Apollo 11 landing

In the final minutes of the Apollo 11 LM’s descent to the surface, Armstrong noticed that the intended landing site was too rocky and took manual control of the descent in order to find a better spot. The LM had never been flown in this manner, and Armstrong didn’t have time to discuss it with mission control.

We’ve all heard recordings of those final minutes of the LM descent. But we’ve never seen exactly what Armstrong saw until now. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team has reconstructed Armstrong’s view of the surface in those final minutes.

Pairing the audio recording with this footage is edge-of-the-seat exciting, as you imagine Armstrong coolly working the LM down while the voices at mission control have no idea of this extra drama under way at the time.

Apollo 11 launch

Watching this original coverage of the Apollo 11 launch today, I was struck by the professionalism. There is no attempt to entertain or sensationalize here. Just calm and composed communication of the most momentous event in human history.

Book review

Check out the latest pre-release review of Scratching the Surface! Thank you for the kind words, Mrs. Fig.

“GENERATION MARS fills the “hard science fiction” hole in early middle grade bookshelves…I hope this book will hook some of our young readers (and parents) who aren’t as easily entertained by the silly stuff.”

Outgrowing the planet is not a bad thing

Dr. Phil Metzger posted an epic 48 tweet thread on Twitter explaining why megaconstellations (e.g. SpaceX’s Starlink) are inevitable, as is their eventual demise as better tech comes online.

Looking at the evolution of life, from single celled organisms to bipedal apes rapidly outgrowing the planet, as the exponential growth of information is a novel (to me at least) approach and provides an interesting perspective.

“I would bet that if we find alien civilizations somewhere else in the galaxy, or in a galaxy far, far away, we will discover that they ALL developed megaconstellations right before they got industry off their planets & divorced their information systems from their biosphere.”

This is wild stuff and well worth a full read.