From Earth to Moon/Teacher Notes

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Teacher's Notes

Session 2

The title of this session comes from the HBO series fronted by Tom Hanks made in the years following the Apollo 13 movie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_the_Earth_to_the_Moon_(TV_miniseries). The main aim here is to tell the story of how, why and when people last walked on the Moon.

  • The Moon has always been an important mysterious light in the nights sky
  • Many myths and historical events are linked to the sky, Moon and stars
- Stonehenge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge
- Egyptian pyramids laid out in the pattern of constellations (Orion): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Correlation_Theory
- Aristarchus – First heliocentric model – Eclipse calendars etc.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_of_Samos
- The Middle Ages... not much else happened – in fact a lot was forgotten... pictures are some examples of the best lunar drawings of the era.
  • Eugene Shoemaker and the first theories of crater dynamics, first planetary geologist, involved in the proof that there were many asteroid craters on the Moon – potential to be an astronaut until diagnosis with rare condition. Trained all Apollo astronauts in geology. http://en.wikipedia.org
    /wiki/Eugene_Merle_Shoemaker#Astrogeology_and_Apollo
  • Video: The speech by John F. Kennedy at Rice University in Texas, http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/jfk-space.htm
  • John F. Kennedy would die before his dream could be realised. America’s decision to go to the Moon was as much political as it was scientific. Introduce cold war dynamics.
  • Ranger 7 – First USA probe to take close up images of the Moon. Impact mission – not really a “landing” – July 1964. Rangers 1-6 either broke down before reaching the Moon or missed it entirely... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranger_program
  • Luna 9 – first soft landing on the Moon – Russian Probe. Later Luna missions would land – collect and return soil samples. The Russians would focus on this technology whilst the Americans focused on manned missions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_programme
  • Gemini program. USA series of missions to test all technologies needed for a moon shot. Video - Following on from the mercury program with Alan Shepherd becoming the first American in space – Gemini was a great success paving the way for Apollo.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Mercury
- Got to within 16km of the surface of the moon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_10
  • Apollo 11 – Landed and Video – Apollo 11 landing on the Moon
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_11
- Played golf on the moon using a makeshift club
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_14
- US public starting to lose interest
  • Apollo 15
- Longer stay on the moon than before – Lunar rover used
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_15
- First scientist on the moon (Schmitt)
- First night launch
- Last mission (USA had beaten the Russians and so little political will remained for huge costs.)
- Schmitt last man on the moon.
- 3D picture – works with red and Green Gels http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_17
  • Video is of Apollo 17 leaving the surface. Had to be controlled remotely and with a 4 second time lag from Huston. Video – Apollo 17 leaving the Moon
  • Moon Map – Green Triangles are Apollo landings
- Reds and Yellows are unmanned probes.
- Apollo near equator to aid take-off due to angular momentum.
  • The Future – Potential for mars? Eden project... Mars 500 program. Technical challenges etc. Video – Barak Obama Cancels a return to the Moon

Useful cloudy weather applications