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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Were the Americans on the moon, the sequel: the gun went on


Known teleobservation Alexei Pushkov makes, in my opinion, a sensible political reporting, but it shows a flippant attitude to science. It bothers me more than the question of whether Americans on the moon. Alexey Pushkov, member of the State Duma, the representative of the political elite. I see here a common root with the disrespectful attitude of this part of society to science, including to the national academic science.

In my previous article in the “MK” 16 Dec 2017 I talked about the fact that the evidence of stay of the American astronauts on the moon are not the body and photos, which can be possible to falsify, and samples of lunar rocks. The study of these samples collected and brought back by astronauts on the six expeditions “Apollo” in the 1969-1972 years, helped to obtain unique scientific results.

Now Pushkov goes on. He said that samples were not. And if there were, then, maybe, they, like us, did an automatic selection of the surface soil (regolith), and gave it for the use of the moon man.

Let’s not talk about that such an adventure had to be involved tens of thousands of people — including engineers, designers, a whole army of workers of all ranks serving space launches, and scientists — secret that fake study materials.

There are pictures of some lunar rocks, published in a special issue of the journal Science. Delivered the samples were put on display. Not only Americans, but also other major world laboratory almost immediately got the samples delivered the first expedition “Apollo-11”. One of the first specimen of the breed “Apollo-11” largest Australian geochemist-Petrology Ross Taylor. He was the first established by analyzing samples taken that moon rocks are surprisingly enriched with titanium (Ti) and other elements with high melting point. This is what I wrote in the first article in the “MK”. At the same time, the lunar rocks consist of the same set of minerals that the earth’s rocks. These data Taylor presented on the first lunar conference 1970. But the newspaper in October 1969, less than 3 months after landing on the moon, wrote about this discovery. In this regard, Harold Urey, the Nobel laureate who received the prize for his discovery of the hydrogen isotope — deuterium, said: “Then I should reconsider my position”. He was the author of a well-known book “the origin of the moon and planets,” in which he expounded the hypothesis that the Moon is a foreign body captured into orbit around the Earth. This is not consistent with the received data of “Apollo-11”. And he recognized it immediately. Outstanding English geophysicist S. Runcorn with seven co-sponsors in January 1970, presented to publish an article about the magnetic properties of a 17-gram sample of breccia (10084-135) and 11-gram sample of crystalline igneous rocks (10017-64). Japanese scientists I. Kushiro and Y. Nakamura in September 1970, submitted for publication an article in which they give a petrological description of the four crystalline rocks collection “Apollo-11”. John. Eglinton, John. Hayes, K., Pillinger with co-authors from the University of Bristol (UK) has made analysis of fine-grained organic material from the samples of “Apollo 11”.

I knew very well. They have already passed away. John Hayes, who later moved to the United States, died last year. This was the first analysis of organic matter of the moon. They showed the absence in the material of the moon of organic compounds, at least in the range of 5 parts per million. By the way, this analysis could not be implemented in the automatically selected samples of the lunar soil at the landing site has been polluted by exhaust gases of the landing brake engines. This I know from personal experience of studying regolith, delivered by the automatic station “Luna-16”.

Note that some types of studies are needed on larger samples. This applies, for example, to petrological research that describes texture and mineral composition of the rock I have mentioned. To an even greater extent it relates to the determination of absolute age of rocks. After delivery of the samples of “Apollo 11” for the first time, it was found that on the moon there are rocks older about four and a half billion years. This is the age close to the time of beginning of Earth and the moon. On Earth, these ancient rocks are not preserved. They are all processed in the subsequent geological history. That’s why so valuable to geologists studying the moon. Studying the moon allows us to reconstruct the events of the first 500 million years of Earth history.

In total, according to NASA, in the vault directory listed 140 000 samples were prepared from the material of the rocks and soil brought by the expeditions of Apollo in 1969-1972 years, of which 26 000 were provided for research, exhibitions and educational purposes in different countries, including USA, Australia, Germany, UK, South Africa, Japan, Italy, France, Belgium and many other countries.

As for us, in accordance with the Intergovernmental agreement there was an exchange of lunar samples. From our side, “Luna — 16, -20, -24”, American — “Apollo-11, -12, -14, -15, -16 and -17”. Exchanged literally pinches 3-5 g of regolith. The condition was equivalent exchange: we took from them as much as gave themselves. And it was not theirs, and our condition. Therefore, large samples of rocks, which are at the disposal of NASA, we have, of course, was not. Some of the American samples were investigated. For example, K. P. Florensky with the staff compared the optical characteristics of regolith from Mare fecunditatis (“Luna-16”), the sea of Tranquility (“Apollo 11”) and ocean Storms (“Apollo-12”). M. S. Chupakhin I. D. Revaleskin investigated using spark mass spectrometry on the device the MX-3301 chemical composition of samples of lunar missions “Apollo-11 and Apollo-12”. They, in particular, confirmed the high contents of TiO2 (up to 7.3 and 7.5%) in the samples of “Apollo-11” installed and previously published American and Australian scientists. These works belong to the period of the first national studies of the lunar soil. Later, the American lunar soil was transferred to study in different institutions — for example, in IGEM, the Institute of nuclear research in Novosibirsk. But overall, the number of works with this material is small. First of all, due to the fact that the American soil came to us when he was already extensively investigated in the American and Western laboratories. This is normal. Country, cost a lot of money on delivery substance with another celestial body, of course, is entitled to priority receipt of new scientific results. The second reason, also important, is that our instrumental capabilities inferior to the instrumental capabilities of the West. And so we didn’t have much to add.

When a few years ago we were preparing to launch the spacecraft “Phobos-Grunt”, designed for the selection and delivery of the substance from the satellite of Mars, I appealed to the Presidium of the RAS and Roscosmos with an urgent request to Finance part of the space project to provide adequate facilities land laboratory in the same Geochemistry. This was not done. Unfortunately, the spacecraft “Phobos-Grunt” launched after years of delay, crashed, not coming even on a trajectory to Mars. And if the project is successful then we would be ready to delivered study material. After the first few months, they are given to the authors of the cosmic project, to skim the cream, it should provide the substance of the world scientific community. Then, a unique discovery that rightfully ought to belong to the country’s science got to be the aliens, of course, with a polite link that brought Russian soil.

A similar example from another area. One of the largest natural-science discoveries lately has been done on material obtained by our explorers. In a deep well drilled in the ice of Antarctica, at the Soviet Vostok station, was first obtained an ice core that covered the period in the history of the atmosphere and ocean over the past 120 thousand years. The composition of air bubbles, captured by the ice at different times, brought history of the atmosphere, including the content of such greenhouse gas as CO2. The isotopic composition of hydrogen and oxygen in the ice to determine the temperature of the ocean and climate history. As the picture lined up alternating epochs of glaciation and warming. The value of these data for science were not less than the value of the first information about the moon. But these discoveries belong not to us. We only the well was drilled, and thin instrumental studies, required for obtaining new knowledge was made by Western scientists. That is something you should think colleagues A. K. Pushkov in the State Duma.

Next year will be 50 years since the landing of man on the moon. I remember the day July 21, 1969. Then on the radio, among other insignificant news, said that the Americans landed a man on the moon, and immediately moved on to other topics. I was ashamed. But Gagarin the whole world were received with enthusiasm. Maybe now, tossing a ridiculous doubt, we are prepared for “discreet” reception of the anniversary of this historic event? That is not patriotism.

It is not necessary to imagine our society envious and ignorant. It is indecent.

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