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  • Jeff Marker

    husband, dad, teacher, filmmaker, writer, film geek, musician, DIYer, vegetarian, Bulldog, Buckeye, Nighthawk

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Juno’s Stunning Video of Jupiter

NASA‘s Juno spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral on August 5, 2011, and my family was there to see it! It was a memorable vacation. We explored the amazing Kennedy Space Center and fulfilled our collective dream of seeing a NASA launch. (I blogged about it back in 2012.) We thus have felt invested in the Juno mission for all the years it’s been in flight, even though not much has happened during most of the past five-ish years. But now things are getting exciting! Take a look at the beautiful video NASA cut together from the thousands of still images Juno has captured.

I think watching Jupiter’s largest moons in orbit is lovely. It’s also quite a technical accomplishment. Each still image is actually a composite of separate red, green, and blue images. Juno captured an image every 15 minutes over a 17-day period, for a total of 1,300 images. All that just to make this little animated sequence. NASA is making all 1,300 images available for anyone to download, too. Then in August we’re supposed to get more sophisticated images from Juno.

It’s silly, I know, but we feel like we’ve participated in this great adventure. Can’t wait to see what Juno sends next.


Kennedy Space Center Trip

Last summer we took a family vacation to the Kennedy Space Center, and I’ve been meaning to post pics ever since. It was a GREAT vacation. We toured the whole place, of course. The launch pads were quite spectacular, and it was magical to be there for a launch – something my wife, son, and I had always wanted to do. But the Apollo/Saturn V Center left probably the biggest impression on me. They have a full-scale Saturn V hanging from the ceiling, after all. These were the spacecraft that first captured my imagination when I was a kid, and they still have the greatest impact. Here are some of the pics we took of that part of KSC. These are all from a phone (didn’t fully charge the camera batteries before that day).

NASA Legos – My Christmas List Is Set

Lego will soon be selling a series of NASA sets, including a space shuttle, a space station, an alien abduction set, and I assume some of the current generation NASA rockets and vehicles.

Here’s the story from Tech News Daily

Lego = awesome. NASA = used to be awesome. This is the most transparent of attempts by NASA to restore some enthusiasm and support for an agency that is now used more to test Toyota brake systems and provide weather data than to explore space. And even though the Space Shuttle is dear to me as someone who grew up with that program, it’s telling that Lego had to delve into the past to find something NASA-themed that might sell. After all, is there even a space vehicle that symbolizes the current identity of NASA? Not when all the programs have been put on hold or canceled altogether.

Also telling is that they felt the need to include aliens in these sets. NASA’s reality isn’t exciting enough, so bring on the little green men.

Despite all that, it’s still Lego and space, which I never get tired of. And I’m trying to remain supportive and patient while waiting for the budget-slashers to remember that space exploration is important. So yes, I’ll probably buy them either for my son or for myself. Besides, they got Nichelle Nichols to attend the launch!

Here’s a link to the official Lego site for the NASA series

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