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Apollo 15

Old 27th Jul 2021, 00:04
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Apollo 15

Fifty years since the launch of Apollo 15.
The first car on the moon.

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Old 27th Jul 2021, 09:05
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Just to extend the debate on the subject of 15 and firsts (First J class mission with extended stay LM and as you say the first manned car) there’s also a debate about whether the Command Module Pilot, Al Worden, holds the record for being the individual has been closest to the Moon without landing on it…

The mission flew a different profile from many earlier flights with the LM\CSM combination for some time being in an orbit that put the combined vehicle well down below ten miles of the mean surface level at one point, seemingly almost skimming the peaks of the Appenine mountain range, and probably closer to the surface than the Apollo 10 LM crew got.
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 09:24
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According to Wikipedia, Apollo 10 LM crew, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan got to within 8.4 miles of the surface.
First deep space EVA too to recover a film cassette. I didn't know that.
Plus, one of the three parachutes failed.
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 11:11
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
According to Wikipedia, Apollo 10 LM crew, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan got to within 8.4 miles of the surface..
They did but at one point prior to LM separation according to the records the Apollo 15 combined vehicle was in an orbit with a calculated perilune of 7.6 nautical miles above the (mean) surface so there’s no much in it and unlike Apollo 10, where the perilune was over flat terrain (Sea of Tranquility),the Apollo 15 vehicles perilune was proximate to some very significant mountains…

I’ll guess in reality 50 years down the road we’ll never know who gets the bragging rights, but Worden certainly has a valid shout at being the man who got closest to the Lunar surface without landing…
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Old 27th Jul 2021, 12:34
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And Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and Apollo 13) was the only man to fly to the moon twice without setting foot on the surface.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 00:26
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Here's a great quiz question. How many men have been to the moon? Not land on it but seen the far side?
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 06:33
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From memory:
Borman
Lovell (Twice)
Anders
Stafford
Young (twice)
Cernan (twice)
Armstrong
Collins
Aldrin
Conrad
Gordon
Bean
Swigert
Haise
Shepard
Roosa
Mitchell
Scott
Worden
Irwin
Mattingley
Duke
Evans
Schmitt (?spelling)

I make it 24…how did I do?

(Not to self, right or wrong must get out more…..)
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 08:09
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I can't see that you missed anyone Wiggy.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 12:15
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Spot on Wiggy.
I remembered that Cerrnan and Lovell had been twice, forgot about... Er wait.. 😀
Edit. Young.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 16:12
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Any idea which of those CMPs had the greatest distance from Earth whilst flying solo? Asking for a friend.
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 16:47
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Originally Posted by Dorf View Post
Any idea which of those CMPs had the greatest distance from Earth whilst flying solo? Asking for a friend.
From memory……..no

Short of finding a specific reference I guess you could work on the assumption that during the solo flight phase that CSMs all generally flew a similar orbit (roughly circular, about 60 n.m/ 100km above 50the surface), so the record holder will be the CMP who was flying his solo phase when the Moon was nearest to the apogee of it’s orbit around the Earth

Some of the planetarium software will give you a clue as to that if you enter the relevant flight dates into the software and then examine

I have some software that I think would do it but might pass on this one since I have to walk the cat tonight..

edit to add that this link might also be of use: https://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 19:36
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Originally Posted by Dorf View Post
Any idea which of those CMPs had the greatest distance from Earth whilst flying solo? Asking for a friend.
It was apparently Apollo 13, because it didn't go into orbit just slingshot around on a free return trajectory. At the time the moon was also almost at its furthest point from Earth (apogee?)
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 02:21
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Darn good Wiggy - 24 men "visited" the moon, 12 men walked on it. Presumably the one dozen/two dozen is purely coincidental...

At some time, I saw a program about Apollo 13 where it was stated that - due to their accelerated return trajectory - just prior to re-entry Apollo 13 went faster than any other manned spacecraft in history.
Interestingly, about ten years ago there was a big fundraiser Gala at the Seattle Museum of flight - I was fortunate enough to meet several of the Apollo astronauts and flight controller types (Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan, Gene Krantz to name just a few, plus several more from the Space Shuttle program). After the event ended, while I was waiting for the valet parking to bring my car, I noted that Fred Haise was waiting next to me (along with a woman who I assumed to be his wife). I made a little small talk as we were waiting and mentioned that at least they had the record for the fasted human flight. He didn't know what I was talking about - so I explained what I'd heard on that TV program - he apparently had no idea...

BTW I read Worden's book about Apollo 15 a while back (Falling to Earth) - darn good read.
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Old 29th Jul 2021, 06:22
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
It was apparently Apollo 13, because it didn't go into orbit just slingshot around on a free return trajectory. At the time the moon was also almost at its furthest point from Earth (apogee?)
You are right that that is the absolute altitude record for a crew but the question was with regard to a solo CMP…it’s an interesting one, not a question I’ve seen asked before……
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