In recent years, NASA has been hit pretty hard, and another hit may be coming. We're a long ways off from the days when JFK told the nation that the United States would put a man on the moon, and in recent years, what with the Great Recession, space exploration seems to have taken a backseat. Hell, ... More >>
Cactus Music wants your help with a "Community-Curated Playlist."
Two days ago, a complete stranger calmly approached me at the airport. Her demeanor was kind, she didn't have any noticeable body odor and gave off a friendly vibe. I smirked before she started the painstaking task of carrying out small talk. "Hey, are you from here?" she asked. My brain wanted my ... More >>
This weekend was marred by the death of the first man on the moon, Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 82. The trio of Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin made up the Apollo 11 crew that set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. The space race of the '60 ... More >>
There were basically two people who love Tal's Hill, the gimmicky hill in Minute Maid Park's centerfield, and one of them was named Tal. The other was former owner Drayton McLane, who installed the hill, which has no other reason for existence, because his buddy Tal Smith remembered some old ballpa ... More >>
People still do this?Businesses continue to report that more and more people are paying electronically, either through debit or credit cards or automatic payments, than they do by the classic method of writing a personal check. How many times do you actually pull out your checkbook these day ... More >>
No, he won't sign itWhich living person has the world's most sought-after autograph? Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon. A Houstonian has written a book about it. Anthony Pizzatola is a vice-president of the Universal Autograph Collector's Club and he's written Neil Armstrong: The Quest F ... More >>
Riding Rockets: Raunchy, raucous and funny.Astronaut autobiographies can be a very mixed bag. On the one hand, that should be surprising given the harrowing, thrilling life-and-death stories which are inherent; on the other hand, the authors are generally not very good writers. And even if t ... More >>
NASA celebrates its 53rd birthday this week, but it will be a subdued occasion as the space shuttle era ends, top talent leaves and the agency seems adrift. In its heyday the agency didn't worry about no damn budgets, and as a result it had a hand in developing some very strange planes. Among them ... More >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>
The flag: Better than a solar-wind experiment that just looks like a flagWednesday marks the 42nd anniversary of man landing on the moon. One small step, and all that. It's an odd anniversary, the 42nd, so here are five odd facts about the mission. 5. Buzz Aldrin, First Man To Piss On The M ... More >>
Feelings have been hurtSo I'd gotten up at 5 a.m. and spent the day at NASA's Mission Control, where along with about fifty other writers, talking heads and camera crews from Houston, New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, I'd been granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the final full- ... More >>
This past Friday, a significant musical anniversary came and went with barely a peep. It was only 19 years to the day the last album to cause a legitimate sea change in popular music - both the industry and the art - was released. Rocks Off knows that was a few days ago, but hey, we had a bus ... More >>
Photo via CollectSpaceThe Gemini-Titan, ready for refurbishingLast week, with little fanfare, a truck rolled up to the Johnson Space Center with a unique cargo.It was a replica of a Gemini-Titan rocket with capsule, and it means SpaceCenter's Rocket Park will fill in a missing piece of JSC histor ... More >>
Photo by General MotorsNASA and General Motors have announced a new space robot, called Robonaut 2, or R2 for short (The name "Desperately Hoping to be Relevant via Outdated Pop Culture References," or RHROPCR, was apparently rejected for being too long.)"Our challenge today is to build machines ... More >>
Photo by NASAIn the old days of Hollywood, they used to talk of "the Jesus Curse" -- any actor who played JC on screen was thereafter soomed to obscurity.Does the same thing happen to actors who play Neil Armstrong? There aren't as many Apollo 11 movies as you might expect, but the evidence still is ... More >>
Houston, we have a celebration
Photo courtesy NASAMichael Collins, the man who orbited the moon while Neil and Buzz had all the fun, isn't doing any interviews, apparently, for the 40th anniversary. But through NASA he's put out a Q&A with himself answering what he says are the biggest FAQs he gets.Most of it is predictable, ... More >>
Photo courtesy NASAA salute to Mr. JablonskiHey, guess what!! Monday brings the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing!!Oh, you heard? Well, get ready to hear more -- this weekend and Monday will no doubt be a "One small step for man" marathon.Which is fine -- the moon mission was a crazy, a ... More >>
NASA is continuing its information dump for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing; now they have put on the `net digital recordings of some of the private in-capsule conversations of the Apollo 11 astronauts."You're in a spacecraft, on a mission to land on the moon for the first time in history, ... More >>
You know what sucked about the moon landing? They didn't Twitter it.If it's not on Twitter, we're not sure we can trust that it happened. Even if the headlines say otherwise.Now, however, the problem is solved, thanks to the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.They've put together an impressive "reliv ... More >>
It's a sure bet that when Neil Armstrong dies, coverage will be limited to a two minute retrospective culminating with "One small step for man..." playing over his official NASA photo. Meanwhile, CNBC today is still reporting on the "financial impact of Michael Jackson's death." One walked on the m ... More >>
Houston the Eagle has landed.
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