Arizona State University: Create your own planetary adventure with ASU’s new 3D terrain app. “… the Mars Space Flight Facility teamed up recently with Assistant Professor Robert LiKamWa and graduate student Lauren Gold of the Meteor Studio in ASU’s School of Arts Media and Engineering to launch a new smartphone app called JMARS AR Viewer. In developing the app, they were assisted by ASU undergraduates Hannah Bartolomea and Shaun Xiong, and Hamilton High School student Alexander Gonzalez. Downloadable for free from the Apple and Android stores, the JMARS AR Viewer allows users to virtually project planetary terrains from Mars, Mercury, Earth and the moon onto their physical environment.”
Emulsive: One Giant Leap… Remastering High-resolution Images Of NASA’s Race To The Moon. “Historically, most of the photographs presented in the media have been based on decades-old, low-resolution scans/digitisation. This has been remedied somewhat by efforts to create high-resolution scans of the negatives, although many of the ~35,000 frames from NASA’s Apollo archive at the Johnson Space Center still need work to bring out the detail we all know is stored in those amazing Kodak negatives and slides. This is where Andy Saunders comes in. Over the past few years, Andy has worked tirelessly to remaster both high- and low-resolution scans from NASA’s archive, bringing many 16mm, 35mm and 70mm slides and negatives from the Apollo missions into sharp relief for the first time.” The article called Mr. Saunders’ work “astounding” and that ain’t the half of it.
The Verge: I climbed onto my roof for this Pearl Jam app. “There is only one man who could get me to soberly climb onto my building’s rooftop for a gimmicky artificial reality app in the middle of February, and his name is Eddie Vedder, the frontman of ‘90s Seattle grunge group Pearl Jam. On Thursday, Pearl Jam rolled out a snippet of a new song entitled ‘Superblood Wolfmoon’ that you can only listen to by pointing your phone at the Moon.”
Ars Technica: China’s lander releases data, high-resolution images of the Moon. “A little more than one year ago, China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft landed on the far side of the Moon. In doing so, it became the first-ever vehicle to make a soft landing on the side of the Moon facing away from Earth. To mark the one-year anniversary, China released a batch of scientific data and images captured by five scientific payloads aboard the 1.2-ton spacecraft and its small Yutu 2 rover.”
TechCrunch: NASA shares 3D Moon data for CG artists and creators. “If you want to set your movie or game on the Moon, it’s not hard to find imagery of our photogenic satellite. But NASA has just released a useful and beautiful new set of data just for creators that includes not just imagery but depth data, making it simple to build an incredibly detailed 3D map of the Moon.”
Poynter: Would you please help fact-checkers fight those never-ending moon hoaxes?. “Around the world, fact-checkers are popularly known for their work fighting political misinformation. But for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, many of them have prepared lists of moon-related debunks you just can’t miss. Now it’s your turn to check out the work of some of the International Fact-Checking Network’s verified signatories, and make sure that the information you’re consuming and spreading about the moon isn’t too out of this world.”
Collect Space: New website replays Apollo 11 first moon landing mission in real time. “With a single click, a new website can take you back 50 years and place you directly into the real-time action of the first moon landing mission. But if ‘Apollo 11 in Real Time’ creator Ben Feist has gotten it right, you will want to click many more times than just once.”
Universities Space Research Association: The LPI’s Lunar South Pole Atlas — A New Online Reference for Mission Planners. “The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), managed by Universities Space Research Association (USRA), has compiled and made available an atlas of the Moon’s south pole… Given NASA’s recent direction to implement Space Policy Directive-1 landing astronauts at the south pole by 2024, the LPI has compiled a series of maps, images, and illustrations designed to provide context and reference for those interested in exploring this area.”
Collect Space: Apollo Press Kits website showcases moon landing media guides. ” A new online archive is showcasing the original guides to the historic Apollo 11 moon landing mission: 50-year-old press kits. [The site], curated by David Meerman Scott, offers free access to high-quality scans of more than three dozen company, contractor and government-prepared press kits that documented the diverse aspects of the historic 1969 lunar expedition. “
The Verge: This nonprofit plans to send millions of Wikipedia pages to the Moon — printed on tiny metal sheets. “A nonprofit with grand ambitions of setting up a library on the Moon is planning to send the entire English archive of Wikipedia to the lunar surface sometime within the next couple of years. Don’t worry: there won’t be reams of Wikipedia printouts sitting in the lunar soil. Instead, the organization says it will send up millions of Wikipedia articles in the form of miniaturized prints, etched into tiny sheets of metal that are thinner than the average human hair. The nonprofit claims that with this method, it can send up millions of pages of text in a package that’s about the size of a CD.”
Fortune: How to Livestream the Super Blue Blood Moon on Wednesday. “The Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse is set to happen on January 31st. According to Space.com, the eclipse should be visible in-person by people in California, western Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, and eastern Asia, weather permitting. However, if you live somewhere else, catching the eclipse in action might be a bit more challenging.”
New Scientist: Google-sponsored private moon race delayed for the fourth time. “The deadline for the Google Lunar X Prize has been pushed backed once again, from the end of 2017 to 31 March 2018. The prize offers $30 million to the first privately-funded venture that puts a spacecraft on the moon. In order to win the money, competitors’ rovers will have to explore at least 500 metres of the moon’s surface and send back high-definition images and video. However, this new deadline came with additional ‘milestone prizes’ which will let the companies win some money even if they are not entirely successful.”
The Guardian: Hopping rockets and flying washing machines in Google’s wacky race to moon. “By the end of the year, space engineers hope to fulfil one of their greatest dreams. They plan to land a privately funded probe on the moon and send a small robot craft trundling over the lunar surface. If they succeed they will open up the exploitation of the moon for mining and ultimately human colonisation – and earn $20m prize money as winners of the Google Lunar XPrize.”
Hey! There’s a total solar eclipse today! And it’s gonna be webcast! “The online Slooh Community Observatory will host a live webcast between 6 and 9 p.m. EST (2300 and 2600 GMT) to watch the eclipse from Indonesia and “several other locations” along the eclipse path, which can be joined at Slooh.com; the period of totality (total eclipse) will take place between 8:38 and 8:42 p.m. The webcast will also visible at Space.com, courtesy of Slooh.”
A gentleman named Ben Feist has created an online archive dedicated to the Apollo 17 mission. “He combined more than 300 hours of audio, 22 hours of video and more than 4,000 photos, to create a minute-by-minute archive of the mission. He also published a blog explaining the process.” Terrific work.