Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What to do if no lunar-update posts - hmmm Watch some TED Talks

It is Summer Time and time flies.
Grandchildren came back yesterday from visiting their biological
father and their mom comes for a visit from Iraq tonight.
She has 18 days off and then back to Iraq.

I have had some conversations with folks off-line but have been remiss
in passing along what is happening in space.

We are on Mars with the Phoenix Mission and I am sure you have been
watching their progress.

The shuttle has been to the ISS and back and there have been great
videos at NASA TV.

There are a lot of other things going on, like don't drive as much
because of the rising price of fuel for the cars.
- LRK -

U.S. gas: So cheap it hurts

Relatively low taxes have kept pump prices far below most other
developed nations, which some say is precisely why the current runup
is so painful.

TV ads for who should be our new president are popping up everywhere.
Too bad we can't spend some of that ad money on more worthwhile endeavors.
- LRK -


Where the smart money is this election

Flush with media dollars, Obama stretched Clinton

By Diego Vasquez
Jun 17, 2008

If I haven't bothered you with enough noise and you have the time,
maybe gather some inspiration from watching some of the TED Talks
At least take a look at a quick summary of 10 of the talks and then
check out the information below.
- LRK -


Announcing the Top 10 TEDTalks

With 50 million views since we started posting video two years ago,
TEDTalks have become a powerful cultural force.

To celebrate this milestone, we're releasing a never-before-seen list:
the Top 10 TEDTalks of all time, as of June 2008.

With speakers like neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor and global health
expert Hans Rosling, the list proves one of the compelling ideas
behind TEDTalks: that an unknown speaker with a powerful idea can
reach -- and move -- a global audience through the power of quality
web video. Links to all 10 talks are found below the video window --
or browse through our Top 10 TEDTalks Theme. Even if you've seen them
all, the highlights video below is darn fun.


Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:

Dear TEDizens,

We passed an important milestone this week at TED, and wanted to share
it with you: 50 million TED talks have now been viewed worldwide,
nearly half of them outside the U.S. To keep pace with demand, we're
now releasing a new talk every weekday. (Today, be sure to watch
Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander, who was a huge hit at
this year's TED conference).

To celebrate two years and 50 million TED talks, we're releasing for
the first time the list of the Top 10 TED talks (below). These are the
talks that have proven most popular over time, and -- interestingly --
they mainly feature speakers who were little-known before their talk
was released. (The most popular talk, viewed 2 1/2 million times and
counting, features neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, who observed her
own stroke while it was happening.)

Watch the Top 10 Talks highlights video >>

Top 10 TEDTalks of all time
1. Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight

2. Jeff Han's touchscreen foreshadows the iPhone and more

3. David Gallo shows underwater astonishments

4. Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth

5. Arthur Benjamin does "mathemagic"

6. Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

7. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen

8. Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do

9. Al Gore on averting a climate crisis

10. Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks

Even -- or especially -- if you've seen all these talks, the
highlights video is well worth a watch. And if you're outraged that
your personal favorite isn't yet the most popular, drop us a note.
Perhaps it will make our upcoming round up of "Hidden Gems" ...

Thank you for helping us spread ideas!

Chris Anderson
TED Curator

June Cohen
Executive Producer, TED Media




Saturday, June 14, 2008


This will be a change of contractor for spacesuits and is going to be a very
important item to make lunar EVAs a success.

You may want to take a look at some earlier space suits.

Space Suit Evolution - From Custom Tailored To Off-The-Rack

Now we have other nations working to put humans in space.
It will be interesting to see what they use for space suits and which ones stand
up the riggers of working on the Moon.

STS-124 went to the ISS, installed the Japan Aerospace Exploration
Agency's Kibo laboratory and has returned.

The activities were covered on NASA TV and I failed to remind you all.
I hope you had a chance to watch.

The next mission is STS-125 to go service the Hubble Telescope.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:

June 14, 2008

Michael Curie
Headquarters, Washington

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

RELEASE: 08-150


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Discovery and its crew landed at
11:15 a.m. EDT Saturday, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.,
completing a 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space.

The STS-124 mission was the second of three flights to launch
components to the International Space Station to complete the Japan
Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Discovery delivered
Kibo's tour bus-sized Japanese Pressurized Module, or JPM, which is
the station's largest module. The mission included three spacewalks
to install and outfit the JPM and activate its robotic arm system.
The lab's logistics module, which was delivered and installed in a
temporary location in March, was attached to its permanent position
on top of the JPM.

Mark Kelly commanded the flight and was joined by Pilot Ken Ham,
Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg, Ron Garan, Mike Fossum, Greg
Chamitoff, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko
Hoshide. Chamitoff remained aboard the space station, replacing
Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman, who returned to Earth
on Discovery after nearly three months on the station. Chamitoff will
return on shuttle Endeavour's STS-126 mission, targeted for launch
November 10.

STS-124 was the 123rd space shuttle flight, the 35th flight for
shuttle Discovery and the 26th flight of a shuttle to the station.

With Discovery and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the
launch of STS-125 on October 8. Atlantis' mission will return the
space shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope for one last visit before
the shuttle fleet retires in 2010. Over 12 days and five spacewalks,
Atlantis' crew will make repairs and upgrades to the telescope,
preparing it for at least another five years of research.

For more about the STS-124 mission and the upcoming STS-125 mission,



June 12, 2008

Stephanie Schierholz/Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington

Lynnette Madison/Josh Byerly
Johnson Space Center, Houston



WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded a contract to Oceaneering International
Inc. of Houston, for the design, development and production of a new
spacesuit system. The spacesuit will protect astronauts during
Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and,
by 2020, the surface of the moon.

The subcontractors to Oceaneering are Air-Lock Inc. of Milford, Conn.,
David Clark Co. of Worcester, Mass., Cimarron Software Services Inc.
of Houston, Harris Corporation of Palm Bay, Fla., Honeywell
International Inc. of Glendale, Ariz., Paragon Space Development
Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., and United Space Alliance of Houston.

"The award of the spacesuit contract completes the spaceflight
hardware requirements for the Constellation Program's first human
flight in 2015," said Jeff Hanley, Constellation program manager at
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Contracts for the Orion crew
capsule and the Ares I rocket were awarded during the past two years.

The cost-plus-award-fee spacesuit contract includes a basic
performance period from June 2008 to September 2014 that has a value
of $183.8 million. During the performance period, Oceaneering and its
subcontractors will conduct design, development, test, and evaluation
work culminating in the manufacture, assembly, and first flight of
the suit components needed for astronauts aboard the Orion crew
exploration vehicle. The basic contract also includes initial work on
the suit design needed for the lunar surface.

"I am excited about the new partnership between NASA and Oceaneering,"
said Glenn Lutz, project manager for the spacesuit system at Johnson.
"Now it is time for our spacesuit team to begin the journey together
that ultimately will put new sets of boot prints on the moon."

Suits and support systems will be needed for as many as four
astronauts on moon voyages and as many as six space station
travelers. For short trips to the moon, the suit design will support
a week's worth of moon walks. The system also must be designed to
support a significant number of moon walks during potential six-month
lunar outpost expeditions. In addition, the spacesuit and support
systems will provide contingency spacewalk capability and protection
against the launch and landing environment, such as spacecraft cabin

Two contract options may be awarded in the future as part of this
contract. Option 1 covers completion of design, development, test and
evaluation for the moon surface suit components. Option 1 would begin
in October 2010 and run through September 2018, under a
cost-plus-award fee structure with a total value of $302.1 million.

Option 2 provides for the Orion suit production, processing and
sustaining engineering under a cost-plus-award fee or a
firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract
structure with a maximum value of $260 million depending on hardware
requirements. Option 2 would begin at the end of the basic
performance period in October 2014, and would continue through
September 2018.

Images and animation of the new designs, as well as more information
about NASA's Constellation Program, are available online at:

To view a feature on the evolution of spacesuits, visit:





Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Fly me to the Moon - Land where? - Use what Map?

Ron Wells asked me if I knew of any documents that described the "Lunar

Not knowing what that was sent me on a search with Google and my, my,
just where you are on the Moon might depend on what you use for your
reference as to the shape of the Moon and what mapping system you have
agreed to abide by.

It will really help to be on the same map when we decide to touch down
and set up a lunar base camp.

It is also nice to know how high the mountain is that you come over
while trying to set down in some valley. Not so much fun to strike your
landing gear on a mountain peak while looking over your shoulder
- LRK -.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will be going to the Moon and taking a
lot of pictures and measurements. For those to be interpreted here back
on Earth one needs to be talking about the same coordinate system.

Just where do you paste your picture on that lunar globe?
- LRK -

Maybe you would like to be on the same page as well.
- LRK -

------------------------------------------------------------ (11 page, 301 KB, PDF)
A Standardized Lunar Coordinate System for the
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

LRO Project White Paper
Version 4
2008 May 14

The purpose of this White Paper is to provide a summary on
the planned Lunar Coordinate System that will be used for
the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission for operational
targeting,interdisciplinary science, and communication among
future and ongoing US and international lunar missions. The
same system will be used for all LRO data products archived
in the Planetary Data System (PDS).

If you find a LOT of water, just where would your shoreline be? :-)

Well, maybe not that much water.
Some more in depth PDF document references below.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Lunar Constants and Models -
Title: Lunar Constants and Models Document
Author: Ralph B. Roncoli
Date: September 23, 2005
Reference: JPL Technical Document D-32296

Summary: The primary purpose of this document is to provide a single
source for the constants and models to be used in the trajectory and
navigation design of missions whose objective is to orbit or land on the
Moon. A secondary objective is to provide the mission analyst with some
basic background information about the Moon, its orbit, and the previous
missions that have explored the Moon. As a result, this document
contains more information than the typical constants and models
document. Some of the data are required for mission studies while other
data are simply provided for "educational purposes". This document
provides only brief descriptions of the constants and models. The user
should consult the references if more detailed information is desired.
Format: PDF
Link: download here (82 page, 24.3 MB)

============================================================== (58
page, 5.5 MB)
Lunar Coordinate Systems, Frames and Geodetic Products

Brent A. Archinal
U.S. Geological SurveyFlagstaff, AZ

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Project Science Working Group Meeting
University of Hawaii Manoa Campus
2006 November 28-30

I. Systems and Frames
* Coordinate Systems and Frames
* Conventions, historical and current
* Dataset Registration

II. Past and Present Frames/Products
* Horizontal Reference Frames and Products
* Vertical Reference Frames and Products

III. Future Control and Products
* Pre (end of) LRO Frames/Products
* Post LRO Frames/Products�Recommendations & Discussion

Care to look at more references? - LRK -
Is the Moon really round, or round enough for talking about?

Take a look at Maria Zuber's publications page:

and maybe this one there: (14 page, 4.4 MB)
Hood, L., and M.T. Zuber, Recent refinements in geophysical constraints on
lunar origin and evolution, Origin of the Earth and Moon, ed. R. Canup and
K. Righter, in press, Univ. of Ariz. Press, Tucson, 2000.


The following quote is from the paper by Hood & Zuber:

The best current representation
of the shape of the Moon is shown in Fig. 1a. The
field is Goddard Lunar Topography Model-2 (GLTM-2), a
72nd degree and order spherical harmonic expansion of lunar
radii derived from the ~73,000 valid Clementine lidar
range measurements. The GLTM-2 model has an absolute
vertical accuracy of ~100 m and a spatial resolution of 2.5°
(76 km at the equator). The model shows that the Moon can
be represented as a sphere with maximum positive and negative
deviations of ~8 km, both occurring on the farside, in
the areas of the Korolev and South Pole-Aitken Basins.

The Planetary Science Division's
Ancillary Information System

The Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) provides NASA
planetary flight projects and NASA funded professional planetary
researchers an information system named "SPICE" to assist scientists in
planning and interpreting scientific observations from space-borne
instruments. SPICE is also widely used in engineering tasks associated
with planetary missions.

SPICE is focused on solar system geometry. The SPICE system includes a
large suite of software, mostly in the form of subroutines, that
customers incorporate in their own application programs to read SPICE
files and to compute derived observation geometry, such as altitude,
lattitude/longitude, and lighting angles. SPICE data and software may be
used within many popular computing environments. The software is offered

NAIF serves as the "Navigation Node" of NASA's Planetary Data System,
archiving and providing the science community access to SPICE data from
NASA missions.




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