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wd40
2010-Dec-28, 05:18 PM
A lunar night lasts 2 weeks. The Apollo astronauts never got to see a lunar sunrise.
If for some reason the astronauts had been on the moon during a lunar night, could they have functioned at all? Is there any worthwhile light available at all to an astronaut on the surface of the moon during a lunar night i.e. enough to walk around safely?

cjameshuff
2010-Dec-28, 06:34 PM
A lunar night lasts 2 weeks. The Apollo astronauts never got to see a lunar sunrise.
If for some reason the astronauts had been on the moon during a lunar night, could they have functioned at all? Is there any worthwhile light available at all to an astronaut on the surface of the moon during a lunar night i.e. enough to walk around safely?

Depending on the phase of the Earth, there could be quite a bit of light...and it's not like flashlight technology wasn't yet advanced enough to take to the moon.

There's other concerns besides lighting...like surface temperature.

kleindoofy
2010-Dec-28, 08:21 PM
... The Apollo astronauts never got to see a lunar sunrise. ...
But they did, just not from the surface: from a very low orbit, They also got to see an earthrise, something no human (or any other creature) had ever seen.


... If ... the astronauts had been on the moon during a lunar night ...
They were. It just wasn't night where they were. If I'm not mistaken, it was early morning

NEOWatcher
2010-Dec-28, 08:42 PM
If for some reason the astronauts had been on the moon during a lunar night...
Yeah; you never know when they would have arrived. It's not like NASA planned when they would arrive, is it? [/SARCASM]


...and it's not like flashlight technology wasn't yet advanced enough to take to the moon.
Right; but there's still not much you can do usefully with just a Maglite. Besides, just think of the number of D-cells they would have had to bring for the entire mission.

I'm sure they could have done it, but the lack of viewing things in the distance, combined with temperature and power consumption pretty much rules out any value in doing it.

neilzero
2010-Dec-28, 09:39 PM
On the average Earth shine is several times brighter than Moon shine, but the low light levels would be at least a minor hazard. The very low surface temperature also is a minor problem for the space suit, unless the astronaut lays down on the cold ground. The suit heat exchanger likely needs to carry away excessive body heat as the astronaut is effectively in a vacuum bottle except where his feet touch the ground.
The hot ground of unshaded day time likely pushed the suit to the limit, with the astronaut walking in full sunlight. Neil

jfribrg
2010-Dec-28, 09:46 PM
I think it would have been rather cool (literally) to land in the "predawn" region of the moon. The temp would be mighty cold, but with no atmosphere, and nothing reflecting sunlight except maybe Mars and Saturn (landing on the far side of the moon and timing the mission so that Jupiter is at opposition would not be hard), the stars would be magnificent. So what if there wasn't any scientific value to have a couple of astronauts go stargazing on the moon.

There were several considerations which explain why we did not land in darkness. The lunar "dawn" locations were picked so that the temperature would not be as extreme. If they had landed in a lunar "afternoon" location, the conditions would be that much harder to deal with. The sun would have had nearly two weeks to heat things up. As it was, the Sun only had a couple of days of heating on the Apollo landing sites and they were plenty hot already. The locations were also chosen so that radio communication would be ideal. Also, the astronauts needed to be able to see the landing site. Imagine if Neil couldn't see those boulders when he was landing.

Maybe someday we can do a night landing after we get used to doing the day landings again.

wd40
2010-Dec-28, 09:56 PM
At what speed does the terminator of a lunar sunrise move across the moon's surface?

korjik
2010-Dec-28, 10:11 PM
I think it would have been rather cool (literally) to land in the "predawn" region of the moon. The temp would be mighty cold, but with no atmosphere, and nothing reflecting sunlight except maybe Mars and Saturn (landing on the far side of the moon and timing the mission so that Jupiter is at opposition would not be hard), the stars would be magnificent. So what if there wasn't any scientific value to have a couple of astronauts go stargazing on the moon.

There were several considerations which explain why we did not land in darkness. The lunar "dawn" locations were picked so that the temperature would not be as extreme. If they had landed in a lunar "afternoon" location, the conditions would be that much harder to deal with. The sun would have had nearly two weeks to heat things up. As it was, the Sun only had a couple of days of heating on the Apollo landing sites and they were plenty hot already. The locations were also chosen so that radio communication would be ideal. Also, the astronauts needed to be able to see the landing site. Imagine if Neil couldn't see those boulders when he was landing.

Maybe someday we can do a night landing after we get used to doing the day landings again.

If you landed on the near side during its night, there would be a very bright planet very close by to light things up.

PetersCreek
2010-Dec-28, 10:49 PM
At what speed does the terminator of a lunar sunrise move across the moon's surface?

My math comes up with a figure of about 0.51 degrees per hour. That's about 15.41 km/hr at the equator.

There was another reason for landing early during Lunar morning. The low Sun angle brought out surface details by casting more prominent shadows. Landing at noon (or at night) would deprive a crew of these very useful details.

slang
2010-Dec-28, 11:14 PM
It might be interesting to see if there were any contingency plans for what to do if somehow the landing went wrong and they ended up having to land in the dark part. It would probably be preferable to abort before landing, but what if that was not possible for some reason?

ETA: provided of course that there could be any failure mode to make this possible.

wd40
2010-Dec-29, 12:05 AM
How awful if the ascent engine had failed and they were then covered by the lunar night a few days later as their supplies dwindled as in the film "Countdown" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countdown_(1968_film)

slang
2010-Dec-29, 12:14 AM
More than a few, the lunar day is long.. but yes, there are plenty of reasons to consider the astronauts of that time as heroes.

kleindoofy
2010-Dec-29, 12:28 AM
More than a few ...
Less than a few, actually. As far as I know, the consumables in the LM for Apollo 11 only would have lasted them a number of hours, not days.

Accidently landing in the night surface would have been difficult. The landing was forced, insomuch as that in the absence of any atmosphere they had to break their orbit almost the whole way down. If they had somehow overshot the day surface, apart from an emergency ascent, discontinuing the descent and using the remaining delta V to continue the oribit may have brought them back to daylight, depending on how far down they were. But, I have to admit that I'm guessing.

Hornblower
2010-Dec-29, 02:28 AM
It might be interesting to see if there were any contingency plans for what to do if somehow the landing went wrong and they ended up having to land in the dark part. It would probably be preferable to abort before landing, but what if that was not possible for some reason?

ETA: provided of course that there could be any failure mode to make this possible.

They could have aborted a descent at any time by firing the ascent engine.

Trebuchet
2010-Dec-29, 03:59 AM
They could have aborted a descent at any time by firing the ascent engine.

And, IIRC, came very close to doing so on Apollo 11 as the descent fuel was close to exhaustion after Armstrong maneuvered to avoid a large crater and boulders.

novaderrik
2010-Dec-29, 04:12 AM
And, IIRC, came very close to doing so on Apollo 11 as the descent fuel was close to exhaustion after Armstrong maneuvered to avoid a large crater and boulders.

i might be misremembering something i saw on a tv show about the Apollo missions, but i recall that they had more than 30 seconds worth of fuel left in the descent stage. the "30 seconds" thing was how much fuel they had left in the landing craft before they didn't have enough to use that engine to get back into lunar orbit. in other words, even if they had gone down past "zero seconds of fuel", they still could have landed.

Peter B
2010-Dec-29, 04:20 AM
It might be interesting to see if there were any contingency plans for what to do if somehow the landing went wrong and they ended up having to land in the dark part. It would probably be preferable to abort before landing, but what if that was not possible for some reason?

ETA: provided of course that there could be any failure mode to make this possible.

To my knowledge there were no contingency plans for landing in the dark. If a landing approach was that far off, they'd have aborted instead. Note that the missions were intended to land within ellipses which were a few kilometres long and a couple of kilometres wide. None of these ellipses came close to unlit parts of the Moon.

The only way I can conceive of a night landing is if the LM Ascent Stage malfunctioned on lift-off. But as the LM Ascent Stage had no facility for landing, the fact of the landing being at night would be only one of several catastrophic problems the astronauts would be facing.

Peter B
2010-Dec-29, 04:27 AM
i might be misremembering something i saw on a tv show about the Apollo missions, but i recall that they had more than 30 seconds worth of fuel left in the descent stage. the "30 seconds" thing was how much fuel they had left in the landing craft before they didn't have enough to use that engine to get back into lunar orbit. in other words, even if they had gone down past "zero seconds of fuel", they still could have landed.

Close but not quite right. The time calls were the time until 'Bingo', which meant 'land in 20 seconds or abort'. So when Charlie Duke said "Thirty seconds" it meant there was closer to 50 seconds of fuel.

Having said that, the timing of the calls was based on calculations of average fuel use, not on an actual gauge. So in the backs of the minds of the people in Mission Control and the astronauts was the niggling thought that they might run out of fuel sooner if their consumption had been above average.

slang
2010-Dec-29, 09:58 AM
Less than a few, actually.

I meant more than a few before it would become night, not before they'd perish. But "a few" is ambiguous anyway.


They could have aborted a descent at any time by firing the ascent engine.

Of course, that's why I said "abort before landing". But what if that failed? Maybe because the ascent module wouldn't separate, or something prevented the ascent engine to light, or whatever. The question becomes moot if there's no conceivable error mode that might get the lander to a night part. I'm also fine with the idea that the possibility might be so incredibly remote that it wasn't worth planning for.

wd40
2010-Dec-29, 10:00 AM
Once the ascent stage was ignited, could it be stopped and restarted?

Was there a contingency to jettison the descent stage before landing?

If they were one mile above the moon's surface, and they had to emergency abort, what were their chances of reconnecting with the command module 1. with the descent stage still attached, 2. with it jettisoned?

Hornblower
2010-Dec-29, 12:34 PM
An emergency abort during the descent would be the functional equivalent of the normal use of the ascent stage for liftoff after a successful landing. Such action could be taken at any time during the descent in the event of a malfunction of the descent stage, or for any other reason.

Failure to separate from the lower stage when starting the upper one would be disaster, as with any multistage vehicle. That is why we require extra levels of redundancy in the control circuits to get a spacecraft man rated.

I cannot think of any malfunction other than a boneheaded miscalculation of when to start the descent that would bring the lander down on the night side.

Grashtel
2010-Dec-29, 12:41 PM
Once the ascent stage was ignited, could it be stopped and restarted?
Yes it could.

Was there a contingency to jettison the descent stage before landing?
Yes, in fact that was the planned method of abort and was tested by Apollo 10.

If they were one mile above the moon's surface, and they had to emergency abort, what were their chances of reconnecting with the command module 1. with the descent stage still attached, 2. with it jettisoned?
I'm not sure what the odds of getting back to the CM (actually docking with it wouldn't be necessary, they just needed to get close enough to space walk across to it) with the descent stage attached but I would bet that they were lower than the odds of getting back after jettisoning it given that the planned abort mode was to jettison it.

Glom
2010-Dec-29, 12:51 PM
Right; but there's still not much you can do usefully with just a Maglite. Besides, just think of the number of D-cells they would have had to bring for the entire mission.

But the torch would have been nuclear like the ALSEP probably.


I think it would have been rather cool (literally) to land in the "predawn" region of the moon. The temp would be mighty cold, but with no atmosphere, and nothing reflecting sunlight except maybe Mars and Saturn (landing on the far side of the moon and timing the mission so that Jupiter is at opposition would not be hard), the stars would be magnificent. So what if there wasn't any scientific value to have a couple of astronauts go stargazing on the moon.

I think Ed Mitchell tried. He found a bit of shade and tried letting his eyes adjust, but I think the magnitude limit was still pretty high.


There were several considerations which explain why we did not land in darkness. The lunar "dawn" locations were picked so that the temperature would not be as extreme. If they had landed in a lunar "afternoon" location, the conditions would be that much harder to deal with. The sun would have had nearly two weeks to heat things up. As it was, the Sun only had a couple of days of heating on the Apollo landing sites and they were plenty hot already. The locations were also chosen so that radio communication would be ideal. Also, the astronauts needed to be able to see the landing site. Imagine if Neil couldn't see those boulders when he was landing.

Also, low sun angle means long shadows, which bring out the surface features. Very important if you happen to see a boulder field at your landing target. Just look at the Moon at first or last quarter, at the terminator, the long shadows really make the surface come alive.


Maybe someday we can do a night landing after we get used to doing the day landings again.

You'd need very bright floodlights on the LM or a radar altimeter than you really really trust. Modern synthetic vision systems might just be able to do it though. I think Garmin should sponsor a moon mission and make it a night landing just so they can show off their latest kit.

Hornblower
2010-Dec-29, 12:53 PM
Yes it could.

Yes, in fact that was the planned method of abort and was tested by Apollo 10.

I'm not sure what the odds of getting back to the CM (actually docking with it wouldn't be dessicate, they just needed to get close enough to space walk across to it) with the descent stage attached but I would bet that they were lower than the odds of getting back after jettisoning it given that the planned abort mode was to jettison it.

I would say that the chances of getting back to the mother ship with the descent stage still attached are zero.

1. The top of the descent stage would deflect the jet from the ascent engine sideways, reducing if not eliminating any effective thrust.

2. The dead weight of the descent stage would greatly reduce the delta v even if #1 is not an issue.

3. Heaven only knows what would happen if the jet creates enough heat on top of the ascent stage to light off any fuel residue.

Getting close enough to the mother ship to spacewalk to it is virtually the same as enabling a docking. You have to match velocity with it, which means the same delta v from the ascent stage.

Glom
2010-Dec-29, 12:57 PM
I would say that the chances of getting back to the mother ship with the descent stage still attached are zero.

From a fire in the hole abort, definitely. That jettisons the descent stage as part of the procedure. I'm not sure what the cutoff would be though for a fire in the hole abort rather than aborting with DPS power.


3. Heaven only knows what would happen if the jet creates enough heat on top of the ascent stage to light off any fuel residue.

Given the propellants were hypergolic, I don't think that would have been an issue itself.

Hornblower
2010-Dec-29, 01:03 PM
From a fire in the hole abort, definitely. That jettisons the descent stage as part of the procedure. I'm not sure what the cutoff would be though for a fire in the hole abort rather than aborting with DPS power.



Given the propellants were hypergolic, I don't think that would have been an issue itself.
What does "fire in the hole abort" mean?

What is DPS power?

NEOWatcher
2010-Dec-29, 01:06 PM
But the torch would have been nuclear like the ALSEP probably.
Yes; I was being rather facetious to make a point. Nuclear would be great for lighting an area, but for portability it might have been rather clumsy, large and fragile. Not insurmountable, but would be quite an issue.

Glom
2010-Dec-29, 01:11 PM
What does "fire in the hole abort" mean?

Firing the ascent engine as the descent stage is jettisoned. I hadn't heard of the term either until I read Gene Kranz's book in these last couple of weeks.


What is DPS power?

Descent propulsion system aka the descent engine.

Hornblower
2010-Dec-29, 01:39 PM
My hypothetical disaster scenario involves a failed attempt at detaching from an inoperative or malfunctioning descent stage. If a problem arises early in the descent, and is unrelated to operation of the descent stage, then by all means that stage could be used to achieve part if not all of the return delta v.

wd40
2010-Dec-29, 01:41 PM
Did the lone astronaut in the command module have the ability to substantially raise or lower its orbit to reunite with his fellows if they became trapped in an incorrect one? How low to the lunar surface could he dare go? When it came to docking, did both vehicles fine-maneuver with their thrusters, or was it usually done by only one of them?

Glom
2010-Dec-29, 01:44 PM
Yes. The CSM rescue was an important contingency. In fact, the CSM would shortly be used to perform descent orbit insertion.

Hornblower
2010-Dec-29, 02:12 PM
The amount of fuel needed for the command module to match any orbit achieved by the ascending LM would be only a small fraction of what will be used for the impending return-to-Earth burn. The amount of maneuvering he could do would depend on how much fuel he has in reserve. My educated guess is that the command module was provided with plenty of fuel to do it all with no help from the LM.

slang
2010-Dec-29, 10:51 PM
Due to the apparent impossibility of an accidental nightlanding I didn't think it would be worth the effort to go look for documents, but I couldn't resist giving the NASA Technical Report server (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp) a shot (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?N=0&Ntk=all&Ntx=mode%20matchall&Ntt=apollo%20lunar%20night%20landing).. and look what I found. Not directly supportive of night landings, but there are some references indicating that it least it was something they considered. Someone who feels like it might try to hunt down some more documents.

Possible use of flares to relax lighting constraints for lunar landing (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19790072276_1979072276.pdf) (PDF, 265 Kb) Feb 28, 1967

In short: they conclude that flares can not help relax lighting constraints (Sun angles etc) but might be useful for night landings. There is something else called "Lunar landing at night at Lunar Landing Research Facility (LLRF).", archived as an image, apparently published in 1969, which might also help further searches.

(Then, totally unrelated, there's this abstract (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=26387&id=8&as=false&or=false&qs=No%3D10%26Ntt%3Dapollo%2Blunar%2Bnight%2Blandin g%26Ntk%3Dall%26Ntx%3Dmode%2Bmatchall%26Ns%3DHarve stDate%257c1%26N%3D0), "[...] Gas clouds have been seen at times and these appear to have been released from Apollo hardware left on the lunar surface.")

wd40
2010-Dec-29, 11:06 PM
Is there any footage or sequence of photos showing a lunar night in progress as it falls taken by landers on the moon's surface?

kleindoofy
2010-Dec-29, 11:26 PM
An emergency abort during the descent would be the functional equivalent of the normal use of the ascent stage for liftoff after a successful landing. ...
One detail should be mentioned, simply because it is often a source of major misconception: for almost the entire descent, the astronauts were upside down or lying on their backs relative to the Moon's surface.

As pointed out above, due to the lack of atmosphere, the LM had to rely entirely on it's engine to retard it's orbit and push itself down towards the surface. It wasn't until they were pretty far down, about 1000m or less above the surface, that they actually flipped over with the engine pointing down. Up to that moment, they couldn't even see the Moon, only the black sky.

So, part of any abort would have included first changing the attitude of the LM to reposition the direction of the engine thrust. It was only during the very last part of the landing that they could "just hit the button" to abort.

kamaz
2010-Dec-29, 11:53 PM
Is there any worthwhile light available at all to an astronaut on the surface of the moon during a lunar night i.e. enough to walk around safely?

Earthshine (http://the-moon.wikispaces.com/Earthshine) is bright enough that Apollo 8 crew could see the terrain features on the unilluminated side from orbit. Also, I read somewhere (though can't locate the source at the moment), that Earthshine would be bright enough for an astronaut to do work outside during night.

wd40
2010-Dec-29, 11:58 PM
Once they redocked, did the two astronauts derobe from their moondust-covered space suits inside the ascent stage before transferring in to the CM, or keep their suits on? Was the moondust on their suits and boots a hazard? Could an astronaut put on and take off his suit, helmet, gloves, air supply etc unaided, in very cramped conditions, or did he absolutely require assistance? Is there a link describing in detail the Apollo suiting up procedure?

kleindoofy
2010-Dec-30, 12:12 AM
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/frame.html

More information then you could ever ask for.

Edit: if you spend the next month or so reading everything on that website, you won't be asking questions here, you'll be answering them.

PetersCreek
2010-Dec-30, 12:22 AM
Yes, they doffed their suits in the LM...but from my reading, quite a bit of dust got "tracked" around. Even with plenty of room, suiting (and un-) is a cooperative affair and was especially so in the confines of the LM.

kleindoofy
2010-Dec-30, 12:30 AM
Quoting from memory, they had to help each other suit up and the first one out the hatch had to be assisted getting down to get out because there was so little space for him to crouch down with the other astronaut in the LM.

Again from memory, I think they ditched their life support packs out onto the Moon's surface through an air lock after repressurizing the cabin to help reduce weight for ascending.

Edit:

Yes, they dumped a lot of stuff, including the life support packs:


114:18:31 McCandless: Roger, Tranquility. We observed your equipment jettison on the TV, and the passive seismic experiment recorded shocks when each PLSS hit the surface. Over.

114:18:47 Armstrong: You can't get away with anything anymore, can you?
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11.html

Reading the voice transcripts is fascinating.

Peter B
2010-Dec-30, 06:50 AM
Just wanted to amplify the answers others have already given...


Once the ascent stage was ignited, could it be stopped and restarted?

Yes. It was a very simple engine, with only two moving parts - the valves which opened or shut on the lines which carried fuel and oxidiser from their tanks to the combustion chamber. The fuel and oxidiser were hypergolic - they ignited spontaneously on contact.


Was there a contingency to jettison the descent stage before landing?

Yes, when it ran out of fuel. If the astronauts took too long to land, and the LM Descent Stage ran out of fuel, the computer automatically cut the Descent Stage loose and fired the Ascent Engine. This could be very dangerous if the LM was close to the surface of the Moon or it was descending quickly.

But if an abort was needed higher up in the LM's descent, the process involved opening the throttle on the Descent Engine to 100%, and getting as much use out of it as possible, before relying on the Ascent Engine.


If they were one mile above the moon's surface, and they had to emergency abort, what were their chances of reconnecting with the command module 1. with the descent stage still attached, 2. with it jettisoned?

In the first case, it depends on whether you mean the Descent Engine was still firing. If it was still working, then the abort would likely be completely successful, unless there was some other serious problem. After all, if the Ascent Engine was enough to get the LM from the surface and into orbit by itself, starting a mile further up, with some speed and with the Descent Engine as well, you'll have a much larger margin for success. If the Descent Stage was still attached but the engine wasn't working, then the astronauts would die - the Ascent Engine couldn't work properly with the Descent Stage in the way. If the Descent Stage was jettisoned, then an abort from an altitude of one mile should be fairly straightforward, for the same reasons as above.

Peter B
2010-Dec-30, 06:52 AM
I'm not sure what the odds of getting back to the CM (actually docking with it wouldn't be dessicate, they just needed to get close enough to space walk across to it) with the descent stage attached...

Do you mind me asking what you mean when you say "dessicate"? My understanding is the word means "dried out".

Peter B
2010-Dec-30, 06:59 AM
Did the lone astronaut in the command module have the ability to substantially raise or lower its orbit to reunite with his fellows if they became trapped in an incorrect one? How low to the lunar surface could he dare go?

The CSM could go as low as about 15 km above the Moon, compared with a normal orbit of about 100 km. I don't know why they chose that figure as opposed to something else, but I assume they had something of a safety margin built in.


When it came to docking, did both vehicles fine-maneuver with their thrusters, or was it usually done by only one of them?

Only one of them at a time. The LM performed the rendezvous, and the CSM did the docking. That is, the LM performed the maneuvers to place it in the same orbit as the CSM, and finished its job when the CSM was a few metres away. The CSM then became the active spacecraft to undertake the docking. This was because the Command Module Pilot's controls allowed him to look straight ahead during the docking. By contrast, as the CSM docked with the LM's roof, the LM crew would have had to look above them to see the CSM, then look down to see their controls.

Having said that, the crews trained for all sorts of contingencies, and I'm pretty sure the LM could be the active partner in a docking if that proved to be necessary.

Peter B
2010-Dec-30, 07:01 AM
Is there any footage or sequence of photos showing a lunar night in progress as it falls taken by landers on the moon's surface?

Not with the Apollo hardware, to my knowledge. There might be something from the Surveyor spacecraft, which were unmanned landers which went to the Moon in 1966 and 1967. If you go to the Lunar and Planetary Institute web-site, you might find something.

Peter B
2010-Dec-30, 07:05 AM
So, part of any abort would have included first changing the attitude of the LM to reposition the direction of the engine thrust. It was only during the very last part of the landing that they could "just hit the button" to abort.

A little nit-pick here if I may. If an abort was necessary, all the astronauts had to do was hit the abort button - the LM's computer performed all the necessary maneuvers, including changing attitude if that was needed. You may not have meant it, but the way I read your statement was that the astronauts would have to change the LM's attitude before hitting the abort button earlier than the final descent, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case.

Peter B
2010-Dec-30, 07:12 AM
Once they redocked, did the two astronauts derobe from their moondust-covered space suits inside the ascent stage before transferring in to the CM, or keep their suits on?

I don't think there was a set rule. On Apollo 11 Armstrong and Aldrin kept their suits on. On Apollo 12, Command Module Pilot Gordon insisted that Conrad and Bean strip off, and they actually transferred to the CSM naked.


Was the moondust on their suits and boots a hazard?

It could be a hazard, and the more of it there was, the greater the danger became. The problem was that the grains have sharp edges, meaning that it caused a small amount of fraying damage to material. Also, on the later missions, when there were three moonwalks, the astronauts were required to check their suits and lubricate zips. When (if) we return to the Moon, the long term effect of dust on just about everything will be a serious issue to overcome.


Could an astronaut put on and take off his suit, helmet, gloves, air supply etc unaided, in very cramped conditions, or did he absolutely require assistance?

I think it had to be possible, particularly in case of emergency, but if it was it would have been slow and difficult.


Is there a link describing in detail the Apollo suiting up procedure?

Try the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, as provided in links. If not, there might be a document somewhere on the NASA web-site.

Grashtel
2010-Dec-30, 07:34 AM
Do you mind me asking what you mean when you say "dessicate"? My understanding is the word means "dried out".
That my great powers of dyslexia gives me a remarkable talent for misspelling words in such a way that the spell checker comes up with something totally unrelated to what I actually wanted to say if I am not careful about using its suggestions :)