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How Australia Helped Save Apollo 13

In people, Science, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

When you mention the words “Apollo” and “NASA” most people will immediately think of America, that big U.. S.. A.. on the side of the Saturn V rockets at take off is an awe inspiring sight and a great piece of national branding but success in Space requires a global effort: the International Space Station is only the latest example of the coordinated ingenuity of nations working together to get things done off the planet. The problem with space craft is that they don’t stay above the launch area, they orbit the earth about 16 times a day and the …

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How Neil Armstrong Cheated Death Multiple times Before Apollo

In accidents, Aerospace, people, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

According to legend, the family name Armstrong was bestowed upon a Celtic clan after a leading member displayed an amazing feat of heroism in battle – using just one of his arms. If that’s true, it might suggest where, centuries later, pioneer pilot and astronaut Neil Armstrong got his sense of adventure from. By the time of the first manned moon mission, Apollo 11 on July 22nd, 1969, he’d already cheated death at least seven times – all in vehicles provided to him by the American government. Neil Alden Armstrong was born in Ohio on August 5, 1930, of Irish, …

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Nasa’s Million Dollar Space Pen vs The Soviet Pencils

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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 …

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

In computers, Science, space, Videos by Paul Shillito2 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 …

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How did Apollo deal with the Van Allen radiation belts ?

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One of the most hotly contested procedures during the Apollo missions was the how NASA dealt with the issue of the Van Allen belts, the naturally occurring belts of radiation that surround the earth, both on the journey to the moon and returning from it. To some this just proves the point that NASA never went to the moon because they contest that if the crew went through the Van Allen belts they would have received a lethal dose of radiation and died during or shortly afterwards but as we know that didn’t happen, so how did they achieve this. …

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A Brief History of Moon Hoaxes – Why do people still believe in them?

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How did we get from one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century to believing that it was a massive cover up by NASA, the CIA, the government or a combination of all three?,  and why almost 50 years after the first Apollo missions, with all the scientific proof available, do an increasing number of people believe in an a radically different version of reality?. Conspiracy theories about the Apollo missions have been circulating since before the moon landings. One of the first reported instances of people not believing that the moon landings were true came on  December …

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Was the space shuttle program doomed from the beginning ?

In space, Technology, Videos by Paul Shillito1 Comment

When the space shuttle was announced in 1972 it was seen as the space vehicle to make low earth orbit space travel and living in space an everyday reality. But in hindsight many now believe that it was a failed project that was hamstrung by lack of funding and interest by government and sky high expectations from NASA that led them to sideline safety to ensure scheduled launches continued on time in order to secure future funding. Instead of expanding man’s horizons, it in fact limited them and stopped the development more effective, safer forms of both manned and unmanned …