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SRH
2013-Jan-06, 09:36 PM
I am really curious as to how the astronauts get back in the shuttle after their work on the Moon is complete.
Does anyone have any links that explain how this is done?

Specifically, how does the lunar module launch from the surface of the Moon, given that the launch equipment is different than on Earth (yes, I know the Moon's gravity is less, but still...)?
How do the astronauts steer the module towards the shuttle?
What is the velocity of the shuttle and how does the lunar module speed up to that level?
How does the lunar module actually line up next to and reattach to the shuttle?

Thanks.

publiusr
2013-Jan-06, 09:49 PM
Astronauts on Moon missions did those decades ago before the shuttle ever launched. Shuttles are (were) LEO birds only. STS had nearly the same thrust as Saturn V, it is just that most of the mass put in LEO was dead-weight-on-orbit spaceplane.

A good bit of the weight of the actual moonship (3rd stage of Sat V on up) was fuel to go the rest of the way.

What some of us support is trying to do are put shuttle engines under the Shuttle external tank--which is where they get their feed from, leave off the orbiter, and put a capsule and such on top. That is SLS--a way to use ET tech to get us back to a Saturn V--or something similar.

Nowhere Man
2013-Jan-06, 09:55 PM
First, the Space Shuttle never went to the moon. It was not designed to do that. Edit to add: The Shuttle did not even exist when the Moon landings were done.

If you are talking about Apollo, the LM (Lunar Module) is in two parts. Only the top part, the ascent module, left the moon and docked with the CSM (Command/Service Module). The Moon's gravity is 1/6 that of Earth's, and they only needed to get themselves and their craft to a 60-mile (I think) orbit. This does not take nearly as much rocketry power as it does to launch the entire Apollo/Saturn stack from Earth, through the atmosphere, into orbit, and toward the Moon.

How does it launch? Using a simple rocket engine designed for the job.

How do the pilots steer it? With the reaction-control engines. Also, one reason for leaving the third astronaut in the CSM was so that he could fly to the ascent module if necessary.

How does the ascent module speed up to orbit speed? Using the same rocket engine that it launched with.

How do the two craft dock? With specially-designed docking equipment. The pilots did a lot of practice in trainers before flying to the Moon.

Read this article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program) about the Apollo program, particularly this section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program#Lunar_mission_profile) about the lunar mission profile.

Fred

Noclevername
2013-Jan-06, 10:01 PM
The Shuttle was never used anywhere near the Moon, it is a low orbit craft.

The Lunar Module Eagle was carried by a Command Module Columbia, which also carried the landing capsule for the astronauts' return to Earth.

The Lunar Module was built in two stages-- the Descent Stage contained the rockets used to land. It was abandoned on the surface after the Ascent Stage returned to orbit using its own rockets. Its trajectory and thrust were carefully timed so that it could maneuver to a rendezvous with the Command Module. The LM was then jettisoned. The Command Module returned to Earth and was left in orbit as the Landing Capsule re-entered the atmosphere.

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_11#Lunar_ascent_and_return

Nowhere Man
2013-Jan-06, 10:04 PM
Minor correction, Noclevername: The Command Module made the landing (splashdown) on Earth, and the Service Module burned up in the atmosphere. Nothing was left in Earth orbit.

Fred

SRH
2013-Jan-06, 10:08 PM
Thank you.

KaiYeves
2013-Jan-07, 12:00 AM
And don't feel bad about the error of nomenclature-- the space shuttle was in use for so long that a lot of people use "space shuttle" generically to mean "spacecraft"-- it's wrong, but why are we on CQ if not to learn? (I personally made that mistake for years.)

Glom
2013-Jan-07, 12:11 AM
If you google Apollo 11 press kit, you'll find a document that was issue at the time to explain to the public in detail how it was all to be done.

Also in the movie Apollo 13 they give quite a bit of screen time to the CSM docking with the LM. Of course that was the initial docking to pull it out of the Saturn V third stage, but the principle of docking is similar to later on when the LM docks with CSM in lunar orbit.

AGN Fuel
2013-Jan-09, 10:44 AM
I can't get a link for you just now, but there is outstanding footage of the Apollo 17 ascent module launching from the moon's surface, filmed by a camera left on the surface and operated remotely by Ed Fendell from Houston. Do a google search for it - worth watching! :)

SRH
2013-Jan-09, 01:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOdzhQS_MMw

DonM435
2013-Jan-09, 01:37 PM
The next generation may well believe that 2001: A Space Odyssey deminstrated the "old" manner of visiting The Moon.

JustAFriend
2013-Jan-09, 03:17 PM
Well at least Dr. Heywood Floyd had a pretty stewardess serving meals on trays. You can't get that on airliners any more...

TooMany
2013-Jan-15, 06:43 PM
Well at least Dr. Heywood Floyd had a pretty stewardess serving meals on trays. You can't get that on airliners any more...

Hey, I ran into one coming back from Europe. A real knockout, nice too. I was talking to her about how much air travel has changed since the 70's. The guy across the isle from me bought a $5 sandwich but asked for mustard which they could not provide.

goodnightsnookieukums
2013-Jan-28, 08:58 AM
I am really curious as to how the astronauts get back in the shuttle after their work on the Moon is complete.
Does anyone have any links that explain how this is done?

Specifically, how does the lunar module launch from the surface of the Moon, given that the launch equipment is different than on Earth (yes, I know the Moon's gravity is less, but still...)?
How do the astronauts steer the module towards the shuttle?
What is the velocity of the shuttle and how does the lunar module speed up to that level?
How does the lunar module actually line up next to and reattach to the shuttle?

Thanks.

One of the flight officers , H. David Reed recently wrote a nice account of his "launch" of the Eagle, the Apollo 11 LM, from the lunar surface. Worth the time and effort. It is a chapter of the book, "From the Terenches of Mission Control to the Craters of the Moon". Fabulous book.

hoozi
2013-Jan-28, 03:20 PM
Well at least Dr. Heywood Floyd had a pretty stewardess serving meals on trays. You can't get that on airliners any more...

You need to get out of the US!

Don J
2013-Feb-07, 02:50 AM
Astronauts on Moon missions did those decades ago before the shuttle ever launched. Shuttles are (were) LEO birds only. STS had nearly the same thrust as Saturn V, it is just that most of the mass put in LEO was dead-weight-on-orbit spaceplane.

A good bit of the weight of the actual moonship (3rd stage of Sat V on up) was fuel to go the rest of the way.

What some of us support is trying to do are put shuttle engines under the Shuttle external tank--which is where they get their feed from, leave off the orbiter, and put a capsule and such on top. That is SLS--a way to use ET tech to get us back to a Saturn V--or something similar.
They can be so useful these external tanks...
Method Of Providing A Lunar Habitat From An External Tank. US patent US5094409
http://www.google.com/patents/US5094409
A method and apparatus are provided for delivering lunar generated fluid to Earth orbit from lunar orbit. US patent US5092545
http://www.google.com/patents/US5092545

R.A.F.
2013-Feb-07, 03:54 AM
They can be so useful these external tanks...

Theoretically, yes...operationally, no.

Don J
2013-Feb-07, 05:46 AM
Theoretically, yes...operationally, no.
But the possibility was _there_ for ..."future" generation... following of post 16 (The space assembly and repair center station 1992).
Space Habitat, Assembly and Repair Center 1992
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=199300089
7.2.3 Satellite and Spacecraft Servicing and Assembly:

The primary function of SHARC is the orbital assembly and servicing of
spacecraft, satellites, payloads, and other station elements. These operations will include the following:
Maintenance and Repair,
Berthing and Docking,
Resupply, Refueling, Assembly.
Details
Pdf paper from the Nasa page.
http://hdl.handle.net/2060/19930008964

Google search if NASA link don't work:
https://www.google.ca/search?q=Space+Habitat%2C+Assembly+and+Repair+Cent er+1992&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=rcs


The future is now.

Jim
2013-Feb-07, 05:29 PM
We're getting way off topic here. The original question seems to have been addressed to the satisfaction of the OP. If you want to discuss shuttles, shuttle external tanks, or stewardi*, please start another thread.




*The obvious plural of stewardess.