Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some say of going to the Moon - "Been There, Done That!"

While waiting to see where we might be going in space, I thought I would view some of how we got to the Moon and now just glibly say,"Been There, Done That!"

I have a 2 DVD set, "MISSION TO THE MOON - COLLECTOR'S EDITION" that was produced by Mark Gray at Spacecraft Films back in 2005. The set is made up of MIT B/W short films that were produced for TV back in the 60's and an Apollo 4 launch in color.

Today with all the computing power we have in our home computers and smart phones, we may well forget how much we had to build to test what we were building to take astronauts to the Moon. There was much testing of what kind of foods could be used that would supply the necessary nutrients but limit the weight and storage requirements.

The astronauts were subjected to numerous tests since we didn't know how the body would react in zero 'g' or 1/6 'g' on the Moon.

It was with a smile that I watched the old B/W movies and clothing styles as the presentation proceeded. Also, back in the 60's you had a lot of knobs, switches and mechanical devices that were big and bulky and yet machines were used to wire computer boards and test, and test, and test the equipment that was to go to the Moon. It was Interesting to see what was expected to happen while still five years before we lifted off for the Moon in July of 1969.
- LRK -

Mission to the Moon
Director: Mark Gray Rating: NR (Not Rated) Format:

Price: $34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Documentary, January 27, 2006
By Laurenc SVITOK (Bratislava Slovakia) -

This review is from: Mission to the Moon (DVD)
This two disc set "suffers" maybe from being released in the same time as fantastic and long expected Mercury set, however, it has its place in space history library. Spacecraft Films left the usual process of creating the own documentary and just used ten original NASA (Apollo 4) or for NASA produced short movies (M.I.T. Science Reporter set). All nine M.I.T.movies are slightly below thirty minutes and are black&white, Apollo 4 is fifteen minutes and in colour. All material is mainly related to the Apollo moon programm.

What got me thinking of the past was a note from Fred about a simulation of a possible trip to Venus back in 1971 using a Saturn. There is a nice YouTube presentation based on study that was one of several being conducted at Bellcomm and in Manned Space Flight whose purpose was to give guidance to the Apollo Applications Program's technical objectives by focusing on a longer range goal.

Here is what Fred sent.
- LRK -

Hi Larry,

I found this interesting...forward to your list if you do too! A flyby of Venus using the Apollo spacecraft was once studied. (The authors must have been very sad about Apollo 1 when they published this on February 1, 1967). Now the mission profile has been illustrated with a video.
February 1, 1967
M. S. Feldman
L. A. Ferrara
F. L. Havenstein
J. E. Volonte
P. H. Whipple
"This study is one of several being conducted at Bellcomm and in Manned Space Flight whose purpose is to give guidance to the Apollo Applications Program's technical objectives by focusing on a longer range goal. The assumed mission in this case is a three-man flyby of Venus launched in November, 1973 on a single standard Saturn V. The selected flight configuration includes a Command and Service Module similar in some respects to Apollo, an Environmental Support Module which occupies the adapter area and a spent S-IVB stage which is utilized for habitable volume and structural support of a solar cell electrical power system. The total injected weight, 106,775 lbs., is within the capability of a single Saturn V of the early 1970's. The study is focused on the selection of subsystem technologies appropriate to long duration flight. The conclusions are reported in terms of the technical characteristics to be achieved as part of the Apollo Applications Program's long duration objectives."
Manned Venus Flyby - Orbiter Space Flight Simulator 2006
April 05, 2010
"The most complicated mission that I fly. Complex for the thin margins to maintain the original plan. Me to continue the numbers and me to finish with a ship flying over the planet Venus and returning to the Earth. My sincere admiration for people that 43 years before they calculated this mission and they made few errors...."


The PDF file is 177 pages of a lot of information on how you would plan for a mission to Venus. The YouTube demo is well done as well. Bellcomm says this is one of several studies.
- LRK -
Bellcomm, Inc was a subsidiary of the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) established in 1963 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Bellcomm was originally organized to provide NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight with technical and management advice for the Manned Space Flight Program. As the NASA-Bellcomm relationship evolved, the latter became directly responsible for systems engineering and analysis and assisted in the overall spacecraft integration for the Apollo program. Bellcomm's Technical Library provided company personnel with immediate access to technical reports and studies dealing with a wide variety of topic affecting the American space program. When the Apollo Program ended in 1972 the company also ceased operation and the library was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM).


Fred was interested in the YouTube presentation as he is working on YouTube presentations that help us remember the Apollo missions. I asked him to keep me in the loop in what he is doing and Fred sent this response.
- LRK -

Hi Larry,

Here is my YouTube link which has lots of space history and future videos, plus my music videos and other favorite music and songs.

Here is a new music video tribute to the Apollo work force. I used NASA's film with permission and added my original music. This is in two parts since YouTube has a ten-minute limit. The music was done separately, and I found that it fits well with imagining working on Apollo.
When We Flew to the Moon - Part 1 and 2 (Original)
This video tells the story of a day at work building a Moon ship, the Saturn V. It is a tribute to the Apollo Program work force. "General Pre-Launch Activity at Kennedy - Part 1 and 2" silent film courtesy NASA, used with permission. Original music "When We Flew to the Moon" by Fred Becker.


I hope there is more meaning to going to the Moon than just - "Been There, Done That!"

I don't see that we have set up a Lunar Colony or made much use of the resources on the Moon.

I hope we don't do an Apollo type three day landing on Mars and then decide to wait another 40 years to try again.

I would hope that a plan is developed that has the ultimate goal of making it possible for humans to survive in more environments than just on mother Earth. Waiting.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -

Web Site:
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David S. F. Portree wrote a mongraph that lists Fifty Years of Mission Planning
1950 - 2000
Monographs in Aerospace History #21
NASA SP-2001-4521

Humans to Mars
Fifty Years of Mission Planning,

Will man ever go to Mars? I am sure he will—but it will be a century or more before he’s ready. In that time scientists and engineers will learn more about the physical and mental rigors of interplanetary flight—and about the unknown dangers of life on another planet. Some of that information may become available within the next 25 years or so, through the erection of a space station above the Earth . . . and through the subsequent exploration of the [M]oon. (Wernher von Braun, 1954)1

More than 1,000 piloted Mars mission studies were conducted inside and outside NASA between about 1950 and 2000. Many were the product of NASA and industry study teams, while others were the work of committed individuals or private organizations. Due to space limitations, only 50 mission studies (one per year, or less than 5 percent of the total) are described in this monograph. The studies included are believed to be representative of most of the technologies and techniques associated with piloted Mars exploration.2

1. Edward Ezell, “Man on Mars: The Mission That NASA Did Not Fly” (paper presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, Houston,
Texas, 3-8 January 1979), p. 24.
2. Readers seeking additional information on Mars planning are directed to the author’s Web site Romance to Reality ( explore.htm), which contains over 250 annotations of Moon and Mars planning documents, with more added regularly.

[Note: Romance to Reality was moved to here, which now has been retired. -LRK -

Newer work by D.S.F. Portree and ]
- LRK -




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