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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Draws to a close and a New Year Ahead

Kendall and Jim sent me links on the recent report on details of how
the Columbia Astronauts died.

Not the most pleasant read for closing a year but food for thought on
what happened and how similar circumstances can affect us all.
Sometimes we don't listen to those who are closest to a problem and
make judgments based on outside pressures.
If you choose to read the articles, please do so with an eye to how we
each conduct our lives in relation to others.
Maybe some pointers on how to make for a better time in the future.
- LRK -

New Report on '03 Disaster Details How Astronauts Died

Seven astronauts slipped into unconsciousness within moments and their
bodies were whipped around in seats whose restraints failed during the wildly
spinning final moments of the shuttle Columbia in 2003, according to a new report from the
space agency.

NASA released a detailed engineering study Tuesday outlining lessons
learned about astronaut survival based on an analysis of the 2003 Columbia
disaster. The study does not provide any significant new details about the
fate of Columbia's crew - investigators earlier concluded the seven
astronauts died of sudden oxygen loss and blunt force trauma as the crew
module broke up - but a new timeline shows the pilots attempted to
troubleshoot a cascade of problems in the final moments before the
spacecraft's computers lost control. The timeline also shows, in grim
detail, the forces acting on the shuttle's crew module in the final minute
or so before it broke apart, subjecting the astronauts to a sudden loss of
air pressure that occurred so rapidly they did not have time to close
their helmet visors.

More links can be found at the NASA Watch post.
- LRK -

Columbia Report Issued
NASA Report: Understanding Columbia's Loss, SpaceRef

"Accidents are things to be avoided. However, by the very nature of
how we currently send humans into space and return them to Earth,
there is a substantial amount of risk involved. Much of that risk has
been identified and is manageable. But not all of it. Of course, when
you hear this discussion, someone inevitably says that the only way to
make these things risk free is not to do them.

Well, we have decided to do these risky things, now haven't we?"

NASA Space Shuttle and Constellation Program Actions Resulting From
SCSIIT Recommendations

What about next year?
- LRK -


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - NASA Television will broadcast the annual
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
Robotics Kickoff event on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009, at 7 a.m. PST from
Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

During the live broadcast, FIRST Robotics founder Dean Kamen will
reveal the competition scenario for 2009, launching a six-week design
and building frenzy for thousands of students in 1,687 international
student teams.

The event also will be streamed live at NASA Robotics Alliance Project
(RAP) Web site at

When I was working at NASA Ames these events were always a lot of fun.
I had the opportunity to help as a volunteer in setting up, retrieving
items, and general clean up.
I think the students had more fun even if their robots didn't survive
the ordeals of the game.
A lot of creative work and hands on practice in overcoming adversity.
You can see the potential engineers hard at their tasks.
The adrenaline rush was there.
- LRK -

Well I hear noises in the kitchen with Sangad making Thai food.
It seems we are to have some friends over to remind me I will be a
year older come 10:30 pm.
I try not to look at the magic mirror for it has quit telling me I am
the fairest of them all.
I wish I could wipe the silly smirk off its face.

Bought myself an upgrade to National Instruments LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI
and will continue studying what makes the brain tick.

The floor has piles of books on the brain, neurobiology, and who folks
think we are.
Best get another book shelf.

Need a longer day and sometimes neglect you folks.

Sangad and I flew up to see Mom(98), my brother and sister and had a great time.
My brother puts on a great spread. The Army daughter and family drove
up after Christmas.

It had snowed for two weeks in the Seattle WA area like I had never seen before.
Two foot of snow and no garbage pickup. Downed trees and power outages, and
people adapt, part of what the human brain helps us do.

Wonder how we will do on the Moon?
Exciting times.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:



Monday, December 22, 2008

Apollo 8 Television

Colin Mackellar has updated the Honey Suckle Creek web site to have
some videos of the Apollo 8 mission with Earth view.

See the snips below.
- LRK -

And what I first saw when we had the Lunar Prospector web site up.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Apollo 8 Television

Apollo 8 had onboard an RCA black and white slow-scan TV camera. Like
the Westinghouse Lunar Surface TV Camera used on Apollo 11, this
produced a non-interlaced 320 line 10 frames per second picture which
was scan-converted to 525 line 29.97fps (i.e. NTSC compatible) at the
three prime MSFN stations.

During the mission, six broadcasts originated from Apollo 8. Five of
these were relayed to Houston from Goldstone – and one from Madrid.
(Until just before Apollo 11, there were no video circuits from
Honeysuckle Creek to the outside world. While Apollo 8 TV was seen on
station, it could not be released in real time.)

These video clips from Apollo 8 were on a tape loaned by Goddard
Apollo TV Engineer Dick Nafzger to the Applied Physics Lab at Johns
Hopkins University. The 2 inch quadriplex tape contains daily mission
highlights. These pictures were seen live worldwide during the
mission. This recording is generally better than other existing
recordings I have seen. The picture instability at the start of each
clip is an artifact of the tape playback. (You could save these files
to your hard disk for repeat viewing.)

Colin Mackellar sends. - LRK -
Hi Larry,

Thanks for the updates....

For what it's worth, I've uploaded the Apollo 8 video that we found
(in the search for Apollo 11 video) to

and just click on

Apollo 8 onboard video

The quality is generally better than what was seen live in 1968.

All the files are MPEG4 format - and I've also added a Flash version
of the highlights from Transmission 4 (the reading from Genesis in
lunar orbit).

Have a great Christmas.

best wishes


NASA Television Commemorates Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast

Dec. 22, 2008

Al Feinberg
Headquarters, Washington



WASHINGTON -- NASA Television will honor the 40th anniversary of the
historic Christmas Eve broadcast by the Apollo 8 crew with special
programming Dec. 24 and 25 on the NASA TV Public Channel (101).

Forty years ago, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders became the
first humans to visit another heavenly body as they successfully
orbited the moon in their Apollo 8 spacecraft. On Dec. 24, 1968, the
three astronauts devoted one of their mission's six live television
transmissions to reading from the biblical book of Genesis during
what has since come to be known as the Christmas Eve Broadcast.

To commemorate the anniversary, NASA TV will air the following special

"The Annual John H. Glenn Lecture -- An Evening with the Apollo 8
Astronauts," a panel discussion with Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and
Bill Anders recorded Nov. 13, 2008, at the Smithsonian's National Air
and Space Museum. Former U.S. senator and NASA astronaut John Glenn
provided their introduction.

"The Apollo 8 Crew Remembers Historic Mission, Live from the Newseum,"
a panel discussion with the Apollo 8 astronauts moderated by Nick
Clooney and recorded Nov. 13, 2008, at the Newseum in Washington.

"De-Brief Apollo 8," an historical documentary of Apollo 8, narrated
by Burgess Meredith (1970).

"Apollo 8 Christmas Video," a 10-minute documentary featuring Apollo 8
astronauts describing their historic mission. (Excerpts from the John
H. Glenn Lecture recorded Nov. 13, 2008.)

"Apollo 8 -- December 21, 1968," a NASA Manned Space Flight Film
Report on the Apollo 8 mission (1970).

The NASA Television Video File also will include footage documenting
the Apollo 8 mission's Christmas Eve broadcast. For program times and
listings, consult the NASA Television schedule online at:


Audion & Video

National Air and Space Museum

Apollo 8
Mission Summary
Apollo 8 Facts
Apollo 8 Crew

Google YouTube Apollo 8 Videos

TinyURL -

Apollo 8 Go For TLI
Internet Archive: 21 min 42 sec - Better quality than what we had
on the Lunar Prospector web site. - LRK -
Moving Image Archive > Open Source Movies > Apollo 8: Go For TLI

This voyage, manned by astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and
William A. Anders, was man's first to another celestial body, and
included an orbit around the Moon on Christmas Day, 1968. Also
featured on this episode are air-to-ground tapes of the astronauts'
descriptions of the mission, as well as onboard photography of the
Earth, Moon and intravehicular activity.

This movie is part of the collection: Open Source Movies

Audio/Visual: sound, color / b&w
Language: English
Keywords: NASA; apollo; apollo 8; apollo program; moon; space race

Creative Commons license: Public Domain




Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice Meteor Shower

Space Weather News for Dec. 21, 2008

URSID METEORS: Earth is entering a stream of debris from comet
8P/Tuttle and this is causing the annual Ursid meteor shower.
Forecasters expect the Ursids to peak on Dec. 22nd with 8 to 10
meteors per hour flying out of the constellation Ursa Minor (the
Little Dipper). The display is usually mild, but outbursts of Ursids
occasionally surprise observers with rates many times normal.

Watching these northern meteors can be a chilling experience, so why
not stay inside and listen to them instead? is
broadcasting live audio from the Air Force Space Surveillance Radar in
Texas. When a meteor passes over the radar--"ping"--there is an echo.
Give it a try; feedback is welcomed.


At various times throughout the year one can look up at night and see
flashes of light caused by space dust burning up in our atmosphere as
Earth crosses the tails of long gone meteors.

Sometimes you can even listen to the resulting electromagnetic
disturbances in the force. :-)

We have mentioned the topic of sounds from space before and with the
proper listening methods many electromagnetic disturbances can be
transformed into audio sounds. Fun to listen to and study.

Mother Earth creaks and groans too. Squeezing rocks and crystals can
make varying electrical fields which may be transmitted and converted
to audio sounds or traces on an oscilloscope if only you know where
and how to receive them.

You might even want to build your own receiver.
- LRK -


Schumann Resonance Receiver
The current design incorporates a number of changes that (can) lower
the frequency response down to the ULF-ELF range. The design
intentions are as follows:


NOTE: This site is still under (re)construction. Some of the pages
still have live links to the old site pages. To get back to the new
site use the back button. Some of the links offered may also be dead.
I am working to clean these links up.

This site documents work I have done over the last 5 or more years.
Much of the work is dated, but may be of interest to others.

These days my focus is to develop techniques to allow an amateur like
myself to "see" q-bursts and eventually be able to detect sprites.
This search has led me to develop techniques that may be of interest
to others.


Thanks for looking up with me [listening too]

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
SOLSTICE WEBCAST: Today is the northern winter solstice. When the
solstice sun came up this morning over Ireland, a shaft of sunlight
traveled down an 18 meter tunnel to illuminate the inner chamber of
Newgrange, a massive prehistoric burial mound in County Meath. It
looked like this:

Newgrange is 5000 years old, predating the better-known Stonehenge in
the neighboring island of Great Britain by more than a thousand years.
This makes it one of the oldest megalithic monuments in the world with
a known astronomical function. Curators of Newgrange webcast this
morning's event; you can watch it here.

SPACESOUNDS - We Are Listening

Nice intro sequence then select different sounds you would like to listen to.
- LRK-

What is your vision?
- LRK -

Earth Mode Communications

ULF has been used by the military for secure communications through
the ground. NATO AGARD publications from the 1960s detailed many such
systems, although one suspects the contents of the published papers
left a lot unsaid about what actually was developed secretly for
defense purposes. Communications through the ground using conduction
fields is known as "Earth Mode" communications and was first used in
WWI. Radio amateurs and electronics hobbyists have used this mode for
limited range communications using audio power amplifiers connected to
widely spaced electrode pairs hammered into the soil. At the receiving
end the signal is detected as a weak electric current between two
further pairs of electrodes. Using weak signal reception methods with
PC based DSP filtering with extremely narrow bandwidths it is possible
to receive signals at a range of a few kilometers with a transmitting
power of 10-100W and electrode spacing of around 10-50m.

Large earthquakes may broadcast warnings, but is anyone tuning in to listen?

Like geological ninjas, earthquakes can strike without warning. But
there may be a way to detect the footfalls of large earthquakes before
they strike, alerting their potential victims a week or more in
advance. A Stanford professor thinks a method to provide just such
warnings may have been buried in the scientific literature for over 40

In October, Japan instituted a nationwide earthquake warning system
that heralds the advance of a big earthquake; its sophisticated
machinery senses the shaking deep in the earth and transmits a warning
signal that can beat the tremors to the surface by seconds.

Antony Fraser-Smith, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and
of geophysics, has evidence that big temblors emit a burst of
ultra-low-frequency electromagnetic radio waves days or even weeks
before they hit. The problem is that nobody is paying enough

Fraser-Smith has been interested in electromagnetic signals for
decades. Most of these waves come from space, he said, generated in
the upper atmosphere by the sun and then beamed down to Earth.

In 1989, Fraser-Smith and his research team were monitoring
ultra-low-frequency radio waves in a remote location in the Santa Cruz
Mountains as part of a long-term study of the signals reaching Earth
from space. On Oct. 5, 1989, their equipment suddenly reported a large
signal, and the signal stayed up for the next 12 days. At 2:00 p.m. on
Oct. 17, 1989, the signal jumped even higher, about 20 to 30 times
higher than what the instruments would normally ever measure,
Fraser-Smith said. At 5:04 p.m. the 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta
earthquake hit the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay areas, killing
63 people and causing severe damage across the region.

Fraser-Smith originally thought there was something wrong with the
equipment. After ruling out the possibility of technical malfunctions,
he and his research team started to think the Loma Prieta quake had
quietly announced its impending arrival, and that their equipment just
happened to be in the right place at the right time to pick up the

"Most scientists necessarily make measurements on small earthquakes
because that's what occurs all the time," Fraser-Smith said. "To make
a measurement on a large earthquake you have to be lucky, which we

Along with Stephen Park, earth sciences professor at the University of
California-Riverside, and Frank Morrison, professor emeritus of earth
and planetary science at UC-Berkeley, Fraser-Smith continued to study
the phenomenon of earthquakes emitting electromagnetic waves through a
study funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

When the USGS terminated the funding in 1999, he decided to move on to
other things. But he was recently drawn back into this issue by a
local private company that wanted to use his methods to develop
earthquake warning systems.

"I took a new look at the measurements, concentrating entirely on
large earthquakes," Fraser-Smith said, "and all of a sudden I could
see the forest through the trees."

He found three other studies describing electromagnetic surges before
large earthquakes, just as he had found at the Loma Prieta site. The
earliest report was from the Great Alaska earthquake (M9.2) in 1964.
Up until now, most of the focus for earthquake warnings and
predictions has been on seismological studies, but no seismic
measurements have ever shown this kind of warning before a big quake,
Fraser-Smith said.

This technique will probably only yield results for earthquakes of
approximately magnitude 7 or higher, because background waves from the
atmosphere will tend to mask any smaller signals. But these are the
quakes people are most concerned about anyway, from a safety and
damage point of view.

Some seismologists are suspicious that these results are real,
Fraser-Smith said. But it would take little effort to verify or
disprove them. He is calling for federal funding for a
mission-oriented study that would place approximately 30 of the
ultra-low-frequency-detecting instruments around the world at hotspots
for big quakes. It would cost around $3 million to buy 30 of these
machines, he said, which is cheap compared to the cost of many other
large studies.

Every year, there are on average 10 earthquakes of magnitude 7 or
higher around the world. So within just a few years, he said, you
could potentially have 10 new measurements of electromagnetic waves
before big quakes-surely enough to determine whether the previous four
findings were real.




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mars Orbiter Completes Prime Mission

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Seasonal Freezing and Thawing on Mars - 11/25/08

On Mars, the stuff we know as "dry ice," or frozen carbon dioxide, is
a powerful agent for change. In winter, it forms a polar ice cap. In
spring, it becomes an expanding gas that carves channels in the
surface and sends loose debris into landslides.

Spacecraft around Mars, and spacecraft now around our Moon.

One waits years for these events to take place and then time marches
on and they do their missions and our life goes on down here on mother

I trust you have done a better job of looking up than I.

Local events seem to creep up and my multitasking not the best.
Have been reading about our brain and looking at software to emulate.
Too many books, not enough time, but most interesting.
Just keeps my head down and not looking up enough.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Mars Orbiter Completes Prime Mission

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Dec. 11, 2008

RELEASE : 08-324

Mars Orbiter Completes Prime Mission

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has completed
its primary, two-year science phase. The spacecraft has found signs of
a complex Martian history of climate change that produced a diversity
of past watery environments.

The orbiter has returned 73 terabits of science data, more than all
earlier Mars missions combined. The spacecraft will build on this
record as it continues to examine Mars in unprecedented detail during
its next two-year phase of science operations.

Among the major findings during the primary science phase is the
revelation that the action of water on and near the surface of Mars
occurred for hundreds of millions of years. This activity was at least
regional and possibly global in extent, though possibly intermittent.
The spacecraft also observed that signatures of a variety of watery
environments, some acidic, some alkaline, increase the possibility
that there are places on Mars that could reveal evidence of past life,
if it ever existed.

Since moving into position 186 miles above Mars' surface in October
2006, the orbiter also has conducted 10,000 targeted observation
sequences of high-priority areas. It has imaged nearly 40 percent of
the planet at a resolution that can reveal house-sized objects in
detail, 1 percent in enough detail to see desk-sized features. This
survey has covered almost 60 percent of Mars in mineral mapping bands
at stadium-size resolution. The orbiter also assembled nearly 700
daily global weather maps, dozens of atmospheric temperature profiles,
and hundreds of radar profiles of the subsurface and the interior of
the polar caps.

"These observations are now at the level of detail necessary to test
hypotheses about when and where water has changed Mars and where
future missions will be most productive as they search for habitable
regions on Mars," said Richard Zurek, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,

Mars Orbiter Completes Prime Mission
12.11.08 --

Among other findings, the spacecraft has found signs of a complex
Martian history of climate change that produced a diversity of past
watery environments.
Read more

Mission Overview

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched August 12, 2005, is on a
search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a
long period of time. While other Mars missions have shown that water
flowed across the surface in Mars' history, it remains a mystery
whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for

Powerful Communications and Navigation Link

The orbiter's telecommunications systems will also establish a crucial
service for future spacecraft, becoming the first link in a
communications bridge back to Earth, an "interplanetary Internet" that
can be used by numerous international spacecraft in coming years.
Testing the use of a radio frequency called Ka-band, Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter may demonstrate the potential for greater
performance in communications using significantly less power.

The orbiter also carries an experimental navigation camera. If it
performs well, similar cameras placed on orbiters of the future would
be able to serve as high-precision interplanetary "eyes" to guide
incoming landers to precise landings on Mars, opening up exciting -
but otherwise dangerous - areas of the planet to exploration.

The orbiter's primary mission ends about five-and-a-half years after
launch, on December 31, 2010.

More information about Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is available online




Moon and Mars - Videos