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EXPLORING SPACE - FOR ALL MANKIND-----------------------------------------This blog is to proliferate space travel and exploration to people the world over, in an attempt to inspire a sense of awe and wonder into mankind's greatest accomplishment - the exploration of the stars.---Former NASA History Facebook and Twitter content creator.----------------------Passionate about spaceflight since the age of two, I live and breath rockets, NASA, and anything space. I also enjoy Florida History and World's Fairs. I'm an avid explorer, and I'll occasionally post images from my travels.--------------21 - DC/VA/FL

Reblogged from spacewatching  135 notes
spacewatching:

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the International Space Station, and posted it to social media on Friday, Sept. 12. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday as a three-person crew aboard the space station, while the three additional flight engineers who will round out the Expedition 41 crew spent the day training for next week’s launch to the orbiting complex.

Ahhh, love seeing my state from space :)

spacewatching:

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the International Space Station, and posted it to social media on Friday, Sept. 12. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday as a three-person crew aboard the space station, while the three additional flight engineers who will round out the Expedition 41 crew spent the day training for next week’s launch to the orbiting complex.

Ahhh, love seeing my state from space :)

Reblogged from canadian-space-agency  201 notes

canadian-space-agency:

NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman aboard the ISS: “SpaceVine timelapse - @astro_alex (ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst) worked the arm and I pushed the “so long” button on Cygnus.”

Credit: Reid Wiseman/NASA

This is perhaps one of my all-time favourite videos/gifs. It shows how gracefully space flying is, and how Cygnus’ orbit takes it away from the space station. Complex orbital mechanics demonstrated beautifully.

NASA announced early this morning that at 4:00PM EST today, 16 September 2014, the winner of the Commercial Crew integrated Capability. will be revealed. The CCiCAP contract will give the selected company (or companies) the green light to build and ferry United States Astronauts to the International Space Station. It requires a crewed test flight with a NASA astronaut to the ISS by 2017.

This is the culmination of the Commercial Crew Development program which was started in 2010. There are currently three companies competing for the coveted NASA contract, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and Boeing. Each company’s vehicles are highlighted below, to give you a better sense of the craft that NASA has to choose from.

Company: Sierra Nevada
Vehicle: Dream Chaser

             The Dream Chaser vehicle is a modern redesign of NASA’sHL-10 lifting body vehicle that it designed in the 1990’s. The only one of the three vehicles that is not a capsule, it employs a lifting body design, and would land on any conventional runway. Docking to the International Space Station would be accomplished by a docking system located between the two primary Orbital Maneuvering System engines in the aft of the vehicle. Captive-Carry tests have already been completed on a full scale model, and that vehicle is currently undergoing heavy modifications to become the first Orbital test vehicle, which is slated to launch in 2016. It can transport up to seven people to space and back. Similar to the space shuttle, it can be reused an indefinite amount of times after maintenance.

More information here.

Company: Boeing
Vehicle: Crew Space Transportation 100

The CST-100 vehicle is a conventional space capsule similar to NASA’s Orion capsule. It would transport between 4-7 people to Low Earth Orbit, and could be configured for different missions, such as free flight or docked to a space station. Boeing has partnered with the Bigelow Aerospace company for many of the capsule’s parts, and it would also be used to transport crew to Bigelow’s inflatable space station. Similar to Orion, it can be reused up to ten times.

More information here.

Company: SpaceX
Vehicle: Dragon V2

The crewed Dragon capsule has been envisioned by SpaceX ever since its first unmanned flight back in 2008. The modified version of the capsule, more suitable for astronauts, was unveiled in late May of 2012. The vehicle can be reused up to ten times before significant refurbishment is required, and would land using a combination of landing struts and retrorockets. The company claims helicopter-like landing accuracy anywhere around the world. Seven astronauts could be transported to LEO.

More information here.

Today’s announcement will take place at Kennedy Space Center by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. It will be broadcast online as well as on NASA TV.

Reblogged from lightthiscandle  23 notes

lightthiscandle:

The top drawing is an Associated Press artistic rendering of astronaut Dick Gordon “riding” the Agena in space, from September 1966. Below is a photo of the actual event. Since there was no way to send photos back down to Earth during the mission, the artist drew the sketch based on Gordon and mission commander Pete Conrad’s descriptions from space.

It’s a good drawing, though the technical artist made one major error: How on earth did he make Dick Gordon ugly?

I did not realize this was a thing! Reminds me of Slim Pickens riding the ICBM in “Dr. Strangelove.”

Reblogged from ourpresidents  48 notes
ourpresidents:

Astronaut John Glenn presented President Kennedy with this Model of the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7 on Atlas 6 booster rocket, painted silver and red, on round black base.
The Friendship 7 model is at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.
Listen to JFK’s “We choose the moon” speech, delivered at Rice University on this day, September 12, 1962.  
Happy Friday!

What a beautiful model! If you haven’t listened to Kennedy’s speech before, you should. It’s a little long, and the space bits aren’t for a little while, but the entire content of the speech gives a good context to Kennedy’s remarks. Besides, can you really call yourself a space buff without having seen/heard it? ;)

ourpresidents:

Astronaut John Glenn presented President Kennedy with this Model of the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7 on Atlas 6 booster rocket, painted silver and red, on round black base.

The Friendship 7 model is at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Listen to JFK’s “We choose the moon” speech, delivered at Rice University on this day, September 12, 1962.  

Happy Friday!

What a beautiful model! If you haven’t listened to Kennedy’s speech before, you should. It’s a little long, and the space bits aren’t for a little while, but the entire content of the speech gives a good context to Kennedy’s remarks. Besides, can you really call yourself a space buff without having seen/heard it? ;)

Earlier this morning, 11 September 2014, NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle made its first voyage on the road to the launch pad. The capsule had been in final assembly at Kennedy Space Center’s Apollo-era Operations and Checkout Building since mid-2012. Now that the spacecraft has been assembled, the next step is to fuel the spacecraft’s Reaction Control System. This will take place in the Payload Hazardous Processing Facility, roughly a mile away from the O&C.

Orion will spend 16 days in the PHPF, where it will then be transferred to another building for installation of its Launch Abort System.

Although designed for the Space Launch System, the first flight-worthy Orion capsule will fly on a Delta IV Heavy rocket for the Exploration Flight Test 1 mission, slated for a December, 2014 liftoff.

This will be NASA’s first spacecraft flight in over three and a half years, and their first capsule design to see flight since 1975. 

To see a time lapse video of today’s move, click here.

Reblogged from spacewatching  122 notes
spacewatching:

NASA’s first completed Orion crew module sits atop its service module at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew and service module will be transferred together on Wednesday to another facility for fueling, before moving again for the installation of the launch abort system. At that point, the spacecraft will be complete and ready to stack on top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry it into space on its first flight in December. For that flight, Exploration Flight Test-1, Orion will travel 3,600 miles above the Earth – farther than any spacecraft built to carry people has traveled in more than 40 years – and return home at speeds of 20,000 miles per hour, while enduring temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now that’s starting to look more like a space ship. Hard to believe EFT-1 is just a few months away!

spacewatching:

NASA’s first completed Orion crew module sits atop its service module at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew and service module will be transferred together on Wednesday to another facility for fueling, before moving again for the installation of the launch abort system. At that point, the spacecraft will be complete and ready to stack on top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry it into space on its first flight in December. For that flight, Exploration Flight Test-1, Orion will travel 3,600 miles above the Earth – farther than any spacecraft built to carry people has traveled in more than 40 years – and return home at speeds of 20,000 miles per hour, while enduring temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now that’s starting to look more like a space ship. Hard to believe EFT-1 is just a few months away!

For more than ten years, from 1961 to the mid 1970’s, the Pinellas Manufacturers Association and Pinellas County Industrial Council hosted one of the largest industrial shows in central Florida. With the aerospace industry incredibly popular and rapidly developing, the county wanted to attract business and contracts to bolster their niche in that economy. The Pinellas County Industrial and Aerospace Exhibition was held to do just that. 

From 1961-1968, the exhibition was held at St Pete-Clearwater International Airport. At this location, not only were exhibitors showcasing their products and concepts, but airshows were given to the public by local and national military teams.

Held during the height of the space age, it is not surprising that NASA was among the exhibitors, and one of the most popular. Three of NASA’s facilities, the Goddard Space Flight Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Kennedy Space Center lent displays for the exhibition. Of the six years I found definitive proof of participation, the exhibits largely remained the same, with new items being added only when NASA’s use for them was completed.

The exhibition’s popularity and success caused it to move to the newly completed Bayfront Center in downtown St Petersburg, where NASA continued to display their hardware. Such an event helped NASA ‘sell’ the Apollo program, both to industry, as the Exposition hoped to accomplish, and to the general public in terms of support. This would ensure that the program would continue to create and meet goals that the science community wanted. 

1965: 29-31 January. This is the first year in which I would any mention of the exhibition, even though it was started in 1961. A large display of United States launch vehicles were positioned on a rotating table, surrounded by information and statistics. Nearby was a full scale model of the Mercury spacecraft along with smaller scale models of Gemini, Apollo, and the Lunar module. It is unknown how many of these exhibits were used in consecutive years, though it is suspected there is some overlap, as one of my newspaper sources mentioned, in separate articles a year apart, that “20 other items” were displayed. 

1966: 25-27 February. Models of the Orbiting Solar Observatory, Explorer 12 and Syncom satellites were on display. A total of 20 exhibits from the three centers were on display, many of which were used the previous year. Another exhibit also showed how orbital mechanics works by displaying small models of various satellites and their respective orbits. Below is the OSO display model.

1967: 24-26 February. The only source of information I have on this year’s exhibition is a press photograph I found online. However, it gives a broad, birds-eye view of what was exhibited, and much information can be inferred from it. A model Block I Apollo capsule, with a cutaway above the astronaut’s heads, was the centerpiece of the exhibit.Large models of each Apollo rocket were located behind it, larger than the models on the rotating table in the 1965 exhibit. A map of the United States showed the location of Apollo’s major contractors, near displays of each rocket and their functions. Other sections of the exhibit focused on Earth and space science and the satellites used for observations.

1968: 5-7 April. The first year in the Bayfront Center saw the addition of a large, working model of the Vehicle Assembly Building, with cutaways to show the structure’s interior.

1969: 7-9 February. This year’s exhibition was held less than two months after the first crewed flight to the Moon, Apollo 8. A 27-minute tribute documentary film had been created and distributed around the world, and was one of the highlights of that year’s NASA exhibit. Also in honor of the mission, a full-scale model of the Apollo 8 command module was on display; it is assumed this is different than the Block I Apollo on display in 1967. A Lunar Module model larger than previous years was on display, at one-third the size of the flight vehicle. This is seen in the image above with General Edward White Senior. Ten full-scale space probes were also on display, including a Mariner and a Surveyor. 

1970: 30 January - 1 February. Buzz Aldrin helped open the exhibition on 30 January. Eight main displays were the focus of the exhibit, the first held after the successful Apollo 11 landing. Full-scale models of Surveyor, Mariner IV and Apollo were on display, along with training articles of Apollo flight and EVA suits. Smaller displays focussed on Earth-sun relationships and how NASA technology benefits mankind on earth, which was especially important towards the overall mission of the Exhibition. A film touting the space agency’s major accomplishments and missions in 1969 was also shown.

1971: 19-21 Feburary. The centerpiece of the NASA display was an actual moon rock gathered during the Apollo 11 mission. A full scale model of the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory was nearby.


With the culmination of Apollo two years before, and the general fall from public attention the space program as a whole received, it is not surprising that little information of the aerospace exhibition was found after 1971. The last mention I found of it in the newspaper archives was a brief mention of the NASA exhibit at the 1971 show.

My research yielded almost no information outside of the newspaper archives; therefore what I did find was limited to reporter’s article coverage of the events. Sources for this article were gathered from both the St Petersburg Times and the Evening Independent published the three days the exhibition was open. The Pinellas Manufacturers Association and Pinellas County Industrial Council both no longer exist in 2014, and other archives have turned up no results. 

The Bayfront center, where the Exhibition was held from 1968 onward, was demolished in 2005 to make room for the new Dali museum. It is unclear where the NASA exhibits were taken after the exhibition ended. NASA owned all the hardware and models on display, and it is likely they were reused at other similar events across the nation. Since the materials were taken from GSFC, MSFC, and KSC, I would not be surprised if some have made their way into those NASA visitor centers. (My postulation is as follows: the Earth science displays, such as OSO and OAO, are on display at  Goddard, which managed those programs. The Surveyor, Mariner and other probes, in addition to the space capsules, would be at Kennedy Space Center, while all models and displays pertaining to the Saturn rockets and Apollo program would be at Marshall, which designed them.) 

It is unclear when the exhibition stopped being held; 1971 was the last year I found newspaper results for. However, since no results were given from the inaugural show in 1961 to 1965, it is unclear just how long the exhibition actually lasted.

Reblogged from explorationimages  31 notes

explorationimages:

"The Venus Pioneers" - Circa-1978 NASA film about the two Pioneer Venus missions. These probes are largely forgotten today, but they made a big impact on me as a kid. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter made the first, fairly low resolution radar map of the planet’s surface, which was compiled over the course of the first year or so in orbit. One of the monthly magazines, I forget whether it was Sky and Telescope or Astronomy, included an updated map in each month’s issue, so I’d go to the library when a new issue came out, and there’d be a new updated map, and a few more of the blank, empty spaces would be filled in, and later names started to appear. I was just a kid, but I knew I was seeing something everybody was seeing for the first time, and I thought that was amazing. I was hooked.

Interesting documentary. It started and ended a little slow, however, a good overview summary of the mission and the spacecraft. The next U.S. mission to Venus would be Magellan, more than 12 years later.