Friday, July 27, 2018

Maybe not so hard anymore...

From the Hill: NASA could be Israel's ticket to space

"Recently NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine embarked on his first international trip as chief of the space agency. Israel was the first stop on the diplomatic journey. Bridenstine met with a variety of players in the Israeli government and private sector. He signed an agreement to forge a partnership with Israel for NASA’s program to return to the moon, a sound move, considering that country’s growing expertise in technology.

Golf on the Moon: How Alan Shepard tricked NASA and hit the most famous shot in history
NASA’s Jim Bridenstine on Why America’s Going to the Moon—Forever
Map depicting radiation on Europa could help direct upcoming missions
Virgin Galactic spaceplane smashes altitude record in latest test flight

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Newt Gingrich: 49 years ago we stepped on the moon -- Now it's time to dream big again
NASA and the UAE will team up for human spaceflight
Here's how Russia tried to mess up our moon landing
Most Of NASA’s Moon Rocks Remain Untouched By Scientists
From my latest piece in The Hill: How the flight of Apollo 11 won the Cold War

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped down the ladder of the lunar module and became the first human beings to set foot on the moon. The first moon walk not only constituted an enormous, peacetime feat of science and technology, but unarguably a victory in the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

In fact, it can be argued that the flight of Apollo 11 and the subsequent expeditions to the moon set the stage for the final victory in the Cold War 20 years later.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Proof that having a working time machine could be lucrative indeed. Personally I would rather go forward to witness the next moon landing (see below) than to rewatch the first.

Everybody is remembering the first moonwalk today. But what about the next one? 

Sometime in the Future…
The wall-to-wall big-screen TV has been displaying talking heads on one half of the screen and an image of the Artemis lunar lander on the other half for the past hour  It is the first crewed spacecraft to set down on the lunar surface in 50 years. The old man watching the TV reflects that despite the passage of decades and the advance of technology, the need to fill air time during the high points of the flight of Orion 3 has not changed since the age of over-the-air broadcasting and analog televisions. The cable news network on which he has watched most of the mission has had a procession of celebrity scientists, former astronauts, politicians, and media pundits to discuss every aspect of the first flight to the Moon in decades.
The media is vastly different than it was when men first walked on the Moon 53 years before. Then only three major networks existed. Now, most televisions can access a broad range of news and science-oriented channels that can cover the return to the Moon from their own unique perspectives. That does not include the various ways that the Internet and social media cover the events.
With that in mind, the old man picks up his tablet and checks his social media feeds. The NASA and the Artemis Twitter accounts are abuzz, creating a minute-by-minute account of what is happening both on Earth and on the Moon. The old man adds his impressions of the event to his own channels and then adds a picture of his living room, filled with friends and family members. Three generations, only a handful of whom had seen men walk on the Moon in the 1960s and 70s, are munching snacks, playing with their own electronics, or just watching raptly what is happening on the Moon hundreds of thousands of miles away.
The crewed lander has been preceded by a cargo ship that containing a rover, an inflatable habitat, and supplies weeks ago. The camera on the cargo lander is what shows the Artemis standing on the lunar surface. It tracks the lunar lander as it descends to the landing site on a tail of fire, on the north rim of the Shackleton Crater. That is something they never got to see 50-plus years ago.
Suddenly, the moderator on the news channel stops the banter with her guests and says, “We just got word that the EVA is about to begin. The mission commander is already in her moon suit and has entered the Artemis airlock.”
The old man notices that some of the younger people are already putting on their VR googles. They will get a full 3D view of the first person to walk on the Moon in decades. The old man, however, is just old-fashioned enough to want to watch it on the flat screen.
The airlock door slides open, and a pair of space suited legs appears. The old man thinks it amusing that the commander of the Orion 3 is a female Air Force officer. Fifty years ago, female astronauts at NASA were nine years in the future, and Sally Ride’s first flight was 14 years in the future. The commander of Orion 3 is fully qualified, having spent two tours on the International Space Station. But the old man thinks that her selection was a conscious decision by NASA to boast of how diverse the space agency is, these days.
The space suit she wears is modern as well, a form-fitting costume that uses “active materials” to keep up the pressure on her body to compensate for the lack thereof on the lunar surface. She moves as gracefully as a gymnast, clambering down the ladder of the Artemis in easy steps. The old man smiles, remembering the bulky moon suits that the Apollo astronauts wore, making their movements awkward.
She stands at the bottom of the ladder and talks to Mission Control about the state of the Artemis on the lunar surface.
Then comes the great moment.!
“I’m going to step down now.”
She steps off lightly and plants both boots on the lunar surface.
“We have returned to the Moon in the spirit of peace and scientific exploration,” the commander of the Artemis says, “and that was a heck of a leap for a girl.”
As likely happens at hundreds of thousands of venues, from living rooms like this to a crowded Times Square, everyone present breaks out in spontaneous applause.
The old man has a tear on his cheek. One of the kids notices this. “Was it like this the first time, Grandpa?”
The old man smiles down at her. “This time’s better.  Because this time, we’re going to stay.”

3 Reasons Why We Might Return to The Moon

Tales of the Next Space Age

China's super-sized space plans may involve help from Russia
The Correction Heard 'Round The World: When The New York Times Apologized to Robert Goddard
Children of Apollo: What if we never stopped going to the Moon?

Apollo 11 TV Broadcast - Neil Armstrong First Step on Moon

As we saw the first moonwalk 49 years ago.
'The Eagle has landed': Remembering the Apollo 11 moon mission

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is rapidly becoming my second favorite socialist.
Sacha Baron Cohen bombs on Showtime Naturally Sarah Palin is to blame. The Mama Grizzly's claws are still sharp.

From the Hill: Putin cannot match America’s space weapons so he's changing the rules of the game

When President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged from their summit talks, both men exuded an all-is-sweetness and light mien. Putin spoke first at the joint press conference and suggested, among other things, a proposed ban on weapons in orbit, “the agenda of non-placement of weapons in space.”

The diplomatic gambit is an obvious response to Trump’s proposed Space Force. One would hope that if the proposal came up during the talks, Trump gave his Russian counterpart a one-word answer: “No.”

Cost to generate wind power fell by one-third in six years
Another Volcano? Jupiter Probe Sees Hotspot on Roiling Moon Io
Researchers develop new solar sailing technology for NASA
When will commercial crew launch?
NASA’s dilemma: governments don’t do innovation
The tiny nation leading a new space race
Why Trump doesn't admit Russian election interference

Monday, July 16, 2018

Trump and Putin and the fear-mongering MSM
Apparently I have been plagerized by a computer.
Ocasio-Cortez Claims Israel Is ‘Occupying,’ Palestine, then Admits She’s No Expert
It looks like Anthony Bourdain took some shots at Bill and Hillary Clinton and Harvey Weinstein from beyond the grave
Fall Forecast: An Anti-Leftist Electoral Rout

Everyone who was of age on July 20, 1969, remembers where they were when men landed on the Moon. I was on a family vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida on that day. My family, along with another family with whom we had been friendly for years, crowded into a single beach-side motel room with one of the only working TVs to watch the first moonwalk.
The TV was ancient even for that era, a tiny black and white that could only get one channel. The quality of television transmission would have been considered laughable by modern standards. But, as anyone who has seen that wonderful Australian movie The Dish knows, the technological achievement of getting television pictures from the surface of the Moon to TV screens on Earth was as impressive, in its own way, as getting men there and back.
The images that traveled from the Moon to millions of television sets on Earth were in black and white and fuzzy to boot. But the reason they were more beautiful than any special effects-laden science fiction movie was that they were real. This was not some cinematographer’s conception of what a voyage to the Moon would be like. It was a voyage to the Moon.
Neil Armstrong was a blindingly white figure on the television screen as he descended down the ladder from the lunar module hatch to the ground. He lingered on the bottom of the ladder for tantalizing minutes as he observed the condition of the LM’s landing pads. Then, the moment arrived when he said, “I’m going to step off the LM now.”
A billion people on a planet that contained only a little more than three billion people held their collective breaths.
“That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
History is often bifurcated by singular events that change everything. So it was with the first Apollo moon landing. Before, the moon was terra incognita, a bright disk in the sky filled with mystery and wonder. After, it was a place where men had walked and explored, bringing back rocks and soil for generations of scientists to study, as valuable in their own way as the gold which the Spanish conquistadors had sought.
The rest of the two-hour excursion passed as if were a dream. Buzz Aldrin soon joined Armstrong on the lunar surface. They unveiled a plaque that commemorated the event. “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” Later, they erected the American flag to note the fact that those men were Americans, their mission supported and paid for by the United States. In the middle of their collecting rocks and setting up experiments, Armstrong and Aldrin took a call from President Richard Nixon.
Then, in the fullness of time, the two men took their geology treasure back into the lunar module and blasted off for a rendezvous and docking with the Apollo command module then in lunar orbit.
The Apollo Moon landing was so successful and, dare I say, so cool, that we did it five more times with missions of increasing scope and sophistication. As a bonus, the world looked on with anxiousness as the crew of Apollo 13 fought to come home after an explosion in the service module. The epic voyage became one of the greatest movies about space travel in history, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks.
Then, after the last Apollo moon mission departed the lunar surface in December 1972, we stopped.
Why the United States stopped going to the Moon, even with the spacecraft already built for three more missions, is something of a mystery for those who came of age after the end of the First Age of Lunar Exploration. Logically, the United States should have built on the knowledge and experience it had won during the Apollo missions to the Moon to continue to conduct lunar expeditions, building up to a permanent lunar base.
Why the United States turned away from the Moon, just when it had achieved it, is part of the subject of this small book. I will also try to explain why two attempts to revive a lunar program crashed on the rocks of politics. I will also try to lay out a political strategy for making a third attempt to return to the Moon, this time successfully.
Most people can recite from memory the first words spoken on the moon. But few people remember the last words, at least officially, said by Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan.
"I'm on the surface; and, as I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come - but we believe not too long into the future - I'd like to just [say] what I believe history will record. That America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return: with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."
The second-to-last sentence contains a promise that has yet to be fulfilled. That fact is a blot on our civilization that will only be wiped out when the next moonboots hit the ground on the other side of the airless sea.


Apollo 11 Launch (Original NASA Video)

49 years ago...
Pentagon sees quantum computing as key weapon for war in space
The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep
Lockheed Martin, Orbex to launch from new British spaceport

Friday, July 13, 2018

Steal the spaceship, divert the asteroid, save the world, avoid federal prison. What could be easier?

Bill Nelson’s Campaign Avoiding Taxes, Health Care Costs on Campaign Staff
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin plans to charge at least $200,000 for space rides, sources say

In the Hill 2018 is the year India, China and Israel go to the moon

Interest in exploring Earth’s nearest neighbor has not been so intense since the days of the Apollo program almost 50 years ago. The 21st-century race back to the moon is no longer limited to the U.S. and Russia, as three other contenders will launch expeditions to the lunar surface later this year.

X-SpaceX Raptor designer has ready for development designs for nuclear rocket that will be up to 7 times better than BFR
Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon
White House nominates Morhard to be NASA deputy administrator A mistake, IMHO, as I explain in NASA needs Janet Kavandi if we’re going to make it back to the moon — then Mars

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rocket Lab to expand launch capability with US launch site
Sarah Palin reveals she was TRICKED by Sasha Baron Cohen when he pretended to be a wounded veteran to interview her for his new Showtime series Who Is America?

When the next moonwalk happens...

"We have a launch and landing dates! December 2018- Launch, February 13 2019- First Israeli spacecraft lands on the moon! SpaceIL's moon mission is officially underway #SpaceIL" Good luck, guys.

More: First Israeli Spacecraft to Head to Moon on Back of Elon Musk's SpaceX Rocket

Russian editor: Our space program is entering the “Dark Ages” Soon SpaceX and Blue Origin will be bigger space powers than Russia.

NASA’s chief wants former astronaut Janet Kavandi to help run things. Trump is looking at the senate’s admin guy A big mistake on the part of POTUS in my opinion.

NASA needs Janet Kavandi if we’re going to make it back to the moon — then Mars

Monday, July 09, 2018

How will SpaceX transport the BFR?

Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler? And I thought that the Obama was born in Kenya was mind numbing stupid.
On bended knee, Britons praise their underperforming healthcare system The idea of socialized medicine as a religion is a macabre one, especially since it comes with child sacrifice, as the parents of Charlie Gard found out.
From Mars missions to flying cars: 8 unusual NASA projects
Would Life On Earth Be Possible If We Were Anyplace Else In The Galaxy?
10 of the strangest exoplanets in the universe
Who was behind Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s astonishing makeover?

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Thanks to Natural Gas, US CO2 Emissions Lowest Since 1985
Senior scientist argues that we should bypass Europa for Enceladus

From the Hill Newspaper: Deterring World War III with Trump’s Space Force<

When President Trump proposed the creation of a United States Space Force, the idea was ridiculed on social media. However, some critics have also accused the president of trying to “militarize space,” a silly idea, since the United States military has been launching and operating satellites for decades.

Don’t Worry, a Lunar Return Won’t Harm the Moon
Will the F-35 have laser weapons in the future?
Trump's Space Force will shake up military bureaucracy for the better
Without SpaceX China would have caught up to NASA in 2030 with Long March 9 matching SLS block 2
NASA seeking industry proposals for first element of Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Here's What 'Artemis' Author Andy Weir Thinks of NASA's Moon Plan
International Space Agencies Eye Moon Missions
Seattle passes citywide law based largely on the research of a 9-year-old

A woman walks on the Moon, December, 1975...

Iran thinks Israel has been stealing its clouds to cause a drought
Bridenstine accepts climate change, NASA could study planet, develop new energy sources

Recently NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine [VIDEO]held a televised town hall in which he fielded questions from employees of the space agency. Inevitably, the question of climate change came up. Bridenstine, when he was a member of Congress, expressed skepticism of human-caused climate change, based on the belief that measures that were being proposed to combat it would harm his constituents in Oklahoma. The statement that was made on the House floor came back to haunt the congressman during his confirmation hearings for NASA administrator when Democratic senators attacked him as a “science denier.”

The Space Station Is Shifting to Commercial Crew Vehicles. Where Does That Leave Russia?
Cyber Command moves closer to a major new weapon