What you don’t know about Apollo 11

1. Moon dust has a strange taste
Astronauts often compare the moon to the highland deserts of the western United States, but no matter how far-sighted it is, once the astronauts get involved, the moon’s dust becomes redundant and harmful. Especially when the lunar module operating system is very sophisticated.

Armstrong said that the moon’s dust is “the smell of wet ash,” and Aldrin said it was “the smell of the air after the firecrackers exploded.” Fishman also pointed out that the two astronauts wore helmets and gloves even when they slept, so as not to inhale sticky and irritating dust. NASA says a conjecture about the smell is that the moon is like a 4 billion-year-old desert with rich iron, calcium, and magnesium mixed with minerals such as olivine and pyroxene. Once the dust mixes with the moist air, like the life support system of the lunar module, the molecules of the dust become more susceptible to the astronaut’s own olfactory system. But the smell of gunpowder is still an unsolved mystery.

2. Guozhen, Teflon and Vikro are not invented by NASA
Guzhen was invented by William Mitchell in 1957, and Mitchell was also the inventor of Cool Whip Margarine. In 1962, astronaut John Glenn conducted a feeding experiment on the track, and the US Airways Bureau announced that he would choose Fruit Jane into the menu. Ironically, the crew of Apollo 11 refused to include the fruit in their food supply.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (polytetrafluoroethylene), commonly referred to as “non-stick coating” or “easy-to-clean material.” This material is resistant to acids and alkalis and to various organic solvents. It is almost insoluble in all solvents. At the same time, PTFE has the characteristics of high temperature resistance, and its friction coefficient is extremely low, so it can be used as a lubricant to clean the inner layer of the water pipe. Developed for DuPont in the late 1930s, as NASA said, the technology is used in insulation, spacesuits and cargo tank linings. The Vikro Velcro was invented in Switzerland in the 1940s, and NASA said it was used to secure equipment in a zero-gravity environment to facilitate astronaut operations.

3. NASA has long known that computer program instruction errors can lead to disaster
On the morning of July 22, 1962, NASA first attempted to launch the robotic probe Mariner 1 when it was near Mercury, but it did not succeed. The Atlas rocket carrying the Mariner 1 probe deviated from orbit in the orbit for only three and a half minutes, and ran out of control to the North Atlantic route. After taking off for four minutes and fifty seconds, a security officer at the ground launch station at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base pressed two switches to detonate the explosives carried on the Atlas rocket and blow up the rocket.

Then they started to check, where is the problem? When the computer code was manually written using a puncher, an upper horizontal line in the code was missed, causing the navigation system to over-correct the deviation and eventually deviate from the track. Therefore, the failure of NASA’s first interplanetary mission was actually doomed before it was launched.

NASA learned the lesson and upgraded the Apollo 11 computer system, but despite this, the computer is sometimes overloaded and computing power is much lower than modern computers.

4. Apollo’s navigation technology originated from World War II.
In early February 1953, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology demonstrated cutting-edge navigation and guidance technology that was critical to the US Cold War strategy and NASA’s Apollo program. A pre-technical test took place on February 8, 1953, when an old B-29 super fort bomber took off from Bedford, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles. The experimental inertial guidance system is mounted at the rear of the aircraft fuselage and weighs approximately 2,700 pounds. The purpose of this type of system is to provide automatic guidance and navigation for moving ships without the need for ground or space reference points. Continuous measurement: position, direction and speed. The goal is to allow the B-29 bomber to fly from one side of the coast to the other along the coast with gyroscopes, accelerometers, pendulums and clocks connected to the computer.

The B-29 bomber spent about 13 hours without a pilot’s assistance, flying over 2,600 miles, and eventually approached the current Los Angeles airport location to land. When the captain re-controlled the aircraft, the aircraft only deviated 10 miles from the scheduled route. Of course, these guidance systems need to be smaller and more perfect to fit into spaceships. Leaving these high-precision systems, the Apollo 11 spacecraft could not accurately transport astronauts from Florida to the tranquil sea of ​​the moon.

5. The Soviet Union wants to grab the moon before launching Apollo 11
On July 13, 1967, the Soviet Union launched the Lunar Detector No. 15, three days earlier than Apollo 11. The Moon 15 was originally planned to automatically acquire the moon sample and return to Earth, and also entered the lunar orbit two days ahead of Apollo 11. However, the spacecraft’s altimeter showed that the landing zone readings varied greatly, so Armstrong had successfully landed on the moon and returned while it was still trying to land.

The British Observatory also tracked the signal of the Moon 15 and first announced its sudden interruption of the wireless signal. The Moon 15 flew more than 50 times around the moon, and eventually hit the mountain on the moon.

Sadly, President Kennedy, who supported the lunar program, did not see the first steps taken by Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface of the moon. Before his assassination, President Kennedy visited the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base and watched the Saturn 1 rocket on the launch pad. He then took a helicopter to a naval observation ship to watch the first Polaris missile launched by the submarine. However, President Kennedy’s support for the US mission to the moon does not seem to be firm enough. According to the internal memorandum of the government, Kennedy even considered cooperating with the Soviet Union to complete the mission to the moon.

Share