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    Apollo and the Van Allen Belts


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    Apollo and the Van Allen Belts

    Post  TRANCOSO on Thu May 14, 2015 12:57 am

    An intriguing paper on the 'Apollo was hoaxed' hypothesis.

    Apollo and the Van Allen Belts - an estimate of the radiation dose received
    Robert A. Braeunig
    © September-2014

    During the period 1968-1972, the United States sent nine manned missions, named Apollo, to the Moon. These missions remain the only flights in history to send human beings beyond low Earth orbit. To reach the Moon, these spacecraft had to pass through regions of intense ionizing radiation called the Van Allen radiation belts (VARB). The VARB are named after American space scientist Dr. James A. Van Allen (1914-2006), who designed the experiment that first detected them in 1958.

    Because radiation is a scary word to those who really don't know much about it, the VARB are often targeted by conspiracy theorists who claim the Apollo lunar missions were nothing but a colossal hoax. They say the VARB are an impenetrable barrier deadly to any spacefarer who attempts to traverse them. The truth is much different and more complex. Whether or not the VARB are impassable is a problem with a calculable solution. In this article I will endeavor to solve the radiation problem by producing an estimate of the radiation dose received by the Apollo astronauts. Only then can we see the truth in uncertain terms.

    This page is a companion to my previous article, Apollo 11's Translunar Trajectory (and how they avoided the heart of the radiation belts), in which I computed the trajectories that the Apollo 11 mission flew to and from the Moon. This gives us knowledge of the exact time and location of Apollo 11 within the VARB, allowing determination of the radiation levels to which the spacecraft was subjected during its passage through this region. Although Apollo 11 will be our test subject, it should be understood that all the Apollo missions flew similar trajectories. We can therefore consider Apollo 11 representative of all lunar flights.


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