174

(A) who (if anyone) was the first human to actually be asleep (that is to say, presumably inside the lander) - not just a scheduled sleep time - on the Moon? It depends on your definition of sleep. Maybe Buzz Aldrin, curled on the floor of the LM cabin: The best Aldrin managed was a “couple hours of mentally fitful drowsing.” Armstrong simply stayed ...


46

Mission Control in Houston had a radio communication with the Apollo capsule as well as the Moon lander. A phone connection between the White House and Ground Control was established and connected to the radio transmitter and receiver. Of course the Deep Space Network with its three large antenna stations in Goldstone, Madrid and Canberra had to be used. To ...


45

(I'm interpreting the question as "what programming language was the first spacecraft software written in?", per discussion in comments above.) This will depend on your definitions of "computer" and "programming language". Almost certainly the first digital computers on spacecraft were programmed in assembly language or ...


41

As far as I know, there has not been a space mission that would have been impossible without a theory of relativistic physics. It is true that the relativistic effects are clearly visible in GPS clocks. However, if the theory didn't exist, they'd just classify it under "weird observation" and trim the clocks to match ground station clocks. The weird ...


32

According to the article "Seven Ways Mars InSight is Different", the driver was launch site availability: InSight will ride on top of a powerful Atlas V 401 rocket, which allows for a planetary trajectory to Mars from either coast. Vandenberg was ultimately chosen because it had more availability during InSight’s launch period. InSight is a very ...


26

This may be stretching the definition of "incandescent light" quite a bit, but the V-2, which was the first artificial object to cross the Kármán line in June 1944 (and thus technically an uncrewed spacecraft) contained an analog computer as part of its guidance system, which was built using... Vacuum tubes! These typically contain a small ...


25

I thought it might have been earlier, you know, like Donkey Kong, but its the first that has a Guiness World Record. guinnessworldrecords Who ALEKSANDR SEREBROV Where RUSSIAN FEDERATION When 01 JULY 1993 Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov (b. 15 February 1944) became the first person to play a videogame in space when he packed a Game Boy and his ...


24

This was revealed in 2015, in the book Into the Black, about STS-1. The hardcover edition of Into the Black had the overall basics of the imaging effort, although not specific details. ... His new version of the story in the paperback edition indicates that the imaging attempt had been planned starting over a year before the flight. That revised paperback ...


21

"How was Surveyor-3's location known to such accuracy?" The Surveyors were located using Lunar Orbiter photography (not necessarily of the probe themselves, just the surrounding area). These coordinates were obtained by determining the position of the landed Surveyors on Lunar Orbiter photographs by matching features shown in Surveyor pictures ...


18

I don't have a definitive answer to this question because I have never come across any discussion of NASA even considering the idea of giving the astronauts a script to read for part of the mission. As far as I know, that was just not something that NASA did or does now. The live TV broadcasts on the way to the moon were not scripted, just as the ISS tours ...


18

The Gemini Agena Target Vehicle was an uncrewed docking target utilized during the Gemini program. Although uncrewed itself, it had an externally mounted lighted display panel that could be viewed by the crew in the docked capsule. Source http://www.astronautix.com/g/geminiagenatargetvehicle.html Image source How Stuff Works - docking adapter is at the ...


17

(This answer doesn't directly address the question, but it dovetails well with Organic Marble's on-topic answer.) On the landing approach, Conrad saw and identified "Surveyor crater" very quickly after the "pitchover" maneuver that allowed a surface view out the windows of the LM. This was a 400-foot wide crater inside which Surveyor III ...


17

Easy 101 answer for new readers who didn't know (I have kids asking): It's called the Deep Space Network. They used really massive dish antennas [Google Photos]. Like the satellite TV antenna, but with a bowl as big as a football field! Massive 34 meter and 70 meter antennas -- 100 footer and 200 footer dishes. Transmitting and receiving everything like ...


17

JPL's DESCANSO website links to online books describing spacecraft navigation. Page 4-19 of Volume 2 states "The point-mass Newtonian acceleration plus the point-mass relativistic perturbative acceleration ... is given by Eq. (54) of Moyer (1971)." So JPL was incorporating relativistic effects in its navigation calculations at least as early as then. I ...


16

No. It occurred previously on STS-37 in 1991. During an EVA, a glove was punctured; the astronaut's hand almost immediately sealed the hole. They didn't notice (remarkable as that sounds) until after flight; there's a brief mention of it on the page PearsonArtPhoto linked to in comments: "...the palm restraint in one of the astronaut's gloves came loose ...


15

In websites it is written a lot for the SpaceX and Falcon 9 FT space rocket because this rocket uses the liquid oxygen at -340 Fahrenheit (°F) or 66 Kelvin (K) which is far below compared to other operational rockets used in our days. SpaceX decided to operate different in colder temperatures because it was needed an extra performance for Falcon 9, to have ...


15

There's a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to this exact topic, so I'm just going to quote the first instance, and the rest is then available on the page: The first animals sent into space were fruit flies aboard a U.S.-launched V-2 rocket on February 20, 1947. The purpose of the experiment was to explore the effects of radiation exposure at high ...


15

The Redstone's engine was based heavily on the engine of the German V-2, which also used 75% ethyl alcohol fuel with liquid oxygen. Robert Goddard's first liquid fueled rocket experiments used gasoline with liquid oxygen, which burned extremely hot -- Goddard burned out several nozzles and combustion chambers on his early flights. Figuring out how to cool ...


15

You might want to look at How many astronauts are left handed? Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon, is left handed. I think the first lefty in space was Walter Schirra (#9 to space) In the Apollo era, 1 in 4 astronauts were left-handed. This is much higher than the average left-handedness which is about 1 in 11


14

July 20, 1976, Mars, Viking 1 lander. In the article "Viking gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer" by Rushneck et al, Review of Scientific Instruments 49:817-834 (1978), section G (pp. 828-9) describes the GCMS's soil loader and pyrolyzer subassembly, which accepts a pulverized soil sample, loads it into an oven, and then seals and heats the oven. ...


13

No earlier examples are known. The first that could be argued to reach outer space was the fourth V-2 launch, on October 3, 1942. Its maximum altitude of 85-90 km or 97 km (depending on the source) meets the old NACA definition of outer space of about 50 miles (80 km). The US Air Force awarded astronaut wings to X-15 pilots who went above 50 miles in the ...


13

I believe that would be Soyuz 11 and Salyut 1. After the EVA transfer of Soyuz 4/5, Soyuz 6, 7, and 8 flew together, with the plan apparently being for 7 and 8 to dock and transfer crew while 6 filmed, but some sort of hardware problem prevented the attempt. Soyuz 9 was a long-duration flight of a single spacecraft. Soyuz 10 was supposed to dock with (then ...


12

The first vessel that crossed the Kármán line and reached space - the German V-2 rocket - utilized a program for its analog computer, implemented as a rotating irregular disk of specific shape, with radius(angle) encoding output(input) function; the disk rotated by a motor, with angle and radius read by potentiometers, providing calculations for the control ...


12

As a reference, part of this question I answered at Astronomy.SE. The closest point at which the Sun would not be the brightest object in the sky is if we headed directly towards Sirius A, at a distance of 1.46 light years. The fastest object leaving the Solar System right now is Voyager 1. It's speed right now is about 38026 miles per hour, or about 5....


12

No. The cores used are tracked at Reddit, among other places. There are no plans to reuse a booster for a third time. There are 3 booster now that have been reused B1021- Will be displayed at cape, retired. B1029- Likely mothballed. B1031- This one just landed today, not sure of it's fate yet. It will likely be a while before a second reuse is done, but ...


12

The first people to shave in space were the Apollo 10 astronauts. Which one however is unknown. You'd have to ask Thomas P. Stafford as he is the only Apollo 10 crew member still alive. Razors were allowed on multiple flights (such as Gemini and soviet missions) but Apollo 10 was the first time anyone actually shaved in space. This passage can be found here. ...


11

This is more of a really-long comment than an answer, sorry, as it just narrows it down a bit. But I wanted to include links and quotes, so I put it in Answer form. First, it's not clear that what we call "two-line elements" today are the first two-line-thing-that-describes an orbit. The current two-line elements are based on the SGP4/SDP4 orbital model. ...


11

There's an interesting Planetary Society article about this: What to expect from Junocam We won't be able to see spectacular views of Jupiter's belts and zones from Jupiter orbit until the very end of August, and it'll be November before we'll see automated release of high-resolution raw images. August 27 is expected to be a day when photography takes ...


11

The latter: not really in a separate TCM, but integrated into long propulsive burns ... which may be updated after anomalies occur. TCMs are small maneuvers (possibly as small as 5-10 m/s) and used to correct differences between the mission design and the flight (e.g. launch errors, thruster misalignment errors, etc.). Optimization of TCMs include the exact ...


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