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40th Aniversary of Apollo 11

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Dr Who, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. G'day everyone,....

    Forty years ago TODAY, at 9:32 AM EDT, Apollo 11 was launched.

    Roughly four and a half days later, on July 20, 1969, Mission Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. Command Module Pilot Michael Collins orbited overhead.

    Neil Armstrong had to take over and "fly" the LM to the surface manually after the onboard computer (with less capacity than the chip in a Furby) kept shutting down due to overloading.
    As they approached the surface, it became clear they were going to overshoot the planned landing site. It was later learned that this was caused when the LM de-docked from the Command Module. The docking ring area between the two craft had not been depressurized (nobody knew they had to be at that time). When they seperated, this pressure essentially popped the LM like a cork. This altered their trajectory and caused them to overshoot the planned landing site.
    Armstrong had to find an alternate landing site, but the area that looked clear from photos taken in earlier Apollo missions was in fact filled with house-sized boulders. Taking the LM beyond the planned landing site consumed precious fuel. As he went on and on looking for a clear spot, Aldrin called out the fuel remaining in seconds. They were past the point of no return and still did not see a suitable site.
    Armstrong finally found a good spot and eased it down. They landed with something like six seconds of fuel remaining.

    Four hours and 39 minutes later, Neil Armstrong exited the LM, climbed down the ladder, and set foot on the moon.

    I am a space program nut and go nuts over this stuff (obviously), but whenever I think about what was done in the days of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs...I usually end up in a bad mood. It's because I contrast it with today.
    The Apollo program was made possible by the efforts of thousands of people and the products and research from hundreds of companies. The government poured a lot of money into it, but mostly helped by staying out of the way after giving the contracts.
    Free enterprise got it done because they were allowed to.
    Now the gov't can't even stay out if the car business.

    There is a website created by the JFK Library and Museum that will recreate the Apollo 11 misssion from launch to landing in real time. They are using original recordings, actors, and animation. It went live this morning at 8:02 AM (90 minutes before launch). But you can go back and catch up at your leisure.
    Just in case you are wondering, they are just about to seperate the LEM from Stage 4B via the CSM right now. I'm all a-quiver!

    Dr Who?
  2. I guess not too many Netriders can remember where they were when this happened (for obvious reasons) but I remember all the students and staff of Tahlee Bible College (north of Newcastle) crowding round the only television on the property, watching this amazing event. The TV was black and white, of course, and the set was only 21" in size, and the picture was grainy at best, but nearly 100 people were just riveted, as a human being for the first time in human history, set foot on another piece of the solar system.

    Among the many incredible facts of this event is that the astronauts left behind a reflector that is still in use today, as every day a beam is fired at it and the resultant reflection is used to calculate exactly the distance between earth and the moon.

    {Quite why that's important, i don't know, but....}

    Oh, and Buzz Aldrin was a Christian, and celebrated communion while standing on the moon. NASA didn't publish this because they were already in a lawsuit with an atheist lobbyist who had objected to the Apollo 8 astronauts reading from Genesis on an earlier mission....
  3. Neil Armstrong NEVER landed on the moon. It was all done at the Paramount studio in Hollywood........u gotta love the yanks. :LOL:

    Buzz Aldrin was a christian!!!!.........so what, who cares? :LOL:
  4. Not that this is relevant whatsoever... but why would the atheist lobbyist care if the astronauts were reading from genesis?

    How does the astronauts reading from the bible impact on the lobbyists life?

    I just don't see the link! Am I just missing something? Is there some hidden meaning to the post that I'm not bright enough to get?

    The frustration of trying to understand that seemingly irrelevant comment is driving me insane dammit! :oops:
  5. So young :LOL:

    here's the whole spiel

    Buzz Aldrin was a firm Presbyterian Christian and had communion on the Moon. However it was kept secret from the public as Nasa was fighting a lawsuit by atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair who objected to the Apollo 8 crew reading from the Book of Genesis. Aldrin's communion kit was prepared by the pastor of his church.

    O'Hair was the person who had prayers in schools banned, and was a fanatical christian-hater. NASA were not anxious for further controversy. The key element of the Apollo programme was to beat the Russians to a line-in-the-sand landmark in space, and to fulfil the promise of President Kennedy to put a man on the moon and bring him back within ten years of his inauguration. Internal squabbling would only have given the Russians an opportunity to take the gloss of this triumph of Western technology over Marxist equivalents.

    Kennedy was a devout Catholic, and the atheist lobby was as frothing at the mouth then about what that might mean, as it has been in recent years with devout Christian statesmen and Presidents.

    But, I guess, you really had to be there to understand all this; it was a very diferent era.
  6. What gets me is how NASA 'lost' the original footage of the first moon walk.

    They now state that the original footage was most likely recorded over.

    Come on, probably the most historical piece of footage ever shot and it gets misplaced or recorded over. Schyeah, right.

    I wonder what else was on the film that the US government goons didn't/don't want us seeing.
  7. There were two copies of the footage in Australia ..... recorded because we were feeding the signal (via "The Dish"). They seem to have disappeared, and the thought is that they are out there in someone's private collection, so the hunt is on.
  8. The timing of the actual landing is around lunchtime tomorrow (Tuesday) Australian Eastern Time.

    The Yanks owned the landing so claim the time as 20 July 1969.
  9. The Australian public actually got the live TV feed fractionally before the US. We were the only place where the signal did not go through Houston first. The feed was split in Sydney. One feed went across the Pacific to the Yanks at NASA and the other went to the Australian commercial TV networks. ABC TV got its feed from the commercial networks.

    I was working in Canberra as a computer trainee at the time and I had a couple of friends (one was my then girlfriend) who were working at Honeysuckle Creek tracking station. My then GF acquired a souvenir for me which I had for years till some low-life stole it.

    It was a Univac diagnostics manual stamped with the Apollo 11 logo and with "Top Secret" on every page. Nothing secret at all of course - it was available anywhere that had a Univac system (relatively common in those days) but it looked really cool :LOL:
  10. The actual time was 12:59:20 on 21-07-1969.

    One of the guys at Parkes made sure he noted the exact time because they were running a sweep on the result, as you'd expect from a bunch of Aussies :LOL:
  11. Urban myth is that the entire programme was powered by a computer with less capacity than a Commodore 64. I find this hard to believe.
  12. I don't, but it's one of those comparisons that does drives you nuts. Like when they say 'equivalent to the power of 1000 Hiroshima's.....' or '25 football fields'.

    I imagine that the code being used was very specific and using processors that were very customised to their task and were therefore very efficient.
  13. The spacecrafts computer was this

    Instruction Set: Approximately 20 instructions;
    100 noun-verb pairs, data up to triple-precision
    Word Length: 16 bits (14 bits + sign + parity)
    Memory: ROM (rope core) 36K words; RAM (core) 2K words
    Disk: None
    I/O: DSKY (two per spacecraft)
    Performance: approx. Add time - 20us
    Basic machine cycle: 2.048 MHz
    Technology: RTL bipolar logic (flat pack)
    Size: AGC - 24" x 12.5" x 6" (HWD); DSKY - 8" x 8" x 7" (HWD)
    Weight: AGC - 70 lbs; DSKY - 17.5 lbs
    Number produced: AGC - 75; DSKY: 138
    Cost: Unknown.
    Power consumption: Operating: 70W @ 28VDC; Standby 15.0 watts

    The commodore 64 your refering to had a 64k memory chip
    Hence 'commodore 64' name :)

    So yes the commodore 64 had twice the power of the computer use in the " spacecrafts" as for on the ground ?? I'd say they had a few more linked together, BUT in every bit of footage of mission control I've seen almost every station had a 'slide rule' sitting in easy reach. To check manual computations before entering the data into the 'computer'


    edit : The info came from here.

    { yes I'm a closet space nut too :oops: :LOL: }