I just can’t get over this stunner of a landing photo by Bill Ingalls (who always has the stunning shots, to be sure.) Go here to download the full-res image.
Long-time readers likely have picked up on my penchant for Soviet spaceflight (especially the ill-fated Buran), and retro-future concept artwork. And here they are! Two great tastes that taste great together. Not a new article, but definitely one worth revisiting,
What happens when a watchmaker and a pen-maker get together? Not priced for the faint of heart ($19,900), the Astrograph pen is made in collaboration between watchmaker MB&F, and pen maker Caran d’Ache:
“…the MB&F Astrograph is [a] … “working” rocket ship comprised of nearly 100 expertly machined, lacquered, and hand-finished components, complete with thruster engines, and landing fins that can be lowered at the flip of a switch.”
— A Blog To Watch
Read all about it (and see many more gorgeous photographs) at the official MB&F site.
I had a poster of this strange sci-fi artwork by Tsuneo Sanda on my wall as a teen (I think I still have it, actually.) The soft colors and deadly-looking machinery are a mesmerizing contrast. Check out more of Sanda-san’s work on his website (he’s an official artist for Star Wars, lotta good stuff there.)
Image found here.
(This is your Fleet Captain speaking.) Yesterday was my birthday, and my trusty right hand, Wing Commander Jenai, wins the prize for Most Obscure Spaceflight Present I Have Ever Received: a switchplate replica of the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) Signal Conditioning Equipment (SCE) power switch.
During the launch of Apollo 12, lightning discharged through the rocket, taking all three CSM fuel cells and most of the instrumentation offline. Per Wikipedia:
Electrical, Environmental and Consumables Manager (EECOM) John Aaron remembered the telemetry failure pattern from an earlier test when a power supply malfunctioned in the CSM Signal Conditioning Equipment (SCE), which converted raw signals from instrumentation to standard voltages for the spacecraft instrument displays and telemetry encoders.
Aaron made a call, “Try SCE to aux,” which switched the SCE to a backup power supply. The switch was fairly obscure, and neither Flight Director Gerald Griffin, CAPCOM Gerald Carr, nor Mission Commander Pete Conrad immediately recognized it. Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean, flying in the right seat as the spacecraft systems engineer, remembered the SCE switch from a training incident a year earlier when the same failure had been simulated. Aaron’s quick thinking and Bean’s memory saved what could have been an aborted mission, and earned Aaron the reputation of a “steely-eyed missile man”. Bean put the fuel cells back on line, and with telemetry restored, the launch continued successfully.
So this switch saved the day on Apollo 12. And now it fulfills the task of primary illumination for Silver Rockets HQ. 🚀 😍 Thank you, Wing Commander!
This is just one of eight terrific Mars exploration posters available for FREE DOWNLOAD from NASA. Which one is your favorite?
Per aspera ad astra or Ad astra per aspera is a Latin phrase which means any of the following: “Through hardships to the stars”, “A rough road leads to the stars” or “To the stars through difficulties”.
And… we’re back! (Is anyone still here? Did you miss me?)
I have taken the name Silver Rockets as my web design business rebrand, but want to preserve the decade of posts here — and hey, occasionally post more! — so I have combined the two into what you see here now. (Like the rockets?? Quite the upgrade from version 1.)
Anyway, glad to be back, I hope some of my readers will return, and more spacey goodness will be rolling out shortly!
I’d be remiss in my space-celebrating duties if I did not mention Draplin Design Co.‘s wonderful Space Shuttle Poster. (I own the 4th edition — it’s gorgeous — and I’m dying to own the 9th edition. And the 10th edition, the original colorway.)
Your wall simply isn’t complete without one, and with so many colorways, why not order one today? (And while you’re at it, if you like thick lines and amazing design, you should pick up Draplin’s new book. I’m enjoying it immensely!)