Dec. 24, 1968: Christmas Eve Greetings From Lunar Orbit
1968: The crew of Apollo 8 delivers a live, televised Christmas Eve broadcast after becoming the first humans to orbit another space body.
Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders made their now-celebrated broadcast after entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, which might help explain the heavy religious content of the message. After announcing the arrival of lunar sunrise, each astronaut read from the Book of Genesis.
How this went down at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Soviet Union is unknown, but it stands in stark contrast to the alleged message sent back to Earth several years earlier by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.
DENVER — Already cornering the market for brief up-and-down joyrides for space tourists, Virgin Galactic announced Thursday it has an agreement to sell seats on two lifting body spaceships proposed under NASA’s commercial crew development initiative.
Both spacecraft are being designed to rotate government astronauts to and from the International Space Station, but they could serve other markets in low Earth orbit.
Virgin Galactic, founded by wealthy businessman Richard Branson, is supporting spacecraft proposals by Orbital Sciences Corp. and Sierra Nevada Corp., the company said Thursday in a press release.
For all you that wonder what it is like for the astronauts to work ground stations during a general pass. Col. Wheelock gives you a personal video tour of the ISS ham radio station while he answers calls from operators on the ground.
NASA Sets Shuttle Discovery’s Launch For No Earlier Than Dec. 17
WASHINGTON — NASA managers have targeted space shuttle Discovery’s launch for no earlier than Dec. 17. Shuttle managers determined more tests and analysis are needed before proceeding with the STS-133 mission.
1st Communication Satellite: A Giant Space Balloon 50 Years Ago
People on Earth may take for granted today’s high-tech world of cell phones, GPS and the satellites high above the planet that make instantaneous communication possible. But it all began 50 years ago with one giant space balloon.
Echo 1, the world’s first communications satellite capable of relaying signals to other points on Earth, soared 1,000 miles (1,609 km) above the planet after its Aug. 12, 1960 launch, yet relied on humanity’s oldest flight technology — ballooning.
Intelsat’s new satelliteA radiation-proof Cisco router was sent into space today aboard an Intelsat satellite with the goal to set up military communications from space.
The router/satellite combo are a key part of the US Department of Defense’s Internet Routing In Space (IRIS) project, which aims to route IP voice, video and data traffic between satellites in space in much the same way packets are moved on the ground, reducing delays, saving on capacity and offering greater network flexibility, Cisco stated.
The mission management team will meet at 3 p.m. EDT today to give the “go- no go” for fueling Discovery. Weather for tanking and launch is currently at 70 percent acceptable for a 1:10 a.m. Wednesday morning launch.
Tanking coverage of Discovery will begin at 3:30 p.m. and launch commentary at 8 p.m. on NASA TV.