Arizona State University Astronomy Open House

Arizona State University Astronomy Open House

Friday, March 25, 8-10 pm

Location: Bateman Physical Sciences Building H-wing Main Entrance (click here for a map of ASU showing the H- wing)

Free Parking (after 7pm): Tyler Street Parking Garage; From parking garage go West along University Dr sidewalk (toward campus) until you see signs leading you to the entrance. (click here for a map of ASU showing the location)

This Month’s Theme: STARS

  • Come see the winter sky! Take our Astronomy Quiz!
  • View exciting celestial objects through our telescopes!
  • Learn about rocks with the GEO Club!
  • Want to see a rock from Space? Stop by the meteorite table!
  • View our out-of-this-world poster display!
  • Have a question about the universe? Ask an Astronomer!
  • For information about the moon, stop by the LROC table!

Planetarium show: TBD

Talk: Stars in our Galaxy

Contact Information:

Star Comparison
Comparison of Star Size – Our Sun is the Smallest Dot and Antares is the Big Dude
Image Credit: ASU

ASU Astronomy Open House

This coming Friday, 3 December 2010 from 8 to 10 PM, the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration is hosting an Open House at the Bateman Physical Sciences Building. Use the Main Entrance at the H-wing.

There is free Parking (after 7pm) at the Tyler Street Parking Garage. From the parking garage, go East along University Dr sidewalk (toward campus) until you see signs leading you to the entrance.

This Month:

  • Come see the early winter sky! Take our Astronomy Quiz!
  • View exciting celestial objects through our telescopes!
  • Learn about rocks with the GEO Club!
  • Want to see a rock from Space? Stop by the meteorite table!
  • View our out-of-this-world poster display!
  • Have a question about the universe? Ask an Astronomer!

Contact Information:

1959 – Twelve Men On The Moon

Copernicus, Eratosthenes and Project Horizon
Image Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State University

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team recently released this image featuring the famous crater Copernicus with its ejecta splashed across much of the face of the Moon. Copernicus and the crater Eratosthenes lie just south of Mare Imbrium. To the east of Copernicus and south of Eratosthenes lies the nearly featureless plain called Sinus Aestuum. Here, just southeast of Eratosthenes lies the location of a proposed Moon Base. In addition to the scientific value of this area, the rich ores of the Rima Bode regional dark mantling deposit lie nearby.

On 20 March 1959, Arthur G. Trudeau, Chief of Research and Development for the U.S. Army, submitted a request for the study to place a lunar outpost on the Moon. The result was Project Horizon, a plan (dated 9 June 1959) to place a military base with 10-20 men on the surface of the Moon by 1965. Full details are in Vol. I and Vol. II (pdf).

The introduction to the proposal stated that the establishment of a lunar base would:

  • Demonstrate the United States scientific leadership in outer space
  • Support scientific explorations and investigations
  • Extend and improve space reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities and control of space
  • Extend and improve communications and serve as a communications relay station
  • Provide a basic and supporting research laboratory for space research and development activity
  • Develop a stable, low-gravity outpost for use as a launch site for deep space exploration
  • Provide an opportunity for scientific exploration and development of a space mapping and survey system
  • Provide an emergency staging area, rescue capability or navigational aid for other space activity

It further stated the following, prescient about the Soviet manned capability, but extremely optimistic about the timetable for the Moon Base:

Advances in propulsion, electronics, space medicine and other astronautical sciences are taking place at an explosive rate. As recently as 1949, the first penetration of space war accomplished by the US when a two-stage V-2 rocket reached the then unbelievable altitude of 250 miles. In 1957, the Soviet Union placed the first man-made satellite in orbit. Since early l958, when the first US earth satellite was launched, both the US and USSR have launched additional satellites, moon probes, and successfully recovered animals sent into space in missiles. In 1960, and thereafter, there will be other deep space probes by the US and the USSR, with the US planning to place the first man into space with a REDSTONE missile, followed in 1961 with the first man in orbit. However, the Soviets could very well place a man in space before we do. In addition, instrumented lunar landings probably will be accomplished by 1964 by both the United States and the USSR. As will be indicated in the technical discussions of this report, the first US manned lunar landing could be accomplished by 1965. Thus, it appears that the establishment of an outpost on the moon is a capability which can be accomplished.

Underlying all of this was the traditional von Braun team approach:

paramount to successful major systems design is a conservative approach which requires that no item be more “advanced” than required to do the job. It recognizes that an unsophisticated success is of vastly greater importance than a series of advanced and highly sophisticated failures that “almost worked. “

The proposal discusses the ongoing development of the Saturn I by ARPA, expecting it would be fully operational by 1963. The Saturn I stood more than 200 feet tall, and would be superseded by the Saturn II in 1964, standing 304 feet tall. By the end of 1964, a total of 72 Saturn I rockets would have been launched on various programs of discovery, including 40 to support the manned lunar base. In order to support the full complement of 12 men, 61 Saturn I and 88 Saturn II launches would be required by the end of 1966, landing 490,000 pounds of cargo on the lunar surface. 64 launches were scheduled for 1967, landing an additional 266,000 pounds of supplies. The total cost of the eight and one-half year program was estimated to be $6 Billion.

The von Braun team thought very large indeed.

Lunar Base
Project Horizon – Lunar Base 1965
Image Credit: US Army

Project Horizon – Rockets
Image Credit: US Army

Orbital Trajectories
Image Credit: US Army

Let us know what you think. What do you want to know about? Post a comment.

Image Credit: Astronauts4Hire
Astronauts4Hire wants to create the first pool of private astronauts to support the emerging suborbital research industry.

A commercial spaceflight revolution is underway. Within a few years, private companies will provide routine access to space. Besides wealthy tourists, scientists are among those poised to benefit since they can use the new spacecraft as platforms to perform research in microgravity. The demand for skilled commercial scientist-astronauts to aid in this new industry is growing rapidly. Astronauts4Hire wants to create the first pool of private astronauts to fill this need. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate that space is accessible by anyone and inspire the next generation to pursue careers in space.

From their website, we have the following related stories and sources:

Commercial Suborbital Science in the News:

More information:

Meet Astronaut Cady Coleman – 11 March 2010

Astronaut Cady Coleman
Astronaut Cady Coleman
Image Credit: NASA

Join American Astronaut Cady Coleman

for a discussion about

the “nuts and bolts” of Astronaut training

on Thursday, March 11 at 11 a.m.

in the Refectory, Honors Hall, Barrett Honors College Complex (7F)
Tempe Campus, Arizona State University

RSVPs are not required but are appreciated to


Dr. Coleman, a veteran of two space missions, has logged over 500 hours in space. “It’s a magical place,” said Dr. Coleman about outer space. “It’s very addictive.”

She is currently training for long duration flight on the International Space Station. She is assigned to the Expedition 26 crew and is scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan on the Russian Soyuz in late 2010. She will log more than 4,000 hours orbiting the Earth.

Reflecting on her intensive preparation for her upcoming mission, Dr. Coleman told CNN: “I think that an important part of a space mission is to share it with people around the world, and that includes sharing the training that leads up to the mission. It is easy to think that astronauts just wake up one day, throw on a space suit, climb into the nearest rocket and launch off into space. I’d like for you to understand some of the nuts and bolts of what it takes to get ready for a mission, and to know what it is like for me and my family on the personal front as well.”

In the meantime, follow Dr. Coleman on twitter (Astro_Cady). CNN is profiling Dr. Coleman’s training – you can read her blog.

See also Cady Coleman Returns. Dr. Coleman completed 157 days on the ISS as a member of Expedition 26.

NSS – Phoenix Chapter Meeting – 27 February 2010

The next meeting of the Phoenix Chapter of the National Space Society will be Saturday at 11:00 AM on Saturday, 27 February 2010, at the Noble Library, at the front/inside of the library (quadrant 5E on the map, on McCalister Mall, about two blocks west of the light rail station near Tyler St).

NSS – Phoenix Chapter Meeting – Saturday 24 October

The next meeting of the Phoenix Chapter of the National Space Society will be this coming Saturday at 11:00 AM at the Noble Library (quadrant 5E on the map, on McCalister Mall, about two blocks west of the light rail station near Tyler St).

It will be held in conjunction with the Earth and Space Exploration Day at ASU (10:00 AM – 4:00 PM).

The agenda will cover:

1. Welcome

2. More arrangements for Holiday Party. It will be either December 5th or 12th. It will be held at Dave Fischer’s house. We need the physical directions and map to Dave’s house. The time will be from 5pm-?. Veronica Ann is collecting names and what people are bringing. Please email her at: with your RSVP and what you are bringing. There will be a 50/50 raffle at this party! All tickets are as follows:

$1.00 each ticket

$5.00 for 6 tickets

Everyone is encouraged to participate in this raffle. 50% of the proceeds go to the NSS Phoenix Chapter !!!

3. We are currently accepting applications for the following NSS Phoenix Chapter Positions:

Educational Outreach Officer
Media/PR Officer
Recruitment Officer
IT Officer

Please email Veronica Ann if you are interested.

4. We are currently seeking Speakers at our January 2010 Chapter Meeting. Sian Proctor had indicated that she would be interested in giving a talk based on her experiences getting into the Astronaut Corps. Is she still interested and what dates is she available?

5. All Chapter Members are encouraged to seek donations and sponsors for the chapter. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Veronica Ann. We need to start earning revenue for our Chapter to promote education outreach as well as to alleviate costs for upcoming field trips. It is the Chapter President’s hope to also create a scholarship for those interested in going to ISDC 2010.

6. Who is going to ISDC 2010. Thus far, the Chapter President is going and would like to know who else is going?

7. Yuri’s Night 2010: Veronica Ann would like to hold an organizational meeting sometime in January 2010 for the NSS Phoenix Chapter to hold a Yuri’s Night 2010 in the Phoenix Region. We would like to invite the following NSS Affiliates to participate:

The Mars Society
The Planetary Society
The National Space Society
The Moon Society

We need to find a place we can hold the event. Either at a local science center or at a college/university. Does anyone have any ideas?

8. Donate Sci-Fi books! Veronica Ann is collecting all Sci-Fi books to loan schools to promote reading (especially in Science Fiction). If you have any Sci-Fi books that you no longer need, please contact Veronica Ann.

9. All NSS Phoenix Chapter members need to send the Chapter President their updated contact information by the end of October 2009. Please included the following in your email:

Mailing Address
Phone Number
Email Address
Please send this information to:

10. Chapter website update:

How many people have visited our site
From where are people visiting our site from

Any new developments, new features to the site?

11. Chapter dues? Should we begin to incorporate Chapter dues to our Chapter again to help raise funding? if so, does $5.00 every six months sound like a plan? we can collect these Chapter dues January 1st and July 1st of every year.

12. The NSS Chapter needs to get more involved in schools. Veronica Ann would like to know who would be interested in giving lectures about human and robotic space exploration? No experience necessary. Veronica Ann will train! Please contact her for more information and the dates that you may be available to give lectures to school children.

13. Veronica Ann is working to redo the Chapter Bylaws. If you would like to help out and proof the Bylaws, please let Veronica Ann know.

14. Next Chapter Meeting will be held on January 30, 2009, from 11AM – 1PM. Location TBD.

15. Q & A session

16. Reminder that the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration is holding their Earth & Space Exploration day in front of the Physical Sciences F-wing (across from the library) from 9-3pm. All members are encouraged to participate in this venue after the meeting.

17. Meeting adjourned!

The World At Night

Christown Spectrum Mall is hosting the internationally renowned photography exhibit, The World at Night, from 3-18 October 2009. The World at Night is part of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

On Saturday, 3 October, from 11 AM to 3 PM the Challenger Space Center will conduct liquid nitrogen demonstrations and dry ice comet simulations.

The ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration will conduct a meteorite dig, work with Hubble Space Telescope floor puzzle images and more.

The Phoenix chapter of the National Space Society will host its next member meeting at the event and participate in the exhibits.

Some delightful images from The World at Night:

Other aspects of the IYA include the Galileoscope project and the Dark Skies Awareness project.

If you are interested in astronomical viewing, the Clear Dark Sky website will be a valued tool.

IYA 2009

Image from IYA 2009 used by permission

Earth and Space Exploration Day

This afternoon, Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto, President of the Phoenix chapter of the National Space Society, posted an article on about Earth and Space Exploration Day at Arizona State University, in October, 2009. The date is Saturday, 24 October, and as Veronica says in the article:

Mark your calendars for one of Arizona State University’s most interactive, educational outreach event of the year. On October 24, 2009, the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) will be holding its annual Earth and Space Exploration Day event from around 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. A family event hailed as a great Saturday to spend with the kids and at the same time learn about the Earth and our Solar System, this day is filled with many hands-on activities such as panning for gold, identifying your rock or mineral by Dr. Rock and the exhibit of actual meteorites that you can touch!

More information can be found at the ASU SESE web site.

Rocks Exploration