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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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Why wasn't the Apollo 13 Service Module jettisoned until hours before reentry?

Looking at the Apollo 13 mission timeline within three hours after the explosion of O2 tank two all oxygen in the SPS was completely depleted. Fuel cells #1 and #3 were off line. CM had even started ...
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From which Apollo mission is this audio sample?

I found this page where Evgeny Molotov, former head of the Research institute of Space instruments, plays supposed intercepted communication of unknown Apollo mission. Can anyone identify from which ...
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What are these structures on the Lunar Ranging Retro Reflector (LRRR) arrays for?

In this question I used images of the retro-reflector arrays that were left on the moon by Apollo 11, 14, and 15. The Lunar Ranging Retro Reflectors (LRRRs) are there for Lunar Laser Ranging. The ...
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What would have been the absolute maximum LEO payload of a two-stage Saturn V?

I read about the Skylab 1 mission in which SA-513 was used to lob the Skylab OWS into orbit. One source (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12519.20) gave some payload masses: Total ...
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What was this Ziploc bag used for on an Apollo 14 moonwalk?

And how the heck would an astronaut have opened it with his gloves on? Is that bag likely to still be there in good condition, or would it have been broken down by radiation by now? Was it normal to ...
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Can landing modules use left over fuel from earlier stages?

I just read a comment by @RussellBorogove about the Apollo 11 abort options that the landing module had about 700 pounds of fuel left on touchdown. I assume that this is the intended behavior for any ...
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Would the Saturn V have been able to send more mass to TLI if it had a lower earth parking orbit?

After reading into the topic a little, I've come across a number of increases to the Saturn V's LEO and TLI performance over the course of the Apollo program. Early moon missions sent between 133t and ...
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Coordination of RCS on Apollo CSM/LM

The RCS thrusters on the Apollo Service Module were positioned approximately around the center of mass of the ship, such that translational maneuvers wouldn't unnecessarily rotate the ship. While the ...
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What was the Apollo service module propellant used for on the LEO missions?

The Apollo service module carried a lot of propellant for performing the following tasks on a Moon mission: Mid-course correction manoeuvres to and from the Moon. Braking the entire CSM/LM stack into ...
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Could the Orion or Apollo command module safely land on land in an emergency due to a navigation error?

So we all know that the Apollo missions used a water landing, as will Orion, while the Soyuz lands on land but can land on water if needed. What would have happened if an Apollo crew began reentry in ...
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What were the differences on the LM ascent stage engines on Apollo 9, 10, and 11?

According to Apollo By The Numbers, the LM ascent stage of Apollo 11 ("Eagle", LM-5) had maximum rated thrust of 3218 lbf (14.31 kN), and subsequent missions had very similar figures. The engine ...
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Are any rockets currently in use capable of putting a man on the Moon?

Apollo 11 used the Saturn V rocket, which is no longer produced. As far as I can tell, Atlas V rockets are not as powerful and would not be able to deliver the lunar lander to the surface of the Moon. ...
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Does the Apollo 10 “music” still occur on modern spacecraft?

In the news today, are reports of "outer-space-type music" that the Apollo 10 crew heard. From the mission transcript (page 197 of the PDF): ...
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Could the Apollo lunar ascent stage have separated from the descent stage before touchdown in an emergency?

In case the Apollo Lunar module had approached the landing site at way too high velocity, could the ascent stage have separated and returned to the command module before a crash? Thus performing a ...
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Why was Buzz Aldrin not Awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor? [closed]

According to the award's requirements, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor may be awarded to "any astronaut who, in the performance of his duties, has distinguished himself by exceptionally ...
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Orbiting Earth before heading to Moon

Each of the lunar Apollo missions (Apollo 8-17) entered Earth orbit immediately after launch. Each mission then left Earth after a few orbits by burning the S-IVB engine, and headed off to the Moon. (...
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Why did the Apollo Lunar Module have four landing legs?

Why did the Apollo Lunar Module have four landing legs? Is not just three legs enough? Also, three legs guaranties they always form a plane, four does not, as the fourth leg may dangle. To have the ...
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Oxygen toxicity vs Apollo mission preparation

In the article on Apollo command module design, I read: The cabin atmosphere at launch was changed to 60% oxygen and 40% nitrogen at sea-level pressure: 14.7 psi (10.1 N/cm2). During ascent the ...
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How did astronauts navigate the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) over the surface of the Moon?

The Lunar Roving Vechicle (LRV), also known as Moon Buggy, was used as a form of transportation on the surface of the Moon during the Apollo program. What system did the astronauts use for ...
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Abort plan for Apollo 8

What was the plan if the flight controller received a no-go prior to Apollo 8's traverse of the far side of the Moon? How would they have returned to Earth without the gravity assist from the Moon?
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What prompted Lovell on Apollo 8 to announce “there is a Santa Claus”?

On Apollo 8, following the first trans-Earth injection, when the crew came back into contact with Houston, Lovell said: "Please be informed there is a Santa Claus." (Transcript) Given that Apollo 8 ...
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Moon Exploration Before the Apollo Missions? [closed]

I'm watching the British movie The First Men in the Moon and it got me wondering if it was scientifically possible to have sent humans to land and explore the moon (or even just orbit) before the NASA ...
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Doing an experiment to fire a laser to moon and back

After reading this question: I got an itch to to test out the mirrors myself (and maybe record whole process to irritate conspiracy nuts). What equipment would I need? I assume a high powered laser ...
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How intrusive was the Apollo Master Alarm system?

During the Apollo 11 landing, a misconfiguration caused the guidance computer to activate the 1201 and 1202 program alarms, signifying that the computer was overloaded and dropping low-priority tasks. ...
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Was there a Moon landing mission that the astronauts had to land by hand? [closed]

I remembered that I once read an article about the design of the controller, but now I can't google it out. In short, it talked about the control panel of one Moon landing mission was full of ...
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Is there any merit to the Apollo 13 (movie) statement “a computer that can hold millions of pieces of information”?

Early in the Apollo 13 movie, Lovell (Tom Hanks) is showing off the Saturn V and states that a part of what has made the moon landings possible is a belief that anything is possible, "things like a ...
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What is the most valuable (potentially useful) man made object on the Moon?

It is relatively expensive to get things from the Earth to the Moon. We know there are three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRV) on the Moon and that there is some chance they could be made operational. ...
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Picture of equipment left on the Moon?

When people visited the Moon, they left sizeable items behind. I know that taking picture of this from Earth is incredibly hard, but: Did someone try? And what pictures do we have?
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Apollo communication between the Earth and Moon

How was it possible for astronauts to send back tv/radio signals to earth from the moon? I have just been teaching my son about waves behavior and understand that radio waves are reflected back to ...
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What are the “unpleasant effects” of having a cold in microgravity?

I went to Technik Museum Speyer's space exhibition, which presented an excellent overview of the Apollo missions in a series of posters. The poster describing the Apollo 7 mission (an Earth orbit test ...
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Disc mounted on lunar rover?

My father told me of a story that while he was young working at an electronics company, they all signed a disc that was shrunk down and mounted to one of the lunar rovers. Does anyone know anything ...
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How did the Apollo astronauts change film in their cameras?

Part of Apollo astronaut training was learning to be a pretty good photographer without a viewfinder. The Hasselblad 500EL Data Camera used magazines with 160 color/200 B&W exposures on 70mm film. ...
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Why did NASA send two astronauts to the moon instead of one?

I can think of a lot of good reasons for both arguments, and the Soviets made the opposite call for their lander, but what I'm interested in here is this: Given the mass penalty of another man (body ...
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Did the Surveyor missions measure secondary radiation?

Near and on the surface of the Moon, there is not only radiation emanating from the Sun (solar wind, CME, SPE), but also deep space (cosmic) radiation. The cosmic radiation also interacts with the ...
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Why did the CSM have to perform a 180 degree turn in the Apollo missions after stage separation? [duplicate]

I know it was to dock with the Lunar Module, but why could the parts not be connected from the start to avoid this additional maneuver?
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Were the Apollo 11 astronauts aware of any parts of the Luna 15 mission?

I just learned today about the Luna 15 mission which was a Soviet attempt to land an unmanned probe on the moon which coincided with the successful Apollo 11 mission. Were the Apollo 11 astronauts ...
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What does burnt Aerozine-50/N2O4 smell like?

The lunar astronauts universally described the smell of moon dust as similar to spent gunpowder. The exhaust gases from the LM's descent propulsion system (which combusts Aerozine-50 with N2O4) didn'...
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How did they sweep dust on the moon from inside the Apollo Lunar Lander?

I noticed from this answer the phrase: by sweeping all the dust we could find How did they sweep dust in the LM? And where did they sweep it to?
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Has in-space refueling been done?

Before the Apollo program committed to the lunar orbit rendezvous mode, one of the Earth orbit rendezvous proposals involved launching two Saturn Vs, one with the Apollo spacecraft and large lunar ...
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Why choose to crash the Apollo lunar lander ascent stage after it ascended?

What influenced the end-of-life planning for the Apollo lunar lander ascent stage after it ascended and the crew returned to the command module? I was looking at Wikipedia for Apollo Lunar Module. It ...
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Did the Apollo F-1 engines gain weight during flight?

I was browsing through Wikipedia when I came across this infographic on the Rocketdyne F-1. It gives the engine dry weight as 18,500 pounds, and the engine burnout weight as 20,180 pounds, meaning the ...
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What is the mist on Saturn V during launch? [duplicate]

There seems to be a consistent mist effect around the Saturn V when launched. It looks like rapidly evaporating water. What is the material? What is the purpose? Did it come from the rocket itself, or ...
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Could an Apollo crew have been killed by Solar radiation?

The Sun throws lots of high speed protons around. Especially during its sudden and short intensive "events". Much of that is blocked by Earth's magnetosphere and atmosphere. But astronauts work ...
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Could the Soviets have rounded the Moon before Apollo? Why didn't they?

Neither the USSR nor Russia has ever sent a cosmonaut beyond low Earth orbit. In the 1960's it would've been very challenging for them to land a cosmonaut on the Moon, and their attempts were aborted. ...
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Were the Apollo lunar activities observed from Earth?

I understand that all manned landings on the Moon were on the near side, so technically they could be visible from Earth. Was it possible to observe landings and/or extravehicular activities (EVAs) ...
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What were the characteristics of the Apollo Skylab CSM white paint?

The Apollo Skylab CSM had painted white surfaces as well as polished aluminum ones. Was this paint applyed over the aluminum, or was there any surfacing ( a primer? ) to ensure that the white paint ...
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Why wasn't there a communication delay when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon? [closed]

My understanding is that there was supposed to be a delay between the communication from the moon to Earth. Why were the communication instantaneous?
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Where were PFS-1 and PFS-2 stowed aboard Apollo 15 and 16, and how were they released?

This article mentions the deployment of a couple of "subsatellites" into lunar orbit from the Apollo 15 and 16 spacecraft. I had never previously heard of any such action being taken. Where were these ...
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How long did it take for the Apollo Command Module to orbit the moon?

As I know on Low Earth Orbit it takes around 90 minutes to orbit the Earth, but this changes with altitude. My question is at what altitude did the Apollo Command Module orbit the moon and how much ...
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Any “what if” plans for space programs?

I assume that all space programs, manned and unmanned, have many "what if" plans for situations that might happen. For example, on the ISS they had fire alarm and evacuated to the Russian side. Are ...