Nasa's Million Dollar Space Pen vs The Soviet Pencils

Nasa’s Million Dollar Space Pen vs The Soviet Pencils

Admin Science, space 0 Comments

The story of the NASA’s million $ space pen and the soviet pencils has become one of the enduring tales  from the space race which still floats around the internet today and goes a bit like this. During the 1960’s as NASA was sending the first men in the space, they realise that pens don’t work in zero gravity, so they spent years and millions of tax payer dollars to develop one that did. Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, the cosmonauts simply used pencils. The moral of the story to many is that NASA was a wasteful government organisation that would …

The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? - The Sea Dragon

The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? – The Sea Dragon

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In the history of space, one rocket stands out as an icon of not only the space race but of the mighty power it symbolised. That one rocket, which is still the Tallest, heaviest and most powerful ever built, was the Saturn V, which was designed to take men to the moon and later launched the first American Space station, Skylab. But if things had been a little different back in the 60’s we might have had a different rocket to hang on the bedroom walls of the space fans of the 70’s and 80’s. In the early 1960’s, a …

How did the Apollo flight computers get men to the moon and back

How did the Apollo flight computers get men to the moon and back ?

Admin computers, Science, space 2 Comments

There is much speculation by some, as to how the flight computer aboard the Apollo missions managed to get men to the moon when it had just a tiny fraction of the computing power of something like a modern smartphone. But this is quite misleading as there was not one solitary computer controlling the Apollo craft, there were 4 computers and no fancy touch screens, GUI’s or other things in a typical computer of today to waste resources on. The first of the 4 computers was the Saturn Launch Vehicle Digital Computer or LVDC, this got the rocket from the …

What if Apollo had crashed on the Moon ?

What if Apollo had crashed on the Moon ?

Admin accidents, Science, space 2 Comments

For all of the celebrations surrounding the first manned lunar landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, what is forgotten today is just how close they and the other Apollo missions flew to the edge of disaster. Apollo 11 came within seconds of aborting the landing because they had over shot the landing area and were running low on fuel. This was only one of several issues with the Apollo missions that arose that could have led to the loss of the mission and crew, though as it turned out only Apollo 13 came close to this happening. This excludes the …

Apollo, the Lunar Dust and NASA's Dirty Problem

Apollo, the Lunar Dust and NASA’s Dirty Problem

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Sometimes the smallest things can be one of the biggest headaches. During the Apollo missions of 1969 to 72,  the tiny particles of lunar dust turned out to be a major issue. Described as being as fine as talc but as rough as sandpaper, it also has properties that make it dangerous for both men and machines and has been cited as a bigger problem for future astronauts than radiation by some scientists. The lunar surface is covered in a thin layer of dust which has been created by the bombardment of meteorites and micrometeorites over millions of years. These …