Barred spiral galaxy NGC4907 from 270 million light-years away

| August 12, 2020

An image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is just too beautiful not to include on MyDesultoryBlog. I many not be the biggest astronomy or space geek, but I do spend time looking up at the stars in the evening. Although I didn’t get a good look at the NEOWISE comet last week (not for […]

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance launched successfully today

| July 30, 2020

The NASA liftoff of Perseverance (7/30/2020) was a great sight this morning as was hearing that the new new rover “phoned home” an hour later. Those who grew up with the space program are fondly remembering the race to the moon days as well as the excitement in man probing space. This trip to Mars […]

A story with 2 of my favorite subjects – photography and space

| July 27, 2019

A lot of things needed to go right when NASA sent three astronauts rocketing towards the moon in July of 1969 … but one real close call happened after their safe return to earth. It seems, some of the iconic photographs were “almost lost to posterity,” explains Zeiss, the company that provided the lenses for […]

Anniversary: 50 years ago we landed on the moon – July 20, 1969

| July 20, 2019

As has been highly celebrated and reported in every form of media this week (and mention in not just one, but two earlier blog posts), today is the 50th anniversary of the landing a man on the moon. It was the historic Apollo 11 eight-day mission to the moon and back with the goal of […]

Fifty years ago NASA launched Apollo 11 in our race to land a man on the moon in the 1960s

| July 16, 2019

In the space race with the Soviet Union (USSR) during the 1960s, the United States “rocketed” ahead on July 16, 1969 as NASA sent the three men of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space at 9:32AM EST. The Apollo command module and Lunar Module (LM) sat atop the huge 363-feet […]

Shuttle launch observed from the International Space Station

| April 21, 2019

Happy Easter … He Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed! The resurrection of Jesus and His “ascension” to heaven is a vision we can only imagine. When I’m too busy to blog, a beautiful photo from space works well as an Easter post. Here’s a photo from the International Space Station (#ISS) just after a […]

Astronauts may soon be eating goo from their poo

| January 30, 2018

It’s a long way to Mars and there’s "not a drop to drink" (author Mindy McGinnis) or "plop to eat" on the way … so what’s the plan? Since astronauts are already recycling their urine into drinkable water, the next step should be obvious: "Goo made from their Poo." (in observing the current lab conditions […]

The Apollo 14 mission and a long distance technical support call

| September 3, 2017

What a great story told by YouTuber Scott Manley about the early days of NASA, their Apollo 14 computing problem and a "tech support call" to a programmer (video below). The story is longish and likely only of interest for those on the geeky side who work with computer or are programmers — it would […]

Merry Christmas and God bless all of us on the good Earth

| December 24, 2016

The Apollo 8 Christmas Eve Broadcast Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts; Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders did a live television broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures […]

Quantum computer is 100 million times faster than normal PC

| December 28, 2015

Google and NASA engineers announced that tests with the D-WAVE 2X, the quantum computer developed by them, showed that it’s 100 million times faster than an ordinary computer. The impressive record was achieved in a test in which the D-WAVE 2X ran an optimization problem and found a solution much faster than a conventional computer, […]

Memories: Deep Impact Mission inside Comet Tempel 1 #TBT

| January 22, 2015

My wife has been busy cleaning out our closets and getting rid of “old stuff.” One the the items dates back in 2003 and brought back memories of my “space girl.”  My daughter Katelyn was inspired by science and particularly by an adventurous NASA, space exploration and astronomy. In part, her interest could have been […]

Spectacular images from NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope

| September 5, 2014

Having an interest and studying a little bit of astronomy with my daughter when she was a teenager, I can’t help but share this spectacular Hubble Space Telescope image from NASA Goddard’s pix feed showing the galaxy PGC 54493 in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent). Click for larger as its definitely worth seeing full […]

Ten aeronautical advancements thanks to NASA

| May 21, 2014

The Dryden Flight Research Center posted ten technology examples on their site that made a big impact on aviation. Most assume NASA has contributed to our science and engineering advancements, but the debate continues over the the high cost of the taxpayers through government funding the NASA research centers or if the private sector can […]

Great ISS over Europe photo

| November 2, 2013

A popular 1st music video from space – Col. Chris Hadfield

| May 15, 2013

The first Canadian to walk in space, who also was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, is now the first human to shoot a music video in space on his last day on the job.

Obituary: We lost one of our best in Neil Armstrong

| August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong  was not only the first astronaut to walk on the moon, but a brilliant science minded and steely-nerved pilot who’s skills were the envy of his peers … as well as this small town Ohio boy. He grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio, went to Purdue University in Indiana, flew 78 combat missions in the […]

Curiosity begins a high tech survey of Mars

| August 7, 2012

A great touch active graphic was in the online Wall Street Journal today and opened my eyes to the size of the robotic explorer. Thinking about radio controlled “buggies” of the past, I was thinking that Curiosity wasn’t all that much bigger … until I saw the comparison to the Mini Cooper – wow. Flying […]

Curiosity landed on Mars “beaming” back its first photo

| August 6, 2012

Although not the most interesting of photographs this morning, it definitely excited those who are interested in space exploration and the study of Mars. Early this morning, NASA’s billion dollar rover plunged at 13,000 mph through the thin Mars atmosphere and landed inside a giant crater. It “beamed” back this black and white photo confirming […]

Space Shuttle Discovery takes a final ride to Washington DC

| April 17, 2012

It is still quite remarkable to see NASA haul around a giant space shuttle piggybacked on a modified Boeing747, this time it is Discovery heading to its final Washington DC Smithsonian home. For those of us who grew up with the entire space program it is indeed a sad end to an adventurous and exciting […]

NASA’s Perpetual Ocean currents video

| April 2, 2012

Although this has probably been around a few years, the NASA‘s Perpetual Ocean is as artistic as it is informative. Those who transit the oceans of the world know the power of currents … this video illustrates how prevalent ocean currents are.

The lunacy of the super perigee moon

| March 14, 2012

Interesting educational video explaining the super moon a little over a month away in May 2012. A couple of the points were interesting, such as the word “lunacy” (lunar) coming from the folklore of strange things happening under a full moon. The couple centimeters of tidal change also surprised me. It was less than I […]

Who doesn’t love a sunrise photo, even when from space

| October 25, 2011

Sunrise and sunset photos have always been favorites of mine … this one taken by astronaut Ron Garan from space and posted on G+ is no exception. His photos of meteors plunging through the earth’s atmosphere  were made even more interesting with the addition of sound … although kind of eery (video below).

Defunct Satellites: How many are there?

| September 24, 2011

Although my question wasn’t answered as to how many are due to plummet to earth in the next few years, it is good to know that “more recent satellites are designed so that operators can bring them out of orbit and control their trajectory as they take the final plunge through the atmosphere.” With an […]

Markets continue downtrend – NASA prepares for Mars launch

| August 5, 2011

While checking the stock market over lunch, it was again another depressing day. The Dow continues to march down as does the Nasdaq even on relatively positive news that we did have some private sector job grow and a slightly backed off unemployment claims rate of one tenth. It now stands at a high national […]

Mission complete. The Shuttle program “has come to a final stop”

| July 21, 2011

“Mission complete, Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned its place in history. Atlantis has come to a final stop.” — Shuttle Atlantis Pilot Doug Hurley With its recognized dual sonic booms, Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down this morning at the Kennedy Space Center completing the final scheduled […]

Photography: The night before the Shuttle Atlantis launch

| July 12, 2011

Most Internet savvy shutterbugs have seen photos or read about Trey Ratcliff, particularly those who are paying attention to High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. Trey Ratcliff has published many gorgeous photos and posted this one of the Shuttle Atlantis sitting on the launch pad the night before lift-off. (click image to left and also see […]

Prepare for lift-off – Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135

| July 7, 2011

As we wait for the final scheduled liftoff of Shuttle Atlantis and STS-135 on Friday (weather postponement likely), I am of mixed emotion. As a child when the United States began its race to the moon, exploration of space was a pivotal part of being an American. As a tax paying citizen, the expense of […]

NASA chooses museums for their retired Space Shuttles

| April 12, 2011

NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr.’s announced the locations for the three operating shuttles and one gliding prototype on Tuesday afternoon: Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex in Florida – Atlantis California Science Center in Los Angeles – Endeavour Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., — Discovery Intrepid Sea, Air and Space […]

NASA sends Space Shuttle Discovery to space for the last time

| February 25, 2011

NASA’s space shuttle Discovery rocketed on its final voyage about 3 minutes late due to a computer problem yesterday afternoon. Mission STS-133 (PDF Summary) is sending six astronauts into space to dock with the International Space Station and plans to spend 11 days orbiting the earth. This launch has been delayed for four months in […]

A Ménière’s disease reminder

| November 16, 2010

A friend of mine posted about the Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. on Facebook and it was a reminder to me how devastating Ménière’s disease was. Back in the 1990’s I (and my family) struggled in dealing with the frustrating ringing, sudden attacks of vertigo and associated debilitating sickness (sea-sickness as I described it). Although […]

Busy Easter Sunday with family

| April 5, 2010

We had a nice gathering and Easter Dinner at our house with my side of the family on Sunday. A good time of animated talk was enjoyed by all. My dad brought along an album never seen by most of us from his time in Korea during the war — interesting commentary by him from […]

Soyuz space capsule bring two from ISS safely back to earth

| March 18, 2010

Check out the great photo of a Russian space craft returning to earth this morning (click for larger). The two returning, one American and one Russian, have spent 5 months at the International space station and used the Soyuz TMA-16 capsule for their return ride; they landed in Kazakhstan as planned and coordinated by Russian […]

NASA Puffin concept returns to the birth of aviation

| January 23, 2010

NASA’s Puffin electric-powered, super-quiet personal VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft concept is ideal for those wanting a quick commute to work on a traffic congested morning … particularly if you’ve got a charging station on your buildings helipad  … and who doesn’t? The USMC V-22 Osprey looking aircraft could offer a bit more promise […]

Video embed test and Shuttle Atlantis lift off

| November 16, 2009

As the number of NASA Shuttle lift offs wind down, I find myself appreciating the space program more and more. I don’t want to miss the final scheduled six launches which should complete the life of the Space Shuttle program and end of an era … a successful one I might add. Today was a […]

Shuttle Discovery lands at Edwards Air Force Based

| September 12, 2009

I enjoyed listening and watching  Space Shuttle Discovery land at Edwards Air Force Base last night (9/11) and see Mission STS-128 conclude. A perfect landing and successful 14 days in space as the NASA Shuttle program is one step closer to retirement. click for larger images (NASA TV)

Shuttle Altlantis STS-125 scheduled for lift-off at 2PM EST

| May 11, 2009

The shuttle Shuttle Atlantis sits on launch pad 39A (photo right) as the crew of STS-125 rests for an ambitious mission to service NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope this week. The launch is scheduled for 2:00PM EST Monday afternoon and will be manned by retired Navy Capt. Gregory C. Johnson, pilot, mission specialists and veteran spacewalkers […]

Shuttle Discovery and STS-119 heads for the ISS

| March 16, 2009

The space shuttle Discovery rocketed into space at 7:43 p.m. EDT on Sunday with the crew of STS-119 and the cheers from the team on the ground. The comments made by the NASA was that it was a smooth launch and that the team operated near perfectly. The early evening launch was the the 100th […]

Nasa Shuttle mission STS-119 prepares for evening launch

| March 15, 2009

While checking in with Spacevidcast.com‘s coverage of Shuttle Discovery’s planned launch on UStream.com, it is interesting listening to NASA’s “fit team’s” walk around 3 hours prior to launch and what they actually do.  One unusual thing during today’s walk around was a fruit bat clinging to the shuttle assembly; the NASA consultant commented commented that […]

Shuttle Endeavour returns safely to Florida

| March 26, 2008

The space shuttle Endeavour was picked up on infrared camera gliding back to earth on Wednesday evening at the Kennedy Space Center after an ambitious an successful mission to the International Space Station. The crew spent 16 days on 5 space walks and installing the first part of the Japanese Kibo laboratory, as well as […]

Shuttle Atlantis Astronauts delay spacewalk

| February 10, 2008

Space Shuttle Atlantis along with seven crew lifted off on Thursday February 7th with the mission to deliver and attach the European Science Laboratory to the International Space Station. The news hasn’t really made the front page with the deadly tornadoes and political news this past week. The seven astronauts of STS-122 docked successfully on […]

Shuttle Endeavour lands safely & Hurricane Dean

| August 21, 2007

The crew of STS-118 and Space Shuttle Endeavour (see launch post) are back on the ground after a 13 day mission to the International Space Station this Tuesday afternoon. The skies were clear and the landing was picture perfect executed by Commander Scott Kelly at 12:32 p.m. EDT. The mission was filled with work and […]

Shuttle Launch at 7:38 p.m. EDT tonight

| June 8, 2007

Launch time for NASA’s Space Shuttle ‘Atlantis’ STS-117 is scheduled for 7:38 p.m. EDT tonight (Friday). I’m taking a few minutes while closing out my day to listen to NASA live on the web and am amazed at what one can learn by listening to the conversations and commentary. At 4:20 this afternoon the astronauts […]

Shuttle launch rescheduled for Saturday

| December 8, 2006

I wanted to write about the launch of the Shuttle Discovery and STS-116, but weather has delayed the planned Thursday night (12/7/2006) launch until Saturday. The launch was declared scrubbed at 21:36. For the aging Discovery, this is the 33rd mission and 117th space shuttle flight. The STS-116 mission is scheduled for 12-days and the […]

Shuttle Atlantis Returns Safely to Florida

| September 21, 2006

In an early morning landing today the Shuttle Atlantis returned safety to Florida at 6:21 EST. The “in the dark” landing was near perfect and as many pilots can confirm, clear morning landings on a lit paved runways are no more difficult than daylight landings. This STS-115 mission marked NASA’s official entry back into the […]

Shuttle Atlantis scrubbed for today

| September 8, 2006

Although there is a very tight window on Saturday due to “traffic” in space (that what they said!), space shuttle Atlantis, crew and ISS payload will attempt to get into space on Saturday, September 9th at 11:15 a.m. EDT. Today’s (Friday) launch attempt was delayed due to a fuel sensor system problem.

NASA doin’ the “Ernesto Shuttle” with Atlantis

| August 29, 2006

After beginning to move Atlantis toward the assembly building this morning at 10am, NASA officials have changed their mind due to tropical storm Ernesto’s westernly path. They are now returning the Shuttle Atlantis to Launch Pad 39B. By around 8 p.m. EDT tonight the move back to the pad should be complete and and “mission […]

My Challenger Story

| January 29, 2006

Saturday morning, January 27, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and seven astronauts prepared for a cold morning ride into space at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; they didn’t launch. Those of us patiently waiting on Cocoa Beach, including yours truly, were disappointed when we heard the word of the postponed flight. Chilled to the […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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