Conspiracy theorists have been arguing for years that the US Apollo missions were a big hoax, with NASA falsifying recordings, photos, samples and other “evidence” because humans had never set foot on the moon. And one of the arguments is always this: since we were already on board our natural satellite in 1969, and the solutions available to us were less technologically advanced, then Why are we unable to repeat this feat.
Although the thesis presented here is clearly wrong, we must agree on one thing. Compared to new spaceflight systems currently available to space agencies and private companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, or even Virgin Galactic, The technology used on the Apollo 11 mission looks like a museum exhibit. This is the case, but… only partially.
Used on the Apollo 11 mission The spacecraft, which included the CSM-107 “Columbia” command/service module and the LM-5 “Eagle” lunar module, as well as the Atlas V launch vehicleHis mission was to put the rest into orbit.
The CSM, i.e. Command/Service Module, was, as the name suggests, a combination of two different modules, viz. Command module and service module. The first contains crew quarters and control systems, the second consists of tanks for fuel cell materials (liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen) and contains the main propulsion system and reaction control system.
The LM-5 “Eagle” lunar module is a two-stage module, consisting of a descent stage and an ascent stage. It was only able to operate in space Designed to carry two astronauts from lunar orbit to its surface and back.
To command the Command/Service Module and the Lunar Module The Apollo guidance computers (AGC) were used on board. – Command Module Computer (CMC) and Lunar Guidance Computer (LGC), respectively. And at this point, it’s really hard not to smile, because although at the time it was considered a “technical miracle”, the system weighing 32 kg used weaker components than those currently found even in budget smartphones.
For example, none of the computers had storage media similar to the ones we use today. Instead they benefited Two types of memory made of ferrite cores, fixed 74 KB (can be written and read) Erasable 4 KB (read-only memory), which is the equivalent of random access memory (RAM), although the data stored in ROM (read-only memory) is not lost when the power is turned off.
What’s more, A device combining a monitor and keyboard was used to operate the computer, i.e. the so-called DesktopWhere astronauts enter commands and data using a digital keyboard. It’s truly a piece of history, not just figuratively, but also literally – but these kind of solutions are only a small part of the elements that make up an effective space mission, and more importantly… they worked well while performing the missions they designed.
Pa, Sometimes it is better than modern solutions and just look at the SA-506 (Saturn V) rocket.Using the F-1 and J-2 engines, which carried the Apollo 11 mission into space. The rocket consisted of three stages, all liquid-fueled, and their separation during launch was supported by small separation canisters.
Even today It is considered one of the most technologically advanced human creations in history It is certainly not possible to say that this element is “outdated”. Although we are dealing with a single-use rocket, this giant, 110 meters high and 10 meters in diameter, whose roar can be heard at a distance of 80 kilometers, was able to carry 118 tons of cargo to low Earth orbit.
For comparison, Starship, a two-stage superheavy launch vehicle developed by SpaceX, is… Eventually, it will take us to Mars and will have a lifting capacity of about 100 tons. On April 20 of this year, it made its maiden flight, but it was not without problems, just as during previous attempts. while The Saturn V was known for its fault-free operation and there were only two minor failures of the rocket during operation.
So why can’t we go back to the moon? The answer is very surprising…we are, but:
- We don’t want to – The space race between the United States and Russia has made the “first come first served” principle extremely important, and the option of visiting the same place again does not seem very exciting;
- We don’t need that – The development of technology means that we are able to conduct many space researches from Earth or use modern telescopes and other research tools that are launched into space.
- We have more concerns – Mainly in the field of astronaut health, because the ever-increasing knowledge about the threats lurking in space and their impact on the human body makes us devote more effort to the safety of space travelers;
- it costs -If you don’t know what it is, it’s about money. Manned missions cost a fortune and offer few benefits, at least so far. We can safely assume that when space agencies are ready for a new chapter in the conquest of space, i.e. colonization of the solar system or space mining, and this will have political significance, the money will be found.
Astronauts and NASA employees themselves have a similar opinion, such as Jim Bridenstine, director of the US agency under Donald Trump, who was already convinced in 2018 that It is not scientific or technological obstacles that are holding us back:
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