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50th Anniversary of Man's Lunar Landing

Date:2019-07-18 Hits:97



July 20, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the first human lunar landing. The entire Apollo manned lunar landing project lasted about 11 years and ended successfully in December 1972 at a cost of 25.5 billion US dollars (about 200 billion US dollars today). During the peak period of the project, there were 20,000 enterprises, more than 200 universities and more than 80 scientific research institutions participating in the project, with a total number of about 400,000. The project managed hundreds of thousands of people rigorously and scientifically for 8 to 11 years, completed the manned lunar landing project, embodied the level of modern science and technology, and promoted the rapid development of space technology.


Wonderful lunar landing plan


Lunar orbit docking is to launch a spacecraft with three astronauts into lunar orbit. Then two astronauts landed on the lunar module for lunar exploration. Another astronaut was still in orbit around the moon in the command module-service module assembly, and carried out scientific experiments. When returning, two astronauts on the moon launched the upgraded engine of the lunar module and flew to the lunar orbit to rendezvous and dock with the command module-service module assembly. After entering the command module, the two astronauts abandoned the upgrade of the lunar module and returned to Earth from lunar orbit. Before re-entering the atmosphere, the service module is abandoned and only the command module splashes down on the Pacific Ocean. The advantage of this method is that it only needs to land a small lunar module on the lunar surface, but the success of orbital docking directly determines the safety of astronauts.


Scientists had thought about putting the entire spacecraft directly onto the lunar surface in the early days. They thought it was simple and safe, but this method was too demanding for launch vehicles, and large spacecraft landing on the lunar surface might fall into dust, so they did not adopt this method.


After repeated comparisons and analysis of the three highly-voiced schemes by many scientists, the final conclusions are as follows: the lunar orbit docking method can be realized in October 1967 at a cost of about 7.7 billion US dollars; the Earth orbit docking method can be completed in July 1968 at a cost of about 9.2 billion US dollars; the direct lunar landing method needs 10.6 billion US dollars, and It was difficult to achieve before October 1968. Therefore, the unpredictable docking of lunar orbits was ultimately identified as the best way for manned landing on the moon.


The engine on the command module-service module assembly of Apollo spacecraft works so that the spacecraft can get out of the lunar orbit and begin to return to the earth. The engine on the command module-service module assembly of Apollo spacecraft works so that the spacecraft can get out of the lunar orbit and begin to return to the earth.


Lunar orbit docking


The advantages of the lunar orbit docking scheme in terms of technology, time and funds are as follows: first, it is possible to land on the moon with only a small lunar module, thus avoiding the difficulty of landing the whole spacecraft on the moon. The lunar module has a mass of about 14.7 tons, and the lunar surface can withstand it. It is also very helpful for the spacecraft to decelerate. Second, the lunar module only needs to carry a small engine, so it can reduce fuel carrying capacity. This is also good for leaving the moon, and the mass of the spacecraft can be greatly reduced, from more than 70 tons to about 50 tons, so that Saturn 5 rocket can be competent. Thirdly, when returning, the design of service module can be simplified because the lunar module can be discarded and the quality of the module can be further reduced. In addition, only the command module reentry recovery, so small size, which is also conducive to recovery; fourth, the economy is better, which is better than the direct lunar landing method and Earth orbit docking method.


After the lunar work, the astronauts return to the lunar module and enter the ascending stage. The ascending stage takes off from the lunar module. After leaving the lunar surface, the astronauts return to the lunar module and enter the ascending stage. The ascending stage takes off from the lunar module and rises from the lunar surface.


The final budget estimates that the lunar orbit docking program is almost $1.5 billion lower than the $9.2 billion of the Earth orbit docking program and nearly $3 billion lower than the $10.6 billion of the direct lunar landing program. This provides more favorable evidence for the lunar orbit docking scheme.


NASA held a press conference on July 11, 1962 to make public the final decision of the lunar landing program. At this reception, the final approved lunar orbit docking landing program was reported to the outside world.



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