[amsat-bb] Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments.

john heath g7hia at btinternet.com
Fri Dec 8 14:41:55 PST 2006

Hi Guys,

Jason N1XBP raises an interesting question, did any non governmental organisation or amateur observer capture any transmissions from the ALSEP experimental packages which several Apollo missions took to the moon. I believe they used S band, pretty exotic for hams in the 1970's I guess.

The snip below ABOUT alsepwas taken from from "answers.com" and was referenced back to Wikipedia

The instruments were designed to run autonomously after the astronauts left and to make long term studies of the lunar environment. They were arrayed around a central station which supplied power generated by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to run the instruments and communications so data collected by the experiments could be relayed to Earth. The central station was a 25 kg box with a stowed volume of 34,800 cubic cm. Thermal control was achieved by passive elements (insulation, reflectors, thermal coatings) as well as power dissipation resistors and heaters. Communications with Earth were achieved through a 58 cm long, 3.8 cm diameter modified axial-helical antenna mounted on top of the central station and pointed towards Earth by the astronauts. Transmitters, receivers, data processors and multiplexers were housed within the central station. Data collected from the instruments were converted into a telemetry format and transmitted to Earth.

The ALSEP system and instruments were controlled by commands from Earth. The stations ran from deployment until they were turned off on 30 September 1977 due to budgetary considerations.


John G7HIA

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