Monday, May 21, 2018

Library to be Established on the Moon !


Artist's rendering of Astrobotic's Peregrine Lunar Lander, which will take a "Lunar Library," among other payloads, to the Moon in 2020. (Image Source: Astrobotic)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

In the latter part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, famous industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who grew-up on the North Side of Pittsburgh, funded the construction of 2,509 public libraries worldwide (including 1,689 in the United States), as well as several academic libraries. Now, a Pittsburgh aerospace company, Astrobotic, plans to fly a digital library to the Moon, as a way to preserve human knowledge.

The “Lunar Library” will be transported to the Moon on Astrobotic's first lunar lander, called the Peregrine Lunar Lander, in 2020, which will be the first commercial mission to the Moon. The Peregrine Lunar Lander will also include time capsules with children's messages and cremated remains (for a Moon “burial”), as well as a couple small Moon rovers and a scientific instrument for the Mexican Space Agency.

Astrobotic plans to provide cost-effective, frequent, and reliable transportation to the Moon for a variety of clients, including businesses and governments as well as academic and non-profit organizations. The cost to send an item to the Moon is $1.2 million per kilogram.

Although the Lunar Library will be digitized, it will not use regular digital media. Millions of pages of text and images will be laser-etched onto thin, tiny discs of nickel (each disc about the size of a U.S. dime-coin), termed “analog microfiche.” This analog microfiche, which will include the entire contents of Wikipedia and the Rosetta Project of the Long Now Foundation (a digital library of human languages), as well as other informational content to be announced closer to the launch date, is expected to be invulnerable to the Moon's variable temperatures and the cosmic radiation that hits the Moon.

It will require a 1,000-power magnification, optical microscope to read this analog microfiche. It is expected that this library of human knowledge could last on the Moon for billions of years!

This Lunar Library will be one of several “Arch Libraries” expected to be sprinkled around our Solar System over the next several years. The Arch Mission Foundation (Arch is pronounced “Ark”, of course, reminiscent of Noah's Ark) is creating these digital libraries to back-up and help preserve human knowledge, including Earth's cultural heritages and biological records, for future generations (and, perhaps, for alien civilizations visiting our Solar System sometime in the distant future).

The Lunar Library project will be the second project sponsored by the Arch Mission Foundation. An Arch Mission “data crystal,” which contained Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy of science-fiction novels, flew last February on the premiere flight of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Arch Mission Foundation:
Link 1 >>> https://archmission.org/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arch_Mission_Foundation

Astrobotic:
Link 1 >>> https://www.astrobotic.com/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobotic_Technology

Peregrine Lunar Lander:
Link 1 >>> https://www.astrobotic.com/peregrine
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobotic_Technology#Moon_missions

Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

Related Blog Post ---

"Web-Cast: 1st Test Launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Tue. Afternoon."

 2018 Feb. 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/02/web-cast-1st-test-launch-of-spacex.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2018 May 21.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

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                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh --- < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Monday, May 7, 2018

NASA InSight Space Lander on Way to Mars

        
                                NASA InSight Mars Lander with labeled instruments.
(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/JPL-Caltech - http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/figures/PIA17358_fig1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31906999)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

NASA's newest space probe to Mars launched this-past weekend from California, the first U.S. interplanetary launch from outside of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Aimed particularly to seek-out “Mars-Quakes,” this mission is scheduled to land on the Red Planet at the end of the Thanksgiving Weekend.

Called “InSight” (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), this probe will be a lander, not a rover. So, it will stay in one place to better study the interior of Mars, which is its primary mission. It is hoped that “Insight” will help provide insight into how all of the rocky planets in the Inner Solar System, and the Earth's Moon, were formed 4.6 billion years ago.

Despite thick fog before sunrise, which made it difficult for people to watch the launch, InSight was launched, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, from Vandenberg Air Force Base Saturday morning (2018 May 5) at 4:05 a.m. Pacific Daylight Saving Time (PDT) in California [7:05 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 11:05 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)]. The West Coast launch site had less of a back-log of launches then did Cape Canaveral. InSight is expected to land on Mars on Monday Afternoon, November 26, around 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / 20:00 UTC.

The launch was timed to allow InSight to travel when Mars and Earth are closest, something that only happens once every two years. InSight will fly 301 million miles / 485 million kilometers to reach Mars. The primary mission of InSight is expected to last one Martian year, about the same as two Earth years.

InSight will land in an area of Mars known as Elysium Planitia, not far north of the Gale Crater where NASA's Curiosity Rover (the last NASA mission to Mars in 2012) is still exploring. The landing site is also just north of a boundary between the older, cratered southern highlands and Mars' northern lowland plains.

Seismology, which has previously been studied on Earth and on Earth's Moon, is now to be studied on Mars. The primary purpose of the InSight mission is to better understand the Martian interior, particularly whether the planet's core has solid and / or liquid components similar to Earth's core (Earth's core is composed of a solid inner core and a liquid outer core).

Seismographs were included on the first American spacecraft to land on Mars, the two Viking probes which landed in July of 1976. However, these seismographs were mounted on the spacecrafts, and the results did not measure Mars-Quakes, only the Martian wind buffeting the two space probes.

The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) will be placed directly onto the surface to record any specific shaking of the planet. It is expected that faint seismic signals will simply record meteorite impacts, which could help determine the composition of the interior structure of Mars. Stronger tremors, or Mars-Quakes, would be evidence that the planet is geologically active.

Another important experiment on InSight is the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument, which will seek heat coming from Mars' core. Nicknamed “the mole,” this "self-hammering nail" will burrow itself up to 16 feet / 5 meters below the Martian surface to sense heat.

A corner-cube retro-reflector, called the Laser Retro-Reflector for InSight (LaRRI) instrument has been installed on the top deck of the NASA InSight Mars Lander, for laser range-finding by Mars orbiters. Provided by the Italian Space Agency, this is a passive instrument that can still be used once the InSight Lander is retired. It could also form a node as part of a future Mars geophysical network.

Other experiments on InSight include the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), which will use InSight's X-band radio to provide a more precise measurement of Mars' rate of rotation and whether the rotation has a wobble. Weather at the landing site will be monitored by the Temperature and Winds for InSight (TWINS) instrument. And, two color television cameras (one which will provide stereoscopic views of Mars) are mounted on the Lander.

Two silicon wafers, etched with the names of 2.4 million public supporters of the InSight mission, are being sent to Mars with the InSight Lander. This was part of a public outreach program set-up by NASA, to allow members of the public to be a part of the project. Each letter, etched by an electron beam, measures only 1/1000 the width of a human hair, while each of the two silicon wafers measures 0.3 inch / 8 millimeters in diameter.

In addition to InSight, the Atlas V rocket launched two independent, miniature communications satellites, known as Cube-Sats, toward Mars. Each Cube-Sat is modular, about the size of a briefcase. These are the first two Cube-Sats bound for Deep-Space.

The mission of Mars Cube One (both A and B), the two MarCO Cube-Sats, is to follow the Insight Lander to Mars, while the two Cube-Sats go into orbit around the Red Planet. Mars Cube One will test miniature spacecraft technology, particularly communications technology, in the Deep-Space environment. The Cube-Sats will particularly be watching the three-legged InSight as it enters the Martian atmosphere and lands on the surface via parachute and engine firings, the infamous 'Seven Minutes of Terror.'
                           
                                 
                              Laser Retro-Reflector for InSight (LaRRI) instrument installed
                              on the top deck of the NASA InSight Mars Lander, for laser
                              range-finding by Mars orbiters.
(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin - https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22206, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66080315)

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

NASA Mars InSight Space Lander:
Link 1 >>> https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InSight

Mars Cube One (MarCO):
Link 1 >>> https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Cube_One

Retro-Reflector: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2018 May 7.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

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                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh --- < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Astronomical Calendar: 2018 May

                     https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pia22226.jpg
Illustration of NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight Martian Lander), scheduled to be launched to Mars on May 5. (Image Source: NASA)
More Information: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2018.html#insight

Astronomical Calendar for 2018 May ---
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2018.html#may


 Related Blog Post ---


"Astronomical Calendar: 2018 April." 2018 April 2.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/04/astronomical-calendar-2018-april.html


Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
              2018 May 1.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh --- < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NASA 'Gateway' Moon Orbital Space Station: Start of Construction Contracts

Orion visiting Deep Space Gateway.jpg
The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway in lunar orbit as imagined in 2017.
(Image Sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org; By NASA? - https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/picture1_3.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57804871)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

NASA has begun seeking construction contracts for construction of a new crewed space station, this time a space station orbiting Earth's Moon. The “Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway” is expected to be completed by 2025.

The announcement of the first contract being sought by NASA for the new space station was announced last week by NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier at the Space Symposium conference in Colorado Springs, as reported by Bloomberg News.

Once habitable, the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is not to be staffed continually, as is Earth's International Space Station (ISS). Rather, it will be designed to house four astronauts / cosmonauts for 30 to 60-day missions, for the study of the deep-space environment – for observations outside of the Earth's magnetosphere which may not be possible in Earth orbit.

This new lunar orbital outpost will allow for future missions (including both human and robotic missions) on the Moon, as well as being a way-station for deep-space missions to Mars, and perhaps the Asteroid Belt.

As with the ISS, this new space station will be an international venture. In addition to NASA, other national space agencies involved in this project include the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), European Space Agency (ESA), Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

In addition to the aforementioned ISS partners, there is an interest to work with other nations, no matter how small their space agency. NASA Associate Administrator Gerstenmaier, during a Space Transportation Association luncheon on March 5, mentioned Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates as two countries that have expressed an interest in participating in this new project. Additionally, the several private space companies that are now working with NASA could also become involved in the project.

As with the ISS, China would not be involved with the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. China, which is considering building its own second space station in Earth orbit, as well as plans to land people on the Moon, has a space program which is controlled by the country's military. Only nations with non-military space programs can be involved in the ISS, and now with the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.

The first construction contract being sought by NASA is for the space station's high-power and propulsion element. The power and propulsion element will provide solar electric propulsion so the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway can maintain and adjust its lunar orbit.

The power element will also allow for communication between the space station and Earth, Moon, other spacecraft, and astronauts during extra-vehicular activity (EVA: i.e. space-walks). For greater efficiency of larger data packages, laser communication will be used instead of radio.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Space Systems / Loral are the five firms competing for the power and propulsion element contract. NASA expects to award the contract early next year.

Other modules for later contracts include the habitation space, an airlock, and a logistics module for experiments. The launch of the power and propulsion element, expected in 2022, will mark the beginning of construction of the space station.

The Orion space capsule, being developed by NASA and Lockheed Martin, will provide transport to the new space station aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, also being developed by NASA. The first unmanned test flight of Orion is planned for next year, when the spacecraft will orbit the Moon. A crewed test flight of Orion is anticipated in 2023.

By having a space station in lunar orbit, NASA sees this as part of its goal of landing people on Mars in the 2030s. One advantage of such a lunar way-station is that the Moon's gravity can be used to slow-down spacecraft returning from Mars.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway:
Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Orbital_Platform-Gateway

NASA's Deep Space Exploration Planning:
Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/topics/journeytomars/index.html

Related Blog Posts ---

"50th Anniversary: Classic Science-Fiction Film "2001: A Space Odyssey"."

 2018 April 10.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/04/50th-anniversary-classic-science.html

 

"Web-Cast: 1st Test Launch of SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Tue. Afternoon."

 2018 Feb. 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/02/web-cast-1st-test-launch-of-spacex.html

 

"Lasers in Space ?" 2017 November 13.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2017/11/lasers-in-space.html

"NASA Laser Com-System Miniaturized & Improved Data Precision."

2015 Oct. 24.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/10/nasa-laser-com-system-miniaturized.html


"NASA Orion Spacecraft: Near-Perfect Test Mission After Day-Delay."

2014 Dec. 5.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/12/nasa-orion-spacecraft-near-perfect-test.html


Lunar Laser Com-System Sets Data Transmission Record." 2013 Oct. 24.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/10/lunar-laser-com-system-sets-data.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2018 April 25.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh --- < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer: original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

50th Anniversary: Classic Science-Fiction Film "2001: A Space Odyssey"


Image of a futuristic space hotel in Earth orbit, from the 1968 classic, science-fiction motion picture
"2001: A Space Odyssey." In this concept, the space hotel would rotate to create artificial gravity
equivalent to the gravity people experience on Earth.
(Image Source: Pinterest.com)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Today (April 10) marks the 50th anniversary of the general release of the classic science-fiction motion picture, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Produced and directed by veteran American film director Stanley Kubrick, and written by Mr. Kubrick and English science-fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey is now considered one of the most influential films of all time.

However, 2001: A Space Odyssey is not an-action adventure film like the Star Trek or Star Wars series of films (and of course, in the case of Star Trek, also several television series). 2001: A Space Odyssey is a highly philosophical drama about the-then (1968) future of crewed space flight, as well as a look at evolution, from the very beginning of human-kind to a possible future evolution of humans.

Dialogue is minimized in 2001: A Space Odyssey. And, instead of an original musical score as with other major theatrical productions, this motion picture is particularly notable for the innovative use of classical music from commercial sources.

The motion picture begins four million years in the past in an African desert, when a dark monolith appears to human ancestors. Apparently this monolith, from an alien civilization, helps spur mankind's evolution.

In 1999, astronauts find a similar monolith on the Moon. Once discovered, the lunar monolith starts transmitting a strong radio signal aimed at Jupiter. Apparently, this is a signal to the makers of the monolith that humans have found the lunar monolith, allowing the monolith makers to infer a certain level of evolution by Earthlings.

A year and a-half later in 2001, five U.S. astronauts are launched on Discovery 1 (three of the astronauts in cryogenic suspension) on a mission to Jupiter. This is a classified government mission, where the purpose of the mission is unknown to the astronauts; the mission purpose is only encoded into the spacecraft's computer system.

A much-discussed issue today, the future of artificial intelligence was first brought to the general public's attention in 2001: A Space Odyssey. As part of the American space mission to the Jupiter system on the spacecraft Discovery 1, most of the spacecraft systems are controlled by the new artificial intelligence (AI) computer HAL 9000. The name HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer.

After the film's release, several people quickly realized that the letters HAL were only a one-letter shift (ahead) from the letters used for the abbreviation of a well-known computer company, IBM. Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the IBM Company all state that this was just a coincidence.

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, “HAL” seems to have a soft-spoken personality while interacting with the astronauts. However, the two astronauts piloting Discovery 1 notice computer errors, later confirmed by Mission Control. What is considered a perfect AI, “foolproof and incapable of error," kills all but one of the five astronauts, claiming the astronauts' attempt to disable the computer system would jeopardize the mission! The one remaining astronaut, after nearly dying himself, does finally succeed in disabling HAL.

After disabling HAL, the remaining astronaut, from a pre-recorded video message, learns of the monolith on the Moon, which has aimed a strong radio transmission towards Jupiter; the mission of Discovery 1 is to investigate why the radio signal is aimed at Jupiter. When the spaceship arrives in orbit of Jupiter, the one astronaut uses an EVA (extra-vehicular activity) pod to investigate another monolith in orbit of Jupiter, which apparently is receiving the special radio signal from the Moon.

At this point, the astronaut encounters many bizarre phenomena. The movie ends with the astronaut being transformed into a “star child,” orbiting the Earth. Apparently, this denotes the future of evolution for Earthlings.

2001: A Space Odyssey was lauded for, what appeared as, a scientifically accurate depiction of what the near-future may look like. As a futurist and science writer, in addition to being a science-fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke made sure the future in 2001 looked scientifically plausible.

One example is the appearance of a space hotel, in Earth orbit, near the beginning of the movie. Today, Bigelow Aerospace is working on expandable space modules that could be used for space stations, and a possible future hotel in space.

What makes the space hotel appear scientifically accurate is the fact that this satellite would use rotation to provide a centrifugal force. Hence the people in such a hotel would feel what is equivalent to the gravity we feel on Earth. The Discovery 1 spacecraft going to Jupiter, and the Aries Trans-Lunar Shuttle, also used rotation to simulate Earth-type gravity.

At the space hotel, a scientist telephoned his daughter on Earth, using a video pay telephone. This predicted the type of video-phone service we have today, with services such as Skype. However, video-phone service did have its beginnings in the mid-1960s, from research at Bell Laboratories. But, due to the high cost of the service at that time, picture-phone service was not commercially successful.

AT&T first displayed picture-phone service [black-and-white, real-time picture (not slow-scan)] to the general public in 1964, via a transcontinental connection between Disneyland in Anaheim, California and the World's Fair in New York City (the author of this blog-post, Glenn A. Walsh, used the picture-phone at the New York World's Fair in June of 1965). Picture-phone booths were also set-up in New York's Grand Central Terminal, Washington, and Chicago in 1964.

The first general, commercial picture-phone service started in Pittsburgh on 1970 June 30. Picture-phones (38) were leased by eight Pittsburgh corporations including Alcoa and Westinghouse, and by NBC's news / talk radio station, WJAS-AM 1320 (which had helped inaugurate the Pittsburgh service). Two public demonstration, picture-phone booths were set-up on the Mezzanine of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, as a part of Buhl's Bell Telephone Exhibit.

At the stroke of midnight on 2000 January 1, many people mistakenly celebrated the beginning of a new millennium. However, due to the fact that when our current calendar was established it never included a year zero, the new millennium actually did not begin until 2001 January 1. Hence, this is the reason the title, 2001: A Space Odyssey, used the year 2001 rather than the year 2000.

The 1968 April release of the film was in a 70-millimeter format. In several motion picture theaters, particularly theaters in the larger cities (including the Warner Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh), the film was shown in “Cinerama.” Cinerama was an early version of a wide-screen motion picture format, first demonstrated on Broadway in New York City on 1952 September 30. Cinerama was seen as a way for the motion picture industry to compete with the-then new technology known as television.

Today, many people may be familiar with the wide-screen format known as “Omnimax” or “Imax Dome.” Also using a 70-millimeter film format, Omnimax theaters are often found as part of a museum or science center complex (in Pittsburgh, The Carnegie Science Center's long-time Rangos Omnimax Theater was recently up-graded to a large, digital, flat-screen theater).

While today (April 10), marks the 50th anniversary of the general release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the world premiere of the film occurred on 1968 April 2 at the Uptown Theater in Washington DC. On 1968 April 4, the film opened in the Warner Cinerama Theatre in Hollywood and in Loew's Capitol Theater in New York City. Just before the general release on 1968 April 10, Mr. Kubrick deleted 19 minutes of footage from the film. The international release of the film occurred the next day, 1968 April 11.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

2001: A Space Odyssey:
Link 1 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001%3A_A_Space_Odyssey_(film)
Link 2 >>> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062622/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl

Centrifugal Force: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_force

Cinerama Motion Pictures: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinerama

Omnimax Motion Pictures: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAX#Dome_and_OMNIMAX

Related Blog Post ---

"50th Anniversary: 'Star Trek'." 2016 September 6.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/09/50th-anniversary-star-trek.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2018 April 10.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
TransportWatchtower Blog: < http://transportwatchtower.blogspot.com  >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Monday, April 2, 2018

Astronomical Calendar: 2018 April

In this writing from The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change,
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses the smallness of the Earth, compared to the great
expanse of the Universe. April 4 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of
American Baptist Minister and civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Image Source: The King Center Digital Archive:
Link >>> http://www.thekingcenter.org/archive/document/astronomy )

Astronomical Calendar for 2018 April: 
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2018.html#apr

 Related Blog Post ---


"Astronomical Calendar: 2018 March." 2018 March 1.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/03/astronomical-calendar-2018-march.html


Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
              2018 April 2.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
TransportWatchtower Blog: < http://transportwatchtower.blogspot.com  >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Centennial: U.S. Daylight Saving Time Commences

Robert Garland
In this 1935 July 8 photograph, the "Father of Daylight Saving" in America,
Robert Garland, is sworn-in as a member of Pittsburgh City Council. Robert
Garland is pictured on the right, being sworn-in by Pittsburgh Mayor William
McNair on the left; an unidentified man, perhaps the President of City Council,
is shown in the middle.
(Image Source: Historic Pittsburgh Internet web-site, Pittsburgh City Photographer
Collection, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Library System)                                        

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Today (March 31) marks the centennial of the first day Daylight Saving Time was observed in the United States. In 1918, Daylight Saving Time began on the last Sunday of March, March 31 at 2:00 a.m. Standard Time and concluded on the last Sunday in October, October 27 at 2:00 a.m. Daylight Saving Time. Of course this year, 2018, Daylight Saving Time began on the second Sunday of March, March 11 and ends on the first Sunday in November, November 4.

Due to the need to save energy in order to increase production as the United States entered World War I, the U.S. Standard Time Act of 1918 included a provision for Daylight Saving Time (note that there is no letter “s” at the end of the word “Saving”) during the warmer-weather months of the year. This was the first time the United States had instituted Daylight Saving Time since something similar was first suggested by American Envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin (publisher of the old English proverb "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise").

Changing daily habits to take advantage of more daylight during the Summer months was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, while he was a diplomat in Paris. In an anonymous letter that was published, he used satire to suggest that it would be better to use the sunlight of the morning rather than to waste candles in the evening. His essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” written to the editor of The Journal of Paris, was actually penned partially in-jest; hence, nothing came of the idea. Although, it should be noted that he did not actually propose a plan similar to the Daylight Saving Time we know today.

A New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, first proposed the type of Daylight Saving Time we know today. Although, in an 1895 paper presented before the Wellington Philosophical Society, he proposed a two-hour time shift during the Summer months. However, New Zealand did not establish Daylight Saving Time until 1927.

Independently, British builder and outdoors-man William Willett conceived Daylight Saving Time in 1905, an idea he published in 1907. British Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) Robert Pearce submitted legislation in the House of Commons regarding Mr. Willett's idea in 1908. Although a Select Committee was set-up to study the idea, and Mr. Willett continued lobbying in favor of the proposal, none of the proposed laws passed before Mr. Willett died in 1915.

From 1911 to 1912, Daylight Saving Time was introduced in the municipality of Orillia, Ontario, Canada, by the town's mayor, William Sword Frost.

The German and the Austria-Hungary empires were the first countries to establish Daylight Saving Time for the Summer (May through October), as a way to save coal during World War I, on 1916 April 30 at 11:00 p.m. Standard Time. The countries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and Tasmania did the same, at the same time, as well as the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Great Britain did like-wise three weeks later on 1916 May 21, followed by Russia, Australia, and Newfoundland (then a Dominion of the British Empire, separate from Canada) in 1917.

Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist (who ran a Pittsburgh factory, Garland Nuts and Rivets) and a member of the Pittsburgh City Council for 28 years (1911 to 1939), is considered the “Father of Daylight Saving” in America. He was also President of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, as well chairing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's national “Special Committee on Daylight Saving.” He fought hard for the establishment of Summer Daylight Saving Time.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed-into law, on 1918 March 19, the Standard Time Act of 1918, also known as the Calder Act, which established official time zones in the United States, including a provision for Daylight Saving Time. Although time zones had been unofficially observed for a few decades.

The American and Canadian railroads had established five unofficial time zones for the North American continent on 1883 November 18, precisely at 12:00 Noon from a time signal issued by telegraph from Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory. This was possible after Allegheny Observatory, under the supervision of the Western University of Pennsylvania Astronomy Professor Samuel Pierpont Langley, started determining and disseminating precise time in 1869. The Allegheny Observatory's time service is considered the first regular and systematic system of time distribution to railroads and cities, as well as the origin of the modern Standard Time system.

America's first experiment with Daylight Saving Time did not last long. Farmers (whose farm animals, of course, paid no attention to Daylight Saving Time) and other agricultural interests were vehemently opposed to the new Summer time system.

With the end of World War I (the original rationale for Daylight Saving Time), and strong lobbying against “Summer time” or “fast time,” the U.S. Congress repealed the plan seven months later in 1919, over a veto by President Wilson. However, several cities including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City continued using Daylight Saving Time during the Summer months. Daylight Saving Time was resurrected as “War Time” during World War II (in effect 1942 February 9 through 1945 September 30), also to save energy during the War.

After the Second World War, some cities and states continued using Daylight Saving Time, but often the beginning and ending of Daylight Saving Time was not consistent from one state or town to another. In the early 1960s, a transportation industry Committee for Time Uniformity found that, over a 35-mile stretch of highway (West Virginia Route 2) between Moundsville, West Virginia and Steubenville, Ohio, seven time-zone changes had to be endured by each bus driver and bus passenger!

The Federal Uniform Time Act of 1966 (enacted 1966 April 13) solved this problem by prescribing the start and end times of Daylight Saving Time, for those states which chose to participate. The law established that Daylight Saving Time would begin each year at 2:00 a.m. Standard Time on the last Sunday in April through 2:00 a.m. Daylight Saving Time on the last Sunday in October. The law first took effect in 1967, except in the states of Arizona (not including some tribal nations in the state which did observe Daylight Saving Time) and Michigan, which chose not to participate.

In 1972, Congress amended the law to allow states, which include two or more time zones, to exempt one (or more) of the state's time zones from Daylight Saving Time. Previously, the state legislature could only exempt the entire state from Daylight Saving Time. From then on, most counties in the Eastern Time Zone section of the state of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time, while most counties in the Central Time Zone did shift their clocks twice a year. However, beginning in April of 2006, all counties in Indiana now observe Daylight Saving Time.

To reduce energy consumption during the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, year-round Daylight Saving Time was established by the U.S. Congress in the United States from 1974 January 6 to 1975 October 26. However, many mothers were quite upset that this meant that their children had to travel to school during the dark, early-morning hours in the Winter months. Thousands of these mothers (including the author's mother, Eleanor A. Walsh) wrote letters to their representatives in Congress complaining about this.

After receiving thousands of letters from angry mothers, in October of 1974 Congress amended the law to return to Standard Time from 1974 October 27 until 1975 February 23 when Daylight Saving Time resumed. And, when the trial period ended on 1975 October 26, year-round Daylight Saving Time ended, and the normal Summer Daylight Saving Time resumed.

In 1986, Daylight Saving Time was extended to include most of the month of April, by starting on the first Sunday in April beginning in 1987. The end-date remained the last Sunday in October.

Congressional passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended Daylight Saving Time again, starting in 2007. Now, Daylight Saving Time begins on the second Sunday of March and reverts to Standard Time on the first Sunday in November.

One of the major reasons to extend Daylight Saving Time an extra week in the Autumn, to the first Sunday in November, was to allow greater daylight in the evening on October 31, to improve safety for children trick-or-treating on Halloween. However, had they extended Daylight Saving Time two extra weeks in the Autumn, to the second Sunday in November, this would have allowed more daylight in the evening on General Election Day (statutorily set as "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" or "the first Tuesday after November 1"), which could improve safety that evening, and potentially boost voter participation. Gee, I wonder why the politicians did not think of that ? !

Daylight Saving Time is now observed in all U.S. states except Arizona (as the Navajo Indian Reservation extends into Utah and New Mexico, Daylight Saving Time is observed; the Hopi Indian Reservation, completely within Arizona, does not observe Daylight Saving Time) and Hawaii. All U.S. insular territories with civilian government (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which lie in the tropics (and hence, have more daylight year-round and less variation in daylight throughout the year) do not observe Daylight Saving Time. The District of Columbia does observe Daylight Saving Time.

In Canada, all provinces observe Daylight Saving Time except Saskatchewan (there are certain towns and / or limited areas in Saskatchewan which do observe Daylight Saving Time). In the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, and the territory of Nunavut, most of the jurisdiction observes Daylight Saving Time, except for certain towns and / or limited areas.

This blog-post is posted on 2018 March 31 at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT), exactly one hundred years from the commencement of Daylight Saving Time in the Eastern Time Zone (the first U.S. time zone to initiate Daylight Saving Time), on 1918 March 31 at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / 7:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which, for the first time, became 3:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

U.S. Daylight Saving Time:
Link 1 >>> http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/e.html
Link 2 (USA) >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_in_the_United_States
Link 3 (U.S. law) >>> http://www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/usstat.html
Link 4 (Canada) >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_in_Canada
Link 5 (World-Wide) >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

Uniform Time Act of 1966: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Time_Act 

Map - North American Time Zones:
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/03/astronomical-calendar-2018-march.html

Map of the time zones in the Eastern United States, when the State of Ohio was in 2 time zones (this map is posted on the bulletin board of the Allegheny Observatory Library):
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/allegobserv/time_zones_AO.jpg
(Image Source: Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University & former Planetarium & Observatory Lecturer at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science)

Standard Time Act of 1918: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Time_Act

Allegheny Observatory, Pittsburgh ---
Link 1 >>> http://www.pitt.edu/%7Eaobsvtry/
Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny_Observatory

Samuel Pierpont Langley: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/LangleySP.htm
Photo of S.P. Langley:
Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/03/some-states-to-abandon-daylight-saving.html

Robert Garland: Link >>> http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/March-2009/Curse-You-or-Bless-You-Robert-Garland/

Related Blog Posts ---

"Centennial: Official Enactment of U.S. Time Zones & Daylight Saving Time."

2018 March 19.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2018/03/centennial-official-enactment-of-us.html


"Some States to Abandon Daylight Saving Time ?" 2016 March 13.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/03/some-states-to-abandon-daylight-saving.html

 

"Centennial: New Allegheny Observatory Dedication." 2012 Aug. 28.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/08/centennial-new-allegheny-observatory.html

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
             2018 March 31.

                             Like This Post? - Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
& SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Astronomy Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#astrolinks >
Science Links: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks >
SpaceWatchtower Twitter News Feed: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
LibraryWatchtower Blog: < http://librarywatchtower.blogspot.com >
TransportWatchtower Blog: < http://transportwatchtower.blogspot.com  >
South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin Blog: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, etc.: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >