Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) as seen by the 200-inch optical telescope at the Palomar Observatory.  Like the Milky Way, Andromeda is a spiral galaxy orbited by Two companion galaxies, seen as bright spots above and below the Andromeda.  Andromeda is approximately 20,000 light years across, and about 2 million light years away.  (One light year is 9.5 trillion miles.)  It is the nearest spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way.

Official NASA Photograph

STS-8 Astronauts, Beat Army, Fly Navy

Beat Army - Fly Navy

STS-8 Onboard Scene
Following a precedent set early two decades ago during the Gemini program, three members of the STS-8 astronaut crew aboard the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle Challenger reveal their military backgrounds and loyalties.  Astronauts (left to right) Dale A. Gardner, Richard H. Truly and Daniel C. Brandenstein leave no mystery as to their alma mater and grid-iron sentimentalities as they display U.S. Navy stickers.  The trio was photographed by Astronaut Guion S. Bluford on the flight deck.  Truly is crew commander; Brandenstein, Pilot; and Gardner and Bluford, along with Dr. William E. Thornton are all mission specialists for this six-day flight.

Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

Official NASA Photograph

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STS-8 launched on August 30, 1983.

Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr. from Sigma 7

U. S. Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr.

U.S. Navy Commander Walter M. Shirra, Jr. was born March 12, 1923 in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Schirra was the pilot of the Mercury Atlas 8 flight of "Sigma 7" on October 3, 1962.  Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, he completed a successful 6 orbit mission around the earth at an orbital velocity of approximately 17,560 miles an hour.

Schirra's "Sigma 7" Mercury spacecraft made nearly a pinpoint landing as planned, in the vicinity of Midway Island.  Time of the flight was 9 hours and 13 minutes. 

A Funny Astronaut Postcard, Out Of the World Deal

You don't have to go this far . . .

- - - see us for an out of the world deal.

This is the oddest advertising postcard ever!  There is no company listed.  There is no store, no nothing.  So if I want an 'out of the world deal' who do I go see?  

In very very small letters on the bottom it reads C 1965 Pramar Adv. Spec. Co. Yonkers N.Y.  But this is who had the copyright on the postcard. 

This is postmarked in 1973.  Below is a scan of the back of the card. 

Apollo 8 Earth View with Bible Verse

". . . Hanging the earth upon nothing;" Job 26:7

Apollo 8 Earth View -
A striking view from the Apollo 8 spacecraft showing nearly the entire Western Hemisphere, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, including nearby Newfoundland, extending to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America.  (Hold Picture With Earth At Top Center) Central America is clearly outlined.  Nearly all of South America is covered by clouds, except the high Andes Mountain chain along the west coast.  A small portion of the bulge of west Africa shows along the sunset terminator at upper right.

Color by NASA

This is an unused vintage postcard.

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Apollo 8, the second human spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, was launched on December 21, 1968.

My guess is that in 1968 there were not a lot of great pictures of the earth and that is why there is such written detail on this postcard.  I believe 'The Blue Marble' is the first picture of the entire planet earth that was taken and that was in 1972. 

Space Shuttle Columbia after Landing in California

Space Shuttle Columbia after a successful landing in California is reflected in a pool of water.

Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Color Photo by NASA

Missiles on Display, Wallops Flight Facility

Visitors to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Wallops Main Base near Chincoteague, Virginia are impressed wth the mock-ups of missiles on display.  Shown here are part of the display.  Left - RAM, a three-stage solid-propellant vehicle.  The name stands for Radio Attenuation Measurements.  41 feet long, weighs about 13,000 pounds.  Center - Nike-Asp sounding rocket that rises approximately 102 miles in altitude to discharge vapor trails used in visually determining upper atmosphere characteristics.  Right - Little Joe booster vehicle used to perform check-out tests in NASA's Man-in-space Test Program.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Delta No. 11, Telstar 1 and Satellite

John F. Kennedy Space Center
Delta No 11, launched from Cape Kennedy by N.A.S.A., for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, to orbit TELSTAR 1, AT&T's experimental communication satellite.

Photo USAFMTC Photo Lab.

This postcard is unused.

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Telstar 1 launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962

Apollo 15, James Irwin and Lunar Rover on the Moon with Falcon

John F. Kennedy Space Center
Astronaut James B. Irwin with Lunar Roving Vehicle, part of Lunar Module "Falcon" on left, St. George Crater is about 5 kilometers in distance behind Irwin's head.

Color Photo by NASA

This postcard is from NASA Tours, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

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Apollo 15 began on July 26, 1971, and ended on August 7.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Project Apollo - Lunar Landing Mission

Lunar Landing Mission
Return to Earth

Re-entry at 25,000 MPH
Maneuver in Atmosphere
Landing at Preselected Site

Project Apollo
This project is concerned with the development of a three-man space craft for up to two weeks' orbit about the earth, flights around the moon, and manned lunar landing.  This view shows an artist's conception of the lunar landing mission.

Color by NASA