Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

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harrumphicus
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Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby harrumphicus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:04 am UTC

With the passing of Neil Armstrong the last August, I've been wondering something. Officially, he was alive for 82 years and 20 days... from OUR perspective. My question, if it's possible to answer, is how long was he alive from his own perspective through his two trips into space and back? Surely relativity played some measurable role? I myself am unaware of how to gather the required information (though I have some idea of what is required) to make the necessary calculations to deduce his relive time passed during his life.

I feel like this is a rather unique question, but if it has indeed been asked and answered feel free to smite me from the forum for my ignorance.

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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:59 pm UTC

For time dilation (and other relativistic effects) to manifest themselves on any sort of meaningful scale, the Lorentz factor needs to noticeably diverge from unity. This only happens near the speed of light. Really, anything less than 30% of the speed of light is basically the same as newtonian physics (this is where the lorentz factor starts to approach 1.1).

Now, we know it took about four days from take off to lunar landing. In order to reach a relativistic speed in four days, they'd have to have a constant acceleration of (.35c / 4 days) = 31G. If this were the case, they'd arrive at the moon rather dead (that's not even dealing with how they would stop once they arrived at the moon at 30% the speed of light).

TL;DR. No measurable twin paradox stuff going on. The apollo missions didn't travel at nearly fast enough speed for that. If you want your passengers to stay alive, with sustained acceleration of say 2g for 4 days, you only reach a percent or two of the speed of light, with a lorentz factor of order 1+10-4.
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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby ImagingGeek » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:22 pm UTC

Apollo 11 didn't travel at a constant speed, so the math isn't easy. Peak speed was ~24,000mps (approx 10,700m/s), which while it sounds fast, is actually slow by relativistic standards - 0.0036% the speed of light. Ignoring acceleration, and assuming that the whole trip was done at max speed, time would have passed 1.0000000013 times slower during the trip. So over the ~6 days of travel, Armstrong would have experienced roughly 0.00067 fewer seconds.

Not much...based on SR. GR (plus the actual acceleration profile) would provide a different - and correct - number. But the effect would be roughly the same in magnitude.

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harrumphicus
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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby harrumphicus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:26 pm UTC

Damn... I was hoping it would at least be measurable in minutes. Well, thanks for crushing my dreams of living longer by going to the moon on an Apollo rocket.



(not actually one of my dreams)

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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby yurell » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:34 pm UTC

Yeah, the difference is less than the uncertainty in his birth time.
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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby Xanthir » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:56 pm UTC

Now that the thread's over, I was really hoping it would turn out to be a bizarre conspiracy theory.
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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby Snark » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:09 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:Now that the thread's over, I was really hoping it would turn out to be a bizarre conspiracy theory.
Neil Armstrong was an alien. We switched him with the real Neil on the moon.
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harrumphicus
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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby harrumphicus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:11 pm UTC

Good theory, Snark, it was actually quite different. Neil is actually only 46 because the ACTUAL testing was relativistic "time travel" - he was sent hurtling around the moon at .8c and returned years later. The man who was on the news after the "successful" "moon" "landing" was just a cloned body that deteriorated over time a la "Moon" with Sam Rockwell. I know this because things.

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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby Meteoric » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:57 pm UTC

harrumphicus wrote:Well, thanks for crushing my dreams of living longer by going to the moon on an Apollo rocket.

You just need to upgrade that dream to a much longer journey, in a much better rocket!
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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:12 pm UTC

If you really cared, take an airline pilot's age, and calculate the dilation from a career's worth of flight. It should work out to the same number. Hint the answer is less than a second.

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Re: Neil Armstrong's ACTUAL age.

Postby tesseraktik » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:26 pm UTC

Sergei Avdeyev is said to hold the record for time travel by time dilation: In his 747½ days in space, he's managed to avoid 0,02 seconds of aging!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Avdeyev
(Not sure if gravitational time dilation is included. It may be that because all of his missions have been in lower Earth orbit, translational time dilation would have dominated it to death.)
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