posted on Mar, 16 2010 @ 08:19 AM
Originally posted by franspeakfree
Originally posted by CHRLZ
Is anyone seriously that ill-informed that they don't know that this a craft designed to work outside of any atmosphere? That thermal/radiation
shielding is meant to be effective, not pretty?
Well, I for one am. I have never seen this photo before and I do not know anything about this craft, let alone its use, therefore, its impossible for
me to make an assumption without studying the FACTS. Which I am hoping someone can present me in a fundamental comprehensive manner, without
prejudice. Is this possible?
Sure. Just ask nicely, as you have. Here's a quote from Grumman (the makers of the LM), in Apollo Lunar Module Operations Handbook, Vol 1, April
The entire ascent stage structure is enveloped with a thermal and micrometeoroid shield, which combines a blanket of multiple layers of
aluminized polyimide sheet (Kapton H-film) and aluminized polyester sheet (mylar) with a sandwich of Inconel skin, Inconel mesh and nickel foil or a
polyimide blanket with a single sheet of aluminum skin. The blanket panels, formed in various shapes and sizes, consist (outboard to inboard) of 15
layers of 0.0005-inch-thick H-film. In a few ascent stage areas that have different thermal-protection requirements, the number of layers in a blanket
panel varies slightly. Outboard to inboard, the the sandwich comprises a 0.0015-inch-thick Inconel skin and one or more layers of Inconel mesh
alternated with 0.0005-inch-thick nickel foil. the number of Inconel mesh and nickel foil layers in a sandwich and the thickness of the aluminum skin
vary considerably at different areas of the vehicle, depending on the duration and intensity of RCS thruster plume impingement at those areas. The
combined thermal and micrometeoroid shield is mounted on low-thermal-conductive supports (standoffs), which keep it at least 2 inches from the main
structure... The aluminum or Inconel skin (the outermost material) serves as a micrometoroid bumper; the sandwich and blanket material serve as
The aluminized Mylar blankets insulate the structure against temperatures up to +350 (deg) F. On the TCA support truss members, which are subjected to
temperatures in excess of +350 (deg) F due to engine radiation, an additional 20 layers of H-film are installed. H-film has an insulating capability
up to +1,000 (deg) F. Additional H-film blankets are also used in other areas of the ascent stage that will be subjected to temperatures in excess of
+350 (deg) F.:
And just for a little twist, here's a rather cute link from a modelmaker, who offers help explaining about the different colours and materials for
those who like to build accurate models..
You could research further by using terms like "apollo lm kapton thermal shielding", and find out just how unlike paper and foil those materials
really are, and why each type was used. Loose (often deliberately crumpled) foils are exceptionally effective for the type of shielding needed, and
in a vacuum, such materials are entirely appropriate, if not very aesthetic.
As an aside, I watched (and lived) every moment of the Apollo missions as an extremely excited (nerdy-sciency-type) 12-year old, and even at that age,
I fully understood why the LM's looked so gawky, and had that 'foil stuff' plastered all over them. This is NOT a vehicle designed to cater for
earthly perceptions - it was designed to perform ONLY on the Moon in an airless 1/6G environment, and it did that extraordinarily well.