Thursday, November 13, 2008

National Geographic Channel's "Direct From The Moon"and Phoenix Lander Recieves An Award

Get some more popcorn, the National Geographic Channel has another great space show lined up for us. As part of their first annual expedition week, "Direct From The Moon" will be broadcast in the U.S. this coming Monday November 17 at 9:00 pm EST, Canadian dates to follow.

Watch in High Definition, a beautiful Earth Rise and other Lunar images sent back to us from the Moon by JAXA's Kaguya spacecraft as Buzz Aldrin, second Man on the Moon gives his thoughts, very cool. You'll also hear from NASA scientists about the current goings on with respect to returning and setting up a permanent Moon Base as well as the challenges and the innovative technologies that will almost certainly arise as we reach for the Moon once again. Excellent program, one you won't want to miss.

Looks like the Phoenix is done for, with the onslaught of the Martian winter and dust storms the lander is not getting enough Sunlight to charge batteries required to operate Phoenix's scientific equipment.

Having said that the mission has been very successful, the textbook rocket landing, confirming the presence of ice water, returning more than 25,000 images, analysing Martian soil, recording and analysing weather conditions, filming and documenting the first ever snowfall on an alien planet, you done well Phoenix!! Also the Phoenix Lander has just been awarded in the space and aviation category, Popular Science Magazine's the "Best Of What's New Award". Mark Jannot editor and chief of the magazine stated, "For 21 years, Popular Science's Best Of What's New Awards honor the innovations that make a positive impact on life today and change our views of the future."

What's next? Well how bout a honking huge Mars Science Laboratory Rover, almost like the Phoenix Lander on wheels. A third generation Rover about the size of a small SUV. The image above shows the 3 generations of rovers, wow notice the size difference from my favorite rover guy, Sojourner Mars Rover to the white "I'll kick your Butt if you get In my Way Mars Science Laboratory", geez I think I even see laser turrets on it, take that you alien martian aliens!

This large Rover will carry more scientific instruments, travel the furthest and sample the most Martian rock and soil then any previous spacecraft, all in the quest for life past or present on Mars and to help future Mars colonists. Tentative launch date is October 2009, with it's landing on Mars slated for September 2010.

I'll leave you now with a preview clip of National Geographic Channel's "Direct From The Moon"


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

OOOH, I loooove earth rises!!! How SPECTACULAR!!! I wish Santa Claus would bring cable TV to my area. I'm missing out on all the TV fun but thanks to you, Bob, I see the highlights. :D

How sad Phoenix is done for. I think of it as part of the family, hearing great things about it all the time. Sigh!

The new Rover does have punch. WOOT!!! Can't wait for the Mars images.

Bob, you are a blessing to us all. Thanks for being you. :D

I've seen my book cover. :D I'll post it when I receive the thumbs up. This is happening!!!

Hugs, JJ

Mike said...

Thanks for letting us know. I wrote down the date. Should be a fun show.

Sherer said...

Master of the Universe,

Very nice post here, I really want to check out that show - for some reason I feel we all have a facination with the moon that cannot be explained.

Also the new season of "The Universe" started up on tuesday (HISTORY CHANNEL) Great program - I am sure you are a viewer. The opener was rather boring though I have to say.


Swubird said...


I'll definitely keep my eyeballs peeled for the Moon show on National Geographic.

As to the Phoenix, maybe there's more life still left in the old gal. Wouldn't it be cool if a strong winter wind completely cleaned off the solar panels? Wouldn't that be something? Next year Phoenix would answer the phone and we'd be back in business. Fingers crossed on that one.

Look at that huge Martian Rover! What a Goliath. It's just amazing that we can get such huge payloads as far as Mars. I remember when I was in about the sixth grade. I read a news paper article that said that it was possible for us to shoot a beer-can sized payload to the moon using a gigantic three-stage rocket. That was in the mid 1950's. I thought that was so cool. Now we can send several tons into orbit. Who'd have ever guessed?

Great post.

Happy stargazing.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, to bad for you and cable, but I would trade it for your beautiful country, maybe one day yet.

Let me know about your book cover and your book you know I want to buy a copy, congrats again JJ!!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Mike thanks for dropping by, you'll like the show for sure.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse and thanks for the heads up, I have all the DVD's of The Universe so far, great show, too bad about the opener, Hey I sent off your winning 3D glasses, let me know when they arrive.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Never say never swubird, everyone has their fingers crossed, wouldn't that be something if she awoke in the spring, they build them real good at NASA, we shall see.

For sure, our rocket tech is getting better but alas it does have it's limitations, Solar Sails seem to be the buzz word lately, I will be doing some posts on them, they are really quite remarkable.\m/\m/

zsygab said...

bob, just a personal question: can we believe in these videos (Armstrong on the moon), or is there really the possibility for them to be fake? I'm curious about your thoughts...

Ruth said...

I'm bummed we don't have the Nat'l Geo channel. :(

To answer you, I did draw that little cartoon. I'm gonna try to do more. Long overdue. Thanks for asking.

Hey, Don and I watched the spotlight of a full moon night before last from our hot tub and talked about you. :)

Anonymous said...

I have one of those early pictures of 'Earth rise' I adore it. It always reminds me of our place in the Universe - and how beautiful and vulnerable our little blue planet is.

Julie (VV) said...

Nat Geo really does do some fascinating stuff. MIL has it; always impressed by their clips!

Julie (VV) said...

ps, Bob - the emoticons come up come up when I click comment, but also the first time I click your link (in cache after that?). Cheers.

Bob Johnson said...

Great question zsygab, I really believe we sent and landed men on the Moon and I am a huge conspiracy nut,lol.

With the 100's of thousand people involved in the Apollo missions it would be impossible to keep a fake landing on the Moon a secret, let alone the thousands of pictures, actual Moon rock studied by thousands of scientists around the world and all the data sent back to us from the Moon backing the project up.

Just ask yourself the question if it were a conspiracy why would they repeat the landing on the Moon 6 times and increase the risk of mistakes and blowing the conspiracy, doesn't make any sense.

Unfortunately there will always be people that will never believe it until they actually land on the Moon themselves.

Bob Johnson said...

Again too bad for you guys Ruth, up in Canada we get it but we usually get the space shows quite a bit later.

That drawing was super, I admire people that can draw freehand like that, my wife is good at that kind of stuff, I do stick people,lol.

Gee thanks for thinking of me, love being associated with the Moon. it's like hanging out in school with a cool person when you're not, I did a lot of that in school, guilt by association,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, so true healingstones, NASA just did some fantastic early Moon rise restorations, should check it out, link below.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Julie, I love the NGC, I wish I got the American feed, for some reason the Canadian feed is not into space, must be something to do with the Canadian Government's regulations on Canadian content, the History channel is the same way, they have all kinds of space shows like "The Universe", Einstein ect. but not in Canada, which sucks the big one. And thanks Julie I will look into a comment fix.

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob!

Interestingly I am using the same video in a coming article! LOL (Really)

I have contacted NASA and offered to go to Mars with my feather duster to help clean up our little Phoenix…..

We recently watched our Roving Mars DVD with our 6 year old nephew and did he ever cry when they explained how the Rovers would “die all alone” on Mars….

….so perhaps a bit of my feather duster could help resuscitate our Phoenix friend…but I am not wearing a French maid outfit…. :)

It they send me up in my Honda Fit it will be much better on fuel and the environment than a rover the “size of a small SUV” :)

Ahhh those “alien martian aliens”….hang on Bob on Mars we are the aliens!

Excellent update Bob…..

…please excuse me for a moment…..

…“Hal open the pod bay doors”….

Will said...

I was just reading about the Phoenix this week. Even though nothing has been heard from it in a while, it does seem that the opinion is that it was a very successful mission. Thanks for the heads up on the show Monday.

I just watched the movie The Astronaut Farmer last night. Quirky, but quite fun. Unrealistic, I think, but I would recommend it.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword and cool about the video, have to keep my eye out for it on your blog.

I know I'll feel the same way when the little rovers die, they have become such a big part of our lives, hard not to get attached to them.

Lol, I was referring to the actual aliens that have set up base on Mars for their eventual invasion of Earth,lol.

Thanks as always for dropping by livingsword.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

No problem Will, I loved that show, always great to watch a show where the dreams of a dreamer come true, I like happy endings.\m/\m/

kml said...

I have always loved that image of the earth from the moon. Really wish we got the NG channel.

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob!

I’ll be posting the video on Tuesday the 25th and would love to get your comment on it..

…But till then…

…tag you are it!

Here is the tag or just visit Life on the Blade….

Priyank said...

I cant see any in India :( Bob I depend on you totally for anything new happening up there!

Bob Johnson said...

Too bad for you Kathy, it was really good.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi livingsword, I'll be over Tuesday.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

No problem priyank.\m/\m/

Max said...

Hi Lord of the Astropics!

I am so excited about "We are going back to the Moon...this stay!" I loved the new station - this will be great to witness!

Now, I hope that by 2020 they have better ships to take the astronauts there...(I know they are working on this already).

This being said, I adored the video, Bob - thank you so much! I swear my mouth was wide open, as I watched it (you will end up by doing what LS can't: convert me to scifi...but Shhhhh...don't tell him LOL)!

Earth rise...what can I say: it's gorgeous!!

Oh, Lord of the Astropics, thank you so much for this amazing experience *bowing*!

By the way, Phoenix did a wonderful job; but now we are ready to the next generation :)!

Wishing you a superb week...


Marvin the Martian said...

Ooh, very cool, I will set the Tivo! Thanks!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol max, don't worry I won't tell. Hopefully the space budgets don't get cut so we can go back to the Moon, the biggest stumbling block so far seems to be the launch vehicle, but they will work it out, they always do.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey no problem marvin.\m/\m/

NiteSkyGirl said...

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