Apollo history, space, engineering, etc

This is really interesting.

@hansepe is no doubt way ahead of us here, but if you’re interested in spacecraft engineering, this is worth a watch.

Also watch his video on aluminum can design. It’s way more interesting than you might think.


The fact that the whole Apollo program used medieval techniques is boggling in its own right.

More than that, the disastrous Apollo 13 probably only made it because those same medieval techniques were in use. That and duct tape (seriously).

I have a suspicion a modern 13 equivalent would be so heavily dependent on tech that they couldn’t bodge their way out of it.


I want to object to “medieval” but remembering where technology was at the time I can’t. I can almost understand deniers.

If we’re talking about the spiral, technically it predates the Middle Ages by a few centuries (Archimedes in 3rd c. BCE, Middle Ages are generally considered to begin in 5th c. CE)

But I don’t think this makes the statement wrong. A lot of the principles from Apollo were dead simple things, I’ll bet some were developed in the Middle Ages.

1 Like

I was talking in general, I was ten, our TV was B&W, there were no computers or even electronic calculators in homes, our phone was 100% analog and hardwired into the wall.


I’m a simple manufacturing engineer, but thanks for thinking that :slight_smile:

You’re making me cry :cry: Knowledge is easily accessible for those interested in learning.

It’s only the development of mathematics used to describe, document, and even predict complex processes in nature that differentiates today’s technology from the technology of the past. Imagine what more Egyptians and Romans might have done had they understood the concept of zero. That was all pre-medieval period technologies that are still in common use today.

As @evansd2 points out, the reason we can build bigger, better, more complex things today is because we (modern society) have learned from, adapted, and improved on techniques and discoveries from the past.

There is indeed a lot more tech in spacecraft these days (and a lot of redundancy as well) but the basics would still play a role. NASA learned from past vehicles and mistakes. For example, NASA no longer stirs it’s cryo tanks like they did on Apollo 13.

You’ve got it.

US history books are weird in that they take a very Eurocentric view on history. Things named after Europeans (for example: Pascal’s Triangle, Pythagorean’s Theorem, etc.) had in some cases been known for centuries outside of Europe. Many inventions from Asia, Africa, and India weren’t known in Europe until the end of the middle ages.


And rented from the phone company.


I 100% agree but you just don’t know the power of cognitive dissonance. (or maybe you do but it makes you cry anyway) I have a guy at work, my bosses boss! Who is a denialist. I can refute his every claim but it does no good. Having watched it again, 50 years later, from multiple camera angles, a plethora of audio tracks, and dozens of telemetry feeds, I’d be far more impressed to find out that it was faked than we went. I tell him we were planing on faking it but realized it was easier to just go. People make up their minds on things and there is just no changing it.


I worked with a guy from Ireland. He knew in-depth 800 years of British oppression, but only had a vague idea that WWII was a thing. One purpose of history education is to give a nation a shared identity. The accuracy of the education is more of a nice to have, like the passthrough software feature.

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.