Author Topic: Where are they now??  (Read 3571 times)

Offline luke strawwalker

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1032
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Where are they now??
« on: 02/28/2009 06:31 AM »
Of the Saturn V launches, some of the S-IVB stages were deliberately crashed into the moon to record 'moonquakes' and get seismic data back from the ALSEP's... 

Did ALL the S-IVB's crash into the moon or are there still a few out there, drifting around in solar orbit??  Which missions would have crashed and which would have escaped the Earth-moon cislunar space?? 

I'm thinking that missions like Apollo 13 and others that weren't on free-return trajectories must have sent their S-IVB's into solar orbit, but I don't know that for a fact... and I got to thinking about this after reading about Apollo 11's observations of being 'chased' by their S-IVB and the weird sightings they had...

Did the slot panels on the missions that DID crash their S-IVB's into the moon drift off enough that they're still in solar orbit??  Just curious...

Thanks to anyone who knows.... :)  OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

"His plan had no goals, no timeline, and no budgetary guidelines. Just maybe's, pretty speeches, and smokescreens."

Offline Analyst

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3337
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #1 on: 02/28/2009 08:38 AM »
The S-IVB from:

- Apollo 4 and 6 reentered,
- Apollo 8 to 12 are still in solar orbit,
- Apollo 13 to 17 did impact the moon,
- Skylab reentered.

Analyst
« Last Edit: 02/28/2009 08:40 AM by Analyst »

Offline simonbp

Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #2 on: 02/28/2009 11:21 AM »
S-IVB (and known ascent stage) impact locations:

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo_impact.html

Simon ;)

Offline rocketguy101

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 834
    • Strib's Rocket Page
  • Liked: 204
  • Likes Given: 671
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #3 on: 02/28/2009 12:46 PM »
One of the stages still in orbit evidently re-appeared
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-091202a.html

David

Offline ShuttleDiscovery

  • NASA's first teenage astronaut
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2141
  • UK
    • Shuttle Discovery's Space Page
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #4 on: 02/28/2009 12:49 PM »
S-IVB (and known ascent stage) impact locations:

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo_impact.html

Simon ;)

Wow this is very interesting! Thanks for the link.

Offline MarsMethanogen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 478
  • Denver, Colorado USA
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #5 on: 04/10/2009 08:44 PM »
And if we put this all together, we get something like the attached.  (Note sources at bottom of spreadsheet.) The wife wouldn't let me tape it to a wall inside the house, so it's in the garage along with my 1970's Jimi Hendrix silk screen and my larger Periodic Table of the Elements poster . . .

Offline drbuzz0

  • Member
  • Posts: 49
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #6 on: 04/13/2009 01:29 AM »
There are a few still around.    Two which were left over when the Apollo program was cut short are still in their original configuration and are at the Kennedy Space Center and the Johnson Space Center as part of the Saturn-V displays.    I saw the Saturn-V at Kennedy a few years ago shortly after they moved it indoors and cleaned it up from having sat outdoors for so many years.   It's very impressive to see the full sized Saturn.

The other one is at the Johnson Space Center.  (both the Kennedy and Johnson Saturn-V's are complete but not composed entirely of stages intended for the same final rocket.)

There is one more S-IVB at the US   Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.   That one was used for ground flight dynamics tests.  Basically a fully built prototype but never intended for flight.

Finally, there is one that was converted to an orbital workshop that never flew.  It was a backup for Skylab and was considered for launch as Skylab-B, a second orbital workshop of the same type as Skylab.  That never happened.   Today it's at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.   It's obviously not in the S-IVB, configuration - the engines and all support equipment removed and the inside fitted as a space station.  It has since had some holes cut in it so that visitors can walk through and see the inside.

Offline Spacenick

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #7 on: 04/14/2009 09:57 AM »
What would be interesting is to know in what condition the Apollo 10 lander is, according to Wikipedia it's in heliocentric orbit and acsent and descent stages are still connected. Would be really nice to know what has changed in the last 40 yearsdrifitng through open space.
Is it stlll pressurized? If yes then what is the temperature of the atmosphere inside?
What is the condition of the fuel, did it maybe explode without anynone noticing?

Maybe it would even be worth to do an unmanned mission to rendezvous with it and maybe even dock. It would probably tell us a lot about solar radiation and it's impact on spacecraft systems.

Maybe it even has some live still on board, like some bacteria (there were humans inside so there definitely were bacteria as well), that would make it the only body in orbit around the sun with known live on board, apart from earth that is.

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6180
  • Liked: 32
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #8 on: 04/14/2009 02:23 PM »
What would be interesting is to know in what condition the Apollo 10 lander is, according to Wikipedia it's in heliocentric orbit and acsent and descent stages are still connected.

They got at least one part wrong: the descent stage was jettisoned prior to the simulated ascent orbit insertion maneuver, and remained in low lunar orbit until it decayed and crashed. (Once staging occurred, there was no way to command the descent stage.)
JRF

Offline kch

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1764
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 8815
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #9 on: 04/14/2009 02:30 PM »
What would be interesting is to know in what condition the Apollo 10 lander is, according to Wikipedia it's in heliocentric orbit and acsent and descent stages are still connected.

They got at least one part wrong: the descent stage was jettisoned prior to the simulated ascent orbit insertion maneuver, and remained in low lunar orbit until it decayed and crashed. (Once staging occurred, there was no way to command the descent stage.)


As I recall, that was an "interesting" staging event ... ;)

Offline ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7526
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1746
  • Likes Given: 384
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #10 on: 04/14/2009 02:30 PM »
They got at least one part wrong:

Quote from Wikipedia:

The Apollo 10 LM ascent stage is in heliocentric orbit making it the sole intact lunar module ascent stage remaining out of the 10 true LMs sent into space.

/cut

The Apollo 10 LM descent stage is expected to have crashed onto the lunar surface, but the exact location is unknown.

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6180
  • Liked: 32
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #11 on: 04/14/2009 02:34 PM »
What would be interesting is to know in what condition the Apollo 10 lander is, according to Wikipedia it's in heliocentric orbit and acsent and descent stages are still connected.

They got at least one part wrong: the descent stage was jettisoned prior to the simulated ascent orbit insertion maneuver, and remained in low lunar orbit until it decayed and crashed. (Once staging occurred, there was no way to command the descent stage.)


As I recall, that was an "interesting" staging event ... ;)

Yup. They were supposed to perform the insertion maneuver on the AGS, but one of the AGS switches had been misconfigured. When they switched the LM from PGNS to AGS control, the ascent stage unexpectedly maneuvered to point the +Z axis at the CSM rather than remaining in attitude hold.
JRF

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2726
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1784
  • Likes Given: 3387
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #12 on: 04/14/2009 08:22 PM »
Are you sure about that, Jorge?  The transcript has Cernan repeating the phrase "Let's make this burn on the AGS, babe" a couple of times after Stafford got Snoopy under control.  It sure sounds like Cernan is recommending that they *change* the plan and burn on the AGS.

I know the reason for the spin was an AGS switch setting, though... perhaps the staging was to occur under the AGS and the burn under PNGCS?

As far as I know, the only other LM burn made under AGS control during Apollo was the MCC5 burn on Apollo 13, the one where they aligned the AGS needles on the Earth's terminator and position of the Sun, and then made the burn on the AGS needles.  (This sequence is highly dramatized in the Apollo 13 film, showing the stack flopping and swerving all over the place while the crew tried to keep the Earth aligned properly in the COAS; according to the debrief, the crew never even visually checked attitudes against window visuals during the burn, but just flew it off the AGS needles and AGS ball.)

-the other Doug
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6180
  • Liked: 32
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #13 on: 04/14/2009 09:31 PM »
Are you sure about that, Jorge?  The transcript has Cernan repeating the phrase "Let's make this burn on the AGS, babe" a couple of times after Stafford got Snoopy under control.  It sure sounds like Cernan is recommending that they *change* the plan and burn on the AGS.

I know the reason for the spin was an AGS switch setting, though... perhaps the staging was to occur under the AGS and the burn under PNGCS?

Checking the Apollo 10 Mission Report, it appears you are correct. Staging under AGS, burn under PGNS.
JRF

Offline the_other_Doug

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2726
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Liked: 1784
  • Likes Given: 3387
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #14 on: 04/14/2009 09:49 PM »
Looking at the transcript carefully, I believe the staging event was supposed to be accomplished with the LM in AGS ATT HOLD, and the insertion maneuver (the burn scheduled a few minutes after staging) was supposed to be done in PNGCS.  Here's a short statement by Cernan just after the wild staging:

"Babe, I don't know.  Let's put my AGS in INERTIAL through to verify that we're at the right attitude, babe.  Put - Okay. Just so it's in INERTIAL.  Okay.  Because in case we have to go to it, that's what we want."

I think the "in case we have to go to it" would indicate the insertion burn was planned to be done under PNGCS.

-the other Doug

edit -- ack!  Happened again, was in the middle of posting when you responded...  :)
« Last Edit: 04/14/2009 09:50 PM by the_other_Doug »
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Spacenick

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Where are they now??
« Reply #15 on: 04/15/2009 06:51 PM »
Anyway, though this discussion is being carried away, I think it would be realy valuable to know how well the acsent stage survived those many years in solar orbit.
Is it impossible to at least determine whether it's still physically intact or whether it exploded with earth based radar?

Tags: