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    • By NASA
      With the dress rehearsal completed during Apollo 10 in May 1969, only a few weeks remained until Apollo 11, the actual Moon landing mission to meet President Kennedy’s goal set in 1961. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin and their backups James A. Lovell, William A. Anders, and Fred W. Haise entered the final phase of their training, rehearsing their mission in simulators and practicing for the lunar surface activities. Teams in Mission Control supported the simulations. A successful countdown demonstration cleared the way to start the actual countdown leading to launch. In the Pacific Ocean, U.S. Navy and NASA teams prepared for the recovery of the astronauts returning from the Moon, and for their postflight quarantine.
      Apollo 10
      After returning from their successful Moon landing dress rehearsal mission on May 26, 1969, Apollo 10 astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, and Eugene A. Cernan passed on their knowledge and lessons learned to the Apollo 11 Moon landing crew during postflight debriefs. On June 8, they accepted Emmy Awards on behalf of all Apollo crews for their television broadcasts from space, with special recognition for Apollo 10’s first use of color TV in space. On June 19, Stafford, Young, and Cernan returned to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to thank the employees there for getting them safely into orbit. On June 30, President Richard M. Nixon hosted them and their wives at a White House black tie dinner in their honor.

      Left: Apollo 10 astronauts debrief their mission with the Apollo 11 astronauts. Middle: Apollo 10 astronauts John W. Young, left, Eugene A. Cernan, and Thomas P. Stafford hold their Emmy Awards. Right: At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, Stafford, left, Young, and Cernan hold photographs of their launch presented to them by KSC Launch Director Rocco A. Petrone.

      Apollo 10 astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, left, John W. Young, and Eugene A. Cernan wave to employees as they ride in a convertible through NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
      Apollo 11

      The document from NASA’s Office of Manned Space Flight stating Apollo 11’s primary objective.
      On June 26, Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Director, and George E. Mueller, Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., signed the directive stating Apollo 11’s primary objective: perform a manned lunar landing and return. The focus of the crew’s training, and all the other preparatory activities happening across the agency, aimed at accomplishing that seemingly simple, yet in truth extremely complex and never before accomplished, task.

      Left: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, left, and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin in the Lunar Module simulator at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Right: Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins in KSC’s Command Module simulator.

      Apollo 11 Flight Directors Eugene F. Kranz, left, Glynn S. Lunney, Clifford E. Charlesworth, Milton L. Windler, and Gerald D. Griffin pose in Mission Control.
      The final weeks leading up to the launch of their historic mission proved quite busy for Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin and their backups Lovell, Anders, and Haise, as well as the ground teams preparing their rocket and spacecraft for flight. To train for the different phases of their mission, the astronauts conducted many sessions in Command Module (CM) and Lunar Module (LM) simulators at both the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), now NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and at KSC. For many of these sessions, teams of operators in MSC’s Mission Control monitored their activities as they would during the actual mission. Flight Directors Eugene F. Kranz, left, Glynn S. Lunney, Clifford E. Charlesworth, Milton L. Windler, and Gerald D. Griffin led the Mission Control teams.

      Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, left, and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin practice their lunar surface activities at the Manned Spacecraft Center, now NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, left, and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
      Apollo 11 would conduct the first spacewalk on another celestial body and only the second spacewalk of the Apollo program. At training facilities at MSC and KSC, Armstrong and Aldrin practiced setting up a television camera that would relay their activities back to Earth during the 2.5-hour excursion, deploying the three science experiments, and collecting rock and regolith samples for return to Earth.

      Left: Apollo 11 Commander Neil A. Armstrong prepares to fly the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle (LLTV) at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston. Middle: Armstrong airborne in the LLTV. Right: Apollo 11 backup Commander James A. Lovell following a flight in the LLTV.
      On June 6, NASA managers approved the resumption of astronaut training flights in the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle (LLTV) at Ellington Air Force Base (AFB) near MSC. The LLTV simulated the flight characteristics of the LM and astronauts used it to train for the final 200 feet of the descent to the lunar surface. Managers reached the decision after reviewing findings from the Review Board headed by astronaut Walter M. Schirra that investigated the Dec. 8, 1968 crash of LLTV-1 as well as results from flights in LLTV-2 made by MSC test pilots Harold E. “Bud” Ream and Jere B. Cobb. Between June 14 and 16, Armstrong flew LLTV-2 eight times to complete his training program with the vehicle. He had previously completed 12 simulated Moon landings in the LLTV and its predecessor, the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV), narrowly escaping the crash of LLRV-1 in May 1968. Backup Commander Lovell completed four flights in the LLTV between June 19 and July 1. Armstrong, Aldrin, Lovell, and Haise also practiced landings in the Lunar Landing Research Facility (LLRF) at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

      Left: Senior NASA managers monitor the Apollo 11 Countdown Demonstration Test (CDDT) in Firing Room 1 of the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Right: The team of controllers in Firing Room 1 monitor the Apollo 11 CDDT.

      Left: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, front, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin about to board the transfer van to Launch Pad 39A for the Countdown Demonstration Test (CDDT). Middle: Workers in the White Room assist Collins, left, Armstrong, and Aldrin to enter their spacecraft for the CDDT. Right: Armstrong, left, Aldrin, and Collins leave Launch Pad 39A at the conclusion of the CDDT.
      At KSC, engineers completed the three-day Flight Readiness Test on June 6, ensuring the flight readiness of the Saturn V rocket and the Apollo spacecraft perched on Launch Pad 39A. On June 17, top managers from NASA Headquarters and the Directors of MSC, KSC, and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, held the Flight Readiness Review at KSC. The meeting reviewed all aspects of readiness for the launch and mission, clearing the way for the next milestone, the Countdown Demonstration Test (CDDT). The CDDT, a full dress rehearsal for the actual countdown to launch, consisted of two parts. The “wet” test, conducted from June 27 to July 2, included fueling the rocket as if for flight, with the countdown stopping just prior to first stage engine ignition, and did not involve the flight crew. The “dry” test followed on July 3, an abbreviated countdown without fueling the rocket but with the astronauts boarding the CM as if on launch day. Controllers in Firing Room 1 of the Launch Control Center at Launch Complex 39 monitored all aspects of the CDDT as they would for an actual countdown. The successful test cleared the way for the start of the launch countdown at 8 p.m. EDT on July 10, leading to launch on July 16.

      The three commemorative items carried aboard Apollo 11. Left: The Lunar Flag Assembly. Middle: The stainless steel commemorative plaque. Right: The silicon disc containing messages of goodwill from world leaders.
      On July 2, NASA announced that Armstrong and Aldrin would leave three symbolic items behind on the Moon to commemorate the historic first landing – an American flag, a commemorative plaque, and a silicon disc bearing messages from world leaders. The astronauts would plant the three-by-five-foot flag near their LM during their spacewalk. The stainless steel plaque bore the images of the two hemispheres of the Earth and this inscription,
      HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH
      FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON
      JULY 1969 A.D.
      WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND
      The signatures of the three astronauts and President Richard M. Nixon also appeared on the plaque. Workers mounted it on the forward landing leg strut of the LM. The one-and-one-half-inch silicon disc contained messages of goodwill from 73 world leaders, etched on the disk using the technique to make microcircuits for electronic equipment. The crew placed the disc on the lunar surface at the end of their spacewalk.

      Left: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, left, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins hold a copy of the commemorative plaque they will leave behind on the Moon and their mission patch. Right: The Apollo 11 astronauts in the glass-enclosed room at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory.
      During a July 5 press conference in the MSC auditorium, the Apollo 11 astronauts revealed the call signs for their spacecraft. They named their CM Columbia and their LM Eagle. “We selected these as being representative of the flight, the nation’s hope,” said Armstrong. Columbia served as a national symbol represented by a statue atop the Capitol in Washington, D.C. They named the LM after the symbol of the United States, the bald eagle, featured on the Apollo 11 mission patch. In a second event, the astronauts answered reporters’ questions from inside a glass-enclosed conference room at MSC’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL). After their mission, the returning astronauts completed their 21-day quarantine in the LRL to prevent any back contamination of the Earth by any possible lunar microorganisms.

      NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, workers simulate the arrival of the first Moon rocks and other items returned from Apollo 11. Middle: Workers practice docking the Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) with the LRL. Right: In Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, workers barge the prime and backup MQFs to load them onto the U.S.S. Hornet. Image credit: courtesy U.S. Navy.
      At the LRL, other preparations for the return of the Apollo 11 astronauts from the Moon included a simulation of the arrival and processing of the Moon rocks and other items following the mission. The rocks, crew biological samples, and film would be flown from the prime recovery ship to Houston ahead of the crew. Engineers and technicians also rehearsed the arrival of the crew with a dry run of docking a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) to the LRL’s loading dock. Following the test, workers loaded two MQFs, a prime and a backup, onto a cargo plane for transport to Hawaii and loading onto the prime recovery ship.

      Left: Workers in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, prepare to lift a boilerplate Apollo Command Module onto the U.S.S. Hornet for splashdown and recovery rehearsals. Image credit: courtesy U.S. Navy Bob Fish. Middle: Crews from the U.S.S. Hornet practice recovery operations. Right: Recovery team members dry their Biological Isolation Garments aboard the U.S.S. Hornet following a recovery exercise.
      On June 12, the U.S. Navy notified NASA that it had selected the U.S.S. Hornet (CVS-12) as the prime recovery ship for Apollo 11 to undertake the most complex recovery of an astronaut crew. The same day, with Hornet docked in her home port of Long Beach, California, its commanding officer, Capt. Carl J. Seiberlich, held the first recovery team meeting to review the Apollo Recovery Operations Manual, written by MSC’s Landing and Recovery Division. Between June 12 and 25, Hornet onloaded NASA equipment required for the recovery. On June 27, Hornet left Long Beach for a three-hour stop in San Diego, where air group maintenance and support personnel embarked. The next day, after Hornet left for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, pilots flew the aircraft required to support the recovery onto the carrier. During the cruise to Pearl Harbor, Hornet’s 90-man team detailed for Apollo 11 recovery operations held numerous meetings and table-top simulations. After arriving in Hawaii on July 2, workers loaded a boilerplate Apollo capsule onto the aircraft carrier to be used for recovery practice. The NASA recovery team, the Frogmen swimmers from the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team 11 (UDT-11) who assisted with the recovery, and some media personnel arrived onboard. For the recovery operation, Capt. Seiberlich adopted the motto “Hornet Plus Three,” indicating the goal of a safe recovery of the three astronauts returning from the Moon. On July 3, Capt. Seiberlich introduced the 35-member NASA recovery team to the Hornet’s crew. Donald E. Stullken, Chief of the Recovery Operations Branch at MSC and inventor of the inflatable flotation collar attached by swimmers to the capsule after splashdown, led the NASA team. His assistant John C. Stonesifer oversaw the decontamination and quarantine operations. Stullken and Stonesifer briefed Hornet’s Command Module Retrieval Team on all events associated with the recovery and retrieval of an Apollo capsule and its crew. On July 6, workers loaded the two MQFs aboard Hornet. The prime MQF would house the returning astronauts, a flight surgeon, and an engineer from shortly after splashdown until their arrival at the LRL in Houston several days later. The second MQF served as a backup should a problem arise with the first or if violations of quarantine protocols required additional personnel to be isolated. Along with the MQFs, Navy personnel loaded other equipment necessary for the recovery, including 55 one-gallon containers of sodium hypochlorite to be used as a disinfectant. Between July 7 and 9, the Hornet conducted nine Simulated Recovery Exercises in local Hawaiian waters. Lieutenant Clarence J. “Clancy” Hatleberg led the team as the designated decontamination swimmer with U.S. Navy Frogmen serving as stand-ins for the astronauts, all wearing Biological Isolation Garments as they would on recovery day. The Hornet returned to Pearl Harbor to pick up the rest of the NASA recovery team before setting sail on July 12 for its first recovery position. 
      Apollo 12

      Left: Apollo 12 astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad, left, Alan L. Bean, and Richard F. Gordon prepare to enter their Command Module for an altitude test. Right: Conrad after completing a flight in the Lunar Landing Training Vehicle.

      Left: In the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building (MSOB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, workers finish attaching the landing gear to the Apollo 12 Lunar Module (LM). Middle left: Workers in the MSOB prepare to mate the Apollo 12 Command and Service Modules with the Spacecraft LM Adapter. Middle right: Workers move the assembled Apollo 12 spacecraft from the MSOB to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Right: In the VAB. workers lower the Apollo 12 spacecraft onto its Saturn V rocket.
      With Apollo 11 on its launch pad, workers continued to prepare Apollo 12 for its eventual journey to the Moon, targeting a September launch should Apollo 11 not succeed. If Apollo 11 succeeded in its Moon landing mission, Apollo 12 would fly later, most likely in November, to attempt the second Moon landing at a different location. In KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the three-stage Saturn V stood on its Mobile Launcher, awaiting the arrival of the Apollo spacecraft. In the nearby Manned Spacecraft Operations Building, the Apollo 12 prime crew of Charles “Pete” Conrad, Richard F. Gordon, and Alan L. Bean and their backups David R. Scott, Alfred M. Worden, and James B. Irwin completed altitude chamber tests of the CM and LM during the first two weeks of June. Workers removed the spacecraft from the vacuum chambers, mated them on June 27, and transferred them to the VAB on July 1 for stacking on the Saturn V rocket. At Ellington AFB in Houston, Conrad completed his first flights aboard LLTV-2 on July 9-10.
      Apollo 13

      Left: In the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, workers place the first stage of the Apollo 13 Saturn V rocket onto the Mobile Launcher to begin the stacking process. Middle: The Apollo 13 Command and Service Modules arrive at KSC. Right: The ascent stage of the Apollo 13 Lunar Module arrives at KSC.
      In the event that neither Apollo 11 nor 12 succeeded in landing on the Moon, NASA stood prepared to try a third time with Apollo 13 in November or December, still in time to meet President Kennedy’s deadline. The Apollo 13 Command and Service Modules arrived at KSC on June 26, followed by the LM ascent and descent stages on June 28 and 29, respectively. The Saturn V’s S-IC first stage arrived on June 16 and workers placed it on its Mobile Launcher two days later. The S-IVB third stage and S-II second stage arrived June 13 and 29, respectively, and workers stacked the stages in mid-July.
      To be continued …
      News from around the world in June 1969:
      June 3 – Eric Carle publishes children’s picture book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
      June 3 – The final episode of Star Trek airs on NBC.
      June 5 – The Tupolev Tu-144 became the first passenger jet to fly faster than the speed of sound.
      June 10 – The Nixon Administration cancels the U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory program.
      June 15 – “Hee Haw,” with Roy Clark and Buck Owens, premieres on CBS.
      June 20 – Georges Pompidou sworn in as the 19th President of France.
      June 20 – 200,000 attend Newport ’69, then largest-ever pop concert, in Northridge, California.
      June 23 – Warren E. Burger sworn in as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice.
      June 28 – Police carry out a raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, beginning the modern LGBT rights movement.
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    • By NASA
      The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched together from Cape Canaveral Air Force, now Space Force, Station on June 18, 2009, atop an Atlas V launch vehicle. The primary mission of the LRO, managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, involved imaging the entire Moon’s surface to create a 3-D map with ~50-centimeter resolution to aid in the planning of future robotic and crewed missions. In addition, LRO would map the polar regions and search for the presence of water ice. Although its primary mission intended to last only one year, it continues to operate after 15 years in lunar orbit. The LCROSS, managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, planned to further investigate the presence of water ice in permanently shaded areas of the Moon’s polar regions. The two components of LCROSS, the Centaur upper stage of the launch vehicle and the Shepherding Satellite, planned to deliberately crash into the Moon. Instruments on Earth and aboard LRO and the LCROSS Shepherding Satellite would observe the resulting plumes and analyze them for the presence of water.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), top, silver, and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), bottom, gold, spacecraft during placement inside the launch shroud. Right: Launch of LRO and LCROSS on an Atlas V rocket.
      The LRO spacecraft carries seven scientific instruments:
      the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) to characterize the lunar radiation environment; the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE) to identify areas cold enough to trap ice; the Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LMAP) to search for ice in the lunar polar regions; the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) to create a map of hydrogen distribution and to determine the neutron component of the lunar radiation environment; the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) to measure slopes and roughness of potential landing sites; the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consisting of two-narrow angle and one wide-angle camera to take high-resolution images of the lunar surface; and the Mini Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) experiment, an advanced radar system to image the polar regions and search for water ice.
      Left: Illustration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and its scientific instruments. Right: Illustration of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite and its scientific instruments on panel at left.
      The LCROSS Shepherding Satellite carried nine instruments – five cameras (one visible, two near-infrared, and two mid-infrared); three spectrometers (one visible and two near-infrared); and a photometer. They monitored the plume sent up by the impact of the Centaur upper stage.

      Left: Illustration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in lunar orbit. Right: Illustration of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite’s Shepherding Satellite at left and Centaur upper stage at right prior to lunar impact.
      On June 23, 2009, after a four-and-a-half-day journey from Earth, LRO entered an elliptical polar orbit around the Moon. Over the next four days, four engine burns refined the spacecraft’s orbit and engineers on the ground began commissioning its instruments. The LROC returned its first image of the Moon on June 30 of an area near the Mare Nubium. On Sept. 15, 2009, LRO began its primary one-year mission to map the lunar surface from its science orbit 31 miles above the Moon.  
      On Oct. 9, 2009, first the Centaur upper stage followed five minutes later by the LCROSS Shepherding Satellite crashed into the Moon’s Cabeus Crater near the lunar south pole. Although the impacts created smaller plumes than anticipated, instruments detected signs of water in the ejected debris.
      In September 2010, LRO completed its primary mapping mission and began an extended science mission around the Moon. On Dec. 17, NASA released the most detailed topographic map covering more than 98 percent of the Moon’s surface based on data from LRO’s LOLA instrument. The map continues to be updated as new data are received from the spacecraft. On March 15, 2011, LRO had made available more than 192 terabytes of data from its primary mission to the NASA Planetary Data System, or PDS, to make the information available to researchers, students, media, and the general public. LRO  continues to deliver data to the PDS, having generated the largest volume of data from a NASA planetary science mission ever.

      Left: First high-resolution image of the Moon taken by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Middle: Mosaic of LRO images of the Moon’s near side. Right: Mosaic of LRO images of the Moon’s far side.

      Left: Mosaic of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images of the lunar north pole. Right: Mosaic of LRO images of the lunar south pole.
      The LCROSS data showed that the lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials, such as hydrogen gas, ammonia, and methane, which could be used to produce fuel for space missions. Large amounts of light metals, such as sodium, mercury, and silver, were discovered. The data revealed that there is perhaps as much as hundreds of millions of tons of frozen water on the Moon, enough to make it an effective oasis for future explorers.
      Thanks to its unique vantage point in a low altitude lunar orbit, LRO’s camera has taken remarkably detailed images of all six Apollo landing sites. The detail is such that not only can the Lunar Module (LM) descent stages be clearly identified, but disturbances of the lunar soil by the astronauts’ boots, the shadows of the American flag are visible at five of the landing sites, and the Lunar Rovers from the last three missions are even visible. The scientific instruments, and in at least three of the landing sites, the U.S. flag left by the astronauts can be discerned. The flag at the Apollo 11 site cannot be seen because it most likely was blown over by the exhaust of the LM’s ascent stage engine when the astronauts lifted off. In addition to the Apollo landing sites, LRO has also imaged crash and soft-landing sites of other American, Soviet, Chinese, Indian, and Israeli spacecraft, including craters left by the deliberate impacts of Apollo S-IVB upper stages. It also imaged a Korean satellite in lunar orbit as the two flew within a few miles of each other at high speed. LRO also turned its camera Earthward to catch stunning Earthrise views, one image with Mars in the background, and the Moon’s shadow on the Earth during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

      Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the Apollo 11, left, 12, and 14 landing sites.

      Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the Apollo 15, left, 16, and 17 landing sites.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image of Luna 17 that landed on the Moon on Nov. 17, 1970, and the tracks of the Lunokhod 1 rover that it deployed. Middle: LRO image of the Chang’e 4 lander and Yutu 2 rover that landed on the Moon’s far side on Jan. 3, 2019. Right: LRO image of the Chandrayaan 3 lander taken four days after it landed on the Moon on Aug. 23, 2023.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image of Odysseus that landed on the Moon on Feb. 22, 2024. Middle: LRO image taken on March 5, 2024, of the Danuri lunar orbiting satellite as the two passed within 3 miles of each other at a relative velocity of 7,200 miles per hour. Right: LRO image of the Chang’e 6 lander on the Moon’s farside, taken on June 7, 2024.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image of Earthrise over Compton Crater taken Oct. 12, 2015. Middle: LRO image of Earth and Mars taken Oct. 2, 2014. Right: LRO image of the total solar eclipse taken on April 8, 2024.
      The LRO mission continues with the spacecraft returning images and data from its instruments. LRO has enough fuel on board to operate until 2027. The spacecraft can support new robotic lunar activities and the knowledge from the mission will help aid in the return of humans to the lunar surface. 
      View the full article
    • By USH
      Over the years, much has been published about the strange things that happen on the dark side of the moon. 

      The far side of the moon has been a mystery since the dawn of the space age. But is it just a barren, crater-filled wasteland? 
      Shocking claims from astronauts, whistleblowers, and classified documents suggest there's more to the story. Eerie sounds, inexplicable sightings, and covert missions point to something astounding hidden from public view. 
      Before delving into the evidence, which ranges from Apollo-era transcripts to insights from modern military insiders, it's worth noting an intriguing paper recently released by Harvard. Titled "The Cryptoterrestrial Hypothesis. This paper proposes among other themes that UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) might be the result of activities by intelligent beings hidden here on Earth eventually underground or in nearby areas such as the moon. (Notion: The dark of the side of the moon could be an excellent place to hide.) 
      But the Harvard paper has suddenly disappeared... though we saved you a copy: https://bit.ly/4b1xk11 
      The implications are staggering, hinting at a secret history beyond our world.
        View the full article
    • By NASA
      NASA’s Pegasus barge delivers the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket’s core stage for the 2022 Artemis I mission to the turn basin at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April 2021. Credits: NASA/Michael Downs Media are invited in late July to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to see progress on the agency’s SLS (Space Launch System) Moon rocket as preparations continue for the Artemis II test flight around the Moon.
      Participants joining the multi-day events will see the arrival and unloading of the 212-foot-tall SLS core stage at the center’s turn basin before it is transported to the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. The stage will arrive on NASA’s Pegasus barge from the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where it was manufactured and assembled.
      Media also will see the twin pair of solid rocket boosters inside the Rotation, Processing, and Surge Facility at the spaceport, where NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program is processing the motor segments in preparation for rocket assembly. NASA and industry subject matter experts will be available to answer questions. At launch, the SLS rocket’s two solid rocket boosters and four RS-25 engines, located at the base of its core stage, will produce 8.8 million pounds of thrust to send the first crewed mission of the Artemis campaign around the Moon.
      Media interested in participating must apply for credentials at:
      https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
      To receive credentials, international media must apply by Friday, June 28, and U.S. citizens must apply by Thursday, July 5.
      Credentialed media will receive a confirmation email upon approval, along with additional information about the specific date for the activities when they are finalized. NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online. For questions about accreditation, please email ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. For other questions, please contact Kennedy’s newsroom at: 321-867-2468.
      Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo o Messod Bendayan a: antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov o messod.c.bendayan@nasa.gov.
      The approximately 10-day Artemis II flight will test NASA’s SLS rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground systems for the first time with astronauts and will pave the way for lunar surface missions, including landing the first woman, first person of color, and first international partner astronaut on the Moon.
      Learn more about Artemis at:
      www.nasa.gov/artemis/
      -end-
      Rachel Kraft 
      Headquarters, Washington 
      281-358-1100  
      rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov  
      Tiffany Fairley/Antonia Jaramillo
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida
      321-867-2468
      tiffany.l.fairley@nasa.gov/antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jun 14, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Artemis 2 Artemis Humans in Space Kennedy Space Center Space Launch System (SLS) View the full article
    • By NASA
      17 Min Read The Next Full Moon is the Strawberry Moon
      A perigee full moon, or supermoon, is seen next to the Empire State Building, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015 in New York City. Credits:
      NASA/Joel Kowsky The Next Full Moon is the Strawberry Moon; the Flower, Hot, Hoe, or Planting Moon; the Mead or Honey Moon; the Rose Moon; Vat Purnima; Poson Poya; and the LRO Moon.
      The next full Moon will be Friday evening, June 21, 2024, appearing opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 9:08 PM EDT. This will be Saturday from Greenland and Cape Verde time eastward across Eurasia, Africa, and Australia to the International Date Line in the mid-Pacific. Most commercial calendars will show this full Moon on Saturday, June 22, the date in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Thursday evening through Sunday morning.
      In the 1930s the Maine Farmer’s Almanac began publishing “Indian” names for full Moons and these names are now widely known and used. According to this Almanac, as the full Moon in June this is the Strawberry Moon, a name that comes from the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the north-eastern United States. Other seasonal names that I have found in various sources (sometimes with conflicting information about whether they are of European or Native American origin) are the Flower Moon, Hot Moon, Hoe Moon, and Planting Moon.
      An old European name for this full Moon is the Mead or Honey Moon. Mead is a drink created by fermenting honey mixed with water and sometimes fruits, spices, grains, or hops. In some countries Mead is also called Honey Wine (though in others Honey Wine is made differently). Some writings suggest the time around the end of June was when honey was ready for harvesting, which made this the “sweetest” Moon. The word “honeymoon” traces back to at least the 1500s in Europe. The tradition of calling the first month of marriage the “honeymoon” may be tied to this full Moon because of the custom of marrying in June or because the “Honey Moon” is the “sweetest” Moon of the year. There doesn’t appear to be enough evidence to support a 19th century theory that the word entered English from the custom of gifting newlyweds mead for their first month of marriage.
      Another European name for this full Moon is the Rose Moon. Some sources indicate “Rose Moon” comes from the roses that bloom this time of year. Others indicate that the name comes from the color of the full Moon. The orbit of the Moon around the Earth is in almost the same plane as the orbit of the Earth around the Sun (only about 5 degrees off). On the summer solstice the Sun appears highest in the sky for the year. Full Moons are opposite the Sun, so a full Moon near the summer solstice will be low in the sky. Particularly for Europe’s higher latitudes, when the full Moon is low it shines through more atmosphere, making it more likely to have a reddish color (for the same reasons that sunrises and sunsets are red). For the Washington, DC area, the full Moon on the night from the evening of June 21 to the morning of June 22 will have the lowest full Moon of the year, reaching only 21.9 degrees above the southern horizon at 1:20 AM EDT.
      For Hindus this is Vat Purnima. During the 3 days of this full Moon married women will show their love for their husbands by tying a ceremonial thread around a banyan tree. The celebration is based on the legend of Savitri and Satyavan.
      For Buddhists this full Moon is Poson Poya. The Poson holiday in Sri Lanka celebrates the introduction of Buddhism in 236 BCE.
      Another tribe has also given a name to this full Moon. This tribe is now scattered but mostly lived in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. This tribe’s language is primarily English, but with a liberal smattering of acronyms, arcane scientific and engineering terms, and Hawaiian phrases (cheerfully contributed by the former Deputy Project Manager). Comprised of people from all backgrounds, many of whom have gone on to join other tribes, this tribe was devoted to the study of the Moon. This tribe calls June’s full Moon the LRO Moon, in honor of the spacecraft they launched towards the Moon 15 years ago, on June 18, 2009. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still orbiting the Moon providing insights about our nearest celestial neighbor, some of which help us understand our own planet. See https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/main/index.html for more information.
      Many lunar and lunisolar calendars start the months on or just after the new Moon and the full Moon is near the middle of the month. This full Moon is near the middle of the fifth month of the Chinese year of the Dragon, Sivan in the Hebrew calendar, and Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic year and one of the four sacred months during which fighting is forbidden.
      As usual, the wearing of suitably celebratory celestial attire is encouraged in honor of the full Moon. If you’re not allergic, enjoy the strawberries, flowers, and honey during this “sweetest” month of the year, and take note of how low in the sky this full Moon will be.
      As for other celestial events between now and the full Moon after next (with specific times and angles based on the location of NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC):
      As summer begins the daily periods of sunlight start to gradually shorten, having been at their longest on the summer solstice on the day before this full Moon. On Friday, June 21, 2024 (the day of the full Moon), morning twilight will begin at 4:30 AM, sunrise will be at 5:43 AM, solar noon at 1:10 PM when the Sun will reach its maximum altitude of 74.6 degrees, sunset will be at 8:37 PM, and evening twilight will end at 9:49 PM. The period of daylight will be 1.2 seconds shorter than on the summer solstice the previous day.
      The solar days (as measured, for example, from solar noon to solar noon on a sundial) are longer than 24 hours near the solstices, so the earliest sunrises of the year occur before the summer solstice and the latest sunsets occur after the solstice. For the Washington, DC area and similar latitudes at least (I’ve not checked for other latitudes), Thursday, June 27, will have the latest sunset of the year, with sunset at 8:37:30 PM EDT.
      By Sunday, July 21, (the day of the full Moon after next), morning twilight will begin at 4:52 AM, sunrise will be at 6:00 AM, solar noon at 1:15 PM when the Sun will reach its maximum altitude of 71.4 degrees, sunset will be at 8:28 PM, and evening twilight will end at 9:37 PM.
      The comet 13P/Olbers is expected to peak at magnitude 7.5 in early July, too dim to see with the naked eye. The two meteor showers expected to peak this lunar cycle will be difficult to see. The full Moon will interfere with the peak of the June Bootids (170 JBO) on June 27. The July Pegasids (175 JPE), peaking on July 10, is only expected to show 3 meteors per hour (under ideal conditions).
      Evening Sky Highlights:
      On the evening of Friday, June 21, 2024 (the evening of the day of the full Moon), as twilight ends (at 9:49 PM EDT), the rising Moon will be 7 degrees above the southeastern horizon. The bright planets Venus and Mercury will be below the horizon, with Venus setting 21 minutes and Mercury setting 43 minutes after sunset. Mercury may be visible from about 30 minutes after sunset until it sets 13 minutes later. The bright object appearing closest to overhead will be the star Arcturus at 69 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon. Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Boötes the herdsman or plowman. It is the 4th brightest star in our night sky and is 36.7 light years from us. While it has about the same mass as our Sun, it is about 2.6 billion years older and has used up its core hydrogen, becoming a red giant 25 times the size and 170 times the brightness of our Sun.
      As this lunar cycle progresses the background of stars will appear to shift westward each evening (as the Earth moves around the Sun). June 30 will be the first evening that the bright planet Mercury will be above the west-northwestern horizon as evening twilight ends and the first evening that the bright planet Venus will be above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset (an approximation of when Venus will start emerging from the glow of dusk. Mercury will shift to the left low along the horizon, reaching its highest above the horizon (just 2 degrees as twilight ends) on July 13. The waxing Moon will pass by Regulus on July 8 and 9, Spica on July 13, and Antares on July 17.
      By the evening of Sunday, July 21 (the evening of the day of the full Moon after next), as twilight ends (at 9:37 PM EDT), the rising Moon will be 3 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon. The bright planet Mercury will be 1 degree above the west-northwestern horizon and 6 minutes away from setting. The planet Venus will set 22 minutes before twilight ends, but will be bright enough to see in the glow of dusk low on the west-northwestern horizon before it sets. The bright object appearing closest to overhead will be Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the lyre, at 65 degrees above the eastern horizon. Vega is one of the three bright stars in the Summer Triangle along with Deneb, and Altair. Vega is the 5th brightest star in our night sky, about 25 light-years from Earth, has twice the mass of our Sun, and shines 40 times brighter than our Sun.
      Morning Sky Highlights:
      On the morning of Friday, June 21, 2024 (the morning of the day of the full Moon), as twilight begins (at 4:31 AM EDT), the setting full Moon will be 2 degrees above the southwestern horizon. The brightest planet in the sky will be Jupiter at just 3 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon. The planet Mars will be 19 degrees above the eastern horizon and the planet Saturn (almost as bright as Mars) will be 37 degrees above the southeastern horizon. The bright object appearing closest to overhead will be the star Deneb at 80 degrees above the northwestern horizon. Deneb is the 19th brightest star in our night sky and is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus the swan. Deneb is one of the three bright stars of the “Summer Triangle” (along with Vega and Altair). Deneb is about 20 times more massive than our Sun but has used up its hydrogen, becoming a blue-white supergiant about 200 times the diameter of the Sun. If Deneb were where our Sun is, it would extend to about the orbit of the Earth. Deneb is about 2,600 light years from us.
      As this lunar cycle progresses, Jupiter, Saturn, and the background of stars will appear to shift westward each evening, with Mars shifting more slowly and to the left. The waning Moon will pass by Saturn on June 27, on Mars on July 1, the Pleiades star cluster on July 2, and Jupiter on July 3.
      By the morning of Sunday, July 21 (the morning of the day of the full Moon after next), as twilight begins (at 4:52 AM EDT), the setting full Moon will be 7 degrees above the southwestern horizon. The brightest planet in the sky will be Jupiter at 25 degrees above the eastern horizon. Mars will be 33 degrees above the eastern horizon and Saturn 45 degrees above the southern horizon. The bright object appearing closest to overhead still will be the star Deneb at 56 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon.
      Detailed Daily Guide:
      Here for your reference is a day-by-day listing of celestial events between now and the full Moon after next. The times and angles are based on the location of NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and some of these details may differ for where you are (I use parentheses to indicate times specific to the DC area).
      Sunday morning, June 16, 2024, will be the first morning that the bright planet Jupiter will be above the east-northeastern horizon as morning twilight begins (at 4:30 AM EDT).
      Sunday evening into early Monday morning, June 16 to 17, 2024, the bright star Spica will appear near the waxing gibbous Moon. As evening twilight ends (at 9:48 PM EDT) Spica will be 3.5 degrees to the right of the Moon. By the time Spica sets on the west-southwestern horizon 4.5 hours later (at 2:16 AM) it will be 5 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. Around the northern part of the boundary between Europe and Asia the Moon will actually block Spica from view.
      Wednesday evening, June 19, 2024, will be the first evening the bright planet Mercury will be above the west-northwestern horizon 30 minutes after sunset, an approximation of when it will begin emerging from the glow of dusk. Each evening after this Mercury should become easier to spot and by the end of June will be above the horizon as evening twilight ends.
      Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, June 19 to 20, 2024, the bright star Antares will appear near the waxing gibbous Moon. As evening twilight ends (at 9:49 PM EDT) Antares will be 5 degrees to the lower left of the Moon. The Moon will reach its highest in the sky 1.5 hours later (at 11:25 PM EDT) with Antares 4 degrees to the left of the Moon. The Moon will set first on the southwestern horizon (at 4:03 AM) with Antares 2 degrees to the upper left.
      Thursday afternoon, June 20, 2024, at 4:51 PM EDT will be the summer solstice, the astronomical end of spring and start of summer. This will be the day with the longest period of sunlight (14 hours, 53 minutes, 42.5 seconds) but will not be the day with the earliest sunrise or the latest sunset.
      As mentioned above, the full Moon will be Friday evening, June 21, 2024, at 9:08 PM EDT. This will be on Saturday from Greenland and Cape Verde time eastward across Eurasia, Africa, and Australia to the International Date Line in the mid-Pacific. Most commercial calendars will show this full Moon on Saturday, June 22. This will be the lowest full Moon of the year (reaching only 21.9 degrees above the southern horizon Saturday morning at 1:20 AM). The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Thursday evening through Sunday morning.
      Thursday morning, June 27, 2024, the planet Saturn will appear near the waning gibbous Moon. As Saturn rises on the eastern horizon (at 12:26 AM EDT) it will be 6 degrees to the lower left of the Moon. By the time morning twilight begins (at 4:33 AM) Saturn will be 4 degrees to the upper left of the Moon.
      Thursday morning June 27, 2024, the Moon will be at perigee, its closest to the Earth for this orbit.
      For the Washington, DC area and similar latitudes, at least, Thursday, June 27, 2024, will have the latest sunset of the year (with sunset at 8:37:30 PM EDT).
      Friday afternoon, June 28, 2024, the waning Moon will appear half-full as it reaches its last quarter at 5:53 PM EDT (when the Moon will be below the horizon).
      Sunday evening, June 30, 2024, will be the first evening that the bright planet Mercury will be above the west-northwestern horizon as evening twilight ends (at 9:49 PM EDT). It will also be the first evening that the bright planet Venus will be above the west-northwestern horizon (at 9:07 PM) 30 minutes after sunset, an approximation of when Venus will start emerging from the glow of dusk.
      Monday morning, July 1, 2024, the planet Mars will appear 5 degrees to the lower left of the waning crescent Moon. Mars will rise last on the east-northeastern horizon (at 2:29 AM EDT) and morning twilight will begin a little more than 2 hours later (at 4:35 AM).
      Tuesday morning, July 2, 2024, the Pleiades star cluster will appear 5 degrees to the lower left of the waning crescent Moon. The Pleiades will rise last on the east-northeastern horizon (around 2:46 AM EDT) and morning twilight will begin a little less than 2 hours later (at 4:35 AM).
      Friday afternoon, July 5, 2024, the Earth will be at aphelion, its farthest away from the Sun in its orbit, 3.4% farther away than it was at perihelion in early January. Since the intensity of light drops off as the square of the distance, the sunlight reaching the Earth at aphelion is about 6.5% less bright than sunlight reaching the Earth at perihelion.
      Friday evening, July 5, 2024, at 6:57 PM EDT, will be the new Moon, when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from the Earth. The day of or the day after the New Moon marks the start of the new month for most lunisolar calendars. Saturday, July 6 will be the start of the sixth month of the Chinese year of the Dragon. Sundown on July 6 will mark the start of Tammuz in the Hebrew calendar. In the Islamic calendar the months traditionally start with the first sighting of the waxing crescent Moon. Many Muslim communities now follow the Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia, which uses astronomical calculations to start months in a more predictable way. Using this calendar, sundown on Saturday, July 6, will probably mark Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year and the beginning of the month of Muharram, although Muharram is one of four months for which the calendar dates may be adjusted by the religious authorities of Saudi Arabia after actual sightings of the lunar crescent. Al-Hijra is a public holiday in many Muslim countries. Customs vary, but most include observing the day quietly and practicing gratitude. Muharram is one of the four sacred months during which warfare is forbidden.
      Sunday evening, July 7, 2024, the planet Mercury will appear 3 degrees below the thin, waxing crescent Moon, with the Beehive cluster (visible with binoculars) 1.5 degrees to the lower right of Mercury. As evening twilight ends (at 9:47 PM EDT) the Moon will be 4 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon, with Mercury a little more than 1 degree and the Beehive cluster a little less than 1 degree above the horizon. The Beehive cluster will set first 7 minutes later (at 9:54 PM), followed by Mercury 4 minutes after that (at 9:58 PM) and the Moon 19 minutes after Mercury set (at 10:17 PM).
      Friday morning, July 12, 2024, at 4:12 AM EDT (when we can’t see it), the Moon will be at apogee, its farthest from the Earth for this orbit.
      Saturday evening, July 13, 2024, the Moon will appear half-full as it reaches its first quarter at 6:49 PM EDT.
      Saturday evening, July 13, 2024, will be when the planet Mercury will reach its highest (2 degrees) above the west-northwestern horizon as evening twilight ends (at 9:43 PM EDT).
      Saturday night, July 13, 2024, the bright star Spica will appear near the half-full Moon, so near that for part of the night the Moon will block Spica from view for much of North America (see http://lunar-occultations.com/iota/bstar/0714zc1925.htm for a map and information on the locations that will see this occultation). For the location of NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC (angles and times will be different for other locations), as evening twilight ends (at 9:43 PM EDT), Spica will be 1 degree to the left of the Moon. If you are in a location that will see this occultation, you should be able to see Spica vanish behind the dark half of the Moon (at 11:26 PM for the DC area). For the Washington, DC area the Moon will set (at 12:32 AM) before Spica reemerges. For locations farther west, the brightness of the lit half of the Moon will make it hard to see when Spica emerges.
      Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, July 17 to 18, 2024, the bright star Antares will appear near the waxing gibbous Moon. As evening twilight ends (at 9:40 PM EDT) Antares will be 3 degrees to the upper right of the Moon. The Moon will reach its highest in the sky 27 minutes later (at 10:07 PM). As Antares sets (at 2:21 AM) it will be 5 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. For much of the southern part of Africa the Moon will pass in front of Antares earlier on Wednesday. See http://lunar-occultations.com/iota/bstar/0717zc2366.htm for a map and information on the locations that will see this occultation. The full Moon after next will be Sunday morning, July 21, 2024, at 6:17 AM EDT. This will be late Saturday night for the International Date Line West and the American Samoa and Midway time zones and early Monday morning for Line Islands Time. The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Friday evening through Monday morning, making this a full Moon weekend.
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