Fly me to the Moon: Horizontally.

Please prove me wrong!

One thought has just come to mind. When Apollo 11 Eagle was landing, Armstrong used the side rockets to travel horizontally over the Lunar surface. He did this because they were heading for a dangerous landing in a rocky crater. OK.

When they fired the ascent engine at the end of their time on the Moon, they went vertically out from the Lunar surface. OK.

However to get into orbit they needed to fly horizontally at 1.68 Km/s. Why? Because if they were just hanging around, so to speak, they would either fall back to the Moon's surface or collide with the Command Module, destroying both craft and killing all three. OK.

So they used the side thrusters to roll the Lm over to enable the main engine to become a horizontal  thruster to get the power required for the 1.68 Km/s speed. I am sure that the tinny side thruster could not produce the required force to reach that speed. OK.

So, when Armstrong was using the side thrusters to fly horizontally across the Moon's surface whilst still using the main engine to descend, why didn't the LM tilt horizontally as it supposedly did when apollo 17  ascended? If it had have tilted, then the main engine would have been the side thruster and sent them along a a very fast speed eventually crashing into the Lunar surface, as they would have no control over descent.

Log in to leave your answers. It's only $3.50 to read the entire site and leave comments and blogs.

Notice both the astronaut and capcom said 'pitch over!' as the LM ascent module rolled over so the main engine was now horizontal. That would have happened in the descent of Apollo 11.

Furthermore, doesn't it look like the ascent stage runs out of gas and starts to fall back to the Moon's surface?

Leave a Comment

s2Member®