The three original NASA recordings of the first moon landing have been sold for $1.82 million, with auction house Sotheby's saying it was more than 8,000 times the price they were last sold for at a government surplus auction in 1976.The auction coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on July 20.The 2-inch Quadruplex videotapes are unrestored, unenhanced and unremastered, Sotheby's said.They run a total of 2 hours and 24 minutes and capture moments including Neil Armstrong's "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" declaration, as well as the "long-distance phone call" with President Richard Nixon and the planting of the American flag on the lunar surface."The present videotapes are the only surviving first-generation recordings of the historic moon walk, and are sharper and more distinct than the few tapes that have survived from the contemporary network television broadcasts," Sotheby's said, "all of which endured some loss of video and audio quality with each successive transmission from microwave tower to microwave tower."Also sold at the auction were a series of items from Buzz Aldrin's personal collection for $739,375, including the first and last pages of the Apollo 11 flight plan for $175,000 and $131,250, respectively; a collection of 20 original Apollo Firing Room Control Panels from the Kennedy Space Center Firing Room 1 for $212,500; and a collage of Apollo 11 memorabilia for $225,000.
A new tropical depression formed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, far enough away from the coast so that no coastal warnings are needed.Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite shows that Tropical Depression 5E's strongest storms were southwest of its center of circulation because of outside winds.NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms and found the bulk of them in the southern quadrant.Infrared data provides temperature information, and the strongest thunderstorms that reach high into the atmosphere have the coldest cloud top temperatures.On July 22 at 4:50 a.m. EDT (0850 UTC), the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite gathered infrared data on Tropical Depression 5E.Strongest thunderstorms had cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 Celsius).
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We're all still over the moon from the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Apollo 11 mission, but NASA is looking forward to its next moon landing.On Saturday, the space agency and Vice President Mike Pence announced the completion of the Orion crew capsule for the Artemis program."Thanks to the hard work of the men and women of NASA, and of American industry, the Orion crew vehicle for the Artemis 1 mission is complete and ready to begin preparations for its historic first flight," Pence said while speaking at at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida during an Apollo 11 event.It's not just the vessel itself that's ready.The European Space Agency's power-and-propulsion module is now being attached to Orion at the space center.Orion will then get a protective heat shield.
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NASA is studying Mars from data gathered by multiple rovers and spacecraft in orbit in an attempt to determine if the Red Planet could have been home to life billions of years ago.Recent photos taken by the Curiosity Rover show a rocky and desolate landscape to most who look at them, but to scientist Christopher House the images show something else.House is a professor of geosciences and is a participating scientist on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission.That mission has a task of determining if Gale Crater could have supported life 3.5 billion years ago.House says that the research suggests it could have.House says that Gale Crater appears to have been a lake environment.
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When the first astronomers turned their eyes to the heavens, tens of thousands of years ago, their view was unobscured by the glow of city lights.The centerpiece of this ancient nightscape was a flat grey disc that hung in the sky: the moon.On Dec. 14 1972, NASA astronauts in the Apollo 17 mission climbed back into their lunar spacecraft and departed the moon for Earth.In January, China landed the first spacecraft on the far side of the moon.What follows is a decade-by-decade account of the future of our moon, featuring the thoughts and ideas of some of the world's leading scientists, astronomers, space archeologists, sci-fi authors and futurists.By the end of the decade, the first Chinese astronauts are preparing to make their way to the surface of the moon.
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At a time when the planet may be teetering on the brink of a devastating climate change tipping point, advocates have questioned the long-term environmental costs of trips to space for the pleasure of a few."Space tourism is a wholly unnecessary use of resources by a very small elite of people and organizations," Claudio Magliulo of climate change action group 350 told Digital Trends."It's an elaborate form of escapism for the 1%"The effects of rocket launches on the environment have been researched only minimally, but we do know enough to be concerned about their impact.A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, for example, largely consists of a tank to hold the 147 metric tons of refined kerosene used to achieve orbit.Chlorine destroys the ozone molecules that shield the planet from the sun's rays, contributing to global warming.
The world and especially the US is celebrating the 50th anniversary of man’s historic and still controversial first landing on the moon.Unfortunately, that first has yet to be repeated to prove that it isn’t just a one-time thing.NASA has received the mandate, not to mention the budget, to do exactly that and on the anniversary of the Apollo lunar landing, it is announcing the completion of the crew capsule for its upcoming uncrewed Artemis1 lunar mission.The crew module was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, perhaps better known for making military weapons.The company is also involved in other parts of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, like using its 3D printing technology to manufacture some of the parts.Now it is also proud to announce that it has finished building the crew capsule and has been stacked on top of the recently finished service capsule.
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India took a giant leap in its space program on Monday after its space agency launched a spacecraft that is scheduled to touch down on the Moon in September.The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is India’s equivalent of NASA, confirmed the successful launch of the spacecraft as the nation inches closer to become only the fourth country — after the United States, China, and the Soviet Union — to land a spacecraft on the Moon.Chandrayaan-2 aims to land on a plain surface that covers the ground between two of the Moon’s craters, Simpelius N and Manzinus C.The spacecraft was originally scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 15, but ISRO postponed it less than 20 minutes ahead of the deadline citing a “technical glitch.” ISRO said it resolved the issue last week.Everything about India’s homegrown lunar mission — dubbed Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit for “moon vehicle”) — is a technological marvel.The spacecraft — which is sitting atop the country’s most powerful rocket to date, a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle called Mark III — is carrying an orbiter, a lunar lander called Vikram and six-wheeled rover Pragyan (Sanskrit for “wisdom”).
The crew capsule which will carry American astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis project has been completed.The completion of the Artemis 1 capsule was announced by Vice President Mike Pence during a speech at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the historic Apollo moon landing mission.Fifty years after successfully landing a man on the moon, NASA is hoping to recreate this feat.But this time, at least one of the crew members will be a woman.NASA has announced that this capsule will carry the “first woman on the moon.”“Similar to the 1960s, we too have an opportunity to take a giant leap forward for all of humanity,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
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Update: Fifty years ago this week—July 16, 1969—the world watched as Apollo 11 launched towards the skies.After the drama of Apollo 13, the final four human missions to the Moon in 1971 and 1972 flew smoothly.With each successive, increasingly routine landing, astronauts made longer forays out onto the dusty lunar terrain and delved deeper into the scientific secrets hidden there.The final lunar spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on December 20, 1972.Decades of discouragement followed as all the energy spent on deep space exploration, and all the momentum of Apollo, slowly ebbed away.Gus Grissom taught NASA a hard lesson: “You can hurt yourself in the ocean”
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“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kid; in fact, it’s cold as hell.” So sang Elton John in 1972’s “Rocket Man,” one of the greatest (and only) pop hits ever to be written about the loneliness of space exploration.With everyone from Elon Musk to the good folks at NASA talking about the creation of a Mars colony, finding some way to make the Red Planet habitable has become a top priority.Unfortunately, a NASA-sponsored study from last year concluded that it most likely wouldn’t work.As a NASA press release stated: “Transforming the inhospitable Martian environment into a place astronauts could explore without life support is not possible without technology well beyond today’s capabilities.” Mars will, to return to Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, remain far too cold to raise a kid.They suggest that an insulating material, referred to as a silica aerogel, could be used to make growing plants on Mars feasible, thereby helping sustain life.It wouldn’t be necessary to cover the entire planet for this to work, either.
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Subheadings included “‘It’s very pretty up here … a fine, soft surface’” and, of course, “A giant leap for mankind.”One leap forward, three steps back.That newspaper was dated fifty years ago today, as I type this.Apollo 17 — “the most recent time humans have travelled beyond low Earth orbit” — took place in December 1972, a date at which a large majority of humanity today was not yet born.It is the stuff of history books, of yesteryear, of scratchy black-and-white TV, of that yellowing newspaper cover of my youth.I mean, lots, but ultimately the costs were too high, the tangible benefits too nonexistent, and the Space Shuttle was too much of an unmitigated disaster from start to finish in every way.
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A set of original videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon landing that were bought for $217.77 at a government surplus auction by a former NASA intern in the 1970s have sold at auction for $1.82M.The unrestored, unenhanced and unremastered tapes are described as “the earliest, sharpest, and most accurate surviving video images of man’s first steps on the moon,” by auction house Sotheby’s.The tapes, which have a run time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, had a pre-sale estimate of $1 million to $2 million.The videotapes are from the collection of Gary George, who purchased them while serving an intern at NASA.In June 1976, George attended an auction at Houston’s Ellington Air Force Base where he bought a single lot of some 1,150 reels of magnetic tape whose “Owning Agency Or Reporting Office,” was listed as NASA.“Among the reels were about sixty-five boxes of 2-inch, reel-to-reel videotapes of the type used by television stations,” explains Sotheby’s in a statement, noting that George planned to sell the used tapes, which could be re-recorded, to local TV stations.
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NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan blasted off to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan Saturday, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.Morgan, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft.Selected by NASA in 2013, Morgan is making his first trip to space.A U.S. Army emergency physician, Morgan served in special operations units worldwide prior to becoming an astronaut.He will spend nine months on the orbiting space lab.Morgan's spacecraft is expected to dock with the space station on Saturday evening.
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Prior to the first Moon landing, scientists had good reason to believe the lunar surface was covered in a fine layer of dust.While this might not sound like a big deal, it presented a host of concerns to the Apollo mission planners.Many scientists objected, but NASA took this possibility very seriously, particularly during the planning stages of the Apollo program.First and foremost, and as proposed by Gold, the lunar dust might swallow astronauts like quicksand.Indeed, without any prior experience of standing on a celestial body aside from Earth, a concern emerged that the soft regolith on the Moon wasn’t compact enough to support the weight of the Lunar Module or astronauts out for a stroll.Needless to say, no one got sucked up into the lunar regolith, and this fear was finally relegated to scientific dustbin of history.
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The countdown has begun for the last year of development before the Mars 2020 launches.The launch window opens on July 17, 2020, and runs until August 5, 2020, when the rover will be launched on its journey to Mars from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.Engineers at NASA have been hard at work on the rover, installing its camera, wheels, and robotic arm, and testing the spacecraft which will carry the rover’s ability to withstand the extreme environment of space.And progress on finalizing the rover is right on track, according to NASA.“Back when we started this project in 2013, we came up with a timeline to chart mission progress,” John McNamee, Mars 2020 project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a statement.“That every single major spacecraft component on a project with this level of innovation is synching right now with that timeline is a testament to the innovation and perseverance of a great team.”
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50 years ago today, the Apollo 11 space mission became the first to land men on the surface of the moon.It remains one of the biggest moments in human history.On the 50th anniversary of that momentous event, we thought it would be a good time to give our picks for the best realistic space movies and TV shows that you can watch via streaming services like Netflix, HBO Now and others.No aliens or warp drives will be found in this list; just astronauts that take off from Earth in old-fashioned liquid-fueled rockets, so they can make those first small steps towards the final frontier.It’s hard to believe that there was never a major feature film about the first manned moon landing until 2018, when First Man finally was released to theaters.Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land) offers an emotional and human story about the events that led up to the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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Buzz Aldrin was one of two astronauts to walk on the moon for the first time on July 20, 1969.On the eve of the Apollo 11 mission's 50th anniversary, Aldrin spoke to Omega, which supplied the watch he wore on the lunar mission.Aldrin recounted the moments that he thinks defined the historic NASA mission during an exclusive interview.It's been half a century since Buzz Aldrin rocketed to the moon and walked upon its dusty, pockmarked surface, but his memory of that historic event is still as fresh as ever.On July 16, 1969, Aldrin was just 39 years old when he boarded a small capsule atop a 363-foot-tall (111-meter-tall) Saturn V rocket and launched toward the moon.About four days later, on July 20, Aldrin and his commander, Neil Armstrong, climbed into a lunar lander.
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NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in a variety of ways today, but here’s one you can experience no matter where you are, provided you have a modern smartphone.NASA’s Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES) department has released a fully detailed model of the first ever sample of lunar soil and rock, bagged by Astronaut Neil Armstrong during humanity’s first-ever trip to the Moon’s surface.The rock is fully manipulable provided you visit this link on a smartphone with the capability to display interactive 3D field on the web, so you can twist and turn it using touch to get a better look.It has an incredible level of detail, (“research-grade,” in fact, according to ARES, and is part of a larger effort to make more of the organization’s larger library of lunar and antarctic meteroite samples available to more people, both for research and for education.These 3D models are created using extremely high resolution photography that captures high megapixel images of the actual samples from 240 different angles, which can offer resolution as detailed as just 30 to 60 microns (doubt the width of a human hair).But that’s just a start – software uses computer vision to ensure the 3D image provides accurate volume and text true information, and a process that involves the use of X-rays to get a cross-section image without actually slicing up the samples is also employed to ensure fully accurate representation.
One evening in May 2017, Stephen Slater got an unusual email from the US National Archives.NASA had left a trove of untouched Apollo 11-specific film reels sitting in cold storage, the message read.The two had been compiling every piece of film footage from the first moon landing they could find, piecing it together for Miller's documentary, Apollo 11, which is out now.The plan: create the moon documentary to end all moon documentaries.But the duo were racing against a deadline.Finding records of the moon landing is a mission itself: NASA taped over its own records of the landings to save costs, instead of having to buy more expensive tapes for future programs.
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