Filmmaker S.G.Collins argues that the moon landing footage couldn’t have been faked, simply because in 1969 the technology wasn’t there to do it. That is to say, at that point in history the only place those images could have been made is on the surface of the moon.
I love this xkcd cartoon: an explanation of the Saturn V rocket using only words which are among the 1000 most commonly-used in the English language. I often feel like I sound like this in foreign languages…
[click to embiggen]
July 24th, 1969, saw this odd bit of paperwork filed at Honolulu airport.
Via Futility Closet:
When an explosion crippled Apollo 13′s command module, the crew used the lunar module as a “lifeboat.” The two modules had been built by different contractors, so when the mission was over Grumman sent a tongue-in-cheek bill to Rockwell for “towing” the ship to the moon and back.
These tracks, made by the Soviet moon rover Lunokhod 2, as well as the rover itself were spotted by University of Western Ontario professor Phil Stooke. He found them by comparing recently-released images of the moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter to his own book The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration.
The Soviet Union landed Lunokhod 2 on the moon in January 1973, a month after the last American moonwalk. As the name suggests, it was the second of two solar-powered robotic rovers the Soviets sent to the moon.
The Lunokhod rovers were the first remote-controlled vehicles to travel on an extraterrestrial body and still hold the record for longest rover trip at 35 kilometres. (The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have travelled 7.7 kilometres and 19.5 kilometres, respectively.)
Lunokhod 2′s mission was to collect images from the moon, observe X-rays from the sun, study the moon’s soil and measure its magnetic fields.
Canadian Astronomer Spots Soviet Rover on Moon [CBC]
A picture of Apollo 11′s landing site taken by the LRO from an altitude of 50 km.
Posted in History, Space, Technology
Tagged Apollo 11, Eagle Has Landed, Ejecta, Lander, LRO, Lunar, Moon, Photograph, Surface
Cracked has a fantastically interesting list up of 5 Cold War projects that are, well, certifiably insane. Like lauching nuclear missiles at the moon in a show of force. It’s really worth reading but, as usual with Cracked, comes with a language warning.
Nuke The Moon: 5 Certifiably Insane Cold War Projects [Cracked]
Posted in Flaming Ball of Death, History, Space, Thought-Provoking
Tagged Batshit Insane, Cold War, Cracked, Crazy, Moon, Nuke, Project, Psychic, Ridiculous, Soviet Union, US
Europa, long considered one of the prime candidates for life elsewhere in the solar system, seems just a little bit more likely. Recent research has found that the dissolved oxygen levels in her ocean are about twice that of the oxygen levels in Earth’s Oceans. From the article:
The global ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa contains about twice the liquid water of all the Earth’s oceans combined. New research suggests that there may be plenty of oxygen available in that ocean to support life, a hundred times more oxygen than previously estimated.
The chances for life there have been uncertain, because Europa’s ocean lies beneath several miles of ice, which separates it from the production of oxygen at the surface by energetic charged particles (similar to cosmic rays). Without oxygen, life could conceivably exist at hot springs in the ocean floor using exotic metabolic chemistries, based on sulfur or the production of methane. However, it is not certain whether the ocean floor actually would provide the conditions for such life.
Jupiter’s Moon Europa May Have Enough Oxygen for Life [Physorg]
This is an amazing video of the recent solar eclipse as seen from North Iwo Jima, Japan. That’s where the eclipse appeared for the longest of any landmass.
[via Huffington Post]
In an effort to determine if there was ever water on the moon, NASA intends to launch a rocket into it to check. From the article:
In an unprecedented scientific endeavor — and what may be one of the coolest space missions ever — NASA is preparing to fly a rocket booster into the moon, triggering a six-mile-high explosion that scientists hope will confirm the presence of water.
The four-month mission of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), which will be directed from NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, is to discover whether water is frozen in the perpetual darkness of craters near the moon’s south pole. As a potential source of oxygen for life support and hydrogen for rocket fuel, that water would be a tremendous boost to NASA’s plans to restart human exploration of the moon.
NASA/Ames Ready to Explode One of the Coolest Space Missions Ever [SiliconValley]
Posted in Flaming Ball of Death, Science, Space
Tagged Booster, Crater, Experiment, Exploration, Explosion, Ka-Boom, Moon, NASA, Rocket, Water