According to researcher James Medor of the University of California, California Institute of Technology, the take-off module of the Apollo 11 lunar ferry could still orbit the moon. MIDOR conducted its simulations several times using various parameters, taking into account, for example, the gravitational field from the Sun or other planets, as well as radiation from the Sun.
According to Meador uploading to the arXiv server, an online repository of scientific research, he found evidence of this in his research, reading PhysOrg Scientific Publication Portal.
NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin successfully landed on the moon in 1969. After spending more than 21 hours on the surface, they boarded again with the launch module (AS) that is part of the Eagle Moon Ferry. They quickly called the command unit, which brought them back to Earth. Before their return, the take-off module was launched into space.
NASA engineers assumed it would return to the lunar surface over time.
However, Medor reports that this did not happen and that AS is still in fact revolving around the celestial body.
At the beginning of his investigations, the expert wanted to know if it was possible to find the take-off module that he assumed was on the surface of the moon.In 2012, NASA sent a space probe into orbit around the Moon as part of the GRAIL project to map the gravitational field of a celestial body. MIDOR considered that the location of the AS arrival on the Moon could be determined by NASA’s General Mission Analysis tool (General task analysis tool) to track the path of a spacecraft around the planets or moons, knowing their gravitational field.
MIDOR conducted its simulations several times using various parameters, taking into account, for example, the gravitational field from the Sun or other planets, as well as radiation from the Sun.
The researcher acknowledges that other factors may have led to the destruction of the take-off module, such as residual fuel that could explode during landing, thus altering its trajectory.
He added that if NASA decides to locate the AS, the technology to do so will be available if it is already orbiting the moon.
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