Stars die and reborn…They get so hot that the nuclei of the atoms fuse together deep within them to make the oxygen we breathe, the carbon in our muscles, the calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood. All was cooked in the fiery hearts of long vanished stars…The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
— 

Carl Sagan

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August 2016. Once again, a UFO has been caught by the space station using the live cam. Streetcap1 had a watchful eye on the cams and was fortunate enough to record a few seconds of the UFO before the live feed was cut by nasa. It looks like this UFO didn’t want to be recorded, because it was seen moving away at speed.
Footage is from nasa’s international space stations live feed

In memory of Neil Armstrong, take a moment to wink at the Moon!

On this day in 2012, Neil Armstrong passed away as the result of complications from a cardiovascular procedure.

Of all 12 astronauts to have stood on the lunar surface during the Apollo era, none are as popular as the first and most famous of the moon-walkers, Neil Armstrong. Described by his fellow Apollo 11 crew mate Buzz Aldrin as the “epitome of a space man”, Armstrong has served both before and after death as a cornerstone of NASA’s ethos-building force, one which has resonated since its inception 56 years ago.

Following his death, Neil Armstrong’s family released a statement, which reads in part:

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

Read the full statement here: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/aug/HQ_12_600_armstrong_family.html

On this day, join us in celebrating the accomplishments and memorable career of Neil Armstrong by taking an opportunity to wink at the Moon!

Read more about Neil Armstrong:
http://goo.gl/cHmz4
http://goo.gl/EkKIK
http://goo.gl/3irlOr

An old post recalling a dream I woke from..

I just awoke from such a vivid dream. I was going through astronaut training in preparation for what seemed like a trip to our moon. I was getting outfitted in the astronaut gear discussing Yuri Gagarin with the other crew members and the little known story of his comrade which perished upon reentry, Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov. My recount of the story kept getting cut off as the dream skipped a bit further into moments closer to the launch date. However, you can read about it here, if you aren’t familiar (and after reading it you may wonder how the hell there hasn’t been a film made about this…you aren’t the only one).

Eventually I dropped the story and at one point we were riding in a big passenger van or bus of some kind, with the POTUS on board. He (Pres. Obama) looks over, and I think he may have said this because we were wrapping up our Yuri story, but he said, “Well, you all will be riding in the safest, most advanced craft every built.” Looking at me, I stared back, nodded in approval, saying, “Fuck’n right.” 

There were a few exclamations and cheers from inside the vehicle and I think he was taken back just slightly that I had used those words but he knew they were expressed out of confidence in the meticulous engineering and testing efforts of NASA along with confidence in the mission, so he responded with some type of muffled agreeable response and the extension of his hand, which, my personal view of him and politics aside, I obliged and shook firmly.

As we traveled to the briefing room/launch pad and just after letting go of his hand, I spoke freely, trying to muster the words without collapsing into tears of pride and disbelief. I expressed how proud I was to be on this mission and that the first time I had seen the Orion Crew Capsule, it was a prototype used to develop and progress the heat shields, to which I examined while watching the Space Shuttle Discovery become retired and placed into its permanent home at Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum. I could barely make it through the condensed version of this brief comment. I was breaking down with tears of overflowing emotion: joy, surreality, humility (image courtesy of @nasa).

In my dream, while crying and trying to break through the tears to finish what I felt compelled to say, I could see the faces of other men and women in the vehicle (presumably crew members, technical advisors, NASA PR, ?) and they had half smiles on their faces, honored by my enthusiasm and noticeable nostalgia during what felt like, reality. The dream cut away to one of those animated NASA simulations of what the mission would consist of. 

First, a proper alignment for a cost-effective, logistically appropriate launch and conjunction. As the images became clearer, I realized the moon was not our destination. We were going to Mars. The animation explained that this SRM (Sample-Return Mission) had already been set in motion by a craft which had previously landed, inflating habitable hubs, converting the Mars atmosphere into breathable oxygen inside each living/workspace (image below courtesy of Bryan Versteeg). 

Then another craft was sent out behind it, which landed a distance away from the hubs. It’s purpose was to act as a landing pad for the capsule we’d be traveling in, which would resupply us with fuel and a boost to reach escape velocity for the return back to Earth (image courtesy of Space X). 

The duration of the mission was unknown to me, but I began daydreaming (within my dream) about stepping foot onto the planet, eagerly awaiting my duties to fulfill amidst the other astronauts and what their responsibilities consisted of (image courtesy of @nasa). 

Picking up my first piece of Martian sediment, I remember being slightly anxious. What will reentry feel like? Will the heat shields live up to their projected durability? Logical questions that I pushed from my mind to focus my attention elsewhere. 

Then I hear “oh shit, we lost the box.” The black box (don’t ask me why it would even be in a position to “fall off”) had escaped from its mount onto the tarmac of the air strip. No matter, we were on our way…(and then I woke up).