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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is who runs our “space program”.

Written By: Gary on April 9, 2011 No Comment

One of the stranger posts I’ve seen on Facebook.

NASA Kennedy Space Center In the event of a government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. We’ll be back as soon as possible

Hopefully they leave the runway lights on if we’ve got something up in orbit…

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Written By: Gary on October 9, 2009 No Comment

I was excited to watch but the results were boring…
Click for a larger version of the CNN moon crash Video.

Here’s the animation, which was much more interesting.
Click for a larger version of the CNN moon crash Animation.

I hope the animation is pretty much what happened, we just couldn’t see it. I hope the data that they get is good data. I’d prefer that it shows there is water;ut if there isn’t, I hope the results show there isn’t. No data / bad data means failed mission…

The LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) spacecraft was also passing by a little bit later (90 seconds?) so that should have have some additional data.

LATER: A little more info on this at CNN. They said this was the fifth most watched webcast ever.

Written By: Gary on August 28, 2009 No Comment

The Space Shuttle Discovery is on the launch pad right now. This always excites me and still gives me chills when it takes off! You can watch NASA TV live on their site. At this point, they are in a hold and I think they are still supposed to launch in the next hour (11:59 PM EST).

sts-128.pngI’ve always wanted to see a launch, I don’t know why I’ve never made this happen. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago to see this launch (STS-128), but they moved the date so it didn’t work out. I’ve got to make this a priority over the next year before they stop the shuttle launches.

It’s been 25 years since this ship’s maiden voyage, it was August 30th, 1984 when Discovery had it’s first launch! It was the third orbital vehicle in service (OV-103) and is now the oldest running shuttle. Wow!

Once they introduced the shuttle, I always thought they’d have some way to take passengers. I always assumed that’d be airplane type seats in the bay, like envisioned in the 1970’s James Bond movie Moonraker (anybody have an image of this?).

So let’s just plan to catch a shuttle launch in the next year, okay? Anyone have any tips on going to a launch?

Written By: Gary on July 20, 2009 No Comment

On this day 40 years ago Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. astronaut_Apollo_11.jpg I’m not sure what else needs to be added to that statement: “We landed on the Moon”! How amazing is that?!?

Just for some frame of reference: The Moon is 238,000 miles away (384,000 km), if you were driving 75 miles per hour it would take you 3,100 hours. Keep in mind that’s speeding and you don’t get to pull over for any bathroom breaks or snacks!

Actually it took them more like five days to get there, so just dividing that out, that’s around 2,000 miles per hour (assume it took them a while to speed up and slow down).

When I was a kid, my mother purchased me a two record set of the mission. Lots of audio recordings of the launch and landing. I’m thinking there was some insert with a bunch of photos too. I played that a lot on my record player. I don’t have any idea what year she purchased that, but I’d say I was six or seven(?), and it was amazing to me!

It’s still amazing to me. Whenever I can watch a launch of some kind or another, I always turn on the TV and still get thrills and chills. I get chills just thinking about it as I’m writing this…

Apollo_11_bootprint.jpg
The sad part is we only landed six times and then we stopped.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.

Written By: Gary on March 3, 2007 No Comment

Picture 2Wow! This is the Astronomy Picture of the Day today! The above link will get you “today’s” picture whenever today is. This link will get you March, 3rd 2007 which is the one I’m talking about. It’s the moon (our moon) passing in front of the sun using ultraviolet cameras.

The extra amazing part is once you go to that page you can watch a short animated movie of the 12 hour transition.

Written By: Gary on October 11, 2006 No Comment

So it’s been a while since I’ve been to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency’s (they make up funny lists). So here’s a few good ones:

  • Ikea Product or Lord of the Rings Character?
  • Some of Dan Brown’s Works in Progress.
  • HAL’s Comments While Trapped on a Desert Island, and Your Name Is Dave.
  • Failed NASA Space Programs.

    I’ve pointed out some McSweeney’s highlights in the past…

  • Written By: Gary on July 6, 2006 2 Comments
    1. What do you think of space? Do you think we should explore it, or stay here on Earth and tend to matters here?
    Definetly explore it. No question about it. (Because it’s there!)
    2. If you could travel anywhere off Earth, where would you go? Why?
    Assuming I’m on a tour of sorts I would assume Saturn would offer a bit of choices for this solar system. If I have no restrictions it’d probably be to see a black hole (up close of course).
    3. Do you think we’re doing enough to facilitate science? Why/why not? What would you do to change things?
    Not a chance. We need more budget for NASA and for the private developers.
    Bonus Question for Comments: What are some of your favorite movies about space/take place in space/etc?
    All the ones that come to mind are kids movies: Explorers, The Last Star Fighter, Flight of the Navigator (of course). I’m sure there are more but not coming to mind right now.

    From 3x Thursday

    Written By: Gary on July 5, 2006 No Comment

    So my Mom called because she heard (from Chuck) that you could see both the ISS and the Space Shuttle go by tonight and she knows I like stuff like that. So I dug around and found this which tells you when you can see cool stuff like that. Sure enough, I saw the ISS exactly when they said although the shuttle was a minute late. The times do vary slightly from city to city so be sure to look up your town. The shuttle I’m slightly less confident on due to delays, but it was definitely something. Tomorrow, I see they are passing at the exact same time, I’m assuming they’ll be docked! I guess I’ll be able to tell via this tracker tomorrow.

    And you can find your city too! Be sure to check out SkyWatch after you look up your city (it’s more detailed and complicated so do the simple one first).

    Written By: Gary on May 12, 2006 No Comment

    DawnasteroidSo you can join the Dawn Mission on a ride out the the asteroid belt. Just submit your name and they’ll give you a certificate and sent your name on the mission to the asteroid belt…

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    Written By: Gary on November 5, 2005 No Comment

    Skylab10Centstamp-1So I got this package in the mail the other day (from a small mail order company). It had a Skylab stamp on it! It was only a 10 cent stamp (actually it had other old 10 cent stamps on it too) so that makes it about 20 years old. It was strange, I assumed if they had hundreds of these laying around it that it’d be better to sell them for a few pennies more than to actually use them. And it’s a nice Stamp I’ve always liked the way that one looked so it really caught my eys. My purchase was a $100 upgrade to something I had already purchased preciously so I’m assuming they weren’t scraping for loose change to mail this. It just struck me as strange…

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    Written By: Gary on July 27, 2005 One Comment

    So I didn’t hear any news about there being some small debris falling off at the launch yesterday.

    NASA said it would know by Sunday whether debris that fell off the space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank during this week’s launch damaged the spacecraft as it blasted into orbit. – CNN

    They make it sound like it’s not a big deal. And if this wasn’t the first flight in a long while I probably wouldn’t think twice. But I’d really like the flight to go 100% perfect so the program can get moving again.


    Understand, I want all flights to go perfect but this flight (and the next few) are extra important.

    One of those things I’ve always wanted to see is a Shuttle Launch. The problem is that delays can make a short trip to Florida turn into a several week trip. So I think after they get a few under their belt I might have to take a vacation down that way. Anyone got any tips the the best way to see a launch? Any stories…??

    LATER: “according to current data, Discovery is in good shape for a safe return home”. They are grounding future flights until they get more of this figured out…

    Written By: Gary on July 26, 2005 One Comment

    The Space Shuttle went off as planned today. I was just finishing up at the doctor with two minutes to launch so took a few minutes to watch. It was a beautiful and thrilling thing to watch as always…

    I watched until the solid rocket boosters and fuel tank had been disconnected and the ship was traveling over 17,000 mph (that’s almost 5 miles per second) I never get tired of seeing that.

    Written By: Gary on July 14, 2005 No Comment

    Astronaut garyI can’t tell you how much I wanted to be an Astronaut when I was a kid. When they built and launched the Space Shuttle I thought I’d be able to do it as a passenger but with major setbacks every few years we haven’t gotten there yet. This was a suit that they had at NextFest (see my other NextFest posts). They kept pointing the to the sensors on the front and asking kids about it (the stick way out so you can’t look down in the suit) but the suit was missing the item you’d need to read the sensors so most of the kids weren’t making the connection.


    (Hint: The item would be attached to the arm). NASA had a great setup. They had a bunch of stuff for the solar sail (which hadn’t been launched yet) too and the material was so light you didn’t feel it in you hand, I think the static in your body almost repelled it. It had a very SciFi Roswell quality about it…

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    Written By: Gary on May 13, 2005 2 Comments

    Science at nasaScience@NASA has a great story about two Friday the 13ths (click to listen). There’s also a text version but Tony does a good read of it so you should listen to him (although the web page does have a few diagrams).


    NASA’s got the audio sounding better than it used to and their MP3 tags are much better but they’ve still got to fix the filename (it’s always story.mp3).

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    Written By: Gary on January 2, 2005 One Comment

    Everyone – I love your shows, when I can find them on my music player. The is a request for some naming consistency in your files and the Song Name*. You may have the show name in the Artist or Album, but sometimes if listing by song name all I see is a bunch of numbers with tracks mixed with others tracks. I have the iPod Photo which has more information (a few more lines and a few more characters) in the display, I can’t imagine what others are seeing (or not seeing).

    When the file name or song title starts with a number it just sorts with all the others with the same numbers. Then we can’t ever find anything. Starting by month is confusing too, for example: my November “ESC Radio” just mixes in with my November “Gilmore Gang”.

    When this is really an issue is when I’m trying to show someone else “something cool” but end up not finding it. They aren’t very impress or encouraged to buy anything (or buy in to podcasting) at that time. I want more people to be geeked and excited about this!!! I’m certain you feel the same.


    My suggestion (which is really only pointing out how others are already doing it): Something short to designate your show and then the date or episode number and then the title of the episode if you have one.

  • Adam does DSC-YYYY-MM-DD for the Daily Source Code.
  • Coverville does Coverville-YYYY-MO-DD.
  • East Detroit Radio does EDR_Epi_YYYMMDD (I’m assuming the 3 digits I labeled Epi are the episode number).
  • Today’s Podcast probably does it my favorite way tp_YYYYMMDD_word_of_the_day he’s got the podcast name abberviated, the date and the subject of today’s ‘cast all in one short line.
    I like these they are easy to file and sort through.
  • Just ABBR-YYMMDD (abbreviation, and 2 digits each for year month and day) would probably be enough (we’ll worry about the Y2100 problem later…) and then anything extra could be appended.

    Some of these may just be iPod issues. Maybe even more so of an issue when viewing the AAC files in the AudioBook mode (since it lumps all the files together, hopefully Apple will address this). But even some of the sites that offer the feed in a AAC (mp4) format are some of the more difficult ones to find due to nameing. Some sites have no system, NASA names everything story.mp3 and then something nicer (sometimes) in the song name but sometimes just “NASA story”, Adam has mentioned this over at the Daily SOurce Code.

    I’ll take feedback on this, maybe I’m missing something… I do know I see everyone is doing it different, maybe for no reason, maybe there is a reason.

    FYI – I’m trying to work the bugs out in the naming myself before I start my podcast later this month. :)

    * I say the Song Name because that seems to be the way my iPod/iTunes (and we are “podcasting”) seems to list by default. Especially in Audiobook mode (so I can bookmark my place), all I can see is the song name.

    Written By: Gary on November 12, 2004 2 Comments

    Push each letter of the alphabet in your browser and pick the first web site (blog) that comes up. A-Z…


    Angle Rants
    Bye Blog
    Colby and Beyond
    Design by Fire
    Earth Observatory (blue marble)
    Forever Immortalized
    Green Desire
    Haiku of the Day
    Incogoblog
    Jenni
    Lorna girl
    Mutated Monkeys
    Neil Gaiman
    One Girl’s life
    Purple Stars
    QBQrat (Ioblata)
    Random Fate
    Self Taught Girl
    Tenth Muse
    Unix Wix
    Via Jeans
    Web Mistris
    Xbox Linux
    Yamaha (the confused corporation)
    Zongrilia (swirl)

    FYI – I tried to pick blogs if they came up. If they hadn’t posted in months and I had another option, I picked that. If not I picked the closest interesting one that’d I’d recommend.

    Written By: Gary on September 23, 2004 No Comment

    How can it be fall alrady! I was looking for some information on the Equinox, but somehow I found out that “The time of Harvest is in the sign of Virgo and Libra during the pregnancy of Autumn. The Fall is a time when Nature reaches fulfillment with the ripening of her fruits, and is symbolic of the fusion of opposites.” and I decided to keep it! (Here’s some geeky info on it if you want…)

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    Written By: Gary on March 16, 2004 No Comment

    sednaIt looks like we’ve got another new planet! And it’s way out there. It’s three times farther from Earth than Pluto. This is an artists rendition, please note the bright dot on the right is our Sun.

    Check out CNN, NASA and most importantly the Spitzer Telescope at Caltech where it looks like it was discovered. I should have been an astronomer or an astronaut…

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