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Neil Armstrong Dies at 82

Neil Armstrong died of complications after heart surgery at Age 82

From the Los Angeles Times Story latimes.com

August 25, 2012 |  1:14 pm PST


Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said.

The Associated Press report did not say where he died. Armstrong had heart surgery earlier this month, but few details were made public at the time. Armstrong was a reticent, self-effacing man who shunned the spotlight whenever possible

Armstrong’s lunar stroll on July 20, 1969 — watched by an estimated 600 million television viewers worldwide — established him firmly as one of the great heroes of the 20th century.

PHOTOS: Neil Armstrong dead at 82

Read the Full Story…………

Neil Armstrong

From Wikipedia

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was the first person to walk on the Moon, as well as an American astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and United States Naval Aviator. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was a United States Navy officer and served in the Korean War. After the war, he served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he logged over 900 flights. He graduated from Purdue University and completed graduate studies at the University of Southern California.

A participant in the U.S. Air Force‘s Man In Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1962. His first spaceflight was the NASA Gemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians in space. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft with pilot David Scott.

Armstrong’s second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2½ hours exploring, while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon along with Collins and Aldrin, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

On August 25, 2012, Armstrong died in Cincinnati, Ohio,[1] at the age of 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries. FULL STORY…..


“Neil Armstrong was a hero to many a kid of the late sixties and early seventies and he is still one of mine to this day. – JW Najarian”

I remember like it was yesterday, the excitement of watching the launch of the majestic Saturn V rocket as it sent Neil, Buzz and Michael into space to rendezvous with the moon!

The touchdown was nail biting and so exciting and of course the first pictures and those famous words… One Small Step For Man; On Giant Leap For Mankind.

We were glued to our television sets and as kids many of us including me dreamed of the adventures we would have in space.

I am still a Star Trek, Dr Who, Sci-Fi loving geek. Apollo 11 was such a life changing experience for me. It set my course for many years to come.

I ended up working in a NASA facility after joining the Navy. I worked with the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab’s (NAMRLD) detachment stationed at the George C. Marshal Space Flight Facility out of Mischoud, LA.

JW Najarian with Emil Pardee at Michoud NASA facility

Me and my step father Emil Pardee at Michoud Facility where I was stationed in 1978

My duty assignment was to strap into what became of the original rocket sled that the legendary John Paul Stapp risked his life on, and get shot down a track to test how the human neck reacted to high acceleration and G force shock.


I was the 89th human research subject to ride a sled device and new I was part of something very special. NAMRL  quit using rockets to power the sled and traded this out for what I believe was a nitrogen filled cylinder which gave them more control over the G Forces. I made runs that subjected my body to over 18Gs of force.

We were working to hopefully save lives, but giving scientists the data they needed to design better, more effective safety devices for pilots and motor vehicle drivers.

Saturn V first stageBack to Apollo. Our offices were located in the Saturn V test cell building of the facility. The building had once housed 4 of these monster first stages, but now only one was left.

It was my incredible luck that they never restricted access from me of that huge room that enclosed the rocket. I got to check it out from up close for the time I was stationed there which was just under 3 years.

Buzz Alrin with JW Najarian

Buzz Aldrin and JW Najarian 2007

Since that time I have had the opportunity to meet Buzz Aldrin twice. Once in Aspen at a cocktail party and recently at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the night of 100 Stars. I was able to get an interview with him and I get a shout out to the US Veterans, the group I run on LinkedIn.

I am so grateful to have lived to see the moon landing and even more grateful to get to work in a facility and close to some of that grand history.

Neil Armstrong dieing reminds me of that magnificent era when we all seemed to have a sense of purpose in America. We may have disagreed about many things, but we were proud to be in the space race and more proud that we knew we were winning.

It is said that Neil never went after the spotlight and that says so much about our heros. My condolences to his family and friends and I never met him, I for one will miss him and remember.

JPL Curiosity Mars Rover – Dr. Ravi Prakash

“Oh Sh*t” is Heard Yelled After The 7 Minutes of Terror was Over! Curiosity Successfully Lands On Mars

Curiosity Mars Rover Takes a Picture of its Shadow on Perfect Landing

One of the first images sent from Mars Rover Curiosity after landing notice the horizon and mountains in distance

Fifteen minutes of crying, screaming, handshaking, hugging and a big “Oh Sh*t” yelled out on UStream showing of the the successful landing of Curiosity.

Above are two of the first pictures taken by Curiosity after its perfect landing. where you can see the shadow of the rover in the picture and in one you can see a rover wheel and the Martian horizon.

JPL Curiosity Landing Crew Jump for Joy as it is all Good News on the Landing and First Pictures are Sent From Odyssey

Joy as it is all Good News on the Landing and First Pictures are Sent From Odyssey

Dr. Ravi Prakash  Descent and Landing Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) talks about this unprecedented landing and mission of a rover the size of a small car on Mars.

Landing Sunday August 5th
at 10pm Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Interview with Rocket Scientist Dr. Ravi Prakash on the landing and mission of the Curiosity Mars Science Lab / rover

►Right Click and “Save Link As” to Download File◄

I would like to thank the JPL press office. I did not make the deadline to get press credentials, but they were so helpful at getting this interview together for me. They are Rocket Stars!

BTW in the interview I mentioned the landing would be Aug 6th.. Sorry it is August 5th at 10am PST.  The correct time is 10pm on Sunday the 5th sorry for any confusion.

Also want to thank Dr Prakash. He is thrown into interview after interview and instead of rushing me through as many would, he worried if he had given enough. You did Dr. Prakash.. Thanks JW

Dr Ravi Prakash JPL MSL Curiosity

Dr Ravi Prakash

Texas born Dr. Ravi Prakash, who received a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.S. in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2005 and has been working at the Mars Science Laboratory ever since.

Dr. Ravi Prakash is a descent and landing engineer at JPL, working with his team to perfect an unprecedented unmanned landing on Mars, of the largest robotic rover ever sent into space.


MSL Landing

Follow Curiosity’s landing on Aug. 5, 2012 at 10:31 p.m. PDT (1:31 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6, 2012)!

Check Out This Excellent SlideShow [CLICK HERE]

This artist's concept shows thrusters firing during the entry, descent and landing phase for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission to Mars.
Mars Science Laboratory Guided Entry at Mars, Artist’s Concept
This artist’s concept shows thrusters firing during the entry, descent and landing phase for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission to Mars.

The entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the Martian atmosphere, about 125 kilometers (about 78 miles) above the surface, and ends with the rover safe and sound on the surface of Mars.

Entry, descent, and landing for the Mars Science Laboratory mission will include a combination of technologies inherited from past NASA Mars missions, as well as exciting new technologies. Instead of the familiar airbag landing of the past Mars missions, Mars Science Laboratory will use a guided entry and a sky crane touchdown system to land the hyper-capable, massive rover.

The sheer size of the Mars Science Laboratory rover (900 kilograms or over 2,000 pounds) would preclude it from taking advantage of an airbag-assisted landing. Instead, the Mars Science Laboratory will use the sky crane touchdown system, which will be capable of delivering a much larger rover onto the surface. It will place the rover on its wheels, ready to begin its mission at Gale Crater.

The new entry, descent and landing architecture, with its use of guided entry, will allow for more precision. Where the Mars Exploration Rovers could have landed anywhere within their respective 150 by 20 kilometers (about 93 miles by 12 miles) landing ellipses, Mars Science Laboratory will land within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) ellipse! This high-precision delivery will open up more areas of Mars for exploration and potentially allow scientists to roam “virtually” where they have not been able to before. The entry, descent and landing sequence will break down into four parts:

This image shows changes in the target landing area for Curiosity, the rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory project.
Revised Landing Target for Mars Rover Curiosity
This image shows changes in the target landing area for Curiosity, the rover of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory project.
  • Guided Entry – The spacecraft will be controlled by small rockets during descent through the Martian atmosphere, toward the surface.
  • Parachute Descent – Like Viking, Pathfinder and the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Science Laboratory will be slowed by a large parachute.
  • Powered Descent – Again, rockets will control the spacecraft’s descent until the rover separates from its final delivery system, the sky crane.
  • Sky Crane – Like a large crane on Earth, the sky crane system will lower the rover to a “soft landing” – wheels down – on the surface of Mars.

Curiosity’s Mission

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)

With its rover named Curiosity, Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet’s “habitability.”

Mars Science Laboratory will study Mars’ habitability

To find out, the rover will carry the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the martian surface. The rover will analyze samples scooped from the soil and drilled from rocks. The record of the planet’s climate and geology is essentially “written in the rocks and soil” — in their formation, structure, and chemical composition. The rover’s onboard laboratory will study rocks, soils, and the local geologic setting in order to detect chemical building blocks of life (e.g., forms of carbon) on Mars and will assess what the martian environment was like in the past.

Mars Science Laboratory relies on innovative technologies

Mars Science Laboratory will rely on new technological innovations, especially for landing. The spacecraft will descend on a parachute and then, during the final seconds prior to landing, lower the upright rover on a tether to the surface, much like a sky crane. Once on the surface, the rover will be able to roll over obstacles up to 75 centimeters (29 inches) high and travel up to 90 meters (295 feet) per hour. On average, the rover is expected to travel about 30 meters (98 feet) per hour, based on power levels, slippage, steepness of the terrain, visibility, and other variables.

The rover will carry a radioisotope power system that generates electricity from the heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay. This power source gives the mission an operating lifespan on Mars’ surface of a full martian year (687 Earth days) or more, while also providing significantly greater mobility and operational flexibility, enhanced science payload capability, and exploration of a much larger range of latitudes and altitudes than was possible on previous missions to Mars.

Arriving at Mars at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5, 2012 (1:31 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6, 2012), Mars Science Laboratory will serve as an entrée to the next decade of Mars exploration. It represents a huge step in Mars surface science and exploration capability because it will:

  • demonstrate the ability to land a very large, heavy rover to the surface of Mars (which could be used for a future Mars Sample Return mission that would collect rocks and soils and send them back to Earth for laboratory analysis)
  • demonstrate the ability to land more precisely in a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) landing circle
  • demonstrate long-range mobility on the surface of the red planet (5-20 kilometers or about 3 to 12 miles) for the collection of more diverse samples and studies.

Visit MSL for Scientists for technical information about the mission

The Beautiful Video Game That Drives NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

So MSL Curiosity has landed. It survived the seven minutes of terror and safely touched down on the surface of Mars. A miracle in its own right. Now that it’s there, it needs a way to move around. Anyone who played Lunar Lander and Moon Patrol already knows how they’re going to do this: Video games.

Brian Cooper is the lead driver for MSL Curiosity, and he wrote the software to drive it. But that’s not all… READ MORE

Gallery Pics