Silly question of the day

Got a beginners' question? No matter how elementary, our friendly forum community and magazine writers will answer it.

Silly question of the day

Postby sangetha » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:43 pm

I wonder if would be possible to see the flag on the moon?  Would it feasibly possible to take such an image with a very powerful telescope?  Could NASA silence the conspriacy theorists that say we never went to the moon by taken an image of the flag with Hubble?
sangetha
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:06 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby tddun » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:56 pm

I'm pretty sure pictures have been taken not of the flag but of probes we have sent to the moon, not sure if they were taken from the ground or from Hubble but either way I think some people will remain convinced the moon landings were faked unfortunately.
tddun
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:06 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby thxbob » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:13 pm

Hi sangetha

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has photographed the Apollo landing sites and you can make out the Vehicles, unfortunately you can't see any flags.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html

HTH

Bob
thxbob
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:30 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby lancashire astroguy » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:03 pm


[quote]ORIGINAL: THXbob

Hi sangetha

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has photographed the Apollo landing sites and you can make out the Vehicles, unfortunately you can't see any flags.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html

HTH

Bob
[/quote]

You can also make out the tracks made by the astronauts (though not the individual footprints) on the LRO pictures. I'm sure one day there will be even better resolution pictures, perhaps from astronauts themselves on the Moons surface visiting the archaeological sites (no thanks to idiot-boy Obama though [:@]).

The fact remains though that no amount of evidence will satisfy the conspiracists, who will just claim the evidence has been fabricated. The best way that these fruitcakes can be dealt with is just by ignoring them and not giving them the oxygen of publicity (I did cheer though when I heard that Buzz Aldrin had punched one who had heckled a public lecture - nice one Buzz!).

James
lancashire astroguy
 
Posts: 1574
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:30 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby drechana » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:36 am

I would love to believe they went but a couple of things bug me.

1. The amount of radiation once they were 'way up there'
2. How come they got there in 6-7 years (was it?) in the 60's but they say it would take like 20 years to get there today. With all the advancement in tech and so forth.

Dont get me wrong, I am not a conspiracy nut but we all know America and how it likes to be the biggest, best and first and I just worry how that mentality could be forced upon the rational thinking scientific minds that reside over the pond....either that or they were 'forced' to do it to save the face of the administration of the time.
drechana
 
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:55 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby brianb » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:16 pm

[quote]1. The amount of radiation once they were 'way up there'[/quote]
About what a "frequent traveller" airline passenger gets over a year.

[quote]2. How come they got there in 6-7 years (was it?) in the 60's but they say it would take like 20 years to get there today. With all the advancement in tech and so forth.
[/quote]
Different attitude to risk. Simple as that.

Many of the Mercury / Gemini / Apollo astronauts were ex-combat pilots; the rest were test pilots; this at a time when being an experimental test pilot was not a lot safer than being a combat pilot. It's not that they were careless or foolhardy, it was just that they were used to taking calculated risks, and also to taking casualties in their sections. Frank Borman - Commander of Apollo 8 - reckoned that the chance of a successful mission was 1 in 3 and the probability of getting killed trying was 1 in 3. He still reckoned the game was worth the candle. Today you still see similar attitudes in high altitude mountain climbers - no chance at all of rescue and a good chance of getting killed if anything at all goes wrong. The difference is that there's no "safety first, second and third" corporate management restricting their activities.

With the current blame culture leading to risk aversion, we'd never even have got to the trees - we'd still be swimming round in the ocean.

brianb
 
Posts: 5513
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:49 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby worcspaul » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:40 pm

On the face of it, one would think "if it was possible to fly to the Moon 40 years ago with all the computing power of a cheap watch, why's it apparently so much more difficult to achieve now?"

Quite simply, the answer lies not in technology, but [b]political will[/b]. Kennedy set a target to land a man/men on the Moon and return him/them safely to Earth by "the end of the decade". This was at the height of the "Cold War" when the USSR seemed to be far more advanced in rocket/missile technology than the USA, and set a deadline that couldn't really be moved. Terrific progress was made, but at the expense of the crew of Apollo 1 and, almost, the crew of Apollo 13. One of the amazing things, to my mind, about the Apollo programme wasn't so much the fact that man walked on the Moon, but that so many men were able to do so AND return home. In just under 6 years, from 27th Jan 1967 (Apollo 1 fire) to 19th Dec 1972 (Apollo 17 splashdown) "only" (and I certainly don't wish to belittle Grissom, Chaffee and White) 3 astronauts were lost.

Nowadays the old "Iron Curtain" countries aren't viewed with quite the same level of suspicion and there's a greater level of cooperation (I seem to recall that China have recently been invited to be involved in the ISS!) Though [u]technically[/u] I imagine it would still be possible to build a new Apollo/Saturn V using the same designs, I think the fear of litigation should something go wrong would prevent the Apollo/Saturn configuration being used. Sadly, no matter how much you think you may have "covered all the bases" something will come along to set you back as, sadly, was the case with the loss of shuttles Challenger on 28 Jan 1986 and Columbia on 1 Feb 2003. Perhaps, when "only" 1, 2 or 3 lives (of experienced pilots/test pilots) were at stake (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo) the risks were deemed "acceptable" but not any more. The people who fly in the shuttle (and Soyuz) to the ISS are no longer just pilots/test pilots, but also scientists and civilians and an even high level of safety is required. After all, [u]any[/u] mission in space is extremely hazardous. The magnitude of the hazard increases with distance from Earth.

worcspaul
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:42 am

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby brianb » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:03 pm

[quote]The magnitude of the hazard increases with distance from Earth.
[/quote]
Not true ... the only thing that is significantly different about going out of low earth orbit is the time it takes to get back.

brianb
 
Posts: 5513
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:49 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby uea74 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:30 pm

What always amuse's me over this is that there were 2 big players that would have loved to have dispproved that the Americans never went. Russia and China. They will have tracked Apollo every inch of the way there and back with every bit of equipment and analysed every bit of data they got.

And at that time, and now, anything that could have demonstrated it didn't happen would have been freely handed over to all newspapers free just for the embarassment it would cause.

I have heard people say that cgi could have been used, what was cgi in the mid-60's. It didn't exist in any form.

Technologically it was a lot easier to go to the moon then attempt a con.
uea74
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:54 pm

RE: Silly question of the day

Postby brianb » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:06 am

[quote]there were 2 big players that would have loved to have dispproved that the Americans never went. Russia and China. They will have tracked Apollo every inch of the way there and back with every bit of equipment and analysed every bit of data they got. [/quote]
Well, certainly the Russians. The Chinese were in the depths of the (so called) Cultural Revolution & anyone showing any interest in science or technology would undoubtedly have been forcibly "discouraged". But the Russians were very serious contenders, I think until about 1968 most of us in the West expected the Russians to land men on the Moon before the Americans.
brianb
 
Posts: 5513
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:49 pm

Next

Return to Ask a silly (astronomy) question

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests