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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
26
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
26
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
26
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
25
votes
2answers
6k views

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 ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

What was an “insurance cover”?

The drawing below reads "This insurance cover is from my personal space collection. Charles M. Duke Jr." What was an insurance cover?
25
votes
1answer
4k views

How much piloting did the Apollo astronauts actually do?

I understand Armstrong landed the Eagle manually, and Apollo 13 did a manual burn. Other than emergencies like that, did the Apollo astronauts do much piloting of the spacecraft.
25
votes
2answers
4k views

How many people have witnessed Earthrise?

How many astronauts orbited or went around the moon and saw Earthrise? Am I correct in the conclusion that nine missions orbited the moon or used a free-return trajectory around the moon, Apollos 8, ...
25
votes
2answers
9k views

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 ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

Was it really necessary for the Lunar Module to have 2 stages?

We all know the 2 stages LM design used by Grumman was intended to discard the mass of the landing gear (+ other components) at the moment of launching off the Moon surface to reach back the Service ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

How exactly did the floor of an Apollo LM look like after EVA(s)? Seeking photo!

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 ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

How did astronauts frame photos without a viewfinder?

On specially built Hasselblad cameras, how did astronauts operate the camera controls with bulky gloves on, and how did they frame photos without a viewfinder?
23
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is the Apollo LEM ladder so far from the ground?

In an answer to this question, the following photo was posted: (source: NASA Apollo 11 Image Library) This made me recall that the first thing Armstrong did after climbing down the ladder to the ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

If I wanted to reconstruct an entire Apollo mission's crewed spacecraft trajectories, what are the key sources of historical data I'd look for?

The last few images in Robert A. Braeunig's Apollo 11's Translunar Trajectory; and how they avoided the heart of the radiation belts are fascinating and a bit perplexing as discussed in this answer ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

Were the Apollo CO₂ scrubber canister designs unified after Apollo 13?

After the problem realized when trying to put up three astronauts for an extended stay in the Apollo 13 LEM, namely that the square CM CO₂ scrubbers didn't fit in the LEM's slots, were they redesigned?...
22
votes
4answers
30k views

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 ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

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?
22
votes
1answer
3k views

How did the Apollo astronauts train for the 1/6G lunar landing?

It goes without saying that training/conditioning one's reflexes for a situation is highly relevant to some professions. Pilots train in a computer simulator. During the Apollo missions computers ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

What exactly turned on the light indicating Apollo 8 was starting to fall towards the Moon?

@PearsonArtPhoto's answer links to the page Apollo 8, 21 – 28 December 1968 by Hamish Lindsay at honeysucklecreek.net from where I have quoted below. Question: What exactly turned on the light ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

How did the Apollo guidance computer handle parity bit errors?

The following answers mention the use of parity bits in the Apollo guidance computer: this answer to Bits per core for the different versions of the Apollo guidance computer core rope memory? this ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
22
votes
1answer
6k views

Was “I have the farts, again” broadcast from the Moon to the whole world?

The BBC News article Apollo in 50 numbers: Medicine and health says: When Apollo 16 commander John Young walked on the Moon, he shared his feelings on the new diet with his companion Charlie Duke. ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

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. ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did Apollo spacecraft use both AC and DC equipment? Still used in present and future designs?

Why did the Apollo spacecraft use both DC and AC power, requiring heavy inverters? Was it impractical to design everything to run on DC power only? Why? Are both AC and DC power still used in present ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

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) ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

Was water ever taken outside a spacecraft?

Has an astronaut (or cosmonaut) taken water out of a spacecraft to see if it boils or freezes?
21
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Why didn't the Apollo program do an uncrewed landing/ascent rehearsal?

They had a crew round the Moon before going for landing, but they didn't test any of the new landing and ascent operations uncrewed on the lunar surface. Why? Couldn't it be done by remote control? ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

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. ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
21
votes
5answers
19k views

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 ...
21
votes
3answers
23k views

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 ...
21
votes
2answers
28k views

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 ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

What happened to the Apollo 1 rocket?

On January 27, 1967, a tragic fire killed the crew of Apollo 1 and destroyed the Command Module. I've read detailed reports about the engineering team that disassembled the Command Module. I haven't ...
21
votes
1answer
7k views

How did they solve Saturn V pogo oscillation problems?

From what I understand, pogo oscillation was already a known problem for Saturn V rocket's first stage (and likely other stages, not sure) long before, say, Apollo 11, especially on its central out of ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

What happened to Apollo 13 LM descent stage?

I see in the accounts of the Apollo 13 mission that the descent stage engine of the LM were used to propel the joined spacecraft into a return trajectory to earth and that the crew remained in the LM ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
20
votes
1answer
5k views

How did NASA get the video camera on the Moon to track the LM ascent stage, considering the substantial delay?

The Moon's distance can be as much as about 406,000 km from Earth. That's a round trip light time of roughly 2 x 406,000 / 300,000 = 2.7 seconds or more, depending on how the signal was relayed to ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

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 ...
20
votes
2answers
11k views

Size of Apollo era astronauts

I had read that the early astronauts were all 'short guys'. This made a lot of sense. A short man can have as much stamina and endurance as a large man, yet eat less, consume less oxygen & (...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

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'...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

Why didn't NASA launch communications relay satellites for the Apollo missions?

The Apollo missions were in communications blackout when the spacecraft's orbit took it to the far side of the Moon. During the missions, the craft had to perform maneuvers such as the lunar orbit ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of Apollo Lunar Surface Hasselblad Camera with 500 mm lens?

Here is a list of photographic cameras used for Apollo 16. There were two Lunar Surface Data Hasselblads equipped with a 60 mm lens for both astronauts to be used with chest mounts to the space suits....
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Could an Apollo LM land uncrewed?

I believe that Apollo mission control had the ability to upload data and commands to the LM's guidance computer as long as they had an operational communications link. I'm wondering if, from the point ...

1
2
3 4 5
12