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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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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 ...
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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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Why is an airbag landing on the moon not viable?

In this related question, it was explained that the differences in design between a Mars rover and moon rover were too substantial to substitute one for another. One of the points made was that the ...
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Flung debris in lunar landing

When a spacecraft lands on the moon, on unprepared ground, it must fling a lot of rocks and dust all around. If you are building a lunar base, the other components that are already there would be ...
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1answer
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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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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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Was there a technical reason why Apollo 10 didn't land on the moon?

Apollo 10's lunar module Snoopy descended toward the lunar surface, but (as planned) didn't quite make it, returning to orbit only 8.4 nautical miles above the surface of the moon. Was there a ...
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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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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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How exactly did the floor of an Apollo LM look like after EVA(s)? Seeking photo!

Almost 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 curious. ...
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ELI5: Why do they say that Israel would have been the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon and why do they call it low cost?

In the news they say that Israel hoped to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have made ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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. ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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Is it easier to get to and from the moon than to the bottom of the Mariana Trench?

The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the world's oceans. To date only three people have reached the bottom and returned to the surface alive. 12 People have traveled 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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Did the Apollo lunar module descent stage have a role as a sort of service module?

To minimize the re-entry mass of the Apollo command module, essentially all of the mission supply of command module consumables was stored in the service module. Was there a similar arrangement ...
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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 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 ...
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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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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Was there fuel consumption budgeting for Apollo 11 Lunar module?

Did the astronauts aboard Apollo 11's Lunar Module have any stated or imposed limitation or restriction on the amount of fuel they could use while in lunar orbit and performing landing maneuvers? I am ...
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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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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? ...
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1answer
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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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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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Exit film of moon landing departure

On Apollo 15, 16, and 17 NASA filmed the Lunar Module taking off and leaving the moon. With no-one on the moon how could the the camera move to follow it and who brought the exposed film back to ...
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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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Could the Apollo LM abort mode be engaged after touchdown? What would have happened if it was?

The Lunar Module had an abort mode where the crew basically just had to push the ABORT button on the control panel, and the ascent stage would detach from the descent stage, followed by the ascent ...