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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas and 44 years ago Apollo 8 had a message.

Larry Klaes forwarded Roger Launius's blog for today.  Let me point you in that direction as well.
- LRK -

"Earthrise," one of the most powerful and iconic images from the Apollo program, was taken in December 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission. This view of the rising Earth greeted the Apollo 8 astronauts as they came from behind the Moon after the first lunar orbit. Used as a symbol of the planet's fragility, it juxtaposes the grey, lifeless Moon in the foreground with the blue and white Earth teeming with life hanging in the blackness of space.

Hard to believe, it was 44 years ago today that the crew of Apollo 8 made their historic broadcast from the Moon on Christmas Eve in 1968. Launched on December 21, 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders became the first human beings to venture beyond low Earth orbit and visit another world. The Apollo 8 crew rode inside the command module, with no lunar lander attached. They were the first astronauts to be launched by the Saturn V, which had flown only twice before.
As Apollo 8 traveled outward the crew focused a portable television camera on Earth and for the first time humanity saw its home from afar, a tiny, lovely, and fragile "blue marble" hanging in the blackness of space. When it arrived at the Moon on Christmas Eve and for the next twenty hours the astronauts circled the Moon, which appeared out their windows as a gray, battered wasteland.
The crew's Christmas Eve broadcast in the midst of a tumultuous 1968-the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, race riots in virtually every major city, anti-war rallies and confrontations-helped to bring together if only for a brief time the disparate thread of the nation. The crew read from the first part of the Bible-"God created the heavens and the Earth, and the Earth was without form and void"-before sending Christmas greetings to humanity.

Some of you may be model builders and collectors space adventures past and thought of.
My thanks to Larry Klaes again for forwarding some links to items made by Pascal Hecker in the Netherlands.
Larry had gotten these links from Sven Knudson of:
- LRK -

Pascal Hecker from The Netherlands

No Bucks, No Buck Rogers

Gemini 8

Apollo 15 at Hadley Rill

Miles and Miles and Miles

Apollo Omega

Apollo Hasselblad

Saturn V F-1

Sergei P. Korolev's Dream

N-1 and LK



At Work in ISS Columbus

Happy Holidaze! All I want for Christmas is about two inches of rain!
Sven Knudson

Who knows, maybe new pictures and models to build sometime in the future.
- LRK -


WASHINGTON -- Recent engineering advances by NASA and its industry
partners across the country show important progress toward
Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), the next step to launching humans
to deep space. The uncrewed EFT-1 mission, launching from NASA's
Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2014, will test the re-entry
performance of the agency's Orion capsule, the most advanced
spacecraft ever designed, which will carry astronauts farther into
space than ever before.

"These recent milestones are laying the foundation for our first
flight test of Orion in 2014," said Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate
administrator for exploration systems development at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "The work being done to prepare for the
flight test is really a nationwide effort and we have a dedicated
team committed to our goal of expanding the frontier of space."

A tool that will allow the titanium skeleton of the Orion heat shield
to be bolted to its carbon fiber skin is at the Denver facility of
the spacecraft's prime contractor Lockheed Martin. This will enable
workers to begin assembling the two pieces of the heat shield. Almost
3,000 bolts are needed to hold the skeleton to the skin. A special
stand was built to align the skin on the skeleton as holes for the
bolts are drilled. Work to bolt the skeleton to the skin will be
completed in January. The heat shield then will be shipped to Textron
Defense Systems near Boston where the final layer, an ablative
material very similar to that used on the Apollo spacecraft, will be
added. The completed heat shield is scheduled to be ready for
installation onto the Orion crew module at Kennedy next summer.



HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The team designing America's new flagship rocket
has completed successfully a major technical review of the vehicle's
core stage. NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) will take the agency's
Orion spacecraft and other payloads beyond low-Earth orbit, providing
a new capability for human exploration.

The core stage preliminary design review (PDR) was held Thursday at
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and included
representatives from the agency and The Boeing Co. Boeing's
Exploration Launch Systems in Huntsville is the prime contractor for
the core stage and its avionics. Marshall manages the SLS Program.

"Passing a preliminary design review within 12 months of bringing
Boeing on contract shows we are on track toward meeting a 2017 launch
date," said Tony Lavoie, manager of the SLS Stages Element at
Marshall. "We can now allow those time-critical areas of design to
move forward with initial fabrication and proceed toward the final
design phase -- culminating in a critical design review in 2014 --
with confidence."

The first flight test of the SLS, which will feature a configuration
for a 70-metric ton lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion
spacecraft beyond the moon, is scheduled for 2017. As the SLS
evolves, a two-stage launch vehicle using the core stage will provide
a lift capability of 130-metric tons to enable missions beyond
low-Earth orbit and to support deep space exploration.


2017 and I will be 80yrs. - mumble mumble -

Thanks for looking with me.
- LRK -

HOUSTON -- NASA completed the latest in a series of parachute tests
for its Orion spacecraft Thursday at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving
Ground in southwestern Arizona, marking another step toward a first
flight test in 2014. The test verified Orion can land safely even if
one of its two drogue parachutes does not open during descent.

Orion will take humans farther into space than ever before, but one of
the most challenging things the multipurpose vehicle will do is bring
its crew home safely. Because it will return from greater distances,
Orion will reenter the Earth's atmosphere at speeds of more than
20,000 mph. After re-entry, the parachutes are all that will lower
the capsule carrying astronauts back to Earth.

"The mockup vehicle landed safely in the desert and everything went as
planned," said Chris Johnson, a NASA project manager for Orion's
parachute assembly system. "We designed the parachute system so
nothing will go wrong, but plan and test as though something will so
we can make sure Orion is the safest vehicle ever to take humans to

Orion uses five parachutes. Three are main parachutes measuring 116
feet wide and two are drogue parachutes measuring 23 feet wide. The
21,000-pound capsule needs only two main parachutes and one drogue.
The extra two provide a backup in case one of the primary parachutes
WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2012

The first family arrived in the president's idyllic home state of Hawaii early today to celebrate the holidays, but President Obama, who along with Michelle will pay tribute Sunday to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, could be returning home to Washington sooner than he expected.

That's because the President didn't get his Christmas wish: a deal with Congress on the looming fiscal cliff.

Members of Congress streamed out of the Capitol Friday night with no agreement to avert the fiscal cliff -- a massive package of mandatory tax increases and federal spending cuts triggered if no deal is worked out to cut the deficit. Congress is expected to be back in session by Thursday.
:-( :-( :-( :-( :-(   Fly me to the Moon, when?????


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