To the Moon ...

I count myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed man landing on the Moon! Of billions of people who have lived during all the ages since man first realized there were heavenly bodies to study, only those of us alive in July of 1969 watched it happen!

For all you nay-sayers that *suspect* it didn't happen, I have one question ... "If we were just faking trips to the Moon, why would we fake it several times and feel it necessary to make-up something like Apollo 13?!" If you remember how long and hard the entire planet held its collective breath, then you know we were *really* going there!

Apollo 11 returning from the Moon

Watch the series 'From the Earth to the Moon'. Something which I grew-up thinking was only terribly difficult to accomplish, was actually virtually impossible with the technology available at the time! There was more computing power in the calculator I used in college than what NASA used when I was in grade school!

I remember a spokesperson for NASA saying space travel was moving ahead at such a pace that by Apollo 20, we would be going to Mars. I'm still waiting! I used to look at pictures of the planets and the impressive rings around Saturn and wonder what it would be like to land there. Before 1980, I had concluded you couldn't actually land on Saturn's rings because they would be strings of snowy ice balls circling the planet in strings of fixed orbits. I remember when NASA was *surprised* to figured this out sometime during the late 90's, based on photos from the Voyager and Casini space probes.

... and the Rings of Saturn

Actual view of Saturn looking back toward Earth from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft

Actual view of four moons of Saturn. Can you find all four?

I don't know if we'll ever make it to a star system outside our own and land on another habitable planet, but  we have found our first  candidte ... only 600 light years away on Kepler-22b.  I hope it looks just like this ...


Here are more views from space:

 View of Earth and Shutte from the ISS

Actual view of Earth from the surface of Mars

Partial Solar Eclipse

No, that's not a Star Wars TIE fighter skimming across the face of the Sun during a Solar Eclipse, it is the International Space Station passing overhead.

Check out these two videos of our Sun's solar prominence activity:

solar prominence