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Assuming this isn't a troll question and you are serious about wanting to know what computers are used for in spaceflight (prior to 1988), NASA has a great resource for you: Computers in Spaceflight (PDF, 494 Mb) From the introduction: Computers are an integral part of all current spacecraft. Today they are used for guidance and navigation functions such as ...


27

First of all, the ground team could have, and in fact did, do most of the orbital navigation remotely. This report mentions the fact that the on board computer was secondary for Apollo 8, with primary being systems from the ground. The spacecraft did have to do a few things, including making some realtime adjustments during the landing based on the actual ...


26

Your spacecraft would need to be several orders of magnitude larger than the Saturn-Apollo. No human pilot has successfully performed a rendezvous without a computer. Note that rendezvous is bringing two spacecraft close together in orbit, position, and velocity. Docking is the actual physical contact between two spacecraft. The latter can and often is ...


23

“Do I have a very naive concept of space travel?“ - honestly, yes you do. Here is an excerpt from Don Eyles’s wonderful book Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir: Guidance would be processed every two seconds, repeatedly correcting and refining the trajectory based on new data from navigation. Into the guidance equation, with each turn of the crank, went ...


7

I don't understand why a computer was needed at all, either on the ground or inside the space craft. As Ben (PearsonArtPhoto) pointed out, computers have always been a part of launching rockets. By no means an optional one. Computers are needed to avoid collisions with the debris around earth, to auto-pilot spacecrafts and to monitor mission data (sensors, ...


5

The only reason near-Earth asteroids still have water is that it's bound up in hydrated minerals where it's become part of the crystal structure of those minerals. Freeing it from those minerals requires baking it out of at high temperatures (up to around 500 °C), the most easily extractable volatile ices are all long gone due to heat from the sun. In ...


3

As just one example consider the Lunar landing. If you think about a vehicle sitting on top of a rocket, with the thrust vector of the rocket passing through the centre of mass of the system for a moment you'll realise that it's not stable: there's nothing making it want to point in any particular direction. But you need it to face in some very particular ...


1

From Tons of Water in Asteroids Could Fuel Satellites, Space Exploration: But asteroids will certainly be more accessible than the moon, another potential source of space-based water-rich minerals. According to Rivkin, landing safely on the lunar surface takes more than a hundred times the change of velocity required to land on an asteroid. Similarly, ...


1

It's all hard. Try operating a basic ascent to orbit simulator where YOU control eg just the thrust. See how many attempts it takes you to reach orbit. Decades ago I did this many, many .... times. Even with vast experience, achieving orbit was a pleasant surprise.


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