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Old 07-12-2019, 10:24 AM
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tbzep tbzep is offline
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Default Apollo XI Anniversary TV Shows

I've recorded and continue to record all of the Apollo related TV programming I can find. Most of it is from the Smithsonian and National Geographic channels, but a few others have popped up. I have watched them in bits and pieces when I've had time, usually when I should be asleep. I have a few thoughts on them.

1. There is very little in these programs, if anything, that I didn't already know thanks to my rocketry hobby, books, older shows, etc. I'm watching them anyway. I never get tired of a Saturn (I, IB, and V) liftoff, astronauts falling on the moon, etc.

2. Video footage of Gemini capsule re-entry has to be by far the most used and abused footage in the history of manned spaceflight. It has been used to embellish stories on all three manned programs, unmanned programs, liftoffs, dockings, Armstrong's out of control spinning, and just about everything else rocket related. (And we know it's also been used in all kinds of TV shows and never as a capsule re-entry.) Saturn V staging is abused a lot but doesn't come close to Gemini. (1st stage separation with interstage is used a lot and also footage of the Saturn V "3rd stage" which is actually a Saturn 1B 2nd stage.)

3. Experts continue to get stuff horribly wrong. The usual things abound, such as using completely different booster footage: Examples: An Atlas instead of a Saturn liftoff, totally unrelated ground testing or simulation footage like abort test shots, and common untrue myths stated as facts...the list goes on and on. I finally heard a new one last night that I've never heard before. An expert claimed the LM ascent engine was a solid rocket motor. To the best of my knowledge, he was right that it didn't gimbal and wasn't throttle-able, however, I'm about 99.99999% sure it is a pressure fed liquid hypergolic motor developed by Bell with a Rocketdyne designed injector plate.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:57 PM
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Yeah, the LM ascent motor was NOT a solid. Boy, you're right; somebody blew that one. Just pressure fed: blow the burst discs and off she went. I don't rememeber all the details on the injector, but like you said, there were issues with its development and others had to be brought in to straighten things out.

As relaitvely simple as it was, I'd sure been crossing my fingers if I'd been one of the two standing in the LM ascent stage waiting for liftoff from the moon.


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Old 07-13-2019, 09:56 AM
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I am really enjoying the Apollo Moon Shot episodes on the Smithsonian Channel. They are showing footage I hadn't seen before and including modern day segments showing artifacts in the museum's collection.

Another really good one if the Apollo 11 documentary which was in theaters and shown recently on CNN.

I am looking forward to a show one of our local TV channels has produced. It airs Tuesday night.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:09 AM
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I have noticed a lot of the early test failures before manned launches. They mention them but never get into why they failed and what had to happen to fix them. But yet they talk about how important these failures were.
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