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Questions tagged [lunar-landing]

Questions on the subject of missions to the Lunar surface - past, present, and future

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972 views

What are these structures on the Lunar Ranging Retro Reflector (LRRR) arrays for?

In this question I used images of the retro-reflector arrays that were left on the moon by Apollo 11, 14, and 15. The Lunar Ranging Retro Reflectors (LRRRs) are there for Lunar Laser Ranging. The ...
21
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1answer
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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 ...
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How far can you fall on the Moon without injury?

In the book "The Gods Themselves", Isaac Asimov imagines humans living on the Moon would enjoy much greater freedom of movement on the Moon. Each pair went up in unison; each pair rose and fell in ...
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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) ...
6
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1answer
205 views

How does the Apollo LM ascent guidance program P12 actually work?

P12 is the AGC guidance program for normal ascent from the lunar surface to orbit. According to the mission planning documents, after separation and ignition, the ascent stage holds its initial ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
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What is the marginal cost of *landing* on the Moon?

The question How useful is placing an asteroid in the Moon's orbit? quotes a news article saying the Obama administration is opposed to a lunar landing mission because of the cost of such a mission: ...
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4answers
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How did Apollo-12 manage to land next to Surveyor-3? First “Space-Tourists”?

To me this looks like the first instance of space-tourism (humor, pls don't add the tag, see exemplary documentation at end of question). The astronauts landed next to Surveyor-3 on purpose, got out ...
4
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1answer
279 views

For an Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage launch, what is the optimal profile of $\beta$ (or $\gamma$) vs time?

When Apollo astronauts departed the lunar surface in the Lunar Module's Ascent Stage, it appeared to rise vertically ($\beta$ = 0) for ~10 seconds and then begin the "tipover" (videos of Apollo 15, 16 ...
12
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2answers
781 views

Is lunar lithobraking 1. survivable and 2. cheaper than a rocket landing?

Lunar Lithobraking If your goal is simply to deliver a science package somewhere on the moon, might it be easier and cheaper to design the package to survive lunar impact? As an example, consider the ...
5
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1answer
796 views

Any potential downside to throwing personal life support out the door on the Moon?

I found this really interesting description of the ALSEP instrumentation placed on the moon during the Apollo 11 landing, written by Hamish Lindsay, (also, author of Tracking Apollo to the Moon). One ...
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3answers
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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 ...
15
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1answer
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Could an Apollo LM land unmanned?

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 ...
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5answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
14
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3answers
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a “speedy” lunar rover?

Moon's synodic day is 2551443 seconds. Its circumference is 10921 km. At sustained 15.4km/hour a rover traveling along its equator would retain full sunlight at all times; at higher latitudes that ...
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1answer
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How did the Russians get moon rocks?

I've read somewhere that the Russians have moon rocks. How did they get them?
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2answers
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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 ...
17
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1answer
820 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'...
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2answers
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How much mass could the Saturn V rockets have landed on the Moon if nothing was coming back?

What dry mass could have soft-landed on the Moon if a Saturn V had been reconfigured to launch a robotic mission going entirely to the surface? Obviously, that wasn't possible at the time, but for a ...
11
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1answer
896 views

Have there been any photos taken of a total Earth-Sun eclipse from the Moon, or its vicinity?

There's a supermoon lunar eclipse ongoing right now (Sept. 27/28, 2015), and it got me thinking that a great way to show to people why the Moon is reddish -- when eclipsed by the Earth -- would be if ...
10
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1answer
525 views

What were the differences on the LM ascent stage engines on Apollo 9, 10, and 11?

According to Apollo By The Numbers, the LM ascent stage of Apollo 11 ("Eagle", LM-5) had maximum rated thrust of 3218 lbf (14.31 kN), and subsequent missions had very similar figures. The engine ...
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3answers
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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 ...
6
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3answers
734 views

Using command module as a lander

Question: Why doesn't NASA or SpaceX use the command module as their lander, instead of having another spacecraft as the lander? I was playing Kerbal Space Program the other day, and noticed how many ...
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1answer
688 views

Does China have the most aggressive moon exploration plan as of 2013?

China is launching a rover to the moon this year, with more launches and returning samples coming soon. They also plan to have humans on the moon within the next decade. The Moon offers many ...
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3answers
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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. ...
11
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1answer
711 views

The upcoming landing of Chang'e 3 on the Moon - Is there detailed information about it anywhere?

China is supposed to land a rover on the Moon soon (2013). This will be the first landing on the Moon from any nation in quiet a few decades - if none of the Google-Lunar-X-Price teams is faster, of ...
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2answers
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What did Apollo need the crewed Command Module for?

Doubling the life support, almost doubling the crew space, carrying lots of extra mass - the recent question about direct ascent made me ponder this: the fundamental role of the Command Module was to ...
10
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1answer
792 views

What was learned from study of Surveyor-3's components, retrieved and returned to Earth by Apollo-12?

A comment by @Hobbes on the question How did Apollo-12 manage to land next to Surveyor-3? First “Space-Tourists”? points out that the "souvenirs" removed and retrieved from the Surveyor-3 lander by ...
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2answers
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Is the Dragon useful as a Lunar hopper?

The Dragon capsule of SpaceX is seriously considered by NASA for a sample return mission from Mars in 2022, according to Larry Lemke. Could a Dragon be used also for hopping around on the Moon? ...
9
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1answer
386 views

When Chang'e-3 landed on the moon, did LADEE notice?

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) entered lunar orbit 2013-10-06, and Chang'e 3 landed 69 days later producing dust and gas on 2013-12-14. These were both quite interesting ...
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2answers
851 views

What tonnage can current heavy rockets land on the Moon?

Mass to LEO is somewhat of a standard in superficially comparing the payload capacity of different rocket, at least for the googling general public. There are many LEOs and it depends on where the ...
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2answers
226 views

Will Chang'e-4 really take a month to “get to the Moon”? With what trajectory?

The Verge's This weekend, China embarks on a historic mission to land on the far side of the Moon says (near the end): We know that the mission is set to launch on top of one of China’s Long March ...
8
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1answer
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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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4answers
1k views

Russian manned Moon landing capability today

Do Russians have means of launching a manned mission to the Moon? Do they have an engine with sufficient thrust and stability needed (RD-170 has bigger thrust than the F-1 engine, if I read the data ...
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2answers
656 views

How much modification would Dragon 2 or Red Dragon require to serve as a lunar lander?

How much would Dragon 2 or Red Dragon need to be changed to act as a lunar lander? What I mean is not just landing but also lifting off from the Moon's surface to a specified orbit to dock with ...
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3answers
103 views

Technical challenges to improving resolution of lunar orbit imaging by using solar UV light?

@Uwe's question and answer seem to illustrate that the resolution of surface-imaging spacecraft orbiting around the Moon has not dramatically improved over the decades, and that this is pretty-much ...