The Twins Study
How does an extended mission in space lasting as long as a year affect the human body? Answers to that question are being investigated by ten research teams from around the country. They used astronaut twins Mike Kelly and Scott Kelly as subjects. Scott spent 340 days aboard the Space Station from 27 March 2015 to 1 March 2016. Mike remained on Earth. Each was tested in a variety of ways by the research teams in order to compare results of long duration space flight.
Scott Kelly (left) and Mike Kelly (right) | NASA
Scott Kelly wrote the book Endurance about his experience. It is an excellent account of the lives of Mark and Scott, how they became astronauts, and behind the scenes events in the space program. My previous posts about this Twins Study mission can be found here and here.
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Before sunrise, the Moon peeked over the roof of a neighbor’s house. One could call it a MoonPi.
Soon after, a jet came out of the east apparently high enough to be in sunlight. The trail was lit up brightly by the sunlight. The bright colors add fuel to the chemtrail conspiracy.
I watched with excitement and apprehension as the countdown for the SpaceX Heavy launch neared liftoff. This stuff is in my blood and has been for more than 50 years. When the world’s most powerful rocket lifted off and arced over the Atlantic, it brought tears. I eagerly waited for the two side boosters to separate, return, and land at the Cape. They did so perfectly and almost at the same moment.
If you missed the launch, this replay video shows it all. I skipped the pre-launch discussions and set the time slider to the 21:45 mark for the actual launch. You can drag the time slider to the beginning if you want to see the whole video. The intro minute is actually quite good. Drag the slider to the 29:00 mark to see the boosters come down and land.
The third booster in the center core which lifted the payload into orbit also came down but into the Atlantic. It was supposed to land on a barge. A mistake in calculation of the amount of fuel needed at the very end caused it to run out before reaching the barge. As a result, it missed by about 380 yards and struck the water going about 300 mph. Elon Musk says that is an easy fix.
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In the evening of 30 January, the Moon rose bright and large in the east. Within 12 hours, it would be in the shadow of the Earth. There were a few clouds. The forecast was calling for a 50% cloud cover in the morning.
7 pm CST
At about 3 am I noticed the Moon was shining brightly through the bedroom windows. I felt hopeful the much hyped Supermoon would be visible before moonset/sunrise. I got up at 5:40 and walked down the street a few houses with camera and tripod. The Moon was entering some clouds toward the horizon. Overhead it was very clear. Eclipse was in progress.
5:54 am CST
6:16 am CST
We drove to a location away from houses and lights to get one more chance to photograph the beginning of totality. Too late. Clouds took over and the Moon disappeared. We headed home to watch online. NASA carried excellent video from three sites in California. These four images were screen grabs from Griffith Observatory near Los Angeles. They show the blood moon and the emergence from totality.
7:12 am CST
7:30 am CST
8:10 am CST
8:15 am CST
Using video from NASA via Griffith Observatory, I layered frame grabs onto a disk the size of the umbra of Earth. It shows the relative size of the Moon compared to Earth. Progress was slow as it moved at a speed of about 2,300 mi/hr (3,700 km/hr or 1 km/s). Totality began at 6:51 and ended at 8:08 CST.
Video via NASA | Griffith Observatory
Here is a beautiful time-lapse of the view from Griffith Observatory. It takes only a minute.
As the event ended, the Moon appeared low to the horizon as viewed by a telescope at the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB. These frame grabs captured the distorted Moon behind some hills with wind turbines in view. As the Moon disappeared, it added a sense of finality to the entire event. It was a lot of fun to watch. I hope you were able to see it.
8:48 am CST
8:49 am CST
8:50 am CST