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The race to the moon left what breakthroughs helped the human life?

Fifty years ago, it seemed that the race to bring people to the moon was just a show of prestige, showing the ability of the two American and Soviet powers. But in fact, many of the technologies that brothers are familiar with, used every day now have its roots in that race, with Neil Armstrong's first steps on the half-century moon. before.

You may not believe it, but the weather forecast technology, GPS or the smartphone you are using to read this article has all originated from the Apollo missions that NASA carried out in the 60s and 70s of the century. XX.


The cosmic era began right on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched its orbit on Sputnik 1. They were the first to optimize the technology taken from Fascist experts when they distributed World War 2 V-2 long-distance missile development. Since then, the race has been extremely intense. On January 4, 1959, Luna 1 overcame Earth's gravity to fly over the moon. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel in the inner space while Vostok 1. By July 10, 1962, Telstar satellite began broadcasting live television at the same time to the people. America and Europe:

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Americans themselves also have a campaign to "rescue" German scientists, called Operation Paperclip, to bring more than 1,600 German engineers, scientists and experts to the United States. The same Russian campaign, Operation Osoaviakhim, brought more than 2,000 scientists who worked for the Nazis to the Soviet Union. The result of the campaign was that people like Wernher von Braun helped develop the F-1 engine in the Saturn V rocket to bring three astronauts to the moon. On average, this rocket propelled 12.9 tons of fuel per second, and lost 2,800 tons of fuel to bring the spacecraft beyond the impact of gravity.

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So far, the Saturn V is still the most complicated and expensive rocket that people have ever created. In 1969, Saturn V production cost was 185 million USD, including inflation of more than 1 billion USD in 2019.

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Elon Musk's full Falcon Falcon is only about $ 90 million. The fact that missiles are extensively studied, reduced costs and increased efficiency is a way to bring satellites, astronauts, spacecraft and space stations out into space, thereby creating information and deploying research that helps the earth from outside the universe.

Artificial satellite

The task of creating rockets with enough thrust to bring people to the moon has helped scientists and engineers create rockets capable of bringing people to a height of 34 thousand to 36,000 km compared to the earth surface. At this height, the movement speed of artificial satellites begins to catch up with the speed of rotation around the earth's axis, so that it can "stand still" in a fixed position compared to the ground. These satellites are then responsible for communicating, providing internet signals, allowing satellite calling and television broadcasting.

As of early 2019, there were 4,987 satellites orbiting the earth. Of the active satellites, about 40% of satellites are in communication, 36% of earth observations serve the purpose of weather forecasting and other tasks, 11% are for research, and 7 % used to be a GPS navigation system. All of them are helping people, one way or another.

Technology to shrink the device

Not only 50 years ago, but even now, space missions also require the smallest possible weights and sizes, because the cost of putting 1 kg of equipment on the dance The pillar is very expensive, pristine about $ 22,000, because earlier there was NASA's estimate, every pound of luggage brought to space costs $ 10,000. Therefore, everything must be scaled down. Even the ship's wall covered the moon was only as thick as two sheets of paper.

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From the late 40s to the end of the 60s, the weight and power consumption of electronic devices decreased significantly. The system calculates 30 tons of Electric Numerical Integrator and Computer, consuming 160 kilowatts of electricity. And the computer Raytheon produced to guide Apollo 11 onto the moon weighs only 32 pounds, consuming 70W of electricity as you see in the picture below. Our iPhone today weighs just over 100g, and is about 120 million times more powerful than a 2 MHz processor 50 years ago. Yet that computer brought people to the moon.

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Only those two comparisons, I believe it is enough for you to realize how far the human technology has gone. The need to shrink devices for space missions inadvertently also helps the technology on earth create smaller devices, consume less power but have higher performance. And now do you think there is a profession that does not need very powerful help from computers?

Ground relay system

Communicating with spacecraft to solve the problems that arise and taking missions for astronauts is just as important as studying to create rockets that bring them out of the world. The Apollo 11 mission in 1969 created another breakthrough, the Deep Space Network broadcasting system scattered throughout the world, allowing NASA to sit in Houston to communicate seamlessly with astronauts. out of space. This relay station system is designed so that the spacecraft can always be within the wave range of an earth station.

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The spacecraft itself is inherently low in energy, so giant pan antennas are built on the earth to simulate "ears" that hear the weakest signals, and to transmit messages. messages with the strongest possible wave intensity for astronauts. The Deep Space Network itself also helps Americans direct Neil Armstrong images to the moon. This same system helped Apollo 13 return home safely after having a problem with the oxygen tank on the module server. They had to shut down all the computer systems on board to save energy, and wait for the order to fire the remaining fuel to return to earth.

Many tasks use the Deep Space Network system to communicate, explore the solar system and even more.

"Looking down from above"

You may not believe it, but going to space, looking back at our green planet is the best way to make the earth's research budget rise, dealing with risks in the near future. In August 1959, Explorer VI's unmanned satellite captured the first picture of the earth from outer space to study the atmosphere, preparing for the Apollo mission.

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Nearly a decade later, Apollo 8 astronauts took a historic picture from the moon, named "Earthrise". This image helps people understand more about the green planet, thereby raising awareness about environmental protection.

Since then, many images of the earth have been taken from the universe. View from outer space helps people move more easily and safely. From a US naval satellite system used to track the position of the Polaris submarine within a radius of 185 meters, it has now become a system of hundreds of satellites to guide people. This system you know with the name GPS.

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Also from outer space, Landsat satellites capture images to determine agricultural quality, locate oil fields, study marine algae in large coasts. Others are used to study forest cover, help locate and stop terrible forest fires, as well as research on climate change. If we don't go out into space, we won't be able to understand the whole earth. And maybe even we can prevent the Earth from warming up thanks to fuel technology itself, which helps Apollo 11 reach the moon, by studying cleaner renewable energies.

These are just a few breakthroughs that will benefit people's lives, and only half a century after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, we can understand it thoroughly. Do not know after landing on Mars, 50 years after humans will progress to how?


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