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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189
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6answers
18k views

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 ...
72
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1answer
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Why did some Apollo missions carry a grenade launcher?

According to ALSEP Flight System Familiarization Manual, p. 2-166, some Apollo missions carried a grenade launcher and 4 grenades. What were these used for?
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What was Apollo 13's “Little Jolt” after MECO?

Disclaimer: This is a question about the 1995 film Apollo 13; I know Hollywood should always be taken with a moon-sized grain of salt, so the question should read as both "Is this true" and "What was ...
59
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1answer
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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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Apollo image lighting

How does the lighting in this photo work? It is strange.
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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 ...
54
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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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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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4answers
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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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Why is there a Saturn V in the background of this Gemini-Titan launch?

In this photo, a Gemini-Titan is lifting off in the foreground, while a Saturn V is visible in the background. The last Gemini flight was in late 1966, but the first flight of a Saturn V wasn't ...
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Did a flight controller ever answer Flight with a no-go?

OK, all flight controllers, I'm going around the horn Retro? Go FIDO? Go Guidance? Go Control? Go TELCOM? Go GNC? Go EECOM? Go Surgeon? Go Are there any recorded instances of a No-Go?
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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 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 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 ...
43
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1answer
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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 ...
43
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1answer
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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 transmission, taken moments before ...
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Was planting UN flag on Moon ever discussed?

In the planning of the US missions to the moon was planting the UN flag ever discussed? It just seems to me that would have been a great public relations move.
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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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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 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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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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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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2answers
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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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Could the Saturn V actually have launched astronauts around Venus?

One of the more interesting proposed uses of a Saturn V was to launch a manned flyby of Venus. Some of the cargo would have been stored inside the tank of the upper stage, which would be retained ...
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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 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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How did the Apollo 11's Eagle ascent stage find the CSM after leaving the Moon?

I've always been curious how did the Apollo 11's Eagle ascent stage of the Apollo Lunar Module navigate back to the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) that was in lunar orbit? Was it simply a case ...
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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 were contact sensors put on three of the Lunar Module's four legs? Did they ever bend and stick out sideways?

In the video Brian Eno on Apollo starting at 08:37 there is Apollo-era movie footage of a lunar module taken from the command module as it prepares for descent ...
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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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Did Apollo carry and use WD40?

It appears from this question that Apollo missions carried Duct Tape and used it for in-flight fixups. Did they carry the other half of the "Universal Repair Kit" - WD40 (or similar)? If so, was it ...
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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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1answer
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Was the Apollo 13 CO2 problem a matter of capacity, or of rate?

During Apollo 13, an explosion in the service module caused the command module to lose electrical power. This required using the environmental control system of the lunar module to remove carbon ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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Could Apollo astronauts see city lights from the moon?

You can see city lights from orbit on the night side of Earth. A lot of science fiction (yes, sorry...it's one of those questions) has dialogue such as "on a clear night you can see XYZ city on the ...
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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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Could the lunar module have moved to a different spot?

Suppose Neil Armstrong had landed with plenty of spare fuel, only to decide it really wasn't a good spot after all. Could he have lifted back off and landed again, perhaps a couple of hundred feet ...
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Apollo Command Module heatshield tube - what was it for?

I went to the Science Museum in London last year, where I saw (amongst many other wonderful things!) the Apollo 10 CM, Charlie Brown. Looking at the heat shield, I saw two circular indentations with a ...
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Reasons behind the “Transposition, docking and extraction” maneuver

The Transposition, Docking and Extraction (TD&E) maneuver was done during the Apollo Moon missions right after the translunar injection. The Command/Service Module (CSM) separated from the S-IVB, ...
27
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1answer
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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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1answer
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What does 'Switch SCE to AUX' mean?

During the launch of Apollo 12 a major malfunction was caused by 2 lightning strikes. See http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2013/02/apollo-12-struck-by-lightning.html for more info. The solution ...
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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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