New answers tagged

32

The early prototypes of the A4/V2 were painted in the familiar black-and-white roll pattern scheme. This scheme was designed to aid in tracking the rocket after launch. This pattern made it easy to observe any variation or roll of the rocket. The exact pattern was changed many times, and as with the rest of the rocket, the pattern was examined and ...


1

It was important to increase the sample size for medical tests on the astronauts themselves. These still are the only people that have gone outside of low earth orbit, ever. The data, especially on radiation poisoning and Moon EVA human factors, is vital for new missions to the Moon or Mars.


0

The Space Shuttle could have made money as technically it performs very well at delivering large payloads to the ISS (Falcon 9 rockets cost 1.39X more to deliver people and payloads to the ISS according to my table below). The Space Shuttle is probably is not as nimble and adaptable as other smaller systems - both technically and from a pace-of-business ...


5

While this is much granier than the BBC snippet, it does contain the audio overlay and is the same video the BBC clip has, but contains the full event cycle. "Lock the doors" happens around 12:24 Key parts of the full audio (time in the video first) 13:41 - OK all flight controllers on the Flight [Director] loop, we need ...


-2

Because the Handbook told him to was assuredly the proximate cause for him saying the phrase, and evidence preservation is undoubtedly a good reason the manual says to do so, but--so much as a movie and my memory can be trusted--in The Right Stuff, during Mercury, higher ups overruled the Flight Director on an important call during an anomaly. I believe the ...


44

This is indeed part of the procedure that is invoked when a contingency has occurred. It is part of Standard Operation Procedure 2.8 - JSC Contingency Plan, which can be found in the Shuttle Flight Control Operations Handbook (link to 538-page pdf - referenced here) on page 2.8-1. It provides the steps to be taken to secure all data for future investigations ...


22

Does he mean lock the doors in the NASA building, in order to begin some internal investigation, and nobody is allowed to leave, as a matter of policy? Yes, this. It's part of a standard procedure to ensure evidence is preserved for the investigation. It's to prevent people entering as well as leaving.


10

I didn't work on Voyager, but can tell you that deep-space missions tend to retain the original ground hardware, software, language, and build environment, both for continuity/safety as well as budget reasons. There may be little or no funding to continue the mission; it may even fall to outright volunteers. It's amazing and sad to me how much we depend on ...


0

This is too long for a comment. tl;dr: I can't conclude that the lens wasn't used (as @tfb's excellent answer doesn't yet conclude either) but it does seem reasonable that NASA would have gotten a hold of several of the fastest lenses in the world just in case they might have come in handy. Rangers VII, VIII and IX Ranger is mentioned in @Roger's comment ...


32

In 2015, the last original Voyager engineer still on the project, retired. NASA specified that his replacement would have to know FORTRAN. The software was updated regularly after launch: The last true software overhaul was in 1990, after the 1989 Neptune encounter and at the beginning of the interstellar mission. "The flight software was basically ...


13

The Voyager spacecraft are not reprogrammed anymore, so the language in which they are programmed is largely irrelevant. The uplink is only 16 bits/second, just enough to send (simple) commands. How these commands are generated is irrelevant to the spacecraft. Any language that can generate a sequence of bits theoretically suffices. This pdf document ...


3

This isn't a complete answer, but I think there should be at least some doubt cast on this story: it's certainly not as clear as a lot of people think it is. The Wikipedia entry for this lens claims that it was developed in 1966. So we can wonder what it might have been used for. It is generally claimed that it was used (or designed) for pictures of the ...


6

During the Apollo era (1967-1972), 4 NASA astronauts died during training or test flight. Those 4 brave people were the Apollo 1 crew, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee. The fourth astronaut was Clifton C. Williams who died flying a training jet. However no NASA astronaut died in spaceflight during the Apollo era. Unfortunately, there were ...


7

This is a strange question, but it is worth answering. The ultimate answer is: Space is hard. But let's unpack that. There were many, many factors that led to the various failures and accidents. Some of them were a simple lack of understanding during the design phase - space is hard, that's not a joke but a reality. Simply put, we don't understand how ...


6

It was Voyager 2 (launched before Voyager 1). Technical details on Voyagers are surprisingly hard to find. The most detailed account I found was in Voyage to Jupiter, the official NASA history of the project. During the first minutes of flight, there seemed to be two difficulties with the AACS.The first was a problem with one ...


5

Three more missions were planned but canceled to save some money. The lost and forgotten missions 18, 19 and 20. To get moon dust and rocks samples from more than one spot only. To get some samples of hardware from the Surveyor 3 lander during Apollo 12. To place more than one lunar seismometer. To place more than one lunar ranging retro reflector. To have ...


1

Neil Armstrong was also very cool in the first USA in space mishap, tumbling after docking with the Agena But a better explanation: All these astronauts were ultra high achieving, fighter pilots and test pilots with high ranks. The LMP was actually a co-pilot/flight engineer job (and needed said job very much along with a very competent main pilot). But ...


0

Everything I've seen from Mercury to Apollo has been in imperial units but that doesn't mean they used metric and converted it all over before handing it over. There is a pretty good article here that talks about the Apollo guidance computer. The computer was programed to use SI units, which is basically metric with a new name, but everything entered into it ...


4

Upper left: KSC control room for the Instrument Unit during the launch of Apollo 8. I am not sure if this is the Launch Control Center Firing Room or a back room. I think a back room. (reference) Upper right - the Instrument Unit itself as described in this answer Lower left - Launch Control Center Firing Room at KSC, looking away from the window (the ...


10

When I was trained in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M in the 1980s, we were taught to use what has been referred to as the Gravitational FPS system, where distance is measured in feet, force in pounds, and mass in slugs. This was a big disappointment to me at the time, since I had been quite comfortable with metric units in high school physics. ...


80

The Apollo Guidance Computer did use metric/SI units internally for its calculations. But it converted to imperial/USC units when it displayed data on the DSKY. This is probably because the Apollo astronauts (mostly trained as test pilots) had an intuitive "feel" for imperial/USC units. Although data was stored internally in metric units, they were ...


35

NASA used English Engineering Units not Imperial units. (This phrasing is a reply to the original, un-edited question title) They did this because the program was implemented by the US aerospace industry and that industry's industrial base was all in English units. Every manual, tool, data book, milling machine, and fastener used those units. Conversion ...


5

The Apollo 16 Mission Report, section 9.8.2 explains First extravehicular activity.- Following the first sleep period and normal preparation for surface activities, the Commander egressed slightly ahead of schedule. Because of the steerable antenna failure, there was no television coverage of the Commander stepping onto the lunar surface. According to ...


4

It seems like it had to do more with overall politics, funding, goals of human space program than with his German/Nazi background. NASA transferred him to HQ to be responsible for "Planning" in March 1970 and he retired from NASA shortly thereafter i 1972 "after a series of conflicts associated with the truncation of the Apollo program" according to his ...


3

NASA's investments are providing a massive Return on Investment(ROI) This article makes the case that NASA has provided a 1000% ROI A report by the Space Foundation estimated that activities related to space contributed $180 billion to the economy in 2005. More than 60 percent of this came from commercial goods and services created by companies related ...


1

In addition to cooperative programs with tickets, there also have been exchanges of lunar samples, the Soviets offering material obtained from their automated sample-return Luna missions. A brief news article is given here and a photograph is here. This exchange was carried out in Moscow at the Academy of Sciences in 1971. Because the Luna samples were ...


0

1 Unified S Band 2.1 Ghz TV Signal / Voice / Telemetry / Medical Moon to Earth / Earth to Moon <* 2 Two UHF Frequencies 225-380Mhz band used on the moon <* 3 Various radar 8.1 Ghz 4 C-Band 5.6 GHZ 5 2 x Intelsat Satelites for round world & USA TV coverage 6 890mhz tracking


11

Comparison (US expenditures only): \$18 billion is spent per year on simply advertising cosmetics. \$60 billion is spent per year trying to lose weight. \$70 billion is spent per year on pets. \$230 billion is spent per year on advertising. \$0.5 billion is spent per rocket. Just think how many of the world's problems could be solved if we didn't waste so ...


32

It's not mentioned in Apollo documentation. However, these would be the arguments against it: The idea of two spacecraft was already controversial. Now you want three? The original Apollo concept was a "direct" mission. The entire mission would launch as one vehicle, shedding pieces as you go, but never putting pieces back together. All of the ...


2

The RCS thrusters on Apollo come in balanced pairs, one on each side of the vessel's center of gravity. Normally, if you wanted to change your orientation, you'd fire both thrusters in a pair, producing a rotation but not a translation. However, these thrusters have a minimum power level. If you want to create a very small attitude change, you'd fire just ...


6

That made me pause and wonder for myself what it is that's out there that might be worth this money, and reflect upon the many problems on Earth that could be addressed with these resources instead. I would add to the other great answers another very valuable outcome our society gains from space exploration: medical research (and health is arguably one of ...


3

VLBI-experiments were constantly carried out between Soviet and American radio telescopes, despite the political winds. One such experiment is related to astronautics. The VEGA balloons for study Venus atmosphere were tracked by two networks of 20 radio telescopes in total back on Earth: the Soviet network, coordinated by the Soviet Academy of Sciences and ...


14

A communications satellite would have to be in a halo orbit around the Earth-Moon L2 point to have continuous, simultaneous visibility of both the Moon's far side and Earth. The first paper describing this kind of orbit was written in 1968, too late to be used for Apollo. It also described the options for communications satellites in medium lunar orbit. P. ...


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