Discover Magazine: A Peek at the Real Neil Armstrong. “‘First Man’ gave us a look at a side of Neil Armstrong we don’t see too often, focusing on the family side of his life over the science element, but even that only gave us a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes home and family life of the notoriously stoic first man on the Moon. Now, the brand new Armstrong-Engel Family Gallery has published personal, never-before-seen images of Neil and his family beginning in 1955 during his Edwards days gong all the way to 1969 and the Moon landing.”
The Verge: NASA lost a rover and other space artifacts due to sloppy management, report says. “Thanks to improper management, NASA has lost a wide array of historical spaceflight memorabilia over the last few decades — such as an old lunar soil bag, former spaceflight hand controllers, and even a test lunar rover. That’s according to a new report out today from NASA’s Office of the Inspector General, which analyzed how the space agency oversees its historical assets. While procedures have improved at NASA, a few unique pieces of storied spaceflight property have either been misplaced or taken by ex-employees.”
NASA: NASA, University of Texas at Dallas Reveal Apollo 11 Behind-the-Scenes Audio. “NASA’s Johnson Space Center has the only functional remaining tape recorder capable of playing those approximately 170 remaining tapes. But the time and effort of converting them to current digital formats was daunting, and required the tape deck to be modified from being able to handle two-channels at a time to handle the 30 channels on the historic tapes. But through a collaborative effort with The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas), the conversion finally has been completed, and the unique perspective of those at the core of supporting humankind’s ‘giant leap’ is available to download and listen to all 19,000 hours of audio recordings.” This is an incredible achievement. I posted in December about what it took behind the scenes to get this digitizing done.
PRNewswire: NASA Debuts Online Toolkit to Promote Commercial Use of Satellite Data (PRESS RELEASE). “While NASA’s policy of free and open remote-sensing data has long benefited the scientific community, other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, it has significant untapped potential for commercialization. NASA’s Technology Transfer program has created an online resource to promote commercial use of this data and the software tools needed to work with it. With the Remote Sensing Toolkit, users will now be able to find, analyze and utilize the most relevant data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The toolkit provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit will help users search for data, as well as ready-to-use tools and code to build new tools.”
NASA: Can NASA help predict fires? New database includes fire danger forecasts. “NASA researchers recently created a model that analyzes various weather factors that lead to the formation and spread of fires. The Global Fire Weather Database (GFWED) accounts for local winds, temperatures, and humidity, while also being the first fire prediction model to include satellite–based precipitation measurements. Predicting the intensity of fires is important because smoke can affect air quality and increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
Emory University: Preserving the Apollo 15 Flight Data Logs. “In 2017, Emory University took the unique opportunity to create a digital learning hub centering around the Apollo Space Program. Emory Library and Information Technology Services borrowed materials from the 1971 Apollo 15 mission (NASA’s fourth manned mission to the moon) to use in creating an interactive website featuring the digital archives from the mission.”
New York Times: Asteroids and Adversaries: Challenging What NASA Knows About Space Rocks. “For the last couple of years, Nathan P. Myhrvold, a former chief technologist at Microsoft with a physics doctorate from Princeton, has roiled the small, congenial community of asteroid scientists by saying they know less than they think about these near-Earth objects. He argues that a trove of data from NASA they rely on is flawed and unreliable.”