Questions tagged [lunar-landing]

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

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8
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1answer
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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's the record for the fastest trip to the Moon?

The line "Therefore the USSR sent detailed instructions to Jodrell Bank how to find their second lunar probe, Luna 2, that was launched on 12 September 1959 and hit the moon the next day." from ...
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Why were contact sensors put on three of the Lunar Module's four legs? Did they ever bend and stick out sideways?

In the video Brian Eno on Apollo starting at 08:37 there is Apollo-era movie footage of a lunar module taken from the command module as it prepares for descent ...
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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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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 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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Chandrayaan-2; time taken to get to the Moon

Depicted above is the print version of the July 02, 2019 Times of India article Why the world keeps returning to Chandamama which nicely surveys the large number of missions to the Moon. India is ...
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Why is the ladder of the LM always in the dark side of the LM?

When landed on the moon, the ladder seems to be in the shadow for each Apollo mission. For example, on this photo, the ladder is not in the side exposed to the Sun. (the astronaut go out of the LM in ...
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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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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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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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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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What were the problems on the Apollo 11 lunar module?

In the movie First Man we see that there were problems with some button, when Buzz said "We should tell them about that." Also there was an alarm, that they then turned off.
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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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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 ...
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How “hard” did Apollo 12 turn left just before it landed?

This answer to How much were the LMs maneuvered to their landing points? includes Figure 34 from Floyd Bennett's 1972 Apollo Experience Report - Mission Planning for Lunar Descent and Ascent; NASA TN ...
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How did Chang'e-4 hover, rotate, and then descend so gracefully? (Video)

In this incredible video we can see Chang'e-4 in it's final approach and landing on the moon from the point of view of the spacecraft. The view is horizontal as the spacecraft seems to stop and hover ...
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Is there really microfilm on the Moon?

A comment below this answer to Disc mounted on lunar rover? suggests that ...a number of documented microfilms that were on the Apollo missions. meaning I presume that bits of microfilm were ...
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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 3B ...
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What propulsion system would not pollute the surface when landing on a pristine celestial body?

A robotic lander on a science mission, especially to an airless body, would like to avoid disturbing the surface it is landing on with rocket exhausts. MSL Curiosity used a Sky Crane to somewhat ...
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How many different kinds of insulation film are wrapped around the Apollo Lunar Module?

In the image shown in the question Why is the Apollo LM landing gear covered with so much thermal isolation? (also shown below) it appears that the color of the film around the bottoms of the lander's ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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How different was the Apollo LM descent trajectory from the most fuel-efficient?

In most diagrams of the Apollo Lunar Module descent profile (example at the start of this video), it looks like the LM turns over and points some of its thrust downward relatively early in the process....
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...