On July 21th, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin waited within paper thin walls on the surface of the Moon. Hours ago they had made history by being the first humans to land and walk on its surface. Now the only thing left to do was take off. All that entailed was performing the final test of the Lunar Module: launching from the lunar surface with no on-site support or possibility of fixes if something failed. [more inside]
What the hell happened to the Luna 23 probe? As part of the Soviet Union's Luna program, it was designed to collect a small sample of lunar regolith and return it to Earth. But despite landing, it failed to leave the moon. Two years later, Luna 24 landed nearby and managed to attain and return a sample, but its geological properties conflicted wildly with what was expected. What the hell happened with Luna 24? [more inside]
A beautiful video montage of Saturn and its moons from Cassini mission recordings, reminiscent of Outside In [previously] but more abstract. Also: one year of Earth's moon in two-and-a-half minutes.
ISRO scientists think they have found a horizontal uncollapsed lava tube on the moon, 1.7 km long, 360 m wide, and 120 m high (roughly 1 mile x 1200 ft x 400 ft) which could be used as a lunar base by astronauts for inter-planetary missions. [more inside]
The Moon should become a DNA Noah's Ark for repopulating the Earth in case of catastrophe, suggests the chief scientist Bernard H. Foing of the ESA's Research and Scientific Support Department. A more earthly frozen ark is already under construction.
The Moon's Mare Orientale is one of the largest impact basins in the solar system. It is nearly circular, 700 miles across and concentrically ringed like a bullseye. In short, it looks like a giant eye, one third of the diameter of the moon itself and yet, because it is on the moons far side, it's never visible from the Earths surface. [more]
NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy After decades of almost ignoring claims that the Apollo missions were hoaxed, NASA commissioned aerospace writer James Olberg to write an official rebuttle. Perhaps a bit more reasonable than the NASA Stooge, the book is aimed at the general public.
The Inconstant Moon is dedicated to our nearest neighbor. Explore the moon with the Selenographica. Also, this Tuesday, Nova will re-broadcast To the Moon, the story of the the science and engineering behind mans trip to the moon. Its been 100 years since Melies' dream. Will the U.S. return? Or will someone else?
This reminded me of one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. Once on vacation in Eastern Oregon, there was a total eclipse of the moon, just like this one. And some people nearby were taking photographs of it. Flash photographs. The round-trip time to the moon at the speed of light is 3 seconds and I wouldn't even want to calculate the attenuation caused by 320,000 miles of range. Sometimes it seems as if some people are completely and totally clueless about what they're doing.