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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Apollo lunar modules: Descent fuel levels

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Author Topic:   Apollo lunar modules: Descent fuel levels
Headshot
Member

Posts: 259
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 01-30-2014 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently read in the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal that the lunar module Eagle (Apollo 11) had the least amount of descent fueling remaining upon landing and that Antares (Apollo 14) had the second least.

Does anyone know which lunar module had the largest quantity of descent fuel in its tanks upon landing on the moon?

alanh_7
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Posts: 973
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-30-2014 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a chance to ask Charlie Duke about remaining fuel. He said he suspected there was anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute's worth the fuel in Eagle's fuel tanks.

For his own LM, Orion, he thought there was likely more but they would have to burn the tanks dry in order to find out for sure.

Headshot
Member

Posts: 259
From: Streamwood, IL USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 01-30-2014 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reply.

I believe that "hover time" is affected by descent angle, surface visibility, efficiency of the descent engine, and total weight of the lunar module. The last three J mission LMs were substantially heavier than their G and H mission counterparts. I also seemed to recall that the J mission LMs had their descent engine performance tweaked too.

There are too many factors there. To get an apples-to-apples comparison, I guess what I really want to know is what lunar module had the most pounds of fuel remaining in its tanks upon landing?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28696
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-30-2014 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If it helps inform this topic, there is discussion about Apollo 11's fuel reserves here, as raised by Paul Fjeld in AIAA Horizons.

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