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18-05-2019, 14:58   #1
Itssoeasy
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50th Anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission

On this day fifty years ago at 4:49 PM Irish time, Apollo 10 lifted off launch pad 34B(the only one to launch from there because Apollo 11 would be using the other one 34A) on what was to be the dress rehearsal for what potentially would be the first attempt to land on the moon a couple of months later on Apollo 11. Apollo 10 was to quote commander Tom Stafford a mission “to sort out all the unknowns”

The crew of Apollo 10 were all veterans of spaceflight in commander Tom Stafford, CM pilot John Young, and LM pilot Gene Cernan. All three astronauts would fly again in space after Apollo 10. John Young would do so as commander of Apollo 16, and Gene Cernan as commander of Apollo 17. Gene Cernan would be the last man to walk on the lunar surface. Tom Stafford would fly in space as one of crew of the Apollo Soyuz mission.

The mission would do everything Apollo 11 would do bar land on the moon. The LM was not fully fueled so had the astronauts tried to land they wouldn’t have been able to lift off the surface. The LM of Apollo 10 with callsign snoopy got to 15.6 km from the lunar surface. It would be at this point two months later that the Apollo 11 LM Eagle would begin powered descent to the lunar surface. There was a moment when the LM was returning to dock with the CM that sent the LM into a roll of at least eight revolutions(As Gene Cernan said years later that he saw the lunar surface eight times. There is no evidence to back this up though according to the recordings.), this was due to the crew duplicating commands into the LM computer but the mission continued to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on May 26th eight days later.

Apollo 10 is to me a stepping stone mission like Apollo 8 before it. When I say stepping stone I mean that without Apollo 8 then Apollo 10 wouldn’t have happened when it did, and without 10 then 12 not 11 may have been the mission we all remember. This mission proved the Apollo spacecraft ready to attempt to fulfill president John F Kennedy’s goal of landing on the moon before the 1960s ended and ending the space race.
Launch of Apollo 10



RIP John Young and Gene Cernan.

Last edited by Itssoeasy; 18-05-2019 at 15:03.
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18-05-2019, 15:04   #2
theoneeyedman
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Thus mission also famous for the 'Earth rise' photograph iirc
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18-05-2019, 15:24   #3
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Thus mission also famous for the 'Earth rise' photograph iirc
Apollo 10 did film earthrise but the famous Earthrise picture was taken by Apollo 8.
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18-05-2019, 23:02   #4
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A real proving ground mission was 10. Somewhere around I have original redline manuals for the Saturn V for this mission, but can I find it? I really need to sort through my junk pile.
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21-05-2019, 04:44   #5
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A very important mission but reduced to a footnote because of Apollo 11 which immediately followed it. It’s pretty incredible to think that less than 12 years after Sputnik 1 achieved orbit we were sending humans to walk on the Moon. Technology moved at breakneck speed during the 1960s and I don’t think there has been a decade since to equal the 60s in terms of the sheer pace of life changing technological (and indeed social) advances.

The period between 1960 and 1969 saw astounding changes in terms of aviation, space travel, fashion, music, the arts, architecture, computing and medicine.
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26-05-2019, 13:27   #6
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A very important mission but reduced to a footnote because of Apollo 11 which immediately followed it. It’s pretty incredible to think that less than 12 years after Sputnik 1 achieved orbit we were sending humans to walk on the Moon. Technology moved at breakneck speed during the 1960s and I don’t think there has been a decade since to equal the 60s in terms of the sheer pace of life changing technological (and indeed social) advances.

The period between 1960 and 1969 saw astounding changes in terms of aviation, space travel, fashion, music, the arts, architecture, computing and medicine.
The big changes in aviation happened in the 1950's. Today's airliners are direct descendants of the dash-80 configuration but most of that tech had been ironed out on the 2,000 B-47's made in the 40's and 50's with a fair bit of influence from German research.


But a lot of the progress in computing can be linked to the space and arms race. Especially miniaturisation of circuits and improvements in reliability.


As for the 12 years ? They've been trying to use Space Shuttle hardware in Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle designs since day one, and they are reassessing the 2020 SLS launch date again.

Compare that to Saturn I used on the first Apollo flights which had a first stage based on the Jupiter missile with 8 Redstone missiles around it. Back in the "can do" phase of NASA and the contractors.
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09-06-2019, 16:04   #7
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Apollo 10 was a fantastic mission which directly led to the decision to attempt a landing on 11. And what a crew Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan. The stuff of legends.
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16-06-2019, 21:11   #8
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The NASA Apollo podcast has some great comments from Stafford. But he didn't answer whether the mission was designed to prevent them from landing 😊
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Yesterday, 17:43   #9
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The NASA Apollo podcast has some great comments from Stafford. But he didn't answer whether the mission was designed to prevent them from landing 😊
What NASA Apollo podcast ? Why would he need to answer it. It's been said by NASA and many others that the LM was not fully fuelled and the astronauts could have landed but not gotten back off the lunar surface. Why would they risk getting stuck on the moon with no way of getting off ?
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Yesterday, 19:02   #10
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What NASA Apollo podcast ? Why would he need to answer it. It's been said by NASA and many others that the LM was not fully fuelled and the astronauts could have landed but not gotten back off the lunar surface. Why would they risk getting stuck on the moon with no way of getting off ?
That contradicts an apparent emergency procedure where they would have to land if they had a failure below a certain altitude. Also why would you risk not fully fuelling ? The mission had to test if everything would work.

https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP/apollo-10
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Yesterday, 20:11   #11
Capt'n Midnight
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That contradicts an apparent emergency procedure where they would have to land if they had a failure below a certain altitude.
The Descent and Ascent stages were different.
So the Ascent stage could be fully fuelled without the Decent stage being full.
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Yesterday, 20:49   #12
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The Descent and Ascent stages were different.
So the Ascent stage could be fully fuelled without the Decent stage being full.
What do you do, in an emergency, if they won't separate?
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Yesterday, 21:42   #13
Itssoeasy
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What do you do, in an emergency, if they won't separate?
There was an abort procedure where the ascent stage of the LM could fire with the descent stage still attached.
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