View Full Version : Flag on the moon (not about waving!)

2003-Jan-25, 09:11 PM
I had an odd thought about the flags left on the moon the other day. Assuming for the moment that a flag is left standing (I read that some, if not all, fell over when the landers took off) and with full exposure to the sun, would the stars and stripes still be visable after so many years of direct exposure to the light? The flags were just good 'ol nylon, which will fade on earth if left out long enough.

I just have visions of a future visitors center on the moon having to point out that we didn't plant a white flag there...

2003-Jan-25, 09:22 PM
I just have visions about a lunar visitors center to point out that the flag was not white.No It wasn,t white.It was red,white and blue.LOL.

2003-Jan-25, 11:56 PM
Maybe the flag won't even be intact. After years of micrometeroid and cosmic ray bombardment, it could be eroded down. I also remember reading about the layer of dust that the Apollo 12 crew found on Surveyor III that the selenologists believed was the result of electrostatic levitation of dust due to something. Maybe, the flag to ripped apart by that too.

2003-Jan-26, 12:15 AM
Micrometeroids aside, the ultraviolet would do damage too. Nylon doesn't hold up too well to ultraviolet.

Of course we know Apollo 11's flag fell over, so if enough lunar dust covered it, it might be the most well-preserved of all the Apollo flags.

2003-Jan-26, 11:51 PM
While at the Boeing museum in Seattle, I was advised that the Lunar Rover was built to withstand a bit of abuse, and in theory, if you took along some replacement batteries, you could get it going again.

Would it be possible to save some weight on a future lunar mission by using the old rovers? Will the hardware have survived the conditions for the past 30 or so years, and is there any other original equipment that would be of benefit to a future exploration?

2003-Jan-27, 01:55 AM
This is where NASA could have pulled a bit of a fast one. Instead of landing all over the place, they could have kept landing in the same place and explored out from there. Each landing takes a bit more kit, and after a few, instead of Moon landings, we've got visits to 'The Moon Base'. 1 Rover, 1 ALSEP, plus other 'bits' taken up to make a semi permanent base of operations. It would have been a lot harder for Congress to abandon a 'US Moon Base', than it was simply to cancel self contained missions.
At least, I think so...

2003-Jan-27, 02:41 AM
I have supreme confidence in Boeing's engineering, and theoretically all one would have to do is bring along fresh batteries and one could drive the LRVs away. However, the litany of things that could go wrong with the LRV after 30 years is still long enough that you wouldn't plan a mission that depended on the thing working.

Indeed there was a whole series of exciting long-term exploration mission profiles built around modified Apollo technologies -- mobile LMs, cargo pods, etc.

2003-Jan-27, 03:01 AM
I agree with you John.
Who knows, maybe the next generation of scientists and astronauts, with the advancements in propultion, we will have a base on tbe moon. It will probobly be two or three generations from now before civilians could go to the moon on vacation. But i really hope we go back to the moon or humans land on somthing before i go. Since I'm 21 that leaves a very long time to keep that dream alive. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Does anyone know if NASA or the European Space Agency is planning a manned trip to the moon in any recent future? I know that China and Japan are. The russians are probobly too broke to plan such a expensive effort.

While i was not around for the excitement of most of the big events of the early space program, i still love to watch the shuttles go up and from my home in Jacksonville, FL and my grilfriends in Orlando. I can sometimes see the shuttle launching (well not the shuttle, but the exhaust) and it still amazes me that humans have visited places outside our planet and we have gone where no other life on earth has ever gone (not countingtest subjects).

I just wish that we had that furvor back again. I don't want to rag on the president of the U.S. , but if he spent half as much time pushing for a good space program than he does making Saddam evil (we get it already, he is evil and has killed many, you don't have to tell us 20 times a day!!) we would be somewhere really special by now.

Well my rant is over, I am going to find a seat and stare at the stars. A place where many more people should be than are now...

2003-Jan-27, 04:15 AM
On 2003-01-26 21:41, JayUtah wrote:

Indeed there was a whole series of exciting long-term exploration mission profiles built around modified Apollo technologies -- mobile LMs, cargo pods, etc.

Have any of these mission profiles been published anywhere or is anyone seriously discussing this at NASA today -or outside NASA?

2003-Jan-27, 05:41 AM
NASA isn't paying attention to any of those studies. They're obsolete now because they were based on the Saturn booster family and extensions of North American's and Grumman's spacecraft.

Allusions to them can be found in lots of historical references to Apollo.

2003-Jan-27, 07:49 AM
On 2003-01-26 23:15, Rue wrote:

Have any of these mission profiles been published anywhere or is anyone seriously discussing this at NASA today -or outside NASA?

I recommend David Shayler's "Apollo : The Lost and Forgotten Missions"


Eric McLoughlin
2003-Jan-27, 10:51 AM
Unfortunately, neither NASA nor ESA have any concrete programmes for returning to the moon. If such a project were started tomorrow, it would be at least ten year and more likely twenty before an astronaut planted his foot on lunar soil. The Russians can be discounted entirely because of the poor shape of their economy. The unknown element is China. It's not altogether clear where they are with their proposed manned programme. They recently stated that they hoped to orbit a nmanned craft before the end of THIS YEAR. I would assume that their spacecraft will bear a passing resemblance to Soyuz technology. However, it would be at least ten to fifteen years before they would be in a postion to put a man on the moon.