65

The Neil Armstrong's "First step on the Moon" was filmed by a camera installed on the MESA (Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly) at the side of the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) descent stage that Neil Armstrong had to pull a lanyard to unlock the pallet and make it drop open. A switch inside the LM, operated by Buzz Aldrin, then activated the TV camera which ...


64

Background I believe the astronomy.com article is essentially accurate. The story of the Skylab 4 "mutiny" or "strike" has been greatly exaggerated. The crew took a scheduled rest day instead of working through it as they'd done with previous scheduled rest days (and in fact they actually continued to work, albeit at a relaxed pace). This isn't a new ...


62

GPS isn't affected by demand, as it is transmitting only from satellites, and the receivers only receive, they do no transmit to the satellite at all. At best, there is a slight degradation by having antennas in really close proximity. A million man march, each with a GPS device, might cause some degradation as each device will absorb a bit of the energy ...


61

Yes, it really happened. It took place at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems factory in Sunnyvale, California. As the team was turning the satellite into a horizontal position, they found out that the twenty-four bolts that were supposed to hold it in place had been removed by a technician - and the action was never documented. According to NASA: The NASA ...


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,...


54

Two main reasons really: The dust on the Moon, while it would be extremely fine-grain, is also highly charged due to Sun's radiation and solar winds, so it would stick quite good to the surface, grain to grain, but also cling to astronauts' space suits, something that was made quite apparent when they had fairly big problems getting it off and somewhat ...


48

The speculation is that Galileo gradually sunk into thicker layers of Jupiter body, and eventually reached level where pressure squeezed its RTG battery so much the plutonium went supercritical. Galileo was powered by RTGs. That is a heat source powered by the decay of Plutonium-238. Nuclear decay rate does not change. It isn't affected by pressure, ...


45

As belief in conspiracy theories is associated with the rejection of science, it is likely that this answer will be rejected by many at the outset. If you doubt the reliability of science, perhaps you should check out this NPR article. Please note that it is an opinion piece. The author Alva Noë is a professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley, not a journalist. ...


43

It's a cute story, an urban legend, but that's all it is. According to NASA HQ Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal that includes full transcript and MP3 audio clip (52 MB) of all the conversations between Apollo 11 astronauts and mission control, as a note near the beginning of the page, there it stands: During November 1995, a clever (and slightly risqué) ...


40

Yes, it is a mosaic made of 55 images from the MAHLI camera on the arm. The arm was deliberately removed from the images where bits of it showed up. See this description, including a video of how it was done. The arm motions were very carefully planned to cover the rover and surface around it by changing the angle of the camera, but not the absolute ...


39

As PearsonArtPhoto says, it's not the GPS protocol itself that causes the problem. Cell phones use Assisted GPS, where cellular data is used to speed up obtaining a GPS fix. This should be just a few kb per session though. Many mapping applications also download map data as you go along, again causing lots of network traffic. This may be an ...


38

The radiation dosage for a year on the moon is between 110 mSv and 380 mSv. On Earth, that dosage is 2.4 mSv, or higher, depending on where you are exactly. Bottom line, the few days in Lunar orbit would have aged the film due to radiation between 50-150 days/ day in orbit maximum, thus it would be the equivalent of film that was aged a few years at most. ...


35

"things like a computer that can fit into a single room, and hold millions of pieces of information" was not about the Apollo computer, but about the general-purpose computers that were available around the start of the Apollo program. In 1960, the IBM 7090 could store 32 kB. In 1964, IBM introduced the System/360, which could store up to 8 MB of data.


32

If Wikipedia page you link to can be trusted with dates, then she gave birth to her and Andriyan Nikolayev's daughter on 8 June 1964. Vostok 6 launched on 19 June 1963, and was in orbit a bit under 3 days. So unless she was pregnant for a bit under a year (352 days) which is impossible even for prodigious pregnancy considering early-term exposure of the ...


32

If I get you correctly, this should be the moment from the movie you're talking about:     And this is the corresponding part of the movie script: JACK SWIGERT - Now... Do we know for sure that we can power this thing back up?... It's going to get awfully cold in here. ANDY (CAPCOM - WHITE) - Copy that, Jack. We'll just have to deal with ...


30

The Galileo probe carried two radionucleid batteries, each one carrying 7.8kg of Plutonium-238. But Plutonium 238, while radioactive, is not the kind of Plutonium used for nuclear bombs. That's another isotope: Plutonium-239. That's a big difference, because only the kinds of Plutonium with odd isotope numbers are fissile. Fissile means, that they are ...


25

In this video of the Apollo 11 landing, you can see dust being blown away during the approach (from ca. 4:30). Some of the particles were blasted clear over the horizon and may have ended up halfway across the moon. The 'ground' below the dust isn't smooth. Like new basalt, it has a grainy texture, as you can see here directly below the exhaust: The moon ...


22

The lift force you would need to produce would have to be equal (stable flight) or greater (take off) than the force pulling you back towards the moon. If your mass is average for a male at 62kg, the force from the lunar gravity would be F=ma, = 62kg x 1.622m/s2 = 100N (almost exactly). lift force = 0.5 x density x lift coefficient x area x velocity^2 This ...


22

Radiation can affect film - but bear in mind the radiation around Chernobyl was, truly, extremely high. The radiation in our region of space is not as extreme. Also bear in mind that the earlier Lunar Orbiter probes used film cameras, the pictures were developed and scanned automatically (by machinery on board) and the results transmitted to Earth. The ...


21

The story behind this is one of several layers of procedures, as is documented in a review of NASA "mishaps". Essentially, the story comes down to the following sequence of events: A team prepared the vibration testing, including putting the bolts on. A second team removed the bolts, to use for another purpose. This removal was not documented at the time. ...


21

The fix as show in the movie wouldn't work. To seal off the atmosphere in a more permanent manner, one would need to have something much stronger than Duct tape, or any tape. That wouldn't hold a seal. The book mentions a resin that they had to patch the hab. I suspect the tape was shown in the movie because it looked more jury-rigged, but in reality, they ...


19

Edit: Yes, momentum of the tape recorder (DTR) was an issue. However, I don't think it was an issue that was overlooked in the design phase. The Voyager team knew it would become an issue for the Uranus and Neptune flybys, and had a fix in place before the Uranus flyby. I've found no indication of a "last-minute fix". In 1973, NASA published a report "...


19

NASA studied the effects of radiation on film. Bright spots are just one of the possible results. Other effects include an increase in the amount of noise, and a decrease in contrast and color response. These effects are not easily detectable to the untrained eye and without access to the original material. In this study, NASA also experimented with ...


18

No, they were not all Eagle Scouts. While at least forty astronauts earned the rank as a youth Eagle scouts, in fact only two Apollo moonwalkers did: Neil Armstrong and Charles Duke. But most were Boy Scouts, with only James Irwin not being a scout at all. The ranks earned by the 12 moonwalkers (sorted by rank, then by Apollo mission): Eagle Scouts: Neil ...


18

It seems as though Valentina became pregnant shortly after her flight, as @TildalWave. She was worried about how her pregnancy might have been affected by her recent space flight, and it was that fact that is the truth behind this error. There are some documented reports of Valentina being particularly concerned with respect to her pregnancy. Both her and ...


17

Probably not. A good measure of comfort is how much external body pressure is induced from laying on a hard surface. Earth gravity is enough to cause an adult considerable discomfort when lying on a hard surface. Paresthesia, or the sensation of having arms and limbs falling asleep, would be a good standard to measure against to answer this question. The ...


16

Canals on Mars has quite an interesting history, starting with Giovanni Schiaparell. He produced this map of Mars in 1877 It is interesting to compare this map to a more modern map Note that the same general features are labeled, however, the lines that run between them don't show up at the modern image. Giovanni was Italian, and called the lines on these ...


16

This satellite, NOAA-19 or NOAA-N Prime was launched in February 2009. The pictured incident happened in 2003: The spacecraft has had a troubled history at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, Calif., factory. After it suffered significant damage when it tipped over on the factory floor in September 2003, the contractor used fees earned on the NOAA spacecraft it ...


16

Conspiracy theories generally depend upon an absence of critical thinking. Any reasonable debunking generally requires critical thinking to cut through the misdirections, false assumptions and flawed logic upon which these theories are inevitably based. Nevertheless... To execute a hoax, there is need of means, a motive, an intended target, and some ...


13

In addition to kim holder's big post showing that we have been to space, there's the other side of it: We couldn't have faked it. The stage needed is far beyond anything we have built to date. To get the dust to behave correctly it needs to be in vacuum. To get the light even close to right it has to be huge because you need a very distant point source ...


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