More Red Shirt!
Friday, December 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Here is Watt's Up and the comments in the code tell it all here:
Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usuallyMore comments from Watt's Up:
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.
Spin that, spin it to the moon if you want. I’ll believe programmer notes over the word of somebody who stands to gain from suggesting there’s nothing “untowards” about it.
Either the data tells the story of nature or it does not. Data that has been “artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures” is false data, yielding a false result.
Again, the truth comes out before the Cap and Tax and Copenhagen. Sen. Inhofe in The Hill here:
However, it is not immediately clear what Inhofe hopes to accomplish with his proposed hearing. U.S. lawmakers and scientists routinely cite IPCC evidence when discussing climate change legislation, but Congress can hardly force the United Nations to halt spending on a program over which it has no jurisdiction.
Rather, Inhofe perhaps hopes to deal a symbolic blow to next month's climate change conference, at which IPCC is likely to play a major role.
"The timing couldn’t be better," said the Oklahoma Republican, who previously announced he would attend the December summit as a "one-man truth squad." "Whoever is on the ball in Great Britain, their time was good."
In contrast to last year's start-up, this event has occurred with very little press coverage. Some of the US' mainstream news organizations don't even have a headline anywhere on their front page. (Adam Lambert's kiss and Khloe Karadashian's nesting instinct were recent top news items on CNN's main Web portal, which no longer even has a science section.) As a life-long science enthusiast, it saddens me to see so little coverage of a huge milestone in experimental physics. However, this also seems to have cut down on the inevitable "end of the world" speculation that was rampant last year.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The experiment that Apollo 11 left on the Moon are still working, The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment. "it studies the Earth-Moon system and returns data to scientific centers around the world, including NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory".
Three things the experiment has proved:
-The Moon is moving away from the Earth
-The Moon has a fluid core
-Einstein's Theory of Relativity is accurate
University of Maryland physics professor Carroll Alley was the project's principal investigator during the Apollo years, and he follows its progress today. "Using these mirrors," explains Alley, "we can 'ping' the moon with laser pulses and measure the Earth-moon distance very precisely. This is a wonderful way to learn about the moon's orbit and to test theories of gravity."
Here's how it works: A laser pulse shoots out of a telescope on Earth, crosses the Earth-moon divide, and hits the array. Because the mirrors are "corner-cube reflectors," they send the pulse straight back where it came from. "It's like hitting a ball into the corner of a squash court," explains Alley. Back on Earth, telescopes intercept the returning pulse--"usually just a single photon," he marvels.
The round-trip travel time pinpoints the moon's distance with staggering precision: better than a few centimeters out of 385,000 km, typically.
Aldrin urged Congress and the American people to use the memory of Apollo 11 as inspiration to prepare for a space journey to Mars.
"Apollo 11 was a symbol of what a great nation and a great people can do if we work hard and work together," he said.
"America, do you still dream a great dream? Do you still believe in yourself?" he went on to ask. "I call on the next generation and our political leaders to give this answer: Yes We Can!"
Kind of ride on Obama's coat tails eh? But Buzz is right. WE Can go to MARS! We got to the Moon 40 years ago. Let's get started and get to Mars soon!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
"For a news analyst and reporter of the happenings of the day to be successful, he or she needs three things: accuracy, timeliness, and the trust of the audience. Many are fortunate to have the first two. The trust of the audience must be earned," said Armstrong.
"Walter Cronkite seemed to enjoy the highest of ratings. He had a passion for human space exploration, an enthusiasm that was contagious, and the trust of his audience. He will be missed."
from Flame Trench here.
HT from Little Green Footballs here.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Yes, we have a financial crisis. No one's asking for a crash Manhattan Project. All we need is sufficient funding from the hundreds of billions being showered from Washington -- "stimulus" monies that, unlike Eisenhower's interstate highway system or Kennedy's Apollo program, will leave behind not a trace on our country or our consciousness -- to build Constellation and get us back to Earth orbit and the moon a half-century after the original landing.
Why do it? It's not for practicality. We didn't go to the moon to spin off cooling suits and freeze-dried fruit. Any technological return is a bonus, not a reason. We go for the wonder and glory of it. Or, to put it less grandly, for its immense possibilities. We choose to do such things, said JFK, "not because they are easy, but because they are hard." And when you do such magnificently hard things -- send sailing a Ferdinand Magellan or a Neil Armstrong -- you open new human possibility in ways utterly unpredictable.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
PAO: ...2, 1, zero, all engine running, LIFT-OFF!
[Public Affairs Officer Jack King, whose coolness is legendary, finally succumbs to the tension and is clearly heard to say "all engine running" instead of "all engines running".]
PAO: We have a lift-off, 32 minutes past the hour. Lift-off on Apollo 11.
000:00:04 Armstrong: Roger. Clock.
PAO: Tower cleared.
[As planned, control of the flight now passes from the Launch Control Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida to the Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas. There, communication with the crew is handled by an astronaut sitting at the CapCom console; in this case, Bruce McCandless. The PAO also switches, and Jack King relinquishes the commentary to the Houston PAO, whose voice is heard from now on.]
000:00:13 Armstrong: Roger. We got a roll program.
000:00:15 McCandless: Roger. Roll. [Long pause.]
PAO: Neil Armstrong reporting their roll and pitch program which puts Apollo 11 on a proper heading. Plus 30 seconds.
000:00:34 Armstrong: Roll's complete and the pitch is programming. [Pause.]
000:00:44 Armstrong: One Bravo. (Long pause.)
PAO: One Bravo is a abort control mode.
PAO: Altitude's 2 miles.
000:01:02 McCandless: Apollo 11, Houston. You're good at 1 minute.
000:01:06 Armstrong: Roger. [Long pause.]
PAO: Down range 1 mile, altitude 3, 4 miles now. Velocity 2,195 feet per second.
PAO: We're through the region of maximum dynamic pressure now.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Excerpt from Air and Space Museum here:
The manned Apollo missions were each launched aboard a Saturn V launch vehicle. The "V" designation originates from the five powerful F-1 engines that powered the first stage of the rocket. The Saturn V remains the largest and most powerful U.S. expendable launch vehicle ever built.
The Apollo spacecraft, including the Command Module (CM), Service Module (SM) and Lunar Module (LM) sat atop the launch vehicle. Above the CM was the emergency escape system.
The complete assembly including the Apollo spacecraft and the Saturn launch vehicle stood 363 feet tall (110.6 meters) and weighed over 6 million pounds (2.7 million kg).
The Saturn V launch vehicle itselft consisted of three stages:
First Stage (S-IC): The first stage includes the five F-1 engines producing nearly 7.7 million pounds of thrust. These powerful engines are required to lift the heavy rocket fast enough to escape Earth's gravity. The first stage engines are burned at liftoff and last for about 2.5 minutes taking the vehicle and payload to an altitude of 38 miles. The first stage then separates and burns up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Second Stage (S-II): The second stage conatins five J-2 engines. After the first stage is discarded, the second stage burns for approximately 6 minutes taking the vehicle and payload to 115 miles altitude. The second stage is then also discarded.
Third Stage (S-IVB): The third stage contains one J-2 engine. This engine burns for 2.75 minutes boosting the spacecraft to orbital velocity of about 17,500 mph. The third stage is shut down with fuel remaining and remains attached the spacecraft in Earth orbit. The J-2 engine is reignited to propel the spacecraft into translunar trajectory (speed of 24,500 mph) before finally being discarded.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
1. The Moon is not a primordial object; it is an evolved terrestrial planet with internal zoning similar to that of Earth.
2. The Moon is ancient and still preserves an early history (the first billion years) that must be common to all terrestrial planets.
3. The youngest Moon rocks are virtually as old as the oldest Earth rocks. The earliest processes and events that probably affected both planetary bodies can now only be found on the Moon.
4. The Moon and Earth are genetically related and formed from different proportions of a common reservoir of materials.
5. The Moon is lifeless; it contains no living organisms, fossils, or native organic compounds.
6. All Moon rocks originated through high-temperature processes with little or no involvement with water. They are roughly divisible into three types: basalts, anorthosites, and breccias.
7. Early in its history, the Moon was melted to great depths to form a "magma ocean." The lunar highlands contain the remnants of early, low density rocks that floated to the surface of the magma ocean.
8. The lunar magma ocean was followed by a series of huge asteroid impacts that created basins which were later filled by lava flows.
9. The Moon is slightly asymmetrical in bulk form, possibly as a consequence of its evolution under Earth's gravitational influence. Its crust is thicker on the far side, while most volcanic basins -- and unusual mass concentrations -- occur on the near side.
10. The surface of the Moon is covered by a rubble pile of rock fragments and dust, called the lunar regolith, that contains a unique radiation history of the Sun which is of importance to understanding climate changes on Earth.
I find Number 10 most interesting. Have the climatologists figured in their climate change models the lunar regolith radiation history of the Sun? Just wondering. I'll have to go investigate.
I've been up and close to the "Columbia" Command Module at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It is a great exhibit.
Facts about the Apollo 11 Command Module here:
The blunt-end design for the Command Module was chosen to build upon experience gained with the similarly shaped Mercury and Gemini spacecraft. The spacecraft reentered the atmosphere with its protective heat shield facing forward. Layers of special "ablative" material on the shield were purposely allowed to burn away during reentry to help dissipate the extremely high temperatures caused by atmospheric friction.
Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 7 in)
Maximum Diameter: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
Weight: 5,900 kg (13,000 lb)
Manufacturer: North American Rockwell for NASA
Launch Vehicle: Saturn V
LRO or Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken its first pictures of the Moon on June 30. The first pictures were taken on the moon's terminator (line separating light and dark).
"Our first images were taken along the moon's terminator -- the dividing line between day and night -- making us initially unsure of how they would turn out," said LROC Principal Investigator Mark Robinson of Arizona State University in Tempe. "Because of the deep shadowing, subtle topography is exaggerated, suggesting a craggy and inhospitable surface. In reality, the area is similar to the region where the Apollo 16 astronauts safely explored in 1972. While these are magnificent in their own right, the main message is that LROC is nearly ready to begin its mission."
More pictures will come as LRO orbits around the Moon. It is in an elliptical polar orbit around the Moon and by next month its orbit will become circular about 31 miles above the Moons surface.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
From a link to the National Space and Air Museum here about the Apollo 11 landing site:
Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility)
00.67408 °N latitude, 23.47297 °E longitude
For the first lunar landing, Mare Tranquilitatis was the site chosen because it is a relatively smooth and level area. It does, however, have a high density of craters and in the last seconds before landing, the LM had to be manually piloted by Neil Armstrong to avoid a sharp-rimmed ray crater measuring some 180 meters across and 30 meters deep known as West. The LM landed safely some 6 km from the originally intended landing site.
The Apollo 11 LM landed approximately 400 meters west of West crater and 20km south-southwest of the crater Sabine D in the southwestern part of Mare Tranquilitatis. The lunar surface at the landing site consisted of fragmental debris ranging in size from fine particles to blocks about 0.8 meter wide.
The landing site is 41.5 km north-northeast of the western promontory of the Kant Plateau, which is the nearest highland region. The Surveyor 5 spacecraft is approximately 25 km north-northwest of the Apollo 11 landing site, and the impact crater formed by Ranger 8 is 69 km northeast of the landing site.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Florida Today has launched Moon Landing Memories. A collection of photographs of the Apollo missions. Most are B&W but some color. Back then all were made of celluloid and not digitized. I was amazed at granny and dust seen on some. You don't see that anymore with digitization! Very historic in telling the story in pictures of the Apollo program and Moon landings.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
The missile being prepared for launch is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of up to 4,000 miles, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unnamed South Korean official.
That would put Alaska within striking range.
Today, the North said again that it is being provoked by South Korea and the United States, saying that the number of spy planes operating in its airspace has risen dramatically.
"The U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppets perpetrated at least 200 cases of aerial espionage against the DPRK in May, or 30 cases more than those in the same month of last year," it said in a report in its official Korean Central News Agency.
The Ground Based Mid-Range missile Defense are housed in Vandenberg AFB and Fort Greely in Alaska. Should be fully deployed in 2011. Let's hope we don't have to use them, but if NorKor's do launch we'll be there to knock them down.
Missile Defense Agency page here.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Former astronaut Charlie Bolden will meet with President Barack Obama on Monday to discuss the NASA administrator job, the White House confirmed today.
"I think you know that the president...wants to meet with somebody about filling the important role of NASA administrator," Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, said at a briefing.
Asked if that person was Bolden, Gibbs responded: "He will meet with him Monday and we'll see how that goes."
From Flame Trench here.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
From NASA bio here:
STS-61 was the first Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing and repair mission. Following a night launch from Kennedy Space Center on December 2, 1993, the Endeavour rendezvoused with and captured the HST. During this 11-day flight, the HST was restored to its full capabilities through the work of two pairs of astronauts during a record 5 spacewalks. Dr. Musgrave performed 3 of these spacewalks. After having travelled 4,433,772 miles in 163 orbits of the Earth, Endeavour returned to a night landing in Florida on December 13, 1993. Mission duration was 10 days, 19 hours, 59 minutes.
Story said it took 22 turns to get the bay doors open on the Hubble. The STS-125 team picked his brain before the mission to get information on the first servicing mission.
Commander Scott Altman and his co-pilot fired the engines Wednesday morning and steered Atlantis up into Hubble's orbit. Early in the afternoon, robot arm operator Megan McArthur will use the 50-foot boom to grab the school bus-sized observatory and anchor it in Atlantis' payload bay.
The capture is expected to occur over the Indian Ocean, just northeast of Madagascar.
Hubble scientists and managers warn that Hubble may look a little ragged; it hasn't had a tuneup for seven years.
Can't wait to see the old Bird. Good Luck Atlantis in capturing Hubble.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
From Reuters here:
Astronaut Sunita L. Williams, appearing on "The Colbert Report" on cable TV network Comedy Central, said NASA will name the new module Tranquility, instead of Colbert as he and his fans demanded after winning an online poll conducted by NASA.
But the U.S. space agency did make one concession. It said it will make a new Combined Operational Load-Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) -- a fancy way of saying "exercise treadmill" -- a key fixture in the space station.
"Your name will be in space in a very important place," Williams assured Colbert on his TV show. "Everyday somebody will have to jump on the COLBERT," she said.
Friday, April 10, 2009
New research from NASA suggests that the Arctic warming trend seen in recent decades has indeed resulted from human activities: but not, as is widely assumed at present, those leading to carbon dioxide emissions. Rather, Arctic warming has been caused in large part by laws introduced to improve air quality and fight acid rain.
Dr Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies has led a new study which indicates that much of the general upward trend in temperatures since the 1970s - particularly in the Arctic - may have resulted from changes in levels of solid "aerosol" particles in the atmosphere, rather than elevated CO2. Arctic temperatures are of particular concern to those worried about the effects of global warming, as a melting of the ice cap could lead to disastrous rises in sea level - of a sort which might burst the Thames Barrier and flood London, for instance.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
And perfectly correct. I’d add "of course", but some folks don’t get it. But it really is simple. We have two choices, legally: allow any consenting adults to be legally married, or allow none. This is because there’s a difference between being married legally — in the eyes of the law — and being married religiously. If your established religion hates teh ghey, then (besides that being your loss) don’t allow them to marry within that religion. But the State has no legal right to tell people to be married or not. So if it allows consenting oppositely-polarized heterosexual couples to be married and exact benefits from it, then they cannot consistently bar any two consenting adults, heterosexual or otherwise.
I want to say so much more but I'm keeping my blog just focused on Space and related subjects. What is important to me on this blog is I don't give a hoot what sexual preference one has.( Or wants to marry his pet dog for that matter.) We are all humans and all I want to talk about is space, Astronomy and space program policies.
I have a personal Blog where I do talk about social and political issues there.
I like you Phil very much and respect your Bad Astronomy. But please stick to the subject of Astronomy and leave the social engineering to the other blogs. Please!
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea defiantly carried out a provocative rocket launch Sunday that the U.S., Japan and other nations suspect was a cover for a test of its long-range missile technology.
Liftoff took place at 11:30 a.m. (North Korean time) Sunday from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea, the South Korean and U.S. governments said. The multistage rocket hurtled toward the Pacific, reaching Japanese airspace within seven minutes, but no debris appeared to hit its territory, officials in Tokyo said.
The U.N. Security Council approved an emergency session for Sunday afternoon in New York, following a request from Japan that came minutes after the launch.
The South Koreans called it "reckless," the Americans "provocative," and Japan said it strongly protested the launch.
The launch was a bold act of defiance against President Barack Obama, Japanese leader Taro Aso, Hu Jintao of China and others who pressed Pyongyang in the days leading up to liftoff to call off a launch they said would threaten peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
We know it was a multi-stage but did not get high enough to launch a satellite. And not a threat to have Japan fire the Aegas or Missile Shield to go off. Just a rattling of the saber of Kim Il-Jong.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
CAPE CANAVERAL -- The U.S. Senate Budget Committee passed a spending plan Thursday that would keep NASA's shuttle fleet flying through 2011 and eliminate a fixed retirement date that could create "dangerous scheduling pressures" like those that led to the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia disasters.
The provision, included in the committee's version of the fiscal year 2010 budget, would provide NASA with an additional $2.5 billion to fly shuttle missions in 2011, while fully funding the development of next-generation Ares rockets and Orion spacecraft.
The spending provision is an initial -- but major -- legislative hurdle. The budget still must be passed by the full Senate and the House, and it must be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Senator Bill Nelson adds:
"This decision today in the Senate sends a strong signal that the shuttle should not be retired on a date-certain -- but only when the space station can be safely completed," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Orlando, who requested the spending provision.
NASA is "not going to be able to fly nine missions in a year-and-a-half, nor should they," said Nelson, a Melbourne native who flew a shuttle mission aboard Columbia that landed just 10 days before the Challenger explosion.
A positive move is the 3,500 space related jobs will be around a little bit longer.
Extending shuttle fleet operations for an additional year would stall an estimated 3,500 job cuts at Kennedy Space Center and help close an anticipated five-year gap between shuttle fleet retirement and the first piloted flights of the orbiter's replacement.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Great work on the ISS today. The power output has been increased so six crew members can inhabit the ISS. From Flame Trench here.
Activation of the final pair of solar wings brings the station to full power - enough to light up a small neighborhood.
The added power doubles to 30 kilowatts the amount of electricity available for science experiments in orbit, and helps NASA advance its goal of doubling station crews to six people this year.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
SANTA FE, N.M. - Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.
"I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.
Harrison Schmitt was one of the last astronaut to walk on the moon from the Apollo 17 mission. He has a science degree from the California Institute of Technology. He also studied geology at the University of Oslo in Norway and took a doctorate in geology from Harvard University in 1964. I know he isn't a atmospheric scientist but being a geologist he has studied the "Geologic records" connected to climate change.
“Not that the planet hasn’t warmed. We know it has or we’d all still be in the Ice Age,” he said. “But it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there’s disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming.”
Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.
Schmitt also said geological evidence indicates changes in sea level have been going on for thousands of years. He said smaller changes are related to changes in the elevation of land masses -- for example, the Great Lakes are rising because the earth’s crust is rebounding from being depressed by glaciers.
From Boston Herald here.
From Cave News here.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
Picture from Sky and Telescope here.
A small asteroid buzzed by Earth Monday, though only real astronomy geeks in the Pacific would have noticed.
The rock, estimated to be no more than 200 feet wide, zoomed past our planet at an altitude of 40,000 miles at 1:44 p.m. universal time — or 8:44 EST.
Dubbed 2009 DD45, it was discovered only on Friday by Australian astronomers.
Forty thousand miles may sound like a lot, but it's only about one-seventh of the way to the moon, and less than twice as far out as many telecommunications satellites.
Had 2009 DD45 hit the Earth, it would have exploded on or near the surface with the force of a large nuclear blast — not very reassuring when you consider humanity had only about three days' notice.
According to the Australian news Web site Crikey, the asteroid is likely to be drawn in by Earth's gravity, meaning it may return for many more near misses in the future.
Monday, February 23, 2009
From Fox News here:
Get ready for the night of the comet.
Comet Lulin, a strange, backward-traveling, greenish-hued ball of ice and gas, will make its closest approach to Earth on the evening of Monday, Feb. 23.
It'll still be 38 million miles away, but should be visible with the naked eye in dark locations, and with binoculars or a telescope in more lit-up locations.
Skygazers in North America should look to the west-southwest, where Lulin will be just a bit to the right of Saturn, between the constellations of Virgo and Leo.
This week will probably be humanity's only chance to see Lulin, which was discovered in 2007 by Chinese and Taiwanese astronomers. The comet appears to be on its way out of the solar system for good.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Iran said it had launched into orbit for the first time a domestically made Omid (Hope) research and telecommunications satellite. The launch was timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted the U.S.-backed Shah.
Iran's satellite technology may also be used in the development of ballistic missiles, the U.S. Defense Department said. Such missiles could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon over large distances.
The United States suspects Iran of developing nuclear weapons, although Iran has long said its nuclear program is purely for civilian energy purposes.
"This development today is cause for concern not just here in the United States but in Europe, throughout the Middle East and I believe throughout the greater world," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters. "They (Iran) pose a real threat and it is a growing threat."
Video HT from Wired & LGF here: