Questions tagged [lunar-landing]

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

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58
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3answers
12k views

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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4answers
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Why is it so hard to land on the Moon?

Successful landings on the Moon happened 50 years ago. Technology (satellites, computer, ML) has come a long way during this time, so why did Israel and India fail recently to land a probe there? Is ...
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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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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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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 ...
36
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1answer
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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 ...
34
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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Could the lunar module have moved to a different spot?

Suppose Neil Armstrong had landed with plenty of spare fuel, only to decide it really wasn't a good spot after all. Could he have lifted back off and landed again, perhaps a couple of hundred feet ...
27
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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. ...
26
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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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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 ...
24
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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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What equipment was taken from Earth to the surface of the Moon and back?

During the Apollo missions, basically everything was left behind as soon as it was no longer needed. Of the approximately 45-48 tons that the CSM+LM weighed at launch, only 10% made it back to Earth. ...
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2answers
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How did astronauts using rovers tell direction without compasses on the Moon? [duplicate]

I read that the astronauts who used Lunar rovers used heading indicators, which typically use compasses, for direction. How, on the Moon, did their equipment tell the direction of travel, presuming a ...
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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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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. ...
22
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4answers
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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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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 ...
22
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2answers
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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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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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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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Why did Apollo 11 land at the sea of tranquility?

As we all know in 1969 Apollo 11 landing made history but, why did it land specifically at the sea of tranquility also known as Mare Tranquilitatis. Probably they would have chosen this because of ...
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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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1answer
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How was the cosmonaut of the Soviet moon mission supposed to get back in the return vehicle?

In the Soviet Moon mission, for which the ill fated N-1 launcher was built, we know that the cosmonaut responsible for landing on the moon was to transfer from the equivalent of the command module to ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
855 views

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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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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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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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 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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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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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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What colors were used in the Apollo Lunar Module interior, and why?

There are lots of publications and blog posts on the exterior colors of the Apollo Lunar Module (a function of material choices), but I've struggled to find any information on the interior colors and ...