Under Apollo 11’s Saturn V engines

Apollo 11, the first manned flight to the moon, took off on July 16th of 1969.

The Apollo 11 capsule contained Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

This sequence was taken by a very high speed 16mm camera running at 500 feet-per-second, protected by a quartz lens, and delineates what actually occurred on the launch pad.  The five F-1 engines of the Saturn V launch vehicle are absolutely awesome to watch and I found myself fascinated with the detailed narrative.

The perspective above was from Camera E-8, on the launch pad itself.

At the time, the computing power of the entire Apollo 11 rocket, capsule and LEM consisted of 64KB of memory and only 0.043 MHz of processing power.  The computer was more basic than the electronics in modern toasters that have computer controlled stop/start/defrost buttons.

Three brave men put their trust in calculations from those seemingly-prehistoric computers.

When America was brave, strong and willing to take chances.



45 years ago today: Apollo 11 lands on the moon

Saturn V, Apollo 11, July 1969I’m not a conspiracy theorist; I believe that the United States did in fact land two men on the moon for the first time on this day, 45 years ago, July 20th of 1969.

Watch live webcasts celebrating this event here.

I wrote about the 40th anniversary here.

An outstanding photo tribute to Apollo 11 is here.

Man last stepped on the moon in 1972.  The United States never returned.

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the surface of our moon, passed away at the age of 82 on August 26th, 2012.  My personal tribute to this American hero is here.

How many men walked on the moon, and who were they?  In chronological order:

Neil Armstrong – Apollo 11 – July, 1969
Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin – Apollo 11 – July, 1969
Charles “Pete” Conrad – Apollo 12 – November, 1969
Alan Bean – Apollo 12 – November, 1969
Alan Shepard – Apollo 14 – February, 1971
Edgar Mitchell – Apollo 14 – February, 1971
David Scott – Apollo 15 – July, 1971
James Irwin – Apollo 15 – July, 1971
John Young – Apollo 16 – April, 1972 (also on Apollo 10, without landing)
Charles Duke – Apollo 16 – April, 1972
Eugene Cernan – Apollo 17 – December, 1972 (also on Apollo 10, without landing)
Harrison Schmitt – Apollo 17 – December, 1972

Another little known fact: no one has walked on the moon who was born after 1935.

I can still recall that day distinctly: I was with my parents at the home of one of their friends in Centerville, Ohio. The television was on in the living room. Grainy black and white images jumped back and forth on the screen.

Can you recall: where were you and what were you doing when America landed on the moon?


Here is what a flawed but still important president looks like:



Two brilliant creators:

“It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by will alone that                           I set my mind in motion.”

Two major creative forces in my life, one by an aural venue, the other by a visual venue.

Frank Zappa and Jack KirbyFrank Zappa and Jack Kirby.

Frank Zappa:

Jack Kirby:

Jack Kirby GalactusThose of you who know these names are especially hallowed.  I hadn’t know they’d ever met.  But their brilliance still shines on like crazy diamonds.

They have both passed on, but their radiant splendor blossoms.



Think the incandescent bulb is dead? Think again:

CFLFrom NewsMax.com:

‘Rough Service’ Loophole Skirts Ban on Incandescent Bulbs

by Greg Richter

Just as 100- and 75-watt incandescent light bulbs were banned from sale this year, their 60- and 40-watt counterparts will face the same fate on New Year’s Day.

But one manufacturer whose family has been making lights for generations has found a loophole: the “rough service” bulb.

Rough-service bulbs are essentially the same as any other incandescent bulb, but are built to be more sturdy for heavy-duty applications. Automobiles and subways are among users of rough-service bulbs, which are less susceptible to vibration because they typically have an extra wire to support the filament.

They can, however, be used in homes just like the regular bulbs that are being phased out.

Of course, in Fornicalia — the quintessential Left Coast — incandescent bulbs were banned on January 1st of 2012, to include the 100-watt bulb.  A maximum of 72 watts were allowed, including CFLs and LEDs.

On January 1st of 2014, other incandescent bulbs — including the staid and serviceable 75-, 60- and 40-watt bulbs — will now be illegal to build and sell in the United States of America.

With regard to the “rough service” bulb, however, Wikipedia writes:

Light bulbs outside of this range are exempt from the restrictions. Also exempt are several classes of specialty lights, including appliance lamps, rough service bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, stage lighting, plant lights, candelabra lights under 60 watts, outdoor post lights less than 100 watts, nightlights and shatter resistant bulbs.[51]

Continuing, from NewsMax:

(Owner of the Light Bulk Store in New Jersey, Larry) Birmbaum’s Newcandescent.com website offers bulbs up to 300 watts, touting them as “the legal light bulb.”

The rough-service bulbs last about three times longer than regular bulbs. That’s not as long as LEDs, which have been gaining popularity as their price has dropped, but LEDs still cost three to four times as much.

Both incandescents and LEDs offer more safety than CFL bulbs, which made many people wary after the Environmental Protection Agency issued guidelines for safe cleanup of mercury if they break.

CFLs have also been linked to cancer, migraine headaches, and other health problems.

These are issues that I have already identified here and here and here and here.  I already possess clear documentation that CFLs do not inherently last longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

And certainly it should not shock you that I possess a rather large and extensive personal stock of ILLEGAL incandescent bulbs.  Remember: when incandescent bulbs are outlawed, only OUTLAWS will possess incandescent bulbs — especially 100 watt units.

Check out NewCandescent.com and be your own outlaw.



Unmasked: Area 51’s Biggest, Stealthiest Spy Drone Yet

Northrop-Grumman RQ-180From ForeignPolicy.com:

by Zach Rosenberg

The drone that spied on bin Laden and on Iran’s nukes was just the start. Meet its bigger, higher-flying, stealthier cousin, the Northrop Grumman RQ-180. It’s probably been flying for a few years now, but you weren’t supposed to know that; the existence of this secret project, based out of Area 51, was revealed Friday by Aviation Week.

The RQ-180 is likely flying from the secret Air Force test facility at Groom Lake, Nevada, widely known as Area 51. Its exact specifications, including such crucial details as the number of engines, is unknown, but Aviation Week suggests a wingspan of over 130 feet, based on hangar construction at Northrop’s Palmdale, California facility. The number of aircraft built is also unknown; however, a flight test program, relatively quick entry into service and open budget documents suggest a small fleet are flying routinely.

The aircraft’s performance is said to be similar to Northrop’s white-world entry, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, which can fly for days and cover thousands of miles. Hopefully the RQ-180 performs better; Global Hawk has received mixed marks on its evaluations, and the aircraft it was meant to replace, the venerable Lockheed U-2, will continue to fly for decades to come.

I wrote this past Sunday about the emergence of the Skunk Works-designed Lockheed-Martin SR72.


Groom Lake, Area 51 and Wonderland are up and not just running, but sprinting.

Good news.


The source Aviation Week & Space Technology article is here.  And with a wingspan of a possible 130 feet?  Payloads and weapons could consist of — anything.