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Could NASA Launch a Secret Moon Mission?


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#31    ShadowSot

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:37 PM

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We've progressed in technology since the 60s. You think we'd need something as big as the Saturn V to get to the moon? Why? I'd be willing to bet that the biggest current rockets are wide enough to house all of the lunar modules and orbiters as they were designed back in the 60s. The rest of the payload? Well, as we use new and lighter rocket fuels, the payloads do not need to be as great.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the moment we're talking about a 18th Apollo mission, using Apollo technology?
If you want to argue modern day, up to the retirement of the shuttle it was still required to use large ground shaking rockets which were for relatively short low orbit missions.
You'd need a rocket with enough force to push a moon lander, the astronauts, and all supplies to the moon and back.

Launchers for satellites are not large enough to provide enough force.

As for tracking the launch, India was actively tracking the Chandryan probe up to the point it crashed into the surface of the moon, as was the LRO mission. Those are much smaller than what would be used with a manned mission.
Further, you'd have (hopefully) something returning FROM the moon which would raise several flags among governments.


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Yeah, right. Not if its properly encrypted.


To which would be asked why the data is encrypted.

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#32    TheMcGuffin

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:49 PM

View PostStellar, on 07 September 2011 - 03:20 PM, said:

And just what exactly is stopping them from launching from a secluded location and claiming it to be a satellite launch?


I think the military could launch a rocket and claim it was anything--or nothing at all, just a classified project.  That's not the hard part and it's done all the time.  

The hard part would be to prevent people from detecting a spacecraft on the way to the moon, which would require some kind of cover story.  Call it an unmanned lunar probe or something to disguise its true purpose.

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#33    The Silver Thong

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:55 PM

View PostShadowSot, on 07 September 2011 - 06:37 PM, said:



As for tracking the launch, India was actively tracking the Chandryan probe up to the point it crashed into the surface of the moon, as was the LRO mission. Those are much smaller than what would be used with a manned mission.
Further, you'd have (hopefully) something returning FROM the moon which would raise several flags among governments.







Like I mentioned hide it in plane site. Call it a mission to deliver equipment to the moon and return with samples.  Code the radio chatter and call it communications with the remote lander.  I think it would be easy to hide the nature of the mission and just sell the public on some bs story. Who's going to question it.

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#34    ShadowSot

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:07 PM

View PostThe Silver Thong, on 07 September 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

Like I mentioned hide it in plane site. Call it a mission to deliver equipment to the moon and return with samples.  Code the radio chatter and call it communications with the remote lander.  I think it would be easy to hide the nature of the mission and just sell the public on some bs story. Who's going to question it.

Dunno, seems someone would want to know why it's so big.

Not saying they couldn't do it, just that it seems difficult and overly complicated, especially while all the other moon missions were so public.

Edited by ShadowSot, 07 September 2011 - 07:09 PM.

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#35    HerNibs

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:10 PM

Well, call me confused...but wouldn't a projectile being blasted off the face of the planet be visible to just about anyone with a telescope?

I mean, they can call it whatever they want but still, it's a giant freaking bullet being shot off the planet.

The "gummint" would have to make sure that NO ONE has a telescope.

So I'll go with NO.

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Edited by HerNibs, 07 September 2011 - 07:10 PM.

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#36    The Silver Thong

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:14 PM

View PostShadowSot, on 07 September 2011 - 07:07 PM, said:

Dunno, seems someone would want to know why it's so big.

Not saying they couldn't do it, just that it seems difficult and overly complicated, especially while all the other moon missions were so public.


I can't really say this could have been done in the early 70's with an excuse of landing equipment for a moon base hence the need for such a big rocket but today we would buy that. Maybe the could have done it back then now that I think about. Or maybe appolo 17 was actually appolo 18  :ph34r:

Edited by The Silver Thong, 07 September 2011 - 07:17 PM.

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#37    DieChecker

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:30 PM

Here we are on page 3 when the 2nd post got the answer right.

View PostKeosen, on 07 September 2011 - 08:21 AM, said:

Clinton could not keep secret an adventure, Watergate revealed but yeah a secret moon landing involving thousands of people, suppliers,companies etc could be kept secret, for sure.

There's no way they could have kept it secret.

Anyone watch the last Transformers movie? Didn't they have some kind of plotline about keeping that mission secret too.

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#38    Rafterman

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:37 PM

View PostStellar, on 07 September 2011 - 03:20 PM, said:

And just what exactly is stopping them from launching from a secluded location and claiming it to be a satellite launch?

Because there's a little more to sending an Apollo mission into space than three guys jumping into a rocket.

There's only one place that has/had the capability for manned missions and that's Cape Canaveral.

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#39    Mike 215

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:03 PM

Although the Shuttle program was run by NASA, there were a number of flights controlled by the Pentagon and we were told these were secret payloads. It is interesting that when the Shuttle was being designed in the 1970s there was a plan to install nuclear engines which could send it to Mars. OF course, we are told that they never went through with this plan, but the nuclear engines were being tested in Nevada called NERVA. Maybe those shuttles that were destroyed really were not and were sent into deep space.


#40    Stellar

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:37 PM

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Because there's a little more to sending an Apollo mission into space than three guys jumping into a rocket.

And theres a little more to detonating an atomic bomb than there is to a munition stockpile accidentally exploding. Whats your point?

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#41    mrbusdriver

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:39 AM

View PostMike 215, on 07 September 2011 - 08:03 PM, said:

Although the Shuttle program was run by NASA, there were a number of flights controlled by the Pentagon and we were told these were secret payloads. It is interesting that when the Shuttle was being designed in the 1970s there was a plan to install nuclear engines which could send it to Mars. OF course, we are told that they never went through with this plan, but the nuclear engines were being tested in Nevada called NERVA. Maybe those shuttles that were destroyed really were not and were sent into deep space.

The DoD payload flights were not "controlled" by the Pentagon, they were run from Mission Control like all the other flights. The mission was to put the payloads into a planned LEO, then after the shuttle departed the area, the DoD would take control and do with the satellite as it required for it's mission. It was just another payload to put into orbit so far as the Shuttle team was concerned...but with obvious "handling" differences.

As for NERVA, I'm not sure this one even got into space for testing. And Challenger and Columbia really didn't disintegrate before our eyes? That's a stretch, to put it mildly...


#42    WoIverine

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:32 AM

View PostShadowSot, on 07 September 2011 - 02:42 PM, said:

Yep, as a kid I saw the last shuttle go up to Mir. It was amazing on so many levels.

Yep, the sonic booms on re-entry descent have made me jump a couple of times, especially the early morning ones. Almost like the house windows are going to blow out, the dog goes nuts.  :lol:

Edited by Spid3rCyd3, 08 September 2011 - 04:38 AM.


#43    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:54 AM

What about Woomera? It's where just about every man and their dog launches rockets from.

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#44    The Silver Thong

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 05:03 AM

View PostSpid3rCyd3, on 08 September 2011 - 04:32 AM, said:

Yep, the sonic booms on re-entry descent have made me jump a couple of times, especially the early morning ones. Almost like the house windows are going to blow out, the dog goes nuts.  :lol:

Re entry into the middle of the Pacific, you wouldn;t hear a thing. If it was said to be just a recovery of some samples from the moon have it enter were ever you like. How would you have any idea what the recovery was for but returning lunar samples. If that`s what they said then thats what they said. Try to argue it lol

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#45    Daneel

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:05 AM

I find it hard to believe that a rocket the size of a Saturn 5 could have taken off without a single soul seeing it going or catching it on camera even in the 70's ...





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