Apollo 11

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ac6000cw, 9 Jul 2019.

  1. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    As we're getting close to the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, just to say, I did see the TV. I was staying in Copenhagen at the time, and really had no access to television , and only a tentative idea of what was going on in the outside world, but somehow I landed up in the prosperous suburb of Charlottenlund (?) in a house owned by someone I didn't know and saw all the coverage. I do remember being very awed. A few weeks later I saw the amazing 2001: a Space Odyssey film on the wide screen at the Embassy cinema in Petts Wood and that left a deep impression too.
     
  2. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    I remember watching it at Junior School - what an amazing achievement it turned out to be with the then available technology.

    More computing power in today's average mobile phone than NASA had at their disposal puts it into perspective.

    Could it happen in today's PC world as the main architect of the program was the German Von Braun Hitlers V2 creator.

    Great to see them all chain smoking in Mission Control - that certainly wouldn't happen !!

    Is it true that the Saturn 5 is the most powerful engine ever built ?
     
  3. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Yes, the touchdown anniversary time is at 20:17 today (UK time), accompanied by my all-time favourite quote from mission control "You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue" - tension, what tension? :)

    Anniversary of the first footstep on the moon is at 02:56 (UK time) tomorrow.
     
  4. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    A useful reminder today as much as always about what mankind can achieve if our arbitrary national/religious differences can be put aside. The moon landings may not have happened at all if it were not for this guy's contribution.
     
  5. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Yes, basically - a couple of quotes from Wikipedia:

    "No other operational launch vehicle has ever surpassed the Saturn V in height, weight, total impulse, or payload capability." (There have been more powerful designs, but none have become operational)

    "The F-1 remains the most powerful single combustion chamber liquid-propellant rocket engine ever developed" (The Saturn V had five Rocketdyne F-1 engines powering its first stage, each one producing about 6700 kN of thrust at sea level - that's 15-20 times the thrust of a large, modern, turbofan jet engine e.g. RR Trent family, or about 16 times the starting tractive effort of a class 66...)
     
  6. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    I agree - as well as being probably the most experienced designer of rockets in the world at the time, he was very enthusiastic about space exploration and a good communicator. After the Soviets put Sputnik and later Yuri Gagarin into orbit, in the heat of the 'Cold War' the US was desperate to prove they could be technologically superior by doing something the Soviets probably couldn't match - Wernher Von Braun was instrumental in convincing the US government that a moon landing programme might achieve this. A classic 'Cometh the hour, cometh the man' situation.
     
  7. LAX54

    LAX54 Established Member

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    Going with my son to Houston in October, then on to F1, have done Cape Canaveral, that was awesome, Houston is also on our radar :)
     
  8. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    The Apollo programme must be considered one of the defining moments of human evolution & ingenuity. It is an incredible feat of science, mathematics, engineering, invention, technology, manufacturing, assembly, project management, intelligence, team work, finance, political will, human endeavour and resilience . Kennedy gave NASA less than 10 years to deliver something they hadn't even invented and they succeed. They put men on the moon and got them home safely.

    To do that created a machine based on cutting edge technology, with 1 million parts that had to work right every time ( all built by the cheapest contractor as the quote goes), with unavoidable multiple single points of failure, with no real idea what would happen, no real procedures for beyond earth orbit, equipment that hadn't been tested in the environment it would face, really narrow technical success criteria, no real idea if the proposed landing site was viable and limited fuel to mess about with, basically no back up or redundancy systems, no guarantee they could reach the moon, land, survive, take off again, meet the mother ship, dock, and come home safely at all and then they asked 3 blokes to be fired into space on top of a rocket of such a size and power that even Wile E. Coyote would think it absurd! The whole thing is bonkers.

    It is even more incredible when you consider this was 1969, computers were the size of a house, complex mathematical & guidance computations of a life and death nature were done via slide rules, pencil and paper ( and enough Russian probes missed the moon to make this no easy activity), you couldn't get live TV from the other side of the world, most people didn't own a phone and steam trains had only just been withdrawn from British Railways.

    I have long been fascinated by space exploration ( even if the science is beyond me being literally rocket science!) and think it is shaming that we in the west have seemingly given up and handed the baton for the exploration of space to the Chinese and Indians. The success of the Apollo programme and the feelings it produced should be compared with our current times which feels so small, petty and insular. Can you imagine Trump giving the speech Kennedy gave? Even Nikon sounded appropriately presidential!

    More accurately: American moon landings may never have happened. The Russians were also trying to get there and may well have succeeded, eventually. Worth noting they sent a probe, Luna 15, ahead of Apollo 11 in the hope they could return samples to earth first. It crashed into the moon. It was tracked by Jodrel Bank and there was a genuine fear it might be a manned mission.
     
  9. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Buzz Aldrin sounds about right - he took holy communion on the moon which i had forgotten until recently. ( he did so privately as NASA were being sued by some atheist for something to do with reading form the bible on a previous mission - as it matters)
     
  10. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    there is an interesting article on the moon landing TV signals here: https://www.theguardian.com/science...ralia-broadcast-the-moon-landing-to-the-world and i think because of this people in Australia saw the moon landing before everyone else.

    Sadly very little of the UK TV coverage of the moon landing survives. The most commonly seen footage is of Walter Cronkite on CBS. It is worth noting that such an accomplished broadcaster ( the most trusted man in America) was completely lost for words at the moment of landing. He was also on air was on air for 27 of the 30 hours it took for the crew of Apollo 11 to complete their mission on the moon which is a decent shift!
     
    Last edited: 22 Jul 2019
  11. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    malc-c said:..."Buzz... I couldn't remember if it was the feeling that God was by his side and looking over him and Neil on the Moon, or of it was to do with the Apollo 13 mission where God would ensure Lovell and the other two crew members would get home."
    If I have things rightly: a couple of decades ago, Buzz celebratedly punched on the jaw, an "it never happened" conspiracy theorist -- the guy was provoking him, rather than putting forward his contrarian point of view in a polite manner. One could feel that Mr. Aldrin's action was out of line with the highest Christian principles; but as in the World War I novel, with the devoutly Presbyterian soldier from the Western Isles who says, "It is against my religion to be hitting people; but I have been known to fall from grace..."
     
  12. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Same as hearing about the guy who floored George Galloway, it can gladden the heart to know justice has been served!
     
  13. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I think one of the most profound images of the Apollo 11 mission is the shot taken by Collins of the lander returning to Columbia with the earth rising behind. It takes a moment to realise the only person living or dead ( working on the assumption matter can not be created or destroyed) NOT within the frame of that picture is Collins.
     
  14. Karl

    Karl Member

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    I've always loved the famous 'Earthrise' image but don't think I've seen the one you describe? Can you post a link please?
     
  15. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Last edited: 23 Jul 2019
  16. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    I've enjoyed watching the various television programmes commemorating the event. In one documentary (8 Days, I think it was) there was a clip where a reporter asked Michael Collins about the possibility of returning on his own. I can't remember the exact words said, but the reply was along the lines of "I don't want to think about that". It struck me how utterly alone he must have felt in the command module, knowing that he may well have to return solo if something catastrophic did happen to the lunar module. Obviously he wouldn't have just been sitting there twiddling his thumbs while the others were on the moon, but it would have been there at the back of his mind.

    When I was growing up, it was always about Armstrong and Aldrin. If anyone had asked me who the third crew member was, I would have struggled to tell you. I feel that his role in the mission always seemed to be downplayed.
     
  17. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

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  18. Karl

    Karl Member

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    Thanks for the links chaps. It's mighty impressive! I can't believe I've never seen that shot and I watched the landing when I was 8 years old.
     
  19. malc-c

    malc-c Member

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    To be honest there will always be those who claim that the Apollo program was a hoax and never happened. I think that if I was one of those who knew otherwise and was one of the dozen humans that had set foot on the moon I too would have floored the guy for saying otherwise, especially if I had been hoodwinked into the interview as Buzz was.

    I was watching one program where various followers in the "it was a hoax" had their theories debunked by various scientists and astronomer. This was before the Luna orbiter had taken the images (which again some claimed were faked) of the original landing sites showing the decent stages still on the Moon. The two area's where the hoaxers had no redress for the argument was how easy it would have been for any of the 400,000 people working on the project to spill the beans, especially as the cold war Russian spies would love to have exposed the US. And the final nail in the hoaxers coffin was the laser ranger. This required a reflector to be placed on the Moons surface such that any laser aimed at it would reflect the beam back to the origin. This involved humans setting that reflector up, it couldn't simply be drop on the surface and work. In the presence of the hoax believer the astronomer pointed this large telescope looking thing at the area where Apollo landed and fired this high powered laser at the Moon. The screen showed the reflected light coming back and gave a precise measurement to the metre of the distance between the earth and moon... needless to say the conspiracy theory believer had no comeback !

    On a sad note it was announced today that Apollo 11's flight director Chris Kraft passed away yesterday, days after the 50th anniversary, aged 95 - RIP Chris
     
  20. SteveP29

    SteveP29 Member

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    Saw Apollo 11 at the cinema last night.
    If you have the chance, go see it, 93 minutes of pure joy, not a boring part in it

    https://www.apollo11movie.co.uk/
     

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