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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No, I didn’t eat chili in Chile

No, I didn’t eat chili in Chile

At the end of May, took another one of my slightly wacky vacations, this time to Chile and Peru. The first week in Chile was dedicated to visiting various observatories and other astronomy related sites. Due to some of the best seeing in the world along with the dry, stable climate in the Atacama Desert, Chile is gravid with observatories. Collectively these sites form the European Southern Observatory, www.eso.org. Besides visiting all of...

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Modern simulations of NASA’s classic spaceflights

Modern simulations of NASA’s classic spaceflights

Simon Plumpton uses the moniker “lunarmodule5” on YouTube. Not many people would get that, but those who do are grateful for the remarkable work he’s been doing to make the spaceflights during NASA’s golden age feel real and present again. Lunarmodule5 didn’t have those experiences first hand, the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975 being his earliest memories. But that started a fascination in him such that he at one time hoped to become a...

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More transity goodness

More transity goodness

One of the fun things about going with an astronomy tour group is that I can let other people schlep their telescopes on the airplane, and I can “bum a look.” I supposed not much different then bumming for a smoke, but much healthier. Although, admittedly, it would have been fun to have my C6 with me. But it is a lot of fun comparing the various instruments side-by-side all aimed at the same target. I go with Melitatrips, based in...

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Look ma! I am on Chinese TV!

A couple of weeks ago I participated with “Hack the Future,” in San Jose. HtF brings computer professionals together with a bunch of kids to let them get a better understand of programming, robotics, hardware and so on. You can see me at the same table as Al Alcorn, inventor of Pong. Go...

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