On the web discourse he called Von Braun's Secret, Hoagland wrote that the overperformance of the solid upper stages of Explorer 1's rocket, Juno, was "almost 20%." During his four-hour errorothon on Coast to Coast AM (21 August 08) he said 30%. Mike Bara, writing 16 pages of drivel and calling it chapter 12 of The Choice, opted for 60% (Mike simply took the actual apogee, 2,562 kM, subtracted the planned apogee, 1,609 kM, and arrived at 953 kM, which is 59.23% of 1,609. He didn't realize that if you want to know about orbital velocities and energies, you measure from the center of the planet. D'oh!!!)
Mike did an one-hour stint on Stranger Advice Radio earlier today, and he reverted to 30. His exact words were "There was 30% more energy in the rocket than expected." Stranger Advice Radio, a.k.a. Revolution Radio, is one of those woo-woo internet radio sources that needs a qualified audio engineer even more than it needs competent and informed hosts, and guests who have something to say other than New Age clichés like "We're all inter-connected" (Yes, folks, Mike Bara used that line today. My forehead hit the desk really hard.) Consequently I didn't catch every word, but I got the part about Explorer 1. I also got where he said that there were only three tracking stations at the time. Actually, there were ten, in two networks of five each: The Microlock Network had sites in Antigua (Doppler,) Earthquake Valley CA (Red,) Florida (Gold,) Ibadan, Nigeria (Black,) and Malaya University, Singapore (Silver.) Portable ad hoc stations in China Lake, CA, Temple City, CA, White Sands, NM, Cedar Rapids, IA and Huntsville AL formed the Spheredrop Net. [see pp. 56-59 of this technical report.] Red was famously the first to report success, and the other California stations confirmed within minutes.
It's worth re-iterating the correct calculation, because it's really pretty simple and it gives the lie to Hoagland & Bara whether they decide to use 20%, 30%, or 60% as their wrong data.
Planned orbit 354 x 1,609 kM (220 x 1,000 miles)
Actual orbit 359 x 2,562 kM (223 x 1,592 miles)
Radius of Earth 6,375 kM
Gravitational constant, µ, of Earth 398,660 kM3/s2
semi-major axis of planned orbit, Lsmaj, (354+6375+6375+1609)/2 = 7356 kM
distance from center of Earth to orbit point, R, 6375+354 = 6729 kM
planned velocity at orbit injection, Vorb = sqrt(µ(2/R - 1/Lsmaj))
2/R - 1/Lsmaj = 0.0001613
Vorb = sqrt(64.3) = 8.018 kM/sec
semi-major axis of actual orbit, Lsmaj, (359+6375+6375+2562)/2 = 7835 kM
distance from center of Earth to orbit point, R, 6375+359 = 6734 kM
actual velocity at orbit injection, Vorb = sqrt(µ(2/R - 1/Lsmaj))
2/R - 1/Lsmaj = 0.000169
Vorb = sqrt(67.493) = 8.215 kM/sec
So we're really talking about a velocity excess of about 3%. Well within the uncertainty about the thrust of the solid rocket fuel, as stated on p.12 of this technical report.
No, Mike, John Glenn didn't fly to the MoonOn the radio today, Mike made plenty of other mistakes."The accretion theory of planetary formation simply doesn't fit observation" (Oh yes it does.) "NASA was established by Nazis" (Oh no it wasn't—the Nazis didn't arrive until two years later.) But the prize-winner was "The Apollo astronauts still can't tell the truth [about what they saw and found on the Moon]."
To substantiate this, Mike trotted out yet again the guest-appearance of John Glenn on Frazier Season 8, Ep 184, first aired March 6, 2001. Glenn said, in part, "...we know what we saw out there. And we couldn't really say anything." There are two problems with that, as evidence for what Mike Bara believes. One is that Frazier is A COMEDY SHOW and the whole Glenn schtick was A SPOOF, as this blog has already pointed out. The other is that Glenn never got closer than 240,000 miles to the Moon. Once again, D'ohh!!