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]
Do the Apollo flags remain where they were planted or have they fallen or have they disintegrated after four decades of intense UV and heat? James Fincannon investigates flags left behind from Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 missions.
This Saturday, the Jade Rabbit will meet with Chang’e when China attempts its first landing of an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. [more inside]
Simultaneous video and selectively played audio of every Apollo lunar landing on one screen. (via Collect Space) [more inside]
Ever Upward isn't just a blog about space but a love letter to the wonder and beauty lurking in the science of space. It is written, and occasionally drawn, by MeFite Narrative Priorities [more inside]
Three days prior to its planned impact on a lunar mountain, mission controllers activated the camera aboard one of NASA's GRAIL twins to take some final photos from lunar orbit. The result is some of the best footage of the moon's surface captured so far. [more inside]
Farting and f-bombing on the Moon - Apollo 16. [SLYT] Houston: "Okay John. We have a hot mike." Commander John Young: "How long we had that?"
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]
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken new photos of the landing sites of Apollo 12, 14 and 17. Almost 40 years after the missions, the tracks made by the astronauts and the Lunar Rover are still visible.
Apollo 14, with Alan Shepard, American's first man in space, as the Commander, Stuart Roosa, Command Module Pilot and Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot, splashed down forty years ago today. It was flight of the rookies (total previous time in space was 15 minutes, all by Shepard). There were several odd things about the flight, but no need to worry, the moon trees are doing just fine.
In the dawn of the Space Age, NASA undertook to find and assemble the very best images of the Moon it could find. In a project led by the late Gerard Kuiper of the University of Chicago (later of the University of Arizona), the best telescopic plates from observatories around the world were assembled into one compilation, the Photographic Lunar Atlas (Kuiper et al., 1960, University of Chicago Press). This atlas consisted of loose-leaf, printed (lithographed) sheets of telescopic plates of the Moon, showing the surface at a variety of illumination conditions. Widely distributed, this atlas served as the basis for many early photographic studies of the Moon.[more inside]
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned its first images of the Apollo moon landing sites. The spacecraft’s onboard camera photographed Lunar Module descent stages at five of the six Apollo sites—11, 14, 15, 16, and 17. The Apollo 12 site will be photographed in coming weeks. [more inside]
Has man really set foot on the moon? There have certainly been a lot of claims that the whole Apollo missions were one giant hoax. Adam and Jamie at Mythbusters examine the claims of the Hoax Believers one by one. Did they use a wire rig or slow down the film to simulate the 1/6 moon gravity? What would it look like in real 1/6 G? Would a footprint in the lunar regolith have maintained it's shape even if there was no moisture to keep the material together? Why was the flag waving so much if there was no wind on the moon? Why are the shadows on the moon not parallel if they are coming from a single light source? Why can we see the astronauts when they are in shadows if there isn't a second light source? To finish it all off they shoot a laser at the moon to see if the reflector they supposedly left there is actually there.
"India on Wednesday became the sixth nation to launch a moon mission when indigenously built PSLV-C11 rocket blasted off from the spaceport here carrying with it Chandrayaan-I, which will map the lunar surface." For India, The Future Is Here. [more inside]
We're making another effort to find water on the moon. Beginning in 1964 with the Ranger spacecraft, we've been lobbing things at poor old Luna. Lately we've been trying to find water there so that future explorers don't have to haul the stuff up the gravity well from Earth. [more inside]
A hoop, to draw the Earth's shadow: illustrating yesterday's partial lunar eclipse with a hoop and some creative camera positioning. Start here and work your way towards the painter. Via Spaceweather. More photos of the eclipse on Flickr.
Lunar gardening is the oldest form of gardening known to man, the practice centers on the moon's gravitational effect on the flow of moisture in soil and plants and, to a lesser degree, the effect of moonlight on seed germination. "I've got a large area in potatoes. We've got some planted at the right time of the moon and some crops at the wrong time of the moon. The difference is so obvious and there for everybody to see"
Van Gogh's Moon Shines Again This Weekend If you go out this Sunday evening and look up at the Moon, you will see not only our closest celestial neighbor, but a piece of art history as well. The rising full moon will appear exactly the way it did 114 years ago, when Vincent Van Gogh captured the scene in his famous painting "Moonrise.". Also learn how the moon helped date the painting.
Ever wonder about the Islamic Calendar? finishing up the month of Rajab about Oct 16 "The number of months with Allah has been twelve months by Allah's ordinance since the day He created the heavens and the earth. Of these four are known as sacred" (Holy Quran, ch., v 36)Muharram, Rajab, Dhul Qadah and Dhul Hijja are considered to be sacred months. Fighting during these sacred months is considered to be a sin. I am so ignorant of other cultures.