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Derek Willis

Fifty years of Apollo conspiracy theories

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seanjo
5 hours ago, aztek said:

for all we know dust on the moon may behave like ferrous dust in magnetic field, it is not like we really researched the subject, or same way as powder coating acts when sprayed on electrically charged parts

It stuck to the Astronauts Suits, it smelt a bit like gunpowder. In fact, I seem to remember one of the Astronauts getting into a bit of respiratory trouble because of the dust brought in on the suits.

Edited by seanjo

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Peter B
9 hours ago, seanjo said:

The Apollo 17 vid was controlled by a fella that had to anticipate the blast off, because of the time lag of the signal for the camera pan getting from earth to the Moon, he did an epic job.

Well, the same guy (Ed Fendell, a.k.a. Captain Video) controlled the cameras on all three missions which carried the lunar roving vehicle.

The differences between the videos are explained by the simple fact that the tilt mechanism on the Apollo 15 camera failed during the mission. For Apollo 16 the tilt mechanism was changed, but the video isn't nearly as good as the Apollo 17 video - Fendell practiced his techniques on the basis of the rover camera being in a specific place in relation to the LM, but the rover was actually parked in a slightly different location from what he trained for.

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Dejarma
On 20/12/2018 at 1:01 PM, Derek Willis said:

so far I have seen no definitive evidence demonstrating the missions were not real.

do you believe the missions were real? yes or no?

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bee
On 12/20/2018 at 5:10 PM, Derek Willis said:

So this still leaves the mystery as to how the Surveyor 3 became covered so quickly. Either it happened whilst it landed, or dust is - relatively speaking - showering down.

 

 

I had a ponder and wondered if there were dust storms on the Moon and came upon this....

(don't think the below has been specifically suggested - unless I missed it)

At 3:10 he talks about the Terminator line on the Moon where there is the moving division of
light and dark... and that the polarity of the dust flips along this line.... and that causes a movement
of the dust....
perhaps this is how Surveyor 3 got covered in it..?

 

 

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bee
On 12/20/2018 at 4:10 PM, Derek Willis said:

There is a theory that at each lunar dawn the charge state of the top layer of the regolith changes in response to the changing UV flux from the Sun, and so particles are repelled upwards. It may be these particles that have accumulated on the Surveyor.

 

just seen this when I went back to check as I had gone through the posts quite quickly.... :) 

 

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Derek Willis
21 hours ago, Dejarma said:

do you believe the missions were real? yes or no?

I began #1 by writing: "We are approaching the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, during which humans traveled to the Moon for the first time."

I began #15 by writing: "I know Neil Armstrong and the others landed on the Moon."

So it is pretty obvious what I believe.

What I wrote is consistent with my statement, "... so far I have seen no definitive evidence proving the missions were not real."

If such definitive evidence were ever provided, then I would have to change my belief.

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Dejarma
5 minutes ago, Derek Willis said:

I began #1 by writing: "We are approaching the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission, during which humans traveled to the Moon for the first time."

I began #15 by writing: "I know Neil Armstrong and the others landed on the Moon."

So it is pretty obvious what I believe.

What I wrote is consistent with my statement, "... so far I have seen no definitive evidence proving the missions were not real."

If such definitive evidence were ever provided, then I would have to change my belief.

fair enough 

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Derek Willis
On 12/21/2018 at 2:43 PM, seanjo said:

There is a slight atmosphere on the Moon and as I stated before, it could be dust kicked up from Meteorite hits and/or the lander, if you want maths doing I suggest you find an expert on such things and not an Aircraft Mechanic with a bit of common sense.

My point is that the lack of dust on the Lunar Modules is exactly what would happen - i.e. the dust is blasted away. The dust on the Surveyor 3 is - so far as I can see - an unexplained mystery. The atmosphere on the Moon is far too thin for billowing to occur. The "floating" dust does not rise high enough. The general layering due to meteorite strikes is too slow. Your idea of electrical attraction is plausible, however I would imagine the outside of Surveyor 3 was electrically neutral to make sure that any such attraction of dust didn't occur. To me there are two likely answers to the mystery. (1) a relatively local meteorite that threw dust onto the probe. (2) Dust was thrown up during the "bouncy" landing. But without some physics and maths, neither of these suggestions can be said to have definitely caused the dust to be there.

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toast
22 minutes ago, Derek Willis said:

To me there are two likely answers to the mystery. (1) a relatively local meteorite that threw dust onto the probe. (2) Dust was thrown up during the "bouncy" landing. But without some physics and maths, neither of these suggestions can be said to have definitely caused the dust to be there.

There is no mystery and it does not need physics or math, it only needs the web:

qBiRLEc.jpg

Quote

(...) Note the imprint in the lunar soil which was caused when the Surveyor 3 bounced upon landing. (...)

NASA

Case closed.

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Derek Willis
On 12/21/2018 at 1:02 PM, Peter B said:

You've asked a good question.

I don't know for sure, but I wonder if the dust might have been deposited on Surveyor as the LM came in to land, blown onto it by the LM's Descent Engine.

Have a look at the map here: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a12/landpath.jpg

It shows the path the LM followed as it descended to the surface. You'll see the LM approached Surveyor from the east, passed a little over 100 metres to the north of Surveyor, and finally landed north-west of Surveyor. Therefore, the dust-coated side of Surveyor shown in the photo would be the eastern side - the side the LM initially approached from.

Now sure, the LM was a couple of hundred metres away and more than 70 metres up as it approached. Would that be close enough to the surface to kick up enough dust to coat Surveyor like the photos show? I don't know. But I don't see any particular reason why not; after all, there was no atmosphere to constrain the rocket exhaust, so the exhaust would have spread out in a conical fashion, but the lack of atmosphere would mean there was nothing to slow the exhaust down. The question would be whether the gas had spread out so much that the pressure it exerted on the dust on the surface would be strong enough to blow it away.

Initially, it was believed the Lunar Module descent engine blew surface material onto the Surveyor 3. It was then realized that fragments blown up by the descent engine "sandblasted" dust off the Surveyor 3. This meant that the dust was already there.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001910351000432X

Now, it may be that as the Lunar Module made its approach, it blew dust onto the Surveyor 3, and then as it flew past the probe, blew some of it off again. The diagram you linked to shows this to be a distinct possibility. As the Lunar Module approached it would have been blowing dust up which would then - because of the lack of an atmosphere on the Moon - have landed some distance away, including where the Surveyor 3 was. Much of this dust would have been falling from a high angle, and so would have coated pretty much all of the probe. Then as the Lunar Module flew past the Surveyor 3 and landed, it would have blown up dust that "sand blasted" away the original deposit from the areas of the probe facing the Lunar Module. 

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Derek Willis
4 minutes ago, toast said:

There is no mystery and it does not need physics or math, it only needs the web:

qBiRLEc.jpg

Case closed.

How is the case closed?

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toast
2 minutes ago, Derek Willis said:

How is the case closed?

Because there is no mystery about the dust on the landing gear of Surveyor 3.

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Derek Willis
2 minutes ago, toast said:

Because there is no mystery about the dust on the landing gear of Surveyor 3.

Can you describe what you mean? 

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toast
3 minutes ago, Derek Willis said:

Can you describe what you mean? 

You wonder about the dust on the landing gear of Surveyor 3, from post #1 on:

Quote

I know that Surveyor 3 had a difficult landing in that it bounced twice before settling on the surface. But does that explain why it was covered in dust?

Looking at the image I posted in post #34 its quite obvious that the material on the landing gear was moved there because of the bouncy landing.

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Derek Willis
17 minutes ago, toast said:

Because there is no mystery about the dust on the landing gear of Surveyor 3.

In #4 you suggested the dust on the landing gear had been moved there by the astronaut, i.e. he kicked it there. So are you now suggesting the dust is there because the Surveyor 3 bounced?

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toast
Just now, Derek Willis said:

In #4 you suggested the dust on the landing gear had been moved there by the astronaut, i.e. he kicked it there.

That was my first impression but I took a deeper look into the matter later on.

Quote

So are you now suggesting the dust is there because the Surveyor 3 bounced?

Yes.

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Derek Willis
20 minutes ago, toast said:

That was my first impression but I took a deeper look into the matter later on.

Yes.

Here is a link to an interesting paper.

https://physics.ucf.edu/~yfernandez/psjc/fall14/177-nov21/20120000029.pdf

It seems the case is far from closed. The researchers took into account all the possibilities, including the dust being thrown up by the difficult landing of Surveyor 3. Chemical analysis of the dust suggests it is not from the immediate region of the Surveyor 3, but more likely to be from a region in the landing path of Apollo 12. That would suggest the dust was blown onto the probe, and then partly blown off, by the Lunar Module's descent engine.

It may be the case that the mound of lunar soil on the landing pad was put there by the final bounce, but that the dust covering the rest of the Surveyor 3 was a result of the landing of Apollo 12.

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Obviousman

Was Surveyor 3 the one where they 'beeped' the engine after landing? I seem to recall that happening with one of the lunar probes.

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Derek Willis
4 hours ago, Obviousman said:

Was Surveyor 3 the one where they 'beeped' the engine after landing? I seem to recall that happening with one of the lunar probes.

No, that was Surveyor 6, which landed on November 10th 1967. The three small engines were re-ignited for 2.5 seconds, lifting the probe to a height of 3 meters, and landing it again 2.4 meters to one side.

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Derek Willis
On 12/21/2018 at 1:46 PM, flyingswan said:

The way Surveyor 3 landed with its rockets still firing and slid down the side of the crater obviously raised a lot of dust as its camera performance was degraded from the start.

However, I think the main difference from the LM comes from the different engine layout.  When the single jet from the LM hit the ground it spread out in a thin sheet moving dust outwards in every direction.  Surveyor had three jets, so under the centre of the vehicle the sheets from each of the three jets would have come together and, having nowhere else to go, would have pushed dust upwards to bounce around the rather open grid of the vehicle structure.

An analogous effect is seen with the Harrier aircraft which generates an upward jet on to its underside during vertical landings.

You make an interesting point. According to the paper below, just prior to touch-down of the Lunar Modules, dust was ejected away at an angle of only three degrees. Consequently, the vast majority of the dust was thrown away from the Lunar Modules. The three engines of Surveyor 3 were supposed to switch off at a height of 4 meters. However, they didn't, and this is why the probe "bounced" twice. So, the engines were still firing when the probe touched down for the first and second times. Each engine would have produced a "sheet" of dust just like the Lunar Modules (though of course far smaller). However, under the probe these sheets would have impinged. Perhaps, as you say, the dust somehow made its way up through the probe. But whether it could have made its way to the solar panel/antenna mast seems unlikely.

In any case, the chemical analysis of the dust on parts of the Surveyor 3 brought back to Earth seems to suggest the dust was not from the immediate vicinity of Surveyor 3, but was blown onto the craft when Apollo 12 landed (and then some was blown off again).

https://physics.ucf.edu/~yfernandez/psjc/fall14/177-nov21/20120000029.pdf

I don't think any of the research into the dust on Surveyor 3 is conclusive, which is perhaps why the paper I have linked to is called: Further Analysis on the Mystery of the Surveyor III Dust Deposits. The Apollo 12 mission planners knew if the Lunar Module landed too close to Surveyor 3 the probe may well have been coated in dust. That might explain why, after having landed a safe distance away, the astronauts were expecting the probe not to be covered in dust. After the metal parts returned to Earth were analysed, it did seem to be a surprise that they were pitted by particles thrown a distance of 180 meters by the Lunar Module. This leads to another "mystery" that ought to be solved.

The descent engine of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module was still firing when the craft landed. That means for a moment at least, a sheet of particles was still being ejected at an angle of three degrees. Some of this would have hit the back of the landing pads and the lower end of the landing leg struts. If particles thrown 180 meters by Apollo 12 were able to cause pitting on Surveyor 3, surely the larger particles hitting the back of the Apollo 11 landing pads and struts would have caused visible marks? These components were covered in mylar film, so perhaps there ought even to have been damage or tearing of this. I can't see any marks, damage, or tearing of the mylar film in the photograph of the Apollo 11 landing pads in post #1 above. Also, I can't see any mention of this in the voice transcripts on the Apollo 11 Surface Journal. It could be argued that the layer of dust beneath the Lunar Module had been blown away prior to touchdown, and so there was none left to mark or damage the mylar on the pads/legs. However, Armstrong planted his "small step" in dust just beyond the pad. Also, the photograph above shows there is still dust behind the pads. Like I say, this is a conundrum worthy of investigation.

Edit: On second thoughts, there are grey marks on the mylar. I thought that was shadowing. Perhaps it is dust? 

Edited by Derek Willis

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aztek
20 hours ago, Derek Willis said:

In #4 you suggested the dust on the landing gear had been moved there by the astronaut, i.e. he kicked it there. So are you now suggesting the dust is there because the Surveyor 3 bounced?

it sure is very possible,  and likely, people bounced off trying to walk there.  every plane that lands here on earth bounces, unless it crashes. 

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Derek Willis
2 hours ago, aztek said:

it sure is very possible,  and likely, people bounced off trying to walk there.  every plane that lands here on earth bounces, unless it crashes. 

With the Lunar Modules, and probes such as the Surveyors, the intention was that they dropped towards the surface at a gentle rate and then shock absorbers prevented any bouncing. As far as I know, none of the Lunar Modules bounced. One or two of them skidded slightly. Surveyor 3 "bounced" because the engines didn't switch off when they were supposed to. It could be said that rather than actually bouncing, the probe lifted off again. Undoubtedly the impact and the firing engines would have raised dust. It seems, thought, that this isn't the dust that came to rest on the probe. Instead, the dust was blown onto Surveyor 3 when Apollo 12 landed. The behavior of dust on the Moon is obviously still not fully understood. Perhaps when humans return to the Moon they will take a look at the other Surveyor probes and we will find out if they are free of dust, or not. 

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Obviousman
On 12/24/2018 at 7:37 AM, aztek said:

it sure is very possible,  and likely, people bounced off trying to walk there.  every plane that lands here on earth bounces, unless it crashes. 

I take offense at that! Sure, I have made some 'controlled crashes' in my time but I have also pulled off some landings that were slick and smooth as the proverbials.

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aztek
On 12/24/2018 at 7:21 PM, Obviousman said:

I take offense at that! Sure, I have made some 'controlled crashes' in my time but I have also pulled off some landings that were slick and smooth as the proverbials.

no matter how smooth i land nose wheel always bounces a bit.  does not make the landing scary or dangerous, but small bounce is always there.  every commercial plane i flew (as a passenger) bounced a bit during landing, i consider it normal.

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ChrLzs

Maybe I've missed something (skim reading, too much other stuff to do today), but I am not seeing the/a problem.

As you already said, no dust on landing pads is because of ballistic dust movement, as there is no air to make the dust 'billow' or hang about.  Most of the dust blown by the exhaust travelled very low, and only a few particles would have bounced up or had a parabolic path that would land in the pad.  Also, we are talking about a period of just a few days, so no real time for deposition by other sources.

For Surveyor, much longer times are involved, plus by the random nature of meteor strikes there may have simply been a small or large local event.  Or electrostatic differences, either anomalies in that region, or perhaps due to the space craft design, materials, electronics... It's an extremely complex topic, and no way to easily guess at what combinations / what balance of factors was involved.

And to Derek (you devil's avocado you!), can you show me the maths for ... oh say a Harrier landing's dust deposition, or anything earthly but similar?  That is surely a much easier question .. as we could be there to measure it and then run the numbers....

And yes, if that sounds silly (and it is) that's my point.  No-one could (or more to the point, would) possibly do 'the maths' on such a complex problem with so many variables, and with so little reason to bother.

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