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Rigging Apollo 11 on the Moon

The more we find out about the Apollo moon missions, the more we find they were operating closer to the edge than anyone outside of NASA knew. In an excerpt from Buzz Aldrin's new book, "Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon", he tells about a crucial circuit breaker he and Neil Armstrong found broken on the floor of the moon lander. Aldrin rigged the circuit by inserting a felt-tip pen, and hoped it would work during their liftoff.
The liftoff from the moon was intrinsically a tense time . The ascent stage simply had to work. The engines had to fire, propelling us upward, leaving the descent stage of the LM still sitting on the moon. We had no margin for error, no second chances, no rescue plans if the liftoff failed. There would be no way for Mike up in Columbia to retrieve us. We had no provision for another team to race from Earth to pick us up if the Eagle did not soar. Nor did we have food, water, or oxygen for more than a few hours.

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"The more we find out about the Apollo moon missions, the more we find they were operating closer to the edge than anyone outside of NASA knew."

I'm being a curmudgeon, but the dangers of these missions were very well understood - even by the public. Gus Grisson, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died horrifically during Apollo 1. We are also well aware of the near catastophy of Apollo 13.

We blessedly did not lose any astronauts out in or returning from space, but the Russians did. Yes, the media arm of NASA did everything it could to sugar-coat the dangers, but the events of Apollo 1 and 13 were way too profound to contain.
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An incredible story! I have a deep admiration for everyone involved in getting man to the moon. They accomplished an amazing feat with technology that was just barely able to do it. It doesn't get any more bleeding edge than that.

So... Anyone else excited that we're going back? Anyone else disappointed that it won't be for another 11 years? Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if private interests set foot on the moon long before NASA does.
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The space race happend pretty much to stick it to the communists. 1960s America had to deal with Russia launching the first satellite, and she didn't want to have a red moon flying above her head as well.

We got there first and planted a flag (though the flag fell over during the LEM blow-off). We went there several more times to prove the first time wasn't a fluke. We collected some rocks and took some pictures, and spent billions doing it.

There's no reason to send a human there again. Robots can do it much better, much cheaper, and much more safely. 90% of Apollo's technology was devoted towards keeping a human body alive.
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In the beginning there also was no reason to go to the America's. Eiric Raude went there with his Vikings and got clobbered pretty bad by some local tribes. Some Irish monk in a currach-type boat got there and got rough times. Some Chinese ships over time got shipwrecked and got pretty bad receptions. And then there was this Columbus-fella that for starters thought he had found the Indie's... And after him, those first settlers more than once got roughed up by tribes that didn't like them newcomers. Naaaaah... There was only trouble with that new continent- We definitely shouldn't have gone there in the first place, let alone stay there...
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Okay - I will stop fillabustering this thread - but they did set up the flag correctly during subsequent missions. They made a point of planting the flag a good distance from the LEM.

So we have a bunch of American flags still "flying" on the surface of the moon - but the radiation will probably bleach out the colors eventually (if not already). So I guess ultimately we have flags of surrender on the moon.

They also left the flying wings of the three astronauts who died on Apollo 1. Another astronaut wrote his daughter's name in the lunar soil. Of course, that stuff is still there.
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ted:

That "moon rock" at the Smithsonia is a FAKE. The shadows are totally wrong. The lighting of the rock compared to the background is completely off. Look at it closely. You can just TELL.
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There was always a decent chance that some astronauts wouldn't come back. Exploration is a dangerous thing, and people always die while doing it. Of course, people also die while getting out of bathtubs or walking across the street. It'd be a lot cheaper and safer if we all just stayed inside and never bathed.
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Sam Saturday,
"There’s no reason to send a human there again. Robots can do it much better, much cheaper, and much more safely. 90% of Apollo’s technology was devoted towards keeping a human body alive."

That is not the real point of going there. What the human eye and mind can percieve, even now, is much more than what we can engineer. With your logic, what's the point in going to a ball game or climbing a mountain or going somewhere on vacation? You can always watch it on TV or see it in books.

If you still don't understand then more is the pity on you. It is our nature to question everything, our thirst for knowledge and understanding of everything is the thing that keeps us going.
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Johnny B.,

"That is not the real point of going there. What the human eye and mind can percieve, even now, is much more than what we can engineer. With your logic, what’s the point in going to a ball game or climbing a mountain or going somewhere on vacation? You can always watch it on TV or see it in books."

I understand completely the reason we send people there, but Sam has a terrific point. We are so risk averse now, that what we successfully pulled off on Apollo is impossible. I haven't looked up his stats, but if 90% is devoted towards keeping a human body alive on the Apollo system, then new systems will be 99.997%.

I posit that before we go anywhere, we should clutter it up with small but useful robotic spacecraft that allows us to reduce risk prior to arrival and allows future astronauts to just focus on the climbing a mountain on the moon to see what's there. We can send 100 robotic missions for the projected development cost of the lunar mission.

Probably what bother's me most about your sentiment is this:

"What the human eye and mind can percieve, even now, is much more than what we can engineer. "

If that is the case, then all we have is the person who went there and his faulty memory. We have no permanent record, nothing to pass to future generations other than the knowledge that the person landed on the moon. Throwing a person into space for the advancement of all mankind is like saying that Bill Gates getting rich from MS is the betterment of all people. We've past the point that the accomplishment is a point of national pride, or people would actually watch Shuttle launches on a regular basis. Everything since then is all just fluff that furthers single individuals and fools others into believing that they are important because they are working on an important national goal. We passed that point by Apollo 13.
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The reason to put humans on the moon again is no longer to say we can, or to do research robotic probes can do. The reason to go to the moon is it is a stepping stone to understand the life support requirements to send humans to other planets and some day other stars. If the ultimate goal is the survival of the human race, we must learn how to leave this planet, and the earlier we start the better off we will be. People are overpopulating this planet and we are slowly killing its biological diversity. We must have an escape valve and lifeboat available.
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Life support requirements to send humans to other planets where the journey is 2 years is a completely different class of problem than going to the moon for a week or two (or even a month). A trip to a near-Earth asteroid would spur the technology needed to pursue trips to Mars (and beyond). A trip to the moon would at most make people realize that with the current risk aversion that we can't do it without spending the US's GDP.
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I understand your point Davron, but we have to start somewhere. We have to learn to walk before we can run a marathon.

Besides, with our current "risk aversion" mentality, going to Mars first (or even a NEO) is practically out of the question.

And to all of the moon landing doubters, I have just one question: What does it matter? If they faked it, they faked it! That has no impact whatsoever on future space endeavors. Faked or not, the truth about the original moon landings will come out eventually.
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hahaha .. u people seriously think that the Americans made it to the moon when it was technically infeasible back in those days .. it was all shot indoors and their primary goal was to beat the Russians so they wouldn't be reffered to as "loosers".
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You cannot reason with or explain anything to a person who has already made up their mind and is completely unwilling to consider they may be incorrect. For them any evidence that does not align with their belief system is clearly flawed and wrong. The issue like their mind is closed.

To some the world is flat and that's that.
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