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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Could the Apollo astronauts distinguish Earth's continents and oceans from the moon?

This article "Earthshine Reflects Earth's Oceans And Continents From The Dark Side Of The Moon" indicates that the difference in reflection of light from the Earth’s land masses and oceans can be seen ...
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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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What do astronauts eat for pre-flight breakfast?

I’m currently reading W. David Wood’s rather excellent “How Apollo Flew To The Moon” which details the technological development and execution in reaching the moon with the Apollo program. Part of ...
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Did Apollo leave poop on the moon?

If you google the question, you will find an abundance of sources discussing the alleged fact that the Apollo missions left bags of fecal matter on the moon. A conversation on reddit got me looking ...
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What colors were used in the Apollo Lunar Module interior, and why?

There are lots of publications and blog posts on the exterior colors of the Apollo Lunar Module (a function of material choices), but I've struggled to find any information on the interior colors and ...
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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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Was Arthur J. Schwaniger one of very few US born NASA scientists using metric units?

Free-return trajectories were studied by Arthur Schwaniger of NASA in 1963 with reference to the Earth–Moon system. Those trajectories were used for the first Apollo missions. Mr. Schwaniger, who ...
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Why was the LRV's speed gauge displaying metric units?

In the question Why did NASA use U.S customary units? it was basically stated in the answers that even when metric units were used "internally" (e.g. the AGC), the units presented to the astronauts ...
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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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Saturn V Small Rectangles On S-II Stage

On the Saturn V there was a line of several small black rectangles running vertically on the upper part of the S-II stage. What were they for? edit here is a picture from the McMahan Photo Archive....
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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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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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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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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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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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Did Apollo 13 CM reach thermal equilibrium when it was powered down?

It was reported that the CM cabin temperature dropped to 43°F. Was that the equilibrium, or would it have gotten colder if it had remained in space longer. If that wasn't equilibrium was there an ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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Are Mercury/Apollo/Gemini capsules visible in any museum?

Is it possible to visit some of the famous American capsules in any museum?
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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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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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How does this large, flat antenna made from overlapping circles at Australia's Carnarvon Space Tracking Center work?

@Fred's comment links to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's How the Apollo 11 Moon landing was achieved with the vital help of Carnarvon Tracking Station which links to their Carnarvon space ...

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