posted 06-02-2008 07:30 AM
What ever happened to residual LM decent stage consumables. I guess propellant still remains in tanks, could this leak and contaminate the surface over time? I understand man made contamination of the surface was once a concern of NASA's. Was the decent water supply drained or not, I guess not...would it still remain there and would it just go through a freeze thaw cycle for eternity?
Jay Chladek Member
Posts: 2211 From: Bellevue, NE, USA Registered: Aug 2007
posted 06-02-2008 06:48 PM
The one main event that happens in the descent stage after landing is the rupturing of a burst disk in the supercritical helium line and the helium vents into space (it happened on Apollo 13 during its long drifting flight back to Earth). So the fuel system would no longer be pressurized (helium is used to pressurize the fuel system in spacecraft, sort of like CO2 gas in a shaken up soda can).
I imagine eventually after a few freeze and thaw cycles, frozen fuel and water (if there is any water left) would eventually cause a line to rupture somewhere and any residual consumeables would boil off in the next heating cycle due to lack of pressure.
Fra Mauro Member
Posts: 1017 From: Maspeth, NY Registered: Jul 2002
posted 06-06-2008 07:58 AM
I would also assume that decades of being bathed in sunlight has bleached most of the outside of the descent stage
Posts: 1890 From: Essex, UK Registered: Jul 2001
posted 06-06-2008 09:15 AM
The Apollo 11 Passive Seismic Experiment is believed to have picked up vibrations from the LM descent stage after the mission was over. It was believed the vibrations were due to venting of gases, circulation of gases/fluids and deformation of the LM structure due to thermal stresses.