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40th Anniversary Of Apollo 11  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3559 posts, RR: 29
Posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 5 days ago) and read 4361 times:

Well I guess this anniversary certainly needs our attention. To me it is hard to believe that mankind has not returned to the moon since 1972.

I just hope Obama does not cancel the Constellation plans for return to the moon.

As usually, NASA has brought forward a nice homepage celebrating the event: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/40th/

I have already mentioned it in another thread, but we might soon expect some pictures of the Apollo landing sites by the LRO, as its team has confirmed my question, which I would like to show again:

Thank you for your interest in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission. Nancy forwarded your email to me; I am the deputy project scientist. On board the spacecraft are the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Cameras (LROC), in particular the Narrow Angle Camera, which will have a resolution of 50 cm from a 50 km orbit. This resolution is sufficient to image the Apollo landing sites. We hope to have good images of these sites however we may have to wait until lighting conditions are ideal in order to have the best images. Looking directly above a target, it is often the shadows that help one to distinguish features below so a low sun angle will give us the best images. All images will be put into the Planetary Data System within 6 months of obtaining them. The PDS is open to the public. However high value targets such as the Apollo missions will be released as soon as possible through an image-of-the-day on the NASA or LROC web sites or through a press release.

You might be interested in knowing that the public can suggest imaging targets through the web site put together by the LROC team. You can find it at http://target.lroc.asu.edu/output/lroc/lroc_page.html. So if you think of a site that particularly interest you, be sure to submit it to the data base.



Thank you America for sending people to the moon.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4306 times:

The greatest exploration event in human history.
Probably the greatest technical, engineering effort of the 20th Century.

Some today write it off as a 'Cold War relic'.
This misses a fundamental point, many, if not most, of great explorations of Earth in recorded history, came about not through altruism or plain curiosity.
Did Columbus take his trip in the hope of discovering new plants and animals?

Others may say 'what did it do for us?'
Where to start on that?
The effort drove advances in many areas, aerospace, materials, microelectronics, medicine but most of all, the view of Earth as a fragile oasis in the darkness of space certainly had an effect.
In raising awareness to new levels of issues that ironically, many who doubt the wisdom of the venture say should have been a priority over Apollo.
Humans respond to such visual stimuli far more than from words.
The most reproduced image of all time, is Apollo 17's view of Earth on it's journey home, with Antarctica and the bottom and Africa shown as the main land-mass in this view.

It was expensive, however in the same period, the US spent over four times as much in Vietnam.
The facilities and infrastructure funded at the peak spending period up to 1965/66, is largely still in use today.

But, the Apollo missions themselves provided a mass of science data, some might say 'who cares about a barren ball of lifeless rock like the Moon?'
Aside from the huge effect our satellite has on our world, it's a pretty good Rosetta Stone for the early life of our Solar System, not eroded away by atmospheres and liquids.
The missions also provided the clearest and most likely theory yet, on how the Moon came to be our satellite, how it formed.
This was simply not known before.

But Apollo 15 Astronaut Dave Scott said it best, as he stepped on to the Moon in 1971, Man must explore.

It takes courage to be a jet fighter pilot, a test pilot, even more to be an Astronaut of any kind.
But there is something exponentially brave in going to a place, with no way to support life itself, with no rescue capability, in fragile craft with unproven technology, just their
small spacecraft, the distant Earth, with infinite blackness beyond.
Where your thumb held up can obscure the Earth, where everything you know, where you soon have to return, exists.
Mike Collins reflected, on his vigil in Lunar Orbit, there was the 3 billion on the Earth, Neil and Buzz on the Moon, then me and after that, god knows what!

And these men were not eccentric loners with few responsibilities beyond themselves, nearly all were married with children.

Neil Armstrong is the greatest pilot of all time.
This takes nothing away from all the other greats, from his early flying, to combat (aged 20!) in primitive early jets from aircraft carriers over Korea, to his accomplishments as
a test pilot culminating in the X-15, to saving Gemini VIII from disaster, to doing a masterclass in coolness, rigour, courage and ability to improvise, as the delicate technology wavered, as he landed on the Moon.

That alone would be enough.
But this quiet man, not given to rhetoric flights-and not trained for it either, found it in himself, in a situation that would paralyse most of us with fear, wonder, or both, to so
eloquently sum up this moment of triumph at the edge of human existence.
That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind .
No wasted words, no self aggrandisement, no nationalistic hubris, just the best statement to possibly make.
One that no professional PR type could ever draft.

Maybe it's another triumph of Armstrong that despite everything, all the pressures and demands, he has not sought fame for the sake of it since, nor profit either.
In an age where modern media technology allows the vainglorious, the unworthy, the immoral, the cheat, or just those who really do not have the talents they claim, to become
famous, Armstrong's careful rationing of the fame he achieved by default, is an example to us all.
He's no recluse, he's just very grounded and sensible.
He does contribute where he thinks he can be of use, if that is not not enough for some, so be it.

His crew-mate was, as humans are, a different sort of personality.
But, his courage was the same, his commitment as true.
Aldrin did find it harder to adapt afterwards, but he has channelled his achievements into being an advocate of space exploration, he's found a way to deal with what he did with
Armstrong 40 years ago.
His own description of what was before him on the Moon also rings through history, magnificent desolation.
In truth Apollo 11 was not much about actual exploration, that would come to the fore in later missions, which Apollo 11 made possible.
But in their short time on the Lunar surface, they did the very best job they could with the time and resources available.

In a spacecraft that was so light it could not even support itself in Earth gravity, which was so fragile and the result of an astonishingly fast development effort, they had one
engine to ascend.
Then they had to dock in Lunar orbit with Collins in the CM, something done only twice before, only once before in Lunar orbit.
To have a hope of going through a 25,000 mph reentry shrouded in fire, to get home.

While enthusiasts like myself may regret the Apollo effort was curtailed, President Kennedy had never said anything about landing more than once.
Indeed, the Apollo system as it existed them, was considerably enhanced enough to allow the amazing later landings, full on exploration efforts.

I'd love to say I remember this time, I was just that bit too young to be honest.
But it's enthralled me since and still does.

In 1999, photographer Michael Light, reproduced in a stunning collection, many images from Apollo, both in book form, but also it toured in art galleries.
When it came to London, I and my girlfriend at the time went to see it, she had no interest in the subject really, though that changed some after seeing these astonishing
images over whole walls in dust grain detail.

Beyond the technical and scientific interest they portrayed, were the splashes of humanity, Charlie Duke's family picture left in the Lunar soil, the texture and often lunar dirt
ingrained suits worn by the astronauts as they went about their (very hard) work.
The sheer sense of void, when you drank the images in, it seemed to be the closest you could actually sense to being there.
I even found myself, in the my mind, imagining the sound of the suits cooling apparatus, the breathing in of the tinny oxygen, the crackle of radio communications, the only
sound in an airless void.

Apollo, like all human achievements, had costs and losses.
The Apollo 1 crew, the stresses and strains, both health and in personal lives that this mighty effort created.
But the 400,000 Americans who were a part of it were the descendants of those who built the pyramids, explored the Earth, made great discoveries.
And today, on the Lunar surface, in ascent stages, tracks, footprints, scientific gear and yes waste products, in new craters formed by impacts of spent stages and craft, their
great work still sits and will do beyond any foreseeable future.
The true meaning of immortality.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13985 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

Great post GDB!

Years ago, when I was 15, I was visiting the British science museum in Kensington, London. There I stood in awe in front of the (original) Apollo capsule and the landing module (either a copy or an original, which never flew).

Jan


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4263 times:

My ship was in Japan on that day - off the line for almost a month and I had the duty that night. We were able to watch the landing on the ships TV, which was tied into Japanese TV.

Just as amazing as the walk itself was the Japanese audience we saw on the TV. It appeared that they were in a movie theatre, watching the walk on the big screen. The people there were just as rapped as we were and it was obvious to me that this was an event all people could share in. It was far more than just a US achievement.

Neil Armstrong is also one of my heroes. It's been said that he would have been a very rich man indeed if the first works from the moon were "Coca Cola". Just thinking about that makes me appreciate all of the astronauts even more.

That was a unique time. The war tore us apart and the achievements of man walking on the moon brought us together.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

A good place to link to what is, for me at least ,the ultimate in don't make any plans websites, this massive collection of words, pictures, audio and video sources, covering the Apollo missions.
You can lose yourself in here, I've only ever scratched the surface of it, (bit like the exploration on the Moon then!)

http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/

And I've just found this gem, a collection from the BBC archive, of programmes and recordings made before, during and since the missions.
Much of it from the longest running TV programme in the world, The Sky At Night broadcast since 1957.
Fronted from the start by the epitome of the 'English Eccentric', Patrick Moore, an amateur astronomer whose observations and mapping of the near side of the Moon was so extensive, he was a consultant to NASA during Apollo and became friends with many of the Apollo astronauts.
I think that these links, unlike i-player, should be viewable everywhere;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/moonlandings/index.shtml

[Edited 2009-07-12 03:07:13]

User currently offlineBa97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4128 times:

The more I read on Apollo (Man on the Moon, How they Flew to teh Moon, Saturn V, numerous NASA reports), the more I watch (I rewatch Shadow of the Moon over and over), the more I am amazed on what was pulled off. I think it was the beginning of Saturn V where they say the time from the first flight into space, to a man on the moon was the same length of time-Wright brothers to Concorde by 1917.

As a child I got to tour and see Apollo 14 in the assembly building. Image is etched in my head.

For all it achieved, I am shocked on how little is being made of this anniversary. I am taking my kids to Kennedy in August because they need to see dreams that came true, real success and history. I always wonder what magic existed in the USA to compile the energy, brains and dreams- then and how fast it was lost.



there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4081 times:

Well the BBC have really gone to town, a range of documentaries and repeats of former programmes, as shown on what I linked above.
They have allocated a lot of airtime so far.

No doubt, as happens with every anniversary every 5 years, the Apollo 11 crew will have a reception at the White House.

An editorial in this week's Flight International pointedly mentions that man went from Sputnik to Apollo 11 in 12 years, today we'd spend that long messing around with design studies, simulator training and health and safety studies.
Quite.

Part of this, which emerged during Apollo itself, is the more emotion and soundbite driven media coverage.
However, during Apollo's development polling suggested that the American people, who were after all paying for it, were split on the wisdom of the whole venture.
Up until Apollo 8, when enthusiasm surged, to when it peaked during Apollo 11 itself.
Of course, we know what happened next.

You have to wonder how it would have been if the Vietnam war (with the military draft it came with), had not been raging. As well as the deep social conflicts caused by race and the generation gap.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4316 posts, RR: 28
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3984 times:

Apollo 11 launched at 9:32 AM EDT, so it's been exactly 40 years since that moment when the Saturn V lifted off. I remember watching it on TV. I would never have imagined 40 years later we'd still be in low Earth orbit. A remarkable achievement, but too bad the economics weren't strong enough to continue the journey.

I wonder what Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins are doing today?



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3981 times:



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):
I wonder what Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins are doing today?

Probably wondering/worrying about whether they're going to get hounded by the media.

FlightGlobal has certainly marked the event the event with an article on the story of the launch of Apollo 11 as if it was taking place today. (Note: I just rechecked the site and it looks like they removed it.)



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7948 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Some nice pictures I have never seen before:

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/07/remembering_apollo_11.html



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineRedFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4316 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3935 times:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 9):
Some nice pictures I have never seen before:

One of the coolest pics in that series is #30, showing the top of the LM with the Earth high in the sky overhead. That same perspective is played here in my backyard at nights (and I'm sure in many peoples' homes), only I see the top of my house with the moon overhead. I'm surprised this particular photo was never popularized.



I'm not a racist...I hate Biden, too.
User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2338 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3924 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 7):
I wonder what Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins are doing today?

Well, Buzz is recording rap videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0xveCrB_WM

 expressionless 


User currently offlineFBU 4EVER! From Norway, joined Jan 2001, 998 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3763 times:

40 years ago! How time flies. I remember lying on the coach in the early (Norwegian) hours and watching the culmination of a project that was very much in the forefront when I lived and went to school in Alaska in 1964-66. We had monthly reports on the space program, not only Apollo, but also on the ongoing Gemini flights.

My work brings me occasionally to Washington D.C. and I almost always got to the NASM to have a close look at the very article, the Apollo 11 CM. The only part remaining of the Saturn V launch. On Planet Earth of course! Seeing the photos of the Lunar landing sites on this forum was a great kick. I wonder if there will be any human beings visiting and touching the remaining part of Apollo 11's LM in the future? What do you guys think?



"Luck and superstition wins all the time"!
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3746 times:

Amazing that its been 40 years since man first landed on the moon! Here's hoping we return soon!

[Edited 2009-07-20 03:48:10]


If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3735 times:

Happy 4Oth Anniversary Apollo 11.

I still remember it very well. Everything that they had shown live on TV.
Long before the ISS I was already hooked.

I wonder why/how some people think/believe that everything about the Apollo missions was all fake. It still goes around many forums with supposedly educated people...  Wow!



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3673 times:

On the nut-jobs, a poll taken on the 30th anniversary of Apollo 11, indicated only about 6% of Americans thought it was faked.
Probably a similar number of Holocaust deniers, (probably many are the same people too, it's a certain mindset).

We must not forget the amplifying effect of the Internet, or just those who talk loud (and say nothing....of consequence).

Let's not deny of Cold War origins of this mighty achievement, not be that shy about it either.
Since while you can count the money spend on Apollo, the effect it had on world opinion of the USA was priceless.
It blew a rather, large ultimately below waterline hole, in the Soviet assertion that their system was a superior way for mankind.

Consider, they pitched it as a great organizing force for development, progress, social justice.
But within a few years of Apollo 11, they'd be relying on US grain to feed themselves.
Despite a totally state owned economy, the Soviet response to Apollo, was disorganized, riven with factional fighting, personal jealousies, rivalries between design teams, hobbled by major technological limitations.
The Cosmonauts was brave men too, but the Soviet plan to land a man (just one) was so dangerous it's good that it never happened.

Simply put, they had no overall organization like NASA.
And they could not afford it either.

Had it been apparent then just how much effort and money was diverted to try and beat the US in space, the US space program might have carried on more strongly than it actually did.

None of this denies the real achievements of the Russians, the firsts that kick-started the US effort, the probes to Venus, the epic long duration spaceflights of Salyut and Mir.
The US victory of Apollo also made possible, despite the Cold War, the Apollo-Soyuz link up in 1975.
Which set the template for the cooperation we have seen since the 1990's.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

Real-Time Audio Replay of Mission Audio (July 16-July 24)

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/apollo11_radio/index.html

This is absolutely fantastic!



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinePropilot83 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 596 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3566 times:

Yes today indeed is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Its pretty amazing, I know so much about NASA and its prior history, that I feel like I was born 40 years ago instead of 26 years ago. I love NASA, we need space exploration.....not for fame or fortune, but for mankind exploration and discovery. It is the beautiful gift from God that has given man the opportunity to seek beyond his own world. Charles Bolden is now the new NASA Administrator, I dont believe Obama will cancel the Constellation program. I hope not, because we need to cut wasteful spending elsewhere, not on NASA and the dream of mankind. The Saturn V program was very expensive, NASA would not even have the money to build the Saturn V in todays economic structure of money. We will go back to the moon by the year 2020, and hopefully on to Mars in the next 2-3 decades. I fully support the space program, it brings other nations more closer to each other, for example, 16 nations building the International Space Station. Who ever thought such a fantastic team of nations can join hands and partner up to build the biggest and most sophisticated space station in space. Go NASA! and God Bless!

User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3547 times:

Turner Classic Movies had a special on last night and it showed a lot of actual footage of the lunar excursions with the astronauts narrating. It was very sobering to realize that man actually visited and explored another world and then chucked it all and relegated ourselves to LEO.  Confused


If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3545 times:

What amazes me is how they have done these things with equipment and means that are now considered totally outdated... No one would ever want to have their computers... No cell phones, no PCs... No GPS.
They had little and yet they did so much.
The spirit of conquest. The will power.

They took Men to the Moon!!  yes 



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3537 times:

A good article on Neil Armstrong's comments regarding Apollo:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0907/20armstrong/



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3559 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3508 times:



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 19):

True, but they simply designed things to just do one single job. Today, most ICs can do many things, more universal, but less efficient. Apollo was hundreds of thousand of people just working on one single project, for one purpuse.

Thats what made it unique, and thats why they were able to do it with 60s technology. If we used the same resources today, we could do Mars landings, but no-one would pay so much today. Therefore, what many people dont seem to understand, a constellation moon landing would actually be much cheaper, using todays technology.


User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3505 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 21):
True, but they simply designed things to just do one single job. Today, most ICs can do many things, more universal, but less efficient. Apollo was hundreds of thousand of people just working on one single project, for one purpuse.

There is a great story on the development of the Apollo guidance system on the series "Moon Machines." Fascinating story on how they developed the hardware, the program and the "software". I believe you can find it on YouTube and it's definitely worth the watch. I was especially fascinated on how they coded the software; they literally wove the program into the hardware. One other interesting point of mention concerns the computer "failure" that the Eagle experienced on decent. According to the people who built the guidance computer for the LM, the computer didn't overload because of malfunction but rather Aldrin didn't follow the checklist and thus gave the computer too much to do at once causing it to shed off tasks it didn't deem critical.



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
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