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4

Thanks to @astrosnapper's comment I've looked at section 3.2.1. of Murphy et al. 2007 APOLLO: the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation: Instrument Description and First Detections. APOLLO uses the Apache Point 3.5 meter telescope for both transmit and receive, a rotating transparent disk with a mirrored spot on it rotates 20 times per ...


0

"Could" is very open ended. In-flight refueling is something that NASA has not pursued heretofore (lest it impact other rocket development). It would have to be worked out. Sergei Korolev proposed launching components to be assembled in orbit. Getting everything assembled would also have to be worked out (but seems feasible given Gemini 11). It ...


24

The black thing on the right is a SNAP-27 RTG. and the box on the left is an ALSEP (Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package) that it powers. Here's a picture of the ALSEP for Apollo 12: And here is Alan Bean attaching it to the RTG with the antenna to make the barbell object in your original image: As to the second part of the question, it is clearly a ...


8

To build a translunar stage of around 80 tons from the 7 ton payloads that could be launched on the Soyuz booster would require extensive assembly work to be done by astronauts in orbit, which was beyond the experience of either the US or the USSR in the 1960s. Before settling on the single large Saturn V and lunar orbit rendezvous, the US contemplated using ...


1

No. The possibility of using the Universal rocket was considered. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Rocket


10

tl;dr: This is not meant to be a at all a complete answer, but it's a start, and I think it gives a flavor of what will come; that in general the stuff is not very radioactive as (at)Gregg has already predicted. But if your material is in contact with breathable gasses or perhaps even drinkable liquids, don't forget to buy your lunar Radon protection kit ...


1

Maybe, depending on your definition of "orbit". The lowest possible orbit around the Moon is a highly elliptical orbit where the orbiting body just barely avoids grazing the surface at its lowest point. This would mean that the Apollo landers, during their descent to the Lunar surface, would have been in such an orbit, since the landing process ...


17

"Lowest possible lunar orbit..." As pointed out in comments and in answers to the linked questions Are low, polar lunar orbits in general relatively stable? Moon orbit station-keeping delta-V budget What's the floor for stable retrograde lunar orbits? Besides Luna, what celestial bodies exhibit lumpy gravity? very close orbits around any body ...


22

The lowest orbit achieved would probably be PFS-2, a small satellite deployed from Apollo 16's service module. It was intended to go into a 55x76-mile orbit (88.5x122 km), but due to variations in the Moon's gravity field, it made passes of six miles (9.6 km) or less before crashing into the Moon's surface. There are very few stable low orbits around the ...


3

The answer is no. Too much power would be required. Even if the power was somehow available, sufficient power to have an effect on the Moon would heat Earth's atmosphere to such an extent that oxygen and nitrogen would react. Such atmospheric disturbance would interfere with the laser. Even the worlds most powerful laser would have no noticeable effect.


1

Rather than worry about cost, legality, etc. , let me try to discuss the physics of focussing any beam (regardless of power) on the Moon's surface. The biggest problem is that of atmospheric turbulence destroying the wavefront. In essence, you need to do "reverse adaptive optics," measuring the atmosphere and bending the outgoing wavefront so that ...


3

It all depends on the initial conditions. If you need to create a large volume for the accumulation of resources in the shortest time, then this is ideal. For example, as accumulators of oxygen produced from regolith. For residential premises, it makes sense to deliver from Earth ready-made modules to the surface and bury them in trenches. It will be safer ...


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