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The Star Charts That Apollo 11 Astronauts Used to Land on the Moon

These star charts were part of a guidance and navigation (G&N) dictionary carried by the Apollo 11 lunar module when it reached the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969.

Inside the module, the computer that provided navigation and guidance required astronauts to use a telescope to sight three stars, find their locations on the gridded star chart, and enter their numerical codes into the computer. Triangulating from this information, the computer would redirect the spacecraft onto a desired trajectory.

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Where in the world is our Atlas of the World?

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Hint: This city surrounds one of the world’s largest natural harbors. It is the country’s biggest city, and a major commercial and financial center for the region. With beaches and cultural attractions, such as its world-famous opera house, this city is also a popular tourist destination.

Where in the world is our Atlas of the World?

Don’t forget to vote for Place of the Year 2014!

Billions Of American Dollars Fail To Halt Thriving Poppy Production In Afghanistan

Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit a record high in 2013 despite years of American efforts to curb its production and trade, according to a new report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. As of June 2014, the United States has spent nearly $7.6 billion to combat Afghan poppy cultivation, the report said.

Afghanistan produces more than 80 percent of the world’s illicit opium, which reportedly helps fund the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The U.S. government blames poppy production for “undermining good governance and public health, subverting the legal economy, and fuelling corruption and insecurity.” According to the report, in 2013, the value of opium and its derivative products produced in Afghanistan stood at $3 billion, up from $2 billion in 2012.

“Poppy-growing provinces that were once declared ‘poppy free’ have seen a resurgence in cultivation. Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, considered a model for successful counterinsurgency and counternarcotics efforts and deemed ‘poppy free’ by the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) in 2008, saw a fourfold increase in opium poppy cultivation between 2012 and 2013,” according to the report.

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