Tags: spacecraft

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Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Hack the Moon

The history of Apollo’s hardware and software—the technology, the missions, and the people; people like Elaine Denniston and Margaret Hamilton.

(The site is made by Draper, the company founded by Doc Draper, father of inertial navigation.)

Monday, June 17th, 2019

How to land on the Moon

Take a tour of the Lunar Module.

The LM (or “LEM”, as it’s pronounced) has the appearance of an aeronautical joke, with not a trace of streamlining. Instead, it’s an insect-like asymmetrical collection of legs, angles, bulges, and surfaces that’s very hard to visualize. Frankly, it looks like it was thrown together on a Friday afternoon by someone in a hurry to go fishing.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Apollo Presskit Directory

Ah, what a wonderful treasure trove this is! PDF scans of Apollo era press kits from a range of American companies.

Categories include:

  • Official NASA
  • Earth
  • Launch
  • Lunar Module
  • Moon
  • Astronauts
  • Reveal

There’s something so fascinating about the mundane details of Isolation/Quarantine Foods for Apollo 11 Astronauts from Stouffer’s.

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

The First Women Trained To Conquer Space - Supercluster

The cosmonaut counterparts of the Mercury women astronauts: Zhanna Yorkina, Irina Solovyova, Tatyana Kuznetsova, Valentina Ponomareva, and Valentina Tereshkova.

Ponomareva recalled there being no envy between the women in the squad. According to her, it was a healthy spirit of competition. Everyone did their best to be number one, but also supported each other’s efforts.

One of those cosmonauts went to space: none of the women training for the Mercury missions did. There would be a shockingly gap of twenty years between the launch of Valentina Tereshkova and the launch of Sally Ride.

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Hyperlight

Another great sci-fi short film from Dust.

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Jupiter Perijove 09 | Flickr

Gorgeous images from Juno’s closest approach to Jupiter.

PJ09_90_91 Flyby001

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Smithsonian 3D Apollo 11 Command Module

This is so wonderful! A 3D fly-through of the Apollo 11 command module, right in your browser. It might get your fan whirring, but it’s worth it.

Click through for lots of great details on the interface controls, like which kinds of buttons and switches were chosen for which tasks.

And there’s this lovely note scrawled near the sextant by Michael Collins (the coolest of all the astronauts):

Spacecraft 107, alias Apollo 11, alias ‘Columbia.’ The Best Ship to Come Down the Line. God Bless Her.

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

NASA – Past and Present Dreams of the Future | Benedict Redgrove

A selection from an ongoing photography project—seven years and counting—leading up to the launch of the Orion project.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

The Improbable, Bold History of Space Concept Art – How We Get To Next

A brief history of space concept art—Norman Rockwell, Chesney Bonestell, Robert McCall, Pat Rawlings, David Meltzer …all the classics.

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

The voice of MOL

The latest issue of Spaceflight—the magazine of the British Interplanetary Society—dropped through my door, adding to my weekend reading list. This issue contains a “whatever happened to” article about the military personnel who were supposed to crew the never-realised MOL project.

Before Salyut, Skylab, Mir, or the ISS, the Manned Orbital Laboratory was the first proposed space station. It would use a Gemini capsule and a Titan propellant tank.

Manned Orbital Laboratory

But this wasn’t to be a scientific endeavour. The plan was to use the MOL as a crewed spy satellite—human eyes in the sky watching the enemy below.

The MOL was cancelled (because uncrewed satellites were getting better at that sort of thing), so that particular orbital panopticon never came to pass.

I remember when I first heard of the MOL and I was looking it up on Wikipedia, that this little nugget of information stood out to me:

The MOL was planned to use a helium-oxygen atmosphere.

That’s right: instead of air (21% oxygen, 79% nitrogen), the spies in the sky would be breathing heliox (21% oxygen, 79% helium). Considering the effect that helium has on the human voice, I can only imagine that the grave nature of the mission would have been somewhat compromised.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

A Complete History of the Millennium Falcon — Kitbashed

Everything you never knew you wanted to know about the Millennium Falcon, wrapped up in one unsurprisingly insanely detailed essay from Michael.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Apollo 17 in Real-time

This is rather nice—a Spacelog-like timeline of Apollo 17, timeshifted by exactly 43 years.

Gene and the crew are on their way to the moon …the last humans to ever make the journey.

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Culture Ship Randomizer · A gravitas free zone.

For when you just have to name something after a Culture General Systems Vehicle …or maybe a General Contact Unit.

Someone tell Elon.

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

spaceprobe.es Data From Space

A fantastic new site from Ariel and Lisa: a collection of probes that are out in space right now, with oodles of facts for each mission and links through to more resources. SCIENCE!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

How We Could Actually Build a Space Colony - Popular Mechanics

This is basically porn for me.

Bernal spheres, Stanford tori, and O’Neill cylinders, oh my!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

SKYLON Users’ Manual (PDF)

Tech specs for a spacecraft that doesn’t exist (yet).

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Kosmograd: The death of Kosmograd

The Ballardian beauty of a dying Baikonour.

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Sci-Fi Airshow :: Home

I want to go to there!

This is what Photoshop is for. Be sure to watch the slideshow.

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Orbital Space Colonies (in form of geometric primitives) : socks-studio

A gallery of all your standard space stations: the Stanford Torus, the Bernal Sphere and the O’Neill Cylinder.

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Project Icarus

A joint effort by the Tau Zero Foundation and the British Interplanetary Society to research the design of an interstellar spacecraft.