Landed on the moon?

  • #1
Which part of the moon did they land on? The one that is facing us or the backside? If they landed on the front site can it be seen from a telescope? Also, what kind of flag did they use? Is it just a regular cloth? If so then why gravity doesn't pull it down?
 

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  • #2
enigma
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physicsuser said:
Which part of the moon did they land on?
They landed in several different places on the near side of the moon. Landing on the far side was being pushed for by many scientists for the Apollo 18 landing, but the mission was scrapped.

If they landed on the front site can it be seen from a telescope?
No. The site's details are much to small to be resolved, even with the Hubble.

Also, what kind of flag did they use? Is it just a regular cloth? If so then why gravity doesn't pull it down?
I don't know the exact type, but there was a wire placed in the flag to hold it up.
 
  • #3
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Just the other night, I was watching an old Fox-produced documentary called "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Go to the Moon?"

They revealed a lot of facts (that seemed quite plausible on the surface) supporting the idea that men did not land on the moon. I'm just wondering if any of you have seen the video. I know that there are a lot of websites such as this one that has debunked these moon hoax theories.

I need to know what you all think about it.
 
  • #4
Phobos
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recon said:
Just the other night, I was watching an old Fox-produced documentary called "Conspiracy Theory: Did We Go to the Moon?"

They revealed a lot of facts (that seemed quite plausible on the surface) supporting the idea that men did not land on the moon. I'm just wondering if any of you have seen the video. I know that there are a lot of websites such as this one that has debunked these moon hoax theories.

I need to know what you all think about it.
Try peeking through the archives for several past dicussions on this question (in this subforum and in the astronomy subforum). My opinion (and that of many others here) is that the Fox show is junk. Here's an excellent rebuttle to it...
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html
 
  • #5
Phobos
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enigma said:
No. The site's details are much to small to be resolved, even with the Hubble.
But the astronauts did set up some mirrors on the moon that we can still bounce lasers off of.
 
  • #6
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But we barely have the capability to see a small flag on the surface of the earth from a satellite in high orbit. I know there is much less distortion for looking at the moon from space(small atmosphere), but its also a lot farther away.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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Phobos said:
But the astronauts did set up some mirrors on the moon that we can still bounce lasers off of.
Yes, this cinches things a bit I think.
 
  • #8
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I am wondering if the US had enough technology in the 60's to actually land on the moon. We had just crashed a couple hundred million doller probe the other day due to its chute not opening. Also the two last mars missions had large air or nitrogen filled baloons surrounding the probe and equipment for the landing. I am not sure how the Astonauts back than could even of practiced for any type of landing not knowing exactly what they would encounter.
I am not sure but during that Space race with Russia, the moon was the prize and the US would do anything to claim it.
Never know. conspiricies aside the moon rocks were cool!
 
  • #9
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Of course we had the technology because we DID go. Sheesh.
 
  • #10
russ_watters
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Altune said:
I am wondering if the US had enough technology in the 60's to actually land on the moon. We had just crashed a couple hundred million doller probe the other day due to its chute not opening. Also the two last mars missions had large air or nitrogen filled baloons surrounding the probe and equipment for the landing. I am not sure how the Astonauts back than could even of practiced for any type of landing not knowing exactly what they would encounter.
Prior to the moon landing, we also successfully landed robot probes on the moon. The airbag landing idea is a new innovation that saves fuel in landing (it wouldn't work real well on the moon anyway - there is no air for the parachute). Also, the astronauts did get to practice on earth - and from what I understand the spacecraft handled about the same.

As dangerous as it is, yes, it is surprising that no one died in space during the Mercury-Apollo programs.
 
  • #11
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russ_watters said:
As dangerous as it is, yes, it is surprising that no one died in space during the Mercury-Apollo programs.
Actually, 3 people died in 1967 (Roger B. Chaffee, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Edward H. White Jr) when a fire started in an Apollo capsule on the ground.

And remember that Apollo 13 was another close call. (good movie)
 
  • #12
Phobos
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Altune said:
I am wondering if the US had enough technology in the 60's to actually land on the moon.
The amazing thing is that in 1960, we didn't, but by 1969, we did. Amazing what billions of dollars, technical know-how, and political will can do.

We had just crashed a couple hundred million doller probe the other day due to its chute not opening.
NASA has more successful missions than failures. Even the recent crash you mention (the Genesis mission) might be salvagable.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/09/10/genesis.study.cnn/index.html

I am not sure but during that Space race with Russia, the moon was the prize and the US would do anything to claim it.
And Russia confirmed that the US made it to the moon.

Never know. conspiricies aside the moon rocks were cool!
They may make for interesting fiction, but they do great damage to public knowledge/education and the moon hoax idea in particular is a slap in the face to the hard work of thousands of people as well as to the astronauts who risked/gave their lives.

oops...how did this soapbox get under me? :smile:
 
  • #13
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Phobos said:
Actually, 3 people died in 1967 (Roger B. Chaffee, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Edward H. White Jr) when a fire started in an Apollo capsule on the ground.
Which is why I said no one died in space. :wink:
 
  • #14
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physicsuser said:
... If they landed on the front site can it be seen from a telescope? ...
The July, 2004 Astronomy magazine has an article on deep-space photos that Hubble took to get a look at extremely distant galaxies. It says, "... the faintest objects ever seen, reaching down to magnitude 30... At that sensitivity, Hubble could pick up the glow of a firefly on the Moon."

Sunlight reflecting off the descent stage of a Lunar Module is far brighter than a firefly, obviously. But the exposure times for Hubble's deep-space photographs are minutes or hours long. If they tried a long exposure photo of an Apollo landing site, I suspect all they would get for it is a blank white rectangle due to extreme overexposure. If they cut the exposure time down enough to get features on the surface to show themselves, features the size of the lander would not show up.
 
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  • #15
russ_watters
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Caveat, Janitor - there is a big difference between light gathering capability and resolution. The lunar sites can't be seen because they are too small, not because they are too dim.
 
  • #16
BobG
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Altune said:
I am wondering if the US had enough technology in the 60's to actually land on the moon. We had just crashed a couple hundred million doller probe the other day due to its chute not opening. Also the two last mars missions had large air or nitrogen filled baloons surrounding the probe and equipment for the landing. I am not sure how the Astonauts back than could even of practiced for any type of landing not knowing exactly what they would encounter.
I am not sure but during that Space race with Russia, the moon was the prize and the US would do anything to claim it.
Never know. conspiricies aside the moon rocks were cool!
No, they didn't have the technology. They literally developed it as they went, and, as Russ mentioned, it was amazing there were so few manned mission disasters (or at least close calls). They were planning the moon mission even before they had designed a lander, and just about everything else they did proceeded at the same fast pace.

The Russians maintaining a lead in the space race for so long is even more amazing (and contrary to popular beliefs at the time, their program was just as 'safe' as the US). They had even less of a technological infrastructure to draw on than the US did.

I'd say it was mid-70's at the earliest that the technological infrastructure as a whole was mature enough to make moon landings a truly 'realistic' endeavor. And probably only that soon because of the huge push made in the 60's - the technology developed for the race to the moon spilled over into many other fields (such as medical, etc) and raised the technological level of the country as a whole.

All in all, the moon race was an example that the desire to do something is sometimes much more important than the capability to do something.
 
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  • #17
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Agreed

Back at that time the Nasa program was an offshoot of the Russian pressure, the Russians made it in the first manned orbit, and as Bob G said the technology was developed as it went. Nasa hasn't progressed as it did during that first decade, but they also are still trying to understand how everything works, back then as long as it did what they wanted it didn't need to be understood. Remember the lunar landing was not without it's problems.
A big problem with probes though is that they have a time lag and there are interferance problems with solar bodies and radiations. In some ways somebody on sight to make decisions is a lot easier than transmiting signals and problems to earth and then earth making a decision and transmitting back.
 
  • #18
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russ_watters said:
Which is why I said no one died in space. :wink:
d'oh! :redface:
 
  • #20
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russ_watters said:
... there is a big difference between light gathering capability and resolution. The lunar sites can't be seen because they are too small, not because they are too dim.
To possibly clarify what I meant, when I said "all they would get for it is a blank white rectangle," I meant the entire field of the picture would just be pure, featureless white.

If several square miles of black matte film were laid around a lunar lander, with the lander itself being the only object above the matte material, do you agree with me that there would be some exposure time sufficiently long to cause one pixel to be "exposed" on the CCD or whatever device it is that the Hubble focuses its light onto? Obviously I would not expect the resulting picture to be able to show that the lander is square in shape, or that it has four legs, or anything like that which would require fantastically high resolution.
 
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  • #21
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Ok, so technology advanced as they went along for the landing, How about the suits they wore on the moon? Show could they understand heat factors on the surface of the moon without any atmosphere? one good question, second question how about radiation at that level? Hmm temperatures must of been in the hundreds of degrees on the sunward side.
Anybody?
 
  • #22
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Altune said:
Ok, so technology advanced as they went along for the landing, How about the suits they wore on the moon? Show could they understand heat factors on the surface of the moon without any atmosphere? one good question, second question how about radiation at that level? Hmm temperatures must of been in the hundreds of degrees on the sunward side.
Anybody?
The suits were designed to withstand a total vacuum. They were also very shiny to reflect solar radiation. They also included life support.. an air conditioner. Question.. are you suggesting the moon landing was a fake?
 
  • #23
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Just trying to understand at that time what technology could and could not do. As far as an airconditioner, that would not be possible as there would be no way to get rid of the heat. For heat to disipate there needs to be an air flow over some type of coil. As for the solar radiation, I would accept that theory but what about all the other types of harmfull radiation? Is there not Gamma and others?
 
  • #24
check said:
Of course we had the technology because we DID go. Sheesh.

Discovery/Science channel and Discovery/Wings often air historical accounts of the American manned space flight programmes from Mercury all the way to Apollo.

It is quite right to say that we DID NOT have the technology to go to the moon when Kennedy set the 10 year goal to do it. The race to the moon was more an issue of prestige than it was of science. We made up the technology along the way. Engineers made that programme happen. Conspiracy theories about the manned landings on the moon are one more bit of gross and unforgivable ignorance. There was NO WAY to fake the moon landings... the real "tell" was found in the two way radio transmissions to and from the surface of the moon... that could not have been faked back in those days. End of discussion so far as I'm concerned.
 
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  • #25
russ_watters
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Altune said:
Just trying to understand at that time what technology could and could not do. As far as an airconditioner, that would not be possible as there would be no way to get rid of the heat. For heat to disipate there needs to be an air flow over some type of coil.
This is one of the many absolutely ingenious things they did: the air conditioner used sublimation to dissipate heat: it sprayed water on the heasink, the water froze, then sublimated.
As for the solar radiation, I would accept that theory but what about all the other types of harmfull radiation? Is there not Gamma and others?
They did get more than their fair share, but eh - I'd risk doubling my odds of cancer at age 75 (probably an overstatement) for the chance to walk on the moon, wouldn't you?

In any case, if you're really interested, all of this info is readily available if you look for it.
 

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