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  Russian tracking of Apollo moon landings

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Author Topic:   Russian tracking of Apollo moon landings
Jim_Voce
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posted 10-29-2017 12:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Voce   Click Here to Email Jim_Voce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What means of measurement did the Soviets have that validated the Apollo 11 moon landing for them?

And conversely, how did the U.S. know for sure that the Soviets had put a man in space on April 12, 1961? If the U.S. (Norad?) was monitoring voice transmissions, they would have had to have acted extremely quickly. Gagarin was only up in space for 90 minutes and the U.S. would have had to have known the radio frequency he was on.

oly
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Posts: 222
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 10-29-2017 03:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For the US to monitor Soviet spacecraft radio frequency they would just use the same equipment that they have been using to follow any other aircraft or long range radio communications of the time.

Mike Dixon
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From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 10-29-2017 04:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They knew well beforehand but hoped for a successful Luna 15 landing. Eventually so did their citizens who were reading newspapers the following day with stories and pictures of the moonwalk.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-29-2017 07:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alexei Leonov was among a small group of cosmonauts who joined Soviet intelligence experts at the army engineering research center known as the Space Transmission Corps on Komsomolsky Avenue in Moscow on the morning of July 21, 1969, as recounted in "Two Sides of the Moon" (Simon & Schuster, 2004).
The facility was fully equipped with the latest intelligence gathering and surveillance equipment. During the early hours of that morning — evening in Houston — all television monitors and radio receivers were tuned in to what was happening a quarter of a million miles away from our own planet...

We were all transfixed by the crackling transmissions from Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong as he guided his lunar landing module, Eagle, down towards the surface of the moon.

dom
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posted 10-29-2017 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently the Soviets were watching a "bootlegged" Eurovision transmission of Apollo 11. I don't think it was Soviet collected data...

Jim_Voce
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posted 10-30-2017 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Voce   Click Here to Email Jim_Voce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are good answers. Does anyone have any technical details how the Russians determined that we had astronauts on the moon? How were they able to determine that the voice and tv images were coming from the lunar surface? There would have been a one second delay in the communication. But was there a way to determine that the transmissions were 250,000 miles away?

jklier
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From: Austin, Texas
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 10-31-2017 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jklier   Click Here to Email jklier     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll take a stab at this. Far from an expert so please correct me if I'm wrong.

I believe the signals coming from the moon were directional so on Earth you needed to have an antenna pointed at the source. So the only way to fake this would be to have a satellite broadcasting the signal to Earth. This satellite would need to be in the sky in the same place as the moon.

As I understand orbital mechanics you could not have a satellite near Earth which stays in the same place in the sky as the moon. It would move to slow to stay in orbit.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-31-2017 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The answer might be here: How NASA Broadcast Neil Armstrong Live from the Moon.

Jim_Voce
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posted 11-01-2017 06:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Voce   Click Here to Email Jim_Voce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great article and much appreciated. But it still does not answer the question. It might give a clue though that ties in with Jklier's insight.

Perhaps the better way to answer the question is how would U.S. intelligence have known if a Russian cosmonaut was walking on the moon. How would they have determined that?

Jim Behling
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Posts: 1164
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 11-01-2017 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim_Voce:
How would they have determined that?
Interception of radio transmissions and tracking of the spacecraft.

All times are CT (US)

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