Re: Question about Apollo LM

From: Mark VandeWettering (
Date: Wed Nov 11 2009 - 17:54:49 UTC

  • Next message: Max White: "RE: Question about Apollo LM" wrote:
    > Periodically I get questions forwarded to me by  the Hayden Planetarium
    > from members of the general public. I wasn't 100% sure  on this one, so I 
    > thought I
    > would post it here on SeeSat for a "definitive"  answer from our group:
    > "What happened to the ascent stage of the lunar  excursion module  
    > after the crew re-entered the command module during  the Apollo  
    > program?"
    > My own guess is, that after the upper  stage of the LM is jettisoned it 
    > ultimately
    > ends up crashing on to the lunar  surface.  
    > Or is there another scenario?
    > Any  takers?
    > Thanks in advance!
    > -- joe rao  
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:  
    After rendezvous with /Columbia/, /Eagle's/ ascent stage was jettisoned 
    into lunar orbit at July 21, 1969 at 23:41 UT (7:41 PM EDT). Just before 
    the Apollo 12 flight, it was noted that /Eagle/ was still likely to be 
    orbiting the moon. Later NASA reports mentioned that /Eagle's/ orbit had 
    decayed resulting in it impacting in an "uncertain location" on the 
    lunar surface.^[40] 
    <> The location is 
    uncertain because the /Eagle/ ascent stage was not tracked after it was 
    jettisoned and the lunar gravity field is sufficiently uncertain to make 
    the orbit of the spacecraft virtually unpredictable after a short time. 
    NASA estimated that the orbit had decayed within months and would have 
    impacted on the Moon.
    Mark K6HX
    Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:

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