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]
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Apr 25, 2012 -
At one point, Stafford recognized a landmark crater, Censorinus A. He was momentarily distracted by the dramatic shadows and giant boulders surrounding the crater. “I’ve got Censorinus A right here,” he said out loud to the world, “bigger than shit!” A shocked reporter listening to the transmission in mission control turned to astronaut Jack Schmitt. “What did Colonel Stafford just say?” Thinking quickly, Schmitt covered for his colleague and replied “He said, ‘Oh, there’s Censorinus… bigger than Schmitt!’”
How not to swear on the moon
, and other fun facts from Vintage Space
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Jan 6, 2012 -
Did you know that there's an art museum on the moon? A tiny, tiny one. The Moon Museum
features works by Forrest "Frosty" Myers
(the instigator), Robert Rauschenberg
, Claes Oldenburg
, Andy Warhol
, David Novros
, and John Chamberlain
, inscribed on a little chip of silicon and surreptitiously transported
to the moon's surface on the Apollo 12 mission. But of course there's a mystery, in this big of a secret: who is John F.
, the engineer at least partially responsible for smuggling the chip onboard the lunar lander?
Related: other stuff people have left on the Moon
posted by fiercecupcake
on Nov 22, 2010 -
Year: 2025. Mission: Save Moonbase Alpha
after critical systems were damaged by a meteor strike. A free Steam
-powered 3D-immersive game from NASA. Windows only.
posted by jjray
on Jul 8, 2010 -
- A surprisingly groovy look at the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in a full length documentary that contains a lot of rare and not often seen footage of the preparations and launch of the first manned mission to the moon. Warning: Also contains lots of theramins, trippy optical effects, faux bohemians and some really blowy narrative.
posted by loquacious
on Apr 23, 2010 -
Compromise emerging for NASA's spaceflight future
Since the announcement was made last month of the cancellation of Constellation (NASA's plan for returning to the Moon and Mars), the punditsphere has been ablaze with condemnation, support, and outright confusion over the future of American manned spaceflight. Keith Cowling, editor of the Nasawatch.com blog, has posted an interesting new development
that if proven right, could prove to be a compromise between those wanting NASA to get out of manned spaceflight altogether and those seeking to keep the administration in the spaceflight business. [more inside]
posted by zooropa
on Apr 6, 2010 -
Return to the moon? Not likely.
"President Barack Obama is essentially grounding efforts to return astronauts to the moon...".
posted by deacon_blues
on Jan 28, 2010 -
On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite
) and its rocket's Centaur
upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A
, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper)
, selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact
, a facebook group
, and a Twitter feed
so you don't miss the moment.
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 8, 2009 -
In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse
, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive
of downloadable images for the general public.
Here are the first few
, from Apollo 15.
(Similar topics previously: 1
posted by GrammarMoses
on Aug 28, 2007 -
If you thought the video of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon was rather blurry, it might interest you to know that this was never broadcast as well as it could have been. The original video quality was much better. You can't view the original video today, because NASA has lost the bleepin tape
. Nobody seems to care, but the guys who once made the transmission possible are looking for it. An Australian minister
is on their side. If the tape hasn't been accidentally degaussed, there's only one machine left that is able to read it.
posted by Termite
on Jan 11, 2007 -
You've read about
NASA's plan to use new post-shuttle launch vehicles to return to the moon
But what, exactly, is the US planning to do
on the moon? What would a semi-permanent moonbase look like? And why return at all? NASA's announced answers to these questions remain vague. But last year eleven sets of responses to these questions were offered to NASA in the development proposals submitted to NASA by eleven Aerospace concerns
, each of which suggested different designs, missions, and philosophies for NASA's return to the moon. Some common themes:
"Provide nationally assured access to orbital locations for the placement of observation systems" and "assured access to space for development of force projection systems and movements of logistics." (pdf link, p. 5)
"Commercialize space products and services" (pdf link, p.6)
Keeping the public inspired with "regularly placed program milestones." (pdf link, p.7)
It's interesting to compare the details of these proposals. But taken together, they raise a broader question: does NASA's fear that the public will lose interest in this commercializing, militarizing, moon venture reflect an awareness that that the vision
has finally been lost?
posted by washburn
on Sep 22, 2005 -
For the sake of your sanity, for five minutes this week forget the memos, the autopsies, the celebrity verdicts, and the rest. Go outside and look at the full moon, which will hang in the sky at its lowest point in 18 years over the next three nights, says NASA, creating the "summer moon illusion."
If you're a US resident, calculate your local moonrise time here
posted by digaman
on Jun 19, 2005 -
To the moon, Alice! (And then, on to Mars)
Time will tell whether this declaration will lead to an actual rebirth of NASA and realignment of goals for the agency. But I for one am absolutely thrilled that Bush is planning to give NASA a long-overdue new mission and goal. Avoiding the obvious pro/con debate of doing this (or the cost), I think it's absolutely vital to the national psyche for the United States to have a long-range goal that it can focus positive energy upon. This could be the first real "Challenge to the Union" that I think should become an annual event to replace the State of the Union.
posted by tgrundke
on Jan 9, 2004 -