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The next missions to the moon

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posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 11:35 AM

Originally posted by NGC2736

Originally posted by Vandermast

And the thing about their computers, back then they were about as powerful as a childs play computer or a regular calculator.

I think the need for computers is over rated. Most of the job could have been plotted out before the flight ever left, so finding the Moon itself wasn't that hard. Tedious, I'm sure, but it was just a matter of following directions.

The actual landing could have been carried out by a rather unsophisticated program, once a spot was picked. Maintaining a "level" approach would have been the hardest part, since the countering of the Moon's gravity could have been established pretty accurately beforehand.

Sure, it was risky, but very much doable. It is a failing of the younger generation to think that computers are the only sure way to arrive at precision. You would be surprised at how good the unaided human mind can be, when it doesn't have that crutch to use all the time.

(Believe it or not, but there was once a time when school children learned the multiplication tables, and used a thing called addition and subtraction, to arrive at accurate answers to math questions. Eight year olds were expected to do *gasp* long division in their heads! These calculators were called Brain Cells.

Actually, the Apollo spacecraft were a lot more automated than you might think. The entire launch sequence, including orbital insertion, was pretty much automatic. (Ever wonder why right after taking off the astronauts would say "we've got a roll programmed" and not "we're doing a roll..."?) Burn times and durations for trans-lunar/trans-earth injection, orbital insertion, course corrections, etc. were also automatically calculated. Lunar landing was automatic too. I'm pretty sure attitude control was automatic as well. Of course, most things had manual fallbacks, and those were used in some cases.

The brain is a useful tool, but the fact is that orbital calculations aren't very easy, and doing them on-the-fly with reasonable accuracy isn't very easy at all.

As for why such a weak computer was able to do such complicated calculations, there are two reasons I can give:

1. The computer was built from the ground up to do its job, since this was before the advent of general-purpose microprocessors. Thus, the computer's architecture could be optimized for the exact job that it was doing.

2. The computer was not that slow; it ran at around 1 MHz. Many people have a distorted view of what computers can and cannot do just because, say, their 2GHz laptops feels a bit sluggish when making a Word document with the latest version of Windows. If you look in the aerospace field, though, you'll see that the computers used even today are pitifully slow compared to what you can get on your desktop. Look at the Mars rovers, for example. Day after day, they return many high-resolution pictures of their surface, perform internal maintenance, and are even able to process the images they take in order to autonomously work their way around obstacles. They manage to do this using 33MHz processors. 1 MHz may seem slow by today's standards, but it's still a million clock cycles every single second.

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 01:07 PM
reply to post by internos

Great effort,
most informative,
I think that it's possible that the occupants of the Moon are moving out, a few years back, I saw an enormous cone shaped spacecraft being test flown from the Moon. It was as big as a city, maybe they want to avoid a close encounter with the returning Nibiru and have decided to vacate?
Is it possible that the Moon has had a previous encounter with this planet? since much of the Moon's surface appears to have been 'cooked' at some time in the past.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 10:47 AM
I just think it is quite silly that they went in "69" but it will be 2020 until until they try/do it again.... why so long..........?

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 11:36 AM
The indian orbiter looks like its made by Fisher-price
And if u look at the pic it seems they have planned to have a lazer on top of it to pew pew all the other orbiters

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by cdrn

You are right of course. I was looking at this with an eye towards all the simulation that must have taken place before leaving. I'm sure they practiced what actions to take in the event that the computers went down or could not handle the job for whatever reason.

Once the timing and calculations had been worked out and practiced here on Earth, then the fact that a simple computer did the work would not be as large a factor as some might think.

Good job of bringing that out, and keeping me on my toes.

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 01:00 PM
I've found the press release about the agreement between India and Russia on the ISRO official website:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) have signed an Agreement on joint lunar research and exploration. Mr G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO, and Mr A Perminov, Director, Roskosmos, signed the Agreement in Moscow on November 12, 2007 during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Russia.

This cooperation envisages Chandrayaan-2, a joint lunar mission involving a lunar orbiting spacecraft and a Lander/Rover on the Moon’s surface. ISRO will have the prime responsibility for the Orbiter and Roskosmos will be responsible for the Lander/Rover.

Read more ...

I also post this video about the mission which has been scheduled for April 2008:

Chandrayaan 2008

[edit on 24/11/2007 by internos]

posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 01:26 PM
reply to post by internos

Another good post! I enjoyed the video, although the animation was somewhat hokey.

I can't wait for the pictures to start flowing. The next few years, with all these probes in pace, should provide some of the best data we have ever had.

And I had to laugh at the pains the announcer went to at the end about how this wasn't a probe meant for prestige but "for the enrichment of society". Was that a dig at NASA, or what?

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 04:47 AM
Thank for this post, Internos!

The subject has been touched once in a while, but the list is a good way of looking at it.
The Why NOW? question is still open, although it seems to me that remarks (Germany) about He3 as a "clean nuclear power" souce element is a valid reason. The strange thing is off course, why to they all go at once. It looks like a mysterious ban has been lifted from the moon. Similar like the end of the cold war and the borders opening, everybody traveling everywhere. At the same time that more and more UFO's are spotted.

Missing from the list is, I think:

Germany (planning outside of ESA, which financially functions to slow for this, which is interesting in itself, because it seems we are in a HURRY!)

Germany plans a solo moonmission

UK mission firing instruments to the surface
BBC link mission:

By the way, it seems that ESA's marsexpress probe just did it's 5000 orbit around Mars. Look at this beautiful picture!

Interesting dark features sticking out of the surface.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 07:33 AM

Originally posted by Pjotr
Thank for this post, Internos!

The subject has been touched once in a while, but the list is a good way of looking at it.
The Why NOW? question is still open, although it seems to me that remarks (Germany) about He3 as a "clean nuclear power" souce element is a valid reason. The strange thing is off course, why to they all go at once. It looks like a mysterious ban has been lifted from the moon. Similar like the end of the cold war and the borders opening, everybody traveling everywhere. At the same time that more and more UFO's are spotted.

Missing from the list is, I think:

Germany (planning outside of ESA, which financially functions to slow for this, which is interesting in itself, because it seems we are in a HURRY!)

UK mission firing instruments to the surface
BBC link mission:

Thank you Pjotr
a star to your post.

I think that Helium 3 could be a key element in this race;
and i agree: it's my feeling too that something has been suddenly unlocked... but WHAT?

Researchers and space enthusiasts see helium-3 as the perfect fuel source.

Apollo astronauts found helium 3 onthe moon in 1969, but the link between the isotope and lunar resourceswas not made until 1986. "It took 15 years for us [lunar geologists andfusion pioneers] to stumble across each other," said Schmitt, the lastastronaut to leave footprints on the moon.

For solving long-term energy needs,proponents contend helium 3 is a better choice than first generation nuclearfuels like deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen), which are nowbeing tested on a large scale worldwide in tokamak thermonuclear reactors.Such approaches, which generally use strong magnetic fields to containthe tremendously hot, electrically charged gas or plasma in which fusionoccurs, have cost billions and yielded little. The International ThermonuclearExperimental Reactor or ITER tokamak, for example, won't produce a singlewatt of electricity for several years yet.


Moon gas may solve Earth's energy crisis

Dr Taylor says 200 million tonnes of lunar soil would produce one tonne of helium.
Only 10 kilograms of helium-3 are available on earth.


Race to the Moon for Nuclear Fuel

An interesting paper here, chapther "Future Plans":

China in Space Civilian and Military Developments

Colonel David J. Thompson, USAF and Lieutenant Colonel William R. Morris,
USAF Air War College Maxwell

About Germany and England, thank you for your input: i still haven't found references on their space agencies official websites; maybe an official road map is still missing (or still hidden
do you know something more about it? ) . Thank you again.

[edit on 25/11/2007 by internos]

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 07:49 AM
great thread ! I read a great article in NG yesterday about the 50th anniversary of space exploration (50 years since russians put gagurin in space), I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this topic

external link

the following timeline is exquisite, and a must read. In fact, that' a direct order. Clink on this and enjoy

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 09:54 AM
Great thread, lots of good info here! Starred & Flagged.

Looks like i'm not getting the housework done oday after all hehe

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by Pjotr

Thanks for the missing link(s).

And to internos and to our own priest, the bossy little bugger.

This thread is fast turning into the go to place for information. Really great work by everyone on getting information out where it can be easily accessed.

posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 01:30 PM
Due to what I find to be exceptional content, I have arranged with the powers that be here at ATS, and this thread will now be found at the top of the forum at all times.

I asked for this because here in this thread is a one stop shopping place for so many good links to areas of interest to many of us very often. Now the thread can't end up buried or lost, and all the wonderful information you guys have assembled will be handy for everyone.

And please, keep adding these great links and pictures. Just because it's been stickied does NOT mean it is dead or closed.

Great work by everyone.

posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 02:46 AM
- China publishes first moon picture

This file photo released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Nov. 26, 2007 shows China's first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1, China's first lunar orbiter, marking the full success of its lunar probe project.

No more infos have been released so far.

posted on Nov, 26 2007 @ 05:03 PM
It's a good picture. High quality it seems. Let's just hope that there are many more to come.

I thought it would take them longer to put anything out, but I guess they were in a hurry to show that they could do it.

posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 02:06 AM
32-metre dish antenna installed for Chandrayaan-I

MOON MISSION: The installation of the 32-metre dish antenna to track Chandrayaan-1 has been completed at Bylala village, near Bangalore.

CHENNAI: The Indian Space Research Organisation’s ambitious plan to send the spacecraft Chandrayaan-I to the moon has gathered speed with the installation of a huge dish antenna at Byalalu village, 40 km from Bangalore. The dish is 32 metres in diameter and weighs 60 tonnes.

All its petals have been assembled at a height of more than 27 metres from the ground.

The antenna will send commands to Chandrayaan-I to perform various manoeuvres during its 3.84 lakh-km journey to the moon.

The antenna will receive information from Chandrayaan-I about the health of its cameras and payloads, and science data about the moon.

This antenna is the centrepiece of a Deep Space Network (DSN) coming up at Byalalu. A muscled version of the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will lift off with Chandrayaan-I from Sriharikota on April 9, 2008.

Read complete article

posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 03:05 AM
reply to post by Enceladus

Well done, Enceladus !!!

Heck, it seems that the press agencies are more reliable than the ISRO official websites in order to find updates:

  • India will send astronaut into space by 2015: ISRO chief

India will send an astronaut into space on one of its own rockets by 2015 and embark on a manned mission to the moon by 2020, the country's space agency chief said on Friday.
Before sending an astronaut to the moon, the country will send the Chandrayaan-I satellite to the moon next year, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Madhavan Nair said.
Nair also said the ISRO has acquired the capability to commercially launch satellites for other countries. A UN organisation is working to minimise debris in space and exploring ways to get rid of this problem, he said. Nair lauded Maharashtra's role in using tele-medicine and tele-education technology.

Indian defence research wing

See also:
Indian manned mission is under preparation

But it seems that about the manned mission they're a bit undecided:

No manned mission to Moon: ISRO

  • IIT Kanpur developing robot for ISRO moon mission

When India sends its proposed moon mission in 2011, it will have a unique robot developed indigenously by student-engineers and their professors at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Kanpur.
The SmartNav robot being developed for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will help space scientists to navigate moon's surface during the manned moon mission and provide real-time data and pictures of the surface there.
The two-legged robot, fitted with sophisticated sensors and high-resolution cameras, is capable of recording information and images using laser beams.
It can also detect the distance of a hindrance, enter a small crater, bring surface samples and return high resolution images to the lunar vehicle, said Susmit Sen, head centre for robotics at IIT-Kanpur.
It will also make data gathering a lot easier for astronauts, Sen told IANS.
He said the device would help the ISRO immensely during the Chandrayan-II Moon Mission in 2011. In the first moon mission scheduled in 2008, the lunar vehicle will not land on moon but only circle around its surface, he added.
We gave ISRO scientists a detailed presentation in January 2007. They have now have shown interest in our prototype. The organisation is seriously considering collaboration with us, added Sen, a senior research engineer.
The robot has been designed and put together at a cost of Rs.2 million (under $50,000), said Sen, and added that before it ventures into the space, some more customisation will be done by his team.
Weather conditions in space are very different than on earth. So we have agreed that our robot to space will be a four-legged device for better navigation and convenience.
After all, the robot must survive extreme shocks and work in rough terrain and vacuum conditions.

Indian defence research wing

SmartNav, developed by Indian Institute of Technology

Image source:

  • Work towards setting up base on moon: ISRO chief

India should start working on a programme to set up a base on the moon so that the country is not left behind in this race, the space agency chief has said.
"Global players have declared that by 2020, they will have their bases on the moon. I don't think India can afford to be lagging behind in that," Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan Nair told a book release function here last night.
"Given an opportunity, ISRO would be able to do it in due course. ISRO as an organisation, with the help of many other institutions, will be able to take up these challenges."
Nair, also secretary in the Department of Space, said ISRO is currently defining technologies needed for India's first manned mission to space scheduled for 2015.
"We have to do the work ourselves and develop very sophisticated technologies for making the capsule which can withstand the space environment and provide living conditions for human beings in space," he said.
"If everything goes well, by 2015, Indian astronauts will be in an Indian capsule around the planet earth.
"From the earth to the moon is again a long journey. We may go to 500-600 km now. But to travel to three-and-half lakh km and come back safely is a herculean task."
The function marked the release of "Touching Lives: The Little Known Triumphs of the Indian Space Programme", a book authored by retired IAS officer S K Das.
The book chronicles ISRO's community outreach programmes and journeys to far corners of India to meet people whose lives have been transformed by technology.

Indian defence research wing

[edit on 27/11/2007 by internos]

posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 10:21 AM
India, China, and Japan are the players to watch in the next 50 years of space exploration. Europe, America, and Russia aren't to be discounted, but their old style way of doing things seems to tie them down.

Oh, and I see by the photo that SartNav "found" itself a bit SICK.

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 03:23 AM
Terrain Camera provides unique 3D images of Moon

November 28, 2007

Terrain Camera provides unique 3D images of Moon
JAXA has made detailed images of the Moon’s surface using observation data acquired by the Terrain Camera (TC) onboard the KAGUYA. In a global first, JAXA composed three-dimensional images and a moving image with a very high aerial resolution of 10 meters. The images include the Polar areas on the Moon.
You can observe small bumps, mounds and craters on the Moon’s surface in a three-dimensional manner that had been invisible to date. (Photo: (c) JAXA/SELENE)
Moving Image (480 x 270pixels)

3D image around DYSON crater by TC

Anagliph image (You need Red/Blue type 3D glasses)

3D image near the South Pole by TC (The Polar areas on the Moon)

posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by internos

Wonderful images! Great detail. But in your opinion, just how "true" are these 3D images? How much are they "manipulated'?

Another good job. (You're so routine at doing an outstanding job that to save typing time I may have to shorten "great job" to just "GJ"

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