42

Actually, then-NASA Administrator James Webb had already in March requested a budget to achieve a moon landing by the end of the decade. Kennedy's administration had declined to support this budget until Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth in April. The shock of this event forced Kennedy's hand, but there was some substantial planning that ...


31

The Soviets had designed the Soyuz 7K-L1 as a part of the Zond program, with the aim of a manned flyby of the Moon. Artists rendition of the Soyuz 7K-L1 en-route to the Moon (Courtesy Wikimedia) Developed in the late 1960's, after political disputes regarding the expulsion of Nikita Khrushchev, it was originally designed to be assembled in-orbit. The ...


29

Yes, they were aware. According to the Apollo transcript, Luna 15 was prominent in the daily news items that mission control shared with the crew. In the transcript, timestamps are day/hour/minute/second; speakers are: CC = CAPCOM CDR = Commander (Armstrong) LMP = Lunar Module Pilot (Aldrin) CMP = Command Module Pilot (Collins) 23 hours into the mission (...


23

Without overtly saying it, the Soviets too were aiming for the moon. It was only after it was clear they lost that they decided they never were even trying. Also Gemini was post-Kennedy speech and developed to test the techniques needed for Apollo. The problem they had was a large engine, was not something in house, and was harder to develop than ...


17

The planned landing areas for Apollo command modules were pre-programmed beforehand and happened in the South Pacific. Often the South Pacific, but sometimes the North Pacific or the Atlantic. Both Pacific and Atlantic recovery zones were established for each mission, with multiple ships allocated to each. Was there any remote possibility of a ...


11

Apollo 7-12 were at very short intervals: Apollo 7: Oct 1968 Apollo 8: 2 months later Apollo 9: 3 months later Apollo 10: 2 months later Apollo 11: 2 months later Apollo 12: 6 months later After that, the schedule stretches. NASA likes to take their time training the astronauts for each specific mission. Mission training can be a year or more. So they ...


8

The goal of Project Mercury as stated in 1958 was to put a man into orbit safely. In order to do that, NASA wanted to send animals, first. The Russians had done exactly that, and NASA preferred using a chimpanzee instead of a dog. The X-15 had to be piloted, you couldn't put an animal into it. Thus, the Mercury capsule was needed to put a chimpanzee into ...


8

Although called2voyage's answer is entirely correct, it omits the immediate source of the "before the end of this decade" language. That phrase came from a report written for Vice-President Johnson by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and NASA Administrator James E. Webb. It was titled "Recommendations for Our National Space Program: Changes, Policies, ...


8

Well, both the US and the USSR participated in the July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958 International Geophysical Year (IGY), an international effort to coordinate the collection of geophysical data from around the world. The IGY organizing committee resolved that "all observational data shall be available to scientists and scientific institutions in all ...


7

As the Wikipedia article you refer to says, there is no conclusive evidence any cosmonauts were lost, and most of the 'lost cosmonaut' stories have been disproven. The evidence cited to support Lost Cosmonaut theories is generally not regarded as conclusive, and several cases have been confirmed as hoaxes. In the 1980s, American journalist James Oberg ...


5

As there's no answer for a long time, I've done some research with help of the links provided by others in the comments to the questions. And the "first" goes to ... Soviet Union. In short: US got a head start with the blunt object theory, but in terms of heat shielding got diverted to less efficient "heat sink" path, wasting some time before employing ...


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 ...


4

There isn't that much of a difference after all. It's mostly a matter of perception because the R-7 family evolved into many different variants, so it feels like most Soviet launch systems use liquid boosters. Proton, for example, doesn't use any strap-on boosters. The following "early ICBM" designs of the early 60's are actually pretty similar: R-7 with ...


4

Asif Siddiqi's "The Soviet Space Race With Apollo" mentions the Luna 15 mission here and there. The sample return vehicle was the Ye-8-5, based on the Ye-8 (aka Lunokhod) rover. Siddiqi cites various articles from the early 1990s (e.g. "The 'Late' Lunar Soil", Novosti kosmonautiki 15, 1994, by Konstantin Lantratov), so I think the details probably became ...


4

Most of your question is a duplicate; I'll address the "Soviets land first" question a bit, though that's a more subjective issue. I don't think there was ever a significant chance that the USSR would beat the US to a moon landing. Development of the N1 moon rocket started in late '65, over three years behind the Saturn V; the chief designer, Korolev, died ...


4

In the book 'Two Sides of the Moon', co-written by David Scott (Apollo 15) & Alexei Leonov (first to walk in space), Leonov discusses the Bondarenko accident. but does not mention anything about lost cosmonauts. When the Apollo 1 accident is mentioned, Leonov expressed his surprise that the accident happened given that the Bondarenko accident occurred a ...


4

There were several instances of cooperation during the space-race; Russia was not entirely isolated. Russia (USSR, to be precise) was an active participant in the IAF, and UN programmes such as COSPAR. To quote Brian Harvey from "Rebirth of the Russian Space Program" The Soviet Union ran cooperative programs with the United States from 1965, especially ...


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 ...


3

By way http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5321 http://www.astronautix.com/a/apollosovieapollocapsule.html The picture that clinched it. Tamas Feher discovered this photo of the 'recovery of an Apollo capsule' in a Hungarian space history book. It actually depicts Apollo BP-1227 being lowered to the deck of the USCG Southwind in Murmansk, ...


2

Infinity Beckoned: Adventuring Through the Inner Solar System / 2016


2

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.


2

There are some who question the origin of the design of the Soyuz capsule - See "Was the Soyuz Design Stolen?" http://www.astronautix.com/articles/wastolen.htm for more details. Per the above Astronautix.com article: The General Electric Apollo D-2 / Soyuz Design Concept The fundamental concept of both designs can easily be summarised as ...


2

The Wikipedia article on the Soviet Luna 15 mission, which ran simultaneous to the Apollo 11 moon landing, claims this to be "one of the first instances of Soviet-American space cooperation", though it doesn't provide reference for this. I believe I've read about it elsewhere (possibly In the Shadow of the Moon or one of the other French/Burgess books). ...


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 ...


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