History and Philosophy of Physics


Separation, Transposition and Docking of Apollo 11 in Low-Earth Orbit

Authors: Julius A. Birch

A selection of visual media from the Apollo 11 Mission, namely, the 70mm photographs AS11-36- 5301 through AS11-36-5313 and the 16mm film magazine A, are shown to strongly suggest that at the time of their filming Apollo 11 craft were in low-Earth orbit. The visual media comprise the film footage and the photographs of the craft and the Earth filmed before and during the maneuvers separation, transposition and docking (STD). The STD reportedly occured during the translunar coast some 30 minutes after the translunar injection (TLI). In the STD, the Command and Service Module (CSM) would dismount the rocket Saturn-IVB (S-IVB) carrying the Lunar Module (LM) and the CSM up to that point, then dock with and extract the LM. The S-IVB would then split from the group to fly behind the Moon and in an orbit around the Sun. In determining the location of the Apollo 11 craft, the sizes of Earth and the S-IVB rocket and their distances from the camera are extracted from the media assuming a selection of camera lenses. The extracted CSM flight data include the turning rate and the turning angle, the maximum separation distance, and the docking velocity. From their comparison to the Flight Plan, the Mission Report and to the oral transcripts from the Apollo 11 Flight Journal, it is found that the 16mm Mauer Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) was filming with the 10mm lens, and not with the 18mm lens as NASA reported. Consequently, the photography must have been done with a Hasselblad manual camera with the 38mm lens and not with the Hasselblad electric camera with the 80mm lens as NASA reported. The visual media being recorded with these new lenses puts the craft at the time of the STD in low-Earth orbit, rather than Moon-bound after successful TLI.

Comments: 34 Pages.

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[v1] 2018-05-05 11:06:58

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