Show newer

An interesting item I saw on display at the American Space Museum in Titusville, FL, is this WWII era slide rule with the label "SUN - HEMMI MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN".

Show thread

It looks like I caught on camera the early construction work at the site of Starship's service tower inside launch complex 39A, at Kennedy Space Center. This is a crop of a photo I took on April 21, 2022 at the Crew-4 "wave across the ditch" event I mentioned here, where you can see the full frame:

Show thread

These Space Shuttle launch control center consoles, used at Kennedy Space Center in the 1980s or 1990s, had a mix of digital computers and analog controls such as switches, buttons, dials, and indicator lights.

I took these photos at the American Space Museum in Titusville, FL.

Show thread

My night view from Kennedy Space Center's Banana Creek viewing site half an hour before the Crew-4 launch.

At the horizon, the lit area at left is the 39A pad with the Falcon 9 rocket. The iconic VAB is at right. The bleachers are mostly empty because many crew guests had left over the previous days, as their travel arrangements didn't accommodate the multiple launch delays.

Show thread

Mars Rover Photos is a good Android app for viewing images from the surface of Mars, as it combines the feeds of the images taken by NASA's current and past rovers and landers.

But it presents a confusing ordering of the images and isn't being updated with the latest ones. Also, the developer still hasn't released the paid, ad-free version of the app he told me about over a year ago.

Here's the app on my Pixel 4 XL.

The American Space Museum in Titusville, FL, is among the few such venues where you're encouraged to touch stuff. And there's a lot to touch in this roomful of early Atlas rocket launch control center consoles.

Show thread

When I visited Kennedy Space Center's Saturn V Center in 2007, this flight-ready Apollo Lunar Model was on display hanging off the ceiling. While impressive, the spacecraft's body hid most of the upper stage.

Fast forward to Apr 21, 2022 when I took this photo. Now the LM is at floor level and in full view.

Show thread

In early June 2022 the Artemis I SLS rocket was rolled back to launch complex 39B ahead of a new wet dress rehearsal attempt.

When I visited Kennedy Space Center a couple of months earlier, on April 20 I had this view of the rocket on the pad from the back yard of the Saturn V Center. The second image shows a crop with a framing I like. I took the photo with my Pixel 4 XL phone at 2X optical zoom.

Show thread

As of version 1.4.1, the Redshift Sky astronomy app for Android can show the orbits of OneWeb satellites. This is what the satellite constellation looks like in the app on my Pixel 4 XL.

As a guest of astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, I got to meet her at the "wave across the ditch", an event where crew members meet their families and friends a few days before launch. This one took place at launch complex 39A of Kennedy Space Center, less than 500 m away from the pad with the Falcon 9 rocket of their Crew-4 flight.

It was a relaxed and fun event, as Samantha's expression shows. The guy photobombing the scene is her fellow astronaut Luca Parmitano.

Show thread

When I observed this ISS pass over Milan, Italy, on 25 May 2022, Starliner OFT-2 had undocked a few hours earlier. I hoped to spot Sarliner but I didn't see it with the naked eye, and it doesn't show up in the photos I took either.

Here are two of my photos of the pass, the second at 2X optical zoom. I shot them at 21:26 UTC with my Pixel 4 XL.

I used my Pixel 4 XL to take the photos of a trip to the Space Coast to view a rocket launch.

How did it perform? Not that I had much hardware choice, but writing these notes helped me evaluate the device across dimensions such as capturing distant subjects and rocket launches, night launches, and wide-field photography.

A circular slide rule for computing the times of key Apollo 11 mission events. Raytheon made it in 1969 likely as a gadget or giveaway for public outreach and education. These days an aerospace company may publish a mobile app instead.

I took this photo at the American Space Museum in Titusville, FL, a great space history venue.

Show thread

An International Space Station pass over Milan, Italy, on 21 May 2022. The white dot at left is the ISS, the other the star Capella in the constellation Auriga. The contrail of an airliner crosses the frame diagonally at left.

I took the photo at 19:47 UTC with my Pixel 4 XL.

My memories of the trip to Florida to view the Crew-4 launch from Kennedy Space Center. This flight to the International Space Station carried also my astronaut friend Samantha Cristoforetti.

Show thread

At the Kennedy Space Center press site I had this view of the turning basin, with the SLS rocket of the Artemis I mission on the pad at launch complex 39B. A crop of the same photo shows better the rocket in full view.

I took the photo with my Pixel 4 XL at 2X optical zoom.

Show thread

What surprised me most of viewing Space Shuttle Atlantis up close is the level of detail I could make out. The experience was almost hyper-real.

The vehicle is on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Show thread

NASA's iconic Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center is huge, yet it's difficult to get a sense of its size even when you're close.

I took this photo from less than half a km away and the building still didn't seem too large. The relatively large angular size of the very close bus didn't lock the scale either.

A GRiD Compass II 1139 rugged laptop flown on Space Shuttle missions in the 1980s. It was one of the earliest laptops and its manufacturer, GRiD Systems Corporation, had the US government and NASA as its major buyers. See:

I took this photo at the Atlantis Space Shuttle exhibition of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Show thread

The night launch of Crew-4 carrying my friend Samantha Cristoforetti to space was a spectacular multisensory experience. Part of the night sky turned almost as bright as daylight, with the running rocket engines and exhausts looking blindingly bright.

Show thread
Show older
Mastodon for Tech Folks is shutting down by the end of 2022. Please migrate your data immediately. This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!