It’s almost always a fantastic idea to do a genuine dry run before doing something enormous. Just like, you’re not planning to try and bust out your full interpretive-dance karaoke of Radar Love without wanting it out in front of the mirror first, right? Of course not. Exactly the same was true for NASA and the Apollo moon landings. Even the Apollo 10 mission did nearly everything the real Apollo 11 lunar landing did–except property in the moon. The lunar lander, named Snoopy after the noted cartoon beagle, was jettisoned into space after the mission and presumed lost, but a group of astronomers think they will have found it.
It’s in fact the ascent module of this lunar lander that has seemingly been finally found. You notice, Apollo 10 was a sort of dress rehearsal for Apollo 11, so they really used and did everything that would be employed on the true planned lunar landing mission.
The control module, also named Charlie Brown, undocked by Snoopy, the lunar lander, that culminated into your maddeningly-close 8 or so miles away from the surface of the moon. Next, they had to model the launch of the lunar module ascent module (the pressurized team area in addition to the landing legs) so that it warms and launched to rendezvous with the control module, by which the two astronauts inside could rejoin the 1 astronaut waiting to them from the control module.
Next, the now-empty Snoopy lunar ascent module has been jettisoned into a heliocentric (you know, across sunlight, like us) orbit. All other Apollo lunar module ascent stages were either deliberately crashed into the moon or allowed to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, making the Apollo 10 module the only surviving actually-used Apollo lunar ascent module, and even the only real once-manned, now-empty American space craft left space.
So, as you may see right now, Snoopy there has lots of historic significance, and finding it will be quite a big deal–particularly when some one figured out a way to safely retrieve it.
The hunt for Snoopy, that has been going on since 2011, is headed by Nick Howes, a fellow at the Royal Astronomical Society, also he’s quick to point out that they’re not 100% certain they’ve found it:
The thing that Nick and his group are 98 to 99 percent sure is the module will not be arriving close to Earth to completely validate for another 18 years, and while Nick has implied that possibly Elon Musk could deliver a Drag on capsule to go retrieve it, he does acknowledge that Doing This wouldn’t actually be for almost any hard scientific reasons:
Finding Snoopy was incredibly difficult; it’s relatively tiny, and has been in orbit for over 42 years. The likelihood of locating the space craft were computed in being approximately 235 million into at least one. And somehow, they think they will have done it.
Still another interesting tid bit about the Apollo 10 mission: while the reason is contested by various sources, the landing module has been delivered with a smaller volume of fuel than the real Apollo 11 lunar lander.
Even if it failed to land on the moon, Apollo 10 put some big records: speediest aviation flight (24,790 MPH, which is 0.0037 percentage of lightspeed), and the weakest people were from Earth, 254,110 miles.