Saturday, August 25, 2012

Goodnight, Moon...Goodnight, Neil

Neil Armstrong passed away this afternoon. 

Here's his family's statement, which ends with these words:
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Tonight, wink at the moon. Feel free to leave your memories of Neil in the comments section. 

Rest in peace, Neil. Always loved, always missed. 

"Goodnight, Moon." Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong wave to crowds, 1969.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Selections From The Book of Cernan, Part 1

"This docking adapter is a sonofabitch. F--k it." Gene Cernan and Tom Stafford, cuss word architects, 1966.

So I'm currently avoiding writing about the NASA Social, because it was so awesome I can't even begin to wrap my head around it. Instead, here are some Selections from The Book of Cernan, aka The Last Man on the Moon by Eugene Cernan and Don Davis. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

Tom Stafford, aka “Mumbles,” discussing Cernan’s helicopter crash, page 263: 
“‘You dumb f--king shit, what the hell did you do? I’m out here trying to make sure you command Seventeen, and you just may have f--ked it all up.’ For a slow-talking Oklahoman, Stafford sure had a way with words. I had somehow managed to cheat death and he was making me feel guilty for ruining his day.”
Charlie Duke and Stuart Roosa, Adorable Astronauts, play a mean trick on Cernan, page 287:  
“No mercy. Stu Roosa and Charlie Duke killed a six-foot-long rattlesnake on the track behind the simulator building at the Cape, cut off its head and planned a major league gotcha…
Just as I reached for the telephone, I caught sight of the curled, scaly monster and my f--king heart stopped. I came out of the chair like I had a rocket up my butt, and slammed flat against the wall clear on the other side of the room, staring wildly at that big damned snake. Sonofabitch!”
 More to come, because this book is absolutely hilarious. 

"What? But I'm nice! I wouldn't do anything like that." Stuart Roosa plots, 1971. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

MSL's Landing Post, Aug. 5 - 6, 2012

11:03 p.m.: To watch it live, check out NASA TV online. Programming begins at 11:30 p.m. EDT. Hey guys!

11:33 p.m.: Here's MSL now: 

Thanks Eyes on the Solar System for this awesome look at MSL!

12:11 a.m.: Curiosity is now on her own, officially.  

12:51 a.m.: I'm getting stressed just looking at the control room. It's gonna be a long night. 

1:16 a.m.: Curiosity is apparently spinning down for entry. Sweating bullets.  

1:19 a.m.: Five minutes until entry.  

1:23 a.m.: One minute until entry.

1:25 a.m.: At entry interface...SOMEBODY HOLD MY HAND PLZ  

1:26 a.m.: Almost at the point where parachutes will deploy. GO BABY, GO. We have data from Mars Odyssey. 

1:28 a.m.: Mach 2.4.  


1:30 a.m.: We have radar!!! 

1:31 a.m.: Powered flight. 


1:32 a.m.: WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

1:33 a.m.: WE'RE WAITING FOR IMAGES. This is a historic moment.  

1:38 a.m.:

LUCY, I'M HOME: The first hi-res image of Mars from Curiosity. It has wheels!

KSC 50th Anniversary/MSL NASA Social, Aug. 2 - 3 , 2012, and MSL's Landing!

Hey all, I need some time to even synthesize my thoughts about the Kennedy Space Center NASA Social. Tonight, I will be liveblogging the MSL landing. Here's my scientific diagram showing what MSL will look like on the surface of Mars tonight/this morning: 

(It's safe, just a bit tired. Click to enlarge the image.) 

Watch this space for further updates!!!