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Observing Apollo Saturn V Remains?

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#1 ssandusky

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 12:38 PM

I heard somewhere that there are still parts from the Saturn V stages still left up in space. Is this true and are they large enough to be observed?

#2 David Knisely

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 01:14 PM

I heard somewhere that there are still parts from the Saturn V stages still left up in space. Is this true and are they large enough to be observed?


No, the stages have either fallen back to Earth, hit the moon, or are in solar orbit, so they aren't generally visible (except maybe at a space museum). A few years ago, a near earth object was detected that turned out to be the 3rd stage of Apollo 12 as it temporarily returned to the vicinity of Earth for a short period of time, but it has been lost again. Clear skies to you.

#3 ssandusky

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 05:12 PM

Thanks for the cool information about Apollo 12! I guess that one will be for future space archeologists to explore. :-)

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#4 Achernar

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:51 PM

David's correct, they are all either at the bottom of the ocean, drifting in solar orbit, have struck the moon or are sitting in museums. None of them can be seen in amatuer telescopes, not even that Apollo 12 S-IVB third stage that passed us and was at first mistaken for a small asteroid.

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#5 *skyguy*

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:57 AM

A few years ago, a near earth object was detected that turned out to be the 3rd stage of Apollo 12 as it temporarily returned to the vicinity of Earth for a short period of time, but it has been lost again.


Here's an informative news article from MIT about the 2002 visual recovery of the S-IVB rocket stage from the Apollo 12 moon mission:

http://web.mit.edu/n...002/apollo.html

#6 ssandusky

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:19 PM

Great article, thank you for the link!

#7 Starhawk

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:33 PM

I did the math once for what it would take to see an apollo site on the moon. You'd need an 80 meter diameter telescope.

-Rich






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