Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Stunning pictures of the Moon over London skyline

Photographer James Burns has spent the past year capturing various lunar spectacles in London. Some of the result is part of thirteen images posted in a London Evening Standard slideshow, HERE [james Burns@London_Rooftops].
Liz Connor and Gareth Richman

From September’s supermoon rising to the magnificent lunar eclipse, photographer James Burns captures some of the most breathtaking states of the moon over London.

His Lunar London project emerged after various evenings of photographing the capital’s skyline led to a string of chance encounters with the moon.

“I had a growing fascination with how I could capture it in the same way I had been the shooting the rising and setting sun for some years”, James told the Evening Standard.

“2015 was a lucky year for moongazing in London. Despite cloud cover across most of Europe, September's supermoon lunar eclipse was visible in perfectly clear skies over London and was an otherworldly joy to behold.”

Read the full feature and view the Gallery HERE.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Plans for Moon resort in California

Artist conception of the proposed Moon USA resort and entertainment complex in Coachella Valley near Indio,  California.Renderings courtesy of Moon World Resorts, Inc. feature at laist.com.
Danny Jensen

Dust off your moon boots because a Canadian developer is aiming to build a $4 billion, five-star lunar resort, known as Moon USA, in the city of Coachella, just down the road from where the music fest is held in Indio. That kind of awesomeness is obviously what has been missing from all of our lives.

View details and artist renderings HERE.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Israeli GLXP team 'all in' for Reiner Gamma

Israeli President Reuven Rivlinlooks on as SpaceIL's GLXP lunar lander prototype is unveiled [Alon Hadar].
Abigail Klein Leichman
New Jersey Jewish Standard

Why is a team from the tiniest country in the Middle East joining an international race to the moon?

It’s not just the promise of a Google Lunar XPRIZE of $20 million to the first team (and $5 million to the second team) that lands an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by December 31, 2017, and then moves it 500 meters across the lunar surface as it sends high-definition images and videos back to earth.

The Israelis’ participation has much to do with a cultural passion to accomplish the seemingly impossible. It also is fueled by a desire to make history, inspire Jewish pride, and encourage more young people to pursue careers that will sustain Israel’s leading position in the high-tech world.

Still image from YouTube video detailing the SpaceIL ballistics. the Israeli team intends to utilize graduated orbital phases to attain increasing apogee in graduated stages, similar to the polar orbit method previously employed by both ESA and the ISRO. The team has chosen the Reiner Gamma swirl and magnetic anomaly north of the lunar equator in Oceanua Procellarum as its eventual landing site.
“Only global superpowers with billion-dollar space programs — the United States, Russia, and China — have soft-landed a rover on the surface of the moon,” said SpaceIL’s CEO, Dr. Eran Privman, last October, when SpaceIL became the first Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) team to sign a verified launch contract for a privately funded mission to the moon.

On February 17, Yonatan Winetraub — one of three young Israeli engineers who founded the nonprofit organization SpaceIL in 2010 to enter the GLXP competition — will speak about the ambitious project at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

Read the full and unusually detailed write-up HERE.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lunar Survival game concept 'revealed'

Hat Tip to gamershell.com for news of "Lunar Survival," a "first-person survival adventure game with horror elements," developers frankly admit is barely 'a work in progress.'

"The gameplay is designed as a combination of survival-action, map quests, realistic Apollo mission technologies and various Moon mysteries. Players will need to take in consideration of the different technical aspects to pass missions, such as the amount of oxygen, electricity, stamina and the space suit temperature. Players will be able to repair, fix and build different mechanisms and upgrade their suit which will help them to spend more time on missions without coming back to the Lunar Space Module to recover."

Interesting how the concept Surveyor artifact features artfully edged and updated landing pods.

Perhaps someone in the community could help the developers out.

They might begin with the amazingly stubborn 'dark side and light side of the Moon' fallacy, before these guys embarrass themselves repeating what every Pink Floyd fan has accepted as false since 1973.

Some will laugh at the early stage vaporware feel to this concept, which seems to borrow heavily from Apollo 18 (2011),

Is it possible they totally missed that movie? Of course it is.

Still this game's development is, at least, claimed to be 'in progress' and is, therefore, making a better pace than Congress, for example

Sadly, none of this raises any hope that search results, using YouTube especially, will soon start to separate science from urban legend for those using criteria that includes 'NASA' or 'Apollo.'

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Edgar Mitchell (1930-2016)

Edgar Mitchell, sixth human to visit the lunar surface, takes a live panorama of the close horizon using the first color television camera successfully operated on the Moon; at Fra Mauro, south of Copernicus, February 1971. Photograph by Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard [NASA/JSC].
Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida,  and on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar expedition in 1971.

Mitchell joined Apollo 14 commander Alan Shephard, Jr., the first American in space, in the lunar module Antares, which touched down February 5, 1971, in the Fra Mauro highlands. Shepard and Mitchell were assigned to traverse the lunar surface to deploy scientific instruments and perform a communications test on the surface, as well as photograph the lunar surface and any deep space phenomena. It was Mitchell’s only spaceflight.

Mitchell and Shephard set mission records for the time of the longest distance traversed on the lunar surface; the largest payload returned from lunar surface; and the longest lunar stay time (33 hours). They were also the first to transmit color TV from the lunar surface. Mitchell helped collect 94 pounds of lunar rock and soil samples that were distributed across 187 scientific teams in the United States and 14 other countries for analysis.

Read the full NASA release HERE.