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Stories of the Moon landing

Jueves, 1 de august de 2019

Astronomical conferences at dinner with stars

The 50th anniversary of the arrival of man on the Moon is full of news and details of that historic day for mankind. And of course, we had the opportunity to explain anecdotes and facts about everything that surrounded the Apollo 11 mission from the Fabra Observatory. So, we enjoyed the conferences on the Moon by Joan Anton Català, a reference astronomer of the XVI season, and Rafael Clemente (special guest and expert in that space mission) all in the #soparambestrelles.

So, about the arrival of man on the Moon for the first time, we can find since the race that was between countries (US and USSR) to arrive first, how were the three people who were going to go selected, or even, how were they able to maintain communication with the earth. But one thing we want to mention is: How was the landing on the moon?

So, on July 20, 1969 begins the descent to the Moon but Neil Armstrong does not set foot until the dawn of July 21 (European time), and they face many difficulties.

Among all the problems they had, one of them was a few minutes into the descent burn a light indicated an error: “alarm 1902”, which was a primitive computer of the time with a screen that reports an error code: the “1202”.

Edwin Aldrin reports this detected alarm, but what does it mean?

A few weeks earlier, NASA simulator emerges randomly this alarm, and the person responsible for interpreting it does not know what to do and cancels the mission to the Moon. A disaster!! They were not notice that it was not an urgent alarm.

Luckily, on the day of the descent the Apollo 11 team was prepared ... And for this reason, in this descent the alarm was checked by telephone line with the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), which are the ones that programmed the computer and they realize that it is not a serious error: the code "1202" only indicated that the computer needed to restart because of the large amount of data it received.

Besides, they realize that they are deviated from the path planned to make the landing, this is because the speed of the ship when separating from the orbital module is faster. And Armstrong decides to take the pilot of the ship, as a good civil pilot it was already clear that he would do it, looking for a place to land without rocks of the planned point, with the pressure that he only had 20 according to fuel.

It must be said that all this is only part of all the information that is explained about the landing to the Moon and more astronomy topics to the #Soparambestrelles.

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