Fly Me to the Moon - For All Mankind

Authors: Julius Birch

NASA programme Apollo landed men on the Moon and returned them safely to Earth. In support of their achievements NASA presented, among others, two pieces of evidence which are subject of this report, namely, the photographs of the Apollo 11 landing site; and, the video-recording of the Apollo 17 lift-off. Starting from post-landing NASA documents, the Apollo 11 landing sequence is proposed in which the Lunar Module cruises at the height of the Lunar Surface Sensing Probes (LSSP, some $1.7$~m above the ground) for as much as ten seconds before touchdown, and it is the -Y/Left and +Y/Right landing gears that touched the surfrace first. This is then compared to pre-landing NASA experimental investigation, % of landing gear performance in simulated lunar conditions according to which the deformation energy $\mbox{DE} \gsimeq \mbox{KE}$, the impact kinetic energy, while the potential energy from settling is the smallest, $\mbox{PE} \ll \mbox{KE}$; and that the one or two gears touching the surface first, absorb most of KE. Contrary to expectations, NASA reported that -Z/Aft landing gear absorbed as much energy as all the other gears combined, and that $\mbox{DE} \simeq \frac12\,\mbox{KE}$. It is shown that this outcome is consistent with the dry Lunar Module being lowered to an uneven surface at near-zero vertical velocity and then released to settle down in Earth-like gravity. Next, we examine the behavior of the LSSPs in the 360\deg~yaw that the Apollo 11 Lunar Module performed during the Inspection and Separation Stage in the lunar circular orbit. Contrary to NASA's own reference drawings of the fully deployed LSSPs, we find that during the maneuver the LSSPs are always flexed mildly-inwards, as if the Lunar Module were suspended in the presence of gravity, and not weightless in the lunar orbit. Lastly, detailed analysis of the Apollo 17 lift-off video recording is presented. It is shown that the vessel trajectory implies an additional propulsion in form of an explosion, while the video frames flicker at 5~Hz and 10~Hz rate and carry an artefact strongly resembling an edge of film stock. An analysis of illumination of the ascending Lunar Module is also presented, which suggests that the vessel is approaching near-by light source rather then being lit by the Sun (at infinity). A discussion of the entire scene follows, and an explanation for the explosion is proposed. Overall, it is concluded that the photographs and the video recording depict scenes that were staged here on Earth, rather then on the way to the Moon.

Comments: 52 Pages. In ver.5 second section on Apollo 11 landing is finalized. Also fourth section is corrected for the effects of yaw rate.

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Submission history

[v1] 2015-10-18 18:12:42
[v2] 2015-10-27 07:20:23
[v3] 2015-11-30 18:40:00
[v4] 2015-12-20 12:35:20

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