The new generation of human space exploration spacecraft is getting a new generation clock to count it down for launch on December 4.
NASA and its commercial partners are designing Orion to take astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid in the 2020s, and to Mars and its moons in the 2030s. For that reason, NASA portrayed Friday’s test flight as a first step toward deep-space exploration. The mission was known as Exploration Flight Test 1, or EFT-1.
For many decades, a fantasy among space enthusiasts has been to invent a device that produces a net thrust in one direction, without any need for reaction mass. Of course, a reactionless space drive of this type is impossible. Or is it?
There was a driving rain on Cape Canaveral on the morning of November 14, 1969, as humanity’s second trip to the Moon lifted off, with a set of science experiments and three astronauts on board, and President Nixon in attendance. Seven years after his predecessor had kicked off the whole project by asking why Rice plays Texas, and not many months after two Americans had become the first humans to make it to the lunar surface, Apollo 12 was headed for a place on the western edge of the near side of the Moon called the Ocean of Storms, but first they would have to get through an Earth-bound one.
Humankind made history this morning when the Rosetta mission made the first-ever landing on a comet. Just a couple minutes after 8:00 a.m. PST/11:00 a.m. EST, the European Space Agency received confirmation that after a roughly 7-hour descent, the mission’s lander craft, named Philae, touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” Continue reading Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
Our mission was called “a successful failure,” in that we returned safely but never made it to the Moon. In the following months, it was determined that a damaged coil built inside the oxygen tank sparked during our cryo stir and caused the explosion that crippled the Odyssey. It was a minor defect that occured two years before I was even named the flight’s commander. Fred Haise was going back to the moon on Apollo 18, but his mission was cancelled because of budget cuts; he never flew in space again. Nor did Jack Swigert, who left the astronaut corps and was elected to Congress from the state of Colorado. But he died of cancer before he was able to take office. Ken Mattingly orbited the moon as Command Module Pilot of Apollo 16, and flew the Space Shuttle, having never gotten the measles. Gene Kranz retired as Director of Flight Operations just not long ago. And many other members of Mission Control have gone on to other things, but some are still there. As for me, the seven extraordinary days of Apollo 13 were my last in space. I watched other men walk on the Moon, and return safely, all from the confines of Mission Control and our house in Houston. I sometimes catch myself looking up at the Moon, remembering the changes of fortune in our long voyage, thinking of the thousands of people who worked to bring the three of us home. I look up at the Moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?
Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Apollo 13
A novelty piece in the old “break-in” style pioneered by Dickie Goodman and Bill Buchanan where song clips replace soundbytes from interviews or dialogue. I downloaded this from AOL in the mid-1990’s, and I don’t recall who uploaded it originally. If you or someone you know created this, please let me know so that I may give proper credit. Thanks!