Blogs

Wide Awake in the Sea of Tranquillity

Neil Armstrong in the Eagle, returning to Earth. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 15.07.2009]
Neil Armstrong was supposed to be asleep. The moonwalking was done. The moon rocks were stowed away. His ship was ready for departure. In just a few hours, the Eagle's ascent module would blast off the Moon, something no ship had ever attempted before, and Neil needed his wits about him. He curled up on the Eagle's engine cover and closed his eyes.

But he could not sleep.

NASA Plays Audio "Time Capsule" of Historic Apollo 11 Mission

Neil Armstrong on the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 14.07.2009]
NASA will provide a unique audio "time capsule" in observance of the 40th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon. Audio from the entire Apollo 11 mission will be replayed and streamed on the Internet at exactly the same time and date it was broadcast in 1969.

The audio retrospective will begin at 6:32 a.m. CDT Thursday, July 16, two hours before the spacecraft launched. The audio will continue through splashdown of the mission at 11:51 a.m. CDT Friday, July 24, and recovery of the crew shortly afterward. The Web stream will feature the communications between the astronauts and ground teams, and commentary from Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA Holds Briefing to Release Restored Apollo 11 Moonwalk Video

Apollo 11 and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 20.07.2009]
NASA will hold a media briefing at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 16, at the Newseum in Washington to release greatly improved video imagery from the July 1969 live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.

The release will feature 15 key moments from Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's historic moonwalk using what is believed to be the best available broadcast-format copies of the lunar excursion, some of which had been locked away for nearly 40 years. The initial video released Thursday is part of a comprehensive Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project expected to be completed by the fall.

NASA Selects 20 Innovation Fund Projects

[NASA Press Release - 10.07.2009]
NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program, working with the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA Headquarters, has selected 20 projects for the 2009 NASA Innovation Fund. The fund was established to advance work from NASA innovators on novel technologies and concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the way NASA performs its missions such as enabling new capabilities in space flight, science, aeronautics or exploration. Projects that also offer potential solutions to other national and global challenges are of particular interest.

Moonship Photographed by Backyard Astronomers

LCROSS heading towards the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Science Article - 09.07.2009]
On June 29th, neighbors of Paul Mortfield in Ontario, Canada, heard "cheers of excitement" coming from the astronomer's house. What caused the commotion?

"I had just observed NASA's LCROSS spacecraft," explains Mortfield. Using no more than a backyard telescope, he caught it zipping past spiral galaxy IC3808.

LCROSS is the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. It left Earth June 18th atop an Atlas V rocket on a mission to crash into the Moon. On Oct. 9th, NASA plans to plunge LCROSS headfirst into a deep crater near the Moon's south pole. Researchers hope the debris it kicks up will reveal water and other minerals of use to future lunar explorers.

NASA Scientists Dive Deep to Learn More about Life on the Moon, Mars

PLRP logo. Credits: PLRP

[NASA Press Release - 09.07.2009]
NASA and the Canadian Space Agency invite journalists and the public on Tuesday, July 14, to observe the international, multidisciplinary Pavilion Lake Research Project team as it studies the origin of rare freshwater carbonate rock structures that thrive in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada.

Reporters will have an opportunity to interview Pavilion Lake Research Project scientists from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on July 14 as they study and explore the unique underwater formations and conduct research about life in extreme environments. Journalists interested in attending must register before July 13 at:

NASA's LRO Spacecraft Sends First Lunar Images to Earth

First image of the lunar surface by LRO. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 02.07.2009]
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has transmitted its first images since reaching lunar orbit June 23. The spacecraft has two cameras -- a low resolution Wide Angle Camera and a high resolution Narrow Angle Camera. Collectively known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, they were activated June 30. The cameras are working well and have returned images of a region a few kilometers east of Hell E crater in the lunar highlands south of Mare Nubium.

Hi-Res Radar Image of the Lunar South Pole

SMART-1 mosaic of the lunar south pole. Credits: ESA/Space-X

[NAIC Press Release - 02.07.2009]
A high-resolution S-band (12.6 cm wavelength) radar view of the lunar south pole, obtained using the NAIC Arecibo Observatory and the NRAO Green Bank Telescope (GBT), is now available for download. These data were acquired in 2005 and have a single-look spatial resolution of 20 m per pixel. The WEB site where the images can be obtained is http://arecibo.tc.cornell.edu/lunarimages/default.aspx

NASA Selects Nine New Astronauts for Future Space Exploration

Artist impression of lunar outpost. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 29.06.2009]
After reviewing more than 3,500 applications, NASA has selected nine people for the 2009 astronaut candidate class. They will begin training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston this August.

"This is a very talented and diverse group we've selected," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "They will join our current astronauts and play very important roles for NASA in the future. In addition to flying in space, astronauts participate in every aspect of human spaceflight, sharing their expertise with engineers and managers across the country. We look forward to working with them as we transcend from the shuttle to our future exploration of space, and continue the important engineering and scientific discoveries aboard the International Space Station."

NASA Announces Apollo Anniversary Events, News Conference

Apollo 17 lander on the Moon. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 26.06.2009]
NASA has announced a schedule of events to commemorate the achievements of the Apollo program and the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing. Among the activities is a news conference with astronauts from several Apollo missions scheduled for 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. EDT, July 20, in the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA Headquarters is located at 300 E St., S.W.

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