Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Once upon a time, bombing the Moon was a good idea!

Looking toward the south in 2007, Japan's Kaguya HDTV camera captured the target for the NASA JPL 1965 impact of Ranger 9. Even after high reduction of 70 kilometer-wide Ptolemaeus and its familiar contextual near side landscape in this 400 pixel column this still image is glorious [JAXA/NHK/SELENE].

("It seemed the whole world was watching these slow-scan images render on our black and white televisions. Of course, it's possible I remember it so well because the impact happened on my eighth birthday, though more likely it was my father being awestruck, that we were still watching the last very close-up pictures of the interior of Alphonsus after the impact had happened." - Joel Raupe)

Keith Cowing

"Last week LCROSS slammed into the Moon. Subsequent analyses showed that a large plume of debris was thrown up and that NASA captured a significant amount of data. Yet the public saw something very different: a mission that was designed to "bomb the Moon" and produce a pretty explosion - live for all to see. Well, no one watching could see anything close to what NASA had predicted. Clearly, NASA failed to explain the value of LCROSS to the public and over-hyped the anticipated visuals. That said, there was once a time when people understood what NASA did. Maybe the NASA of today should stop to look back at how it was once relevant. Oh yes: you may have heard of something hot and sexy called "participatory exploration" as it relates to new ways for NASA to engage the public. Well, guess what: NASA totally understood the concept back in 1967.

Read on, HERE.

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