There has been a sudden uptick in posts claiming that the Apollo missions never landed on the Moon. The debate is mostly between two camps.
The Historicists accept the historical evidence: archived documents, photographs, eye-witness testimony, physical artifacts and so forth. This camp
finds them all to be in general agreement both in terms of internal consistency and with the known physical properties of the universe. In their
analysis, the generally accepted account of the events of the past half century occurred, more or less, as described.
The Contra-Historicists reject one or more aspect of this evidence, and claim that the historical account is false. This camp is itself divided into
three different groups. The first is composed of a very vocal, impassioned group of people who completely reject the historical record because they
have a global belief that everything the United States government, and NASA in particular, says is a lie. They consider this to be self evident. The
second group rejects the historical record because they believe that spaceflight is so dangerous as to render a flight to the Moon impossible. They
are sometimes able to marshal evidence that proves their contention that spaceflight is extremely dangerous and difficult, but cannot use this to
prove that it is therefore completely impossible. The third group rejects the historical record because they believe that space travel is accomplished
using secret technology, or that the record has been falsified in order to conceal this technology. They will examine the record looking for what they
consider to be censorship, but are unable to provide any positive evidence for the existence of this secret technology.
What I am proposing to do in this thread is open up a debate, not upon the historical record, but upon the fundamental disagreement between the
various sides. Is it even possible to send human beings to the Moon and return them safely to the Earth? Let us imagine that project Apollo never
happened, and strike all that evidence from the record. Using information gathered from Earth based observations and experiments, data gathered by
space probes of all nations and the general knowledge of science and current technological progress, is there any reason why it would be impossible to
send people to the Moon?
Allow me to begin. The logistics of sending human beings to the Moon is straightforward. All that is required is an off the shelf spacecraft; a Soyuz
would do nicely. This must be given a high enough impulse to achieve an elliptical orbit with a perigee of, say, 300 kilometers and an apogee of
400,000 kilometers. This can be provided by any number of extant upper stages. The passage through the Electromagnetic Radiation Belts can be
minimized by inclining the the flight path to an angle of 30 degrees relative to the Earth's equator and passing through them as quickly as possible.
Once outside the ERBs, the ambient radiation will be greater than in low Earth orbit, but studies show that the cumulative effects are negligible
during the course of a few weeks. Our current solar observatory infrastructure guarantees that the astronauts would have ample warning to re-orient
their craft in the event of a dangerous solar event. Although there are obviously risks involved, such a mission could easily be undertaken with
existing technology. All that is required is money.
Now... does anyone care to disagree?
edit on 12-1-2012 by DJW001 because: (no reason given)