Archive for July, 2016

Archimedes Spiral on the Lunar Module

July 30, 2016

apollo_11_lunar_module_eagle_in_landing_configuration_in_lunar_orbit_from_the_command_and_service_module_columbiaOne of our alums (Thanks CJ!) sent a link this summer aarchimedean_spiralbout how MATH was used in the design of the Alignment Optical Telescope in the Apollo Lunar Modules.  I mean, yes, of course it was, but in particular an Archimedes Spiral — a spiral where the distance is increasing steadily, such as r = θ in polar coordinates — was used instead of a heavier piece of equipment.  This is, I think, the first time I’ve seen a modern application of the Archimedes spiral.

The video is available below, and there is more info  at NASA.