Tag Archives: Moon

John W. Young, the astronaut who flew 4 different spacecraft, has died

John W. Young, the legendary astronaut has died on January 5, 2018, aged 87. During his 42 years of active NASA service, Young flew in six space missions (with seven launches, counting his lunar liftoff), becoming the first astronaut to achieve that number. He was the only person to have piloted, and been commander of, four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle (he was the first astronaut to command the Space Shuttle). He was also the ninth person to walk on the Moon as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. Young was actually one of only three people to have flown to the Moon twice, others being Jim Lovell and Eugene Cernan.

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Earth and Moon in the same photo

An amazing image showing both the Earth and Moon. The distance between our planet and its satellite is actually much more than many would conceptualize. It is 384,400 kilometers (about 239,000 miles) on average, but as usual, our brains cannot deal with such large numbers. Only seeing that distance makes us realize how far even the closest body in the solar system to us – and gives some clues about how big is our Solar system actually. What’s more, we’ve actually been there, the humanity managed to cover that vast distance and walked on the moon!

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Apollo 17, The Last Mission to the Moon in Real Time

For the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission, NASA has published an amazing website: “Apollo 17 in Real-time. The Last Mission to the Moon – A real-time journey through the Apollo 17 mission”. You can see the events in real-time either joining at 1 minute to the launch or in-progress, 45 years ago to the second.

On the website apollo17.org, you can access over 300 hours of audio, over 22 hours of video, over 4,200 photos and relive every moment as it occurred in 1972.

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Watch: NASA’s 2017 Highlights

NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has published a video that contains highlights of important events and the space agency’s achievements over the year 2017.

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Historic Apollo mission control room is set to be fully restored by the 50th anniversary of Moon landing

The historic Apollo mission control room in Houston is set to be fully restored by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in July 2019. It will provide a snapshot of how it looked during the Moon landing on July 20, 1969.

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) and pilot Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. A third astronaut, Michael Collins (born October 31, 1930) piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon’s surface. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours after landing on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston and the Apollo Flight Operations Association (AFOA) decided to restore historic mission control room in Houston. In July 2019, the room will be fully restored.

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Watch: The Rise of 2017 Supermoon from the ISS

On Sunday, December 3, there was a Supermoon, the Moon was at its closest point (for 2017) to Earth while it was also a full moon. A series of nighttime photos were taken by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Paolo Nespoli to create this time-lapse of the Earth as seen from the International Space Station and the 2017 Supermoon rising above the horizon.

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What Is a Supermoon and When Is the Next One?

The Moon follows an elliptic orbit around Earth. Naturally, sometimes it gets closer to the Earth than the other times. When it’s also full moon at its closest point to the Earth, it’s called Supermoon. As a result, the moon appears larger and brighter than usual in the sky.

The counterpart of a supermoon is called Micromoon. A Supermoon looks around 12% to 14% bigger (in diameter) than the Micromoon.

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Watch: How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Are we alone in the universe? Or are there any other “living planets” other than Earth? Until 1992, we even don’t know if there are any other planets around the other stars or not. In 1992, two Swiss astrophysicists, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz the first “exoplanet” (a planet orbiting another star than the Sun). Then discoveries continued. Especially after the launch of Kepler space telescope on March 7, 2009, which is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars, we quickly learned that our Solar System is not a rare phenomenon at all. As of November 2017, scientists have confirmed more than 3,500 exoplanets in more than 2,700 star systems. Now, the question is: are any of these planets (or the planets waiting to be discovered in the future) harbor life? If so, how we can find out? How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Currently, we have only one example: the Earth itself. Studying Earth and trying to figure out how we’d conclude the Earth harbors life from a distance (from space) can show us how to find out if a planet harbors life or not. Since 1997, NASA satellites have continuously observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean.

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“Making Life Multiplanetary”: Musk reveals a new plan to colonize Mars

The billionaire founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. He provided an update on their Mars colonization plan at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Notes 1 in Adelaide, Australia this week. Musk plans to send 1 million people to Mars using BFR Notes 2, and “making life multiplanetary”. He has highly ambitious plans, like launching and landing at least two uncrewed cargo ships on Mars as early as 2022.

The newly announced BFR is smaller than the one Musk revealed at the same event last year, 106 meters (348 feet) tall and carrying capacity of 150 tonnes compared to the previous design’s 122 meters (400 feet) and 300 tonnes. But, (naturally) it’s way cheaper than the previously announced version, and according to Musk, “lower cost is the biggest update”. And, still, it is more powerful than any of SpaceX’s or NASA’s other planned rockets.

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