Ed Mitchell and Apollo 14

Ed Mitchell and Apollo 14

The passing of Apollo 14 astronaut, Ed Mitchell, recently marks in a way, “the beginning of the end” of the Apollo era. As I write the I am listening to the air-to-ground audio of their mission, that occurred 45 years ago in February, 1971. Mitchell’s colleagues, commander and first American in space, Alan B. Shepard, and command-module pilot, Stu Roosa both passed away some time ago, leaving Ed as the sole representative of the third landing...

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Weird crap in Mike’s place: Gemini 5 flight plan

Weird crap in Mike’s place: Gemini 5 flight plan

In the arena of space collecting there are many levels to handle the many different interests and bank accounts. The most cost effective are things such as patches from the various missions, photo or other swag commonly found in NASA gift shops or on the web. The more serious collectors opt for autographs from Apollo era astronauts, or even flown artifacts. Several online dealers advertise flown items such as small pieces of parachute material...

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Ms. Astronaut

Ms. Astronaut

Not too long ago I attended a talk by Stephan Pastis the creator of one of my favorite comic strips: Pearls Before Swine. Of course he described the process of getting a strip selected for syndication (a process ultimately aided by Scott Adams), how many times he had to submit and so on. This reminded me of my own experience in that arena. Being a “child” of the 60’s…uh, not the bead wearing “peace, man!” slacker types, my sister filled that...

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Only photograph of Neil Armstrong on the moon

Only photograph of Neil Armstrong on the moon

On this, the 46th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, take note of the following space oddity: For all of the beautiful photos from man’s first walk on the moon, interestingly enough there exists but a single still photo of Neil Armstrong on his historic walk. One of his duties was to take photos while Buzz Aldrin set out the experiments. Armstrong of course, is visible in the relatively poor television from the lunar surface, in...

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Weird Shuttle Crap in Mike’s Place

Weird Shuttle Crap in Mike’s Place

The space shuttle’s cockpit layout would be instantly familiar to any airline pilot when it came to the many electro-mechanical displays that it used. With the “8-ball” attitude indicator and HSI, or Horizontal Situation Indicator, not to mention many other meters and gauges, the main control panel was gravid with intricate “old school” instruments. Starting in 1998 with Atlantis, the shuttles went through a period of cockpit upgrades to...

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