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 Soviets have rounded the Moon before Apollo? Why didn't they?

Neither the USSR nor Russia has ever sent a cosmonaut beyond low Earth orbit. In the 1960's it would've been very challenging for them to land a cosmonaut on the Moon, and their attempts were aborted. ...
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Apollo 4 vs Apollo 8 plume

I was recently browsing photos of early Apollo missions and noticed that the plume of the Apollo 4 during launch is significantly bigger than that of Apollo 8. Wondering why is that? Apollo 4 (top) ...
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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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Which astronaut travelled farthest from Earth?

To-date who has flown farthest from the center of the Earth? Is he alive now?
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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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What was the approximate cabin temperature and humidity of the Apollo mission capsules?

I learned that Apollo missions used a simple system providing 100% oxygen atmosphere in the cabin at lower air pressure from the question, "Decision factors for using 100% O2 cabin atmosphere in early ...
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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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Were all the switches on the Command Module and LM control panels used during a mission?

Given there are so many switches on the control panels, and they each served a specific purpose, was every single switch used during a mission to the moon (with the exception of the abort switch ...
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What gave NASA the confidence for a translunar injection in Apollo 8?

In Carrying the Fire, Michael Collins observes humorously that Apollo 8 was only the third time the Saturn V had flown. To a non-specialist, it does seem remarkable that NASA was confident to put ...
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Could an Apollo crew have been killed by Solar radiation?

The Sun throws lots of high speed protons around. Especially during its sudden and short intensive "events". Much of that is blocked by Earth's magnetosphere and atmosphere. But astronauts work ...
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Did any of the Apollo lunar modules land significantly off level?

I'm pretty sure I recall some images of a lunar module sitting on a slope, although perhaps it just looked that way due to a tilt of the camera. Anyway, my question is: whether any of the lunar ...
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Are there any videos of onboard the Apollo Lunar Module while landed on the Moon?

These would be very worthy videos since there is air in the Lunar Module and they don't wear the heavy spacesuits, so one could see how they behave on the Moon in a breathable atmosphere and without ...
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How did astronauts traverse from module to module in the Apollo craft?

I was looking at some diagrams for the Apollo spacecraft, which I found to be interesting. It's clear that there's two separate enclosures that astronauts could reside in (the lunar module and command ...
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What was Apollo 11's reentry speed at parachute deployment?

What was the velocity of the Command Module after it had penetrated through the Earth's atmosphere at the point where the parachutes were deployed?
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Which module had more 'comfort' in terms of living space, the Lunar Module or the Command module?

Where were the astronauts more comfortable spending the day, sleeping, donning space suits, etc: the LM or the Command Module? Considering, of course, that the Command Module would carry three crew ...
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Did the Apollo astronauts ever describe reentry deceleration?

Did the Apollo astronauts describe any differences in how it felt in the CM as it passed between the hypersonic, supersonic, transonic and the subsonic zone? Did the CM shake more or less in ...
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What prompted Lovell on Apollo 8 to announce “there is a Santa Claus”?

On Apollo 8, following the first trans-Earth injection, when the crew came back into contact with Houston, Lovell said: "Please be informed there is a Santa Claus." (Transcript) Given that Apollo 8 ...
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How easy would opening an Apollo capsule following dry landing be?

To help frame the problem, I have written the following scenario: It's December 19, 1972 and the Apollo 17 has returned to Earth, but something went wrong and they landed in the middle of the Outback....
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What was the reason to use different fuel for the Apollo Service Module propulsion system and reaction control system?

The Apollo Lunar Module LM used the same fuel/oxidizer combination (Aerozine 50 fuel / nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) oxidizer) for both descent and ascent stage engines and reaction control system. This ...
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Could a single crew member fly the Apollo LM?

We know that the Apollo astronauts were subject to rigorous medical testing prior to launch, and we know that this caused at least one Apollo crew member to be replaced very late in the process. ...
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What technology could the Soviets have contributed to the Apollo program?

Spacedaily writes to say about President. Kennedy's Sept 20th 1963 address to the UN General Assembly "I include among these possibilities," he added, "a joint expedition to the Moon." Why, the ...
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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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What did the Apollo missions do with old LiOH canisters & the water they produced?

We all love the Apollo 13 story, but the famous lithium hydroxide CO2 scrubber of that mission has made it hard for me to find information about its regular use. What happened to the old canisters ...
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Is there any merit to the Apollo 13 (movie) statement “a computer that can hold millions of pieces of information”?

Early in the Apollo 13 movie, Lovell (Tom Hanks) is showing off the Saturn V and states that a part of what has made the moon landings possible is a belief that anything is possible, "things like a ...
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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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Apollo CM heat shield burnt pattern around RCS thrusters

Looking through photos of Apollo CM capsules after reentry, I was trying to have a feel for how the heat was distributed on the sides of the capsule. By the look of surviving patches of Mylar tape ...
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Were Apollo astronauts charged for their berths during their missions?

In a recent article in The Guardian I ran into the following statement about the Apollo astronauts: On their way to and from the moon, each earned $8 a day, minus a fee for a bed on their Apollo ...
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At what angle did Apollo 13 need to reenter?

The Apollo missions, like most all missions since, used a heat shield to keep from disintegrating in the atmosphere. This approach had its flaws, however. For one, if your approach was too shallow, ...
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Could an Apollo astronaut have put their foot through the hull of the LEM?

In this interview (part of the extra material from the Apollo 13 film), Tom Kelly of Grumman talks about the construction of the Apollo LEM. In particular he mentions that the "skin" of the LEM was ...
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NASA Launch Control: was all of its capacity ever used?

The NASA Launch Control Center at Cape Canaveral has 4 Firing Rooms. Each can support the launch of a spacecraft. Similarly, the VAB was divided into four bays, each large enough to support assembly ...
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Are there photos of the Apollo LM showing disturbed lunar soil resulting from descent engine exhaust?

Are there any photos of the Apollo LM descent engine bell and the lunar soil beneath it disturbed by the engine exhaust?
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How much did we know about lunar soil conditions prior to Apollo 11?

Hello everyone who have answered / commented on my question. Thanks for showing interest. What I was looking for is whether NASA or any other agency attempting to land something (any object) on moon, ...
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Could the Apollo lunar ascent stage have separated from the descent stage before touchdown in an emergency?

In case the Apollo Lunar module had approached the landing site at way too high velocity, could the ascent stage have separated and returned to the command module before a crash? Thus performing a ...
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What are the small crosses on space pictures, and what's their purpose?

Often I see small crosses on space pictures like this. They are regularly spaced, thin and black. What are them? What's their purpose?
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Did Michael Collins ask for a fourth gimbal for Christmas? Is there a recording or transcript?

Did Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins ask for a fourth gimbal for Christmas, while looking for the lunar ascent module? If so, is a recording of this available for posterity? Or a ...
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Apollo altitude vs rate-of-descent schedule

In the final phase of the Apollo landings, the commander would go into "P66 attitude hold" mode, where the computer maintained a steady rate of descent while allowing the commander to change ...
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Were crew assignments ever made to avoid grouping astronauts with similar first names?

Thinking primarily of the Apollo missions with this question, but could be expanded in an answer with a more general response, if appropriate... With several Apollo-era astronauts sharing similar-...
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What would have happened if the skin of an Apollo lunar module was ruptured?

The Apollo lunar module had thin skins of foil for protection / air containment. What would have happened if a hole was made in this skin by a flailing astronaut, screwdriver, asteroid, etc.? Would ...
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S-I, S-II, S-IV; what happened to III?

Stages of the Apollo stack (at least the configuration that landed humans on the Moon) are identified as S-IC, S-II, and S-IVB for the first, second, and third stages. There's no S-III. Why the gap in ...
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Why wasn't the Apollo 13 Service Module jettisoned until hours before reentry?

Looking at the Apollo 13 mission timeline within three hours after the explosion of O2 tank two all oxygen in the SPS was completely depleted. Fuel cells #1 and #3 were off line. CM had even started ...
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Are any rockets currently in use capable of putting a man on the Moon?

Apollo 11 used the Saturn V rocket, which is no longer produced. As far as I can tell, Atlas V rockets are not as powerful and would not be able to deliver the lunar lander to the surface of the Moon. ...
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How was reserve fuel calculated for the Apollo missions?

A quick follow-up to How much fuel was used for a Space Shuttle launch? My memory is a little foggy; I seem to recall reading the Apollo 11 mission commander depleted his reserve fuel landing Eagle. ...
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Procedure to deal with the death of Apollo astronaut during a lunar mission

During Apollo lunar missions, had the command module pilot have died while the other two astronauts were on the Moon, or had only one of the two lunar walkers died, did NASA have a procedure for such ...
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Was there any “practical” advantage to having different crews for each Apollo landing?

So, out of the 24 men that went to Moon orbit and back during the Apollo program, just three of them did the trip twice, but landings where always done by a different crew. From the politician's ...
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What was the mascon “fix” used by Apollo 12?

According to the mascon entry on wikipedia: At that time, one of NASA's highest priority "tiger team" projects was to explain why the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft being used to test the accuracy of ...
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What will J002E3 be like on its return?

J002E3 is believed to be the S-IVB third stage of the Apollo 12 rocket. It is expected to return to temporary Earth orbit in the 2040's. If some enterprising soul decided to build a rocket capable ...
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What is this on the craft from the Apollo 17 mission?

For me it looks like water droplets but, I doubt thats the case in space. Also I don't understand why this should be a crafts surface feature. wouldn't one aim to design a spacecraft as smooth as ...
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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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Why didn't Apollo land on the Lunar poles?

Finding water in some craters on the Lunar poles is a recent discovery. Was this expected during the Apollo era? Even without any thoughts about future in situ resource utilization, landing at a ...
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Did astronauts on the moon poop in front of each other?

I know about the Apollo pooping bag. The question is, in the CSM, was there any space to use it privately? I suppose while coasting towards the Moon they could use the LM, but on the return trip? Any ...

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