Neil Armstrong passed away


Our homage to the great man, whose small footprint caused a giant leap to
the mankind
. The first moonwalker and the commander of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong passed away on August 25, 2012.

Fortunately I had a visit to the Purdue University last year where Armstrong
completed his graduation (BS in Aeronautical Engineering) in 1955. The picture shows me with a statue of Armstrong in front of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering building, adjacent to the Physics Department of Purdue University.

One story I recently came across through internet is about the Gemini VIII (March 16, 1966) mission, where the first successful docking of two spacecrafts happened by Neil Armstrong and David Scott (moonlander of Apollo 15, 1971). However, a problem occurred in the Gemini control system and it is Armstrong’s intelligence and skill which accomplished a successful emergency safe landing on the Pacific.

Now as one important remark, I must mention there exist many “conspiracy theories” that claim that the first moonlanding was fake. The whole moonlanding video was staged by NASA and broadcast live over the television in order to show that America has won the Space race during the cold war against Russia. I personally believe the theories have been debunked and I append three links below:

The great moon hoax (NASA Science News)
Moon landing conspiracy theories (Wiki)
Mythbusters: Episode 104 (Wiki)

Well, it is reasonable to doubt about the manned moon missions, since no other countries except USA have sent men to the moon and it appears that all that we see or believe have come from the NASA. One very recent news is that the Lunar Reconaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) has observed the shadows of all the American flags besides the one from Apollo 11.

Image taken from LROC


So maybe there was no flag at all! Well, Mark Robinson, the principal investigator of
the mission said,
“Astronaut Buzz Aldrin reported that the flag was blown over by the exhaust from the ascent engine during liftoff of Apollo 11, and it looks like he was correct!”.
He also mentioned,
“Personally I was a bit surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did,…”
So I shall leave the conclusion up to you but before that
I must recommend you to read about the third-party evidences.

Now finally a quiz question: Who’s the lady you see with Neil Armstrong in the picture below?

PS: Found an interesting blog: Lunar Networks

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Great news ! Curiosity landed.

“No photo or it didn’t happen? Well lookee here, I’m casting a shadow on the ground in Mars’ Gale crater”.

Yes, it’s about the pic that has been tweated showing the successful landing of the Mars rover, Curiosity.

Shadow cast by the Mars rover Curiosity on the surface of Mars.

So congrats to NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for making another remarkable footprint on their Mars mission. Curiosity will keep up curiosity among us since it’s the largest Mars rover so far and also is promised to be much durable. For a comparison to the earlier rovers Sojourner (aka Pathfinder), Spirit and Opportunity, look at the picture below.

Wheel sizes of Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity, and Curiosity, from left to right (Courtesy: http://sciencefocus.com/blog/our-guide-curiosity).

Wish you good luck, Curiosity!

Useful links:

Curiosity pics from NASA (CNN news)

Mars Science Laboratory, NASA

Curiosity rover twitter page