snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Science

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17 January 2013, 05:35 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,702
Blow Your Top Locked out of the lunar lander

Comment: WiseGeek.com sends out emails with interesting factoids. This
one was so silly I had to check with your records. I couldn't find
reference to it, so here goes:

The WiseGeek email I received:

*****************
From: wiseGEEK
Subject: Apollo 11's lunar lander, the Eagle, had no outer door handle
Date: Jan 16, 2013 2:42 AM
Apollo 11's lunar lander, the Eagle, had no outer door handle, so Buzz
Aldrin had to make sure not to lock the door.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-...nar-lander.htm
*****************

Checking the link they included in the email, I find this:

*****************
The Eagle lunar lander was the first spacecraft to take humans to the
surface of the Earth's moon, doing so during the Apollo 11 mission. The
Eagle carried astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.,
who were the first men to set foot on the moon. The lunar lander did not
have a handle on the outside of the door, so Aldrin had to remember to not
lock it on his way out.
*************

I hope you are laughing at this point, because I was... Why would the door
have a lock? A latch perhaps, but a LOCK? And why would it only
lock/latch on the inside? Oh so many questions to disprove their point.

After I checked your page, I Googled the topic, and found a long string of
references to this 'missing handle' story, from 2009 to 2012.

The first legitimate source I could find to try corroborating the story
was at http://www.hq.nasa.gov

I couldn't find any indication that NASA actually owned this page, but the
data shown is clearly factual - descriptions, technical specs, links to
later photos, etc.

This web site clearly showed there WAS an outer handle, and the door COULD
be opened from the outside. The WiseGeek myth apparently arose from
Aldrich & Armstrong joking about not locking the door, similar to a "Did
you bring the keys with you?" joke.

The relavent dialog was in the transcript at
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11.step.html:

*************
109:39:57 Armstrong: Okay. Your PLSS looks like it is clearing okay. Your
toes are about to come over the sill. Okay. (Pause) Now drop your PLSS
down. There you go; you're clear. And laterally you're good. You've got an
inch clearance on top of your PLSS.

109:40:18 Aldrin: Okay. You need a little bit of arching of the back to
come down. (Garbled) How far are my feet from the edge?

109:40:27 Armstrong: Okay. You're right at the edge of the porch.

109:40:30 Aldrin: Okay. Back in (garbled) (Pause) Now a little of foot
movement (garbled) porch. Little arching of the back. Helmet comes up and
clears the bulkhead without any trouble at all.

109:40:48 Armstrong: Looks good. (Long Pause)

109:41:08 McCandless: Neil, this is Houston. Based on your camera transfer
with the LEC, do you foresee any difficulties in SRC transfer? Over.

[The SRC is the Sample Return Container, the vacuum-sealed rock box. Two
SRCs are stowed in the MESA and will be lifted up to the cabin with the
LEC at the end of the EVA.]

109:41:18 Armstrong: Negative. (Pause)

109:41:28 Aldrin: Okay. Now I want to back up and partially close the
hatch. (Long Pause) Making sure not to lock it on my way out.

109:41:53 Armstrong: (Laughs) A particularly good thought.

[The hatch can be opened from the outside, if necessary. The reason for
almost closing the hatch is, I believe, to prevent radiative cooling of
the cabin. Neither Neil or Buzz remembered any specific reason.]

[Armstrong (straight-faced) - "To avoid having somebody say 'Were you born
in a barn?'"]

[Aldrin - "Now that you bring it up, what would have happened if the valve
had gotten screwed up or something and it started re-pressurizing?"]

[Armstrong - "You'd never get back in."]

[Aldrin - "Did we really ever investigate that problem? (Chuckling) It
probably would have been a good idea to use a brick or a camera to keep it
from closing. Somebody must have thought about that."]

[I recalled that the dump valve could be opened from the outside.]

[Aldrin - "We had a handle (on the outside) to unlatch it. But,
considering the difficulty we had, if you had a couple of psi (in the
cabin), you'd never get it open. (Half seriously) Well, you'd get it open,
but you'd never get the bent hatch closed again."]

[Actually, the handle is the weak point.]
**********

Unless I'm mixing up my pronouns a bit, I read those sidebar comments as
"There is an outside handle for the door. If the cabin gets pressurized,
we could get the door open, but it would damage the door, and we problem
couldn't get it to latch closed."
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17 January 2013, 06:44 PM
chillas's Avatar
chillas chillas is offline
 
Join Date: 09 September 2002
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,298
Default

Presumably if there'd been a problem they could have simply cut the cameras while a stage hand re-opened the hatch for them.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17 January 2013, 06:52 PM
Brad from Georgia's Avatar
Brad from Georgia Brad from Georgia is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2000
Location: Oakwood, GA
Posts: 12,656
Default

Times like this, a fellow needs a good old inanimate carbon rod.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17 January 2013, 06:53 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,702
Icon07

Or a rhino to stand close to.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17 January 2013, 06:56 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 7,106
Default

*But where are you going to find a rhino on the moon?

*I feel like this question should begin with "I think so, Brain..."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17 January 2013, 07:01 PM
Brad from Georgia's Avatar
Brad from Georgia Brad from Georgia is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2000
Location: Oakwood, GA
Posts: 12,656
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
*But where are you going to find a rhino on the moon?

*I feel like this question should begin with "I think so, Brain..."
Two big thumbs up for snopes and crocoduck_hunter. You've made my day, what there is of it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23 January 2013, 05:54 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 12,567
Default

I have a recollection of reading that when they decompressed the lunar module - on Apollo 11, I think -- there was enough residiual air pressure that the door did not swing open as designed. Given how flimsy the material of the LM was, however, they were able to 'peel' the door back at the corner to let the air escape, and then open the door. They certainly did not re-compress the cabin while they were outside; I suppose there might have been some source of leakage within the cabin that could have resulted in enough pressure to make it difficult to re-open the door from the outside, if it were not left open.

I don't know if the problem was corrected for later flights, but I don't recall reading of any such difficulties happening later.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26 January 2013, 01:21 AM
BrianB's Avatar
BrianB BrianB is offline
 
Join Date: 03 March 2000
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,081
Teacher

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Apollo 11's lunar lander, the Eagle, had no outer door handle, so Buzz Aldrin had to make sure not to lock the door.
From what I've found this couldn't happen so the OP is right. Here are some photos and diagrams for the Lunar Module (LM) Ascent Stage hatch:

< hijack >
Ugh. It's bad enough that all the comments are from kooks on this page but I also found this page that argues in favor of the Moon landing conspiracy hoax.
Quote:
While there is no proof that their theories are true, they point out that there is also little proof that the landing did happen apart from some photographs and rocks. This is the main reason why the idea of the Apollo Hoax still remains alive.
Um, no. The moon hoax bunk persists due to scientific ignorance and people who ignore, distort, and outright lie about evidence that's overwhelming and easy to obtain. What a horrible site!
< hijack>

Brian
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 26 January 2013, 01:31 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 7,106
Default

People who perpetuate the moon landing conspiracy should be forced to stand closer to the rhino.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26 January 2013, 02:32 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,702
Roll eyes

Quote:
While there is no proof that their theories are true, they point out that there is also little proof that the landing did happen apart from some photographs and rocks.
That and about a gazillion documents, hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings, massive amounts of stored data, and the testimony of thousands of people directly involved.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 26 January 2013, 02:37 AM
diddy's Avatar
diddy diddy is offline
 
Join Date: 07 March 2004
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 10,645
Default

[conspiracy theorist]Yea, but you can't trust NASA - they can fake all of that and intimidate witnesses! Anything coming from a government organization is suspect![/conspiracy theorist]
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 26 January 2013, 03:25 AM
Dasla's Avatar
Dasla Dasla is offline
 
Join Date: 15 April 2010
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 1,887
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianB;1707421< hijack >

Ugh. It's bad enough that all the comments are from kooks on this page but I also found [URL=http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-apollo-hoax-theory.htm
this page[/URL] that argues in favor of the Moon landing conspiracy hoax.

Um, no. The moon hoax bunk persists due to scientific ignorance and people who ignore, distort, and outright lie about evidence that's overwhelming and easy to obtain. What a horrible site!
< hijack>

Brian
Comment from the first listed page

Quote:
Anyone who still believes the Apollo missions put a man on the moon is not living in the real world. A great many investigators have exposed this. Look online. It's a great test of your ability to think critically.
yes it is and you have failed.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mentally ill and locked away for a long time snopes Medical 0 25 December 2008 05:22 PM
The Locked Door snopes Glurge Gallery 10 16 August 2007 10:42 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.