How did apollo missions slow down in space?

06 May 2007

Question

When sending a spacecraft to the moon (230,000 miles away) - at a rough guess at about 8,000 mph, how did the command module reduce its speed in space (no friction) to land in a graceful way on the Moon?

Answer

This is all based on rockets and thrusters. The moon landing was done by going into orbit around the moon, and then a small command module detached and went down to land on the surface, using thrusters to control the speed and angle of descent. In the rocket or thruster it pushes gas out of the rocket, so the gas pushes the spaceship in the other direction. Actually, there was a hair-raising moment during Neil Armstrong's moon landing. The landing is usually all computer controlled, but he realised that they were going to land in a boulder field, which would basically cause them to crash. He took manual control away from the computer, and landed safely with only 16 seconds of fuel left.

Comments

submarines need water to move. airplanes need air to move. there was no force to react against in moon orbit except the gravity of the moon. rockets need a medium to react against. you cant slow down or take off with rockets when landing on the moon. watch the original CBS footage if you can find it, it is comical, even Walter Cronkite does the classic nose pull and groan, very indicative of liars lying.

NOTE:pay attention to the altitude and velocity of the screen, it doesn't even make sense, it took 6 minutes to land from 33,000ft going 1500ft./sec.? huh?

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