Tag: Space travel

Eugene Shoemaker and the Moon as final resting place

shoemaker_198x198Many people dream about making a journey into space sometime, or setting foot on a celestial body. And despite the fascinating images and movie footages we are able to enjoy here on Earth, the wish remains to experience this sight for ourselves. The German scientist and astronaut Ulrich Walter, recently related that the view onto the Earth in weightlessness and the realization not to be the centre, would change the individual thinking in a profound way. »Up there« in space, he was always happy. [read more]

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The lunar plaques and other messages to the universe

earth_198x198Are we alone in the universe? Are there other intelligent forms of life in space or are we alone? These questions have been on mankind’s mind, since we consciously reflect our existence and raise our gaze toward the starlit sky.

With the beginning of space travel, there arose the idea, of sending messages to potential extraterrestrial life. The question, which information is suitable, a representative picture of the entire human race and their lives on planet Earth, is particularly exciting. [read more]

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Buzz Aldrin – the second man on the Moon

buzz-aldrin_198x198Buzz Aldrin (* 1930) is an American astronaut and the man, who, as part of the Apollo 11 mission on 21st July 1969, stepped onto the Moon as the second person, just after Neil Armstrong. He stood in the shadow of his colleague and one could assume that he may have suffered under these circumstances. But this was not the case, he did not really want to be in the spotlight and was satisfied coming second. After he set his feet into the dust 20 minutes after Armstrong did, he said: »Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation.« [read more]

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Hasselblad cameras on the Moon

hasselblad_198x198The medium-format cameras by the Swedish manufacturer Hasselblad, enjoy a legendary reputation and were – at least back then – probably the best cameras in the world. Not surprising that NASA chose exactly this brand during their equipment selection for their Moon missions. At that time, everything revolved around photographic quality of taking the pictures and moreso, around the reliability of the cameras. Back then, you did not have the opportunity to immediately examine whether a photograph turned out well, because all material could be developed only after the return to Earth. So, with regards to cameras there was the need to hedge one’s bets – inconceivable, if those photos would have turned out a complete flop.   [read more]

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The department store John Lewis and the »Man On The Moon«

man-on-the-moon_198x198The Christmas advertising campaigns of the well known English department store John Lewis, have developed into a yearly tradition since their start in 2007 and have become part of pre-Christmas Internet culture. John Lewis has been awarded the »IPA Effectiveness Award« with its 2012 Christmas campaign. This year, the video called »Man On The Moon« was published – parallel to the Christmas full moon on 25th December 2015. [read more]

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Lunar lava tubes

lava-cave-moon_198x198When inviscid lava flows out of the volcano, it is possible that cavities are created inside the conduits, due to the different speeds of flow and temperatures. It is like a roof being formed above the flow of lava, which continues to flow inside. After cooling of the rocks, tubular cavities remain.

This phenomenon exists on Earth when volcanoes erupt, and scientists assume that those tubes and cavities could also be  prevalent on the Moon, dating from a time when vulcanoes were still active there. The lesser gravity benefited the formation of the tubes and might have also contributed to the fact that there could be kilometer-sized cavities underneath the Moon’s surface.   [read more]

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Luna 2 – the first space probe on the Moon

luna2_198x198Luna 2 was a Soviet space probe that impacted the Moon on  13th/14th September 1959. Space probes are unmanned flying objects that are used for exploration. In this case, it was about exploring the Moon, with the goal to fly a human to the Moon and have them return safely. History shows that this did not become possible until ten years later, with the moon landing of Neil Armstrong within the framework of the Apollo 11 mission, in July 1969. [read more]

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Flags on the Moon

flag_198x198There are currently precisely six American flags on the Moon, which were left behind by the respective astronauts at the moon landings of the Apollo missions 11,12,14,15,16, and 17. The flag of the Apollo 11 mission led the way. On 21st July 1969 at 03:56 am (CET), Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot onto our Moon and spoke the legendary sentence: »That’s one small step for (a) man … one … giant leap for mankind«. Together with his colleague Buzz Aldrin, he then planted the first flag on the Moon, which was apparently not so easy, due to the space suits, the pole rods and the condition of the ground. [read more]

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The spacesuit

spacesuit_198x198When examining it thoroughly, we humans will never be able to touch the Moon directly, because even when an astronaut is standing on its surface, there is always the glove of the spacesuit in between, without which, life could not exist on foreign celestial bodies (consider also Mars).

There are a variety of dangers that the spacesuit protects the wearer from: vacuum, cold and heat, weightlessness, micrometeorites and radiation. Hereby, a distinction is made between suits that are only worn inside the space capsule during specific maneuvers, and suits that are used for space walks and actually leave the spacecraft. [read more]

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Chinese moon landing in sight

After USA and the Soviet Union, China will be the third nation in the world travelling to the Moon with their space program, and they will probably land there with the astronauts as well in the long term. At the moment, an unmanned spaceship »Chang’e-3« (moon fairy) is on its way to the Moon since 1st December 2013, planning to land in the Mare Ibrium on 14th December and supposed to transport a rover for research purposes of the Moon’s surface. The vehicle is called »Yutu« (jade rabbit). [read more]

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Moon rock

Our Moon consists of rock, which was formed newly during its creation through a collision between the Earth and another planet, around 4.5 billion years ago. Lunar maria were created through meteoroid impacts, which can be seen as dark spots if observed from Earth.

A small amount of these rocks are on Earth. One part stems from a variety of moon missions (Apollo and Luna), the other from meteorites that struck the Earth as fragments.  If you add up the registered mass of these rocks, you’ll end up with 738 kg (1,627 pounds). Which is actually »just a grain of rice« in comparison to the 81,000,000,000,000 kg that our Moon weighs. [read more]

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A lunar base via 3D printer

A 3D Printer is a device with which you can print three-dimensional objects. This may initially sound strange, but will become obvious once you know that the objects can be built in layers. The printer applies the relevant materials instead of ink (i.e. plastic) and consequently forms the result.

Because these printers are now available for consumers at normal prices, in the future, we will purchase merely printing data instead of the product. So this trend actually moves away from mass-market productions and towards individualized items. [read more]

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Will the Moon be sold?

There are stories, they are so odd that they are hard to believe. Just a few days ago we came across this report, saying some multi-billionaires teamed up in order to buy the Moon. The motive for this unusual proposal is apparently an investment into future projects. It has been known for some time that the Moon could be significant for future utilization by people, and it therefore becomes a lucrative economic investment.

This is particularly about possible mineral resources, but also about the feasibility of creating moon colonies. Meanwhile, scientific studies have shown that the cultivation of plants – observed over extended periods of time – could create something like an atmosphere containing oxygen around the Moon. This is how a colonization on the Moon would be conceivable and it seems to be almost for certain that there should be enough volunteers, who would be willing to move away from Earth. [read more]

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The wrist watch on the Moon

What does an astronaut has on his wrist? You are not going to believe it, but it is something completely earthly: a watch. Because time is, next to the coordinates which show his position in space, the most important information for his mission and his life. And although, astronauts are surrounded by all kind of instruments, it has already been thought of in the beginnings of space travel to equip the crew with wrist watches. Of course with special models only. [read more]

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Property on the Moon?

Times and times again, you read about the possibility to purchase lunar property. Is this to be taken seriously or more of a gimmick or a clever sales idea? If looked at more closely, some astonishing details are coming to light …

When the manned space flight started in the 60s and a trip to the Moon became more likely, nations tried to regulate the topic such as ownership in space, and created an »Outer Space Treaty« in 1967,  which prohibits states to use space or its celestial bodies for self-serving or military purposes. This treaty was signed by 98 states, amongst them the superpowers, at the time USA and Soviet Union. [read more]

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Neil Armstrong – pioneer on the Moon

Neil Alden Armstrong (1930–2012) was a US American astronaut, who was the first man to set foot on the Moon as the commander of the Apollo 11 mission on 21st July 1969, and hence the first to step on a foreign celestial body. The mission was preceded by a fierce competition about the »reign« of space, between the then super powers USA and Soviet Union, so that the success of Apollo 11 turned out to not only have a historical meaning but also had a political relevance.   [read more]

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A hotel on the Moon?

A hotel on the Moon – that sounds quite utopian if not absurd.  Fact is, there are people thinking about colonising and inhabiting space or other celestial bodies, since man has been busy flying into space. And if we believe the statements of different companies that are planning hotels beyond the Earth, there has to be a great demand. This would actually be also necessary to make this project lucrative. Or is it merely the prestige and publicity, which are reaped by such an undertaking and hence would justify it? [read more]

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With the car on the moon

When Neil Armstrong became the first human being that set foot on the moon within the scope of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, he said the famous words »That’s one small step for (a) man … one … giant leap for mankind«  and hence erected a monument for this historic move. Rarely in history, did the success of human research and development work, condense so impressively in just one moment.   [read more]

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How does the moon fit onto a stamp?

We all grew up with stamps. Those small, delicate images which tell stories of countries and events and which can decorate an envelope quite wonderfully. Nowadays, letters are increasingly stamped with bar codes or rolling stamps. Still, the stamps are surviving and occasionally, the moon is to be seen on them. Mostly when a historic space travel event is being celebrated. [read more]

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The reverse side of the Moon

As is generally known, the Moon is not a disc but a sphere and one could ask the question if we actually get to see different sides of this Moon sphere? The answer is: no! At least this is true for the observer from Earth.

Indeed, we always see one half of the Moon. This is because the Moon is locked into the Earth rotation. This is called »synchronous rotation«. It means that we are never able to see the side of the Moon facing away from us. And until it was possible to photograph the reverse of the Moon with space probes, nobody knew what we would find or how it would look. [read more]

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