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happy_renting

Christmas Eve 1968

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As a kid I had the priviledge of watching this as it happened (in Black & White) on television.

I'm not religious, but I still regard the event as one of the most amazing and moving things I have ever seen.

A few days I happened to be talking about the Earthrise from Apollo 8 with my twentysomething daughter, telling her that it was a pity that her generation was so familiar with pictures from space, so she could not fully appreciate the full emotional impact of those pictures from 1968.

The pictures still move me deeply now.

Sometimes I could almost believe there is a Creator.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/how-astronauts-nearly-missed-taking-the-iconic-earthrise-photo-on-christmas-eve-1968/282633/

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If you are a geek this stuff is great :

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-releases-new-earthrise-simulation-video/index.html#.UrmiXvRdWSo

It must have been brilliant but really scary to see this. They were a long way away from home, with just that one engine to fire to get them back.

I went to Yorkshire once! :lol:

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Yeah, but you could have probably thumbed a lift back, or got on a passing horse and cart.

No option like that for these people.

Well they were up in the sky, so they would eventually fall back to Earth, common sense, innit.

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Actually no. They were in lunar orbit, so if the engine had failed to fire they would have orbited the moon until their oxygen ran out, then they would have died. Eventually the orbit would have decayed and the spacecraft would have smashed into the lunar surface.

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Actually no. They were in lunar orbit, so if the engine had failed to fire they would have orbited the moon until their oxygen ran out, then they would have died. Eventually the orbit would have decayed and the spacecraft would have smashed into the lunar surface.

Actually, I don't think they went into lunar orbit IIRC. It was a circumlunar mission. The first Apollo to go into lunar orbit was Apollo 10, which tested out the lunar module.

The OP should be congratulated on this topic. I was ten at the time and I too, was awe-struck.

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Actually, I don't think they went into lunar orbit IIRC. It was a circumlunar mission. The first Apollo to go into lunar orbit was Apollo 10, which tested out the lunar module.

The OP should be congratulated on this topic. I was ten at the time and I too, was awe-struck.

GPS's link says taken from lubar orbit, mistake in text?

Well before I was born, but it got me interested in science. Especially all the slomo videos of the launching rockets. They looked like they'd never clear the launch tower.

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Actually, I don't think they went into lunar orbit IIRC. It was a circumlunar mission.

Yes, they did. There wasn't much point in just zipping out there and whizzing straight back, which the Russians were already trying to do; orbiting and returning was a big dump in the face of the Soviet space program, because they were still years away from doing so.

As for the 'one engine to bring them back', that's true, but everything was redundant other than the engine bell, and it was designed to be as simple as possible to reduce the chances that it could fail. Of course, the Service Module still had the design flaws that crippled Apollo 13, so if they'd been unlucky, they could have died out there (as would the Apollo 13 crew if the oxygen tank stir had occurred at the scheduled time, while the astronauts were on the lunar surface).

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