Tag: Spaceflight

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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Moon boots

moon-boots_198x198Who does not know the »moon boots« – these bulky snow boots, which appeared in the 70′s and 80′s and have taken their claim ever since in the winterly fashion scene. The Italian Giancarlo Zanatta designed the shoes, inspired by the moon landing in 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore overshoes with wide soles, which provided the formal inspiration for moon boots. Zanatta took immediate care of the production of the shoes with his company called Tecnica, which is run by his son Alberto Zanatta today, and still sells up to 700,000 pair per year. [read more]

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The Moon in »Space Oddity« by David Bowie

space-oddity_198x198The song »Space Oddity« by the British musician David Bowie (1947–2016) made history. Bowie’s inspiration for this piece composed in 1968, was the science fiction classic »2001: A Space Odyssey« by Stanley Kubrick.

It tells the fictional story of the astronaut Major Tom, who leaves his spacecraft during a flight through space and says his farewell to the people. The last four lines of the lyrics also mention the Moon: [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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Trash on the Moon

moon-trash_198x198While the waste problem continues to assume serious dimension on our planet, we find, when examined more closely that people do not only leave trash behind on Earth. Thus, there are tons of scrap metal from satellites and rockets, which circle around the Earth, and also on the deserted Moon there is already a lot of waste that has been left behind by astronauts on their missions. Furthermore, there are countless space probes on the Moon, which were deliberately smashed or landed there, after relevant images and data had been transmitted to Earth. Clearly, it appears to be part of human nature to produce waste and to spread it everywhere on a large scale. [read more]

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The gravity on the Moon

gravity-moon_198x198Gravity is the force of attraction of bodies. Its intensity depends on the mass: the more mass, the higher the gravity.  This is the reason why the gravitational pull is greater on Earth than on the Moon, because Earth is considerably larger and heavier than the Moon. The gravitational acceleration on Earth is with approx. 9.8 m/s² six times as strong as on the Moon with approx. 1.6 m/s². This is why astronauts are able to jump higher on the Moon than on Earth and objects fall to the ground at a lower speed. [read more]

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The song »Fly Me To The Moon«

frank-sinatra_198x198The jazz classic »Fly Me To The Moon«, originally written by Bart Howard in 1954, gained worldwide fame through Frank Sinatra (1915–1998). His version from 1964 accompanied the space mission Apollo 10 to the Moon in May of 1969, and was played when the spaceship orbited the Moon. Further, it was the first song ever that was played on the Moon, when Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon with a portable cassette player during the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. [read more]

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James Bond and the full moon

james-bond_198x198Ian Fleming’s fictitious secret agent 007, of the British Secret Service MI6, has been fighting the villains of this world on screen for over 50 years, accompanied by technical knick-knacks, all sorts of explosions and always beautiful women. There are many night scenes and one should assume that the Moon should be included quite frequently … far from it! We were only able to spot one Bond flic where the full moon can be seen: MOONRAKER from 1979 – and only at the beginning and the end of the movie. [read more]

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Moonquakes

seismograph_198x198By analogy with earthquakes on the Earth, there are so called »moonquakes« on the Moon. By that, we are referring to tremors on the Moon. The astronauts of the five Apollo missions in 1969 to 1972, left seismographs on the Moon, to measure these seismic waves. Afterwards, all data had been sent back to Earth until 1977 and analyzed. [read more]

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Water on the Moon

shackleton_198x198The exploration of foreign celestial bodies is particularly interesting for science, when there is the possibility of life could exist. An important condition for this provides the evidence of water (mostly in frozen form, because it contains oxygen).   One may simply say that where water exists, life could develop, or is already present. [read more]

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The lunar probe LADEE – the sequel

ladee2_198x198As reported back in September 2013, NASA sent the lunar probe LADEE (short for: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) into space, to circle and to explore the Moon. Especially, the formation of ice at the lunar poles has been of great interest. The space probe also collected measurement data of dust particles and gases that are close to the Moon’s surface. [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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The lunar probe LADEE

The lunar probe »LADEE« (short for: Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) of the American space agency NASA, launched successfully into space, for further exploration of the Moon. A probe is an unmanned flying object, which can fly through space or circle orbs and thereby sends data to Earth via radio. [read more]

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Meteoroid impact on the Moon

Just recently, NASA found out, during an examination of video material, that a relatively large explosion took place on the Moon on 17th March 2013, caused by the impact of a meteoroid. This was an approximately 15 inches large and 88 pounds heavy chunk, which hit the Moon’s surface with 56,000 mph. The explosive power is equivalent to 5 tons of TNT. The flash of light which lit up during the impact in the »Mare Imbrium«, was so bright that it was visible with the naked eye from Earth. [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 Google Lunar X-Prize

Google is on everyone’s lips and in our computer oriented world there is probably not a day, where we don’t encounter the name of the US enterprise with its famous search engine in one form or another. We google – this is how the Oxford English Dictionaries have it since 2006.

Google has demonstrated more than once, how to change the world with unconventional ideas. Since 2007, there is a project, which continues this tradition: the »Google Lunar X Prize«. [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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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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