It was 40 Years Ago Today

At 20:17:40 UTC Neil Armstrong said, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

At 02:56 UTC on July 21 He became the first human to walk on the Moon.

I was 13 years old and had been glued to my parent’s TV for several days. I think I slept in front of the TV, too.

It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen and a memory touchstone.

Where were you and what were you doing? (Provided, of course you were alive. I’m not trying to be a smart-ass.)

Bootprint on the Moon   Apollo 11 Landing Site Seen by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter   Apollo 11 mission insignia

Happy 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Launch!

We choose the moon is an interactive experience recreating the historic Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in real time. Live event begins 9:32 AM EDT July 16, 2009. Exactly 40 years after Apollo 11 lifted off.

This was one of the highlights of growing up geek. I was 13 at the time and pretty much stayed up for a week watching the TV coverage. That meant Walter Cronkite on CBS. This was NEWS, you couldn’t entrust your information source to some amateurs.

links for 2007-12-24

Mars Spirit Rover’s Wheel is Broken

Nuts. I’ll let others closer to the effort comment.

Mars rover’s broken wheel is beyond repair [New Scientist]
Mission managers have given up hope of fixing a broken wheel on NASA’s Spirit rover and will simply have to drag the wheel on future drives. The glitch means NASA must avoid terrain with loose soil as it maps out a route to a safe winter haven for the rover.(…)

[E]ngineers have lost hope that the wheel can ever recover again. Recent tests at a range of voltage levels failed to produce any movement in the wheel. “It’s just not responding,” says team member Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, US. [more]

But hey, Spirit has lasted how long past its project date? 🙂

An Explosion on the Moon

Read about this via Eliot. It turns out, I could have listened to it as well.

So you thought nothing ever happens on the moon? [NASA]
NASA scientists have observed an explosion on the moon. The blast, equal in energy to about 70 kg of TNT, occurred near the edge of Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains) on Nov. 7, 2005, when a 12-centimeter-wide meteoroid slammed into the ground traveling 27 km/s.

“What a surprise,” says Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) researcher Rob Suggs, who recorded the impact’s flash. He and colleague Wes Swift were testing a new telescope and video camera they assembled to monitor the moon for meteor strikes. On their first night out, “we caught one,” says Suggs. [more]

Very cool! It’s hard to get research luck like that.

blivet – 10/31/2001

Audrey is giving Ian his last feeding of the day, last for a bit anyway. I need to hit the rack. Pax.

I just watched a rebroadcast of The Living Edens: Canyonlands, America’s Wild West on PBS. Wonderful photography.

This year’s Trick or Treater numbers were down about 60% here. All around there was not much activity. Somebody needs to take this candy outta here! Costumes didn’t seem very original tonight, a lot of Princesses and ‘Barbie Squad’ for girls, (the latter was new to me), while the boys were various ghouls and un-dead things. I thought the little ones were far cuter than last year, it must be that baby-itis that is going around. Ian was unimpressed with the whole affair. Go figure…

November’s Leonid meteor shower could be impressive. 2K meteors/hr! via wired

The United States can look forward to the most spectacular meteor show since 1966 — and it might be another 98 years before anything so sensational will be seen again. The Nov. 18 Leonid meteor shower will be “very impressive, rare and something that you’ll want to see,” said Peter Jenniskens, a research scientist specializing in the study of meteors at the NASA/Ames Research Center at California’s Moffett Field. “The August Perseids meteor shower, which normally gets the most annual astronomer attention, records a rate of about 80 meteors an hour, but this November’s Leonids will record a rate over 2000,” Jenniskens said.

No rain in the Las Vegas Valley, however, the air is crisp and clean˜very clean˜and smells delightful. It is a joy to be outside.

The full moon tonight is also a ‘blue moon’. That is when two full moons occur within a calendar month. It is also the last full moon on Halloween until the year 2020. Big juju could be afoot tonight… full moon stuff heard on NPR over lunch, Tonight’s big juju is just speculative.

Happy Samhain/Halloween!