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Posts Tagged ‘Moon Race’

05/07/2019 – Ephemeris – We’re starting to look at the race to the Moon that culminated 50 years ago

May 7, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 8:54, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:23. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 11:58 this evening.

As we look at the Moon near the planet Mars tonight, we recall that fifty years ago today the United States was one week from launching Apollo 10, the penultimate lunar mission to test out the Lunar Module shortened to LM pronounced “Lem” in the vicinity of the Moon. President Kennedy announced the goal in 1961 to send a man to the Moon and return him safely by the end of the decade. This required a lot of learning steps and in the end a huge rocket, the Saturn V. That rocket’s chief designer was Wernher von Braun an ex-Nazi officer who designed the German V-2 during World War II. His counterpart on the Soviet side was Sergei Korolev, though we didn’t know his name until after he died in 1966.  His death hampered the development of the Soviet’s N-1 moon rocket.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Wernher von Braun

Wernher von Braun around 1960. Image is in the public domain.

Sergei Korolev

Sergei Korolev, undated image published after his death. Image is in the public domain.

A fascinating look of the Soviet side of the moon race can be found here: https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/rockets_people_vol4_detail.html.  The ebook Rockets and People Volume IV, The Moon Race by Korolev’s deputy Boris Chertok.  It’s available in epub, mobi and pdf formats.  Volume 3 covers from 1961 to 1967.  There are links to all the other volumes from that page.

11/22/2013 – Ephemeris – President Kennedy and the quest for the Moon plus Comet ISON finder charts

November 21, 2013 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, November 22nd.  The sun will rise at 7:48.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 5:08.   The moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 9:43 this evening.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Yes I remember where I was when I heard the news.  Being a program about astronomy and space I’d like to think about the challenge he laid down “to send a man to the moon and return him safely to the Earth by the end of the decade”.  This was in the midst of the Cold War in response to the Soviet’s triumph in sending Yuri Gagarin into orbit.  It was made almost a sacred vow due to Kennedy’s assassination.  No NASA program since was funded to the extent that the Gemini and Apollo programs were, so that on July 20, 1969 that promise was fulfilled.  All of money spent in NASA’s 55 years is actually less than that of the recent bank bailout.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Comet ISON

Finder charts for Comet ISON for this morning, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings.

Tomorrow

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 22, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

Saturday

Chart for finding Comet ISON Saturday morning (November 23, 2013 at 7:00 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

Sunday

Chart for finding Comet ISON Sunday morning (November 24, 2013 at 7:00 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

Monday

Chart for finding Comet ISON Monday morning (November 25, 2013 at 7:15 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.