Tag Archives: NASA

I can’t stop comparing these two images

4 Dec

I realize they don’t look identical, and I realize they’re taken in roughly the same place (so of course they look similar!) — but there’s something more to it than that.

One is Apollo 17 on the launch pad in December 1972, prior to it’s flight – and the last flight that took humans away from home.

The next is Orion on the pad this morning, prior to its first flight into space – part of a major step that will again take us away from home.

Apollo 17 sits atop a Saturn V on the launch pad in December 1972

Apollo 17 sits atop a Saturn V on the launch pad in December 1972

Orion sits atop a Delta IV Heavy on the launch pad in December 2004

Orion sits atop a Delta IV Heavy on the launch pad in December 2004

Just wait for Space Launch System!

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Sights waiting to be seen by human eyes: Epic short film ‘Wanderers’

2 Dec

Wanderers, a short film by a Swedish man named Erik Wernquist shows a possible future for humanity.

It’s epic, and the best part? It’s inspired by reality.

Many of the images in the film likely appear familiar to space-watchers. The Sunset on Mars, for example, is based on a famous picture taken by the Spirit Rover in May 2005.

But it doesn’t stop there.

According to Wernquist:

– The image of a large spacecraft flying over Earth’s atmosphere is based on a famous image taken from the International Space Station in July 2003 during Expedition 7.

– The textures on Jupiter are based on Voyager 1 data from the 1979 fly-by.

– The geysers from Enceladus were discovered in 2005 by Cassini, and imaged since then – including identifying 101 individual geysers.

– The blimp arriving at an airport on Mars scene is inspired from a photo taken by Opportunity 2006.

– A colony on the Saturnian moon Iapetus features a great ridge only discovered (again by Cassini) in 2004.

– Hikers (or perhaps cross-country skiers?) moving across the surface of Europa was inspired by this image taken in 2001 and this one of Europa.

– The view of people gliding around the sky of Titan is inspired by the landing of the Huygens probe on the surface of the Solar System’s largest moon in January 2005.

– BASE jumping on Miranda, the largest moon of Uranus, is inspired by an image taken by Voyager 2 in January 1986.

And of course using words by the one-and-only Carl Sagan provides a nice touch. His words, part science and part poetry, stir the soul.

Wernquist also says the film doesn’t have any story of his own, rather he prefers that views insert their own meaning to it.

I choose to think of it as an example of what the future might hold, and the sights waiting to be seen by human eyes.

Floating among the clouds of Saturn, looking up at the Ringshine

Floating among the clouds of Saturn, looking up at the Ringshine

30 years since the first Canadian flew in space – #Garneau30

5 Oct

It was October 5, 1984 just a little after 7 a.m. ET when the Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off the pad from south Florida.

On board were Jon A. McBride, pilot; mission specialists Sally K. Ride, Kathryn D. Sullivan, and David C. Leestma; payload specialists Paul D. Scully-Power and Marc Garneau and crew commander Robert L. Crippen.

NASA, not having figured out a sensible numbering system for shuttle flights yet, called the mission 41-G — but this was actually the 13th space shuttle flight.

Up here in the north though, it was simply the first mission that carried a Canadian into the final frontier.

But that wasn’t the only first for STS-41-G.

It was also the first shuttle flight with a crew of seven; it was the first flight with two women on board; it was the first flight where a spacewalk would be conducted by a woman (Sullivan).

STS-41-G was Sally Ride’s second and last spaceflight.

During the course of the eight day mission (they landed October 13), Garneau was responsible for conducting 10 science experiments on board. He also assisted with general house keeping duties, such as preparing meals.

Garneau was on board representing the National Research Council of Canada – which at the time made the Canadian astronaut selections – since the Canadian Space Agency did not yet exist (the CSA was founded March 1, 1989).

Garneau’s backup for the mission was fellow Canadian astronaut Dr. Bob Thirsk, who flew into space on STS-78 (1996) and as part of the Expedition 20/21 (2009) crew to the International Space Station.

Besides STS-41-G, Garneau also flew into space on STS-77 (1996) and STS-97 (2000).

Over the course of STS-41-G, Challenger completed 133 orbits covering some five million kilometers.

The photos below all courtesy NASA/JSC.

Portrait view of STS 41-G crew in civilian clothes. Bottom row (l.-r.) Payload specialists Marc Garneau and Paul Scully-Power, crew commander Robert Crippen. Second row (l-.r-) Pilot Jon McBride, and Mission Specialists David Leestma and Sally Ride. At very top is Mission Specialist Kathryn Sullivan.

Portrait view of STS 41-G crew in civilian clothes. Bottom row (l.-r.) Payload specialists Marc Garneau and Paul Scully-Power, crew commander Robert Crippen. Second row (l-.r-) Pilot Jon McBride, and Mission Specialists David Leestma and Sally Ride. At very top is Mission Specialist Kathryn Sullivan.

View of the early morning launch of STS 41-G Challenger. The dark launch complex is illuminated by spotlights as the orbiter begins its ascent from the pad. The light is reflected off the clouds of smoke from the orbiter's engines.

View of the early morning launch of STS 41-G Challenger. The dark launch complex is illuminated by spotlights as the orbiter begins its ascent from the pad. The light is reflected off the clouds of smoke from the orbiter’s engines.

View of the Canadarm end effector touching the SIR-B antenna during STS 41-G

View of the Canadarm end effector touching the SIR-B antenna during STS 41-G

View of the SIR-B antenna being deployed during STS 41-G

View of the SIR-B antenna being deployed during STS 41-G

False-color image showing Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and was acquired by the Shuttle Imaging Radar-B (SIR-B) during STS 41-G. The St. lawrence River dominates the right portion of the photo. Several bridges cossing the river are visible. Pink and blue areas are generally buildings or pavement. Light green areas regions of natural vegetation; darker green areas are generally cultivated regions. A race track like structure is apparent at top left. The Riviere des Milles Illes and the Riviere des Prairies (left and right, respectively), join to form a U-shaped waterway at the center of the image. The large elliptical green-centered feature west of the St. Lawrence is Mt. Royal.

False-color image showing Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and was acquired by the Shuttle Imaging Radar-B (SIR-B) during STS 41-G. The St. lawrence River dominates the right portion of the photo. Several bridges cossing the river are visible. Pink and blue areas are generally buildings or pavement. Light green areas regions of natural vegetation; darker green areas are generally cultivated regions. A race track like structure is apparent at top left. The Riviere des Milles Illes and the Riviere des Prairies (left and right, respectively), join to form a U-shaped waterway at the center of the image. The large elliptical green-centered feature west of the St. Lawrence is Mt. Royal.

STS 41-G crew photo taken on the flight deck of the Challenger during the flight. Front row (l.-r.) Jon A. McBride, pilot; Sally K. RIde, Kathryn D. SUllivan and David C. Leestma, all mission specialists. Back row (l.-r.) Paul D. Scully-Power, payload specialist; Robert L. Crippen, crew commander; and Marc Garneau, payload specialist. Garneau represents the National Research Council of Canada and Scully-Power is a civilian oceanographer with the U.S. Navy.

STS 41-G crew photo taken on the flight deck of the Challenger during the flight. Front row (l.-r.) Jon A. McBride, pilot; Sally K. RIde, Kathryn D. SUllivan and David C. Leestma, all mission specialists. Back row (l.-r.) Paul D. Scully-Power, payload specialist; Robert L. Crippen, crew commander; and Marc Garneau, payload specialist. Garneau represents the National Research Council of Canada and Scully-Power is a civilian oceanographer with the U.S. Navy.

The Space Shuttle Challenger lands at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at the end of the STS 41-G mission.

The Space Shuttle Challenger lands at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at the end of the STS 41-G mission.

Title: Space Shuttle Challenger landing at Kennedy Space Center at end of STS 41-G

Title:
Space Shuttle Challenger landing at Kennedy Space Center at end of STS 41-G

STS 41-G crew leaves the orbiter after landing at Kennedy Space Center at the end of their mission. Astronaut Robert Crippen shakes hands with George W.S. Abbey, Director of JSC's Flight Crew Operations, while the other crewmembers wait behind him. They are Jon McBride, David Leestma, Sally K. Ride, Kathryn Sullivan, Marc Garneau and Paul Scully-Power.

STS 41-G crew leaves the orbiter after landing at Kennedy Space Center at the end of their mission. Astronaut Robert Crippen shakes hands with George W.S. Abbey, Director of JSC’s Flight Crew Operations, while the other crewmembers wait behind him. They are Jon McBride, David Leestma, Sally K. Ride, Kathryn Sullivan, Marc Garneau and Paul Scully-Power.

Official photo of the 41-G crew. They are (bottom row, left to right) Astronauts Jon A. McBride, pilot; and Sally K. Ride, Kathryn D. Sullivan and David C. Leestma, all mission specialists. Top row from left to right are Paul D. Scully-Power, payload specialist; Robert L. Crippen, crew commander; and Marc Garneau, Canadian payload specialist.

Official photo of the 41-G crew. They are (bottom row, left to right) Astronauts Jon A. McBride, pilot; and Sally K. Ride, Kathryn D. Sullivan and David C. Leestma, all mission specialists. Top row from left to right are Paul D. Scully-Power, payload specialist; Robert L. Crippen, crew commander; and Marc Garneau, Canadian payload specialist.

Robin Williams amazing space shuttle wake-up call from 1988

12 Aug

Reprising his role from “Good Morning Vietnam”, Robin Williams made the inaugural wake-up call to the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1988 during the mission STS-26.

Williams’ wake-up call was the first of the mission, and the flight was the first space shuttle flight since Challenger exploded during launch in 1986.

In the video of the wake-up call from NASA, flight controllers can be seen laughing along with the recording from Williams.

“Gooooood morning Discovery! Rise and shine, boys. Time to start doing that shuttle shuffle. You know what I mean. Hey, here’s a little song coming from the billions of us to the five of you,” Williams is heard saying.

Williams died on August 11 after an apparent suicide.

He was 63.

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