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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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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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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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1answer
727 views

Why was Buzz Aldrin not Awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor? [closed]

According to the award's requirements, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor may be awarded to "any astronaut who, in the performance of his duties, has distinguished himself by exceptionally ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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. ...
10
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1answer
857 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 ...
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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 ...
17
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1answer
779 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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1answer
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What is the procedure to stop the descent engine on the Apollo 11 LEM?

What is the correct procedure to stop the descent engine on the Apollo 11 LEM? When the LEM has a contact light on Apollo 11, there is some terminology spoken that I'm assuming is important (and ...
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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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How will the Falcon 9 carry the lunar xprize rovers to the moon?

The Astrobotic team announced a while ago that they will launch their rovers on top of a Falcon 9. As I know the Saturn V rocket had a third-stage, which was used to redirect the spacecraft from Earth'...
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Apollo 17, Lunar Roving Vehicle walkback limit “relaxed”?

I found the following to be interesting. It appears that for the most part (Apollo 15, 16 and maybe parts of 17?) there were restrictions placed on the distance allowed for the LRV to travel. The ...
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3answers
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Apollo LM ascent procedure, computer controlled or manual?

How was the Apollo LM ascent launch procedure controlled? Was it manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic? By "launch procedure" I am talking about the pitch control for the LM. I believe there is no ...
11
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1answer
885 views

How realistic are robot races on the moon this decade (circa 2015)?

My local paper has an article suggesting a possible event with several robotic rovers leaving the same lander on the moon and trying to drive off for 500 meters (about a 1/3 of a mile) as fast as they ...
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4answers
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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
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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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Besides mechanical failure, what other systems have failed/deteriorated on Yutu?

Yutu was ferried to Luna by way of Chang`e in December 2013 The Wikipedia article on the mission writes to say the mission duration for the lander, and rover were as follows. Lander: 1 Year Rover: 3 ...
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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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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? ...
11
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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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Do you need a mattress on the Moon?

In the 1985 work 'The Cat Who Walks Through Walls' by Robert Heinlein, Richard Ames makes the following internal observation; The character is in an underground abode. The accommodations are in a side ...
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2answers
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Where should a lunar polar ISRU mission land?

In situ resource utilization of water ice in eternally shadowed craters on the Moon's poles might provide water for rocket fuel and astronaut survivability cheaper compared to launching water from ...
18
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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 ...
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1answer
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How are coordinates and cardinal points defined on on Earth's Moon? [duplicate]

I came across this page - http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/alsjcoords.html that mentions the various landing coordinates of of NASA missions on the Earth's moon. The cordinates are given in the same way as ...
8
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1answer
557 views

Where is the first Lunar soil sample currently located?

During Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing, a "contingency sample" was taken by Neil Armstrong. From Wikipedia: About seven minutes after stepping onto the Moon's surface, Armstrong collected ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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Are there any resources available on the moon that could make a base commercially viable?

It seems that if we had a lunar base going then we would be more likely to invent things that would improve space travel. It also seems that private industry is faster at developing these ...
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1answer
683 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 ...
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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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 ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...