NASA's return to the Moon with manned missions - planned to commence from 2020 - has taken some early steps in recent days. The space agency awarded a contract for its new generation of moonwalker spacesuits, and US defence globocorp Boeing submitted proposals for the new "Altair" lunar lander. NASA concept art of the new suits …
You don't need spacesuits to walk around a sound stage in Area 51
That video clip is just plain wrong!
Everybody knows that it is compulsory to play The Blue Danube when docking spacecraft
Back to the future?
What happened to the concept of a re-usable spaceship? They've gone back to the days of multi-stage rockets dumping stages and ancillary bits all over the sky.
And still no skin suits. Retro-tech, anyone?
Oh, and before anyone else asks, where's the IT angle?
It is pretty clear...
...that NASA is winding back its space exploration program to focus on the more lucrative "space exploration themed music video" market.
Do you know how many Apollo LEVs they had to chain together to render that? Duct tape and CO2 scrubbers are a doddle in comparison. Then there is the complementary world-leading ax-tronaut program - scouring the armed forces for the most proficient guitarists and prog-rock synth mavens to provide the beating heart of any successful "space exploration themed music video" mission.
Apparently the training program is run by the brusque but efficient Brit, Lt Col Jimmy Page - ably assisted by the slightly dotty Dr Brian May (A genius, but easily sidetracked by astrophysics - hippy!).
With this team they hope to have a realistically rendered man on the dark side of the moon by 2015. They need to hurry, though. The New Zealanders are just months away from putting an Orc into orbit powered by an environmentally friendly mix of recycled Split Enz and Dave Dobbin. Rumours abound that privately funded program - Projext X - has apparently stalled with a basic design involving a meticulously rendered and animated Princess Leia draped sensuously across a speeder bike to an endless loop of the guitar riff from Sweet Home Alabama. Their team of grad students appears to be having some trouble resolving the Slave/Princess paradox. Some have even suggested a fully-naked approach but this was immediately rejected as being non-canon.
It is, indeed, a brave new world.
I wonder if this fake moon landing is going to be more convincing than the last one.
The Eagle transporter from Space 1999 would make a better design. Not too flashy, removable cargo pod, and for the most part seemed to work well.
SUSE for Space Shuttles??
Redhat for Rockets?
Mac for Moon Missions??
Linux for Lunar Landers?
...I'll get my spacesuit....i mean coat
Where's the IT Angle?!
Where's the IT angle?!
If it wasn't for the last Apollo missions, there wouldn't be much IT to speak of now.
The Apollo missions were the driving force behind early research into integrated circuits, and if it wasn't for that, much of what we know today as "IT" wouldn't exist.
OK, it may have developed but perhaps a lot more slowly and maybe with a bit less direction.
So when is the Microsoft Flight Simulator shown in the video going to be available for general release?
Nice vid, shame about the economic crisis that's going to cripple this plan before it even begins.
Guess no-one told Americans that the phrase "shoot for the moon" was a metaphor.
Talk about wasting money in the current climate
You've got to laugh. America 'aint got a pot to piss in due to the current economic crisis yet its willing to waste millions on going back to the moon. Talk about getting your economic priorities all wrong.
They forgot the BFGs and railguns and the monsters!
I vote the USA turn the space program over ti id Software immediately!
They DO need spacesuits for the soundstage at Area 51, they just don't need ones that WORK.
Any old hollywood props will do.
Why is it that they have to come up with new technology to take them to the moon again, when they used computing equipment not even the equal of todays pocket calculator, to supposedly get them to the moon in the first place? I seriously smell a rat. There is no way in HELL they were able to go to the moon then, and they are trying to save face and get that plaque and flag on the moon now before anyone else gets there and proves them all to be liars. As someone has already said, don't need oxygen on an area 51 set...
Perhaps instead of assisting the US in it's imperialist wars the EU should spend the money on "assisting" the yanks with the moonbase. So instead of spending tens of billions murdering people and invading their countries we could spend the money on building a moonbase which would work as well as the Jules Verne. That would keep the accounts nice and clean and let the seppos take responsibility for their own murder spree.
Get Gerry Anderson on the job
As someone has said already. Gerry Anderson already has all the designs they need for this stuff. Can anyone suggest a more practial design than the Eagle and all the rest of the Space 1999 hardware ?
Re: Talk about wasting money in the current climate
Compare the budgets for NASA and the war in Iraq, then tell me what's a waste of money.
Ladies in space
At first glance I thought the Astronaut on the left was wearing a metallic mini skirt. Well I guess they need someone to make the dinner and do the washing up, whilst they play golf.
They're using monkeys again, I notice...
They must be using monkeys - 1/6th G or not, you'll have to be a spider monkey to get into or out of that thing!
"That's one fscking humungous step for a man; one fscking long way to the hospital with a broken ankle"
It really is a shame to see spacecraft design is still firmly set in Von-Braun / Bonestell style; where's Eagle 1 from Space 1999? It actually looked practical, and you wouldn't be serious injured or dead if you tripped on the step.
Windows for Vacuum. Sequel Server for Space Station.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Economics and the Moon
A point that might be missed by a lot of people, the new lunar effort could be considered as part of a new "New Deal" programme to kick start the US economy. One of the methods used to pull the US out of the 30 depression was put money into infrastructure and other government projects (not a popular thing given the trend of US politics to reduce government influence). This funding of such projects helped to get money pumped into the economy and stimulated commerce. Such a plan could easily include a new lunar effort.
Lander design considerations and the 1999 Eagle
The design of the Eagle spacecraft from Space 1999 does look a plausable way forward in the layout of a new lunar landing spacecraft, especially for a cargo lander where the centrally mounted cargo would be very easily accessable, However there are a few problems that this design has which (so far) has prevented such a design being accepted by NASA and others.
The design layout of the Eagle is described as a "4 poster", that is it has a rectangular planform with a lift engine mounted at each corner. While this is quite sensible from a cargo loading and handling point of view there are concerns regarding what happens if there is an engine failure. In such a case the vehicle would become difficult, if not impossible, to control. Because of this issue all the lander designs that have appeared in connection to Altair have shown centrally mounted engine clusters or single engines in a bid to minimise any engine-out control issues.
Of course, should engine reliability become high enough then an Eagle-like design could well be considered and I would be very glad of this as I too like this design a lot. The only question is, though, where do you put the propellants? In this regard the Eagle always has had a problem in my view but that's another post...
"The Way to the Stars"
that picture looks a lot like the illustrations in my 1965 Ladybird Book of Space and my Eagle annuals, and we still aren't living on the Moon or flying jetcars to work and I'm never going to be a pilot for the Royal Space Force.
2021: A Space Odyssey
At least we can still hope. Let's just hope that things in 2081 aren't so boring they make you want to put down the book before the first chapter's out.