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How did the lunar landers re-launch ?

How did the landers manage to launch back in to space when the Moon has no oxygen ?


Recent comments on this video
Comment icon #1 Posted by Peter B on 30 November, 2017, 14:56
Yeah, good summary of the chemistry of rocket fuels (some strange computer graphics of rockets, though). And frankly, what kid with a fascination for things going kaboom wouldn't be interested in rocket fuel? :-) For me the amazing thing about the LM Ascent Engine was just how simple it was. You opened a valve for each of the propellant and oxidiser tanks, and the (toxic and corrosive) liquids flowed down pipes under gravity into the combustion chamber where they just mixed and went kaboom explosively enough to launch the LM Ascent Stage. No pumps, no throttle, no steering (by that engine, tha... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by ChrLzs on 1 December, 2017, 3:38
I still firmly believe that for its time, Apollo was the most brilliant engineering project *ever*.  Born out of a completely re-invigorated NASA as they rebuilt their management systems after the tragic (and avoidable) fire of Apollo 1, the inventiveness and problem solving was far ahead of anything before or after. Reaching and returning from the Moon was/is Humankind's greatest ever engineering/technical achievement, imo..
Comment icon #3 Posted by Derek Willis on 1 December, 2017, 9:10
In my opinion also. What I find disappointing is that the Apollo missions were almost half a century ago. How come nothing has bettered the achievement in all that time? I also wonder if young people see the Apollo missions as the greatest ever engineering/technical achievement? People of our age witnessed the event, but for my kids the Apollo missions were something taught in history lessons. Perhaps some people see the internet as the greatest ever technical/engineering achievement? It will be interesting to see how the Apollo missions are viewed at the time of the half-century point. I have... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Derek Willis on 1 December, 2017, 9:26
On a technical point, the propellants flowed due to being pressurized by a tank of helium. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Peter B on 2 December, 2017, 7:38
Sorry, you're quite right. I stand corrected. In fact, now that I think about it...of course: for stability reasons the propellant tanks were set very low on the LM Ascent Stage - so low they were below the engine. So, yes, they needed pressure from the gaseous helium to force the propellants into the engine - not gravity. Nevertheless, it was an amazingly simple and reliable engine.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Derek Willis on 2 December, 2017, 9:19
Gravity has nothing to do with it. In a rocket engine the propellants have to enter the combustion chamber at a pressure higher than the chamber pressure. So in big engines pumps are used, and in little engines a pressure-feed system is used. The trajectory of a rocket (or Lunar Module ascent stage) heading for orbit requires that as quickly as possible the rocket tilts over so that it flies increasingly parallel with the surface. Hence gravity is acting increasingly perpendicular to the direction of flight. And or course, when in orbit or flying to/from the Moon, a spaceship is in zero-g.   B... [More]

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