Re: [dsat] Re: record-breaking human achievement

From: Björn Gimle (
Date: Sat Apr 10 2004 - 06:09:38 EDT

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    I came across a very beautiful book on the Apollo missions. In addition to
    the exquisite photographs, there was a table of start and retun dates etc.
    I used the middle dates for each mission in SkyMap to find the distance
    to Mars - only for Apollo 15 in 1971, July 26-Aug 07 it was close enough
    for a more accurate calculation.
    Mars was getting closer to opposition, and the Moon was approaching a
    conjunction with Mars (on Aug 7) during the mission.
    At the 2003 opposition Earth-Mars distance was 0.3728 AU
    At no other Apollo mission it was less than 0.5 AU
    On 1971 Jul.28 it was 0.3906, Aug.1 0.3836, Aug.5 0.3791, Aug.8 0.3768
    Moon was 0.0024 AU closer to Mars at conjunction, which was not close enough
    for another record.
    From ISS, the minimum distance was 0.372756 AU
    On Aug.9 1971 the Moon-Mars distance was just 250000 km longer than the
    ISS-Mars distance at last opposition.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Björn Gimle"
    Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 10:03 PM
    Subject: [dsat] Re: record-breaking human achievement
    > It is not necessary, like in some replies, to use a program specifically
    > built for these computations, and/or providing 9+ digits accuracy for the
    > absolute distance.
    > I don't have the data for Apollo missions, ...
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > > It occurs to me that tomorrow, August 27th, some human may have a
    > > chance to pass closer to Mars than anyone else in recorded history.
    > > This could be someone at or near the sub-Martian point or someone
    > > on ISS.
    > > According to a very quick calculation based on a recent elset, this
    > > last might occur at about 2003-08-27 1005 UT.  Or possibly some
    > > astronaut on a previous mission, especially an Apollo mission.
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