Tag: moon landing

The Next Space-Going Superpower: The Isle of Man?

By Joseph Calamia | September 7, 2010 5:29 pm

rushden-menTop contenders for the next manned moon landing: the United States, Russia, China, India, and… the Isle of Man.

Sure, the island found between Ireland and the United Kingdom is only three times the size of Washington, DC, but according to the consulting company ASCEND , it’s fifth in the line-up of most likely nations to make a moon landing between 2018 and 2020. They give Mann 50-1 odds that it will make it, coming in after India with 33-1 odds, and before the United Kingdom at 300 to 1 and Iran at 1,000 to 1. If I owned a consulting company, I’m not sure I’d publicize that prediction, but ASCEND’s seemingly tongue-in-cheek newsletter (pdf) has this to say:

A surprising choice this one but the tax haven island has firms with a commercial interests in manned lunar flyby flights using Russian hardware.

A British Crown dependency, Mann is technically separate from the United Kingdom. Though the island’s space aspirations might not be grabbing major headlines, it is branding itself as the “Space Isle.” As host of October’s Google Lunar X Prize Summit scheduled during the United Nations-declared World Space Week, it will hold a star gazing event in the 13th century Castle Rushen in Castletown.

The triskelion flag would certainly look handsome planted in lunar ground. If only I knew how to say “one small step” in Manx Gaelic….

Related content:
Discoblog: Buzz Aldrin Explains: How to Take a Whiz on the Moon
Discoblog: California Lays Claim to Astronaut Garbage Left Behind on the Moon
Discoblog: The Space Debate: When Will NASA Astronauts Explore the Moon, Mars, and Beyond?
Discoblog: Make Room For Space Florists: First Plants to Be Grown on the Moon

Image: Wikipedia / Castle Rushen Portcullis Chamber / Manxruler

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Aliens Therefrom

Buzz Aldrin Explains: How to Take a Whiz on the Moon

By Joseph Calamia | June 25, 2010 2:47 pm

144832main_aldrin_bootprintCharged with writing to an astronaut, a five-year-old boy asked a burning question: How do you pee and poop in your astronaut suit?

In an interview with Buzz Aldrin just published in Vanity Fair, contributing reporter Eric Spitznagel finally got this answer:

“We were well skilled in the art of disposal waste. There was such a thing called a ‘blue bag,’ which was kind of messy. There was a stickum on it, and you could stick it around your posterior. For urinating we had an ego-buster, which was like a condom catheter. We were cautioned not to overestimate our size. (Laughs.) Because if the condom was too big, there might be a little leakage.”

The story continues: Aldrin describes in full detail what happens if you *do* have a little “leakage” (wiggle it out into a larger bag) and where astronauts flush those blue baggies. Aldrin tells Spitznagel about a newbie mistake of tossing the bags (during extra-vehicular activity) in a trajectory that brought them straight back at their capsule.

“We looked out the window and there were three bags in a row, heading straight for us.”

In case, Spitznagel isn’t the only one wondering about space crap, you should know that taking care of business has come a long way since blue bags. Astronauts potty train using simulators before their travels. The Space Shuttles and International Space Station both have air-flushing toilets, and the International Space Station recycles pee.

Related content:
Discoblog: California Lays Claim to Astronaut Garbage Left Behind on the Moon
Discoblog: Scientists Examine Underwear Astronaut Wore for a Month
Discoblog: Astronauts in Space Finally Enter the Intertubes
Discoblog: Yum! Silkworms Could Be the Next Astronaut Food
80beats: Strife on the Space Station: Russians Can’t Use the American Toilet

Image: NASA


California Lays Claim to Astronaut Garbage Left Behind on the Moon

By Smriti Rao | February 1, 2010 10:34 am

One astronaut’s trash is another state’s treasure. That’s the message from California as the Golden State officially registered a collection of 106 objects left behind on the moon by the Apollo 11 mission as a state historical resource. The collection encompasses about 5,000 pounds of objects, including the bottom stage of the lunar lander and the American flag planted on the moon’s surface by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

And it’s not just the tools and the flag–California has also claimed custody of bags of human waste left behind.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the logic behind the unusual decision:

The first landing on the moon by humans, on July 20, 1969, was “one of the most historical events in the last 100 to 200 years,” said Jay Correia, a historian with the Historical Resources Commission. California had a major role in developing the technology that made the trip to the moon possible.

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