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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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Can I borrow a lunar rover?

According to Wikipedia there are 3 LRVs sitting on the moon, in very well defined locations. Would China, or whomever gets to the moon with a person next, be able to get in and drive around in an LRV ...
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How did the Apollo computers evaluate transcendental functions like sine, arctangent, log?

Navigation with a sextant or maneuvers using gimbal angles might be two examples of cases where an Apollo computer might need to do trigonometry. Trigonometric functions like sine, arctangent, etc. ...
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If the astronauts on Apollo 11 had landed safely on the moon but could not take off, would there have been a rescue mission?

Say they landed on the moon but discovered the ship was damaged during the landing and they could not launch again. What would have been the plan? Would another crew have been sent to rescue them? ...
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How did NASA achieve their live TV broadcast in 1969?

In 1969, NASA not only went to the moon, but broadcast the whole thing live on TV. How did they achieve the TV broadcast? What technology did they need to use to send a video and audio signal from ...
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How did Apollo 16 capture this full photograph of the Moon's far side?

Apollo 16 famously photographed the far side of the Moon, as seen below. This seems odd to me. Apollo 16 orbited the Moon at an orbit of only 100 km. It seems too close to get this kind of a ...
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Could “peak Apollo levels” of support have gotten NASA astronauts to Mars in the 1980's?

In an "alternate universe" where NASA continued to receive a mandate, funding and public support at say peak Apollo levels, could another ten or twenty years have gotten boots on Mars, with astronauts ...
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Which Apollo “mystery” was said to be finally solved by a better rendering engine?

I remember reading several years ago about a mystery or puzzle about a photograph from an Apollo moon landing mission that had to do with why someone's suit was as bright as it was in the photo. There ...
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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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How did NASA prevent third parties from spoofing Apollo communications?

The Apollo crews transmitted footage to Earth using SSTV, a ham radio technique that amateurs and pirates can use to send similar messages around the world. Did NASA have any technical ...
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Why not build Saturn V's again?

Why is the US developing a new rocket and spacecraft as opposed to building the Saturn V and Apollo stacks again? The SLS / Orion development programs certainly can't cost less than the unit cost of ...
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Why did Apollo 11 need someone to stay behind in lunar orbit?

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the moon in the Lunar Module, Michael Collins stayed up in lunar orbit in the Command Module. Why did they need someone to stay behind? At this point,...
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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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How did the Apollo Lunar Module ascent engine prevent gas bubbling through fuel?

As I understand it, in order to keep the lunar module ascent engine simple, instead of fuel and oxidant pumps, tanks of helium at pressure were used. This pressure was used to force the fuel and ...
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Who installed the camera on the Moon to film the “First step”?

On Wikipedia page on Moon landing, Neil Armstrong is shown stepping down on the surface of the Moon using the spaceship's ladder:        Still frame from a video ...
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Apollo simulator practical jokes

The Apollo training program as described in this question used a computer driven system of servos and motors to move cameras over and around models. This type of simulator was common in aviation ...
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How do we know the Apollo Moon landings are real?

Since about 1976, conspiracy theories denying the Moon landing and claiming it was all faked have cropped up. As a website devoted to answering questions about space exploration, we receive questions ...
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How did NASA choose who descended in the LEM during the Apollo missions?

Referring to the Apollo missions, As many know, during Apollo 11, Michael Collins didn't descend with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin towards the moon. I can only begin to imagine the sadness of not ...
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Did the Saturn V rocket have any purely aesthetic features that didn't serve an actual function?

The rocket itself is magnificent, yes, but with so many ins and outs to it, curious if the entire design was solely purpose built, or if there were features specifically for aesthetic purposes.
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Why does the ascent stage of Apollo 11's lunar module look like it's made of paper?

Here's an image (AS11-40-5922) from Apollo 11 that NASA describes as: View of the ascent stage from the northeast. Note the wrinkled surface of the RCS plume deflector and the warping of the rear ...
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Why does this rocket have a nose cone “cozy”?

A tea cozy keeps the tea in a teapot warmer longer by insulating it. Why does the nose of the rocket shown in Apollo-era file footage used in this video (lower your volume before watching) have a ...
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If the Apollo mandate were delivered today, would the mission vehicle(s) and profile be similar?

Among a variety of alternatives considered at the time, the Apollo configuration of 3-person CSM and 2-person LM, launched atop a single vehicle was considered the optimal choice for its day. With ...
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How did Apollo missions solve the cosmic radiation problem?

One of the major hurdles of space exploration is cosmic radiation. How did the Apollo missions solve the radiation problem? NASA would have shielded the astronauts to some level by some material. How ...
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Why didn’t the Spacecraft used for the Apollo 11 mission melt in the Earth’s Atmosphere?

My brother has recently been converted to a Flat Earther and is convinced that something that proves his theory is the moon landings being faked by NASA. I have managed to counter argue the majority ...
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Why did Apollo mission numbering skip 2,3,4,5 and 6?

Apollo 1 was a ground test that ended in a fire. The next Apollo mission I have any reference to is Apollo 7. What happened to Apollo 2,3,4,5 and 6?
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Why didn't the Apollo 11 lander blow the dust away? (or why does it look like it didn't)

In this picture, we can see the footprints near the Apollo 11 lander. Shouldn't the dust have been blown away when Apollo 11 landed?
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How did the Lunar Module dock with the rest of Apollo 11 and what is the “CSM”?

I'd like to ask if anyone can, in layman's terms, describe the procedure by which the Apollo 11 astronauts were able to get back to their ship? I ask because the most accessible literature on this ...
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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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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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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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Why were there beeps punctuating the voice communications during missions such as Apollo?

Voice communication between ground and spacecraft during missions such as Apollo seemed to be always punctuated by beeps. What was the origin of these beeps? Were they some sort of unavoidable ...
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What spacecraft control is Margaret Hamilton pressing in this picture?

Margaret Hamilton was the Apollo Director of Software Engineering. In this picture, she is shown inside a mock-up of the Apollo command module. Hamilton is noted for many accomplishments during the ...
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How was the Apollo lunar liftoff video transmitted to Earth?

There is video of the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 lunar modules lifting off from the Moon. I recall watching it live for Apollo 17 at least. I know the images were captured by a camera mounted on the lunar ...
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Did Neil Armstrong really say “Good Luck Mr. Gorsky” on the Moon?

I have heard, that upon standing on the moon, Neil Armstrong at some point said "Good luck Mr. Gorsky". The story being that while a child, playing baseball, through an open window he heard Mrs. ...
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Where did the famous “end of decade” deadline come from?

In his address to Congress on 25th of May 1961, John F Kennedy committed for the first time to land a man on the Moon and bring him safely back before the end of the decade. But the feasibility ...
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How complex was the math and physics necessary to place Apollo 11 on the moon?

Specifically, I'm interested in how closely the models used to calculate the various burns and course corrections represented reality. Was standard Newtonian mechanics sufficient or were relativistic ...
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Will the foot print of Neil Armstrong erode?

The Moon has a very thin (practically non-existent) atmosphere so the foot print left by Neil Armstrong won't be eroded for centuries. But there are solar winds. Is it possible that solar wind would ...
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Saturn V Exhaust Plume

When the Saturn V launch vehicles reached high altitudes and speeds, the exhaust plume looks drastically different compared to how it did at launch (it is much larger, and has a cone about halfway ...
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First call to the moon 1969

During the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, there was a phone call where the POTUS at that time, Richard Nixon, was able to speak to astronauts Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin. How was this possible?
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How exactly did the floor of an Apollo LM look like after EVA(s)? Seeking photo!

Almost five years ago I posted a question entitled "How was dust-mitigation addressed during the Apollo program?". While the question was answered rather comprehensively, it left me even more curious. ...
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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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How was dust-mitigation addressed during the Apollo program?

Dust mitigation in the context of manned landings is now a rather vital topic of research and testing, but back in the days of Apollo it was a fairly new problem. 'Dusty' Gene Cernan inside the LM ...
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How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation?

There's plenty of people who said it would have been impossible for the astronauts in the Apollo 11 to film or take pictures in the moon due to the high radiation there's in the moon because of the ...
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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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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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Was the Apollo 13 CM guidance computer fully shut down?

I was watching the movie Apollo 13, and one thing struck me as quite odd. According to Wikipedia, [Movie director Ron] Howard went to great lengths to create a technically accurate movie, employing ...
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Is true that Armstrong was not designated as first to walk on the moon?

A documentary on Apollo program (I can't remember the name at the moment) states that Aldrin and not Armstrong was the first astronaut designated to walk on the moon. But after LEM landed, mission ...
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Fortran and the Apollo 11 mission

I was just wondering, as a Fortran user. As far as I know, the simulations taken in order to carry the Apollo 11 mission was written in Fortran 2. I would like to confirm this from a reliable source. ...
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Why was orbital rendezvous considered so controversial?

It's popularly understood that the Apollo program only selected lunar-orbital rendezvous as a mission profile after first thoroughly rejecting the direct ascent profile. It seems as though the ...
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Where were the various Apollo Lunar Modules (LMs) discarded?

The LEM was comprised of an ascent, and a descent stage. Whilst the descent stage was in most cases left behind on Luna, the ascent stage ferried the astronauts upstairs to the CSM. Where are these ...
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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. ...