Lawnchairs in Space!

You likely are aware that I’m a fan of the Kerbal Space Pro­gram, a very cool and fun way to safely explore the pro­cess of design­ing, build­ing, launch­ing, nav­ig­at­ing and land­ing space­craft. Yep, cool and safe.

Totally unlike real­ity. Earli­er today I stumbled across this video that, while hos­ted by a Kerbal Space Pro­gram fan, goes into a lot of detail about LESS, the Lun­ar Escape Sys­tems.

Lawn­chairs + Rock­ets. That’s it! No com­puter. Nav­ig­a­tion handled by the Mark I Eye­ball and stop­watches.



More Gagarin Goodness…


Earli­er today I noticed the Google Doodle point­ing to resources about Yuri Gagarin’s (and mankind’s) first orbit of the Earth.

A few moments ago @mynameiskate poin­ted me at the You­Tube logo — mod­i­fied too — and links to First Orbit a free fea­ture-length movie about Gagarin’s flight:

A real time recre­ation of Yuri Gagarin’s pion­eer­ing first orbit, shot entirely in space from on board the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion. The film com­bines this new foot­age with Gagarin’s ori­gin­al mis­sion audio and a new music­al score by com­poser Philip Shep­pard.

Here’s a great writeup of the First Orbit pro­ject at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic:

Pos­ted on You­Tube at mid­night GMT on April 12, the roughly 108-minute film blends a few 1960s his­tor­ic reels with mod­ern shots taken from the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion (ISS) by Itali­an astro­naut Paolo Nespoli. His video not only retraces Gagarin’s view from orbit, it shows Earth bathed in sun­light at the same angle the cos­mo­naut would have seen dur­ing his 1961 flight.

I guess I know what I’m doing this even­ing, stream­ing this video in HD through my Apple TV 🙂

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Damn those are pretty…

Earli­er this week NASA release the first series of images from the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Sur­vey Explorer) project…and they are hot!

Since WISE began its scan of the entire sky in infrared light on Jan. 14, the space tele­scope has beamed back more than a quarter of a mil­lion raw, infrared images. Four new, pro­cessed pic­tures illus­trate a sampling of the mission’s tar­gets — a wispy comet, a burst­ing star-form­ing cloud, the grand Andromeda galaxy and a faraway cluster of hun­dreds of galax­ies.

Check out the full gal­lery here — and yes, I’ll likely be mak­ing a desktop or two from these — stay tuned.

Godspeed Apollo 11

It was 40 years ago today, and the Amer­ic­an space pro­gram put it all on the line send­ing three young avi­at­ors to land on the moon.

Wow. I don’t think we’d even con­sider that a risk worth tak­ing now. Some­where along the line we lost our abil­ity to take risks.…and return to the Moon.

I’m lucky to have been alive (barely) dur­ing this peri­od, but the space race, for what it was, did make a last­ing impres­sion.

And here’s a very cool thing. Over the next few days, you can live (or relive if you’re old enough) through the exper­i­ence by fol­low­ing the Apollo 11 moon­shot through this amaz­ing web­site:

This site rep­res­ents a unique oppor­tun­ity for view­ers to ‘go back in time’ and exper­i­ence one of mankind’s most amaz­ing achieve­ments,” said Tom Put­nam, dir­ect­or of the John F. Kennedy Pres­id­en­tial Lib­rary and Museum. “From actu­al mis­sion audio trans­mis­sions and archiv­al video to mis­sion fact­oids and news reels, vis­it­ors to will be able to track every step of the Apollo 11 mis­sion, as it happened, 40 years later.

And that’s anoth­er really cool thing. You can fol­low ‘live’ tweets from Cap­Com, the Eagle lander or the Apollo 11 space­craft, as they happen(ed).  Simply fol­low AP11_CAPCOM, AP11_EAGLE, and AP11_SPACECRAFT to (re)live his­tory.