Tag Archives: space

Face in Space

squirrel astronaut

Sometimes NASA is just cool.

A couple of years ago they sent a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter into orbit around the moon. Included on the craft was a microchip that had the names of anyone who submitted their moniker to the NASA website. I made sure that little chip had my name upon it. Matter of fact, as a tribute to a friend who loved space but was taken too soon by the damned demon that is cancer, we actually filled out the form in his name and gave the certificate to his widow. Stew is still circling the moon as we speak.

I mean heck, we obviously aren’t getting flying cars or living like the Jetsons and jetting off to space anytime soon. I thought that was my one shot at being an astronaut.

Until NOW!

NASA is at it again. This time you can send your pic out into the zero gravity zone on an upcoming launch of the Space Shuttle.

I submitted the pic at the top of this post. See, I was already prepared for my astro moment.

The Face in Space page says:

NASA wants to put a picture of you on one of the two remaining space shuttle missions and launch it into orbit.

(snip)

Return to this site after launch to print your Flight Certificate – a commemorative certificate signed by the Mission Commander.

How cool is that!?!?!

And just know that if my picture sees a UFO while it’s out there, I told it to wave at the little green men and then come back and report to Fox Mulder.

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The Squirrel Has Landed

I was four and a half when man took his first step on the moon 40 years ago today.

I really don’t recall anything about that day. If my mom plunked me down on the linoleum in front of our black-and-white television set to witness the event, I don’t remember it.

Since that day, I’ve seen the video of the first step replayed over and over. I’ve read and heard the phrase “One small step …” repeatedly.

It never gets old.

I do treasure the human spirit, creativity and bravery that it took to put man on the moon in a time when the best technology available was more limited than the computing power I carry in my pocket every day.

May our nation always have a will to dream and achieve equal to and beyond what it took to place three humans (Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr.) on the moon in 1969.

Maybe July 20 should be a national holiday. If Columbus Day exists, shouldn’t there be a Moon Landing Day?

Here are the links to NASA’s page full of Apollo 11 40th anniversary stuff including partially restored NASA footage of the monumental moon walk moment in HD.

It Came From Outer Space – Boy Hit By Meteorite

Over and over Chicken Little get a bad rap for saying “The sky is falling.”

A German kid found out that it’s the truth.

The 14-year-old boy was struck in the hand by a tiny meteorite.

Ouch.

Back in May, NPR had an interesting story about an auction for a meteorite and the person interviewed talked about meteorites that hit something other than the ground being worth much more when the gavel dropped. The auction they spoke of has already taken place, but the info shared is interesting.

Bat Rides Shuttle Into Space

Talk about a ride.

An injured bat clung to the space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank during its launch Sunday.

He was spotted hanging on to the tank prior to liftoff and an analysis was done to determine if he could damage the heat shields if he banged into them during the launch. The NASA folks determined it would be safe to take off with the critter still on board and did so.

The astro-bat was still visible on the shuttle when it passed the tower on the way up.

The tiny critter likely didn’t last too long after that though.

Here’s more info on the bat’s shuttle ride into space.

Pieces of Canadian Meteorite Found

I’ve been fascinated by the footage of the meteorite that fell over Canada last week.

I’m not normally into astronomy, but for some reason the shot from the cop’s dashboard camera of the sky lighting up and the streak that followed has really captured my attention.

A planetary scientist and a graduate student have found some fragments of the meteorite.

An American is offering a $10,000 reward for pieces of the meteorite weighing one killogram or more.

I’m guessing they’ll maintain them for research and forego the cash.

Space Race Heats Up

What with all the Joe the Plumber, Caribou Barbie, McCain tongue-wagging talk, some of you may have missed the news about a new lunar mission.

Yes, I know that diaper-wearing, Katie-Couric-on-a-bad-morning-look-alike astronaut Lisa Nowak‘s case has been back in court with her lawyers’ attempts to get the wacko stuff found in her car like wigs, duct tape and maps thrown out as evidence. That’s just loony, not lunar.

Here’s the lunar race I’m writing about.

FYI, India launched its first lunar mission — Chandrayaan-1 which means “moon craft” in ancient Sanskrit — this morning with hopes of mapping the moon’s surface. They’re looking for potential energy sources.

“A principal objective is to look for Helium 3, an isotope which is very rare on earth but is sought to power nuclear fusion and could be a valuable source of energy in the future, some scientists believe.”

The quote above is from an article at Scientific American.

Japan and China are also very interested in the moon and have launched orbiters around the big green cheese.

NASA does have some payload on the Indian lunar lander and will benefit from the exploration.

Is the USA ahead of the game with its Mars rover (which you can follow on Twitter @MarsPhoenix) or overlooking what’s right in our “backyard”?

It makes me wonder just how many more $$$$ will be pumped into space exploration in the coming years as other nation’s take serious shots into outer space.

To the Moon Alice

So when you were a kid (or last week or whenever) you wanted to be an astronaut and make a trip to the moon.

OK, you’re no Buzz Aldrin or even Buzz Lightyear. That dream didn’t work out so well, but how about if you could at least get your name to the moon.

NASA is now allowing folks to submit their John Hancock to a database which will be placed on a microchip and put on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft. The LRO will be in orbit around the big green cheese in the sky for many years.

According to a NASA press release,

“Everyone who sends their name to the moon, like I’m doing, becomes part of the next wave of lunar explorers,” said Cathy Peddie, deputy project manager for LRO at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “The LRO mission is the first step in NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon by 2020, and your name can reach there first. How cool is that?”

That press release says the deadline to submit your name has passed, but if you click on the link in the release, it states they will still allow you to add your name until the July 25, 2008 deadline.

As future moon orbiters, you also get a pdf of a certificate announcing you’re part of the mission.

Here’s mine.