THE SOLUTION TO Weekly Challenge 5: Dr. Jeff’s Interplanetary Travel Agency

 Posted by DrJeff on August 7th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


Read Original Challenge HERE.


This post is a Dr. Jeff’s Weekly Challenge.


Nice to see you again! Now that you’re back from your interplanetary romp through the Solar System, let’s see those cool photographs you took for the Dr. Jeff’s Interplanetary Travel Agency tour brochure.


[Hmmm …. silence.] You there?? Earth to my contracted photographer, you seem to be processing all this a bit slowly. I suspect you’re suffering from ‘rocket lag’. It’s perfectly understandable after traveling over 10 billion miles and visiting 7 worlds. I don’t think any photographer has ever been this dedicated. You’re clearly worth more than I’m paying you. So take a load off, and first re-read Weekly Challenge 5 to get back up to speed.


And now the answers—

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An Apollo 11 Personal Story

 Posted by DrJeff on July 16th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog



This post is a Teachable Moment in the News.

Photo caption: Buzz Aldrin on the Moon. Photo by Neil Armstrong.


I think it was August 1998. I got a call from Gina Ross, the principal of Buzz Aldrin Elementary School in Reston, VA. Her teachers were about to return to school for the new academic year, and before the kids returned she wanted me to come and visit. My mission? To inspire her teaching staff with an inter-disciplinary talk on the nature of human exploration, what we as a species of explorers are capable of achieving when we put our minds to it, and that teachers and parents are the link that binds each generation to the next, allowing us personally and collectively to aspire to new heights.


The presentation was going well. They were with me, and I could see them getting energized for the new year. Midway through, I was telling them about how I was inspired to be a space explorer when I was just 11. It was one of those singular moments that changes us forever. I was watching a black and white television and on the screen were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking around … on the Moon! You just have to step back from that sentence and let it soak in.


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Weekly Challenge 5: Dr. Jeff’s Interplanetary Travel Agency

 Posted by DrJeff on July 13th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog



This post is a Dr. Jeff’s Weekly Challenge.


Photo caption: Photograph by Michael Collins in Apollo 11 command module Columbia, as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin return from the lunar surface in Eagle. With the exception of Michael Collins, the entire human race is in the picture. It happened almost exactly 40 years ago. Eagle blasted off from the surface at 1:54:00 pm EDT, July 21, 1969.


I decided to start a new business. I know space flight for us average folk is just around the corner. As a shrewd business person (hah) I recognize the market potential for interplanetary vacation travel. So I’m therefore happy to report that I’ve just established my new company—Dr. Jeff’s Interplanetary Travel Agency, LLC, and I need some help from you all in designing my marketing material. I’m thinking images of alien vistas is the way to really entice clients.


Last night I happened to look up at the Moon as it was rising above the trees (read why HERE) ,and I thought to myself “Wow! If I didn’t live on Earth, a picture of that would certainly make me want to visit Earth!”


So I started imagining the view from the surface of other worlds. In particular, I’m thinking of a tour package to moons of some of the planets, with stays at the Best Western Satellite Hotels, each located a comfortable distance from the regional spaceport. (Sorry, the Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels only wanted to build on the planets.)


I’m hiring you as my interplanetary photographer. I’d like you to travel to some moons and get me some cool pictures for my brochure. For each shot, I’d like something comparable to what I saw when I looked at the full Moon from Earth.


Here now the Challenge—


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SPECIAL POST: Where Were You During the Flight of Apollo 11? Remember and Share –

 Posted by DrJeff on June 26th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


Countdown to History
Ensure your system clock is correct for countdown accuracy.
Launch of Apollo 11, Cape Kennedy: T-minus

Touchdown at Tranquility Base: T-minus


A Footprint on Another World: T-minus




This post is a Teachable Moment in the News.

This is crossposted at the Huffington Post HERE.


We came in peace for all mankind

It was a moment that changed us. A moment that began a new chapter in the book of the human race. It was an achievement shared by all the peoples of the world … and in that moment—our differences were overwhelmed by the common bond of our humanity. And hear ye future generations—it was a testament to what we are collectively capable of achieving when we aim beyond the horizon.


Many of you reading this lived through it and were powerfully moved. Many of you were not yet born—but yearn to know what it was like.


I created this special post as a place where those that lived it could share the experience with those that did not.


If you were moved 40 years ago next month, please leave a comment below. Think about where you were, what it meant to you, and what it meant to the world. And we warmly invite you to put your thoughts to ‘paper’ here.


I’ll start it off with my own very personal experience in the recent post: The Launch of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Brought Back Memories of Apollo 11.


I have also assembled a list of resources below to help you celebrate with friends and family, and follow the flight—in real time—as it happened 40 years ago. I’ll be adding more to the list every few days.


With best wishes for great memories and wonderful sharing time,

Jeff Goldstein, Center Director, NCESSE



Please Tweet and Email the existence of this page far and wide, so we can remember together.

Return often to read new comments below with friends and family.



Feel the magic and the majesty—again.




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Yesterday’s Launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Brings Back Memories of Apollo 11

 Posted by DrJeff on June 19th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog



Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, is about to become the second human being to walk on the Moon. This picture was taken by Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, July 20, 1969.

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, is about to become the second human being to walk on the Moon. This picture was taken by Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander, July 20, 1969.

This post is a Teachable Moment in the News.

This is crossposted at the Huffington Post HERE.

Yesterday (Thursday, June 18) the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and will reach the Moon next Tuesday, June 23. LRO is a robotic mission that will pave the way for humans to return to the lunar surface. It’s also a timely teachable moment in the news for another reason—


July 20th is coming. I’m waiting for the emotions to wash over me again. It will be the 40th anniversary of the first human footprints on another world, and I lived it.


I remember it so vividly. It was July 16, 1969. At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Apollo 11—a rocket as tall as a 36-story building—blasted off with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins aboard. The command module Columbia—with barely enough room for the three crew seats—was their home for the 3-day trip to the Moon, and by July 19th they were in orbit.


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