I saw these REAL ships in person at the Smithsonian up close and I've got to tell you, they look like they're made out of paper mache and super slim metals which would break with a mild sneeze, let alone protect a person inside. It's just difficult for me to believe that these ships were actually used successfully in such an inhospitable environment as outer space, let alone used to land on the moon (and return safely!).
Space ships are not unlike submarines: if the hull breaches, you’re doomed. Same as hyperloop, which if ever realized is basically a land-based space trolley. If/when it breaches its game over for everybody, because nobody rides a train in a space suit.
The lander was called the LEM because it's correct name was Lunar Escape Module, not Lunar Module. Otherwise an interesting and informative article
It's interesting looking back 50 years. Many of the people who participated in the Apollo missions have now passed. I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones to still be around. But I was young during the Apollo program, and much of what we did at MIT/IL in those days seems filled with energy and excitement in my own memory. It's true - we never knew that everything would work, and of all the missions, only Apollo 13 had real technical problems. To suggest that we were lucky would be an understatement. We simply did our best.
The Apollo 11 mission also seemed to unite the world's peoples. We were one people during those few days in 1969. With all of the military empire building going on in 2019, maybe we need another Apollo program in our own simple human effort to stop all the killing and destruction. Perhaps it would be good to try once again, as a human species, to do our best to help each other.
It boggles my small mind that people are convinced "we" landed on the moon almost 60 years ago when NASA is just now trying to figure out how to do it. They some how made it through the Van Allen belts without a scratch, landed the craft without causing a dust storm, danced around for a while and circled the moon, then came back to Earth through the Van Allen belts a second time, failed to disintegrate while going through the atmosphere, finally landing successfully in the drink. Then, after all of that they destroyed the evidence. Something ain't right here.
Rusty Harris
It's still hard to believe, there are people today, that DO NOT believe we ever landed on the moon. Like to see them say that to the face of the men still alive that risked their lives to land on the moon.
Cool story that stoked the memories.
I was nine years and one day old when we first landed on the moon the day after my birthday. I recall the broadcast event very clearly (black & white TV, since were at & our island cottage).
Further cool, our parents bought us a kid-size LEM model out of cardboard that we could enter, like a fort. (Although, I don't recall anyone referring to it as a "LM".)
Was wondering when the moon-landing denier comment would show up... it did.
Expanded Viewpoint
Yes, EZ, and it's not just the VAB that posed a huge danger to living creatures, but also the general cosmic radiation that we are protected from down here by the Earth's magnetosphere. We would be in a constant barrage of something that I can only think of as "space poison" without it. How were those men protected against CR?? I've never heard anything about the kind of sealant(s) used to make any part of the space craft air tight! From what I've heard, the hull of the craft is made of Aluminum sheeting so thin, it's impossible to weld or rivet or bolt to the framework, so that means that it would have to be glued in place! Right?? If someone can produce a blueprint with the hull plates having a thickness that could be welded, riveted or bolted, I sure would like to see it! Sitting just inches away from the thunderous roar of that rocket engine going either up or down surely would have caused permanent hearing loss at the least, if not shaken them to jelly. Energy radiated from one place is always absorbed in another place, it doesn't just disappear completely without causing effects. Stand next to a top fuel dragster cranking out 3K+ HP at full song sometime, and feel the vibrations going through your whole body. And that lasts for only a few seconds!
The original landing "site" wasn't strewn with boulders. That's because Armstrong overshot by the original, studied landing site by FOUR MILES. They were nowhere near where they were supposed to be. Armstrong picked a relatively smooth spot, quickly, because they had less than a minute of fuel left. Thanks for the fun article.
I have vacillated between it's fake and it's real. There are so many existing hypotheses denying it actually happened. After reading this excellent article I now believe that it definitely did happen...maybe.
>an incredibly ambitious endeavor that would cost the equivalent of a small war to realize.< This ironic phrase struck me.
What HighlanderJuan says about missions like this possibly bringing nations together to focus on a common goal is a wonderful utopic dream, but what I mostly see now is various nations each wanting to get a chance for a kick at the can separately, which is a shame. At least the ISS is an international effort, but is it a matter of cost and convenient expediency? I would hope not.