The first circumnavigation took place in the 1520s by a squadron commanded by Fernand Magellan. The heroic campaign almost ended in disaster. Of the five ships, only one was able to circumnavigate the Earth, and of the 260 crew members, only 18 returned, among which there was no longer Magellan.
First circumnavigation of the world - early 16th century. Do you want an interesting question?
In what year did the next "Around the World" trip take place?
The next attempt to repeat Magellan's achievement failed. All seven ships of Garcia Jofre de Loais disappeared into the ocean. Ten years later, only 8 sailors from de Loyas' expedition, captured by the Portuguese, were able to return to Europe.
As a result, the second, somewhat successful "round the world" was the English expedition of 1577-80. under the command of the navigator and pirate Sir Francis Drake. Half a century after Magellan! Again, the voyage was not without losses. Of the six ships of Drake's squad, only one came back - the flagship Pelican, renamed the Golden Hind.
Despite the appearance of maps, new devices and technologies, round-the-world expeditions remained a deadly exotic for a long time. And their participants deservedly received laurels of glory. Like, for example, the navigator and discoverer James Cook, although this was already the 18th century. By the way, Cook's expedition was remembered by the fact that for the first time in a round-the-world voyage, none of the sailors died of scurvy …
The moon from heaven, cosmic frost, brings its cold light to the earth
Why did the topic of space flights begin with the expeditions of the 16th-18th centuries? Where is the connection between Lieutenant Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11) and Adelantado Magellan (Trinidad)?
Indeed, Armstrong was in much more favorable conditions than the Portuguese.
Armstrong knew exactly the route and had an idea of everything that could meet him on the way. Before him, the automatic stations Surveyer-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7 landed on the moon (five successful landings, two crashed). "Inspectors" conducted reconnaissance of future landing sites, transmitted panoramas of the lunar surface and data on soil density. The sixth Surveyor had a more complex program: after working in one place, he turned on the engine and flew to another section.
By the way, did you notice the Armstrong ship number? Why "11"? What happened to the previous 10 Apollo?
Apollo 8, 9 and 10 (Commanders Borman, McDivith, Stafford) - Rehearsals for the landing. The eighth "Apollo" made a manned flyby of the Moon and testing the entry into the Earth's atmosphere at a second cosmic speed. Ninth - undocking and rebuilding of compartments in open space. Apollo-10 - dress rehearsal, with entering the lunar orbit, rebuilding the compartments, maneuvering and lowering the module to an altitude of 14 km above the lunar surface (without landing).
The rest of the "Apollo" - three unmanned and one manned space flight with a comprehensive test of the spacecraft and the "Saturn-V" launch vehicle in Earth orbit. Plus the unnamed launch of AS-203 and the tragic Apollo 1 with the deaths of astronauts in training. Apart from two dozen other flights under the Apollo program, during which various elements of the upcoming landing were tested.
All that was left for Neil Armstrong was to complete the work he had begun and "lunar" his module in the Sea of Tranquility. All other phases of the flight have been tested and studied thoroughly many times.
The Soviet lunar program moved in a similar way. Continuous testing cycle of equipment, spacecraft, spacesuits and launch vehicle - on the ground and in space. Six soft landings of automatic lunar stations, incl. with rovers-lunar rovers and takeoff from the lunar surface (delivery of soil samples to Earth). 14 launches under the secret Probe program, during which four spacecraft (unmanned versions of Soyuz, 7K-L1) successfully flew around the Moon and returned to Earth. And behind the secret indexes "Kosmos-379", "Kosmos-398" and "Kosmos-434" were hidden tests of the lunar module and a cycle of maneuvers in orbit.
Returning to the comparison of Apollo with the pioneers of the 16th century. Unlike Magellan, who was leaving for the unknown, Armstrong had a stable connection with the Earth. Where did I get all the necessary calculations, advice and instructions in case of failure of any equipment.
Even in the cramped conditions, the spacecraft provided far superior comfort and food standards on board than the 16th century Portuguese karakkas. Rotten corned beef, poisoned water, rats, dysentery and scurvy. Lieutenant Armstrong didn't have to worry about anything like that.
Along the way, no one expressed hostile intentions to Armstrong, his crew, consisting of Aldrin and Collins, did not arrange mutinies, and the absence of an atmosphere on the Moon simplified maneuvering and excluded the danger of storms and storms - from which the navigators of the past suffered so much.
This is probably why the Apollo lunar expeditions ended with almost no losses, not counting the explosion of the tank in the Apollo 13 service compartment, due to which the crew could not land on the surface (manned flight around the Moon in emergency mode).
Such "tin" as in the 16th century - when only one of five ships returned (or no one returned!), Was no longer observed.
But the expeditions of Armstrong and Magellan were united by one main feature. This is an unjustified risk. Ultimately, all the achievements and dividends from these expeditions turned out to be far beyond the real benefit (there was no talk of immediate commercial success). In the first case - the shaky international prestige, in the second - the search for a western passage to India.
Realizing this, European sailors "froze" attempts to repeat Fernand Magellan's "circumnavigation" for 50 years. And then, for another couple of centuries, they were not particularly eager to go there. Although less hazardous and cost effective flights to India and America were an instant success.
Here again a brilliant analogy with the cosmos arises. No one flies to the moon, but manned and unmanned launches follow one another. There is an operating space station, orbits filled with civilian and military satellites.
We see a temporary refusal to repeat expeditions that are too distant, dangerous, but at the same time devoid of practical sense. Until better times … Probably, this is the answer to the question of why neither we nor the Americans are striving for the moon yet.
Any mention of Neil Armstrong provokes a powerful reaction among supporters and opponents of "Americans on the Moon".
As we can see, the explanation “since they don’t fly today, it means they have never flown” can only make Fernand Magellan laugh. As for all sorts of technical points, the more you delve into the topic, there are less and less doubts about the intellectual level of those who doubt the landing of Armstrong on the moon.
Let us leave the discussion of the "waving flag" on the conscience of housewives. We have more serious aspects on our agenda.
1. None of the Soviet scientists and cosmonauts ever denied the reality of landing on the moon. Not privately not even in the face of the almighty USSR. Who, if he knew something, he would not have missed such a chance and rubbed America into powder. And he would have found out quickly - with his all-knowing KGB, reconnaissance satellites and espionage capabilities!
2. Launch of the 3000-ton "Saturn" in front of the entire Florida and thousands of tourists who specially arrived that day at Cape Canaveral. And so - thirteen times in a row!
3. Scientific equipment and seismographs transmitting data from the Moon for seven years, which were received both in the USA and in the USSR.
4. Laser reflectors that are still there. With their help, any observatory can measure the exact distance to the moon. They were, of course, spread out on the moon by American robots.
5. A similar Soviet lunar program … which did not exist?
6. There was no docking of the Soyuz with the American Apollo, July 15, 1975. After all, it is obvious that the heavy ship Apollo did not exist, and the memories of A. Leonov and V. Kubasov (participants in the Soyuz-Apollo mission) are fiction.
7. High-resolution images of the Apollo landing sites by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), 2009. Of course, this is all Photoshop, much more reliable is the "news agency" OBS.
8. Under the pressure of irrefutable evidence, skeptics are ready to admit the possibility of any stage of the expedition (the existence of a 30-ton Apollo spacecraft, numerous Saturn launches, orbiting the Moon), except for the landing itself. For them it is like a sickle in an important place. From the point of view of a typical supporter of the "lunar conspiracy", the lunar landing is the most difficult and incredible moment. They are not confused by the abundance of personnel with piloting aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (Yak-38, Sea Harrier, F-35B). Maritime pilots miraculously land fighters on the swinging decks of ships. At night, in the rain, in the fog, fending off sharp gusts of side wind.
Despite all their training, Armstrong and Aldrin couldn't do it together.
9. In conditions of low gravity, the engine of the lunar "Eagle" barely hissed - its max. the thrust was 4.5 tons, and it was enough for his eyes. Against 10 tons for the engines of the deck "Yak" and 19 tons for the roaring monster F-35. Four times more powerful than the lunar landing stage!
10. Cosmic rays and "death belts" for some reason spared the living creatures on board the domestic "Probes". They flew around the moon and returned safely to Earth. Deadly radiation does not destroy fragile electronics aboard robotic stations that have been flying in outer space for decades. Without any lead shielding, 1 meter thick.
No one argues with the danger of being in space for a long time, but a week is too short a time for dangerous changes in the body to begin.
As for the 40-year hiatus in lunar exploration, we are dealing with a recurring history. Humanity, represented by individual heroes, makes a leap with the sole purpose of proving to itself: "YES, WE CAN!" This is followed by a long waiting period (decades, centuries). Until technologies appear that will make it possible to make such trips without a significant threat to life. Or, at least, the need for such expeditions for the needs of the economy and defense will be indicated.