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Photo – Rover’s Self Portrait (link): this Picasso-like self portrait of NASA’s Curiosity rover was taken by its Navigation cameras, located on the now-upright mast. The camera snapped pictures 360-degrees around the rover, while pointing down at the rover deck, up and straight ahead. Those images are shown here in a polar projection. Most of the tiles are thumbnails, or small copies of the full-resolution images that have not been sent back to Earth yet. Two of the tiles are full-resolution. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (August, 9, 2012). [6000 x 4500 full size link].

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Video [NASA] – Shuttle Endeavour’s final launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 16, 2011. Junk parts, like the first and second rocket boosters (left and right intertanks) burning 11,000 pounds of fuel per second, falling back into Earth are visible on a rare and raw NASA footage. Image and audio passages from minute 15 to 20 are truly amazing. I also love the burning sound of those airborne rocket boosters in full throttle on the first footage seconds. Listen carefully. Did you noticed the Florida Cape Canaveral birds too on the back of the audio stream?! And by the way, … what sound is that at 15:27 and then again at 17:17?!

Photo – On May 16, Stefanie Gordon (http://twitpic.com/4yg6hs) happened to be in an airplane flying from New York to Palm Beach, Florida. She was on his way to visit his mother, for her birthday. From the cabin, aboard a Delta jet, she took this awesome photo of Endeavour‘s shutle STS-134 first seconds over his final space tour, with a cell-phone. “It was amazing. Can’t believe we got to witness history!” she wrote on Twitter that day.

I remember my father awakening me around 10 PM (GMT) in order to see it along with all the family, over a old black and white TV monitor. I was 2 ½ years old. In the subsequent days, my dad’s only efforts, focus and struggle seem to be grabbing a rare copy of a historical Paris-Match solely dedicated to the mission. At that time, it was the only available international edition in the South of Portugal, and the few copies available disappeared in a blink of an eye, like pop-corns. He died one year later, but I still have it today by my side (check cover below).

Lunar Module Apollo11 Landing site map

Figure – Traverse map of Eagle’s Lunar Module (LM) landing site at Tranquility base (Apollo 11 mission, 20 July 1969). Taken from “Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report“, NASA SP-214, page 52, fig. 3.16. The report is now freely available here (PDF format).

Although he released an album and numerous singles earlier, David Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in the autumn of 1969, when his space-age mini-melodrama “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK singles chart. It was also with this piece that Bowie appeared for the first time on TV in 1970 (original video). After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era as a flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona epitomised a career often marked by musical innovation, reinvention and striking visual presentation (from youTube).

Paris Match n 1058 Spécial Lune cover 16 August 1969Figure – Paris Match nº 1058, Spécial Lune. LUNE Número Historique cover (16 August 1969).

… meanwhile, … at the bottom of our food chains everything seems to be blooming. Here recently over the Atlantic within Spain (south) and France (east) at the bay of Biscay. Plankton (phyto-plankton and zoo-plankton) are some of the most important living things on planet Earth. Phyto-plankton absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen and are at the foundation of the food chain, followed by zoo-plankton. Plankton blooms are so massive that they are visible from space (image from NASA’s Visible Earth).

[...] People should learn how to play Lego with their minds. Concepts are building bricks [...] V. Ramos, 2002.

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