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Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

I am working on story edits today and found myself needing to look up a lunar technicality. Next thing I know, I was reading a detailed account of the first lunar spacewalk at Tranquillity Base. I thought you might enjoy it too.

Wide Awake on the Sea of Tranquillity | NASA

July 20, 1969: The day began on the farside of the Moon. Armstrong, Aldrin and crewmate Mike Collins flew their spaceship 60 miles above the cratered wasteland. No one on Earth can see the Moon’s farside. Even today it remains a land of considerable mystery, but the astronauts had no time for sight-seeing. Collins pressed a button, activating a set of springs, and the spaceship split in two. The half named Columbia, with Collins on board, would remain in orbit. The other half, the Eagle, spiraled over the horizon toward the Sea of Tranquillity.

“You are Go for powered descent,” Houston radioed…

This also got me thinking about the farside of the moon. We’ve learned a lot about it since these images in 1959:

First Photo of the Lunar Farside – Moon: NASA Science 

Check out the image comparison a few paragraphs in. Or heck, here’s my version:

Image credit: NASA

And since we’re talking about the moon, let’s wrap with an update from Artemis:

NASA to Share Artemis I Update with Orion at Farthest Point from Earth | NASA

Orion entered a distant lunar orbit on at 4:52 p.m. EST Friday, Nov. 25, where the spacecraft will remain for about a week to test systems in a deep space environment about 40,000 miles above the lunar surface before beginning the journey back to Earth. 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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The Artemis moon mission is now underway, which means fun updates like this video flyby of the Moon.

… NASA’s Orion spacecraft performs a close approach of the lunar surface on its way to a distant retrograde orbit, a highly stable orbit thousands of miles beyond the Moon. During the Artemis I flight test, launched on Nov. 16, Orion will travel 280,000 miles (450,000 km) from Earth and 40,000 miles (64,000 km) beyond the far side of the Moon, carrying science and technology payloads to expand our understanding of lunar science, technology developments, and deep space radiation.

— Artemis I Close Flyby of the Moon – YouTube

Check out Orion’s location with the Artemis Real-time Orbit Website: NASA: Artemis I.

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Photo by Hebert Santos

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Will the Artemis moon mission finally fly? The answer seems to be, “Probably.”* The weather has been challenging but tonight’s forecast looks good. Here’s hoping all goes well tonight!

NASA’s new Artemis moon rocket is once again being readied for its first flight : NPR

A successful launch would be a key milestone for NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to put the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface. The agency has not launched a space vehicle designed to send astronauts to the moon since 1972.

* Edit from the future: the answer is yes!

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Photo by Siim Lukka on Unsplash

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Earth Smash!

Way to go, NASA, you did good!

NASA’s DART mission successfully crashes spacecraft into asteroid

It was a cosmic smash-up watched around the world.

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Sorry not sorry! (Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL)

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Today is the first test of humanity’s nascent planetary defense system. Like Armageddon, except scientists are the heroes.

NASA will hit an asteroid with a spacecraft to change its course : NPR

“It’s just a spacecraft that is going to go and smack an asteroid.” Oh, is that all?

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NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid to test our ability to nudge potentially dangerous near-Earth objects into safer trajectories. That is excellent, and we can watch it.

How to Livestream NASA Smashing an Asteroid to Test Planetary Defense Plan

The impact day broadcast of the actual test will start on Monday, September 26 at 6 p.m. EDT, which you can watch on NASA TV, a livestream on NASA’s YouTube channel.

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What will happen and how will we know? 

Ground-based telescopes are key to DART asteroid mission success | Space

On Monday (Sept. 26), the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will slam into a small space rock called Dimorphos — on purpose, at a staggering 4 miles (6.6 kilometers) per second. The exercise comes in the name of planetary defense, which aims to protect human civilization from any large asteroid that may be on a collision course. For the mission to succeed, scientists need to measure exactly how much the orbit of Dimorphos around its larger companion, Didymos, speeds up. And the DART spacecraft won’t be in any shape to make that measurement itself, so mission personnel are relying on ground-based telescopes to track the aftermath of impact.

If this trial run works, terrific, but even failure would better prepare us to defend Earth. 

Si vis pacem, para [asteroides].

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus (with minor paraphrasing)

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Photo by Senad Palic on Unsplash

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You may have heard that NASA scrubbed the Artemis moon launch for technical reasons. The good news is that the launch will be rescheduled. 

NASA could again try to launch Artemis moon mission as soon as late September : NPR

Until then, we wait.

Why Is NASA’s Hold Music So Catchy? – The Atlantic

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Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash

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This morning at 8:33 a.m. EDT (12:33 GMT), NASA’s Artemis rocket is set to launch for the moon. 

Watch NASA’s Artemis 1 moon launch online today | Space

The space agency will host Artemis 1 launch webcast on Aug. 29 to showcase the uncrewed launch on NASA’s first Space Launch System megarocket from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

As of this writing, live updates have begun. Weather forecasts are good but there is an engine issue. Engineers are working the problem but some delays are expected. 

The fact that humanity has been going into space, and to the moon, for decades doesn’t mean it’s easy. And that’s ok.

“I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”

Katie Bone, 16-year old nationally-ranked athlete and Type 1 diabetic

Follow launch live updates or watch it on NASA’s livestream now.

Update: Today’s launch has been scrubbed. More later!

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Photo by Riley on Unsplash

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Lieutenant Uhura is now with the stars.

Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ dead at 89
Nichols was one of the first Black women featured in a major television series, and her role as Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original TV series was groundbreaking: an African American woman whose name came from Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.”

“For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen.”

— Martin Luther King Jr., Star Trek’s Uhura Reflects On MLK Encounter

Nichelle Nichols showed us all that the future belonged to more than just white men, and then she helped NASA build that future.

“After Apollo 11, Nichelle made it her mission to inspire women and people of color to join this agency, change the face of STEM and explore the cosmos. Nichelle’s mission is NASA’s mission. Today, as we work to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under Artemis, NASA is guided by the legacy of Nichelle Nichols.”

— NASA Administrator Bill Nelson
NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

She demonstrated, with talent, conviction, determination and grace, that the future is brighter when all of us are in it.

“If they let me in the door, I will open it so wide that they will see the world.”

— Woman in Motion tells story of how Star Trek’s Uhura changed NASA forever | Ars Technica

She did. We did. And humanity is so much better for it.

“If you can see it, you can be it,” the saying goes. Nichelle Nichols gave millions of people the opportunity to see themselves on the frontiers of science and exploration, boldly expanding human understanding.

She inspired so many of us to reach for the stars. What a legacy.

— Hillary Clinton

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(NASA/Bill Ingalls) NASA Identifier: nasahqphoto-5161637425

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First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope | NASA

The dawn of a new era in astronomy has begun as the world gets its first look at the full capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope…

NASA has begun to roll out new images from the Webb Telescope. They are (insert understatement here) impressive. This is one example, of the Carina Nebula:

Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

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Would you like to know more?

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Need to take a quick break, maybe get off the planet for a bit? Now’s a great time to visit the Moon!

Send your name to the Moon with NASA’s Artemis mission!

Send Your Name to Space

Add your name here to have it included on a flash drive that will fly aboard Artemis I.

You could even do a little public service and cleanup litter once you’re up there, because Space Junk Just Crashed Into the Far Side of the Moon at 5,800 MPH.

While we’re talking space, you can also check out the current Location Map for Perseverance Rover.

Because sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the good that humans can do, too.

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Photo by Silas van Overeem on Unsplash

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