Friday, July 17, 2009

40 year anniversary

Since the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is coming up, here's a few things:
  • The Kennedy presidential library has a real-time replay of the mission. All the audio, plus things you can click on.
  • Walter Cronkite didn't quite make it to the 40th anniversary, but his reaction was pretty memorable at the time.
  • Three new books to check out: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Spacesuits by Amanda Young, a spacesuit curator. Lots of good pictures. Speaking of pictures, Apollo through the eyes of the astronauts combines images, text by the astronauts, and a forward by Lucy and Stephen Hawking. Andrew Chaikin (I previously talked about him) returns with Voices from the moon: Apollo astronauts describe their lunar experiences.
Finally, I finally finished Dragonfly: NASA and the crisis aboard Mir. It is a 500 page book that I read a few pages at a time, like I did with Digital Apollo. The book discusses scary events, like a fire onboard the Mir space station, a collision with a Progress cargo ship, a decompression, leaking cooling systems and an airlock door held in place with C-clamps. That was on the Russian Mir, and the NASA astronaut selection and training side of things was just about as scary. It's amazing no one died. ISS still uses Progress cargo ships - and sometimes amateur astronomers gets pictures of ISS and Progress from their home telescopes.

Bonus: an amusing Q&A with "the third one", a grumpy/lucky Michael Collins.