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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  World records during Mercury, Gemini, Apollo

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Author Topic:   World records during Mercury, Gemini, Apollo
LM-12
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Posts: 971
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-17-2013 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a table of world category records for lunar and planetary missions from the records of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA).

The National Aeronautic Association records are officially recognized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). A new record must exceed the existing record by 10 percent for the new record to be established.

If you disregard that 10 percent requirement, how would that change the table?

For instance, the table indicates that Apollo 16 holds the record for "duration of stay on lunar surface" but the Apollo 17 duration was longer.

Would Apollo 8 still hold the record for "altitude above surface of the Earth"?

Would Apollo 12 still hold the record for "greatest mass lifted to lunar orbit from lunar surface"?

What else would change?

David C
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Posts: 115
From: Pasadena
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 09-17-2013 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale is a sporting organisation. It was established back in 1905. In the early days of aviation performance was low (i.e. small numbers), and measuring techniques relatively crude, and so the 10% margin made sense. Later on that was no longer the case. Though aviation in general long since stopped being a sport, there is obviously still value in independent measurement standards. However, the 10% margin is grossly excessive.

So far as space flight performance is concerned, I personally think that the FAI's endorsement is totally irrelevant.

I say bring on the real numbers.

moorouge
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Posts: 1602
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 09-17-2013 12:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The height above the Earth's surface is contested by Apollo 13. However, there is a rider to this record as I noted back in 1975. It is contested and depends on the source of the information. This is because the distance between the Earth and the moon is constantly changing, even during the course of a flight and so makes it almost impossible to compute.
  • The highest achieved in Earth orbit is 1360 kms by Gemini 11.
  • The lowest is 83.5 km by Gemini 3 for a short time on its third orbit.
You mention Apollo 16. This crew holds the record for the highest landing on the moon at 7,830 metres (heights on the moon are measured relative to a sphere of 1,738,000 metres radius).

LM-12
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Posts: 971
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-17-2013 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the "duration of stay on lunar surface" category:
  • FAI record - Apollo 16 (71:02:13)
  • real record - Apollo 17 (74:59:40)

In the "greatest mass landed on the moon" category:

  • FAI record - Apollo 16 at 18,208.0 lbs (8257.6 kg)
  • real record - Apollo 17 at 18,305 lbs

moorouge
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Posts: 1602
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 09-18-2013 02:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't know how these correlate -
  • heaviest in lunar orbit was Apollo 16 at 34523.1 kg
  • heaviest in Earth orbit was Apollo 15 at 52819.5 kg
Another Apollo 16 record is the longest solo flight by a US astronaut by Mattingly in lunar orbit of 81 hours 40 minutes.

LM-12
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Posts: 971
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-18-2013 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the "greatest mass placed into lunar orbit from the earth" category, the table indicates that Apollo 15 holds that FAI record, but I agree that Apollo 16 was heavier.

LM-12
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Posts: 971
From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 09-18-2013 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the table, the FAI record for "altitude above surface of the earth" is held by Apollo 8. Based on a footnote in Apollo By The Numbers, the record for farthest distance travelled from Earth is held by Apollo 13.
  • FAI record - Apollo 8 at 234,672.5 miles
  • real record - Apollo 13 at 248,655 miles

moonguyron
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Posts: 47
From: salado, tx, usa
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 12-09-2013 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moonguyron   Click Here to Email moonguyron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We all know the moon orbits at varying distances from the Earth. As a result does anyone out there know which of the Apollo lunar missions holds the absolute distance record for being farthest from earth during their mission? This may be the entire crew or perhaps just the CMP.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Aztecdoug
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Posts: 1338
From: Huntington Beach
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 12-09-2013 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 13 was the farthest.

All times are CT (US)

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