Late Night After Dark Open Thread: Revenge of the Moon Tardigrades

As some reporters pointed out when that Guardian article appeared, the Moon had already been biologically compromised when the Apollo XI astronauts left behind bags of their… wastes. (Some exobiologist spoilsports claim there were probably tardigrades on the Moon already.) No doubt the would-be schlockmeisters are hard at work scripting already!

Here’s a potential opening scene…


Big Horror climax:

Weekend Leftovers Open Thread: Space, the Final Frontier of Bad Takes

FTFNYT, with the Hottest Take:

America’s Premier Leftist Publication: Hold our Tang!

A very *American* hero…

Read more

Respite Open Thread: To the Moon, Google!

Bonus: Buzzfeed has assembled a batch of contemporary news photos that may not “Change Your Perspective Of The Moon Landing”, but that certainly have nostalgia value for those of us who can remember the original event!

Open Thread: 50 Years of Apollo 11 Conspiracies

I’m as big a Fortean as you’ll find outside an academic instituion, but sometimes I feel like Buzz Aldrin had the best response. Joel Achenbach, in the Washington Post:

The moon hoax is a classic conspiracy theory — elaborate, oddly durable, requiring the existence of malevolent actors with a secret agenda. The moon-fakers are allegedly so competent they can fool the whole world (but not so competent that they can actually put humans on the moon).

Researchers suggest conspiracy theories are spreading more easily in today’s information universe, with the Internet functioning as a superconductor. A growing science of conspiracism seeks to understand who these people are, why they embrace such ideas, and whether there is anything that can dislodge a really magnetic conspiracy theory from the mind of a true believer.

Polls show that about 5 or 6 percent of the public subscribes to the moon-hoax theory, former NASA chief historian Roger Launius said. That is a modest number, but these folks showed up reliably whenever Launius gave a lecture on the topic: “They’re very vocal — and they love to confront you.”
Read more

Another SpaceX Launch – Most Complicated Satellite Deploy Evah!


Tonight at 11:30 Eastern, the launch window opens for yet another Falcon Heavy launch from SpaceX, reusing side boosters from the April 2019 Arabsat 6a Falcon Heavy launch. The turnaround time – 73 days from that April 11 launch – is impressive, to put it mildly. They’re on their game.

After the launch, the boosters should land (in unison!) and the center rocket will hopefully touch down on the offshore drone ship. Watching the boosters begin to descend, burn, drift, turn, burn, drift, etc. is just amazing.  It never gets old watching it happen for each new launch. And of course the final landings – solo or couple, land or sea – are just a nailbiter every time.

This will be an ambitious, complicated launch of a number of classified satellites and is a “demo tape” to gain a bunch more US military contracts. I expect their experience with the recent Starlink launch to deploy a host of satellites will inform their approach, but as Elon Musk has called this the most risky launch they’ve done, there’s a not-inconsiderable chance of spectacular failure.

Should be fun. I’ll be asleep hopefully but will watch the recording tomorrow morning and be able to FFWD through much of the slow time. I wish I was a Mountain Time/West Coaster or the night owl I was in my 20’s for such events.



Enjoy, night shift, and open thread!