Light Years Ahead | The 1969 Apollo Guidance Computer

Half a century ago, on 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong was in the final stages of the lunar descent, just a few thousand feet above the surface, when suddenly his on-board computer indicated a critical alarm. For three nail-biting seconds it looked as if the mission would have to be aborted. However, Armstrong was given a “go” to continue, and after several more alarms the Eagle touched down safely on the Moon.

Very insightful talk by Robert Wills, engineer at Cisco. No only does it give an insight in how to land a Lunar Lander on the moon, it also provides a thorough analysis of the hardware and software design principles that saved the mission.

Inside NASA’s facility where they keep the Moon Rocks

In honour of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing – which launched on July 16th, 1969 – Destin from SmarterEveryDay went to the NASA facility where they keep about 70% of the Moon Rocks that were ever collected (Apollo Missions 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). The video offers us a truly amazing inside view on how the rocks are stored, manipulated, documented, etc.

Extra kudos to his guide Andrea Mosie, who speaks in such a passionate, open, and honest way about it all. It must be a joy and privilege to work with her.

💩 Did you know: In order to take all those rocks back, the astronauts left a lot of their stuff on the moon … including wastebags filled with their own poop.

In the end of the video Dustin refers to It’s Okay To Be Smart‘s video on The Genesis Rock, which is also worth your time:

The Wikipedia article on Moon Rocks is also worth a read 🙂

🚀 If you really want to go back in time you can – just like with the Apollo 17 Mission before – relive the entire Apollo 11 Mission in real-time. Included real-time elements are:

  • All mission control film footage
  • All TV transmissions and onboard film footage
  • 2,000 photographs
  • 11,000 hours of Mission Control audio
  • 240 hours of space-to-ground audio
  • All onboard recorder audio

And to say some people still think this was all a scam 😅

Apollo 11 in real-time →

NASA: We Are Going

We are going to the Moon, to stay, by 2024. And this is how.

Must admit I got some goosebumps while watching this …

Not your typical map: “Where is all the poop on the moon?”

Ever wondered what the astronauts that landed on the moon did with their waste? Well, they ditched them on the moon itself.

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing. Neil Armstrong’s iconic footprint is still there, undisturbed; there’s no atmosphere, no wind on the moon to blow it away.

But the bigger human footprint on the moon is, arguably, the 96 bags of human waste left behind by the six Apollo missions that landed there.

Yes, our brave astronauts took dumps on their way to the moon, perhaps even on the moon, and they left behind their diapers in baggies, on humanity’s doorstep to the greater cosmos.

Just look at the big white bag right underneath the lunar lander:

💩💩

Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit. →

👨‍🚀 That’s not all what’s been left on the moon. If you were to land on the moon, you’d also find Hammers, Earplugs, Batteries, Camera Systems, etc. Check out the full Catalogue of Manmade Material on the Moon (PDF) (with coordinates) if you’re interested. The catalogue is from 2012, so SpaceIL’s crashed Beresheet Lander is not included on it.

Project Apollo Archive

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The Project Apollo Archive is an online reference source and repository of digital images pertaining to the historic manned lunar landing program.

12,000 photos and counting.

Project Apollo Archive (Flickr) →
Project Apollo Archive (Facebook) →

The panorama at the top of this post was assembled from several Apollo 16 photos by Maciej Winiarczyk.

Moon Phase and Libration, 2015

This visualization shows the Moon’s phase and libration at hourly intervals throughout 2015, as viewed from the northern hemisphere. Each frame represents one hour. In addition, this visualization shows the Moon’s orbit position, sub-Earth and subsolar points, distance from the Earth at true scale, and labels of craters near the terminator.

Scientific Visualisation Studio: Moon Phase and Libration, 2015 →