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Questions tagged [the-moon]

Questions about Earth's Moon. Also for questions about spacecraft, manned missions, potential missions, etc. related to Earth's Moon.

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Multiple Gravity Assist from Moon to reach Mars

How effective can gravity assists from the Moon be at getting a vehicle from near earth to Mars? For this question, let's assume that a transit time of up to ten years is acceptable. Say we've put ...
18
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2answers
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Is it possible to have an orbit around the earth and the moon

I was just wondering if it were possible to A) Orbit the moon and earth B) To orbit any two celestial bodies really?
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What was this Ziploc bag used for on an Apollo 14 moonwalk?

And how the heck would an astronaut have opened it with his gloves on? Is that bag likely to still be there in good condition, or would it have been broken down by radiation by now? Was it normal to ...
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0answers
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Strategies for scientific objectives aboard small lunar orbiting satellites [closed]

We are designing a small satellite lunar mission. In the preliminary design submitted for approval, most of the focus was on technological demonstration of acquired COTS hardware, flight systems, ...
4
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1answer
319 views

Earth-based microwave radiometer for the Moon

Microwave radiometers (MWR) can be used passively, to get regolith's thickness, brightness temperature and dielectric constant. Apart from that, I have little idea of how the instrumentation's ...
8
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2answers
581 views

What happens to a spacecraft crashing into the Moon?

When planning a new architecture for lunar missions, one always faces the potential of nuclear thermal engines. Having a much higher $I_{sp}$, they offer a much higher propellant efficiency, causing a ...
6
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1answer
867 views

Does the temperature near the surface of the Moon rise rather quickly with depth?

I have heard presentations on lunar lava tubes that estimated the temperatures of the ground surrounding them as being well below zero. An article in NASA Science News says this: Once you get down ...
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2answers
689 views

Would the Saturn V have been able to send more mass to TLI if it had a lower earth parking orbit?

After reading into the topic a little, I've come across a number of increases to the Saturn V's LEO and TLI performance over the course of the Apollo program. Early moon missions sent between 133t and ...
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How did the first US manned Moon mission suits block radiation?

How did the first manned Moon mission spacesuits block the deadly radiation of both Van Allen belts and direct sunlight?
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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
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How did the Apollo 11's Eagle ascent stage find the CSM after leaving the Moon?

I've always been curious how did the Apollo 11's Eagle ascent stage of the Apollo Lunar Module navigate back to the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) that was in lunar orbit? Was it simply a case ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Would flying westwards on the Moon be more efficient than east?

I understand that flying in either direction on a planet that has an atmosphere doesn't effect flight times, but on a body such as the moon, would it improve flight times?
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2answers
199 views

Can I see the night side of the Moon? [closed]

When I look up in the sky, I can obviously see the day side of the moon clear as, well, day, cloud cover permitting, but a thought occurred to me: While I believe I can (barely) see the night side of ...
3
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2answers
142 views

What factors hinder establishing a moon-base mission? Enterprise or scientific value? [closed]

Given recent advances in both engineering achievements - reusable rockets technology, launch frequency, fabrication/3D printing; and the growth in the general public awareness of space exploration due ...
3
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3answers
433 views

Would it be more viable to process moon rocks into Helium-3 on the Moon than doing so on Earth?

Helium-3 is a substance that is very useful for nuclear fusion, which can generate a lot of power. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of it on Earth, but on the Moon it can be processed from basic moon ...
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4answers
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Wasn't the moon landing + reentry much harder to do than SpaceX's reusable rockets/boosters?

Over 45 years ago, we know that USA/Russia were able to send satellites/humans and return them to the Earth. Isn't that supposed to be much more difficult to do than what SpaceX is doing now by ...
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2answers
521 views

How quickly do the Van Allen radiation belts degrade solar panels?

I heard the other day that to take cargo from Earth to a Lagrange point or the Moon using solar electric propulsion would be a problem because the Van Allen radiation belts would degrade the solar ...
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3answers
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Mining a near-Earth passing asteroid with profit?

The answer by PearsonArtPhoto in this question got me thinking, particularly this line: Asteroids would be cheaper to go to than the Moon I suppose the subject here are asteroids that pass in the ...
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183 views

Are the surfaces in permanent shadow in Moon craters 'fluffy'?

I was talking to someone who anticipated digging for water ice and other volatiles would be easy in these areas because Pete Schultz of the LCROSS science team described them as 'fluffy'. In this ...
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194 views

How do domes in lunar impact melts develop, and might they be hollow?

On the floors of young craters of the Moon, smoothly rounded domes are visible in some spots. Lalande crater has 4 of them, each around 200 m across. Here are less regular ones on the floor of ...
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3answers
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How did astronauts navigate the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) over the surface of the Moon?

The Lunar Roving Vechicle (LRV), also known as Moon Buggy, was used as a form of transportation on the surface of the Moon during the Apollo program. What system did the astronauts use for ...
3
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3answers
367 views

What proportion of a space craft soft-landing on the Moon would be payload?

For a one-way robotic or cargo mission, with current technology, how much of a lander that touches down on the Moon wouldn't be propellant or rocket parts? Modern engines like the CECE by Aerojet ...
2
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1answer
293 views

Abort plan for Apollo 8

What was the plan if the flight controller received a no-go prior to Apollo 8's traverse of the far side of the Moon? How would they have returned to Earth without the gravity assist from the Moon?
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3answers
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What prompted Lovell on Apollo 8 to announce “there is a Santa Claus”?

On Apollo 8, following the first trans-Earth injection, when the crew came back into contact with Houston, Lovell said: "Please be informed there is a Santa Claus." (Transcript) Given that Apollo 8 ...
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1answer
83 views

Would the orbit of the Moon affect Earth's climate?

If the orbit of the Moon was elliptical or in someway different from what it is currently, would that change affect the climate of the Earth?
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2answers
780 views

Why does the Moon only show its near side while orbiting the Earth? [closed]

When we look at the Moon in the night sky, why do we always see the same side every night?
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1answer
492 views

Moon Exploration Before the Apollo Missions? [closed]

I'm watching the British movie The First Men in the Moon and it got me wondering if it was scientifically possible to have sent humans to land and explore the moon (or even just orbit) before the NASA ...
2
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1answer
96 views

Moon's orbit and its phases

After learning what apogee and perigee are, I'm curious to know if/when these stages align with particular phases of the Moon? I'm obviously assuming that the orbit has a repeating pattern, but maybe ...
13
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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 ...
10
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1answer
329 views

How deep is the regolith around this crater?

I'm trying to estimate the depth of the soil around this 300 m crater about 150 m from the lip of Lalande crate on the Moon's equator. In the image below from the LRO's camera the sun's incidence ...
4
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1answer
266 views

Can Chang'e 3 take photos of the stars from the moon

Chang'e 3 now on the Lunar surface has imaged the Earth. Is it possible for that same camera to take a time exposure and show us the stars?
3
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1answer
217 views

If a high-temperature melt of lunar soil cooled slowly, what layers might appear?

Suppose mare regolith is heated to 2400 K, then left to cool slowly in a tank. Samples of powder regolith from the mare are about half glasses and half crystals of composition as shown below. Would ...
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1answer
338 views

Disregarding the distance from Earth, would Mars be more habitable than the Moon? [closed]

Disregarding the distance from Earth, would Mars be more habitable than the Moon? Or better put, disregarding the distance from Earth, which of Mars or the Moon would be easier (in cost and/or effort)...
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1answer
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Doing an experiment to fire a laser to moon and back

After reading this question: I got an itch to to test out the mirrors myself (and maybe record whole process to irritate conspiracy nuts). What equipment would I need? I assume a high powered laser ...
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2answers
362 views

Was there a Moon landing mission that the astronauts had to land by hand? [closed]

I remembered that I once read an article about the design of the controller, but now I can't google it out. In short, it talked about the control panel of one Moon landing mission was full of ...
4
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1answer
306 views

Are there solar panels available today that would last through various lunar days?

I have been working on a project to build a realistic digital model of a Moon base. I'd assumed that during the initial phase of the base, the power source would be photovoltaic panels. But now that I ...
4
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1answer
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Could we fly on the Moon in Xenon?

The Moon is not capable of keeping an Earth like atmosphere, nor is it practical to keep satellites in lunar orbit. Which means all transportation and communication would need to be ground based. No ...
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3answers
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Could the Moon keep an atmosphere?

When we think of terraforming a body in our galaxy Mars gets lots of consideration as the closest potential body. But what about the Moon? It is currently beyond our ability to add an atmosphere ...
3
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1answer
340 views

Why were we able to have a more or less real-time conversation with the Moon?

So I understand what was said here and here, but not everything is clear to me. If they were able to transmit from the Moon, then why in 1985 were we not able to have an audio/video song performed by ...
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2answers
729 views

Would an asteroid collision affect Moon's orbit, and what consequence would that have for Earth?

If an asteroid collided with the Moon, or an atomic bomb was blasted on it, would it affect the orbit of the Moon? The Moon's gravity plays a major role in ocean tides. If the Moon's orbit changed, ...
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5answers
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Why are there so few lunar rovers?

I'm a big fan of Curiosity and Opportunity, the Martian rovers. The science is over my head, but the images they've captured are mesmerizing. It seems unusual to me that we have two active Martian ...
9
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1answer
317 views

What is the status of ESA's proposed human mission to the Moon?

As part of the Aurora Exploration Programme, there is a proposed human mission to the Moon in 2024. The astronaut capsule would be launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket. What is the status of this mission?...
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1answer
598 views

What is the most valuable (potentially useful) man made object on the Moon?

It is relatively expensive to get things from the Earth to the Moon. We know there are three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRV) on the Moon and that there is some chance they could be made operational. ...
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2answers
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Picture of equipment left on the Moon?

When people visited the Moon, they left sizeable items behind. I know that taking picture of this from Earth is incredibly hard, but: Did someone try? And what pictures do we have?
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1answer
843 views

With what precision can we land an object on the moon, today?

This is part of a short story posted on worldbuilding.se, but setting my story aside, it was recommended that the part about precision be asked here. With what precision can an object be put on the ...
16
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1answer
11k views

Apollo communication between the Earth and Moon

How was it possible for astronauts to send back tv/radio signals to earth from the moon? I have just been teaching my son about waves behavior and understand that radio waves are reflected back to ...
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3answers
10k views

What did the sky actually look like from the Moon?

All the photographs I've seen from the Apollo missions show lunar features in good detail and exposure. This of course means that the shutter is not open long enough for light from stars to develop on ...
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3answers
230 views

Disc mounted on lunar rover?

My father told me of a story that while he was young working at an electronics company, they all signed a disc that was shrunk down and mounted to one of the lunar rovers. Does anyone know anything ...
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2answers
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How did the Apollo astronauts change film in their cameras?

Part of Apollo astronaut training was learning to be a pretty good photographer without a viewfinder. The Hasselblad 500EL Data Camera used magazines with 160 color/200 B&W exposures on 70mm film. ...
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1answer
432 views

How feasible is the Moonspike mission?

As of yesterday 01 October 2015, a team is hoping to raise £600k (~$911k) to fund a Moon impactor via Kickstarter, which should cover the costs of building and testing a two-stage rocket, a spacecraft ...