB to liftoff. Specifically, I'm interested in the Apollo 8 ...
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Seeing stars from cislunar space?

Did any of the Apollo astronauts describe seeing the stars as they travelled between the Earth and the Moon? If so, what was the magnitude of the dimmest stars they could see? Were they able to see ...
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What was the furthest distance from Earth that Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins reached in Apollo 11?

An estimate is fine. But if possible, I am looking for a reference that I can cite.
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Time of the final Apollo 11 television broadcast and splashdown

According to Wikipedia, the Apollo 11 splashdown occurred at July 24, 1969, 16:50:35 UTC. Does anyone have a referenced source confirming the July 24, 16:50:35 UTC splashdown time? Does anyone have a ...
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Is there anything left of the J-2 test stands at Santa Susana Field Laboratory and the F-1 test stands at Edwards AFB?

The Mississippi Test Facility (now Stennis Space Center) is used for a lot of rocket testing, including testing the F-1. However, many of the test stands are now gone. Rocketdyne, however, also had ...
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Lot 345 of Christie's “Voyage To Another World” auction supposedly has the only photo of Armstrong on the Moon, but isn't this one also?

Christie's press release Christie's Voyage to Another World: The Victor Martrin-Malburet Photograph Collection includes the following: Lot 345, The only photograph of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, July ...
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During an Apollo mission, were separations after dropping the S-II considered as staging events?

I would like to clarify what is a staging event. Maybe there is no definite definition. First I though it was easy as the Nasa definition is clear. Then I though of the stage-and-a-half Atlas SLV-3, ...
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Failure to jettison the Apollo launch escape system

In Apollo, was there a contingency plan if the LES (Launch Escape System) failed to jettison? The BPC (Boost Protective Cover) would have prevented the parachutes deploying so the stack would have had ...
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Improvements in Saturn V, LM and CSM after Apollo 10

Apollo 10 is considered to be full dress rehearsal for Apollo 11. Did the trial flight of Apollo 10 identify any improvements that were needed in the Saturn V, CSM and LM, to be done before Apollo 11 ...
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What was the normal function of the (coax?) crosshairs used during the Apollo 13 famous manual burn?

What crosshairs were used to maintain an attitude during the famous manual trajectory correction burn during Apollo 13's return to Earth? What was their normal function? This is all I can hear in the ...
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Why did the CM & LM have to be separated at Apollo launch? [duplicate]

I've just read a bit about Apollo 13, and 1 question that kept popping up in my mind when they talked about the docking between the Command module & the Lunar one is that why did they have to be ...
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What is the official etymology of the term “service” module?

Are there any reputable sources about how the word "service" was chosen for the Apollo service module? (This is a question about how the term was chosen, not about what the term means. ...
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How can we express velocity of the Apollo mission relative to a moon-centered reference frame instead of an inertial reference frame?

I am really interested in the Apollo mission and I was wondering how fast did the astronaut pass by relative to the moon. I wanted to compare it with the speed of the car. I have been able to ...
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How (the heck) was coherent synthetic aperture radar (SAR) implemented using photographic emulsion aboard Apollo 17?

This answer to Is there really microfilm on the Moon? includes a block quote which includes the following subquote: The equipment was installed in the service module and consisted of a coherent ...
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What are the “18 rescue missions” on Apollo 11, and which 10 of them did Michael Collins not feel comfortable with?

Regarding this tweet from the man himself. I take it to mean abort modes in some form or other for the entire mission? Perhaps just after LM descent? What are the 18 failure modes, and (if there's any ...
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Is there really microfilm on the Moon?

A comment below this answer to Disc mounted on lunar rover? suggests that ...a number of documented microfilms that were on the Apollo missions. meaning I presume that bits of microfilm were ...
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How did the Apollo Lunar Rover navigation system computer work?

Unlike the more famous Apollo Guidance Computer I can't find any information about the computer used in the manned lunar rover. It seemed to track three values and display them on analog gauges: the ...
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Did the RTCC ever “fail over” to the standby computer during a mission?

The Real Time Computer Complex (RTCC) was the central computing facility for the Gemini and Apollo programs, and contained, during the Apollo program, several IBM System 360 mainframes. These systems ...
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Mass of the Apollo Lunar Module cabin pressure vessel?

What was the mass of the Lunar Module cabin pressure vessel - that is, the metal structure that contained the astronauts, including windows and hatches, not including internal fittings and equipment, ...
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Did Apollo have braking rockets for soft landing on Earth?

Did Apollo have braking rockets for soft landing on Earth? I have checked Google but cannot find an answer.
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Why did the Apollo capsule have seats if the astronauts never were sitting in it?

The Apollo capsule had three lying seats on its bottom, but the astronauts actually never sat in the capsule: during launch, reentry and in the ocean the astronauts were lying down, while in space ...
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What magnitude stars were seen from lunar surface?

I've seen a claim* that some of the Apollo astronauts stepped into the shadow of the LM, raised their gold visors, and looked up into the sky to see the stars. If this is true any mention of what ...
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Have any Apollo (or earlier) astronauts reported seeing Earth's aurora or related luminescent atmospheric effects?

Earth's aurora and related luminescent atmospheric effects are generally quite dim, and mostly but not always located in the general area of Earth's magnetic poles. That means to be seen easily by eye ...
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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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