Sixty miles up wasn’t at all what I envisioned whenever I heard the news of “outer space”. That’s still well within Earth’s atmosphere.
The troposphere reaches ~ 9 miles, the stratosphere ~ 30 miles, the mesosphere ~ 53 miles, the thermosphere ~ 372 miles where solar radiation makes the upper regions reach temperatures as high as 2,000°C (3,600°F).
The uppermost layer, that blends with what is considered to be outer space, is the exosphere. Different definitions place the top of the exosphere somewhere between 62,000 miles and 120,000 miles above the surface of Earth.
Of all the different definitions of where outer space begins, why 60 miles?
Earth’s atmosphere is divided into five different layers, based on temperature…
The Kármán line is based on physical reality in the sense that…Anything traveling above the Kármán line needs a propulsion system that doesn’t rely on lift generated by Earth’s atmosphere — the air is simply too thin that high up…
the Kármán line is also where the human laws…diverge. There are no national borders that extend to outer space; it’s governed more like international waters…
On 16 July 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were strapped into their Apollo spacecraft on top of the vast Saturn V rocket and were propelled into orbit in just over 11 minutes. Four days later, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the lunar surface.
Or did they?
Before blackballing this writer as an idiot conspiracy theorist, compare this effort made to understand the claim against your own. Do you just believe every word the government tells you? Do you seriously believe that any world-dominating government tells all?
After collating various sources of data on this subject and comparing and contrasting conflicting statements from NASA itself, I don’t find this to be a valid or reliable claim.
Seriously? That statement is simply incredible in light of all the technological achievements made in the last 50 years.
That statement is also incredible in light of the lack of technological achievements made by the U.S. in the 24 years between garnering rocket science as spoils of war from Germany and the claimed flight to the moon.
- Despite failing to overtake Russia in the seven years between the two contestants seizing rocket science from Germany in 1945 and rocketing men into Earth’s atmosphere in 1962,
- in the next seven years America’s best performance was to propel a human 162 miles high, lasting only 5 hours of flight time, via the most highly developed rocket propulsion system,
- in a giant leap of technology America sent a series of spaceships in round trips totaling 500,000 miles to the moon and back,
- never again repeated by any nation, most of all, the highly competitive Russians.
Rockets must be used to reach heights above the Karman line only 60 miles high. And what are they pushing against? Remember the definition of the Karman line – the atmosphere is too thin to provide any lift assist.
Thrust is the force which moves the rocket through the air, and through space. Thrust is generated by the propulsion system of the rocket through the application of Newton’s third law of motion; For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. In the propulsion system, an engine does work on a gas or liquid, called a working fluid, and accelerates the working fluid through the propulsion system. The re-action to the acceleration of the working fluid produces the thrust force on the engine. The working fluid is expelled from the engine in one direction and the thrust force is applied to the engine in the opposite direction.
It’s a common misconception among the public that when a rocket lifts off, it somehow pushes against the launch pad, or the air around it, to gain altitude. This is based on common sense and everyday experience. Let’s say you wear skates on an ice rink and you want to move forward; you simply have to push on something solid, such as the side of the rink, in the other direction. But common sense is not a good guide in the case of a rocket; for instance, how would you explain that the rocket is still accelerating toward space when it’s high above the pad and moving through clouds? Indeed, how can it change direction in the vacuum of space?
The simple answer is that a rocket moves by pushing on the gas that flame out from its engines. Even though it seems impossible for a massive rocket to move by only venting gas, it’s the simple scientific truth, based on Newton’s third law of motion: for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, when one object exerts a force on a second object, that second object exerts a force on the first object that is equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction. So, when a rocket violently pushes gas out of its nozzles, that same gas, a plasma composed of a myriad of tiny atoms accelerated at very high speed, pushes in unison on the rocket, propelling it forward. In the case of one of the most powerful rockets ever built, Nasa’s Saturn V rocket, which propelled Apollo astronauts toward the moon, the thrust of its engines at lift off was equivalent to 7.6m pounds of gas shooting out from behind the rocket every second.
A three-stage, liquid-fueled rocket, the Saturn V was developed under the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon and was later used to launch Skylab, the first American space station [positioned only 250 miles above earth].
As of 2022, the Saturn V remains the only launch vehicle to carry humans beyond low Earth orbit [defined as 1,200 miles above earth], as well as the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful (highest total impulse) rocket ever brought to operational status…
The Apollo 11 mission to the moon used the Saturn Rocket as shown above.
- The 1st stage
- burned 521,000 gallons of fuel
- to produce 7.5 million pounds of thrust
- for 3 min
- to propel the spacecraft 42 miles
- accelerating to 6,164 miles per hour.
- Note, at this stage the entire thrust system had the mass of earth available to assist in pushing off, like a race car’s tires against pavement.
- The 2nd stage
- burned 340,000 gallons of fuel
- 1.1 million pounds of thrust in a vacuum
- for 6 minutes
- to propel the spacecraft 67 more miles to 109 miles high
- accelerating to 15,647 mph.
- During Apollo 11, a typical lunar mission,the third stage
- burned 87,000 gallons fuel
- 200,000 pounds of thrust
- for about 2.5 minutes
- to reach another 9 miles higher and turn the spaceship at a right angle to the earth
- and accelerate it to 17,432 miles per hour.
As shown in the diagram below, the spaceship is no longer being driven straight up away from earth. The thrusters have turned the ship 90 degrees to orbit the earth.
Orbital velocity is the velocity needed to achieve balance between gravity’s pull on the satellite and the inertia of the satellite’s motion — the satellite’s tendency to keep going [in a straight line]. This is approximately 17,000 mph (27,359 kph) at an altitude of 150 miles (242 kilometers). Without gravity, the satellite’s inertia would carry it off into space. Even with gravity, if the intended satellite goes too fast, it will eventually fly away. On the other hand, if the satellite goes too slowly, gravity will pull it back to Earth.
Recall that above the Karman line there are not enough atmospheric particles either to push against, from behind for forward thrust or pushing against the rocket from the front to slow it down. Therefore once the satellite or space ship’s velocity has been set by the rocket it can coast while maintaining that speed. There is no need to apply a countering continuous force from behind via fueled engines to maintain that forward movement.
- with 87,000 gallons fuel to achieve enough thrust
- to escape earth orbit and place Apollo 11 into a translunar orbit [for] the command and service module, or CSM, Columbia…with the LM [lunar module, Eagle].
The “translunar orbit” refers to the entire round trip orbiting the moon to bring the space ship back to earth.
The Earth, if we think about it from a position hovering somewhere above the North Pole, rotates from west to east…The Moon does the same thing. It rotates west to east and travels around the Earth in the same direction…In both cases, the eastern edge of the body, the edge towards which all that momentum goes, is called the leading edge. The opposite side away from which all that momentum goes is called the trailing edge. (it’s the spin and the direction of travel that matters here.) This becomes important when you do a gravity assist, also called a fly by…the Apollo spacecraft…is affected by all the bodies near it…that’s exerting a gravitational pull…If it flies past close enough and stays flying fast enough that it can’t be captured by the body to start orbiting it, that spacecraft will slingshot around. The spacecraft will get a boost of momentum and change in direction… But the side of the body matters. If the spacecraft flies past the trailing edge, it will get a bigger boost of momentum because it’s going with the direction of travel. If it flies past the leading edge, it will…lose some speed because it’s flying against the direction of the body’s travel…Every mission [was] launched [from earth] towards the east, taking advantage of the Earth’s rotation to need a little less fuel to get into orbit. From there, the next big mission event was the translunar injection or TLI burn. This changed Apollo’s orbit from a nearly circular one to an elliptical one with the apogee, the furthest point, somewhere near where the Moon would be in three days time — mission planners had to account for travel time over some 250,000 miles…passing by the leading edge would…act like a gravitational brake almost, changing the spacecraft’s path to an ellipse that would bring it straight back to Earth without any input from the crew…every mission flew this same basic shape. They all entered the Moon’s orbit from the leading edge side, never the trailing edge side. Apollos 11 and 12…adjusted to get into orbit and land…Main source, and also the book to check for more info: “How Apollo Flew to the Moon” by W. David Woods.
Once in space, as in earth’s thin upper atmosphere, the velocity attained by the last boost was supposedly not hindered by any particles, so the spaceship was able to coast for 75 hours without additional engine assist during the 240,000 miles to the moon.
This sounds great on paper, but does it really work in reality?
Earth exerts an gravitational effect…that is 80 times stronger than the moon’s. If the moon’s 1/80th force of gravity could slow down the spaceship once it reached the moon, wouldn’t Earth’s much stronger gravity also slow down and eventually drag back the spaceship before it even left its vicinity?
Let’s say that the third stage engine was powerful enough to propel the space ship beyond earth’s gravitational pull. How does the space craft deal with the moon and braking against earth’s gravity on the return trip?
the Apollo Service Module Propulsion System (SPS), a liquid-fuel rocket engine used on Apollo spacecraft…Apollo astronauts used the SPS to steer the spacecraft toward the Moon, place it into lunar orbit, and propel it back toward Earth.
Using storable propellants, the SPS produced a thrust of 21,900 pounds…up to 12.5 minutes, as required.
Compare the SPS to the size of engines 1-3 in the Saturn rocket which, combined, used over 1,000,000 pounds of liquid fuel to produce over 9 million pounds of thrust just to escape Earth’s gravity.
And this one little engine could adjust direction with bursts of propulsion during a round trip of 500,000 miles which we – now – know is filled with space debris hazards needing to be avoided, brake against the moon’s gravity, lift off against the moon’s gravity, and brake against Earth’s gravity.
Wow. Talk about the little engine that could!
And then everything goes dark on the moon.
On July 19, after Apollo 11 had flown behind the moon out of contact with Earth, came the first lunar orbit insertion maneuver…a retrograde [braking] firing of the SPS for 357.5 seconds placed the spacecraft into an initial, elliptical-lunar orbit… Later, a second burn of the SPS for 17 seconds placed the docked vehicles into a [changed] lunar orbit…
On July 20…the Eagle [lunar module / LM] undocked and separated from Columbia [command module] for visual inspection…when the LM was behind the moon…Armstrong stepped onto the moon. About 20 minutes later, Aldrin followed him. The camera was then positioned on a tripod about 30 feet from the LM.
But doesn’t this picture show that the astronauts are on the side of the moon facing earth?
And what about the brightness and the shadows cast by the sun? This can’t be the dark side of the moon.
Whaaat? That doesn’t make sense in a 5th grade classroom.
At any given point in the moon’s trajectory around the Earth, only half of its surface is facing the sun, and therefore, only half of the moon is lit up. The other half of the surface faces away from the sun and is in shadow…
At “new moon,” on the other hand, the moon isn’t even visible from our vantage point. This is when the moon is between the sun and the Earth, so that the side of the moon reflecting sunlight is facing away from Earth.
Don’t be so bedazzled by “astronomy” that your common sense shuts down. And don’t just take everything you are told at face value.
Trans-Earth injection of the CSM began July 21 as the SPS fired for two-and-a-half minutes when Columbia was behind the moon…
Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21 hours, 36 minutes on the moon’s surface…Docking with Columbia occurred…at 128 hours, three minutes into the mission….Four hours later, the LM jettisoned and remained in lunar orbit.
Once used, the ascent stages of the [Apollo] capsules [the LM / lunar modules] were jettisoned and either crash-landed on the moon, burned up in Earth’s atmosphere, or – in one instance – went into orbit around the Sun.
So zero physical evidence of the lunar modules.
It is important to note here that “The Moon always keeps the same face towards Earth because it takes the same amount of time to rotate on its axis as it does to orbit our planet.“
But, contradicting the claim that the landings occurred on the side of the moon that is always facing away from the earth, we are told that we can see the evidence of the moon landings for ourselves, from earth.
Every single argument claiming that NASA faked the Moon landings has been discredited.
But even today, 50 years later, people discuss conspiracy claims online, on television programmes and around the dinner table…
Moon fact: With a powerful amateur telescope you can see the Apollo landing sites.
The sites? What does this mean? Equipment that got left behind or indentations in moon dust that has not been blown away by the solar wind that supposedly blew the flag in the photo? So many contradictions, so little space to write, as…
Once again, we’re told the complete opposite.
OK, how about the Hubble Telescope in “outer space”?
Not even the Hubble Space Telescope can discern evidence of the Apollo landings. The laws of optics define its limits.
Hubble’s 94.5-inch mirror has a resolution of 0.024″ in ultraviolet light, which translates to 141 feet (43 meters) at the Moon’s distance. In visible light, it’s 0.05″, or closer to 300 feet…
No problem for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which can dip as low as 31 miles (50 km) from the lunar surface, close enough to image each landing site in remarkable detail.
There’s a number of problems with this report.
- Contradictions within the astronomical community of our ability to view evidence from earth.
- Contradictions within astronomy stating Apollo 11 conducted its moon landing / moon walk behind the moon, which never faces earth, so how could anyone view evidence from earth with any equipment?
- Massive contradiction between Hubble’s inability to view detail on the moon while reportedly capable of viewing objects millions of light-years away.
- Anyone who questions if NASA really pulled off the moon landing has to rely solely on evidence presented by NASA. In a civil lawsuit, would you agree to have all your evidence provided by the defense?
Certainly as time passes and our entire society becomes more technology savvy and equipped, more and more questions are being raised about the validity of NASA’s claim that the US had the capability to fly astronauts to the moon in 1969.
What is NASA’s response?
Half a century ago, while those on Earth were enjoying a lazy Sunday in the summer of ’69, some 384,000 km away, two men were climbing down the steps of their spaceship – onto the surface of the moon…
Here, shared by NASA for the first time, is a unique glimpse of that extraordinary day in the history of humanity.
Seriously? Kids today can doctor photos on their phones.
Despite quantum leaps in technology supposedly sending space vehicles to much further reaches of outer space beyond the moon, neither the United States nor any other nation has tripped to the moon since 1972.
And, according to NASA itself, based on ever-accumulating knowledge of space, we can’t.
Over 60 years ago [in 1958], the United States launched its first satellite into space: Explorer 1, which included a Geiger counter.
Because an earth-based scientist had detected radiation.
To NASA’s surprise, it was registering radiation levels a thousand times greater than anyone expected. The radiation wasn’t of earthly origin, and it occupied an area scientists had considered a void. It also far outpaced the levels of radiation that would be expected from cosmic rays alone. So what was it?
Two donuts of seething radiation called the Van Allen radiation belts [named after their discoverer.]
The outer belt is made up of billions of high-energy particles that originate from the Sun and become trapped in Earth’s magnetic field, an area known as the magnetosphere. The inner belt results from interactions of cosmic rays with Earth’s atmosphere.
One key finding was data showing that the inner edge of the outer belt is…impenetrable barrier…
understanding the dynamics of the Van Allen radiation belt is essential for protecting technological assets and planning crewed space missions.
Still studying the Van Allen Belts 60 Years After America’s First Spacecraft because [they] are a hazard to both astronauts and spacecraft…”
The inner Van Allen Belt extends typically from an altitude of…620 mi to…7,500 mi above the Earth…
The outer belt…at an altitude of…8,100 to 37,300 mi above the Earth’s surface.
So how did NASA solve the problem of crossing the Van Allen belts?
The short answer is they didn’t…the Apollo spacecraft…took them through the inner and outer belts…
Models of the radiation belts developed in the run-up to the Apollo flights indicated that the passage through the radiation belts would not pose a significant threat to astronaut health. And, sure enough, documents from the period show that monitoring badges worn by the crews and analysed after the missions indicated that the astronauts typically received doses roughly less than that received during a standard CT scan of your chest.
But that is not the end of the story. To get to the moon and safely back home, the Apollo astronauts not only had to cross the Van Allen belts, but also the quarter of a million miles between the Earth and the moon – a flight that typically took around three days each way.
They also needed to operate safely while in orbit around the moon and on the lunar surface…As such, they and their crews were vulnerable to unpredictable solar flares and events…
The crewed Apollo flights actually coincided with the height of a solar cycle...solar flares and solar energetic particle events are more common during times of heightened solar activity…
There is no doubt that the political imperative in the 1960s to put US astronauts on the moon “in this decade” was the primary driving factor in the mission timing…
History tells us that the gamble of flying during the years of high solar activity during the Apollo era paid off. None of the Apollo flights were blasted by powerful solar flares or engulfed by clouds of solar energetic particles [or irradiated by the Van Allen Belts.]
What are the odds of that! So another PR writer gives a different explanation.
One clear evidence that something sketchy is going on with NASA is the volume of new and contradictory arguments defending its claims.
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the natural satellite and broadcast a live view of the lunar surface, Earth, space and of astronauts working on the surface.
Yet still, there are doubts these days that humans actually achieved this feat.
Are you getting that!! This article actually states that the live broadcast of the lunar event should be convincing enough! I’m speechless at the audacity, no – the arrogance and assumption of civilian gullibility and stupidity – of that argument. Try presenting that in court at your burglary hearing. “Your Honor, I have video showing my alibi.” “Case dismissed.”
And that’s without investigating the ability of sending television images 240,000 radiation-filled miles to earth with the broadcasting technology at that time.
Moving on while shaking my head in disbelief AT THE AUDIENCE’S CREDULITY…
the following question appeared on Quora on August 23, 2018:“When will the existence of the Van Allen belt and our inability to penetrate its harsh radiation with today’s technology force NASA to admit it faked the moon landing?”
Some people believe we never went to the Moon because of the existence of the Van Allen radiation belts. The idea is that any astronauts en route to outer space has to pass through these belts and, in so doing, they would receive a lethal dose of radiation.
So engineers fashioned shielding that consisted of a spacecraft hull and all the instrumentation lining the walls.
Further, knowing the belts’ absence above the poles, the altitude of the lower edge of the inner belt being ~600 km (well above the LEO) and the location of the South Atlantic anomaly, where doses are at a high 40 mrads/day at an altitude of 210 km allowed NASA to design the Apollo translunar injection (TLI) orbit in a way that the spacecraft would avoid the belts’ most dangerous parts.
Apollo 11 bypassed the inner belt and only passed through the weaker part of the outer belt (Fig. 4). According to NASA’s ‘The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology’, the high-altitude nuclear tests would have had a significant impact on Apollo orbits but NASA scientists had accounted for this possibility in radiation-protection planning.
Several factors worked in favour of the minimum exposure trajectory. We all know that Earth’s axis is tilted by 23.5° relative to the ecliptic plane. In 1969, the magnetic north pole was displaced from the geographical north pole by 11.4°. Therefore in 1969, the Van Allen radiation belts could have had a maximum inclination of 34.9° (23.5°+11.4°) with respect to the ecliptic (Fig. 5).
Take your pick of alternative histories.
Data…recorded by Explorer 1 was humanity’s first glimpse of Earth’s radiation belts…named the Van Allen Belts…
Satellites that unwittingly or intentionally venture into the belts can be damaged by the radiation, which could have an impact on unprotected astronauts as well. Understanding the dynamics of this region is essential for protecting technological assets and planning crewed space missions.
“Could have an impact on unprotected astronauts?” “Planning crewed space missions?” Sure sounds like manned space craft haven’t been through the Van Allen Belts yet.
There are strong reasons to reject the claim that the Apollo spacecraft were capable of taking humans through the Van Allen radiation belts.
The radiation belts, or Van Allen belts, were discovered with the very first launches of satellites in 1958… Subsequent missions have observed parts of the belts…from below – but…
Within mere days of launch, the Van Allen Probes showed scientists something that would require rewriting textbooks…something happened no one had ever seen before: the particles settled into a new configuration, showing an extra, third belt extending out into space.
Incorporating this new configuration into their models of the radiation belts offers scientists new clues to…a region…impacting satellites and spacecraft…potential threats to manned space flight.
Scientists have puzzled over Earth’s radiation belts since they were discovered in 1958 based on data from NASA’s Explorer 1 spacecraft, its first mission. But for decades, spacecraft observations were limited to brief forays because the region is so hazardous…
“no one actually dared to send a spacecraft,” Nelli Mosavi, project manager for the Van Allen Probes at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, told Space.com. “The legacy is the resilient spacecraft we built [looong after the late 1960’s] to withstand these environments that no one else could have gone to.”
Radiation is also a key threat to astronauts living and working on the International Space Station, [located just below the Belts] and protecting humans from the dangers of radiation is one of the most important challenges NASA will need to tackle as it looks to expand human exploration of space.
Before launch, scientists thought there were two stable belts…the Van Allen Probes…revealed that instead, the belts can fluctuate from [two to] three thinner belts to one massive one…in just seconds.
Here’s a thought. What if, just what if the initial discovery and battering of the Van Allen Belts at the beginning of the whole Space Race was an frenzied effort to be the first empire, not to reach the moon, but to create a passage through the radiation shielding Earth for space aliens who promised to raise the winner to heights of power never before dreamed of in all of human history?
Think I’m really and truly crazy now?
For the often-ridiculed followers of ufology, the study of unidentified flying objects, there was a sense of validation when the celebrated physicist and author Michio Kaku took a break from his work on string field theory to address the Ufology World Congress here last weekend…
he noted, the universe is 13.8 billion years old, while earthly science was born merely 300 years ago; on any of 4,000 recently discovered exoplanets, where life as we know it might be able to exist, alien civilizations may well have had much longer to advance their scientific and technological skills.
I encourage you to listen to NASA’s own public service announcement, launched in 2014, on Apollo’s replacement, the Orion spacecraft.
Don’t overlook the visuals in the film created by NASA to publicize their planned mission. It is so realistic that it could easily be misinterpreted as the real thing.
We are headed 3600 miles above earth…As we get further from earth, we’ll pass through the Van Allen Belts, an area of dangerous radiation…But Orion has protection. Shielding will be put to the test as the vehicle cuts through waves of radiation. Sensors aboard will record radiation levels for scientists to study. We must solve these challenges before we send people through these regions of space…It’s time to head home…75 miles above earth…We’re now traveling more than 20,000 miles per hour…An envelope of hot plasma surrounds the vehicle…reaches temperatures of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, almost twice as hot as molten lava. This may be the most dangerous part of the flight…A specially constructed heat shield takes the full brunt of the inferno. This is the largest heat shield of its kind ever made…One day people will be aboard…For the first flight, we won’t have astronauts inside.
You are so concerned about the safety of the astronauts NOW despite the massive advances in aerospace technology in the intervening 40 years that you won’t expose the astronauts now.
But you would in 1969 with knowledge but far, far less technology in 1969? And successfully, without any damage to equipment or life?
I can’t believe that.
NASA’s new Orion space capsule is one step closer to…a mission around the moon.
Artemis 1 will be a crucial uncrewed test of the moon program ahead of expected landings by astronauts. During the flight, Orion will swing around the moon carrying sensors and simulated human bodies to measure radiation and stress levels in deep space. Its “passengers” include a “moonikin.”
Following Artemis 1 will be a crewed mission around the moon called Artemis 2, perhaps as soon as 2023. A crewed landing may follow, which NASA is hoping to fly in late 2024.
Wow. Only now being cautious about the capability and safety of landing humans on the moon?
NASA’s own data indicates that 50 years after the claimed achievement the US is still struggling to pull off the capability for a moon landing.
In early November , engineers at Lockheed Martin working on Orion noticed that a power component inside the vehicle had failed, according to an internal email and an internal PowerPoint presentation seen by The Verge…
a representative for Lockheed Martin said in a statement to The Verge. “We are fully committed to seeing Orion launch next year  on its historic Artemis I mission to the Moon…
The behemoth moon rocket, the first since the Apollo program, is months behind schedule…but could now potentially fly Feb. 12 .
The agency is now targeting a launch in March or April 2022 for its Artemis 1 flight, an uncrewed mission around the moon and the first flight of its massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket…the first in the Artemis program that aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface later this decade.
Hmm, seems this endeavor is a lot more complicated than at first conceived.