Certificate of Registration Media number Эл #ФС77-53688 of 17 April 2013. ISSN 2308-6033. DOI 10.18698/2308-6033
  • Русский
  • Английский

Ballistic evaluation of the Apollo missions to the Moon

Published: 15.12.2022

Authors: Kazakov G.V., Ponomarev S.A., Seleznev K.V.

Published in issue: #12(132)/2022

DOI: 10.18698/2308-6033-2022-12-2239

Category: Scientific Conferences

Materials from the US sources on the Apollo program were considered, and the presented data were evaluated from the point of view of external ballistics equations, flights of spacecraft to the Moon and their return to the Earth. The evaluation made it possible to determine inconsistency of the data (mass characteristics) in different documents relating to one object in the Apollo 11 mission. Inconsistencies were also found in the ballistic schemes for launching into the departure trajectory to the Moon, mooning, undocking and docking in the lunar orbit, braking maneuver to enter the lunar orbit, acceleration maneuver for returning to the Earth and braking maneuver for landing on the Earth’s surface. Analysis of the lunar missions’ documents formed the basis to ask questions that were not previously raised in such a formulation, and no answers were given to them. In particular, significant discrepancies in the initial data were found in the official documents on the US lunar missions. Reference orbit altitude before the second activation of the Saturn-5 3rd stage, the first space velocity at the Florida peninsula inclination and the second space velocity seem to be strange. Significant doubts are caused by acceleration schedule, projection of the flight path to the Earth and remoteness of the first stage impact area from the launch pad. In terms of the F-1 engines of the Saturn-5 launch vehicle first stage, thrust indicators of one engine and the total thrust of the first stage are not consistent. A conclusion is made that at present it is almost impossible to put into practice some of the maneuvers demonstrated in the US documents.

[1] Heiken G., Jones E.M. On the Moon: The Apollo Journals. 1st ed. Springer Praxis Books Publ., 2007, 498 p.
[2] Chaikin A.L. A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts. Penguin Publ., 2007, 720 p.
[3] Golovanov Y. Pravda o programme “APOLLO” [Truth about the APOLLO program]. Moscow, Yauza Publ., 2000, 57 p.
[4] Feodosyev V.I. Osnovy tekhniki raketnogo poleta [Fundamentals of rocket flight technology]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1979, 496 p.
[5] Shuneiko I. Pilotiruemye polety na Lunu, konstruktsiya i kharakteristiki Saturn V Apollo [Manned flights to the Moon, design and characteristics of Saturn V Apollo]. In: Raketostroenie (Itogi nauki i tekhniki) [Rocket Engineering (Results of Science and Technology)]. Vol. 3. Moscow, State Committee for Science and Technology of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, 1973.
[6] Pervushin A. Pochemu amerikantsy tochno byli na Lune [Why the Americans were definitely on the Moon]. Available at: (accessed January 15, 2022).
[7] Shubin P.S. Programma “Apollon” v sekretnykh sovetskikh dokumentakh [Apollo program in secret Soviet documents]. Moscow, Golos-Press Publ., 2020, 112 p.
[8] Ivanov I. Fakty slezheniya za programmoy “Apollon” [Facts of tracking the Apollo program]. Available at: (accessed January 15, 2022).
[9] Kudryavets A. O proze zhizni v missiyakh “Apollo” [About the prose of life in the Apollo missions]. Available at: (accessed January 15, 2022).
[10] Zotiev D.B. Amerikantsy byli na Lune. Kritika lunnoy konspirologii [The Americans were on the Moon. Criticism of lunar conspiracy]. Available at: (accessed January 15, 2022).
[11] Saturn V launch vehicle flight evaluation report-AS-506 Apollo 11 MISSION (NASA-ТМ-X-62558) MPR-SAT-FE-69-9, September 20, 1969. George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. Houston, 1969.
[12] Mission operation report Apollo 11 (AS-506) MISSION Report N M-932-69-11. Apollo Program Office — MAO, 1969.
[13] Apollo 11 Mission (AS-506) Post Launch Mission Report M-932-69-11. N.A.A.S. Administration. Available at: (accessed January 15, 2022).
[14] Apollo 11 lunar landing mission July 6, 1969. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Washington, D.C. 20546, 1969.
[15] Apollo 11 mission report MSC-00171. N.A.A.S. Administration. Available at: (accessed January 15, 2022).