Small-Scale Landing Hazards
Every Apollo mission had to fly around a bit
to select a good landing site. Every bit of the lunar surface is heavily
cratered; the little ones don't show up well in most of the photos because
of the lighting and film limitations. It's very likely the piloting
computer's aim point will take you into a spot where you'd rather not
On Apollo 11 specifically, Neil Armstrong said he had to fly over a
large, uneven crater that had some nasty-looking boulders around its rim.
Mountains along the approach path are an even worse hazard to the
landing because the approach trajectory is really shallow until you get to
the last couple hundred feet.
We'll probably have to design for very uneven terrain. You might have
noticed in the cartoons I've done for the reference mission I put rather
large struts on the landing gear, and broad footpads. We'll want to be
able to level the lunar base once we're down, and that might require quite
a bit of travel in the landing gear.
We are considering landing a little camera with a homing beacon to do
the final site selection in the general area it lands. If we can produce
several of these things, we can get some neat pictures and direct our
spacecraft to a nice landing site as well. With a homing beacon to fix the
touchdown point, we only need one little flat spot with a clear path along
the approach and departure paths; the rest can be as lumpy as it can
Copyright © 2007 Artemis Society International, for the
contributors. All rights reserved.
This web site contains many trade names and copyrighted articles and images.
Submit update to this page.
Maintained with WebSite Director.
Updated Fri, Jul 18, 1997.