159

Fun question! Provided the three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LRV) left on the surface of the Moon by the last three Apollo program missions were not, tongue-in-cheek, towed away for unpaid parking, reckless driving and littering fines, or clamped by the Lunar people (not to be confused with Lunatics), I don't see why not, provided you have brought along all the ...


153

The following is a speech written for President Nixon, in the event that the Apollo 11 mission did not succeed. Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope ...


114

In my former job I was writing educational software. In short, it's exactly what you described: we offered a paid version of what you could get for free by looking out on the internet, going to class, going to the library, ... And yet, I'm still incredibly proud of it, knowing I made a difference. What is the difference between well written software and a ...


100

Probably, but you likely wouldn't drive it away. Not only will the batteries be completely discharged, but the rovers have gone through a large number of lunar days since then, creating a large thermal cycle. The number of thermal cycles is on the order of 500 for each one, and the cycles are brutal, going from -150C to as high as 120C each time. Even ...


94

In several press conferences, employees of NASA or private space firms have been asked if they played KSP, and some answered with "Yes". NASA used patched conics to find candidate orbits for Apollo back in the days. With that being said, KSP strikes the balance between accuracy and simplicity. Patched conics give a good idea how space works, ...


90

Technically, yes, it would be easier to put people on Venus. You need less of a kick for the interplanetary trip and slowing down is trivial with that dense atmosphere...one of the Pioneer Multiprobe sub-probes made a soft landing despite only being designed as atmospheric probes. However, the surface temperature stays close to 464 °C, with over 90 ...


87

If you want to get really bummed out for 'what could have been', check out the Wikipedia page for List of manned Mars mission plans. The earliest plan to get to Mars was written by von Braun in 1948, with the idea that we would be landing in 1965. With our current knowledge of Mars, it reads like science fiction. Seven passenger ships and three cargo ships ...


84

At the moment, there are a few groups trying to reach Mars, and a few groups who are trying to reach the Moon. Mars One has grabbed headlines lately, SpaceX states Mars colonization as its long term goal, and there are numerous smaller groups. For the Moon, there is the Google Lunar X prize, Shackleton Energy Corp, and OpenLuna, and again numerous other ...


83

Reliability. Any rotating station needs non-rotating components: solar panels need to face the Sun, radiators need to be shadowed, docking points need to be non-moving, and so on. Making a rotating joint that can last decades is hard; if the hub of a rotating station seizes up, the resulting accelerations are likely to tear the station apart and kill ...


73

Apollo 11 mission had two modules Lunar module - which descent to moon carrying two astronauts command / service module- CSM was designed to return astronauts from the lunar surface on a direct-descent mission to earth and splash down. Direct telecast from the Command service module is not possible but CSM stored the recording of conversation which is ...


70

Your picture is not of a Saturn V, it's of a Saturn IB. The purpose of the elevated platform (known as the "milkstool") is to lift the rocket up so that it can be launched from Pad 39B using the same connections to the launch tower that the much taller Saturn V used. The early Saturn IB launches used the shorter Pad 34 and Pad 37, but by 1973, those launch ...


69

The main reason is heat rejection. NASA was asked this very question, and the answer was identified. Basically, the waste heat from the shuttle is expelled via the cargo bay doors. You don't want to ever point a radiator at the Sun, so the easiest thing is to point it at the Earth. Sometimes, if the heat was too high, they would actually point the shuttle ...


67

It's about as standard procedure as crossing your legs when you're sitting. Arms in microgravity, without conscious effort to keep them by your body, will tend to extend the elbows to the sides - just like holding knees together when sitting, at least for men, requires active (if minor) effort. Holding arms like this simply prevents sticking elbows into the ...


65

In addition to what Russell Borogove says about cumulative risk you're operating under a false assumption--that there was shielding on the Apollo capsules. Not only did the Apollo capsules not have shielding but shielding was considered undesirable. There are two main radiation threats in space: cosmic rays and solar flares. Their "defense" against solar ...


64

Radiation exposure is a cumulative risk. The more radiation you receive, the more likely you are to develop cancers. The Apollo missions took no more than two weeks to complete; the astronauts flying those missions accepted that dose of radiation with the health risks that come with it. A manned Mars mission will take, at minimum, months of travel. For ...


63

Are there failure modes that cause loss of pressure but not rapid, unplanned disassembly? Yes. The 3-man crew of Soyuz 11 died when a valve was jolted open, venting out all the cabin air supply. Soyuz was redesigned after that accident to carry two crew in pressure suits instead of 3 crew in shirtsleeves. (I believe they now carry three in pressure suits.) ...


60

Like everything else, the ascent and descent stages were built to be as light as possible. But because they knew they would operate only in a vacuum, many things really didn't need to be sturdy, nor did the shape of it matter. It would never have to deal with aerodynamic drag. In fact, the descent stage was designed to buckle in the right places upon landing,...


60

Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons? A NASA crew launch is a highly-visible symbol of US national pride. I mean, the slogan for the whole campaign is Launch America, and the message has always been "Launch American astronauts from American soil in an American capsule on American rockets (for the first time ...


58

It's hard to prove a negative, but the answer seems to be NO. It's not in D-7434 Stowage and the Support Team Concept, which has tables by location of the typical inventory stowed in the cabin. It's not in D-6737 Crew Provisions and Equipment Susbsystem, which describes in detail each of the items in the cabin. It's not listed in the actual stowage ...


57

The ISS is a science laboratory -- a National Lab in fact. Leaving it uncrewed would take away a huge portion of the science productivity without substantially impacting the cost to operate it. Why is it constantly crewed? Because anything else would be a phenomenal waste of resources.


56

The Apollo lunar module was battery powered, so could only maintain a livable environment for a few days (this was a major concern for Apollo 13, since the crew was reliant on the LM after the accident which disabled the service module). Once out of power, it would be unable to circulate air or to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. Committing ...


55

Eyes do strange things in microgravity (when you consider they're deformable bags of fluid, this isn't too surprising). This report outlines the changes that can be identified after just a short parabolic flight. Eye test charts provide a way to investigate this without requiring heavy equipment or specialists. This study appears to be an on-going project ...


55

It takes surprisingly little delta-v to reach Venus for a flyby -- about 3850 m/s from LEO instead of the 3200 m/s or so required to get to the moon -- so while the payload would have to be reduced from the normal Apollo mission, it wouldn't have been impossible. For Apollo 17, if we consider the payload to be the CSM, LM, and LM adapter, the total is 48.6 ...


53

Offered as a supplement to @SF's answer: This shows the fully relaxed arm position obtained by a sleeping astronaut. From here


53

A brand new rocket to be launched will have to be assembled, and that's a long process, though I do not know how long. But if it's for an emergency, you may find ready rockets. After the Columbia disaster, space shuttle missions all had a contingency mission in case they found issues with the orbiter before reentry. The planning and training processes for a ...


53

Commercial Crew awarded two providers for dissimilar redundancy. This is exactly why NASA decided to select two partners in the commercial crew effort. Having dissimilar redundancy is key in NASA’s approach to maintaining a crew and cargo aboard the space station and to keeping our commitments to international partners. It also allows our private industry ...


50

I'll add one or two more items to Mark's excellent list. Stability - large rotating platforms (and they have to be large to produce useful artificial gravity) are subject to all sorts of precession. Cost. The ISS was not cheap. Now imagine just getting maybe 50 ISS' worth of mass into orbit, assembled, and then enough fuel to spin it up.


49

TL;DR: It was so busy getting stuff done, it didn't care. Being old, slow, massive and inefficient (by any modern standards, not by those in 1965) is a huge benefit when it comes to radiation hardness. Let's start with the memory: Changing a bit in current S(D)RAM cells is trivial - introduce a bit of charge in the wrong place and the bit is lost. This ...


48

As others have already pointed out, getting humans to Venus would be marginally easier than getting them to Mars. Let's consider survival on Venus in a little more detail though. Although there haven't been any manned missions to either Mars or Venus, there have been unmanned missions to both. So let's consider how long those unmanned missions have survived. ...


47

EVA suits are very difficult for a single person to put on by themselves, so another person was required to help the other astronaut put on their EVA suit. At the very least, it is much easier to do it with help. A single person would have a very difficult time doing this. On the ground a team of people is usually employed to have this happen. Note there are ...


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