Posts Tagged ‘apollo 11’

RIP Neil Armstrong

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

 What can I really say. Such terribly sad news. This man was, is and will always be a real hero to me… and millions of others.

I can only hope I have within myself a small portion of the stuff that this man had running through his veins.

Godspeed, Sir.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday, weeks after heart surgery and days after his 82nd birthday.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and he radioed back to Earth the historic news of “one giant leap for mankind.” He spent nearly three hours walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Armstrong and his wife, Carol, married in 1999, made their home in the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, but he had largely stayed out of public view in recent years.

He spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring fellow astronaut John Glenn and the 50th anniversary of Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. In May, Armstrong joined Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of The National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

And now, let us relive the moment that thrilled us to the core…

the footprint

Here is the full text of his famous address… the one the profoundly misguided love to quote from:

Thank you, Mr. Vice President, Mr. President, members of Congress, fellow astronauts, ladies and gentlemen.

Wilbur Wright once noted that the only bird that could talk was the parrot, and he didn’t fly very well. So I’ll be brief. This week America has been recalling the Apollo program and reliving the memories of those times in which so many of us here, colleagues here in the first rows, were immersed. Our old astrogeology mentor, Gene Shoemaker, even called in one of his comets to mark the occasion with spectacular Jovian fireworks. And reminding us once again of the power and consequence of celestial extracurricular activities.

Many Americans were part of Apollo, about one or two in each thousand citizens, all across the country. They were asked by their country to do the impossible–to envisage the design and to build a method of breaking the bonds of earth’s gravity and then sally forth to visit another heavenly body. The principal elements–leaving earth, navigating in space and descending to a planet unencumbered with runways and traffic control–would include major requirements necessary for a space-faring people.

Today a space shuttle flies overhead with an international crew. A number of countries have international space programs. During the space age we have increased our knowledge of our universe a thousand-fold.

Today we have with us a group of students, among America’s best. To you we say we have only completed a beginning. We leave you much that is undone. There are great ideas undiscovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of the truth’s protective layers. There are many places to go beyond belief. Those challenges are yours–in many fields, not the least of which is space, because there lies human destiny.


Will try to write more and sidestep the depression a bit, but until then… this quickie post will have to do. It presents WATT friend and reader (!) LunaCognita’s latest film, an unprecedented proper look at the footage of the lift off of the Lunar Module from the end of the Apollo 11 mission. He pretty much explains what’s what with it below, but, do note that near to and again at the end of this clip there are two unidentified objects seen landing

and they both land…

in the very same spot!


LunaCognita | December 31, 2010

This presentation shows the 16mm Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) footage that was shot during the Apollo 11 ascent from Tranquility Base. In this ascent footage, the DAC motion picture camera was mounted in the right side forward-facing (LMP) window of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module “Eagle”, providing us a view looking down at the Moon’s surface as the LM ascent stage fires and sends the spacecraft on its way back up to lunar orbit for rendezvous and docking with the CSM “Columbia”.

Rather than just showing the raw footage here as it is cataloged in the NASA film archives, I instead show the footage in a rotation-corrected format in order to always keep the scene in it’s proper “horizon up” viewing orientation throughout the duration of the clip. This proper “horizon up” perspective can be established based on some simple visual criteria, with the goal being to ensure we are viewing the footage with the lunar surface being shown so that the Moon’s horizon that is closest to the camera’s current principle point always remains aligned and level towards the top of the field-of-view (even if the horizon itself is not actually visible at the time). This ensures that the surface scene you are viewing can be accurately interpreted.

As you can see in this footage, the rotation correction to align the scene to the “horizon up” viewing perspective is an absolutely vital adjustment that must be applied first in order to be able to even begin attempting to analyze and interpret scenes such as this one accurately. Because the DAC camera was hard-mounted in the window of the LM during liftoff from the lunar surface, this meant that the standard locked display perspective that NASA provides in their archive clips showing the Apollo ascent footage is ALWAYS displaying the lunar surface scene below in an inaccurate perspective. For over 40 years, the public has actually been watching ascent footage like this from the various Apollo missions where the lunar surface after liftoff is being shown essentially upside down (between 135 to 180 degrees off of the “horizon up” viewing perspective).

The point to this simple presentation is to merely serve as a reminder to everyone who is interested in doing their own analysis of ANY of the Apollo DAC footage or still frames of the lunar surface to always consider the question of “what is the proper viewing perspective for each scene?” The ugly fact is that the vast majority of the Apollo DAC footage and still frames, as they are archived by NASA, are not presenting their lunar surface scenes to you in anything close to the proper “horizon up” viewing orientation that our eyes expect to see. Obviously, unless this improper viewing perspective is corrected for first, you have very little chance of being able to analyze the scenes you are looking at with any degree of accuracy at all.

In addition to the rotation-correction, I also was forced to make several frame-rate adjustments to this Apollo 11 DAC footage, and the reason for that is because just before the four-minute mark after liftoff, the 16mm DAC camera suddenly alters it frame exposure rate, switching from 12 frames-per-second (the proper declared setting for filming the liftoff and ascent) down to 6 fps. I have no idea how or why this sudden frame-rate setting change occurs, because adjusting the DAC camera’s fps setting “on the fly” was certainly not one of LMP Buzz Aldrin’s checklisted duties during ascent, and I see no mention in the Apollo 11 mission and post-mission reports to account for this anomalous occurrence. The Apollo 11 ascent footage, as it is archived by NASA, makes no attempt to correct for (or even draw attention to) this sudden step-down in frame-rate, which results in the raw archive footage appearing to suddenly show a doubling of the playback speed. In addition to this, NASA typically renders their HD digital DAC archive at 29.97 NSTC, resulting in further interpolation stretching being introduced in the digital footage. I have attempted to correct for this effect here in order to ensure that the playback rate of the DAC footage accurately matches the accurate timeframe that I was able to establish using the accompanying raw mission audio track and flown liftoff&ascent charts – essentially using the accurate audio timeline to re-synchronize the inaccurate video playback rate so they match up correctly for the duration of the nearly 10-minute complete sequence of footage showing the Apollo 11 ascent from Tranquility Base.…
Cheers everyone,

If you’d like to check it out, there is a nice discussion of this work going on over at ATS. Short so far and very well reasoned.