Yipee, success, I saw the spacecraft in the sky

At around 10.15pm this evening I saw the SpaceX spacecraft in the sky. It’s passing didn’t take long. Long enough though to be excited in seeing it. I even managed to take a photo – crumby though the photo is, at least I got. In the photo below it’s the lower bright spot in the sky.

All those cosmic wonders, such as the comets, meteor showers, and such, I seem never to see them. Yet, this spacecraft I did see.

NASA’s compelling video of the rotation of the Moon

Here’s another of my serendipitous finds on the Internet. Go to the NASA site HERE for detailed background on the Lunar reconnaissance Orbiter [LROC].

I love my commenters

I love the comments written on this blog. I learn such a lot from them.

See Will’s comment on the photo of British astronaut Tim Peake. He posted this video of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s talk in Wimbledon last year. I’ve watched it. Truly unforgettable, just as Will says.

What you’ve always wanted, sounds from space as a ringtone

Space StationVisit United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] ‘Download NASA Sounds’ website and you’ll have the opportunity to download sounds from spaceflights.

All of these sounds are free to use as you wish, because NASA’s own audio isn’t copyrighted. You can download a file from the NASA Sounds web page, by right clicking on one, and then saving them to your hard drive. NASA say about this new offering,

Here’s a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” every time you get a phone call. Or, you can hear the memorable words “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” every time you make an error on your computer. We have included both MP3 and M4R (iPhone) sound files to download.

You can also visit NASA’s SoundCloud account, where the sounds are categorised into clips such as Space Shuttle Mission Sounds, Rocket Engine Sounds, or President Kennedy Sounds. Follow these instructions when downloading files from SoundCloud.

Seeing the Apollo 10 Command Module at the Science Museum

I should’ve reported on our visit to London last week. During this week I’ll try and put that right with a post-a-day with our visits to the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum.

Apollo 10 Command ModuleWe’ve not visited the Science Museum for many years. It holds stunning collections of technology developments, many exhibits being the first of their kind [click on images to enlarge]. On the ground floor of the museum, not far from the entrance is the Apollo 10 Command Module. In this capsule Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan travelled around the Moon in 1969 as a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 landing which followed in July. Read more about the mission HERE.

Viewing famous objects, or paintings, can transport the mind, which is what happened while I stood in front of the space capsule. I marvelled at the fact that it was here in the Science Museum in London, and not in a similar museum in America. I continue to believe in the strong bonds of friendship between Great Britain and America. That this piece of historic space exploration has been on loan to the Science Museum since 1976 is surely an example of this friendship, as no other capsule from the Apollo Space Program is held outside of America.

Heat shield of Apollo 10 Command ModuleThe question I asked of a number of Science Museum guides was, how did one of the most important space ships is here in London? The answer came none, although thanks to the wonderful interweb, I found the answer HERE, from which I’ve copied the answer, shown below,

“Objects from the US Space Program were toured during the 1970s both to appeal to the world population’s timely appetite for space travel, but also as a form of victory lap. The Americans had won the race.

Documents from the Science Museum’s archive indicate that the Apollo 10 Command Module had been shown in France and the Netherlands, before coming to London. There is even the suggestion that it spent a brief spell in the Soviet Union. Touring a seven ton space ship, in a state of ‘considerable disrepair’, was no easy feat and required much funding and planning. This was initiated by the now defunct United States Information Agency. It was tacit propaganda, affirming the victory over the Soviets in the race to the moon. But once the Command Module landed in South Kensington, efforts to move it anywhere else seemed too costly and difficult. So the craft settled in.

Although cumbersome, the curators of the museum were more than pleased to receive this important attraction. An internal letter from Dr EJ Becklake remarks, ‘…obviously we must accept. Apollo 10 would be the only authentic manned space capsule on display in Western Europe and, I believe, the only manned capsule to have travelled around the moon on display anywhere outside the States. Its technical content speaks for itself, and the public interest it would arouse would be enormous’. When the Museum came to renew the object’s insurance in 1986, its value was estimated at £1.25 million.”