Thursday, January 24, 2013

'When we blew up Arizona to simulate the Moon'

The first round alone required 141.75 kg of dynamite and 6120 kg of fertilizer mixed with fuel oil. Archive photograph [NASA/USGS].
Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley
The Atlantic

In the late 1960s, NASA created an off-world analogue with dynamite and fertilizer bombs outside Flagstaff, Arizona, so that astronauts could train for the Apollo missions.

Thanks to a well-timed tip from landscape blogger Alex Trevi of Pruned, Venue made a detour on our exit out of Flagstaff, Arizona, to visit the old black cinder fields of an extinct volcano--where, incredibly, NASA and its Apollo astronauts once practiced their, at the time, forthcoming landing on the moon.

The straight-forwardly named Cinder Lake, just a short car ride north by northeast from downtown Flagstaff, is what NASA describes as a lunar analogue: a simulated off-world landscape used to test key pieces of gear and equipment, including hand tools, scientific instruments, and wheeled rovers.

Apollo 15 Jim Irwin and Dave Scott of Apollo 15 train in experimental vehicle "Grover" [NASA/USGS].
As Northern Arizona University explains, NASA's Astrogeology Research Program "started in 1963 when USGS and NASA scientists transformed the northern Arizona landscape into a re-creation of the Moon. They blasted hundreds of different-sized craters in the earth to form the Cinder Lake crater field, creating an ideal training ground for astronauts."

Read the full and copiously illustrated article HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL. I spent months going through NASA's archives closely examining hundreds of Moon photos with three different software (1 digital forensic). It would be an understatement to say I said I didn't find anything interesting. On the contrary I found so many interesting things.

So many tennis shoe prints, dog prints, wooden ladder, cameras, stage lighting, ceiling lights, metal pipes, warehouse lights, a ton of people, peoples shadows and even 2 German Shepard's (1 sleeping) and so much more. But I have to say, aside from using the same background hills with different foregrounds and the Impossible ever changing positions & sizes of the fake sun/studio lights, I have to say, my favorite has to be the Lander constantly moving & disappearing.

10 to 20 photos it's there and the next 10 to 20 it vanishes. 10 to 30 later it reappears somewhere else. Gets closer. Than further. It's just so absolutely ridiculous that I'm completely stumped how such sloppiness was able to fool millions of people.

Seriously... I can't believe people really watched that whole film and never noticed the wandering spotlights. There's no question that every one of the missions were faked. The evidence can't be hid from anyone who really looks. smh.

My only question is why? I don't get the reason for lying. I mean I get the childish need to win and feel superior to Russia. But at what cost? I thought NASA was supposed to be full of smart people. Wasn't there someone intelligent enough to say, "Hey, this might not be such a good idea because there's no telling how long we can lie for." Somebody had to be smart enough to know that eventually the truth would come out. Nobody will ever trust NASA again.