25 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Promotion of the Apollo Program

The success of Apollo was mainly due to the fact that the project was conceived and honestly presented to the public as an international sporting event and not as a contribution to science. The order of priorities in Apollo was accurately reflected by the first item to be unloaded after each landing on the Moon's surface, the television camera. The landing, the coming and going of the astronauts, the exploring of the moon's surface, the gathering of Moon rocks and the earthward departure, all...
Folksonomies: space exploration nasa
Folksonomies: space exploration nasa
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It was carefully choreographed and promoted like a sporting event.

06 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF) photograph

Here we go again, one of the epic documents of our time, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF) photograph, the deepest look into space ever. A random part of the sky, so small it could be covered by a pinhead held at arm's length. A part of the sky -- as NASA says -- that you'd see looking through an eight-foot-long soda straw. A photo exposed over 400 orbits of the Hubble, a total exposure of 11.3 days. The telescope pointing precisely to the same point in space even as it whizzes around the Ear...
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It would take 12.7 million such photos to cover our night sky, and there are 10,000 galaxies in this image.

05 OCT 2011 by ideonexus

 The Waste of the Shuttle External Tanks

But to grasp just how far our current mindset is from being able to attempt innovation on such a scale, consider the fate of the space shuttle’s external tanks [ETs]. Dwarfing the vehicle itself, the ET was the largest and most prominent feature of the space shuttle as it stood on the pad. It remained attached to the shuttle—or perhaps it makes as much sense to say that the shuttle remained attached to it—long after the two strap-on boosters had fallen away. The ET and the shuttle remai...
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The tanks were allowed to burn up in the atmosphere, but for a slightly increased investment, they could have been left in orbit and used to build an even larger space station.

28 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 Neil deGrasse Tyson on NASA Funding

First of all, let's clarify what the NASA budget is. Do you realize that the $850 billion dollar bailout, that sum of money is greater than the entire 50-year running budget of NASA? And so when someone says, "We don't have enough money for this space probe," I'm asking, no, it's not that you don't have enough money, it's that the distribution of money that you're spending is warped in some way that you are removing the only thing that gives people something to dream about tomorrow. You rem...
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The economic bailout was more than the entire history of NASA's budget. America is prioritizing toward the next quarter instead of the future.