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Apollo LM DSs left on the Moon...

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:06 pm
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Apollo LM DSs left on the Moon... 
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Post Apollo LM DSs left on the Moon...   Posted on: Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:06 pm
    - There is NASA's idea to leave lander stages on the Moon to integrate them into the planned permanent manned Moonbase.
    - Next there are the landers capable to reach each location on the Moon
    - There will be vehicles for transportation between several lunar locations.


So it will be possible to land at points where Apollo LM DSs have been left at the beginning of the sixties. They could be visited easyly.

What about the following ideas?

1. visiting the DSs to get those parts of them that are still usable for construction on the Moon or for repairs?

2. visiting the DSs to refuel and complete them to get larger vehicles for transportation between lunar locations because they have larger capacity regarding weight at least (provided they are still sufficiently intact or could be repaired or refurbished) or even between luanr orbit and lunar surface?

3. visiting the DSs to refuel them only that much that they can fly to the location of the future permanent lunar base to integrate those DSs into the base?

Increased versions of the landers under development (Micro Space, Armadillo Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, companies not competing for the Lunar Lander Challenge) could be applied - they simply wouldn't have to be as large and heavy as the Apollo LM DS.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:51 am
In between I consider this under the aspect also that Apollo 12 landed close to Surveyor 3 and removed a part of it to carry it back to Earth.

This point seems to assist the first of the ideas. Does anyone know if the parts brought back to Earth would have been reusable?

I would prefer to leave at least one Surveyor and one Apollo DS where and as it is for cultural and history reasons - but what about making them emit radio signals to guide lunar vehicles towards the future permanent manned base or other locations to be mad euse of ?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:37 pm
Since the equipment wasn't designed to be reused, I don't think it could be. On top of that, it's been sitting there for thirty years. There's no air or water, of course, but there are the wide temperature swings and plenty of UV. If future explorers wanted to use the bulk parts (e.g., metal panels) to help build a shelter I suppose they could. But I wouldn't count on any of the equipment being functional.

I think it's better to leave them where they are and build museums around them some day.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:04 pm
Are those LMs capable of maintaing a pressurised compartement? If yes, you could use these as rudamentary storing facilities, or even better, first small food-producing gardens under LED light. Would save NASA a ton of money since they will probably design something horrendously non-cost-effective anyhow.

Woops, sorry.

No really, it could be used as an experimental foodproduction without having to built something new and fly it up there. Off course, you'd probably need energy so you would have to carry solar panels or a nuclear reactor.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:43 am
Hello, Stefan, hello, Enthusiast,

regardless of what the DSs and what they are made of are used for - they can save tranpsortation efforts. The landing legs for example could be made parts of stilts that might be required for small buildings on a rim of a polar crater.

These legs can safely bear a weight of 5 tons at least because they already had to bear at least that weight between landing and take off of the AS during the former lunar missions.

A visit to them may be of value because closer investigations provide insights and experiences about long-run fitness of the materials and technologies they are made of and using on the Moon.

What about more thoughts and ideas?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:39 am
Those are some interesting ideas, Ekkehard.

I'm afraid, Stefan, that there would be no pressurized compartment. That was on the ascent stage, which of course was used to return to orbit. It would have crash landed somewhere a long way away on the lunar surface.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:49 am
Well the fuel tanks on the decent stage are certainly pressure vessels. However I think the whole idea of using that old hardware is unworkable. The effort to adapt it to some use for which it wasn't designed would be too difficult. Not to mention that it is unlikely any of the new landings will be in the same area as the Apollo landings. Certainly none of them are near the pole.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:36 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Hello, Stefan, hello, Enthusiast,

These legs can safely bear a weight of 5 tons at least because they already had to bear at least that weight between landing and take off of the AS during the former lunar missions.

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Is that 5 tons in earth gravity or 5 tons in lunar gravity?

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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:13 pm
According to wikipedia, the mass of the fully fueled ascent stage is 4,670 kg and the dry mass of the decent stage is 2,169 kg. So the total landing mass, under the somewhat unrealistic simplifying assumption that it lands just as the decent fuel runs out completely, is 6,839 kg. Since kg is a unit of mass and not weight, that is the same regardless of gravity. On the Earth that would weigh 15,077 lb, or about seven and a half short tons (the usual 2,000 pound ton used in the U.S.). On the moon it would of course weigh only 1/6 of that. Note that the LM's legs were not able to support its own weight on Earth.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:54 am
Hello, James Summers,

I simply referred to data I found under www.astronautix.com, www.bernd-leitenberger.de and Wikipedia and left away the descent proellant as well as the weight of the descent stage itself. The result I rounded up to 5 tons.

Of course the legs of the descent stage also had/have to bear the weight of the non-leg parts of the descent stage - this weight I left away to list a weight I can be sure of the legs to be capable to bear.

I consciously do NOT include the ascent stage with its pressurized crew chamber because these stages launched back into orbit and then crashed into the lunar surface: they will be destroyed like Smart 1.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:45 am
Recently there was an article that seems to mention the extension of the topic to everything humans left on the Moon. The article "Recycling Center Needed On the Moon" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/070515 ... velgy.html ) says that
Quote:
If you could salvage all of the material that human beings have left on the moon, you could open a fairly substantial junkyard.
.

So it would be interesting to know each point on the Moon where human artifacts have been left or gone down. Then the optimal path to collect them all could be searched for. Based on this the costs, efforts, savings and revenues could be calculated.

So is there a knowledge about the locations similar to the knowledge of the orbits of 170,000 space junk objects around Earth?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:50 am
There might be at least one small interesting point to be added to the list of what the DSs might be interesting to be visited for. They could be inspected to find out and look in which health the materials are after several decades on the Moon.

This inspection could be done by small robots which may be modified MicroSpace landers.

From the inspection lessons might be learned for the lunar station NASA have in mind.

Perhaps those lessons might give hints what to think about a non-polar station really - they might confirm that the stresses are too high or in the opposite show that they are not to high. Since the Moon is rotating that slowly the time of moving from full sunlight into complete night may be sufficient to let the DSs cool down slowly - they don't go from sunlight into night suddenly as a whole but millimeter by milimeter only since they are of several meters height...



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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:15 pm
It seems that one possibility never has been considered here up to now - the DSs might be applied as part of the structure of habitats.

Several looks to the DSs would provide evidence how strong parts of them still are today. If they are sufficiently strong regarding lunar requirements then this would mean that it would be no problem to have habitats elsewhere than the poles. And then they might be used directly.



What about it?


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