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The Year in Space

July 9, 2012 - Now We Need a Bug

9 Jul 2012, 04:00 UTC
July 9, 2012 - Now We Need a Bug
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The Week in Space July 9-15, 2012 Now We Need a Bug Fifty years ago this week, NASA decided how to get to the Moon. Two possible methods, Direct Ascent and Earth Orbit Rendezvous, involved launching a massive rocket (or two smaller rockets that would join up in Earth orbit) toward the Moon, landing, and then blasting off for Earth. But the powerful boosters and orbiting support facilities required for these methods could not be built in time. An obscure but elegant third solution, Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, finally won. LOR called for a Lunar Excursion Module (known as “the Bug”) to ferry astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface, and back again to the waiting Command Module. The Lunar Excursion Module Simulator, seen here, was suspended by cables and allowed Apollo astronauts to practice landing on the lunar surface.Image credit: NASA Weekly CalendarJuly 9-15, 2012Holidays - Sky Events - Space History Monday 9Venus 0.9° north of Aldebaran 1945: White Sands Missile Range opens1979: Voyager 2 flies past Jupiter Tuesday 10Uranus 5° south of MoonLast Quarter Moon 9:48 PM ET1962: Telstar 1 launched, allowing transatlantic transmission of TV signals1992: Giotto spacecraft flies past comet Grigg-Skjellerup Wednesday 111962: NASA selects lunar ...

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