The Lunar Module was an iconic spacecraft which carried two-man crews to and from the Moon’s surface during NASA’s Apollo Program of the 1960s and ‘70s.  Along with the Saturn 5 rocket and the Apollo Command and Service Modules (CSM), the Lunar Module is the third of the trinity of vehicles which made the moonlandings possible.

Image of eagle on the moon

Tranquility Base:Lunar Module Eagle stands in the morning sun on the Moon in July 1969. Note Buzz Aldrin’s legs as he crawls through the hatch. Dim-witted and/or lazy conspiracy theorists claim this hatch was too small to allow a space-suited human to pass through it. Nonsense! (Image Credit:NASA)

 

Originally there would have been no Lunar Module.The Apollo CSM’s origins go back to the 1950s, and it was intended to be a multi-purpose vehicle for all kinds of missions in Earth and lunar orbit. President John F. Kennedy’s declaration of the United States’ goal to land a manned mission on the moon by 1970 suddenly made it the focus of the project, yet it was not entirely suited to this role.

As originally conceived the entire Apollo spacecraft with a crew of three would have risen from Earth and landed on the Moon, blasting off to return home. By mid 1962 this had been studied and found to be grossly expensive to achieve, requiring the development of gargantuan booster rockets and to be so technologically complex that a landing might not be made until well into the 1970s. Instead a concept called Lunar Orbit Rendezvous was proposed (you can read a transcript of the press conference where this was announced here). This promised to be (relatively) easier and was possible with the Saturn 5 rocket which was being developed at the time.

 

Image of Lunar Landers

Lunar landers compared in an early NASA artwork depicting a notional LEM (Image credit:NASA)

 

How would this work? An Apollo CSM would be launched (with three astronauts on board) along with a Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on a single Saturn 5 rocket. Thrown moonward entirely by the Saturn 5, the CSM and LEM would fly together into lunar orbit; two astronauts would fly the LEM to a gentle touchdown on our satellite. On completion of their explorations the pair would take off in the two-part LEM’s Ascent Stage (leaving behind the Descent Stage with its heavy engine and landing gear) to rejoin their orbiting colleague. The three explorers would discard the LEM before returning to Earth in the CSM. In July 1962 NASA requested LEM design concepts from the US aerospace industry, then at the height of its post-WW2 powers.

 

 

Nine designs were put forward, and the winning concept came from Grumman Aerospace, a company famed for its sturdy and successful naval aircraft. In September 1962, Grumman’s engineers set about the task of building the first true spaceship.  Why do I say that? All previous crewed spacecraft (and as of 2011 all subsequent spacecraft) passed through the Earth’s atmosphere during part of their flight. In contrast the LEM would spend its entire working life in the vacuum of space and would make no concessions to aerodynamics (unlike aircraft there would be no series of hundreds of test flights gradually expanding the performance envelope). Right from the start, the lander would clearly look completely unlike the sleek rockets of 1950s pop-culture. A bulbous, spindly-legged vehicle was envisaged, and many in NASA and Grumman nick-named it the ‘Bug’.

 

Image of LM evolution

Evolution (or in this case intelligent design) of the Lunar Module (Image credit:NASA)

 
 
The Bug began weighing 10 tonnes. It featured a spherical Ascent Stage with a docking port on top and a second facing forward (the astronauts would use this to access the Moon’s surface), while the pilot would look for a landing site through large helicopter-style bubble windows. The LEM was to have had three legs, but analysis suggested that three was not enough to guarantee a safe landing on uneven terrain. Five legs would be much better, but heavier. To save weight four legs were eventually used.

By early 1964, the LEM was recognizable as the craft that eventually flew to the Moon. The boxy Descent Stage stood on four splayed-out shock-absorbing legs ending in bowl-shaped pads, on top of it sat the curious-looking Ascent Stage. Grumman’s engineers had sweated blood to reach this point, struggling to prevent the craft’s mass ballooning to an unacceptable weight. The spherical cabin was gone, instead a cylindrical shape was used, the second docking port became a simple hatch and the large and heavy windows were replaced by small triangular panes. The astronauts even lost their seats, instead standing shoulder to shoulder as they controlled the vehicle (an arrangement which proved no inconvenience in lunar gravity).

 

Astronaut Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot for the Apollo 12 mission, is about to step off the ladder of the Lunar Module to join astronaut Charles Conrad Jr., mission commander, in extravehicular activity

Alan Bean, Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 12 mission, is about to step off the ladder of the Lunar Module Intrepid to join astronaut Charles Conrad on the Ocean of Storms (Image credit: Charles Conrad/NASA)


 
 
Such was the need to make the LEM light that Grumman considered equipping the astronauts with a rope ladder or even just a length of knotted rope to climb from the hatch to the surface.However an aluminium ladder was used albeit a ladder too flimsy to support an astronaut’s full weight on the Earth’s surface.  The lunar lander’s shape was not the only thing to change, its name did too: it was redesignated the Lunar Module as “Excursion Module” sounded too frivolous, as though it was intended for taking the astronauts on a picnic.

 

Image of LM general arrangement

A general arrangement diagram of a J-series Lunar Module  carrying a Lunar Rover Vehicle  (Image credit:NASA)

 

By January 1968 when the first LM flew in space on Apollo 5 (an unmanned test flight in low Earth orbit) the design was complete. As a creature designed for an alien environment, the Bug had an alien appearance. At either side of the cylindrical cabin was a propellant tank, one for the Aerozine 50 (a mix of hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) fuel, the other for the oxidiser (nitrogen tetroxide). These two propellants had very different densities so their tanks were of differing sizes giving the Ascent Stage a lop-sided look.The total mass of the propellant was about 2388 kg. Behind the crew cabin was the Aft Equipment Bay, a box of environmental control systems and electronics including the craft’s Apollo Guidance Computer (the AGC, at first sight laughably primitive to our contemporary eyes  but an ingenious and completely successful piece of engineering ). Four sets of quad RCS thrusters to maneuver the LM through the airless void were spaced evenly around the exterior. Radio communication and radar dishes were placed here and there.

 

This diagram shows the layout of the fuel (propellant and oxidiser) tankage in both sections of the Lunar Module. (Image credit: NASA)

This diagram shows the layout of the fuel (propellant and oxidiser) tankage in both sections of the Lunar Module. The diagram was prepared before the first landing so it does not quite depict any of the craft that reached the Moon, notably the paddle-like RCS plume deflectors are not present nor is the location of the stowed rover used on Apollos 15-17 shown. (Image credit: NASA)

 

The Ascent Stage sat on the legged Descent Stage, an octagonal box housing the throttleable descent rocket motor and its propellant tanks (containing a total of 8212 kg of Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide propellant) , and a modest cargo space for the equipment and instruments to be used on the Moon. (For more technical details see Grumman’s Lunar Module Quick Reference Data .)

 

The Lunar Module "Spider" ascent stage is photographed from the Command/Service Module on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 earth-orbital mission. The Lunar Module's descent stage had already been jettisoned. (Image credit: NASA/David Scott)

The Apollo 9 LM Spider’s ascent stage is photographed from an unusual respective in an unusual location. This was the view from the CSM on the fifth day of the  Earth-orbital mission. Note the Ascent Engine nozzle. (Image credit: NASA/David Scott)

 

 

Many accounts of Apollo refer to the LM with words like ‘flimsy’ and ‘fragile’ but these are not wholly correct. Much of the exterior was covered in protective multi-layer insulation foil, in some locations this was taped or stapled into place. Exhaust gases from the vehicle’s engines and jets could disturb this foil and occasionally rip it to tatters, damage which is clearly visible in some images. However beneath the foil insulation was the craft’s robust pressure hull of metal skin and stringer construction. To avoid riveting or welding the skin and stringers together, Grumman precisely chemically milled the skin panels out of solid aluminium ingots so that the skin and stringers were the same piece of metal. Although its weight eventually rose to almost 15 tonnes, the LM was a fine flying machine, handling like a “nimble, responsive jet fighter”.

 

 

James McLoughlin recently generously donated a print of Apollo 9’s LM signed by the crew to the Planetarium.This is currently displayed in our Exhibition Area. (Image credit:Tom Mason, Armagh Planetarium)

 

Men first flew the LM in March 1969, when Jim McDivitt, David Scott, and Rusty Schweickart successfully tested an LM (Callsign Spider) in Earth orbit during the Apollo 9 mission. Months later Apollo 10 flew to lunar orbit in May. This mission did everything short of landing: astronauts Stafford and Cernan descended to within 15.6 km (9.7 miles) of the Moon’s surface in the LM ‘Snoopy’ and cruised over the Moon’s mountain tops. In July 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin made history by landing Eagle on the Sea of Tranquility.

 

Apollo 16's LM from the reach. The Aft Equipment Bay is prominent. Just above it is the tiny rectacular "tab" of the sublimation plate used to "vent" heat. (Image credit: NASA)

Apollo 16’s LM Orion from the rear. The Aft Equipment Bay is prominent. Just above it is the tiny angled rectangular “tab” of the sublimation plate used to “vent” heat. (Image credit: NASA)

 

How did the crew fly the LM? Both crewmen could control the vehicle, but oddly it was the Commander rather than the Lunar Module Pilot who  actually flew it to the Moon. After undocking from the CSM, the LM fired its descent engine for several minutes to drop out of lunar orbit, descended automatically under the control of the AGC (using radar to measure altitude) until it was 500 ft or so above the surface, then the astronauts would take manual control to use the LM’s two hand controllers to adjust the programmed landing site to ensure they were going to land on a flat area and not in a boulder field or crater.

 

 It is cruciform. Since the Descent Stage had to support the Ascent Stage not only during landing, but also during launch from Earth, it had to be very robust. They built it using heavily-reinforced box structures.

Lunar Module Descent Stage under construction.  As the Descent Stage had to support the Ascent Stage not only during landing, but also during launch from Earth, it had to be quite sturdy. It was made from box structure in a cruciform shape which appeared octagonal with its thermal insulation applied. (Image credit: NASA)

 

 

 

Image of LM under construction

LM Ascent Stage under construction Notice the cylindrical cabin crew compartment and spherical oxidiser tank without their usual skins. (Image credit:NASA)

 

e we can see the normally hidden aft electronics bay, the white sphere of a fuel tank for the ascent engine, the four nozzles of a set of reaction control thrust - ers and the dish of a communications antenna. (image credit: NASA)

In this image of an LM Ascent Stage under construction we can see the normally hidden aft electronics bay, the white sphere of a fuel tank for the ascent engine, the four nozzles of a set of reaction control thrusters and the dish of a communications antenna. (image credit: NASA)

 

To leave the LM meant sealing up the spacesuits and venting all the air from its cabin, before crawling feet first through the hatch, down the porch to the ladder. Returning required the opposite procedure. The LM’s crew enjoyed minimal human comforts with no cooking or washing facilities and only a rudimentary lavatory. Hammocks were slung across the tiny cabin to sleep in. Before taking off the crew would dump any surplus items to lighten the Ascent Stage. A little junkpile of discarded life support packs, overshoes and waste bags grew at the foot of the LM’s ladder. Dressed in their spacesuits, the astronauts fired the small, simple but powerful ascent engine under their cabin and their tiny spacecraft blasted off, using the Descent Stage as a launch pad. This take off was a modest affair compared with the earthshaking Saturn 5 launch which began the Moon missions, the Lunar Module Ascent stage didn’t need to attain the 2.4 km/s to escape the Moon’s gravity,  it just had to reach a lunar orbit (orbital speed in the range 1.5-1.7 km/s) to rendezvous with the CSM. Seven minutes after ignition the astronauts would be in lunar orbit awaiting the rendezvous with the CSM. Once the LM crew transferred into the CSM, their LM Ascent stage was abandoned. All three crew returned to Earth in the Command Module.

 

Image of apollo-16-ascent stage

Apollo 16’s Ascent stage looks a bit the worst for wear during its rendezvous with the CSM, see final picture (Image credit:NASA)

 

Developing the LM was not easy and took longer than planned but in the end Grumman’s engineering team succeeded brilliantly. The Saturn 5 and the Apollo CSM both suffered failures in their gestations, requiring extensive redesign, but the LM did not. Hoping to capitalize on the development effort, Grumman offered variants of the craft for a space programme which was expected to encompass dozens of Moon missions, including a “Shelter” version to act as a temporary base, served by freighter variants, even a wheeled version which could have landed and then trundled across the dusty moonscape. Another, in an example of ploughshares into swords, would have seen the LM, a vehicle of peaceful exploration, transformed for strange military purposes into the Covert Space Denial Module. This ‘space fighter’ for the USAF would have been able to use a mechanical arm to molest Soviet satellites, or even blast them to pieces with a recoilless gun. However, only one LM variant was actually built, the Extended Stay version. This was essentially a ‘Mark II’ LM, with more fuel to prolonged hovering to allow better selection of the landing site, with more cargo space for experiments and a roving vehicle, and improved life support for a longer stay (68 hours) on the Moon. Externally identical to its predecessors, this redesigned LM was used on Apollos 15 through 17.

 

Image of LM at NASM

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC had a real LM (built but never used for orbital testing) parked outside its McDonald’s restaurant. The varying textures and colours of the insulating covering (carefully selected for optimum thermal management of the components below) are very apparent. From head-on the Ascent Stage looks oddly like a face, with the windows as squinting eyes, the hatch a gaping mouth and cheeks containing electronics and propellent tanks. Some dim-witted and/or lazy conspiracy theorists claim the astronaut mannikins at this exhibit are deliberately smaller than life-size, to make the LM appear larger than it was. Again nonsense! (Image credit:Colin Johnston, Armagh Planetarium)

 

Apollo 11 and the subsequent lunar landings were successes thanks to the superb design and construction of Grumman’s Bug, and the LM’s flexible design was instrumental in saving the lives of the crew of Apollo 13. Today, four complete unflown LMs are displayed in US museums, the wreckage of six Ascent Stages lie scattered across the Moon’s surface, Apollo 10’s Ascent Stage orbits the Sun, while six LM Descent Stages rest on the lunar wilderness as memorials to the first days of space exploration.
 

 

Further reading

Chariots for Apollo: A History of Manned Lunar Spacecraft by Courtney G Brooks, James M. Grimwood, Loyd S. Swenson

Lunar Module Quick Reference Data

(Please note that Armagh Planetarium is not affiliated with NASA or any company which built components of the Lunar Module. We regret that we cannot help you trace, contact or research people who worked on this project.)

(Article by Colin Johnston, Science Education Director)
 

Image of A16_LM_descent_stage

Apollo 16’s Descent Stage lies derelict on the Moon. It will probably outlast the Pyramids.(Image credit:NASA)


262 Comments

Felix · July 21, 2019 at 11:13

How did they maintain pressure in the LEM and their suits as well as handle the 400 deg temperature variation . What type of batteries were used to achieve stability in both these areas

Super deduper · February 8, 2019 at 23:47

Lots of good analysis on this page. One simple matter that I have never seen pointed out, is this: With 5 psi of pressure in those suits, and standing the vacuum of space… why is the fabric hanging loose in the shoulders in the photos? The fabric is even concave when his arm is moved inward.

Furthermore, the upper-chest area is a HUGE amount of surface (including the shoulders) and the cross section is oval. With 5psi, that should be puffed out like the Pilsburry Doughboy. The waist cross section is also oval, which shouldn’t be possible if there’s 5psi in that suit.

    Polaris 10K · February 20, 2019 at 23:54

    Perhaps because the suit is more complex than what meets the eye in photographs. I, as a total amateur, guess that there is a pressurized suit within the suit. The part we see in moon-walk photos is a protective cover over that inner part. It’s a good question & one of many which has a good, design-specific answer.

    Here’s a possible answer for you: https://science.howstuffworks.com/space-suit3.htm

    (P.S. the proper spelling of the iconic baker spaceman is “Pillsbury Doughboy”)

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    I Mac · January 5, 2019 at 05:32

    In one Appollo 11 pic you can see stars,but Neil Armstrong and Mike said they could not see the stars with the naked eye. Neil does say you could see them through optics but Mike Collins quickly corrects him saying no.
    Also everyone questions the ability to stay cool in 250 F heat but also how did they stay warm at night or during the 33 hours when it was minus 250?
    Thanks

      Randall Smith · March 9, 2019 at 01:46

      During each lunar mission they all lasted completely during a lunar “daytime”. In other words, the sun stayed out for them for their entire stay on the moon. A lunar “day” lasts 14 days.

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Toby Kinkaid · January 14, 2018 at 14:04

My question deals with the LEM descent and ascent to Lunar orbit. Can anyone offer a calculation as to how much fuel is required? In rough terms the LEM was around 7,500 Kg. The lunar parking orbit was around 60 miles high? The LEM was traveling around 4,000 mph (1,700 m/s) and has kinetic and potential energy relative to the moon. Rough calculations (1/2mv2) plus (mgh) using 1.622 m/s for lunar gravity and come up with over 11 Billion Joules to descent. This does not correct for lowering mass through fuel consumed, it’s a back of envelope just trying to get an order of magnitude. The LEM reports to have carried over 8,200 Kg of fuel plus oxidizer for descent. Assuming fuel is 1/3 of this (Oxidizer 2/3 by mass) then actual fuel on board roughly 2,700 Kg. Using a rocket efficiency of 70% leaves around 1,900 Kg of actual fuel converted into energy for thrust. Is that nearly enough? Thank you for your help with this.

    AykutTari · January 17, 2018 at 11:36

    https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_11g_Lunar_Orbit_Phase.htm
    nasa says apollo 11’s speed when she meets with the moon is 8,250 feet/second
    After capturing the orbit and circularization, ships velocity is 5,479 ft/s which is 1669 m/s.

    You say 15700 kg full mass and 7500 kg mass with no fuel(dry mass). I found on internet that isp of lunar descent engine is 311(which is not sure). You can calculate Delta V on internet yourself. Vehicle is able to change its speed around 2250 m/s in space. It can slow itself down 1669 m/s and has like 590 m/s more to slow itself from moon’s gravity.

    Velocity when you fall to the ground is square root( 2 * g * height ). earth’s g is 9.8 m/s2 but it lands on moon so moon’s g is 1.62 m/s2 and vehicle is 60000m high.
    square root(2*60000*1,622)=441.1 m/s
    so yes it can descent and vehicle has 150m/s delta v more to find a good landing site.

      AykutTari · January 17, 2018 at 12:03

      And Sorry i couldn’t go calculations for joules. by the way isp is “Specific impulse” which is a measurement unit about how effectively an engine burns the fuel .You can check it on wikipedia and find isp’s of different engines on nasa’s website.

        AykutTari · January 17, 2018 at 12:25

        i noticed orbit is 60 miles high and it is around 96.5 km
        sqrt(2*1,6*96500)=555
        so vehicle has around only 40m/s more deltav for choosing the land site and corrections. Sorry for my mistake.

          AykutTari · January 18, 2018 at 10:16

          so i have found something about the energy need.
          i have also found that my math about converting the potential energy to kinetic energy was wrong and vehicle has more spare fuel for corrections and choosing a landing site.
          so vehicle’s potential energy is mxgxh 15700×1,62×96500 =2424080000 joules
          vehicle’s kinetic energy is 1/2(MxV xV)
          =1/2(15700x1699x1699)=22659817850 joules
          which is 25.083.897.850 joules total

          i have found hydrazine’s energy is 16mj/kg. but lunar module’s fuel is mixed and only half of it is hydrazine other half fuel is less efficent but i could only found numbers on a website about apollo hoax which says 15,4mj/kg and it makes sense since other half of the fuel has less energy so i take it.
          and i take that engine efficiency is 70% too. So 1890 kg of 2700 converts to energy.
          which is 29106000000 so yes it has more than enough!
          but i did not calculate the change of the vehicle during the burn.

          so early i converted potential energy of the ship to kinetic energy and added 555 m/s to current 1699 and i found which is wrong. if you add the kinetic energy of 555m/s of the ship ‘s 1699 m/s it makes it around 1787 m/s
          Ship’s total delta v was 2250 but to be exact it was 2253 which means 466 delta v left.
          dry mass was 7500kg. if it has 463 delta-v with an engine of 311isp
          full mass means 8739. That means fuel left is 1239. 826 kg of it is oxidizer and 413 kg of it is the fuel. %70 of it is 289,1 kg spare fuel for energy.
          that means around 4452140000 joules left. it think i have calculated it accurate enough. difference on my both calculations is 430 mj which is 28 kg of fuel so in reality fuel is really very close to 15,4 mj per kg and engine efficiency is indeed very close to 70% too.

          i read that on apollo 11 mission descent phase computer gave an error and needed reboot. so neil armstrong had to land manually since he didn’t have time to reboot and used almost all of the spare fuel.

          Have a nice day. Give me your opinion if you think my math is wrong.
          And the site about the apollo hoax says with this amount of fuel the ship does not have enough energy to slow down like 1699 but ignores that when ship goes away from the earth its potential energy goes up and kinetic energy goes down. less kinetic energy means less speed. So the ship does not need fuel to slow down.

      Toby Kinkaid · January 19, 2018 at 18:08

      AykutTari,

      Your “math” is all over the place. You must appreciate the difference between “weight” and “mass” and the amount of energy it takes to accelerate and decelerate mass. The total mass of over 15,000 Kg is huge. Traveling at 1,700 m/s represents an enormous amount of kinetic energy, and a potential energy contained in the craft.

      For human perspective, although a jet liner is much heavier and has atmosphere to use for lift, when you take off in a jet you can appreciate how much fuel it takes just to reach 450 mph from rest. A craft (LEM) of over 30,000 lbs is massive, decelerating that mass from 60 miles up to rest on the surface of a gravity well (moon) takes a boatload of energy. Billions and billions of Joules.

      Starting with only 10,000 Kg fuel and oxidizer may sound like a lot, but given the burn rate required to decelerate 15,000 Kg mass from 60 miles up, going 1,700 m/s (and have enough on board to later ascend 60 miles from rest)… not even close.

      Look closely at the fuel and oxidizer tanks their tiny. Look at the massive nozzle of the decent rocket. Using 195 Kg/sec burn rate you only have about 51 seconds of burn. Not even close.

      Toby Kinkaid · January 23, 2018 at 20:51

      AkutTari,

      Thank you for responding. Let me give you another take on this to make my point. Newton’s second law F=ma gives us a tool. We know the max thrust of the lunar descent engine as 45,000 N. The best exhaust velocity data I can find is 500 m/s.

      Let’s calculate the amount of fuel Per Minute required to produce 45,000 N in thrust? Using F=ma, we can write F = delta M/delta T times velocity. where delta M is change in mass, delta T is burn time, and velocity is exhaust velocity. For a one minute burn we get 45,000 = delta M/60 sec times (500 m/s). Solve for delta M and it’s 5,400 Kg/minute.

      With a total on-board fuel plus Oxidizer of 8,400 Kg on the LEM. That gives you a total burn time of only 1.5 minutes. That’s only 90 seconds of full thrust equivalent.

      Starting at 100,000 meters high off the lunar surface, going 1,700 m/s (really fast) then adjust orbit and descent down to land at total rest in a gravity well (moon), (and keep humans alive with survivable deceleration) is a lot to ask with only 90 seconds of maximum thrust.

      Does that point out my concern to your satisfaction? Thank you.

        markogts · April 29, 2018 at 22:24

        1) Exhaust velocity is way higher than 500m/s.
        2) The speed change of a spacecraft is tightly connected to its mass change and exhaust velocity or specific impulse via the “rocket equation”. Wikipedia will help you out. Until you don’t understand this equation, you’ll always get wrong conclusions.
        3) Unless you ever landed something on the Moon or other Solar System objects, be humble and always assume you are wrong and NASA is right.

      Toby Kinkaid · January 23, 2018 at 23:23

      AkyutTari,

      I would like offer you yet another way you can look at this, as a change of momentum problem. Change in momentum (delta P) = Force times delta Time. The starting momentum in lunar orbit is (mass times velocity) which we plug in LEM mass of 15,000 Kg and velocity of 1,700 m/s.

      The total change of momentum is 25.5 Million Kg m/s. We know the maximum force of the Lunar Descent Engine (45,000 N). Now you can solve for delta Time and the math comes out to 566 seconds, which is about 9.4 minutes.

      That means with a thrust of 45,000 N you need full thrust for 9.4 minutes to decelerate and change your momentum of the LEM from start to landing at rest. My calculation earlier shows you only have full thrust for about 90 seconds.

      There is just not enough fuel on board the LEM to land by an order of magnitude. Thank you.

        AykutTari · January 29, 2018 at 16:38

        45000N trust per second changes speed of 15000kg 3m/s 1700/3=566 second. Correct
        BUT when fuel tanks are close to empty it is a little more than 6/ms. Your calculation does not include mass change!
        if we think like one perfect burn avarage mass would be (fullmas+emptymass+spare fuel)/2 (15000+7500+289)/2
        45000/11394= 3,94 m/s avarage delta v
        1700/3,94=431 seconds of burn.( I don’t know how many burns they did but at 1969 computers are still very weak and probably can’t do one perfect burn and lost a couple of seconds between corrections.)
        And yes it would be still more than 90sec but you took exhaust velocity 500m/s but
        even primitive v2 german rockets has 2343 m/s exhaust velocity.
        if that engine had exhaust velocity of 500 m/s its specific impulse would be around 51
        EVEN V2 ENGINES has 239 isp in vacuum. And actually lunar descent module’s engine has 311 isp.
        A 311 isp engine has 3049.86815 m/s of exhaust velocity.
        45000=m*3050
        14.75 kg fuel per second
        8400/14,75=569 seconds of fuel

          AykutTari · January 29, 2018 at 18:47

          “avarage mass would be (fullmas+emptymass+spare fuel)/2” i was wrong here it would be (fullmas+emptymass)/2+spare fuel. But it makes 3 seconds difference no big deal.

            AykutTari · January 29, 2018 at 19:38

            Toby Kinkaid
            “Your “math” is all over the place” sorry it was messy.
            “You must appreciate the difference between “weight” and “mass” ” i know the difference in my first language i just mix these two in english excuse me.
            “Traveling at 1,700 m/s represents an enormous amount of kinetic energy” -Yes and 22659817850 joules
            “and a potential energy contained in the craft.” 2424080000 joules
            ” A craft (LEM) of over 30,000 lbs is massive, decelerating that mass from 60 miles up to rest on the surface of a gravity well (moon) takes a boatload of energy. Billions and billions of Joules.” 22659817850+2424080000 joules
            “Starting with only 10,000 Kg” 8200 kg
            2700 kg fuel to burn, 70% efficiency and 15.4 mj/kg you can do the math again. it makes 29 billion joules.

          Toby Kinkaid · February 10, 2018 at 23:08

          AkyutTari,

          Thank you for your response. As you know, there is a difference between theoretical and actual field performance numbers. I would remind you energy content of fuels is listed under ideal conditions, and the other numbers used as “general” examples. Margin of error creeps in with large numbers upon large numbers as it relates to theoretical verses engineering.

          Let me give you another way to look at the question.

          The Lunar Descent Engine (successor TR-201) had a maximum thrust (reported) of 45,000 N. The V-2 you reference is not relevant to this discussion. We’re talking about the Lunar Descent System. Different rockets have different exhaust velocities.

          In my calculations above, using Newton’s laws get to the heart of the problem: changing momentum to rest from 60 miles high.

          Newton’s second law, F=ma, as I wrote above allows us to calculate the change in mass (fuel) required to produce a given force at a given acceleration (acceleration is written as delta V/delta T).

          To produce 45,000 Force over 60 seconds (per minute) you need 5,400 Kg of fuel plus oxidizer. That means your “burn rate” is 5,400 Kg of fuel plus oxidizer per minute at full thrust.

          Therefore, with 8,200 Kg of fuel and oxidizer, you only have about 90 seconds of fuel and oxidizer (this gives you a total change in mass question) at full thrust.

          Now, let’s calculate how long, at full thrust we’ll need to change our momentum from 60 miles up, to rest on the lunar surface.

          The change in momentum from 100,000 meters high (relative to the moon’s surface) and going 1,700 m/s to rest is 25 Million kg m/sec.

          Let’s calculate, therefore, how much time it takes, (see above) and you’ll see you need over 9 minutes of burn. That means to change your momentum from 25 million Kg m/s to zero, and only have 45,000 N of force available to you, you’ll need to burn fuel for 9 minutes. No way around it.

          There simply is not enough fuel aboard to actually land. You need 9 minutes of burn, which would require (5,400 Kg/minute).

          To land on the moon you need a minimum of (5,400 Kg x 9 min.) which is 48,600 Kg of fuel plus oxidizer.

          You don’t have 9 minutes of fuel and oxidizer aboard, you only have 90 seconds at full thrust.

          To land on the moon from 60 miles up, you’ll need a minimum of 48,600 Kg of fuel, far more than the 8,200 Kg reported aboard the LEM.

          Note: Even 48,600 Kg leaves you No margin for error, that’s an absolute minimum figure. To actually land, and provide for unanticipated burns and such, and provide even a minimum standard for safety, you can see, needs a great deal more fuel and oxidizer than even 48,600 Kg provides.

          The 30,000 lb. LEM could not have landed on the moon from 60 miles above the moon, going 1,700 m/s with only 8,200 Kg of fuel and oxidizer on board. It’s not even close.

            AykutTari · February 20, 2018 at 22:35

            you are saying exhaust velocity was 500 m/s and i am saying 3050 m/s.
            This is deadline i guess.
            500 m/s exhaust velocity drops engine’s efficiency around 3%. That’s all i can say.

              Toby Kinkaid · February 26, 2018 at 17:50

              Thank you for your response. I see you’re taking the 3050 m/s figure from the published Specific Impulse. As stated keep in mind the difference between laboratory conditions and field conditions.

              Using the 3050 m/s thrust (which is only applicable at full power under ideal conditions), still doesn’t refute the larger point: there is not enough fuel and oxidizer on board. You agree above at 45,000 N force of the descent engine would take 566 seconds of full burn to change the LEM’s momentum from 60 miles up to zero on the surface. That’s 9.5 minutes at full thrust.

              If you use the 3050 m/s thrust number you must acknowledge that leaves nearly zero margin for error.

              Why would a designer not include additional margin for unplanned orbital burns, and other emergency maneuvers? If given a choice, would not a planner build in as much margin as possible? Let alone nearly none.

              If you take your calculation there was theoretically just enough fuel to make the descent, and therefore it happened, ignores the reality of field operations. A theoretical calculation which leaves you little, or zero margin for error is in no way a practical device.

              If you read van Braun in the 1950’s he predicted three ships, and each of them much larger than Sat. V. would be required, among other things,… for safety.

              Why design a lander, which is reported to have flow laterally in Armstrong’s guidance, which clearly needed to contend with unknowns with nearly no margin for error? You wouldn’t.

              I have never seen any NASA footage of the actual descent burn. Have you? If you conclude there was enough fuel and oxidizer on board to bring a craft which not only has to carry it’s own fuel and oxidizer on board, as well as carry enough fuel and oxidizer to accelerate back, yes of less mass, but not insignificant mass, from the lunar surface at rest to 60 miles up? just doesn’t add up.

              I put it too you. If you were designing a manned lunar mission, with the lives of the astronauts in your hands, and your responsibility, would you only pack 8,700 Kg of fuel and oxidant in that craft? The bare theoretical minimum if everything works in the field exactly as laboratory conditions predict?

              Given the fundamental requirements of even basic safety, and the need to insure success of the mission, I think not.

Paul · January 10, 2018 at 19:30

Couple of Questions: With no air lock on the lunar lander what happened to the air when the astronauts opened the door? Did it go into space? Did they pump out the air so they could reuse or did they just pressurize it? How much air was brought with the lander? With what I could tell it doesn’t look like enough storage to re pressurize. If they just keep wearing the suits until they returned to earth how did they eat, drink, or use the bathroom? If there is a vacuum in the lunar lander what happened to the command module ounce they docked? What happened to the astronaut in the command module?

    Mark · January 21, 2018 at 05:07

    If they opened the door to a vacuum, that air would instantly expand and dissipate outside and be lost. That is what I understand happened. For re-pressurisation, in comparison a large scuba tank has 80 cubic feet of air equivalent, meaning that when discharged it would fill a balloon on the Earth’s ground to 80 cubic feet, or roughly a cube 5x5x5 ft. Can you do a calculation to compare to their reserves? I honestly haven’t spent any time looking at this. Thanks.

Toby Kinkaid · January 5, 2018 at 23:41

Hi, I had a question about how much fuel it takes for the decent to the lunar surface, and the accent back to lunar parking orbit. I don’t see my question posted and just wondered if I’m being rude? Trying to be objective, would appreciate your comments, thanks

    Karl Karlsen · March 1, 2018 at 04:36

    “Why would a designer not include additional margin for unplanned orbital burns, and other emergency maneuvers? If given a choice, would not a planner build in as much margin as possible? Let alone nearly none.”

    Exactly so. To be perfectly honest, the designers did not need to take any potential emergency maneuvers into question because even the critical maneuvers considered, those of actually getting straight to the surface, did not take place.

    I would like to read your opinions regarding the craft’s insulation against extreme temperature (approx -455 F) of space and the crew’s distance to the extreme heat of the engines, Mr. Kinkaid. Not to mention the effects of particulate matter inevitably brought into the module by surface treading personnel as there was no decontamination chamber (mud room.) Thanks!

      Toby Kinkaid · May 24, 2018 at 19:24

      Thank you. Well said. You mentioned temperature and particulates. Your points are well taken. Temperature control inside the different space craft, and the space suits, over long solar exposure is very problematic.

      As you see in the photos, videos, and technical drawings there are no radiators. How could any significant amount of heat be rejected from the system? In extreme conditions of the high vacuum of space, and being exposed to solar radiation alone (1.3 kW/m2 above the atmosphere), anything exposed to the sun will heat up. There will be thermal gain.

      Anything not exposed to the sun will freeze. It’s like flying inside a vacuum thermos bottle. Very difficult to control an environment subjected to such a violent, and rapidly changing thermodynamic reality. The temperature range is extreme.

      A very demanding condition for both hardware and humans. With no radiators, and having no benefit of conduction or convection (as we have here on earth), to help cool off a system it is very difficult to explain how any astronaut’s very narrow life support requirements could be maintained over a flight lasting 6 or 7 days, with no way to reject the massive heat-gain from the sun.

      Oxygen, water, available battery energy, it’s a long list of vital functions which must be maintained over such a long and energy demanding mission profile as Apollo, all with very little heat-transfer gear, and all requiring a very specific narrow range of acceptable temperatures.

      The reality is whenever one side of your craft (or suit) is baking and the other half freezing it would be – a very difficult task to achieve internal temperature control – especially with limited power supplies, and in such extreme conditions.

      Given the gear presented, from a thermodynamic consideration I don’t see how it was possible. After prolonged exposure to the intense solar radiation – both suit and craft would not be able to reject accumulated heat-gain and bake.

        Mike · June 21, 2018 at 03:42

        I notice there was no reply to this question. The issues presented in your multi-paragraph questions are those that have always bothered me. I worked in refrigeration, and could not figure out how they cooled the astronauts on the surface of the moon, and the craft for the 6+ days they were away from any Solar shadowing from Earth or the Moon. Rotating the craft to “warm” it up equally, is more akin to a rotisserie.

Todd · December 13, 2017 at 02:22

Admin,

I must commend you on both your knowledge of the program and your patience with some of the contributors here. It astounds me to read the posts above and to see the level of missunderstanding this program has been subjected to over the years. Keep up the good work. If I can I will provide the odd explanation provided my fear of getting sucked into the craziness doesn’t overwhelm me :).

Cheers!!

    admin · December 13, 2017 at 11:42

    Hi Todd,

    Thanks for the support!! Your comment is much appreciated and made me smile 🙂 Please do provide content in the comments, it’s always helpful and appreciated. It is easy to get lost in all the comments, and if you are a site admin, you do seem to need all the patients in the world. It is nice to get to talk to everyone!

Tann · October 17, 2017 at 22:35

Per the astronaut Don Pettit, NASA destroyed the technology to reach the moon. Why did NASA destroy that technology? I then watched a video of Obama saying NASA is still using the same old technology from 40 years ago. I’m also wondering how NASA lost all 14k feels of the original footage of the moon landings. The most important event in the history of the world and the technology has been destroyed and reels lost? I think if we had those original reels, we could out the hoax to rest. Bottom line, none of us can travel to the moon to validate what we are being told. I also find it odd that we haven’t been back to the moon in over 40 years. We can’t blame it on cost or lack of people’s interest as the Admin claims. Can you imagine what we could capture on film now with HD and the Nikon P900!!
So dear Admin, why Pettit claim they destroyed the technology? He said quote “I would go to the moon in a nanosecond, but the technology has been destroyed and it will take some time to rebuild it.” There are many other questionable things said and done by astronauts on the ISS but too much to mention here.

    admin · October 18, 2017 at 11:17

    Hi Tann, thanks for the comment. When the Apollo program ended, the factories that assembled those vehicles were retasked/reassigned or shut down. The jigs were disassembled. The moulds were destroyed. The technicians, engineers, scientists, and flight controllers moved onto other jobs. Over time, some of the materials used became obsolete. It is kind of like trying to build an old car, say a Model T. Those factories were re-purposed a long time ago, along with the machinery. Sure we could build back up again, but it would be done in a more modern, and safer fashion. As you can see kind of thing happens all the time. Just because an astronaut has stated that the technology has been destroyed, shouldn’t make us throw our arms in the air and cause a fuss. This type of thing happens, we modernise.

    It takes a long time to build something like a lander etc. We can’t build them on demand. You can’t snap your fingers and a new equipment just appears. Any equipment that we do build will differ from what has been made previously. Just like cars, models are constantly improved. Safety procedures now are also much more strict than they were back in the 50s and 60s, and this adds extra red tape to things.

    On a plus note, there are plans to go back to the moon, whether it be with NASA, ESA or any of the other space agencies. So interest is certainly back, it’s just going to take us a bit longer to build the things to get there.

    Hope this helps

    oghrt · January 19, 2018 at 13:21

    The astronauts who landed on the moon discovered the moon is not made of cheese. Therefore, there was no reason to go back to the moon.

sachin · July 28, 2017 at 14:53

I am quite confused, how are the astronauts lit up in shots where the sun is behind them? being a cinematographer one knows we would need huge amounts of light to compensate for the harsh sunlight on the moon, that too without any atmospheric dust particles to diffuse and possibly give some find of a low fill. I also know they did not carry any artificial light (at least not that powerful) The inconsistency is that the shadows falling from the module and the astronauts are hard solid black, but voila, the details on the person are clearly visible. Especially all the pics which are similar to Alan Bean coming down from the module, al most all the astronauts have that one picture. Being a cinematographer for 2 decades and having worked on a huge range of formats, I know its next to impossible to get details in absolutely black shadows without an artificial source. What were they using? Huge reflectors, maxi brutes, xeon lights or HMIs…??

Sirah · April 13, 2017 at 03:38

This is a joke, right? Does anyone else notice all the scotch tape and construction paper holding the lunar module together. And then all the CGI “photography”?

Thierry Labbe · March 21, 2017 at 17:14

Hail to you Admin, for having such tremendous patience with all those moonlanding deniers. They try and try, but you stay calm and provide all sorts of interesting answers, a lot of which was unknown to me. And where you do not have an answer, you do not claim to have one. You have my utter respect! Greetings from the Netherlands

Mister X · February 10, 2017 at 03:13

Yet just 6 months prior to launch the lander crashed during a test flight on earth. Luckily Neil Armstrong ejected to safety. I also find it so amazing that all the moon landings went off without any malfunctions or mistakes, yet the challenger space shuttle was only going into low earth orbit (have to avoid going to high due to cosmic radiation) and had a major malfunction. Go figure. It almost makes one wonder how did NASA pull off going to the moon? I mean the probability of making it to the moon was something like .001%

    John Adkins · April 22, 2017 at 08:17

    HI Mister X, The number of shuttle missions was very large compared to lunar missions, 135 shuttle launches and re-entries. Two shuttles were lost out of 135 was probably what some engineers would have expected. Your probability of only one in 100,000 making it to the moon is very pessimistic, good job you were not on the planning team. It is much better to crash in test flights and sort out the problems prior to a real mission. Sometimes you can learn a lot for failures during testing, that’s what its is for. To push the boundaries of discovery and science, optimistic and brave folk are needed to be astronauts and great engineering teams are needed to design the craft to get them there.

    David · July 20, 2018 at 10:04

    That’s rubbish. How could “the lander” have crashed during a test flight on Earth, when it simply couldn’t operate in Earth’s gravity or atmosphere?

    What DID crash was a “flying bedstead”, the nickname given to the Lunar Lander Research Vehicle. This was nothing like the lunar lander, powered by – I think – eight different engines, including a jet and a number of rocket engines, both liquid fuel and solid rockets.

    With an endurance of only ten minutes it was a pig to fly, involving delicately balancing the different engines and trying to keep the thing steady.

    To claim this was “the lander” shows just how little research some people carry out before trying to “expose the lie” of Neil and the boys landing on the moon.

pop · January 25, 2017 at 06:38

very good

Magnar Nordal · January 20, 2017 at 15:39

Dear Admin,
You must be the most patient person in the world! I stumbled over your site when I searched for technical information about the lander. And I have to say that I have learned a lot.
For those interested in original pictures from the Apollo program do I recommend “project Apollo Archive” on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/projectapolloarchive/

Scott Young · December 8, 2016 at 12:50

Dear Admin

May I congratulate you not only on being an incredibly knowledgeable person on the subject of the Apollo missions, but also on having the patience of a saint for answering some of these questions put to you, in particular the ridiculous ones from people who believe the conspiracy theorists, with such grace – quite remarkable.

My second cousin is the astronaut John Young and he inspired me to become a pilot. I’ve only met him twice, but I can assure the world he definitely went to the Moon, and advise you not to think about claiming otherwise to his face!

Keep up the great work!

    admin · December 8, 2016 at 13:01

    Dear Scott, thank you!

Siegfried Marquardt · October 21, 2016 at 19:41

(Comments must be in English- ADMIN)

Richard Witty · October 10, 2016 at 08:19

Where & how did they stow the space suits & back packs inside the lunar module?

    admin · October 10, 2016 at 09:40

    Dear Richard, thank for your question. According to Engineering Aspects of Apollo (link)

    Toward the rear, the cabin was even more cramped than it was from side to side. At eye level, the cabin was a full seven and a half feet deep; however, from about knee height down, the aft portion of the cabin was filled with the ascent engine cover and, forward of that, the floor space was only three feet deep. In addition, the side bulkheads in the aft portion of the cabin were covered with storage compartments on the Commander’s side and the environmental control equipment on the LMP’s and, in effect, the aft portion of the cabin was only useful as a place for temporarily stowing such things as the suits and helmets and, at night, as a place to hang the Commander’s hammock. Readers should also note that, contrary to what is shown in the accompanying drawings, the crews of the extended missions (Apollos 15, 16, and 17) did not wear their suits during the rest periods and, rather, slept in their underwear. The suits were stowed on the ascent engine cover and further reduced the usable space in the cabin.

    At launch the backpacks (Portable Life Support Systems or PLSS) were stowed in two positions. The Lunar Module Pilot’s sat on the floor between the two astronauts’ in flight standing positions, the Commander’s on a wall to the aft of the cabin. There are diagrams showing these on pages 41 and 42 of APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT – CREW PROVISIONS AND EQUIPMENT SUBSYSTEM (link)

    This site LM-11 (Orion) Cabin Close Out Photos (link) has links to pre-launch images of Apollo 16’s LM, the LMP’s PLSS backpack and two bagged helmets can be seen on the floor.

    I hope this helps you.

Allan - the Swede · September 29, 2016 at 16:38

Hi Admin,
Well, to begin with I overestimated the mass of the LM. Probably, of some reason I thought it was about the same as CSM just because the size is. In that case (theoretically) the two vessels would have the same speed when running the same orbit. So if the LM increases speed in order to catch-up it’s orbit will come to high due to centrifugal forces and rendezvous will not be possible of that reason. And if LM speed is decreased in order to await CSM instead this will result an orbit dangerously near lunar surface and gravity forces will exceed centrifugal forces and bring it down.
But thank God, of course we are now talking about the ascending module only wich is 4,5 T only. Less than half the CSM.
An expedition to (and from?) Mars might perhaps face these issues?
In Swedish: E jag ute och cyklar nu? (am I gone out biking now?)

    admin · September 30, 2016 at 11:49

    Dear Allan, apologies if I am failing to understand, but do you believe that the mass of an orbiting spacecraft effects its orbital height? That is not the case. You might want to research how other orbital rendezvous are done, from the 1960s Gemini missions to the ISS today.

      Allan - the Swede · September 30, 2016 at 20:33

      Ain’t I a newbie?!

      Of course when spacecrafts of different mass are frefalling the trajectory will be the same. The orbital height will decrease constantly though, isn’t it so?

        admin · October 3, 2016 at 09:36

        Dear Allan, why do you think the orbital height is decreasing? There is no drag force acting so the spacecraft keep on moving at the orbital speed for their altitude.

        Could you look at the material at this link to see if it is helpful? Apologises if it is too simple.

          Allan - the Swede · October 4, 2016 at 19:00

          “Low Lunar orbits are unstable due to the variable gravity field of the Moon, so barring any other action, the LEM ascent stages would crash into the Moon within several months.”

          Mark Adler, NASA JPL System Engineer and Project Manager

            admin · October 5, 2016 at 07:23

            Dear Allan, thank you for pointing this out, I hadn’t realised this effect was so severe. There is more about this at Bizarre Lunar Orbits (link). However I still think this would not cause problems for the LM and CSM meeting in orbit.

Allan - the Swede · September 26, 2016 at 17:14

Hello again,
My other question is about the following rendes vouz with the command module. I understand that the moment of lift off is very precisely calculated in order to get the both vehicles meet at the right moment and place and velocity. But what happens when LM at descending procedure of any reason have to abort at an unexpected phase and return to orbit. The CSM might in that case be at another location far away? And my question is how to accelerate or decelerate without going at a far to high altitude resp low? Is this altitude/velocity correction a job for CSM? Sorry for my poor english…

    admin · September 28, 2016 at 15:06

    Dear Allan, thank you for your question. Unfortunately I am not clear what you are asking. Have a look at the question by Michail posted on 28 July 2016 and my response on the same day, do these cover your question?

      Allan - the Swede · September 28, 2016 at 17:22

      Ahh, thank you for that link to “Apollo Flight Journal…” . Just what I was looking for. I never thought about that possibility for the LM ascend module to take a very much lower orbit which also is shorter. They only have to wait and catch-up the CSM above. I was concerned about the gravity forces in that case would bring them down to surface after a while, but after a second thought I understand that the mass of the module is less than half of CSM and even the “normal” orbit is lower in the first place. So the rest is mathematics and rocket science, isn’t it?
      Besides the orbiting phase is not for a very long time so the extra gravity forces will not affect the module at all. No extra waste of energy at all. The CSM i passively waiting in it’s orbit and the LM is doing the job…

      Did I understand this right do you think?

        admin · September 29, 2016 at 10:09

        Dear Allan, I’m glad I was able to help you understand this. I am still unclear about one the points you are making. You said

        I was concerned about the gravity forces in that case would bring them down to surface after a while

        but both spacecraft are orbiting the Moon and without human intervention would stay there indefinitely.

Allan - the Swede · September 26, 2016 at 06:38

Hi Admin!
I this morning found your website while googeling for LM. So I have not yet read it all – perhaps the answer to my question is there. Anyway I have read many times about the LM crew are standing up while landing due to the relatively low gravitation. But how about standing up during the start from the surface? Are ther facilities like “chairs”?

    admin · September 26, 2016 at 09:09

    Dear Allan, Thank you for your question, no there were no chairs. The acceleration of the LM’s Ascent Stage was low enough that the crew could stand throughout. The astronauts were strapped down though, there is a description of this at this link.

    I hope this has helped you.

      Allan - the Swede · September 26, 2016 at 16:45

      Thank you for your answer. I have to say I’m a bit surprised astronauts are not strained from roof direction as well as floor so to speak. Those 30 pounds extra weight makes the person unnecessary heavy at the moment of lift off. I really don’t know the velocity but I estimate about 4 m/s.

Harry T. Falkiewicz · September 1, 2016 at 06:27

Admin, I spent a bit of time reading about 75% of the above posts. I commend you on your incredible ability to accurately respond to every question, no matter how pointed or absurd the inquiry. I am an ongoing advocate of our entire space exploration history and wanted to thank you sincerely for your fortitude and diligence.

    admin · September 1, 2016 at 08:12

    Thanks for your kind words!

Gordon Brinton · August 18, 2016 at 18:49

I absolutely love this amazing and detailed writeup. I stumbled upon your page while looking for pictures of the underside of the LM Ascent stage (rare apparently). I really enjoyed reading through each of the sections and learned so much!

I can’t wait to go home and show this to my kids (7 and 10 years old).

Thank you for taking the time to research and write this!

Jonathan · August 13, 2016 at 12:33

Looking at the Chinese Chang and comparing it to the Eagle, we can see dust is seen near Chang, as a result of the landings, whereas it does not, whent it comes to the Eagle.

Chang:
http://spaceflight101.com/change/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2015/09/3508984_orig.jpg

Lunar module, Apollo 11:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/image/ap11_lm_as11_40_5927.jpg

What are the chances men went to the moon and got back safely the 6 times it happened, when in nearly all other space endeavours people died, including Challenger and flights before Gagarin made it? Does it not seem chances are slim?

Thanks in advance!

    admin · August 23, 2016 at 15:02

    Dear Jonathon, thank you for your questions. Unfortunately I am not sure what you are asking for the first one, could you clarify please?

    The second one is more about my opinion. Yes, I agree that sending people into space is a high risk activity (although it was successful on the first try; there were no “flights before Gagarin made it”) but each mission has a calculated risk of failure based on failure rates of the technology, if the risk of failure is unacceptably high the mission is never likely to take place. In 1965 NASA defined acceptable success rates for Apollo missions to be 90% for mission success (landing on the Moon) and 100% for crew survival. These seem pretty well to have been achieved.

    Have you made some estimation of your own?

      Jonathan · August 24, 2016 at 11:44

      Thanks for answering back!

      I have not made an estimation of my own. I just find it kind of surprising it worked so well when in other space endeavours some fatalities did occur (not to mention other human risky adventures).

      When it comes to Gagarin, I was referring to unacknowledged deaths: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cosmonauts .

      As for Chang’e and the Lunar Module pics, Chang’e pic displays dust as a result of the landings (one can see clearly in the pic, where the spacecraft touched the moon), whereas the Lunar Module does not. My question would be then: why no dust is seen near the Lunar Module parts which touched the moon?

      I thank you for your kindness. I used to believe in the Moon landings. However I suddenly started to think it could have been fake. Either way, it would have been a brilliant solution to the Cold War conflict. I know the Soviets managed to put animals on the orbit of the Moon. They also managed to send a craft which brought back rocks to the Earth. So the Americans could at least put animals (humans too?) orbiting the Moon and land a craft which could come back from the Moon. So in theory a possible scenario… however I just find it would be too risky, it could take human lives unnecessarily. Just faking it would be a safer and surer way of winning the Cold War, and possibly cheaper too. It fits with Nixon’s style (all Moon landings took place when Nixon was president of the U.S). Keeping it secret for so long is a problem with the fake theory. I also find it unlikely that the Nixon administration could have kept it secret for so long…

      Best regards!

Michail · July 28, 2016 at 07:05

Hello and thank you for a fantastic write-up about this exciting piece of technology and history!

While I am no sceptic, one thing I have always wondered is this: How is it possible to blast off from the moon, reach 1½ km/s, and dock with another tiny speck that travels at roughly the same speed? Roughly in this case meaning many hundreds of meters per second delta.

They more or less ran the thing with sticks and buttons, no computer aids, and only a pair of tiny windows. A radar that seems to offer help of the type “Yeah, there is a dot moving across a field of view at a tremendous speed somewhere in thisorthat general direction”.

The precision required for this type of manouver boggles my mind. Like hitting a bullet with another bullet, while sitting inside it.

Any mistake there would mean that they missed each other with a hundred miles or several hundred meters per second mismatched speed. Any deviation to the orbit vector and this could take lap after lap around the moon while wasting fuel trying to correct trajectory.

So I would love to read some account of how this was actually accomplished, because it sounds terrifyingly difficult.

Friendly
/Mike

    admin · July 28, 2016 at 09:33

    Dear Michail, thank you for your kind words and questions. I’ll answer your questions briefly, but note that I have answered essentially the same questions before in this comments section.

    How is it possible to blast off from the moon, reach 1½ km/s, and dock with another tiny speck that travels at roughly the same speed?

    The LM’s Ascent Stage had its own rocket engine capable of placing the Ascent Stage into the same orbit as the waiting CSM. Both vehicles were travelling at the same speed and in the same direction when they rendezvoused. They may have been moving fast compared to the Moon’s surface but very slowly compared to each other, as they dock the spacecraft’s relative speed are literally just just a few feet per second. Note that spacecraft have taken off from Earth’s surface to rendezvous and dock with other spacecraft since the mid-1960s right through to the present day. Low Earth Orbit speeds are much higher that Lunar Orbit speeds, so the absolute speeds the vehicles are travelling at are not an issue as long as they match in magnitude and direction.

    They more or less ran the thing with sticks and buttons, no computer aids, and only a pair of tiny windows

    Virtually every air- or spacecraft ever built has been controlled through “sticks and buttons”, I do not understand the problem you see here. The LM had a 80 square inch window used in the final stages of docking (it is marked in one of the diagrams in the article) but again I do not see why you believe this is problematic, it was big enough for what it was meant for. Again, I am unsure why you believe the LM’s rendezvous radar was not suitable for the task it was designed for. Here is a link to the document APOLLO EXPERIENCE REPORT -LUNAR MODULE LANDING RADAR AND RENDEZVOUS RADAR (link), can you show anything in it suggesting the radar was inadequate?

    Any mistake there would mean that they missed each other with a hundred miles or several hundred meters per second mismatched speed.

    Docking two spacecraft is not the “all for nothing”/”only one chance to get it right” task you seem to think. The Apollo mission profile called for the LM to lift off and enter an orbit that was lower than the CSM’s and several hundred km behind it. The LM’s lower orbit meant it moved faster and gradually (over 3-5 hours) caught up with the CSM. If this didn’t go quite right, there was enough flexibility in the process to get back on track by adjusting the spacecraft’s orbit by thruster firings. In the Apollo 11 mission, the LM Ascent Stage’s initial orbit was too high by about 15 miles, but over a couple of hours, thrusters were fired in a series of burns to gradually lower its orbit to match the CSM’s (one source describing this is the book From the Flight Deck 4: Apollo 11 Moon Landing by David J. Shayler published in 1989). Rather than being “terrifyingly difficult”, it is a complex task requiring skill, training and careful preparation, but given those it is perfectly achievable. Orbits are completely understood.

    Here is a link to a very detailed essay The Apollo Flight Journal Lunar Orbit Rendezvous by Frank O’Brien (link). This explains the procedure, there is a lot to take in but it is comprehensible.

    I hope this has been helpful.

JD · July 18, 2016 at 09:55

Thanks for this page, it is very informative and interesting. I must also mention as others have that you are a model of civility when providing skeptics with detailed and reasonable responses.

William Groucutt · June 7, 2016 at 08:29

Admin
May I just say… I think I love you. Your wonderfully calm, collected and objective responses to pseudoscientific data is awe inspiring. I desperately try to exercise composure when confronted with (often aggressive) claims of hoaxes. I will now use your website and general demeanour as an inspiration. Thank you!

Will – Australia

    admin · June 7, 2016 at 08:42

    Thank you, that’s very kind of you.

Steve · June 5, 2016 at 02:51

Yes, I agree you do have patience. I too, was 11 years old in 1969 and watched the first moonwalk. It ignited in me an interest which I have to this day. My grandpa at the time said he didn’t believe that we went to the moon. You would have to know him to understand why. He was old and ignorant of scientific things and his religion probably played a part as well. Anyway, I was inspired to put together a picture book of the Apollo 11 mission detailing the major (at least to an 11 year old) phases; liftoff, TLI, lunar orbit, etc. I was quiet proud of this and read anything I could get my hands on about Nasa and space. No matter what any skeptics said, I was a firm believer in the moon missions and could never see myself questioning the official history of it.

I would like to take a moment to state that not everyone who believes it was a hoax is an idiot. Nor does everyone who thinks it was a hoax wants to believe it was. It would bring me no joy to learn that my country lied to me. Not everyone who believes in the hoax are country bumpkins with no education, I have read several articles and seen many films where photographic experts and physics degree holders are expressing doubt that we ever went to the moon.

Why am I saying all this? Simply, a few years ago I was on Nasa’s website looking at lunar mission photos in which some things just didn’t look right. I’m talking about the pictures which looked like there was an additional light source used. I’m talking about shadows which make no sense. I could go into detail here but, I think it would just be an exercise in futility. Yes, you do show grace and patience but, in my experience, there is far more hostility toward ‘conspiracy theorists’ than from them. I see people who have genuine, legitimate questions about the moon missions get shot down in flames and called all kinds of insulting things such as nut, wacko and lots of other things which I won’t mention here Why is a person who asks about the validity of a program which cost hundreds of billions of dollars in today’s money an inbred idiot?. Why do we have accountants? Why do we have locks on our valuables? Why do we have a free press? Why are we supposed to believe in the certainty of a fact just because a government says it’s true. I think as a people, to blindly believe in something without question flies in the face of scientific method. I don’t say this to boast but, I have a measured IQ of 157.

I see legitimate questions from people getting dodged and glossed over and straight sensible answers never forthcoming. I believe in math. It just does not address why a planetary body with 8% reflectance can backlight Buzz Aldrin decending the ladder like daylight bit nearby rocks actually sitting on the ground get no such effect. I look at an astronaut reflected in the visor of another in which it’s obvious that he has neither a camera or a PLSS pack on his back. I see much more that these two things. Much more.

I did not want to believe in a hoax. I have no agenda. I never gave much thought to conspiracies. I did not bend to conspiracy theorists. But during my enthusiastic pursuit of my beloved hobby, I came to believe(or disbelieve). I’m not even saying with certainty that I don’t believe we went to the moon. But it seems clear to me that there is something very wrong with the photographic record of the event. I would like to say to those who say that a quarter million people could not keep a secret of this magnitude, do you really think the guy who made the bolts that held together the atomic bomb that the Manhattan Project developed knew what was going on?. The space program was so huge and compartmentalized, very few people would have to be in on the hoax. Even the controllers in Mission Control could have be fooled by telemetry and other data coming it from who know where. That argument does not mean anything.

Also, any doubts one may have about the validity of photographs is not going to be convinced by more photographs such as LRO images. Furthermore, I have no doubt that we have better optics than the ones being used take the photos the public see. I have a 300x telescope that I honestly believe would give resolutions equal to or better than the LRO pics at the stated distance from the lunar surface. It appears that there is something on the moon which the powers that be don’t want the public to see. So that’s all for now. Thank you for this platform. By the way, in all my years, this is the first time I ever wrote my feelings on any website. Again thanks for your patience and grace

(Paragraph breaks added- ADMIN)

    admin · June 6, 2016 at 14:12

    Dear Steve, thank you for your comment.

    I see people who have genuine, legitimate questions about the moon missions get shot down in flames and called all kinds of insulting things such as nut, wacko and lots of other things which I won’t mention here

    I am unsure if you are saying that I do this, if you are please quote an example of where I have done this. I try hard to remain civil, though occasionally I cannot help expressing disappointment at the refusal by some commenters here to research or think for themselves, but I hope I been doing this politely.

    I see legitimate questions from people getting dodged and glossed over and straight sensible answers never forthcoming.

    Please give me an example of where you think I have done this.

    It just does not address why a planetary body with 8% reflectance can backlight Buzz Aldrin decending the ladder like daylight bit nearby rocks actually sitting on the ground get no such effect.

    Would the difference in reflectivity between lunar surface material and a white spacesuit help to explain this?

    I look at an astronaut reflected in the visor of another in which it’s obvious that he has neither a camera or a PLSS pack on his back

    Have you looked at a discussion of this image at a site which does not start by assuming a hoax has been perpetrated?

    I have a 300x telescope that I honestly believe would give resolutions equal to or better than the LRO pics at the stated distance from the lunar surface.

    You might very well have a bigger telescope, after all we have larger ones here for the public to use. The LRO’s narrow angle cameras have a primary mirror diameter of 195 mm, our Dobsonians have 30 cm mirrors. What is the objective size of your telescope? We can use that to compare the resolution of the two instruments. Remember the goal of the LRO mission was to map the Moon at a maximum resolution of 50 cm/pixel from 50km up. I assume the cameras are optimised to do this. Much higher resolution would have been possible by putting a Hubble Space telescope equivalent in Moon orbit but what would have been the point?

    Polytropic · January 21, 2017 at 23:13

    The moon landing hoax is almost unique among conspiracy theories in that some time in the future it can be proven beyond doubt, either way. It just requires an unmanned close orbit to one of the sites with a camera and some agreed method of ensuring the photos cannot be photoshopped. The grainy suspect photos from the LRO were not good enough, they had too many anomalies.
    It seems remarkable that NASA put so little effort into providing positive proof of the landings such as simple photos of the stars with the earth above the horizon.

Bob · May 29, 2016 at 12:11

geezus admin you have the patience of a saint. I was 11 yo when Neil Armstrong uttered those infamous words, my dad actually helped build the LM in Bethpage Long Island. Back in those days, surely at some drunken pool party, someone would have said “I can’t believe we are doing all this to fool everyone”. Why people push the hoax theory confounds me and actually offends me. My father was a great and ethical man and would never have involved himself in a project meant to deceive people. Thank you for this site and your continued mission to educate.

– Bob

Edmir · May 18, 2016 at 03:20

How did Apollos’ equipment and crew managed to survive at least two passages each through the dangerously radioactive Van Allen belts? Recently, Nasa published a video with one of its engineers advertising the Orion project, and refering to a yet unsolved problem of how to shield crew and equipment against the dangerous exposure to Van Allen belts radiation. Wasn’t it a problem for the Apollo missions? Thanks for your attention.
The video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyZqSWWKmHQ

    admin · May 18, 2016 at 07:29

    Dear Edmir, thank you for your question. You may want to read item 3 at 5 Goofy Moonlanding Hoax Theories (link). Remember too that the crew were in the shielded Command Module not the LM as they passed through the van Allen Belts.

    Turning to the video, I think you are misinterpreting the dialogue. Briefly, the Orion spacecraft is shielded just as the Apollo CSMs were, but it is somewhat different from the Apollo spacecraft. Three significant differences are its construction of light weight aluminium-lithium alloy (rather than just aluminium) which to the best of my knowledge has not been used on a previous crewed spacecraft, its use of modern semi-conductor electronics (which were not widely used on the Apollo missions and are more vulnerable to radiation damage) and its design specifications for prolonged deep space operations (causing long-term exposure to cosmic radiation and high-energy solar particles). These differences mean that the exact details of the shielding are not the same so on a test flight there was a need to confirm that the Orion’s shielding performed as expected.

    Also, there was a research payload onboard the Orion test flight designed to measure radiation levels to test the effectiveness of various experimental shield materials and structures (as ideally these would be as light as possible). The engineer in the video may have been referring to this experiment too.

    All of this is discussed in the comments on the the video you linked too.

    Protecting spacecraft from radiation is a very active field of research, you can read more at this link.

    I hope this has helped you.

    (For the convenience of other readers the relevant dialogue is at about 3min 10 sec to 3min 45 sec.)

      Olivia · May 19, 2016 at 19:24

      Isn`t it amazing that no “astronaut” will swear on the Bible that they actually walked on the moon? And when they are asked about it they become very defensive; even hostile. Because they know that swearing on the Bible is recognized as strict testimony they will commit perjury. They also signed a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the truth about us never having gone there. Also, when the astronauts went up into “space”, they saw the reality of what is there and they KNOW that God exists and by swearing on the Bible and lying, they will have spiritual consequences to face at the end of their lives. Hence, they will not swear.

      If they really walked on the moon, any astronaut would be willing to submit to a polygraph test after a medical doctor gave an injection of sodium pentothal after having signed an affidavit with their hand on the bible. They won`t.

        admin · May 20, 2016 at 08:25

        Dear Olivia, thank you for your question and comments. I will try to respond as best as I can.

        Isn`t it amazing that no “astronaut” will swear on the Bible that they actually walked on the moon?

        But is this claim actually true? I know this allegation is on many websites but have all these sources looked into the facts or are they just lazily repeating each other? Could any of the people who say this have agendas of their own?

        I understand that there was an individual who made a habit of aggressively confronting astronauts at public venues demanding that they hold a Bible and swear that their achievements were real. Some refused to do this, I believe that the unpleasant and unprofessional manner in which they were approached explains their unsympathetic responses. However despite this, three astronauts (Cernan, Mitchell and Bean) did hold the Bible and make this declaration. Why do you think the sources that reported “no astronaut will swear on the Bible that they actually walked on the moon” did not tell you this?

        They also signed a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the truth about us never having gone there.

        Do you know this to be a fact or it is just a belief you hold? If it is a fact you must be able to provide me with a source where this is stated. Can you?

        If they really walked on the moon, any astronaut would be willing to submit to a polygraph test after a medical doctor gave an injection of sodium pentothal after having signed an affidavit with their hand on the bible.

        There are problems here aside from the ethical issues raised by this proposal (you are saying that private individuals should undergo interrogations under the influence of drugs to verify their life history). Outside the USA, polygraph tests are regarded as meaningless and their results have no legal validity, it is a technology that simply does not work. Drugs like sodium pentothal are not “truth serums” (even the CIA has reported “…even under the best conditions they will elicit an output contaminated by deception, fantasy, garbled speech, etc…”) so this is no way to verify anything.

        Even if you choose to disregard the testimonies of individuals, the Apollo missions are still some of the best and most thoroughly documented events in history. In addition the body of scientific and engineering knowledge developed for the Apollo project and discovered through it is used daily by astronomers, geologists and engineers. All this field of knowledge is complete and self-consistent. Everyone who uses it accepts that the moon landings occurred as reported.

        I hope that you have found this helpful.

          specguy · June 2, 2016 at 19:52

          ironically the bible itself instructs you not to swear on the bible.

          “But I tell you not to swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King… All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

          Matthew 5

Quintin · April 28, 2016 at 17:41

How much fuel did it take? Need it for a science project

    admin · April 29, 2016 at 08:52

    Dear Quintin, thank you for your question. The Descent Stage carried about 8212 kg of propellant and the Ascent Stage about 2388 kg of propellant, giving a total of 10 600 kg (this will have varied a bit between missions). Good luck with the project!

specguy · April 25, 2016 at 01:05

hello, interesting article. hope you don’t mind me taking advantage of the fact you seem to be addressing all questions no matter how absurd…

couple of ‘bones of contention’ which I didn’t see addressed yet

1. there’s a lot of speculation about the fact the remnants of the landing site of the first mission (or any missions) have never been successfully ‘found’ or photographed since. apparently it was, but I’ve never seen the photo. is there anywhere I can see definitive photo evidence of this, taken recently (preferably not a small random blob)?

2. one of the main counters to ‘moon landing hoax’ suggestions is that a reflective device was placed on the moon which has been used since to bounce rays (or something) off, thereby confirming that we must have landed. however I’ve also heard that we were bouncing stuff off the moon in the same manner before we landed there, meaning what is the point of the reflector we placed if we could already do that? (worded that badly, sorry)

3. from what I gather by watching various interviews and articles on the subject (and I’m no expert in anything science or rocket travel), the prospect of landing a manned craft on the moon in 2016 appears to be infinitely more complicated and problematical than it apparently was in 1969? Do you have any opinion on the feasibility of placing a man on the moon again, today?

    admin · April 25, 2016 at 13:22

    Dear Specguy, thank you for your questions. Briefly
    1. There has never been any doubt about the location of the Apollo landing sites, we have known where they landed from the days the LMs touched down. All the landing sites for Apollo and other robotic missions have been imaged by the cameras on the LRO spacecraft (link). There is a nice article from Universe Today at this link with pictures of the Apollo 11 and other sites. They are exactly where they are supposed to be and show the LM Descent Stages, astronaut tracks and experiments left behind.
    2. Radar echoes had indeed been bounced off the Moon in the 1940s and laser beams reflected off in 1962, but Moon’s rough terrain made accurate distance measurement by this technique impossible. This is why the NASA missions (and a couple of Russian robotic missions) left retroreflectors behind. Reflecting lasers off these gives a much brighter return signal from a point location (rather than an area kilometres across). This enables the Moon’s position to be measured with centimetre accuracy. This has been used to refine not only details of the Moon’s orbit and geology but has helped determine the accuracy of fundamental physics theories such as relativity.
    3. Sending people to the Moon today would require a more comfortable and safer spacecraft design as we demand a higher level of both these than was acceptable in the 1960-70s. For higher scientific returns we would need longer stays, more crew and more gear taken to and from the Moon. These improvements demand a seriously larger (and thus more expensive) spacecraft. In the 1960s (up to 1967) NASA had a huge budget for human spaceflight, far greater than today’s. As soon as that budget was cut, the Apollo project (which was originally meant to continue throughout the ’70s) began to tail off. The public are deeply uninterested in paying for large and expensive space projects so I cannot see any western government paying public money to return astronauts to the Moon anytime soon. When did you ever see street protects calling for more money to be spent on space exploration?

    I hope this has helped you.

      specguy · April 25, 2016 at 20:02

      yes it has, thanks for the info+links and the swift reply. cheers!

Ariel Rahmane · April 13, 2016 at 19:45

Do you know about the mathematical model of the engine?

    admin · April 14, 2016 at 08:30

    Dear Ariel, thank you for your question although sadly I do not understand it. Please clarify:
    Do you mean the Descent Engine or Ascent Engine?
    What do you mean by mathematical model? The engines’ technical specifications? Or the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation?

AKSHAY KRISHNA · February 27, 2016 at 08:27

is it possible to make an air glider with retro thrusters to reduce the impact of landing?is it possible to make such a suit ?

    Marc T · March 9, 2016 at 19:23

    If you look up “jet packs” on wiki, you’ll see a number of options that would theoretically have enough thrust and fuel to slow someone traveling at typical wingsuit speeds if that’s what you mean. However, it would require something the size of those jetpacks with current technology which means you wouldn’t be incorporating it into the suit. Also probably around 5 gallons of fuel or so, and would be very hazardous! Sounds fun though. Typically parachutes are used instead.

Ivan Drummond · February 26, 2016 at 05:13

Did subsequent moon landings carrying people for return differ in design from the original lunar lander? How many landing structures are now on the moon’s surface including those from foreign nations”

mako88sb · January 25, 2016 at 00:17

Thanks for the great site. I read Jim Irwin’s book “To Rule the Night” awhile ago. One thing I only found out about a few years ago was how NASA wrung out every bit of scientific information they could from each mission including having some of the LM’s impacting the lunar surface after the final separation to generate seismic waves for the ALSEP’s left behind. I’m sure you know all about this as well as the spent S-IVB’s being used for the same role.

When it came to Apollo 15, everything was going as planned but as the crew was preparing for the journey home, Dave Scott and Jim Irwin realized that in the rush to meet the LM separation from the CSM at the right time, they had each assumed that their PPk’s(Personal Preference Kit) had been transferred by the other guy but sadly they had been missed. Aside from family mementos that were now in a man-made crater on the moon, Jim Irwin had his best friends wedding ring inside as well. Imagine having to explain that to your best buddy and his wife after returning.

I should mention that each astronaut had two PPK’s, and one of them was kept with the CSM which was the one that was auctioned off during Jim Irwin’s estate sale.

Ashley Winch · January 18, 2016 at 19:44

I am working on a National History Day project about NASA’s Manned Space Missions and this site is great! I was also looking for a contact (primary source) to ask a few questions about the LEM. Do you happen to know of anyone from Grumman that could be contacted that might be able to answer a few questions through email?

Duncan · January 11, 2016 at 18:01

Good day. Thank you for your fascinating website and the information contained therein in regards to this extraordinary machine, the LEM. I am an electronics hobbyist and the electronics in particular of the LEM are fascinating. I would be most grateful if you could advise me of any books which go into great detail regarding the electronics of the LEM including all parameters such as power available, batteries, thermoregulation for the electronic systems (electronic systems are particularly sensitive to heat and it would be therefore interesting to know how all the systems were cooled or heated), radio communications systems and detailed schematic diagrams of these and frequencies used etc. Any information would be gratefully received. Thank you and best wishes.

Jo · January 10, 2016 at 00:43

Great site !
I am doing a paper on Apollo 11 that is due in a couple of months and I am very interested in a few questions.. Please help….How much breathable air was required for the three astronauts from lift off to splash down on the Apollo 11 mission? Can you tell me in liters? Also what kind of system was in place to guide the LM back to the CSM? If Both of these vehicles were traveling at 3,500 mph how were they able to find each other? Also I imagine rocket boosters were used to slow them down before they docked is that right?

Also a pretty basic question if there is no atmosphere in space what exactly does the thrust of the rockets push against?

Thank You so much .
Jo

    admin · January 11, 2016 at 10:53

    Dear Jo, thank you for your kind words and questions.

    How much breathable air was required for the three astronauts from lift off to splash down on the Apollo 11 mission? Can you tell me in liters?

    An astronaut consumes approximately 0.8 kg (560 l) of oxygen per day. Note also that exhaled gas was “scrubbed” through lithium hydroxide to remove carbon dioxide and rebreathed, so oxygen was not just inhaled once and discarded. The longest Moon mission, Apollo 17, spent 12.5 days roughly in space and had a crew of three, so that’s a total of 30 kg. In practice they would have had a reserve, plus additional supply to cover the atmosphere lost every time the cabin was depressurised for an EVA.

    Also what kind of system was in place to guide the LM back to the CSM? If Both of these vehicles were traveling at 3,500 mph how were they able to find each other?

    Launching the LM’s Ascent stage and rendezvousing and docking with the CSM was done exactly how any spacecraft is launched from a surface to rendezvous with another in orbit, just like sending spacecraft to the ISS is done today. The orbit of the CSM was known very precisely, so at any given time its position in space could be accurately predicted. The launch position of the LM on the Moon’s surface was known to an acceptable degree of accuracy. By launching at the right time the LM could be put into a similar orbit to the CSM and be maneuvered to an eventual docking. A radar system with a 24 inch dish (which can be seen in several of the illustrations in the article) was used to locate the CSM and docking was performed manually by the commander through short bursts of the LM’s reaction control system thrusters. He was aided by the Crewman Alignment Sight, an optical device mounted at the docking window.
    In lunar orbit the CSM and LM were both traveling at about 3355mph but their closing speed relative to each other during docking was “a few tenths of a foot per second”. The absolute speeds of the vehicles does not have any effect on how difficult the docking process is. Do note that docking spacecraft together happens all the time in Earth orbit (at much higher speeds, say 7.66km/s for the ISS) and are successful almost every time.

    Also a pretty basic question if there is no atmosphere in space what exactly does the thrust of the rockets push against?

    The exhaust is pushing against the rocket motor essentially but I am not sure that helps you. I’ll try to explain.
    In physics, momentum is a quantity obtained by multiplying a body’s mass and velocity (velocity is not just speed, it is speed in a set direction- an important distinction). Both theory and centuries of practice indicate that momentum is conserved; essentially meaning that it is never created or destroyed.

    Imagine the LM floating in empty space. Inside it are tanks of propellant and a rocket motor. When the craft’s motor is turned on, the propellants are burned together in the combustion chamber, creating hot gases which are allowed to escape at very high speed out a nozzle, pushing the LM forward. Looking more closely, every second the motor operates, a relatively small mass of gas is emitted at high speed out of the motor as the exhaust. A small mass of gas multiplied by a high speed rearward yields a significant momentum in that direction. To balance the books (conserve momentum), the LM must move with an equal and opposite momentum, so it shoots forward (its mass will be greater than the gas in the exhaust, so its velocity will be lower, but the LM’s velocity will keep building up as long as the rocket motor is fed propellant.

    Good luck with your paper, I hope this has helped you.

      semaj · February 6, 2016 at 18:02

      Your body absorbs the oxygen you breath in to survive so how is the oxygen reused?

        admin · February 8, 2016 at 08:37

        Dear Semaj, thanks for your question, if I remember correctly only about 5% by volume of the oxygen in the air inhaled in each breath is used by the body, the rest is exhaled (along with carbon dioxide) in the breath out.

        I hope this has helped you.

Natalie Wright · December 30, 2015 at 02:47

I was wondering what kind of propulsion system would be needed to get a crew safely to the moon from low earth orbit?

    admin · January 4, 2016 at 22:47

    Dear Natalie, thank you for your question. I am assuming from the way you have phrased it that you are aware that a substantial propulsion system would be needed to do this. The Apollo CSM was able to use its AJ10 main engine (burning Aerozine 50 as fuel and nitrogen tetroxide as oxidiser) to leave lunar orbit and enter a trans Earth coast trajectory. The Command Module entered the atmosphere at about 10km/s, this speed made it impossible to enter a low Earth orbit (about 7 km/s).

    Basically and very roughly to go from the Moon to LEO means the spacecraft must lose about 3km/s. This could be done by aerobraking in the Earth’s atmosphere or firing rocket motors. The latter option is completely feasible but needs a considerable amount of propellant carried to the Moon.

    Here are some links to speculations on how this could be done.

    Moon-based Advanced Reusable Transportation Architecture: The MARTA Project
    The Reusable Nuclear Shuttle: To the Moon, Again and Again

    I hope that this has helped you.

Surya · December 27, 2015 at 17:48

I still don’t get it ..how could the LM attach itself after taking off from the moon surface to the Orbiting module which is moving at high speed.
In 1968 did they have such a precision technology to dock on two vehicles moving at such high speeds?
Please explain how?

    admin · December 29, 2015 at 10:32

    Dear Surya, thank you for your comment. The same question has been asked before so I am adapting my previous answers.

    Launching the LM’s Ascent stage and rendezvousing and docking with the CSM was done exactly how any spacecraft is launched from a surface to rendezvous with another in orbit, just like sending spacecraft to the ISS is done today.

    The orbit of the CSM was known very precisely, so at any given time its position in space could be accurately predicted. The launch position of the LM on the Moon’s surface was known to an acceptable degree of accuracy. By launching at the right time the LM could be put into a similar orbit to the CSM and be maneuvered to an eventual docking.

    In lunar orbit the CSM and LM were both traveling at about 1.5km/s (5400km/h or 3355mph) but their closing speed relative to each other during docking was “a few tenths of a foot per second” (Source at this link). The absolute speeds of the vehicles does not have any effect on how difficult the docking process is. Do note that docking spacecraft together happens all the time in Earth orbit (at much higher speeds, say 7.66km/s for the ISS) and are successful almost every time. Rendezvous and docking of piloted spacecraft was extensively practised during the Gemini missions of the mid-1960s specifically to perfect the techniques used for the Moon missions.

    I hope this has helped you.

Norbert L. Simon Col USAF (Ret.) · December 25, 2015 at 18:21

I suggest all the naysayers on this site read Gene Kranz book, “Failure is not an option.”
As most people know, Kranz was the flight director for the successful Apollo 11 moon landing. There could not have been a more dedicated and honest group of people than those associated with the NASA space program. I personally knew two of the astronauts, Gus Grissom and Frank Borman. To suggest that either one of these fine people would have been party to a hoax is vile and repugnant. Apparently a cottage industry has mushroomed around the conspiracy theories dealing with the moon landings. Money must be involved.

christian · November 4, 2015 at 22:31

Was the applo 11 landing true or a big hoax.

    admin · November 5, 2015 at 08:53

    Dear Christian, did you read the article?

      christian · December 15, 2015 at 23:26

      yes

        admin · December 16, 2015 at 08:44

        Dear Christian, that’s good. I hope that helps you.

James Broughton · October 29, 2015 at 06:38

How much fuel was needed to send this thing to the moon and get it back to earth? Something about this smells fishy….

    admin · November 2, 2015 at 13:14

    Dear James, to get the entire Apollo spacecraft (Command/Service Module and Lunar Module) to orbit the Moon took a three stage Saturn 5 launch vehicle. Adding up the masses of propellant for the three stages (found at this link) I get 2708 tonnes of propellant.

    The Lunar Module carried 8212 kg of propellant to land on the Moon while its Ascent Stage carried 2639 kg of propellant to take it back into lunar orbit. I assume you understand that the Lunar Module did not return to Earth!

    Nothing “fishy” here just great and well-resourced engineering!

    I hope this has helped you.

    Nate · March 4, 2016 at 14:58

    “Something about this smells fishy….”

    Correct! That’s caused by Aerozine 50, the fuel used by the Lunar Module. It has a characteristic ammoniacal (“fishy”) odor.

Sean · October 21, 2015 at 15:17

I have a question I was hoping that you could help me answer, or show me the calculations needed to derive the answer.
Assuming for the purpose of this question that you are not concerned about acheving earth orbit, but instead a destructive reentry perpendicular to the surface of the earth.

If you were to launch a payload from the moon acheiving a Lunar escape velocity towards the earth aiming to have minimal velocity passing past the earth moon L1 point.
How fast would the object be accelerated to from the freefall from L1 to atmospheric rentry at an altitude of approximately 100km?

Thanks for the help

    admin · October 23, 2015 at 22:35

    Dear Sean, thank you for a fascinating question. Are you writing a science fiction novel perhaps?

    Basically you are asking what vertically downward speed (with respect to the centre of the Earth) an object (of mass m) would have if it was “dropped” from the L1 point.

    When the object is r metres from the centre of the Earth, it will have potential energy (again with respect to the centre of the Earth) equal to GMm/r (G is the universal gravitational constant, M the mass of the Earth). Let’s say at L1 r=L

    Once the object falls towards the centre of the Earth it will have kinetic energy 1/2 mv*v (where v is its speed towards the centre of the Earth . Since energy is conserved, the difference between potential energy at altitude r and altitude L must equal the kinetic energy at altitude r, so 1/2 mv*v=GMm(1/r-1/L). Putting numbers into this (assuming L=1.5 million km, r=6500 km), I get v=11.06 km/s (which is just a little under the Earth’s escape velocity).

      Sean · October 27, 2015 at 16:54

      Ok, so one of the reasons this thought experiment came up was a way to make the story work where I wouldn’t have to try to do the orbital dynamics calculations to make the science somewhat realistic (lunar kinetic energy weapons platform launching lunar boulders).
      Based on my understanding of the calculations, regardless of the distance from which an object is “dropped” it will never be accelerated to a speed beyond the escape velocity of the body itself.

      So for the reference frame of the Earth-Sun L1 at 1.5 million km the speed is 11.06km/s

      From the Earth-Moon L1 assuming average orbit of 384400km and L1 of 58030km from moon center gives a distance of 326370 km from earth center. Using these numbers I get 10.96 km/s
      However being in a “straight” line with the moon means that the acceleration towards the earth will be lessened by the moons gravitational pull… so calculating these numbers from moons reference and subtracting them from the pull of earth… oh wait, it also gives 10.96km/s.

      Thank you for showing me how to do the basic calculations to make the math accurate and the science somewhat plausible 😉

guyl · October 9, 2015 at 14:33

Thanks, very interesting article! I remember watching the moon landings when I was 11 years old and these things still fascinate me four decades later. I’ve visited KSC twice, once in May1981 (weeks afer the first shuttle flight) and again in 2008. I bought the “From the Earth to the Moon” series and thoroughly enjoyed it.

To give a few of my own answers to a couple of the previous queries:

1- Hard time believing that the Saturn 5 could carry 45 tons to the moon? Go walk under the displayed Saturn V rocket at KSC and marvel at the size of that sucker! The five massive F-1 engines on the first stage are a sight you’ll never forget! they’re also the first thing you see when walk in. The real LM displayed is also very interesting.

2- Think the whole thing was faked? Please explain over 830 lbs of moon rocks that have been examined by thousands of geologists who have never doubted their origin. Add to that the samples obtained by the USSR from their three Luna sample return missions (many people don’t know about these) whose properties were very similar to the Apollo mission rocks. The USSR would have been the first to decry anything fake. Enough said…

John · August 22, 2015 at 14:04

What was the velocity of Columbia and that of the module when their rendez-vous took place? It seems really impressive that it worked pretty fine the 6 times, with the module ascending and managing to successfully get reunited to the Columbia.

Thanks in advance for the help in understanding it.

    admin · August 25, 2015 at 10:20

    Dear John, in lunar orbit the CSM and LM were both traveling at about 1.5km/s (5400km/h or 3355mph) but their closing speed relative to each other during docking was “a few tenths of a foot per second” (Source at this link). The absolute speeds of the vehicles does not have any effect on how difficult the docking process is. Do note that docking spacecraft together happens all the time in Earth orbit (at much higher speeds, say 7.66km/s for the ISS) and are successful almost every time.

    By the way, Columbia was the CSM for Apollo 11 only, different missions had individual names for their CSMs.

      John · August 29, 2015 at 13:36

      Thanks a lot for answering!

        David D. Hand · September 10, 2015 at 00:30

        Really great article. My 6-yr old son is fascinated by retro spacecraft, in particular the lunar module. Can anyone recommend any good books?

          admin · September 11, 2015 at 14:03

          Dear David, thank you, I am glad you enjoyed our article. Two good space books for children your son’s age are:
          My Very First Space Book by Emily Bone (published by Usbourne)
          See Inside Space by Katie Daynes (also published by Usbourne)

          Anyone else have suggestions?

            Nikki · September 12, 2015 at 00:34

            @David D. Hand your son might enjoy the short story I published recently about the lunar module “Eagle” which is free to download (PDF format): http://www.lulu.com/shop/nikki-bolton/when-eagle-landed/ebook/product-22331701.html
            Eagle is personified in this and the story follows the Moon landing from his point of view. I am a huge fan of Apollo missions and wrote this story just for fun. I was quite surprised that nobody else out there had ever drawn the LM with a face!

Kathy · August 8, 2015 at 01:57

I was wondering what kinda fuel they used to blast off since there is no air on the moon.

    admin · August 10, 2015 at 07:12

    Dear Kathy, thanks for your question. The rocket motor used to blast off from the Moon, the Lunar Module’s Ascent Propulsion System was a typical liquid propellant rocket engine, so it used a fuel (Aerozine 50: a mix of hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) and an oxidiser (nitrogen tetroxide). I will add this information to the article.

    I hope this helped you.

A Scott · July 28, 2015 at 09:11

Hi 🙂 I’m a “it did not happen man” but i want to believe.

Just one Q so I can get my facts correct, thanks in advance. Q. Where was the heat-sync / radiator for life-support/cooling located? Thanks, not a trick question just location if known.

    admin · July 29, 2015 at 08:21

    Hi, thanks for your question. The “plumbing” for the Lunar Module’s active thermal control system was located in the Aft Equipment Bay (the “box” at the rear of the Ascent stage) and the porous plate evaporator which I guess could be described as a radiator is a small “tab” above the Aft Equipment Bay. It is very hard to spot in photos of the LM, but I’ll add one the article.

Lena · July 27, 2015 at 22:33

Fascinating article, I love anything space-related and have always had a soft spot for the lunar module, since seeing Apollo 13 and how it was used as a lifeboat. I never ceased to be amazed by the folks at Grumman who designed such a good spacecraft.
I’m glad I’m not the only one to think that the LM has a face – I see faces in inanimate objects constantly! I do hope I can travel to the USA and visit the space museum in future. I want to study aeronautics as a career.

Lena, age 14

Pärnu, Estonia

    mako88sb · January 25, 2016 at 00:00

    If you haven’t seen the “From the Earth to the Moon” mini-series, I highly recommend it. There’s one episode that dealt with just the development of the lunar module that is my favorite. Here’s a brief clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLQeqMaHVYs

    Interested me enough to get Tom Kelly’s book “Moon Lander” which I also highly recommend. Just amazing all the problems they had to overcome designing the first true spacecraft.

Phil · July 6, 2015 at 09:52

1. In the photo of the LM at the start of this article, how is it that despite the photograph having been taken directly into the sun, that the details of the LM and in particular the words United States can still be read and that the shadow side is so well lit? Professional photographers and those familiar with the Hasselblad cameras used are saying that the latter is impossible without fill-in studio lighting.
2. I believe I am right in saying that there is no footage of any LM ever having been landed successfully on a test flight and obviously not in one sixth of the earth’s gravity, so how did The Eagle land first time perfectly on the lunar surface and without any evidence of dust disruption below the central thruster that must have been actively firing on landing or dust on the lander feet? This photo appears to be a studio shot where the LM has simply been lowered down by a crane.
3. How hot was it allegedly in the LM when the Astronauts got back inside since it was in direct sunlight? Is there any recording of Astronauts mentioning being uncomfortably hot or cold as with such untried thermal systems in such extremes of temperature the chances of getting the thermal balance right first time were very slim.
Thankyou.

    admin · July 14, 2015 at 16:23

    Dear Phil, thanks for your questions. I’ll try to answer them as concisely as I can.

    1. There was a kind of fill-in lighting from the Moon’s surface. When sunlight falls on the lunar surface it bounces off it in all directions. Some of it goes back out into space, but some is scattered by the lunar surface at lower angles can illuminate objects in shadow.
    2. As it was impossible to simulate lunar gravity on Earth, the LM could not be tested on Earth, so every flight of the Lunar Module was essentially a test flight. I could argue that the six missions that landed on the Moon were successful test landings! As to your “dust on the feet” query, a rockets or jet powered vehicle descending in a dusty landscape on Earth will blow up billowing clouds of dust particles which slowly descend, buoyed up by air resistance. However you are aware that the Moon has no atmosphere, and that means dust behaves differently. Dust particle are blown up by rocket thrust on the Moon, but fall straight to the ground again. The descending LM was not surrounded by a billowing dust cloud. Also the Descent Engine was throttled back in the final stages of landing and in fact was shut down 5ft above the surface. The chances of dust gathering on the pads was very low. I’m happy to confirm the picture was not taken in studio but on the Moon!
    3. I’m not sure what the temperature was on board the LM when the astronauts returned to it. I know the the atmosphere and temperature in the LM’s cabin were maintained inside acceptable levels by the Environmental Control Subsystem (which you can read about at this link). I do know on one mission (possibly Apollo 11) the LM crews reported the cabin was uncomfortably cool for sleeping in but this was not noticeable when they were active. I would remind you that the LM’s systems were designed based on the experience gained on early projects, especially Gemini, and were tested before Apollo 11 both on the ground and in space during the Apollo 9 and 10 missions so the engineers were not working in the dark as much as your question implies.

    I hope I have helped you.

      Brad · January 14, 2016 at 02:27

      First of all, bless you for having the patience to try and work through these questions. I’d like to add a little to your answers if I may be so bold.

      1. Light to fill in the shadows came from several places, the moon’s surface as you mentioned, but also the Earth, and the Photographer. The Earth shines light onto the moon just like the moon does to Earth, only about 40X brighter because it’s bigger and reflects more light per unit area. And the photographer, or more specifically, his bright white space suit. In any photo where the camera is pointed toward the sun, the astronaut taking the photo is acting like a photographer’s reflector.

      2. NASA built 5 types of simulators to allow the astronauts to practice flying the LM in 1/6 gravity. It’s certainly true no actual LM landed in 1/6 gravity, but actual LM’s flew on Apollo 9 spent more than 100 hours flying, and developing data that was used to refine the simulations. Apollo 10 added 9 hours in lunar orbit. The LLRV, a sort of jet powered spider looking thing, is the most famous but there were 4 others. Some of the simulators are seen in this document: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/Apollo.html It’ safe to say the LM pilots flew with 100s of hours of simulations before they landed on the moon.

      3. The LM was insulated, and had an active cooling system, detailed here: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19720013195.pdf And don’t forget the NASA had the data from the 5 Surveyer missions that landed on the moon prior to Apollo.

        admin · January 14, 2016 at 16:54

        Dear Brad, thank you, that’s both interesting and helpful!

Vaughn · June 27, 2015 at 12:08

Admin:

Good site and information. Very nice handling of hoaxers. Civil, yet firm.

I doubt you would be extended the same courtesy.

Again, thank you for your time and expertise.

Godscountry · April 13, 2015 at 14:58

Reading some of the comments,its suggest to me,that some people are still are questioning the 6 Moon landing’s.I suggest doing your own fact seeking,from those people directly involved in the Moon program and sites like this.Don’t expect factual answer’s from conspiracy sites.I visited one site,they didn’t even know how the lunar lander transversed from lunar orbit to the Moon,claiming the reaction control thrusters was its only propulsion source and could not of gotten the lander to the Moons surface,they seemed to have missed the main engine.

Siegfried Marquardt · March 12, 2015 at 18:27

TEXT REMOVED- ADMIN

(Dear Mr Marquardt, this is the final time I am going to respond to you. As you have been told numerous times before, we are not going to publish your essay because of its excessive length.

I have taken some time to read your essay and found it to be full of errors and misconceptions. I would offer the suggestion that before you offer it for publication elsewhere that you carefully review and check the text for factual and scientific and technical accuracy against numerous reliable sources. ADMIN)

billy · February 3, 2015 at 07:00

I found your article interesting, and your responses to some of the comments entertaining and enlightening. I found this thread looking for info on how the apollo slowed down to land on the moon, and you described it above…………i appreciate that…..and reading your responses to the moon landing hoax guys is hilarious:)….i was tempted to post some wacky stuff for fun:)…good job, your responses were educational.

    admin · February 3, 2015 at 09:15

    Dear Billy, thanks, I’m glad you found this article helpful.

Siegfried Marquardt · December 30, 2014 at 16:11

Apollo 11 and N is always refuted!

In a conventional calculation of the fuel balance, assuming an effective exhaust velocity of 2600 m / s, a fuel shortcoming of over 160 t for the Apollo mission would. Its commitment to an effective exhaust velocity calculations of 3700 m / s; ‘ve never been reached in 1969 and currently can not be achieved, it would fuel a deficit of over 70 t come. Because: For the confluence with the lunar orbit, the CSM would be decelerated with trailed LM of 2.4 km / s (lunar escape velocity) on the Moon’s orbital speed of 1.7 km / s. These would be a fuel quantity of [(2.72 high (0.7: 3.7) -1] * 45.3 = t 9.5 t have been necessary for the moon landing, a propellant mass of [(2,72 would highly. (1.7: 3.7) -1] * 15 t = 8.8 t The start of the moon would have [(2.72 high (1.7. 3.7) -1] * 4.7 = t 2.7 t required and made the escape from the gravitational pull of the moon would have [(2.72 high (0.7: 3.7) -1]. * 30 t = 6.3 t rocket fuel requires for the confluence with the. Earth’s orbit would be [(2.72 high (3.3: 3.7) -1] * 30 t = 44 t of fuel have been necessary sum up thus resulting 71.3 t Now there stood only about 15 tons of rocket fuel to.. available (4 t CSM and LM 11 t). Thus, Apollo 11 and N were refuted forever.

    admin · January 5, 2015 at 12:53

    Dear Mr Marquardt, thank you for your comment. I am afraid there is much here to suggest that your knowledge of this subject is not perhaps as accurate or complete as you believe and this invalidates your conclusion.

    You claim a rocket exhaust velocity of 3700m/s is not currently achievable. Yet LH2/LOX rocket engines of exhaust velocity of about 3800m/s have been available and used in rockets and missiles for decades!

    You say

    [(2.72 high (0.7: 3.7) -1] * 45.3 = t 9.5 t

    Unfortunately this is incomprehensible, can you explain what you think this means and what the quantities involved are?

    Using erroneous facts and pseudo-mathematics does nothing to prove your point!

    Phill · January 20, 2015 at 05:14

    You may be doing the wrong drugs. Stop making it up. And please don’t just copy and past the same numbers with no units over and again, It’s not going to impress.

    “These would be a fuel quantity of [(2.72 high (0.7: 3.7) -1] * 45.3 = t 9.5 t have been necessary for the moon landing, a propellant mass of [(2,72 would highly. (1.7: 3.7) -1] * 15 t = 8.8 t The start of the moon would have [(2.72 high (1.7. 3.7) -1] * 4.7 = t 2.7 t required”

    Not even close to anything!

    Why not try Maths and Science. You are not worth talking to again.
    Phill.

    Phill · January 20, 2015 at 05:25

    To:
    Siegfried Marquardt

    Oh I had to mention.
    YOU CAN’T COUNT YOUR BRACKETS.
    Go away please.

    (Final line removed- Please keep it civil- ADMIN)

Damocles · December 30, 2014 at 15:10

Why do you go to so much trouble to convince crackpots? What difference does it make if some folk don’t believe? They might pass their doubts to their children but once in school they will hear differently. Space travel, like the proverbial caravan, moves on despite their barking.

    admin · January 5, 2015 at 09:28

    Hi Damocles, we are an educational institution so we are obliged to challenge and correct factual errors especially if we are asked questions about them.

Jon · December 5, 2014 at 17:43

Hi Admin,
Thanks for the great article. I also found your patient replies to the above comments to be very helpful.

I’ve never understood the draw of the conspiracies revolving around the Apollo missions. I’m really not sure what is to be gained by proving they never happened.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the film Interstellar, I highly recommend it. Despite some science fiction elements, it does a great job celebrating space exploration. There is a great scene where Matthew McConaughey’s character encounters a school teacher that believes the Apollo conspiracy theories. His reaction is golden!

Thanks again,
Jon

Eric · December 4, 2014 at 15:31

Dear Admin ! I wonder that you question my sincerity. But as free persons as you and I are, you have a right to such things. I just feel bad that I may have offended you. But be sure I had no single thought of it, nor any thought of it whatsoever. Maybe the fact that I expected something back that would align with some-one else’s information comes from my innate need for confirmation. But I also love great brains’ anecdotes such as one of Einstein’s that opinions not submitted to scrutiny is a manifestation to ignorance.
I looked into ‘’ Lunar Module Quick Reference Data ‘’. Thank you very much. The blue print of LM I acquired at a book store in Poland does not show the bolts nor does it show the fifth explosive charge that would sever the umbilical wires from two stages. That, too, must have been done before ascending. What it does not show either is how the ascending engine is mounted.

Naturally after severing the cables from each of the stages there had to be alternate ways of controlling the ascending engine for the cables and any other circuits would be useless after cutting all of connections to the descending stage.

Now, I want to get to what Yuri Gagarin said when he was blown into space and what Collins said at the Press Conference after coming back to Earth. The Apollo astronauts were able to see stars using optical instruments whereas Gagarin uttered words: ‘’ stars look astonishingly brilliant ‘’. Collins said that he did not recall seeing any.

And Gagarin was not the first man in space. Russians lost three other cosmonauts. Two of them are supposedly lost somewhere in space.
What is also peculiar how Neil and Buzz left LEM to step on the Moon. They had to decompress the LEM thus leaving gases on the Moon. I have oxygen in mind along with some carbon dioxide from their lungs. But coming back into LEM they had to compress the LEM. So, along the burned hypergolic fuel the Moon’s surface got a dose of air decompressed from LEM; it became a part of the Moon or dispersed into space as the Moon has too low of gravity in order to hold down atmosphere. But yet some sources claim that the Moon has very diluted atmosphere. And that may account for the flag moving towards the astronaut while an astronaut walks by the flag thus from the Bernoulli’s principle we know that that is the case as the walking of the astronaut creates a low pressure between the flag and the person walking by.
Don’t want to write too much, so I’ll stop now.

Sincerely

Eric
Poland EU / California

    admin · December 5, 2014 at 13:46

    Dear Eric, I am afraid your anecdote claiming the Apollo astronauts needing optical instruments to see stars is based on selective reporting of what was really said. At the press conference Armstrong discussed photography of the Sun’s corona by the three astronauts from the CSM on the outward journey. Patrick Moore, the British TV astronomer asked:
    “I have two brief questions that I would like to ask, if I may. When you were carrying out that incredible Moon walk, did you find that the surface was equally firm everywhere or were there harder and softer spots that you could detect? And secondly, when you looked up at the sky, could you actually see the stars in the solar corona in spite of the glare?” (My emphasis)

    Aldrin responded to the first part. Then Armstrong responded to the second part.

    “We were never able to see stars from the lunar surface or on the daylight side of the Moon by eye without looking through the optics . I don’t recall during the period of time that we were photographing the solar corona what stars we could see.”

    “Optics” refers to the LM’s navigation telescope. Stars cannot be see from daylight side of any planet in the inner Solar System as the Sun and reflected glare from surfaces are far too bright.

    There is no truth whatsoever in the claim that Gagarin was preceded by “lost cosmonauts”.

    The Moon’s atmosphere is to all intends non-existent, the vented gases from the spacecraft probably did locally cause a brief increase in the atmospheric density around the landing site but not enough to cause flag movement.

Siegfried Marquardt · November 28, 2014 at 19:22

Content removed.

Please stop trying to post this essay on our site, publish it yourself! – ADMIN

Eric · November 27, 2014 at 17:17

Dear Admin. I need to correct my English in my last post to you. In the beginning I called you ” Aministration. ” It should be Administration. ” Real to real ” tape rcoder should be reel to reel, of course.
But to continue a bit on the landings on the Moon I have a copy of a couple of blue prints of the whole LEM. The ascend stage was attached to the descend stage which always was left after the ascebd stage lifted off the Moon. It is peculiar how much slmall of a space the whole LEM represented and the ascend engine fit in so perfectly almost not noticed. Also, the blue prints do not show any clamps or some hooks that would keep the descend and ascend stages together. Because in order to separate the two stages one from another there just had to be some attaching devices to both of them to keep them together in space.

So long for now.

Eric

Poland, EU / California

    admin · November 28, 2014 at 15:30

    Dear Eric, the LM Ascent and Descent Stages were connected at four points which were severed by small explosive charges. There is a summary of this in the document Lunar Module Quick Reference Data (link). The Ascent Engine was, as I am sure you understand, designed to be as small as feasible and not to occupy a significant portion of the habitable volume.

Eric · November 26, 2014 at 21:06

Dear Admin. I hope this is not an abbreviation for ” Aministration ”. I expected the exact answers from you as you have them stated. Yes, agents such as back-pull of Earth’s gravity on the capsule would be the major slow down of the spacecraft. Also, the Moon’s orbit constatly changing the position of it in the heavens, therefore navigating in such a way as not to crash onto the Moon. I want you to know that I watched the first lunar landing on a black and white TV in Poland when I was a small boy. Besides the transmission of the lunar TV picture was in black and white anyway. Physics were my main interest in Poland before I immigrated to the US in 1974. That was five years after the first step on the Moon and 2 years after all Apollo programs were ended.

In the US I was still interested in physics and after entering US Army and separating from it 3 years later I began studying physics which was very hard but I managed to get something out ot it even though I was rather a computer technician. I was never interested in computers. Till today all my interests in life are glittered with physics and whatever the subject I pick up I relate to physics. I let you know that I am not an expert in physiscs but Newtonian physics give no problems. I am not one of those theorists who claim that there was no landing on the Moon. Moon landind hoax would rather pertain to one landing, but why would one want to fake six of them? That would rather be nonsensical. Yet, there are plenty of discepancies in all the landings on the Moon.

I have been interested in the hoax for years. But my it was rather skin deep until one time I visited an acquaintance of mine in Burbank, Calfornia in 1991. We had a party there. And as usual we had quite a few drinks. Then I told my friend that I was a short wave buff a long time ago and now I am an electronics techician and that somehow electonics don’t want to leave alone. Then he walked me into a room with all kinds of electronic stuff along with real to real tape recorder, HF, VHF, UHF radios plus some radio working in microwaves. He told me that he had proof that lunar landings were fake. He set up a real to real and he said that he recorded conversations that supposedly came from the Moon and he said that when he directed his directional antenna he could perfectly zoom on Hollywood and picked up conversations on the VHF radios between studiomen who were busy in staging the whole landing in some studio below his house which was located on a pretty high hill in Burbank. I remember only one sentence from that tape that he played for me because we were both drunk and I really did not pay attention to him as well as to the recordings because at that time I hardly heard about any Moon landing hoax. The sentence rang as follows more or less: ” get that ladder closer because I can’t see him in he camera. ” My friend told me that he heard Armstrong’s voice in the background in VHF radios and that Armstrong was on the Earth because there had been no time delay between an astronaut and alleged mission control. Whether that was genuine I don’t know. But I wanted to get back to the girls and this never came back to me until I was beginning to get interested in Moon Hoax.

You have to admit that some things in videos and all kinds of data brought from the Moon are just a bit shaky. I will give you an example which so far I never found being brought up in a supposedly real film of the last mission to the Moon; Apollo 17. There is a guy claiming that Gene Cernan and Schmitt complained that because of the grip of their fingers in spacesuits. Because of the pressure in the spacesuit the gloves would become rigid thus unabling correct grip on things. To overcome that Cernan and Schmitt had to fight that by straining their fingers inside the gloves which caused sores, abrasions and scratches on knuckels all the way to loss of skin on them and raw small wounds. That’s what Cernan claimed in his report. Watch this video :

This is supposedly the real entry of Cernan from LM into Command Module after docking. You have to be quick to catch Cernan’s right hand ( I believe ) at the frame of 34 minutes and 15 seconds. The hand moves very quickly and I managed to stop that on the dime. Cernan’s hand does not reveal any damage to the knuckels’ skin as he said, raw to the bone. We would see red stain from blood or other sacratches. I see no such thing.

That’s it for now. And thank you for your answers.

Eric Poland, EU / California

    admin · November 28, 2014 at 15:13

    Dear Eric,

    “Admin” is short for Administrator.

    I expected the exact answers from you as you have them stated.

    So why did you ask then? You appeared to be asking a genuine question but now I am afraid that I am doubting your sincerity.

    Yet, there are plenty of discrepancies in all the landings on the Moon.

    Opinions are not facts.

    I have been interested …Moon Hoax.

    That’s a fascinating anecdote. Have you any evidence that this is correct?

    You have to admit that some things in videos and all kinds of data brought from the Moon are just a bit shaky.

    No, that is not true.

    Astronauts to this day complain of trauma to their fingers caused by spacesuit gloves, but I would suspect “raw to the bone” is not meant as a literal description.

Eric · November 25, 2014 at 20:24

Apollo 11 moved at the speed of 26,640 km/h. But it took the spacecraft to reach the Moon 3 days. At that speed it should have reached the Moon in about 14 hours. Eric Poland, Europe / California

    admin · November 25, 2014 at 21:19

    Dear Eric, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately I must just point out that the Apollo 11 mission left Earth orbit not at 26 640 km/h as you stated but at 24 545mph (39 500 km/h) – just a little less than the escape velocity of Earth. You are correct in saying that if the spacecraft moved the whole journey at this speed in a straight line the journey time would be well under three days (by the way, this would only work if the Moon was stationary with respect to the Earth). The solution is that the spacecraft did not maintain this speed.

    After a final boost from the Saturn 5’s upper stage, the spacecraft coasted to the Moon, experiencing Earth’s gravitational pull as it climbed higher. The spacecraft’s speed was progressively slowed until the Moon’s gravity became dominant, the spacecraft‘s speed was down to about 2040mph (3280 km/hr) relative to the Earth by this point.

    Note also the spacecraft did not fly in a straight line but a curve (it was still in Earth orbit until it entered lunar orbit).

    I hope this has helped you.

biju lukose · November 10, 2014 at 01:19

The distance between earth and ISS is ~ 350-400 miles.
Time to reach ISS from earth 6 hours.

The distance between earth and moon ~ 240,000 miles.
Time to reach moon from earth ~ 8 hours.
How is it possible…considering the orbital trajectory which is much longer.

about 50 years ago we were able to decide where to land in moon.. with out any studies. and very little computing power.

Now we are still looking for water in moon by explosion and infrared spectoscopy?

50 years ago we were able to have a live feed of lunar landing from a distance of 250,000 miles with great clarity.
We are still having clarity problem when we transmit satelite signals and live war images from afganistan.

to get an image from mars robot it takes few hours. mars is only 249 million miles away.

It is hard for me to believe that saturn 5 rocket was able to send 45 tons to 250000 miles.

Mars rover weigh merely 80 KG.

but we were able to send 2 man and 15000kg(15 tons) of weight to moon 50 years ago. And a craft was able to lift off ang go about 3 times speed of sound perfectly.

We are still struggling to have 3 mach misile??

Answer with some facts and numbers…please

    admin · November 10, 2014 at 10:30

    Dear Biju, thanks for your comments. Sadly I think you may have to revisit some of your research.

    The distance between earth and moon ~ 240,000 miles.
    Time to reach moon from earth ~ 8 hours.

    I don’t understand this. What took 8 hours to move between the Earth and Moon? Apollo missions took more than three days. See How Long Does it Take to get to the Moon?

    about 50 years ago we were able to decide where to land in moon.. with out any studies. and very little computing power.

    Moon landing sites were selected after extensive Earth-based mapping and by the data returned by three separate series of robotic probes. These were the Ranger, Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions. There is an interesting essay on this hosted by the BBC. The Apollo missions took as much computing power as was needed. Remember this was before the hugely memory-hungry operating systems of today and there was no need for graphics. There is a feature on Apollo’s computers at Computer Weekly that might interest you.

    Now we are still looking for water in moon by explosion and infrared spectoscopy?

    I don’t understand your point, but yes. Theory developed since the Apollo missions suggests ice could exist at the Moon’s poles, so missions have been carried out to confirm this.

    50 years ago we were able to have a live feed of lunar landing from a distance of 250,000 miles with great clarity.
    We are still having clarity problem when we transmit satelite signals and live war images from afganistan.

    Again I don’t see your point, modern TV reports by satellite I would guess are superior in resolution to live Apollo broadcasts, perhaps you should see the book Live TV from the Moon by Dwight Steven-Boniecki which examines how the Apollo TV broadcasts were done.

    to get an image from mars robot it takes few hours. mars is only 249 million miles away.

    Again, I do not know what you are asking here.

    It is hard for me to believe that saturn 5 rocket was able to send 45 tons to 250000 miles.

    Sorry you feel that way. May I ask why this seems hard for you to believe?

    Mars rover weigh merely 80 KG.

    but we were able to send 2 man and 15000kg(15 tons) of weight to moon 50 years ago. And a craft was able to lift off ang go about 3 times speed of sound perfectly.

    We are still struggling to have 3 mach misile??

    Again there is a research failure here on your part. I do not know why you think Mach 3 is so important but missiles have regularly exceeded this speed since the 1940s ( the A4 or V-2 could exceed Mach 4 and that was in 1943).

    I hope this has helped you.

    Phill · January 20, 2015 at 04:53

    Hi Biju

    Has it ever passed your mind that some basic undertanding of science and the solar system might be helpfull when making your silly comments.
    Mars is about 56 million miles away at it’s nearest but can be over 400 million miles away as it is in a different orbit.

    Have a look at this PDF about the development of the Apollo’s (and other engines): These are real engines that now puting all sorts of stuff up in space (or do you think phones, weather pics and GPS are fake too)?

    http://history.nasa.gov/monograph45.pdf

    Why don’t you spend a little time looking into basic engineering, science or the primary school astronomy that seems to have passed you by?

    Phill

Fluffy The Detective · November 7, 2014 at 05:13

That hunk of junk couldn’t take out the garbage let alone go to the moon. This has to be one of the biggest jokes in the history of humans.

    admin · November 7, 2014 at 09:10

    Hi Fluffy, thanks for your comments. It might be very interesting if you could explain why you think that.

Siegfried Marquardt · November 4, 2014 at 20:35

Summary of mathematical-physical refutation of Apollo 11 …

(Content removed -ADMIN)
…Siegfried Marquardt, Kingswells, in July 2014

(Dear Mr Marquardt, I am not permitting this content for multiple reasons. At over 1000 words it is far too long (I requested that you edit it but you did not). I have discovered that you have have already distributed this material on numerous other websites so it appears that you are not here to discuss our article but to distribute your essay. Surely you can host this material on a website of your own? -ADMIN)

Siegfried Marquardt · October 30, 2014 at 23:22

(If you wish this comment to be published please 1) make it more concise and 2) re-submit it in English, thanks- ADMIN)

Siegfried Marquardt · October 30, 2014 at 23:11

The mechanical instability of the lunar module would have an intact lunar landing impossible!

Every person on our planet has probably already seen a failed rocket launch, when the rocket has already picked up a few meters from the launch pad and then the engines fail and do not produce more power. As a result, the rocket moves the physical laws of gravity accordingly again in the direction of the launch platform and then tilts due to the mechanical instability simply because the center of gravity has changed dramatically. This would also be the fate of the lunar module of Apollo 11 was because shortly before landing an absolute instability of the ferry had passed! Because the ascending stage would have very roughly to the ground just before landing on the moon for about 5 t and the descending stage would due to the fuel consumption of only 8 t only about 2 tonnes of empty weight had. As the focus of the lander must have lain precisely just before the landing of the ferry on the moon at xm, the torques would like 2.5: 1 to 3: 1 behaved. For an absolutely unstable mechanical system would be active! Even the smallest vibration, such as vibration through the engine or pressure fluctuations in the effluent gases in the nozzle of the engine would have the moon position ferry can easily tip over! A moon landing would indeed be “successful”, but a return from the moon would have been so impossible. But 11 have fortunately survived the imaginary adventures all actors of Apollo, it can be concluded razor-sharp that no moon landing took place.
The solution of the problem is that the focus of a lander simply must be at the level of the nozzle of the engine, such as the Chinese realize this in December 2013, and practiced.

P. S. Incidentally, the author was skeptical thoughts on the instability of the lunar module landing on the moon more than 45 years ago spontaneously for about 1 s had cherished!

Siegfried Marquardt, Kingswells, the 30/10/2014

    admin · November 4, 2014 at 12:02

    Dear Siegfried, I think you are grossly underestimating the abilities of engineers. Do you also disbelieve in vertical take off and landing aircraft? The problems seem very similar.

      Anthony · June 13, 2016 at 23:54

      ‘I think you are grossly underestimating the abilities of engineers’….is that the same engineers that forgot that 100% oxygen at 16 PSI in a confined module is quite a dangerous circumstance to have….tell Grishoms family that….

        admin · June 14, 2016 at 11:18

        Dear Anthony, thanks for your comment (which is the 5000th on this blog).

        I can’t quite agree with you though. Strictly speaking they were not actually the same engineers. The LM was (as I say in the article) designed and built by Grumman while the Apollo CSM was North American Aviation’s responsibility.

        As to the specifics of the Apollo fire, the high pressure atmosphere was only part of an interconnecting set of circumstances leading to a fatal accident (additional flammable material in the capsule, a hatch that was impossible to open, no rescue team prepared and, worst of all, an ignition source in the capsule). Pure oxygen atmospheres had been used in the Mercury and Gemini missions without incidents and I guess this had bred a little complacency.

      ian · January 5, 2017 at 18:29

      The design of vtol aircraft are very different. They have multiple central thrusters that can be controlled from the vertical to horizontal position and which provide four individual jets a distant apart on which the aircraft gets its primary stability (four legs on a chair). They then have four auxillary thrusters which are on the tips of the wings and front/rear of the aircraft fuselage (like stabilisers on a bike). These provide stability being distant from the centre of mass which is below the outer thrusters. In contrast the LEM has a single thruster in the middle and the auxillary thrusters are inboard and above where i assume the centre of mass would be given the design and the expended fuel. This is more akin to releasing a ballon with the air rushing out.
      The notion that they managed to land such a design successfully on numerous occasions having had no useful practice in similar conditions is just ridiculous to an experienced engineer who worked on technology from the same era. Once maybe they would get lucky but on numerous occasions……..sorry not credible.

      And I was an aircraft engineer who worked on Harriers.

    Phill · January 19, 2015 at 19:56

    How due you think so many rockets get to put things like the ISS and satellites on a big unstable rocket, or are they all faked. They use gyros linked to servo driven gimbals on the engines to “balence on the thrust”. You don’t seem to have any relevant engineering knowlege, you don’t even understand that an object that wieghs 8tons on earth is 1/6 the the weight on the moon. It’s a shame that the Japanes took pictures of one of the landing sites, I makes you look so silly.
    Phill

    P.S. What dose “the torques would like 2.5: 1 to 3: 1 behaved” related to a rocket engine mean in any language?

DrSkewer · May 28, 2014 at 15:02

How was the little the lunar module able to find the Command Module in orbit with its little radar and maneuver into position for rendezvous with Command Module with so little fuel?
Did they have some kind of AWACS assistance? Their radar is so tiny.

    admin · May 29, 2014 at 08:44

    Hi, thanks for the question. Like many space endeavours the basic concept of this is simple but doing it is pretty complicated. It’s exactly how any spacecraft is launched from a surface to rendezvous with another in orbit, just like sending spacecraft to the ISS is done today.

    The orbit of the CSM was known very precisely, so at any given time its position in space could be accurately predicted. The launch position of the LM on the Moon’s surface was known to an acceptable degree of accuracy. By launching at the right time the LM could be put into a similar orbit to the CSM and be maneuvered to an eventual docking.

    The LM’s rendezvous radar was acceptable for what it had to do (you can read the technical details here). The dish isn’t as small as you may think; it was 24 in wide which is the same diameter as the dish on early F-4 Phantoms (developed a few years earlier).

    I hope this has helped.

      Roland · September 28, 2014 at 06:32

      …and the techniques for achieving rendezvous in orbit had been evaluated in 1965/66 during the Gemini program (Gemini 7/6 in December 1965, and Gemini 8 thru 12 between MArch and November, 1966).
      Thx,
      Roland

Ed · April 22, 2014 at 03:53

I have always wondered about a few things regarding the landing. When I watched the live TV footage as a kid, the films showed it decending and the motor blasting away dirt and small rocks as it landed, then the live TV footage showed man taking the first step on to the moon and leaving mans foot print on the moon surface.

What puzzles me is the following: If the info I have read on the lander is correct it used 50% of its thrust capacity decendending which would put about 2500kg of thrust under the lander, which is a lot of thrust directly underneath. Now when Neil jumped off the ladder he left his foot imprint in the surface next to the ladder.

Now, I am no scientist but I would imagine that amount of force from the rocket engine would have blasted away any dust or small rocks on the surface near the lander down to bedrock, so no footprint would be possible, or if there wasn’t any bedrock and just thick deposit of moon dust then the lander would have blasted a deep crater underneath the lander untill the engine was turned off.

All pictures I have seen do not show any sort of crater under the lander, those two issues are at odds.

So I would be interested in hearing any plausable explanations. Thanks.

    admin · April 22, 2014 at 06:45

    Dear Ed, thank you for your query. I was planning what would have been quite a long response to your question but I have discovered some other sites that essentially answer it in a lot of detail. These are Stuart Robbins’ Exposing Pseudoastronomy site, the Clavius.org site and Robert Braeunig’s site (which is lot more technical). Have a look at these, as they comprehensively answer your question.

      Ed · June 9, 2014 at 01:01

      Hi, thank you for your reply, I had a look at the links you provided and they didn’t provide me with any convincing info.

      The Braeunig site, gives technical data which I am not qualified to understand or refute, they state that “This isn’t much data to work with, but we can fill in the blanks with educated guesses”, however they mentioned that the gas velocity was in the order of a minimum of 1000m/s to 1700m/s, which is extremely fast coupled with the supposedly 1000kg of thrust in the decent would to my way of thinking blast away any of the dust on the surface. I know what effect my ordinary leaf extractor does on sand and that only has a velocity of about 60-80m/s and from a distance of 1-2mt. and it also does not produce the amount of force that the luna landing rocket produces to be capable of slowing down and suspending a mass of several tonnes off the surface on the descent.

      The surface of the moon was described as having small rocks and powdery fine dust and no moisture.
      The last paragraph of the Clavius site is “The exhaust plume is simply not powerful enough to dig holes in the tightly-packed regolith”. So this would imply that the lunar module is now sitting on bedrock of some form, ie; no dust! Hence there would not be any dust in the immediate area to leave the foot prints behind. Being in a vacuum and 1/6th earth gravity the blast area would be significant with the powerful hot and extremely fast gasses being unconstrained by any atmosphere, and being effectively squeezed out between the rockets focused blast of about 1m and the lunar surface.

      Comparing the rocket engine decent to the Harrier’s jet landings is also not evidence as I have yet to see a video or image of one of those landing on a dusty moistureless airless surface as described on the moon. If one did land on the surface of, lets say a dry desert sandy surface I would imagine that there would be quite deep craters beneath the engine exhausts, but again those engines are bigger and stronger than the Lunar modules had, so no comparisons can be made.

      So anyway, without turning this tread in to one of those long winded conspiracy theory posts and going on and on, picking out inconsistancies here and there. I guess none of us Joe public will ever know one way or another as all this “evidenceor proof” is based on theory and not on actual fact.

      But as a passing thought, all this info is based on the visible effects of the images supplied and the best guess and technical examination of many may or may not fit the visible effect of the images.

      However and most importantly, with the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist…. What if the images aren’t actually taken on the moon? in which case the info and technical details may fit the pics but doesn’t actually prove that they were taken on the moon! Just a thought.

      To me, I still remain unconvinced one way or the other, it just looked odd, always had and 4+ decades later still does.

      Cheers

        admin · June 9, 2014 at 12:30

        But what about Stuart Robbin’s Exposing Pseudoastronomy site?

        Mark · April 25, 2016 at 01:03

        I’m having fun with the NASA archives for Apollo 15 here:
        https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/

        Here is the transcript
        https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/a15.landing.html

        and here is the list of photos
        https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/images15.html#Mag81

        I find it interesting that of the hundreds of photos taken, there seem to be about 4 that show the lunar module up close on the surface, from 11838 to 11842.

        I especially like these ones:
        https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11839.jpg
        https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11842.jpg
        https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/AS15-87-11841.jpg

        Wow that’s some high tech tinfoil hat construction there! Even though it was described as a hard landing at 104:42:29 of the transcript: “We did hit harder than any of the other flights!… Dave’s was by far the highest at 6.8 fps”, not a hint of discolouration from combustion or any damage whatsoever to the rocket blaster after hitting the ground at 7 feet per second! And it finally came to rest an inch off the ground without a single mark to the underlying dust! The tinfoil wrapper seems equally well preserved other than some bending which appears to have been successfully repaired with scotch tape. Only the best from NASA! BTW how did the landing gear survive so well at 7 fps impact? Where are the marks in the sand form this impact?

        And look at that blast crater! Wait… what blast crater???? The rocket engine is only like an inch from the ground and there isn’t a piece of dust missing! But how can that be? At 104:41:39 of the transcript, “At about 50 to 60 feet, the total view outside was obscured by dust.” Where did the dust come from? Apparently not from under the rockets! And those rockets look mighty clean after landing that thing (36,000 pounds!!! oops on the moon that’s 6,000 lb), cleaner than a brand new metal garbage can from Home Depot which is what it looks like they used to make it!

        And where did all this dust land? Apparently not on any equipment that was supposedly shrouded in a thick dust cloud.

        That’s pretty impressive how they can fit 2 guys in that thing, plus the dune buggy, plus a rocket engine, plus all their fuel to land and take off, plus lateral thrusters or whatever they used to stabilize it (where are they?), compressed gases, food, bathroom facilities, “big batteries” to run their “air conditioner units”, don’t forget their golf club and golf balls, a bunch of moon rocks they brought back, all their photography gear, all the electronics allowing them to land using only sensors due to the mysterious dust cloud obscuring their view, plus transmit everything back to Earth live. And back then wasn’t everything working on vacuum tubes and computers were the size of Toyotas? Maybe not but no PC board IC circuits like today. Plus it was pressurized (that’s pretty strong tinfoil!) and had enough space for the astronauts to get out of their suits and presumably they had a spare suit or two, plus their experiment gear, who knows what else I’m missing, probably a few things.

        LOL. Geez, it makes you wonder why the Space Shuttle was so big, when all it had to do was get into Earth orbit, with the help of three other giant rockets.

          admin · April 25, 2016 at 11:30

          Dear Mark, thank you for your comments. I absolutely agree that the ALSJ is a brilliant resource, you’ll learn a lot from it.

          You will discover more about the design and construction of the Lunar Module by reading the article you are commenting on, there are even pictures of LMs being assembled before the insulation material (the “tinfoil”) was put into place over the underlying structure. You really do need to read a bit more on this as your comments suggest numerous misunderstandings based on your lack of knowledge.

          You can learn more about the surface material excavated during landing by LM descent engines (including the Apollo 15 experience) from the paper Cratering and Blowing Soil by Rocket Engines During Lunar Landings (link).

          I think you are rather underestimating the abilities of engineers. Using vacuum tubes and other pre-integrated circuit technologies are not the the showstopper you suggest. There were numerous complex aerospace and military projects developed before and at the same time as the Apollo spacecraft and used similar (or even less advanced) technology but served perfectly well for decades. Examples would be the avionics for the F-111, F-4, BAC Lightning, Minuteman missile (the guidance system on it sounds way more complicated that the LM’s) and the B-52 (which is in use today). Vacuum tubes were not used in the Apollo spacecraft as transistors were widely available when they were designed. IC devices were used in the Apollo Guidance Computer.

          I’ve written several articles on the Shuttle and why it ended up the way it did elsewhere on this site, you might find them helpful too.

          (edited to fix my confusion over the use of vacuum tubes-ADMIN)

            Mark · April 26, 2016 at 00:25

            You seem to be missing my point. First of all, THERE WAS NO BLAST CRATER. There are footprints in the soft dust right beside the rocket. Secondly, the transcript said the dust cloud at 50 feet was so thick they couldn’t see and had to use instruments. Now as a mechanical engineer I’m pretty sure that if the rocket was kicking up that much dust then there would have to be a hole SOMEWHERE around the rocket! Actually, I don’t think you need to be a mechanical engineer to figure that out, even a kindergartener could see that. And that SOME of that dust would have landed on their space ship! And that at 7 feet per second impact you’d see SOME mark on the ground from where the bottom of the rocket hit, plus SOME damage to the bottom of that rocket, with it coming to rest an inch off the ground.

            And my comment about vacuum tubes was a joke, obviously they had transistors but no super powerful small IC circuits like today. The electronics would have been large and they already didn’t have space for a fraction of the equipment they purportedly had.

            Clearly you have lost your objectivity either because you are a government shill or because you are too heavily invested in the moon landings being real that and have developed psychological avoidance behaviours. You’ve lost me, sorry, the moon landing was a hoax, 100% guaranteed, based on NASA’s own archives.

              admin · April 26, 2016 at 17:10

              Dear Mark, thank you for your comments. Sadly there is nothing I can agree with.

              You seem to be missing my point. First of all, THERE WAS NO BLAST CRATER. There are footprints in the soft dust right beside the rocket. Secondly, the transcript said the dust cloud at 50 feet was so thick they couldn’t see and had to use instruments. Now as a mechanical engineer I’m pretty sure that if the rocket was kicking up that much dust then there would have to be a hole SOMEWHERE around the rocket! Actually, I don’t think you need to be a mechanical engineer to figure that out, even a kindergartener could see that.

              But have you really researched or thought about this? Why should there be a blast crater? The rocket exhaust blew away some dust but why do you think it ought to have excavated a hole? The Surveyor and Luna landers didn’t dig craters on the Moon nor did the Vikings and Phoenix on Mars. There are technical papers on the mechanical properties of lunar surface material, have you looked at them? You’re an engineer, so please show me the calculations that led you to the conclusion that there should be a crater under the LM.

              And that SOME of that dust would have landed on their space ship! And that at 7 feet per second impact you’d see SOME mark on the ground from where the bottom of the rocket hit, plus SOME damage to the bottom of that rocket, with it coming to rest an inch off the ground.

              I am afraid you have not researched this at all, the rocket nozzle on this mission was damaged by the landing (mainly by the uneven surface). It seems you do not understand how the Descent Engine was used.

              And my comment about vacuum tubes was a joke

              I am sorry for misunderstanding but that was not at all obvious.

              The electronics would have been large and they already didn’t have space for a fraction of the equipment they purportedly had.

              I am sorry but when and where was this established? Or is this just your personal opinion?

              Clearly you have lost your objectivity either because you are a government shill or because you are too heavily invested in the moon landings being real that and have developed psychological avoidance behaviours.

              Again I am sorry but these are just your opinions and are not facts. Currently I am a professional educator. I do not work for the “government” and I suspect I am not even in the same country as you are. I am knowledgeable about astronomy, physics and aerospace engineering as I need to be to do my job successfully. I have seen nothing in my career to suggest that any space mission is a hoax. Would you consider that your accusatory and insulting tone may be a sign that you know your argument is not supported by the facts?

              Mark · April 27, 2016 at 05:16

              My “accusatory and insulting tone” is a response to your initial insult about my “lack of knowledge”.

              “please show me the calculations that led you to the conclusion that there should be a crater under the LM.”
              I don’t need calculations for this simple situation. In these kinds of cases, calculations are usually brought out to mislead people, not to clarify. In science and engineering, the simpler the explanation and the less math you use, the better. And the more it is based on empirical evidence rather than theoretical, the better. As I have pointed out twice now, the transcript reads that the dust clouds were so thick at 50 to 60 feet up that they could not see out the windows and had to use instruments to land. This dust had to come from somewhere, according to the law of conservation of mass. If not from a blast crater, then can you please tell me where from?

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass

              Why do I believe there should be a hole? Because simple observation dictates that when you hold a leaf blower vertically over loose dust it blows it away and makes a hole. Now put a few thousand leaf lowers together in an area a meter across over some dust and see what happens. I don’t need pseudo-scientific shock-and-awe math essays to sway me (I’ve seen them and they are not valid); I’m way beyond that. Furthermore, because the gases were exiting into a vacuum they would have expanded quickly and created even more scouring. And furtherfurthermore, since the dust cloud at 60 feet was overwhelming, the scouring action at 10 and 5 feet would have been exponentially greater!

              I noticed that you have not refuted my claim that the supposed thick dust cloud would have left residue on the space ship; I see not a hint of dust on it. This is totally inconsistent with the transcript. Can you please show me some dust residue on Apollo 15? Just answer the question please.

              “I am sorry but when and where was this established?” (that electronics was large). Because by the 1980’s, the computer needed to run Pac-man was the size of a table, and that was 10 years later. I know this because there is one sitting in front of me. I had computers back then and I know how big they were.

              admin · April 29, 2016 at 10:30

              Dear Mark, I am sorry that you were offended, that was not my intention. Can we look at this together and examine the problems you are having?

              I don’t need calculations for this simple situation. In these kinds of cases, calculations are usually brought out to mislead people, not to clarify.

              I am sorry but straight away I cannot agree with this. Calculations are central to engineering and physical sciences. Describing a physical situation with mathematics makes it impossible to lie or mislead. Can you accept, for sake of argument, that the descent of a spacecraft to the Moon and its effects on the Moon’s surface be accurately described by mathematics?

              In science and engineering, the simpler the explanation and the less math you use, the better.

              Agreed, but many situations are intrinsically complex.

              And the more it is based on empirical evidence rather than theoretical, the better. As I have pointed out twice now, the transcript reads that the dust clouds were so thick at 50 to 60 feet up that they could not see out the windows and had to use instruments to land. This dust had to come from somewhere, according to the law of conservation of mass. If not from a blast crater, then can you please tell me where from?

              You believe that if enough dust has been kicked up to obscure vision that means enough dust has be been removed to leave a crater. Let us look at some empirical evidence of a very roughly similar situation. Here is a link to photos of helicopters landing in deserts and blowing up huge dust clouds, in some cases the helicopter is barely visible. Will there be craters underneath the helicopters? If you think there will be, please find pictures of helicopter blast craters to show me. If you think there will not be, what does that do to your reasoning?

              Why do I believe there should be a hole? Because simple observation dictates that when you hold a leaf blower vertically over loose dust it blows it away and makes a hole. Now put a few thousand leaf lowers together in an area a meter across over some dust and see what happens.

              Please investigate the force (in Newtons or lb) a leaf blower exerts, the area of its nozzle, how far away it is from the dust, the average weight of the dust particles. Then research the variation of the thrust of the LM’s Descent Engine as it approached the Moon’s surface (remember it was being throttled back and was in fact shut down before it reached the surface), the area of its nozzle and the average weight of a particle of lunar soil. Compare these and see what you think.

              I don’t need pseudo-scientific shock-and-awe math essays to sway me (I’ve seen them and they are not valid);

              Where did you see these essays? How do you know they are invalid?

              I’m way beyond that. Furthermore, because the gases were exiting into a vacuum they would have expanded quickly and created even more scouring. And furtherfurthermore, since the dust cloud at 60 feet was overwhelming, the scouring action at 10 and 5 feet would have been exponentially greater!

              Please check the numbers discussed above, I do not think you are playing with a full deck until you do. Why make life harder for yourself by arguing without the support of facts?

              I noticed that you have not refuted my claim that the supposed thick dust cloud would have left residue on the space ship; I see not a hint of dust on it. This is totally inconsistent with the transcript. Can you please show me some dust residue on Apollo 15? Just answer the question please.

              The Moon has no atmosphere, and that means dust behaves differently than it does on Earth. Dust particles are blown up by rocket thrust on the Moon, but fall straight to the ground again, because there is no atmosphere to buoy it up. Blown dust streaks rapidly away in all directions radially from the rocket plume.This means that the descending LM was not surrounded by a billowing dust cloud. Also the Descent Engine was throttled back in the final stages of landing and in fact was shut down above the surface. The chances of dust gathering on the pads was very low as the dust than can be seen being blasted away in films taken from LM during landing is blowing underneath, rather than over, the footpads.

              “I am sorry but when and where was this established?” (that electronics was large). Because by the 1980’s, the computer needed to run Pac-man was the size of a table, and that was 10 years later. I know this because there is one sitting in front of me. I had computers back then and I know how big they were.

              Yes, but the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) did not have to run Pac-Man or even display graphics. It did have to do lots of calculations very quickly but that is all. The AGC is a real piece of hardware, its specifications are freely available (hobbyists have used these to build their own working replicas) and it is absolutely capable of performing the tasks it needed to do.

              I was also querying your claim “they already didn’t have space for a fraction of the equipment they purportedly had” as I cannot understand why you are saying this (I have added an extra cutaway diagram to the post to show some of the LM’s interior in case this helps your understanding).

              Gene · October 15, 2017 at 11:41

              You try to come of like and objective.thinker. You are just another hoaxtard who believes you know better yhan us mere mortals when in fact you don’t have the intelligence to understand the explanations.

    Roland · September 28, 2014 at 06:29

    Ed,
    Consider there is quite a difference between “blow away some dust” and “blow away all the dust”.
    Next, the ngine was throttled down to far less than 50%. Upon touchdown, the LM’s mass was about 8 tons. Given the 1/6 lunar gravity, this would be equivalent to a weight of some 3,000 lbf when the LM was hovering.
    Also, consider that there is no ambient atmospheric pressure that would compress the exhaust plume into a narrow column of thrust. Rather, the exhaus gases would expand into all directions immediately after leavinig the engine bell.
    Comng back to my first point: the regolith is not just a few inches thick, and the material is very adhesive. I think the braeunig paper provides quite a good explanation, based on the well-established laws of physics.
    Thx,
    Roland

    darren · March 28, 2018 at 10:45

    The thruster under the lem wasnt the only jet, there were directional thrusters quite high up with shielding to angle the gasses away

Jay · March 26, 2014 at 22:19

Why was the LM of apollo 16 almost destroyed?

    admin · March 27, 2014 at 10:44

    I wasn’t aware that it was almost destroyed. Can you clarify what you are asking?

      Roland · September 28, 2014 at 06:10

      Jay was probably just referring to the almost-torn-off thermal blankets.

aidan · March 12, 2014 at 03:40

thats a intresting fact

Spacegen1 · December 6, 2013 at 09:12

I still find it hard to believe they were able to cram the apollo LM and the apollo CM and SM in a single saturn V rocket with everything else needed for the missions including the ones where they started using the lunar rovers. On top of all that they had food, watter and oxygen for 8 days! Not that I’m saying the moon landings never happened. It’s just allot of stuff for one rocket to handle, not to mention the size of everything put together and launched all at once. Wouldn’t it have been easier and more plausible to send the LM and consumables (food,water, etc.) into earth orbit first then dock with it after launching the command and service module? Or did they do that for the apollo missions?

    admin · December 6, 2013 at 11:02

    I still find it hard to believe they were able to cram the apollo LM and the apollo CM and SM in a single saturn V rocket with everything else needed for the missions including the ones where they started using the lunar rovers.

    The Saturn 5 was designed to send a payload of up to 45 tons to the Moon, for Apollo 17, the total mass of fully loaded CSM and LM (including LRV, food, water oxygen) which arrived in Moon orbit was 76540 lb (38.27 tons) so that seems perfectly plausible to me.

    Wouldn’t it have been easier and more plausible to send the LM and consumables (food,water, etc.) into earth orbit first then dock with it after launching the command and service module? Or did they do that for the apollo missions?

    What you are describing sounds like the Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) mission profile considered in the early days of the Apollo program (and championed by von Braun). This called for the Moon mission to be launched into Earth orbit by two or more boosters. The separate vehicles would assemble together and fly off to the Moon. This was cheaper and easier than the alternative Direct Ascent profile where the entire spacecraft would have been launched from Earth and landed on the Moon. As it turned out the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method was easier still, so that is how history turned out.

    More recently, EOR was going to be used by NASA’s Project Constellation to return astronauts to the Moon. It was the only option for this project as this would have been a much larger scale expedition than any Apollo mission but the whole project was cancelled before it went anywhere.

    I’ve added a link to the press conference where the LOR mission profile was announced the article, you might find it interesting.

      Roland · September 28, 2014 at 06:09

      Even with Constellation, there would have been a lander, while Orion would have been parked in Lunar orbit. Hence, the mission profile would have been “EOR/LOR”.

glenn p · July 16, 2013 at 09:50

What would be the necessary lift off and acceleration speed to escape the Moon’s gravity pull for such a heavy object as the LM?

    admin · July 16, 2013 at 11:04

    Just to confirm, the Lunar Module Ascent stage didn’t need to escape the Moon’s gravity, that is exceed lunar escape velocity (2.4 km/s), it just had to reach a lunar orbit (orbital speed roughly 1.5 km/s) to rendezvous with the CSM. I’m taking some specifications from the book Apollo 11 Moon Landing by David J. Shayler (Ian Allen 1989), note the details of each Lunar Module Ascent stage varied (the take-off weight especially getting heavier with successive missions) so these may not be exactly right for later missions.

    LM Ascent Stage mass 4.9 tonnes (including propellant, note this is a very round number so it’s probably estimated).

    Ascent Stage Engine thrust 3500 lb = roughly 15600 N (this was the design spec, I assume real engines weren’t as exact as this.)

    That gives an initial acceleration of 3.2 m/s/s. (Assuming full thrust is attained instantaneously).

    As propellent was consumed the Ascent Stage would have accelerated faster still. By the time Apollo 11’s Eagle had reached its initial lunar orbit, it was travelling at 5537 ft/s (1.69 km/s) with respect to the Moon’s surface and had a mass of 2.7 tonnes, so 7 minutes of continuous thrust consumed 2.2 tonnes of propellant.

    I hope this helps, but you may want to read a semi-technical account of the details of Lunar Orbit Rendezvous or this site where the author describes how he simulated Apollo 17’s lunar ascent.

      admin · July 16, 2013 at 20:40

      Since I wrote my previous response, I’ve had an annoying feeling that I’d forgotten something- and I had; the Moon’s gravity! It provides a downward acceleration of roughly 1.62 m/s/s, so the initial acceleration is actually about 1.6 m/s/s.

      By the way, apart from the engine’s thrust, its other important statistic is its specific impulse (essentially how much thrust per second the engine develops per kg of propellent), in the case of the LM’s engine this was about 3050 N/kg/s. This is the same as the engine’s exhaust velocity, so you can use this with the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation to calculate the final velocity of the LM.

      Also see the report Apollo Lunar Descent and Ascent Trajectories.

        Anthony · June 14, 2016 at 00:17

        Hi Admin
        I have loved Physics and Astronomy all my life but have serious doubts about the Moon landing which is very unnerving for me…..can you please explain just a few anomalies for me….

        1. I have problems with the following issues which are thermodynamic, audible, and footprint.
        (a) There is only one way to explain Armstrong’s audibles upon descent in a pressurized mag/aluminium can with 140 – 150 dB rocket engine noise in the immediate environment – Bose noise cancelling earphones and, er, uh, microphone!
        (b) And for anyone who has ever worked in 100C+ worksite in a protective, pressurized suit, well knows that cooled air is vital for survival. In the absence of such a cooled air tank, the power pack needed to cool the air in the suit would have to have exceeded several thousand joules per hour, which would require batteries/power plant roughly equal in size to the LEM itself. (Remember Apollo 13? – the movie?)
        (c) And for anyone moderately experienced in rocketry, the ground around the blast/ground contact area WILL BE COMPLETELY DUST FREE – atmosphere or not as the blast constitutes its own atmosphere.

        2. CONSIDER: The size of the door on the LEM. The bulkiness of the suited astronaut barely fit. Several assistants were necessary to dress the astronaut while on earth.
        (a) In the cramped interior of the LEM how did they dress and undress each other? Apollo 17 spent 3 days on the Moon? How big were the diapers?
        (b)How do you eat and drink with the helmet on?
        (c) Exiting and re-entering the LEM and donning and removing the helmet requires de-pressuring and re-pressuring each time. The door has one handle and one locking element. The astronauts collected unwanted dust and moon dirt on their suits each trip out and dragged the dirty space-suit legs over the door seal each time the astronaut crawled in and out. The dirt and dust were smeared over the door-seal each time. Close the LEM door and
        (d) how much air was lost through the dirty seal?
        (e) How did the door maintain its seal after blast off?

        3. (a) How would you explain the fact that there were 16 manoeuvering rocket nozzles on the lunar module (4, as crosses, on each superior vortex of it) and there is not a single footage of them firing although you can see the vehicle manoeuvering in space (yaw, pitch and roll)?.
        (b) How would you explain a computer so basic as that in the LEM (with less computer power than a hp financial calculator of the 80s) controlling all 16 thrusters as a fly by wire aircraft of this days? Nasa, formally claims that all the digit crunching for the manoeuvering thrusters were done on earth and then sent to the LEM, but there is a problem on that, there is a 1.6 seconds delay between the earth and the moon, so it its an impossible answer.
        (c) How would you explain the fact that about the flying earth simulator of the LEM there is only one footage, where it failed and almost killed Neil Armstrong, no single film of it being controlled successfully.

        4. (a) What I was wondering was how was their command module and lander able to morph from a cavernous ship large enough for astronauts to do flips in zero G while someone filmed them from 7 feet away to a relatively small space diagram with every inch packed with huge tanks needed to carry out the mission? Some depict the astronauts packed in the ship so tight there wasn’t room for another member to a spacious ship able to stage filming the earth supposedly with the camera right up against the glass. Then all of a sudden you see arms and bodies coming between the camera and the glass 185,000 miles from the earth. Hearing them discussing how to get a realistic shot as the cabin lighting is restored to show they were actually shooting the shot from 6 or 7 feet away from the window as they removed the transparency film from the window along with the curved black material they used to fix unacceptable parallax egg shape error caused by the thickness of the window from top to its bottom while shooting from a distance on an angle. The curved black material fixed the error perfectly making it look like the earth terminator line between night and day in their fraudulent video of the earth. They bragged about their clever technique and how their “LIVE” shot will be perfect for playback!

        Then there is the scientific evidence of their missions impossibility I figured out myself today.
        (b) The average man at rest requires 19 cubic feet of pure oxygen per 24 hours scrubers or no scrubbers once you figure in the atmospheric pure oxygen percentage, amount consumed by the metabolism and amount exhaled after. That gives you 19 cubic feet X 3 men leaves you needing 57 cubic feet to sustain a 3 man crews actual metabolism at rest! NASA switched to a 35% oxygen mix after the horrific accident with Gus Grissom and 2 other souls. That translates to their voyage now requiring 171 cubic feet of 34% mixed gas per day. Multiply that by 10 1/2 days you have 1795 cubic feet of 34% oxygen mixed gas-actually needed if they were at REST!! NASA claims only 73 cubic feet 0f gas per day.

        (c) The Apollo tanks were only pressurized to 200 bars pressure due to the added strain of launch and vacuum of space. Using Boyle’s Law 1795 cubic feet at 200 bar requires a 131.93 cubic foot tank at 2900 PSI ! That’s not even considering the oxygen consumed by the 2KW fuel cell the lunatics claimed produced 56 gallons of potable water a day! LMAO they would need 96.96 cubic feet of air per gallon x 56 gallon a day is 5429.76 cubic feet of air to produce that 56 gallons of water per day X 10 days = 5429.76 extra cubic feet of air per 10 day mission just for that fuel cell water production so add another 285 cubic feet to the breathing figure and you need a 417 cubic foot tank at 200 bar!! Add in the fuel, oxidizer, helium and nitrogen tanks and you got WTF! Nobody’s doing flips for the camera man 6 feet away!

        If you can address these issues for me that would be great – thank you.

        (Four original questions split into more focused subquestions and paragraph breaks added to ease reading- ADMIN)

          admin · June 14, 2016 at 12:34

          Dear Anthony, thank you for your questions. As you can see I have split them into sub-questions. I am very happy to answer them, but I hope you will understand that there is a lot of material to cover so responding will take a while. I may publish my answers as an article in its own right.

          In the meantime may I ask you some questions of my own?

          1. If you suspect that the technology used on the Apollo Moon missions is unworkable or even fraudulent, do you suspect all space travel to be dubious? After all, the same or closely related technology was used on Skylab or even on the ISS today.
          2. Have you read any of the comments in this section where I have addressed similar queries about the non-existent “blast crater” and the Apollo computer?
          3. Can you let me know the exact sources you gained your information from? I am interested as you quote factual claims that are new to me.

          admin · June 14, 2016 at 14:18

          Dear Anthony, it would be helpful if you let me know where you saw

          astronauts to do flips in zero G while someone filmed them from 7 feet away

          in the Apollo Command Module. Can you do this?

          admin · June 16, 2016 at 12:47

          Dear Anthony, this is a response to

          3(c) How would you explain the fact that about the flying earth simulator of the LEM there is only one footage, where it failed and almost killed Neil Armstrong, no single film of it being controlled successfully.

          I am afraid that your “fact” is incorrect (where did you see it?). Two Lunar Landing Research Vehicles and three very similar Lunar Landing Training Vehicles were built. Although three of these crashed, the fleet made 349 successful flights. One of them (the first LLRV built) made a total of 198 flights. Here is a photo taken on the 100th flight of an LLRV (credit:NASA)

          LLRV 100th Flight

          If you would like to learn more about these craft, Unconventional, Contrary, and Ugly:The Lunar Landing Research Vehicle is 242 page history which can be downloaded (link).

          Here are links to videos of LLRVs and LLTVs in flight:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMfNkbEz8ZA
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbl800iQJDI
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Y5YN4tQ78
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rua1lCpKtYU

          The source that told you that there is “no single film of it being controlled successfully” was, whether by ignorance or design, not telling the truth.

            Ian · January 5, 2017 at 16:44

            Hi Admin,

            I am a qualified aircraft technician who worked on the Harrier Jump jet (you will know as AV8B) and I have training/qualifications in aeronautical engineering and aerodynamics.
            I have to say that I do not believe that we landed on the moon mostly due to the improbability of controlling the LEM during descent.
            The videos you link to show a vehicle with very different operation from that implemented on the LEM. The central jet on the practice vehicle can be directed rather than fixed. This makes a massive difference to the way it would be controlled and would not replicate in any way the actual LEM itself.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Y5YN4tQ78

            Look at 4.13 secs in and you will see it is possible to control the jets direction.

            It is also flown with the jet firing constantly which is once again completely different from the proposed operation. The proposed purpose of the LEM control systems is too slow it from a high speed to a slow one and whilst doing so control its orientation. This test vehicle did not test or provide practice experience relating to that operation at all. Whilst it looks clever it would have been next to useless in practical terms to the project. And then put on top of this the only time that the astronauts got to test their skills and their crafts abilities in accurate conditions was on the actual first descent itself. Not very credible. I don’t think that even John Farley, the chief test pilot on the Harrier would believe that one.

            As far as I’m concerned landing on the moon with such flimsy testing equipment and lack of practice is not credible.

            Sorry but I’m not convinced.

            Ian

              Gene · October 15, 2017 at 11:14

              Well, I’m convinced you don’t know what you’re.talking about. The jet.engine on the LLTV was FIXED. There were RCS rockets just like on the LM to control attitude, pitch, roll, yaw. The astronauts themselves said the LLTV and LLRV were much more difficult to fly on earth than the LM was on the moon. Your experience with Harrier jets doesn’t qualify you as any kind of expert on rocket science or space flight. But I’m convinced that nothing I or the admin says with rid you of your delusions.

          admin · June 28, 2016 at 09:44

          Dear Anthony, this is a response to.

          3. (a) How would you explain the fact that there were 16 manoeuvering rocket nozzles on the lunar module (4, as crosses, on each superior vortex of it) and there is not a single footage of them firing although you can see the vehicle manoeuvering in space (yaw, pitch and roll)?.

          The fuels used in the RCS thrusters burned with a colourless flame which is extremely difficult to see. Each RCS firing took less than a second. I do not find it surprising that there is nothing to see when they are fired.

          I hope this has helped you.

          admin · June 29, 2016 at 10:40

          Dear Anthony, this is in response to your question 2(b)

          How do you eat and drink with the helmet on?

          On the first Apollo moonlandings there was no provision to eat or drink during an EVA. The suit was redesigned for longer EVAs for Apollos 15-17. A water pouch with a small tube that fitted up next to the astronaut’s mouth was added so the astronaut could move his head within the helmet and suck water (or orange juice) through the tube (this was available on Apollo 14). The Apollo 15-17 upgrade also added a holder inside the suit’s neck rim for a rice paper-covered fruit and cereal bar, designed so that the astronaut could take a bite and pull the remainder up.

          It is difficult for me to see why you think these modest engineering problems and their solutions constitute issues which cast doubt on the reality of space travel.

          YK Maheshwari · April 11, 2017 at 12:26

          Excellent observations. By the way, here is mine ..
          A flim telecast over TV screens show Neil armstrong ( coming down the ladder ) and then the dramatic announcement by other guy in the vehicle (LM ) , a small step …
          Q: Who was the photographer, who was already on the moon surface to film Neil Armstrong going down the ladder.? ( side pose )

          There were no cameras mounted on the legs of LM , look at all designs and diagrams. The camera shots are taken at chest height , almost parallel to the astronaut and not taken from inside the close capsule of LM. If there was no one in a position, then how is the filmography possible.

          This single observation , is good enough for the rest of the theories.

          TV signals were almost live telecast. Radio broadcast , we heard the voice of astronaut. TV type of transmission with those days, the technology or processing power pre days of Intel 8080 ( not even 4 bit 4040 ), were not good enough to transmit the info by any kind of encoding , to reach mother earth from Moon surface.

          They went into orbit of earth, landed in ocean , left our atmosphere,
          but did not land back from moon and return back from moon.
          The design of aluminium based LM was not good enough to land on moon without breaking into pieces.

          The project was not in shape to make this happen in 1969 transistor days, when even MIL chips or 7400 MIL standard ( which can stand the temp , was in place.

            Gene · October 15, 2017 at 11:30

            YK, there was a camera mounted in the equipment.bay on the LM descent stage. Neil Armstrong.pulled a lanyard that dropped the door with the camera mounted to it and automatically switched it on. NO, You.did not find any sinister hoax or fabrication here! All of this information is common knowledge and pretty easy to find online if you look for it. But you people will not look because you all believe that you are smarter.than the rest.of us. Trust me, you are not.

              Frederic · October 21, 2017 at 00:27

              Boy Gene you are awful hostile toward people who have legitimate questions about many aspects of these moon landing that defy logic and science. Tell me this bright boy, why haven’t we been able to return even today with much more advanced technology? Why did NASA tape over the original moon landing film? How did the astronauts not fry while passing through the Van Allen radiation belt surrounding earth with no protection and the astronauts admitting that parts of the capsule were aluminum foil thin? Why no scorch marks under the lunar lander and not even a spec of dust on the landing pads? Why was the same mountain range in the background of two pictures that we were told were miles apart? How could the supposed moon rock given to Holland by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin end up being petrified wood? Tell me how in Gods name you can explain that one? Your answers defy logic more than my questions and the questions of many other concerned human beings do, no?

      shawn hammock · October 25, 2015 at 19:36

      how are they burning liquid fuel in the vacuum of space i mean i know they got to the moon by low orbit burns but the moon doesnt have an atmosphere so they cant be burning liquid fuel please help me and if possible please provide a link crediting your answer thank you.

        admin · October 28, 2015 at 10:05

        Dear Shawn, thank you for your question. You are correct in saying a fuel needs oxygen before it can be burned. All chemical rockets burn a propellent and oxidiser together whether they operate in space or Earth’s atmosphere. Liquid propellant rocket engines bring together used a fuel and a separate oxidiser to burn together. In solid fuel rocket motors the propellant and oxidiser are bound together.

        I hope this has helped you.

      Ash · June 5, 2016 at 13:31

      Hey mate.

      Just wondering if there is a difference between orbital and escape velocities. And if one is in orbit. How do they transfer to the escape velocity. And what angle would the thrust vector be?

      Hope that makes sense

      Cheers.

        admin · June 6, 2016 at 09:07

        Dear Ash, thank you for your question.

        Lunar orbital speed is the mean speed at which the spacecraft orbits around the centre of the Moon. The LM Ascent Stage needed to reach an orbital speed of roughly 1.5 km/s to rendezvous with the CSM.

        Lunar escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for the space craft to “break free” from the gravitational attraction of the Moon. Lunar escape velocity is about 2.4 km/s.

        The Apollo CSM which was orbiting the Moon needed to fire its engine for about three minutes to accelerate to the Moon’s escape velocity to return to Earth, a manoeuver called Trans-Earth Injection. The thrust direction and timing had to be planned to put the CSM into a trajectory which met the point in space where the Earth would be when the CSM got there.

Stevie · June 4, 2013 at 22:50

I’ve never noticed the battered rear to Orion LEM. What happened there?

    admin · June 4, 2013 at 23:08

    The exhaust plume from ascent engine caused some of the thermal protection panels to be pulled away from their fasteners. Some sources say you can even see this happening in the video of the take-off. Some of the other LMs received similar but not as drastic-looking damage. There’s a little bit more at Google Books.

andrew · February 16, 2013 at 00:52

apollo 7 was a manned test flight of the CSM. Not as stated in the article.
and 6 lunar modules were impacted on the moon not 5.

    admin · February 18, 2013 at 10:36

    Thank you very much for the corrections, I’ve fixed the article to reflect them.

    Dd · March 16, 2013 at 20:17

    Do you know the temperatures of the exteriors? Sun side and shade side of the modules? Ive been seeking that yet can’t seem to find it. I do know du pont was contracted to create a product……enter mylar. Thank you

      admin · March 19, 2013 at 11:53

      I haven’t been able to find any measured temperature values. I would imagine the shade side would be designed for a minimum of 100K or -173 C as I see that quoted as the night time temperature on the Moon’s surface. As for the illuminated side, you see values like 390K (about 120 C) quoted for daytime temperatures on the Moon, but that is for midday under full illumination. I know that the landing sites and times were chosen so that the mission was accomplished in the lunar morning before the temperature had risen to its hottest, so the design may have been optimised for some lower temperatures than 120 C for the sunlit side.

        Ash · May 31, 2016 at 00:47

        Day time and night time temperatures? The moon does not rotate on its axis like earth. It is very different on the moon. The moon doesn’t have a 24 hour day.
        Use your common sense.

          admin · May 31, 2016 at 08:19

          Dear Ash, thank you for your comments, however it appears that your understanding of the Moon and the conditions there might not be as complete as you believe.

          The moon does not rotate on its axis like earth.

          The Moon does in fact rotate on its axis but more slowly than the Earth (29.5 days compared to one day).

          The moon doesn’t have a 24 hour day.

          That is correct, it has a day-night cycle equivalent to 29.5 days. Every part of the Moon experiences day and night (as we see by watching the phases of the Moon) so there are regular temperature variations. Due to the length of the day and night these are wider than on Earth, from about -153 deg C to +107 deg C.

          Why did you think the concept of day and night was not valid on the Moon?

            Ash · June 5, 2016 at 13:26

            Hey, I actually didn’t mean to send that. I was trying to pick a fight for some stupid reason. I’m human I guess.

            However. Now that we have started. I’ll use my manners. Your maturity in your reply is infectious.

            I could have sworn the moon does not rotate on its axis. We always see the same face of the moon. The moon rotates sound the earth every 29.5 earth days. But the moonmodes not rotate on its axis. The shadow of the earth covers the front surface of the moon. The same surface we always see. Every 29.5 earth days.

            That’s why there is the “dark side of the moon” it’s always the dark side and earth never gets to see that side coz the moon doesn’t rotate.

            Right?

            All this is for memory from the discovery or possibly Nat geo channels.

            So that’s why I guess. And the face of the moon is always the same.

            Ash · June 5, 2016 at 15:37

            Dear admin.

            I do appreciate the time u give and maturity of your replies.

            Now again. This is just a thought after reading what mark had to say about evidence of a rocket being used on the moon.

            My question is. Giant crater or not. Shouldn’t there at least be some evidence? I often think to how usually the ground underneath a jet AND rocket blast. becomes charcoal. Black carbon.

            The harrier and now the JSF. When coming in to land on vertical thrust(jet not rocket so even cooler). As
            Soon as they land, they have to immediately thrust down and bring nozzles back. Otherwise they will melt the Tarmac. Even at the very least. The top layer of dust removed.

            And finally. Why can’t I see the energy coming out of the rocket when it takes off the moon? People say because it’s in a vaccume. But I don’t see how that is possible. There is energy and mass coming out. Yet it is invisible. in testing. Other rockets look the same in testing as in Flight. Yet the testing of the relaunch rocket had a, what looks like to me, a thirty foot flame. Now as a solid fuel rocket. Not only should one see the giant fiery gas flame before it dissipates into the vaccume of space. But we should also Expect to see the red gases it created.

            If I can see gas escaping Apollo 13. Why can’t I see ingnited fuel blasting out the bottom of the rocket.

            These question are asked in the same regard u have given. Much respect.

            Cheers

              admin · June 6, 2016 at 12:08

              Dear Ash, thank you for your questions and comments.

              Giant crater or not. Shouldn’t there at least be some evidence?

              Yes, there was. Radial scouring of the surface under the LM’s Descent Stage was photographed on several missions.

              usually the ground underneath a jet AND rocket blast. becomes charcoal. Black carbon.

              Firstly, is this correct? Secondly, where would the carbon come from on the Moon?

              The harrier and now the JSF. When coming in to land on vertical thrust(jet not rocket so even cooler). As Soon as they land, they have to immediately thrust down and bring nozzles back. Otherwise they will melt the Tarmac.

              Are the descent profile and exhaust plumes of these aircraft the same or comparable to those of the LM? I imagine the aircrafts’ thrusts are higher right down to the ground, but remember the LM’s descent engine was throttled back as it neared the surface and was shut down above the surface.

              Why can’t I see the energy coming out of the rocket when it takes off the moon? People say because it’s in a vaccume. But I don’t see how that is possible. There is energy and mass coming out. Yet it is invisible.

              The propellants used on the LM’s Ascent stage (Aerozine 50 and nitrogen tetroxide) burn with a colourless flame which is almost invisible to the human eye. This is similar to burning jet fuel, here is a link to a picture of an aircraft in flight (link). There is energy and mass coming out of the exhausts, but we cannot see it.

              Yet the testing of the relaunch rocket had a, what looks like to me, a thirty foot flame.

              I have never seen this, can you provide a link to any images or movies?

              If I can see gas escaping Apollo 13. Why can’t I see ingnited fuel blasting out the bottom of the rocket.

              I’m guessing here but the oxygen escaping from the tank on Apollo 13’s Service Module was in liquid form which must have sublimed into gas as soon as it entered the vacuum. If liquid oxygen was squirting out and instantly turning into gas it might have been visible. In transcripts the astronauts occasionally refer to “particles” escaping, I assume this was debris carried by the escaping oxygen which would make the oxygen plume more visible.

              Gene · October 15, 2017 at 10:37

              You sound like one of those moon landing hoaxtards. I could actually answer all of your questions but nothing I tell you will ever be good enough for people like you. I know your type. You all have made up your minds that Apollo was all faked so I don’t waste my time trying to enlighten your kind. I prefer to let you people wallow in your own ignorance.

              Dust · November 2, 2017 at 22:13

              Ash, Ash, Ash…to quote a famous song:
              There’s no Dark Side of the Moon really…As a matter of fact, it is all dark.
              With that said, enter the light and educate yourself.

            Ash · June 5, 2016 at 15:40

            In that photo. Is the photo taken off angle? Or are they on the side of a hill?

            Cheers again.

              admin · June 6, 2016 at 08:38

              Dear Ash, if you are referring to either of the Apollo 16 images, no, the terrain where the LM set down was level, presumably the cameras were not level.

            Ash · June 5, 2016 at 15:55

            Dear admin.

            A few more questions that have been raised that I can’t answer. ( I’m sure I wasn’t the first to think of it)

            In the diagrams, there is only one diagram that points to a panel and says. “Rover”. Then there is another picture below, there is another diagram of the same area with all the panels removed or in a see through nature. And u can see where all the fuel and other tanks were. There was no rover in that diagram.

            If I’m being impartial. That tips the scales slightly. And in a court of law. Beyond reasonable doubt. All these little things begin to tip the scales. I was a big believer until I heard that there were people out there (smarter than me)who are saying it didn’t happen. So I’m re looking into it. And I feel hindsight is 20/20. And so far, their case is strong.

            Cheers

              admin · June 6, 2016 at 09:17

              Dear Ash, please check the date on the cutaway image. It is 1969, so this artwork depicts the original LM without a rover as as used on Apollos 11-14. The LM was carried on on the final three missions in 1971-72. This is discussed in the article that you are commenting on.

            Ash · June 6, 2016 at 00:59

            Actually after more thought. The moon has to spin on its axis if we are to see the same face. My bad. Sorry for my ignorance on that.

        Ash · June 5, 2016 at 13:15

        What does one do in design to optimise its ability to handle -173c? How would or could that be done. Insulation was too heavy. So I was just wondering how it was designed in a certain way to handle the -173c? Was is materials? I have no idea. That’s why I ask.

        Cheers.

          admin · June 6, 2016 at 10:50

          Dear Ash, thank you for your question. It is difficult to answer briefly as different areas of the LM needed to be treated differently. Some components had to be kept cold, others warm, for example the ascent engine fuel tanks needed to be kept at room temperature. This was achieved by clever use of passive thermal control materials. As the article you commenting on says “Much of the exterior was covered in protective multi-layer insulation foil…” so your belief that insulation material was too heavy is not correct. Areas needing to be kept cool were covered with reflective insulation (of different types selected for optimum reflectivity), areas needing to be kept warm were covered in black materials. The Descent Stage is almost completely covered in this multi-layer foil. The Ascent Stage used it too but many area of it were covered in aluminium that was painted, etched, or anodised to give each panel precise absorptive and reflective properties.

          The LM’s crew cabin and electronics bay had an active cooling system. For crewed spacecraft removing heat is far more important than keeping warm.

          As a final note, all spacecraft whether designed to carry people or not must be designed to cope with extremely low temperatures, the LM was not unique in this regard.

          Gene · October 15, 2017 at 10:54

          Ash, the Apollo landings were all scheduled.for lunar MORNING. This admin.is wrong about the temperature. It never got above 120 to 130 degrees F while they were.on the surface. Heat on the moon is not like heat on earth. There is no atmosphere therefore.there is no convection. Notice how all NASA equipment was white, the most reflective color. The LM was always parked with i heatts back to the sun and that backside was covered in reflective insulation. The excess heat was easily refleted away. Same with rhe space suits, white to reflect away the heat. The astronauts did complain of some heat build up.when their suits got dirty.

        Rozalynn · December 11, 2017 at 16:22

        Dear admin,

        How did you create this website what did you use to create it? If you would kindly tell me that I would gladly accept that.

        Thank you for your prestigious time and I hope to get back to you soon.

        -Rozalynn

          admin · December 12, 2017 at 12:11

          Hi Rozalynn, this site is powered by the good people at WordPress! It is a brilliant site that lets you create your own, personal site. YOu can use it for blogging, selling merchandise, promoting your own business, and so much more. The steps to setting it up are simple and straight forward too! Why not give it a go 🙂

    Rozalynn · December 11, 2017 at 16:18

    Well, she may not know everything and get something wrong and so what we are not perfect and I know you are not saying that we are but humans (people) will get things wrong so what everyone can see that you do not have to point it out. (Not being rude by the way.)

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[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them—the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the […]

‘Blank’s Rule’: To predict the future, 1/3 of your team needs to be crazy - Hybrid Apps | Web Apps | Mobile Apps · December 20, 2015 at 10:44

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the […]

‘Blank’s Rule’: To predict the future, | Ad Pub · December 20, 2015 at 00:41

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the […]

‘Blank’s Rule’: To predict the future, 1/3 of your team needs to be crazy – TechyTech · December 19, 2015 at 23:41

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the […]

‘Blank’s Rule’: To predict the future, 1/3 of your team needs to be crazy | DARE · December 19, 2015 at 21:11

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the moon. […]

‘Blank’s Rule’: To predict the future, 1/3 of your team needs to be crazy | Global Services Media · December 19, 2015 at 20:54

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the moon. […]

Blank's Rule: To Predict the Future, a Third of You Need to Be Crazy | KJOZ 880 CALL IN TOLL FREE 1-844-880-5569 · December 15, 2015 at 16:59

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them — the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the moon. […]

Blank's Rule: To Predict the Future, a Third of You Need to Be Crazy - Democratsnewz · December 15, 2015 at 16:23

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them — the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the moon. […]

Blank’s Rule – To predict the future 1/3 of you need to be crazy | EuroMarket News · December 15, 2015 at 16:19

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the moon. […]

Blank’s Rule – To predict the future 1/3 of you need to be crazy | Steve Blank · December 15, 2015 at 14:00

[…] two of the crew members would climb into a separate landing ship they carried with them – the lunar excursion module (LEM). The LEM would detach from the mother ship (called the command module), and land on the moon. […]

Is the Moon Hollow? | Astronotes · May 22, 2015 at 11:26

[…] 1970. This phrase was used after Apollo 12 purposefully crashed its 2.5 ton Ascent Stage of the Lunar Module onto the Moon’s surface. It was claimed that the Moon rang like a bell for roughly an hour. With […]

All about the Apollo 15 Moonlanding | Astronotes · May 20, 2015 at 12:35

[…] It was just two years since Apollo 11, but the technology was enormously improved. Apollo 15’s Lunar Module Falcon carried an improved engine and larger fuel load, enabling more equipment and supplies to be […]

Apollo 12: 1969’s Other Moon Landing | Astronotes · October 24, 2014 at 08:54

[…] 1969 Conrad and Bean left Gordon alone in lunar orbit on the CSM Yankee Clipper and descended in the Lunar Module Intrepid to their destination. This was Oceanus Procellarum (the Ocean of Storms), a huge lunar […]

11 Strange Facts You Didn’t Know About the First Moon Landing | Astronotes · August 1, 2014 at 11:30

[…] astronaut Michael Collins. Armstrong and Aldrin were the first astronauts to successfully land the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle on the Moon in 1969 whilst Collins orbited in the Command and Service Module (CSM) […]

Apollo 11: the First Lunar Landing | Astronotes · June 26, 2014 at 17:07

[…] human life would leave their first trace on the Moon. At 0256 GMT Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Lunar Module Eagle. As his left foot touched the lunar surface, he declared the famous words, “That’s […]

Apollo 8's Christmas space odyssey | Astronotes · December 9, 2013 at 10:39

[…] been another mission to low Earth orbit with its main goal to be testing of the Lunar Module. The Lunar Module was yet another hugely complex vehicle and its development fell behind schedule, by August 1968 it was clearly not going to be ready for […]

5 Goofy Moonlanding Hoax Theories | Astronotes · October 15, 2013 at 03:19

[…] Lunar Module was a unique vehicle, designed to fly just twice per mission in airless and low gravity conditions so it did not need a […]

Apollo 17 | Astronotes · October 15, 2013 at 03:16

[…] Lunar Module Challenger landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley on the edge of the Mare Serenitatis, where the […]

Soviet Moonlanding project | Astronotes · October 15, 2013 at 03:09

[…] LK, the USSR’s equivalent of NASA’s Lunar Module, was being developed separately and was relatively successful despite an overly complex control […]

Apollo 18: the truth | Astronotes · October 15, 2013 at 03:08

[…] they rolled over the Moon’s terrain in Lunar Roving Vehicles to increase the area explored. The Lunar Modules used were of an updated design allowing heavier loads of gear to be carried to the surface. The […]

Neil Armstrong R.I.P. | Astronotes · October 15, 2013 at 03:08

[…] rocky landing zone and with what seemed to be the last propellants in the tanks landed the LM Eagle on the Sea of Tranquility.Descending the short ladder to the silent grey regolith he spoke […]

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