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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11
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What programs did David Scott add to the Apollo computer for Apollo 15?

David Scott was the commander for Apollo 15. He was also a main point of contact between MIT, who developed the Apollo flight computer, and the astronauts who were going to use that computer. ...
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Apollo guidance computer ROM addressing using the ROM bank register, what is the bank register size?

The Apollo guidance computer had 36 K words of core rope ROM. To address 36864 words, a 15 bit memory address for up to 32768 words is not enough, 16 bits are needed. This Wikipedia article describes ...
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RCS jet select algorithms (e.g. in space shuttle)?

I'm looking for a clear description of RCS jet selection logic. The space shuttle, for instance, had tens of RCS thrusters, only three of which would be called to fire at a time given a 3D attitude ...
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What is the current location of Link-built Apollo Mission Simulators?

There seems to be confusion about the final disposition of, and even the number of, Apollo Mission Simulators built by Link Flight Simulation Division. This question is not about any simulator built ...
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Dragon ballistic/drag coefficients?

I'm looking for some estimates of Dragon's ballistic or drag coefficients in its reentry (heat shield forward) configuration. Estimates for other spacecraft would be useful also as they would give me ...
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Why did the Vertical/Vehicle Assembly Building have four doors?

On this satellite image (credit: Google Maps) it is clear that only 3 out of four bays were ever used, since the 4th is not even connected to the crawlerway: (Yes, I made the screenshot deliberately ...
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Is this the golf ball that Alan Shepard hit on the Moon?

The BBC News article The Five Greatest Space Hacks of All Time shows a photo of Alan Shepard on the Moon swinging an improvised golf club. Is the spot in the upper right corner of the photo a golf ...
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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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Apollo Mission Insignia patches, were they stitched by hand or numeric control?

An Apollo Mission Insignia Patch made in the late sixties looked like this: Patches made today and sold by a NASA shop for $5.75 look a bit different: The new patches were made using a computer ...
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How often is duct tape used during crewed space missions?

It seems Apollo missions carried some variety of gray tape, likely Duct Tape or similar. There's the scene in the movie Apollo 13 and the reality behind it discussed in the video below. Question: How ...
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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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Could Apollo have used the launch escape system as a booster?

Getting to space requires ruthlessly eliminating weight from launch vehicles. Older spacecraft like Apollo carried big Launch Escape towers. For an Apollo mission flying on a Saturn V, the LES meant ...
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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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Did any Apollo astronaut remain disrobed to simplify his waste disposal?

This comment claims As I recall, at least one of the Apollo crews spent much of the transit time au naturel due to the hassles of waste management. Is this true to any extent? (As @OrganicMarble ...
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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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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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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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How far from Earth were the Apollo astronauts when they left the Earth's magnetosphere?

I am assuming the Apollo missions recorded radiation levels as they travelled to the Moon. Have those records ever been released, as a way of determining when the Apollo astronauts left the ...
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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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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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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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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 were the hammerhead cranes used for?

During Apollo, the three Launch Umbilical Towers had a hammerhead crane at the top: Until 1994, the Space Shuttle's Fixed Service Structures were topped by literally the same cranes. The linked ...
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Launch Accelerations: Values, history

This topic: What G-forces do different launchers cause? indicates that current satellite launchers are limiting peak acceleration to about 4g. I'm pretty sure the STS (Shuttle) did the same. My ...
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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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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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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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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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Why is there no image of the Earth taken from the lunar surface during Apollo 12,15 and 16?

I know there are photographs of the Earth from the lunar surface taken during Apollo 11, 14 and 17. Here are some for reference (there are many for Apollo 17). Apollo 11 (AS11-40-5923): Apollo 14 (...
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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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What were the first words of the 12 astronauts who stepped on the moon?

@PearsonArtPhoto has thoughtfully assembled a video of the words of each of the 12 Apollo astronauts when they stepped on the moon. In written text, what were they?
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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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Why did Armstrong pilot the LM, when Aldrin was tasked as Lunar Module Pilot?

Buzz Aldrin is credited (or was tasked) with being the Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot. However in fact it was Neil Armstrong who piloted the craft down when the LM guidance computer overflowed, with ...
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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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How many spacesuits were specifically manufactured for John Young?

John W. Young was a legendary astronaut: The first American in space after the original Mercury Seven, as Gus Grissom's co-pilot in Gemini 3. He got in trouble during this flight for smuggling ...
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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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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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