Photo of the Day

September 11, 2001, there was one American in space. This is the picture he took from the International Space Station. Visible from space, a smoke plume rises from the Manhattan area after two planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center. This photo was taken of metropolitan New York City (and other parts of New York as well as New Jersey) the morning of September 11, 2001. ?Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the people there, and everywhere else,? said Station Commander Frank Culbertson of Expedition 3, after the terrorists? attacks. Image credit: NASA

Living in Space

Sometimes Reality is Stranger than Fiction

The International Space Station is a habitable satellite that orbits the Earth at an altitude of 220 miles once every 90 minutes, which means the sun sets and rises for the crew 16 times a day. It’s a huge project not owned just by a single country: NASA (USA), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (several European countries) and CSA (Canada) all pitched in to build it. These space agencies regularly send astronauts (and “cosmonauts,” in the case of Russia) to the station for six-month expeditions, the first of which took off?on October 31st, 2000. There can be as many as 10 people living on the station at a single time, or as few as two to three.

When astronauts describe the feeling of sailing around space, looking at our planet from hundreds of miles above, they often invoke the phrase “orbital perspective,” a shorthand for the emotional, psychological, and intellectual effects of seeing “the Earth hanging in the blackness of space.” This experience is characterized by not merely awe, but, as astronaut Ron Garan puts it, “a sobering contradiction. On the one hand, I saw this incredibly beautiful, fragile oasis — the Earth. On the other, I was faced with the unfortunate realities of life on our planet for many of its inhabitants.”

This tension was particularly poignant on 9/11, when the effects of violence on Earth were actually visible from space, as captured in the photograph above. At the time, three people were not on Earth: Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin and Vladimir Dezhurov, and American Frank Culbertson making Culbertson the only American not on Earth during the 9/11 attacks.

Read more »

I hate it when scientists cherry pick data to prove a political point

1970 (left), and 2017 (right). Photo: NASA/USGS Landsat

NASA tells us we’re in trouble

In an incredible new visual, deterioration of our glaciers over the past 47 years can be seen.

Since 1890, the glaciers have been retreating, with only short periods of small advances, NASA said.

“The differences between 1990 (Landsat image from January 12) and 2017 (ASTER image from January 29) can be seen in the pair of images, that include the Mueller, Hooker and Tasman Glaciers, NASA wrote on its website.

“Notice the larger terminal lakes, the retreat of the ice free of moraine cover, and the higher moraine walls due to ice thinning. The images cover an area of 39 by 46 km, and are located at 43.7 degrees south, 170 degrees east.

“These images show Mueller, Hooker and Tasman glaciers on New Zealand’s South Island in January 1990 (left) and January 2017 (right). The 2017 image shows less snow cover (white to light gray) and larger lakes at the glaciers’ termini (blue).”

So the question is, why compare with 1970?

This, which Whaleoil highlighted at the time, is New Zealand research by New Zealand scientists. ? Read more »

Photo of the Day

John Glenn was the first US man to orbit the Earth as part of Project Mercury. Project Mercury sent six spacecraft into orbit from 1961 to 1963 each performing onboard experiments, staying out in orbit just a bit longer, and testing the entire Mercury Space Flight Network (MSFN). Photo NASA

Rocket Man

First American to Orbit the Earth

Former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn died aged 95, Dec. 8, 2016, at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

In 1959, NASA selected its first group of astronauts, the ?Mercury Seven.? They were called this because the seven men would fly on the Mercury spacecraft.

In many ways, John Glenn ? who eventually became the oldest person to fly in space ? defined what it meant to be an astronaut in the early days of NASA.

?If there is one thing I?ve learned in my years on this planet, it?s that the happiest and most fulfilled people I?ve known are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self interest,” Glenn said in 1997.

John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit Earth.?Glenn circled the globe three times in 4 hours and 56 minutes? during his Friendship 7 mission, which launched on Feb. 20, 1962,?at speeds of more than 17,000 mph.

The achievement came 10 months after Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and made one full orbit around Earth (April 12, 1961) and nine months after Alan Shepard became the first American in space (May 5, 1961), followed by Gus Grissom (July 21, 1961). Thus, his mission was a critical step in the American mission to win the Cold War in space by fulfilling President John F. Kennedy, Jr.?s commitment to ?achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.?

A record-setting aviator even before he joined NASA, Glenn exemplified the ‘all-American boy’ image that NASA ??and the nation ? wanted for its first astronauts. Glenn was often described as humble and somewhat shy about his status as an American hero, but other astronauts have always been quick to sing his praises. Read more »

Not just the swamp, Trump sets about draining the troughs as well

Donald Trump has signalled an end to the climate change fraud emanating from NASA. He’s going to strip their funding and tell them to stick to their knitting.

Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on ?politicized science?, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

Nasa?s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

This would mean the elimination of Nasa?s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. Nasa?s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division?s budget set to grow to $2bn next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8bn in 2017.

Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as ?politically correct environmental monitoring?.

?We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,? Walker told the Guardian. ?Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.

?My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump?s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.?

Read more »

Photo of the Day

Digitally manipulated photo.

Digitally manipulated photo.

Project A119

U.S. Had Secret Plan to Nuke Moon During Cold War

The U.S. considered detonating an atomic bomb on the moon in an effort to intimidate the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War

During 1958 and 1959 the US Air Force studied project A119 which called for the explosion of a nuclear weapon on the surface of the Moon. This project remained secret until 2000, when Leonard Reiffel, a former scientist of the Illinois Institute of Technology revealed its existence.

It may sound like a plot straight out of a science fiction novel, but a U.S. mission to blow up the moon with a nuke was very real in the 1950s. At the height of the space race, the U.S. considered detonating an atom bomb on the moon as a display of America’s Cold War muscle. The secret project, innocuously titled ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ and nicknamed ‘Project A119,’ was never carried out.

In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into low earth orbit. It was the planet?s first artificial satellite?and much to the apprehension of the Pentagon and U.S. policymakers, it belonged to the Russians?. The Space Race had begun and America was losing.

The decades that followed were a parade of Cold War paranoia, technological innovation and bizarre military strategies. Both the East and West wanted to make sure the world knew who was the top superpower. But how?

Being the first to the moon was the top prize. In the early days of the Space Race, both countries thought the best way to prove they?d been to the moon was to nuke it.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day


Margaret Hamilton

The Woman Who Put The Man on the Moon

The volumes were filled with handwritten code for NASA, the very same code that was responsible for safely landing people on the moon.

Neil Armstrong might not have taken his moon walk on July 20, 1969 were it not for a former high school teacher named Margaret Hamilton.

Three minutes before the Apollo 11 lunar lander Eagle reached the surface of the moon, computer alarms went off. The landing would have been aborted had Hamilton not anticipated the problem and created software to solve it.

Margaret Heafiled Hamilton; was 33 when she wrote the code for NASA in 1969. At the time, she was also the Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. NASA, anxious to win the space race, called on her to create ?the onboard flight software needed to land on the moon.? She was selected as team leader and tasked with making the Apollo missions successful.

This wasn?t just a cool job placement for a woman. In 1969, Software Engineering didn?t exist ? she actually coined the term while making it a reality. Hamilton raised the bar even higher by helping her team create ultra-reliable software. She developed priority displays that allowed the software to interrupt astronauts in an emergency so that ?they could reconfigure in real-time.? Hamilton debugged and tested every aspect of her work prior to assembly. Before signing off on the code, she ?simulated every conceivable situation at the systems level to identify potential problems.?

?There was no second chance. We all knew that,? Hamilton said. ?We took our work very seriously, but we were young, many of us in our 20s. Coming up with new ideas was an adventure. Dedication and commitment were a given. Mutual respect was across the board. Because software was a mystery, a black box, upper management gave us total freedom and trust. We had to find a way and we did. Looking back, we were the luckiest people in the world; there was no choice but to be pioneers; no time to be beginners.?

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Willie McCool Letter from space.

Astronaut Willie McCool?s letter from space just days before the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it returned to Earth, killing all seven crew members aboard.

16 Minutes From Home

As a Father, Husband, Runner, and Astronaut, Willie McCool seemed to Inspire Everyone Who Knew Him. Even at the End. And Even Now

December 2005

Most people know what happened. That a piece of foam broke off?Columbia?s external fuel tank and hit the shuttle?s left wing. That NASA officials on the ground gravely underestimated the severity of the damage. That, in fact, the damage caused the shuttle to burn and break into pieces in the skies over Texas, just 16 minutes before its scheduled landing on a clear, bright Saturday morning in February nearly three years ago. What everyone doesn?t know is something NASA investigators learned when they sifted through and analyzed the wrecked vessel on the ground.

Among the shuttle parts that investigators recovered was a damaged but intact piece of equipment called the R-2 instrument panel. When they unfolded it, they saw a series of switches that, according to NASA investigator Jon Clark, appeared to have been engaged and manipulated in the final minutes of the doomed astronauts? lives by the person in the shuttle?s right seat?the pilot. Although NASA?s official report is inconclusive, one theory is that the pilot was making adjustments and maneuvers even as?Columbia?was pitching and spinning toward Earth. That even when death was certainly imminent and known to the crew, Willie McCool was still trying to save the shuttle. Clark, whose wife, Laurel, died along with McCool and five others in the crash, says that what McCool did in those final moments ?was a big deal. A very big deal.?

The letter reads:

Read more »

And the Greens and other left-wing parties want this to all stop?

The planet is greening, literally, and you’ll never guess what is causing it.

Yep, that awful killer trace gas called carbon dioxide…the very same element the left-wing warmists tell us is killing us all.

But before we get started with the blame game…it is NASA who has released the data.

From a quarter to half of Earth?s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA?s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet?s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth. ? Read more »

Climate Experts are blaming their tools for lack of warming

Facing an accelerating implosion of faith in the anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) theory due in part to satellite data showing more than 18 years of no warming ? the great ?pause? or ?hiatus,? as some put it ? one of the satellite data sets has now been adjusted to show a slight increase in temperatures over the last two decades. Global-warming theorists on the government dole celebrated the news, speculating that it might herald the end of skepticism over their controversial theory and even what particularly rabid warmists refer to as ?climate denial.? However, experts and scientists warned climate alarmists to cool it ? especially because the ?adjusted? data is now significantly different than other, unmanipulated temperature data sets. There appear to be big problems with the adjustments, too, experts in satellite temperature data said.

The adjusted data set in question comes from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), satellites put into orbit by NASA but now overseen by chief RSS climate scientist Carl Mears in Santa Rosa, California. The new numbers, which were recently adjusted, purport to show about 0.125 degrees Celsius of warming every 10 years. That is radically more than the 0.078 Celsius per decade ? a statistically insignificant figure ? that the RSS data set showed before being ?adjusted.? The new numbers from RSS also show radically higher temperature increases than other satellite data, such as the numbers from the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s data set (UAH). Examining the alleged warming over the tropics, for example, the new adjusted RSS data shows a rate of warming almost five times larger than UAH data, analysts said.

Scientists at UAH, including Dr. Roy Spencer, former senior climate scientist at NASA, compared the new RSS results with the data collected by UAH satellites. In comments on his own website and at climate-focused outlets, Spencer said there had been ?spurious warming? added into the new RSS data ? a problem that UAH data does not have. He blamed the spurious warming in the adjusted RSS data set on the RSS scientists failing to correct for discrepancies between more accurate temperature data-gathering instruments and data gathered by older, poorly calibrated instruments that have drifted from their original orbit. ?I suspect Carl Mears [with RSS] grew tired of global warming ?denialists? using the RSS satellite data to demonstrate an 18-year ?pause,?? Spencer was quoted as saying by the Daily Caller. ?So, now that problem is solved.?

So let’s take stock.? Read more »


The science is settled?

We are told constantly that, with respect to Climate Change, the science is settled.

Yet, every time someone looks at that settled science we find lies, mistakes and obfuscation. The science is far from settled, especially when that science uses manipulated data.

A German professor has confirmed what skeptics from Britain to the US have long suspected: that NASA?s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has largely invented ?global warming??by tampering with the raw temperature data records.

Professor Dr. Friedrich Karl Ewert is a retired geologist and data computation expert. He has painstakingly examined and tabulated all?NASA GISS?s temperature data series, taken from 1153 stations and going back to 1881. His conclusion: that if you look at the raw data, as opposed to NASA?s revisions, you?ll find that?since 1940 the planet has been cooling, not warming.

According to G?nter Ederer, the German journalist who has reported on Ewert?s findings:

From the publicly available data, Ewert made an unbelievable discovery: Between the years 2010 and 2012 the data measured since 1881 were altered so that they showed a significant warming, especially after 1950. [?] A comparison of the data from 2010 with the data of 2012 shows that?NASA-GISS had altered its own datasets so that especially after WWII a clear warming appears ??although it never existed. ? Read more »