Talk:Apollo 10

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Damn NASA and their screwball units of measure.[edit]

....within nine miles of the lunar surface. Except for that final stretch, the mission went exactly ... ????

Thanks, anonymous contributor, for helping me in my editing of this page by explaining where that inconsistent 14,450 meters, in one of four mentions of this distance, came from: a conversion of 9 statute miles. The other three gave it as 8.4 nautical miles, improperly changed from 2 significant digits to 5 significant digits in converting it to 15,557 meters.
Why in the world does NASA use those weird, out-of-place nautical miles in these measurements? Nobody else in all of the aerospace industry ever uses nautical miles to measure vertical distances. The worst of it is that when the NASA public affairs office gets their fingers on these numbers, they often get converted to statute miles. Unfortunately, neither the engineering sectors of NASA nor the public affairs office of NASA are particularly good at always identifying which miles they use, and we often don't really know if the original numbers have been tampered with or not. That is one damn good reason not to use miles of any sort for these numbers.
Note, of course, that 8.4 nautical miles is "within 9 miles", the next whole number up if you are talking nautical miles, but it is not "within 9 miles" if you are talking statute miles— it is about 9 2/3 statute miles. Gene Nygaard 12:07, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)
You're using the wrong tense and forgetting that this all happened 41 years ago. NASA doesn't use nautical miles any more. In those days, orbits were traditionally given in nautical miles dating back to the 1950's (why, I don't know.) Shorter-term measurements were given in English feet, more understandable to the (predominantly American) public. Sometime in the early 1970's, before Apollo 17, they switched to metric units. JustinTime55 (talk) 18:19, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

The last topic probably explains what I just saw, namely that Snoopy's closest approach given as 15.4 or 15.6 km is wrong. Just recently I was perusing some NASA reports and I saw the precise number in the 40,000's of feet, so I know that was too big. Maybe we got the number from Mark Wade(?), who quotes a number in that range but gives Chariots for Apollo as his source. When I go there and actually read the Apollo 10 chapter, I find the number was given as 14,447 meters (metres?), which is only 14.4 km. I used this to fix the error in the Lunar Module article and plan to find the Apollo 10 number I saw and fix it here.

You also have to bear in mind that NASA often quoted "nominal" numbers for these mission parameters, which actually varied from specific mission to mission. The powered-descent initiation point would be quoted as "9 nautical miles" or "50,000 feet". You have to dig up the NASA technical reports for specific missions (some are available on line) to get accurate mission numbers. JustinTime55 (talk) 18:38, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I found the Apollo 10 mission report ([1]). We're forgetting one significant fact: the surface of the moon is very irregular. On page 6-20 there's a figure which shows the closest approach clearly: they measured 47.400 ft (14,447 meters) with their landing radar as the minimum distance to the ground, so Chariots for Apollo is correct. Pericynthion (aka perilune) is quoted as above the Moon's mean radius, but they were over a sea or crater 10,086 ft. below mean radius. I'm going ahead with this update. JustinTime55 (talk) 19:03, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Peanuts![edit]

I recall at least one full-color one of Snoopy dancing while Charlie Brown, in a spacesuit, cheers, "We're back!"can anyone find scans?), and at least one regular strip related to the mission, where Charlie Brown consoles Snoopy about how the spacecraft named after him was left in lunar orbit. (Source: "All We Did Was Fly to the Moon," reference data below. Specifically described images found in it, but I don't have a scanner.)

If the article needs scans of the Snoopy and Charlie Brown paintings that flew to the Moon, I have the original works from the Apollo X crew. I have scans that can be placed in the article. There is a story about the paintings located at this link; http://www.spaceartifactsarchive.com/2014/06/charlie-brown-snoopy-and-the-other-crewmen-of-apollo-x.html

NOTE: There are several articles concerning Apollo X at the blog site. One on a music tape they listened to on the way to the Moon as well as the cue card that caused the gyrations while in lunar orbit. Wikipedia is welcome to link to those articles if they so choose. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.74.138.113 (talk) 21:56, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

This article[edit]

... needs a pro re-write and perhaps more info. It should be a dress rehearsal for the later Apollo articles! 68Kustom (talk) 08:52, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


What is the source of the statement that Apollo 10 is going to Oklahoma in 2010? I have not heard anything of this, and how can you be so sure? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 160.111.254.11 (talk) 18:03, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Why Apollo 10 didn't land[edit]

I remember reading about how some in NASA were worried that Apollo 10 would actually try to land on the moon so they specifically put less fuel in the LM so they would not attempt to do so. I know it was probably just to save money on the launch, as the extra fuel in the LM would require more fuel in the Saturn IV and thus more money. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.33.138.221 (talk) 02:33, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I have heard different stories on why Apollo 10 didn't land on the moon. However in Michael Collins auto-bio "Carrying the Fire" he specifically mentions that the LEM for Apollo 10 (LM-4) was basically over weight for a lunar mission. Also for Apollo 10 a lot wasn't understood in regards to lunar orbit. So it was felt safer to do a dry run with Apollo 10 first and have a another lunar orbit mission.--Brovane (talk) 02:24, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Despite public speculation, Apollo 10 was never intended to land. So Collins is the source of some editors saying "it was too heavy"? If he said that, he was just giving a simplified, not technically accurate explanation. Saying it was "overweight" implies that dead ballast weight was added; this was not the case. The dry weight was even less than the Apollo 11 LM-5 (because no scientific instruments were carried). But according to Cernan (who actually flew the mission), the amount of ascent fuel (and thus the total weight) was less, therefore if they had landed, they couldn't have gotten back into orbit. But there was no "saving money" involved. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:15, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Apollo By the Numbers makes it quite clear why Stafford and Cernan could not safely land in Snoopy; not because it was "too heavy" but only carried about half the ascent stage fuel that Apollo 11 did. The total weight of Snoopy was about 2500 pounds less than that of Eagle; therefore the descent stage fuel carried would have had no trouble at all landing the lighter LM. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JustinTime55 (talkcontribs) 18:45, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

Moved misleadingly cited note[edit]

(footnote)NASA official history makes it plain that there was never a chance for "Snoopy" to land and take off again. "There had been some speculation about whether or not the crew might have landed, having gotten so close. They might have wanted to, but it was impossible for that lunar module to land. It was an early design that was too heavy for a lunar landing, or, to be more precise, too heavy to be able to complete the ascent back to the command module. It was a test module, for the dress rehearsal only, and that was the way it was used. Besides, the discipline on the Apollo program was such that no crew would have made such a decision on its own in any event."</ref> In his own memoir, Cernan wrote "Our lander, LM-4...was still too heavy to guarantee safe margins for a moon landing."[1]

The first quote is from George Mueller, who despite his high managerial position, was trained as an electrical engineer and not an aerospace engineer. His comment was, while maybe technically true, not really accurate. There was no change in the "design" between LM-4 and LM-5, and while the dry weight of the ascent stage (not appreciably different from LM-5) was "too heavy" for the amount of fuel loaded, that's a funny way to say it; the fact remains that only half the amount of ascent fuel was loaded. If this is to be put back, it must be appropriately cited to Mueller (not "NASA") and placed in proper context. Collins, though an astronaut and presumably more knowledgable about the hardware status than Mueller, was not on Apollo 10 and presumably not as familiar with LM-4 as Cernan was.

Actually, though I don't like to think about NASA in conspiracy theory-terms, a possible explanation for this "story" (based on a grain of truth that the LM design faced a continuing battle to shave excess weight off the structure) as purveyed by Mueller, Cernan, and Collins occurs to me: it might have been a deliberate cover of what might have been considered publicly embarassing: the implication that NASA thought in terms of possibly endangering the astronauts' lives by not giving them enough fuel for ascent, which would have stranded them on the Moon had they attempted what was forbidden. JustinTime55 (talk) 18:44, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Cernan, p.184

A couple of problematic sentences[edit]

  • "Due to the use of their names only as callsigns, the Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission." That word "only" just introduces confusion; does it mean the names were used for no other purpose than call signs, or that if they were used for any other purpose, that would disqualify them from being "semi-official" mascots, or ??? (Also note there is no such word as "callsign", it's "call sign".)
  • In the Crew section: "The Apollo 10 crew was the most experienced crew of the entire Apollo program, sharing five previous Gemini flights between themselves." Two things wrong with this:
  1. The concept of an "experienced astronaut" is not well defined in the real-world literature; if one thinks "flight experience" means just experiencing launch and re-entry, then yes, five previous man-missions was the record for Apollo. However, length of time in space could be considered important, too. Since Borman and Lovell flew together on the fourteen-day Gemini 7 mission, and Lovell also accrued almost another 4 days on Gemini 12, that means the Apollo 8 crew had about 32 man-days of experience (even with rookie Anders); and Gemini 3, 6A, 9A and 10 were not nearly long enough to make up for this. Yes, the fact they all flew on five previous missions is worth noting, but making judgements like this and calling them "most experienced" flirts with original research.
  2. This paragraph is out of place here, interrupting the flow of the crew tables. It is better placed in the Crew notes section below. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:31, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Lunar Ascent Stage derelict[edit]

User:Calixte recently added the Apollo 10 article to the Category:Derelict satellites in heliocentric orbit, with the edit comment "added Apollo 10 Lunar Ascent stage to derelict heliocentic orbit".

I don't believe that is quite right, for several reasons.

  • The way categories work, this is now claiming that Apollo 10 is a Derelict satellites in heliocentric orbit; this is clearly incorrect.
  • I believe the correct way to do it is have the statement, and the citation, in some appropriate section of the Apollo 10 article (as it is now), and then create a redir to that specific sourced section, while then adding only that redir article to Category:Derelict satellites in heliocentric orbit. I'll plan to do this.
 Done, on this second point, I've created a redirect (Apollo 10 Lunar Ascent Stage), and properly categorized it. I've removed the erroneous cat for Apollo 10 from the A10 article. N2e (talk) 01:19, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I have read the NASA source that briefly mentions that the LAS went into heliocentric orbit. Since it is not intuitive to our readers why a launch from the Lunar surface to Low Lunar orbit, in order to get the LAS and the manned capsule in position to dock with the Command Module in that same orbit, would provide sufficient delta-v to put the LAS in heliocentric orbit, I think it would be useful to have more info on the why and how NASA did this maneuver with this particular LAS. Anyone have a source for such? Cheers. N2e (talk) 01:06, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Space turds = notable?[edit]

There's been quite a few stories about the escaped turds floating about during the Apollo 10 mission, is it notable enough to mention, I think it is.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2306405/Give-napkin-quick-Theres-turd-floating-air-Transcript-reveals-toilet-tribulations-Apollo-astronauts.html — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.100.158.141 (talk) 18:04, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I vote against that. It's utterly trivial in the whole context of Apollo 10. I'd like to see a special article about waste management in zero-g, however. Then obviously this would have a place. El Ingles (talk) 18:35, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Seconded This tabloid source lives in the twilight zone between mainstream and yellow journalism. It is not news; the Apollo transcripts aren't "newly discovered", and it seems to lack NASA's explanation of exactly why it occurred. This incident seems not to have passed the undue weight test of all that's been written about Apollo. I don't think British potty humor has a place here. Thank you for asking first, however. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:25, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Differing accounts of the staging mishap[edit]

What should we do with the differing accounts of the staging mishap? Cernan says one thing, Stafford another. Cernan gets the only voice in the article. This video however...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw1Wq-0TPCY

...seems to indicate that things were not as crazy as Cernan says and that Stafford may have good points. It certainly doesn't show multiple revolutions of the craft.

So, what do we do about this? J-Star (talk) 12:28, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

The article should reflect the records generated at the time of the flight, rather than Cernan's recollection decades later. The transcript of the crew debrief, on page 9-31 shows that at the time, Cernan stated "We could have maneuvered 30 degrees or we could have maneuvered 90 degrees." https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap10fj/pdf/a10-tech-crew-debrief.pdf

This video, with audio from the onboard tape recorder, and synced to telemetry of the switch settings, offers a clear view of the event. It supports a maneuver of around 90 degrees...certainly no full rotations. https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap10fj/video/staging-with-audio.mp4 Jimm58 (talk) 05:37, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Article says "Upon descent stage separation and ascent engine ignition"... but the transcripts from the flight make clear that the ascent stage burn commenced 10 minutes after staging. So I am going to edit this.Jimm58 (talk) 04:01, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

This statement "several revolutions from being unrecoverable" is misleading. It the context it seems to suggest that that Cernan's dramatic 8-spin maneuver (which does not appear to be an accurate memory) somehow would have resulted in a crash if it had spun a few more times. In fact, if you listen carefully to the source video, he is referring to the fact that the orbit was unstable, and would have decayed, and they would have eventually crashed into the surface, absent any other forces. (Orbital instability around the moon was observed on other missions as well. When Apollo 15 went into lunar orbit, the crew went to sleep with a 58.8 by 9.5 nautical mile orbit, and woke up the next morning at a low of 7.6 miles. See the note at 093:32:50 in this transcript from Apollo 15.) It does not seem likely that the small thrusts of the Reaction Control System during staging would have contributed so dramatically to orbital decay. Any any case they fired up the ascent engine 10 minutes later to begin their docking sequence, so there was never any danger for hitting the surface. If the ascent engine had malfunctioned, John Young in the CSM was prepared to come after them as part of a contingency docking plan.Jimm58 (talk) 04:01, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

What seismometers on the Moon?[edit]

The current article has this line: "All other ascent stages were either left in lunar orbit to eventually crash, intentionally steered into the Moon to obtain readings from seismometers placed on the lunar surface, or else burned up in Earth's atmosphere." But what seismometers would those be? Were there actually seimometers places on the Moon before Apollo 11? Supermagle (talk)— Preceding unsigned comment added by Supermagle (talkcontribs) 2016-01-04T18:47:48?

edit: I think I understand - it means LM ascent stages from other (later) Apollo missions. It is possible that I am the only one confused by that line - otherwise it should be reworked.

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Hardware disposition[edit]

The Hardware disposition section does not mention what happened several major components. I'll use the Apollo 10 Timeline to note the times of various events here.

  • S-IC Saturn V first stage. I assume this is in the Atlantic Ocean. It separates from the stack at 000:02:42.31. The Saturn V article says they impact 300 nautical miles downrange but does not provide a source.
  • S-II Saturn V second stage. I don't think the S-II achieves enough speed to go into orbit and so suspect it's also in the ocean but well downrange. Or, do the S-II's get high and fast enough that they then burn up on descent? It separated from the stack at 000:09:13.50. The Saturn V article says they impact 2,300 nautical miles downrange but does not provide a source.
  • S-IVB third stage. Used for the orbit insertion around Earth after second stage cutoff and then the trans-lunar injection (TLI) burn to leave the Earth orbit and to send it towards the Moon. After the TLI burn the mission does the transposition, docking, and extraction maneuvers. After those maneuvers, the Saturn V Instrument Unit, which remains attached to the S-IVB, commands the S-IVB to ignite a third time to take the S-IVB safely away from the main mission stack.
    • Apollo 8, 9, 10, and 11's S-IVB/IU were directed into a solar orbit and remain in orbit today.
    • Apollo 12's S-IVB/IU was intended to be directed into a solar orbit. See the Apollo 12 article for details on what happened but it's believed to now be in an eccentric Earth orbit as J002E3.
    • Apollo 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17's S-IVB/IU were directed to crash into the Moon. Vibrations from the crash were detected by seismometers left on the Moon by earlier Apollo missions.
  • Spacecraft–Lunar Module Adapter (SLA). The SLA is the conical skirt or fairing between the IU and SM. It is composed of four panels that are detached early in the transposition, docking, and extraction maneuvers. Springs pushed the panels away from the from the S-IVB/IU (and SM/CM) at about about five miles per hour. It's not clear what happens to the SLA panels after this. After TLI everything is aimed at the leading edge of the Moon and will arrive there in about 67 hours. I assume some panels impact with the Moon but others could be caught by the Moon's gravity but as they don't do a Lunar orbit insertion burn they would perform a slingshot deflection around the Moon.
  • The article already covers the disposition of the SM and CM.
  • Launch Escape System (LES) The "Launch escape tower jettisoned" at 000:03:17.8 into the flight indicating the LES lands in ocean.

What's needed though is sources/citations for the components listed above. Ideally, we would show the disposition of all major components in the stack. --Marc Kupper|talk 23:15, 11 February 2018 (UTC)