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From the Desk of Anousheh
Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
First step on the moon! The memorable step reported everywhere on the
globe. On July 20th, 1969, in different parts of the planet, kids as
young as 2 years witnessed that moment in human history and have been
carrying forever with them - the vivid memory of gathering around the
radio or TV, as a man stepped on the moon. And who can forget "...one
small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind."
Neil Armstrong, forever stored in the collective consciousness as the
first man on the moon, has many other accomplishments in his resume. He
can be celebrated for numerous aspects of his life, but the common theme
arising after his passing is his modesty, grace and sense of duty. The
man who put the first footprint on the grey dusty lunar surface is no
longer with us, but he will never be forgotten.
Neil Armstrong was loved and envied by every person who had looked up in
the night sky at the bright face of the full moon and wished to fly up
high onto space. He was legend to people across the globe for what he
represented - the best of humanity, the part of us that can imagine it
and then do it.
He was a man of few words and didn't enjoy public speaking. But one
look at this picture below you can see the inexplicable joy he felt
after just returning to the Lander form his first lunar walk. The
twinkle in his eyes says it all. After all how do you explain this
feeling to the people bound by earth's gravity. May be he wanted to
preserve his experience in his memory and didn't want to tarnish it by
recounting the story. Bu he didn't need to say anything, his face, his
actions, and the few words he said, spoke volumes.
There is no doubt that Neil, along with all the astronauts before him,
took a huge risk and were ready to lose their lives for a loftier goal.
The goal of expanding the reach of humanity into heavens, to learn from
it, and to show what humans are capable of. When Neil stood on the
surface of the moon, he didn't think of himself first as an American,
nor as a man. He viewed himself as a representative of the human race.
I wish more people felt that connection to the world. His story and his
accomplishments will be celebrated forever and his story will be told to
children all over the globe to inspire them to reach for the stars.
Neil, we will remember you every time we look at the moon and wink at it
to say " here is looking at you Neil".
As you know, earlier this month, to the delight of all who were watching, Curiosity Rover successfully landed on Mars. The excitement in Control Room, was broadcasted and captured in video and photos. No sooner Curiosity landed and started transmitting pictures that discussion started on nature of some of the photos. Here we will try to present some Curiosity related updates from the past few weeks.
- On August 5, the Toshiba Vision dual LED screens in Times Square, NYC, hosted a viewing party for thousands of people during Curiosity's landing. The broadcast from JPL Mission Control and the first pictures from Mars were viewed by locals and visitors who came to Times Square. Started on August 22, until October 15, the Toshiba Vision screen will broadcast updated photos taken by Curiosity.
- Curiosity already is returning more data from the Martian surface than have all of NASA's earlier rovers combined. This past week, it returned voice and telephoto views from Martian surface. It debuted the first recorded human voice that traveled from Earth to another planet and back. The voice playback and the new telephoto camera views of the various landscape was released during a news conference on August 27.
- The tactical team behind Curiosity has been successful in deploying its arm to get samples into its instruments and other scientific purposes. They also had success in having the ChemCam unit to fire the laser from the science instrument as well as steering and maneuvering Curiosity on Mars surface. The rover successfully drove 3 meters forward and performed two 60-degree rotations in a clockwise direction with imaging in between. It then drove backwards, about 3 meters. you can see the video and the tire tracks, here: http://www.nasa.gov/mp4/680301main_CoM20120824-320-jpl.mp4
- For the first time in history, a recorded song has been beamed back to Earth from another planet. On August 28th, students, special guests and news media gathered at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA to hear "Reach for the Stars" by musician will.i.am after it was transmitted from the surface of Mars by the Curiosity rover. will.i.am is a well-known advocate of science and technology education. To listen will.i.am talk about the occasion and see footage, please visit: http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/hip-hop-media-training/am-teams-nasa-premiere-reach-stars-mars-220744171.html
To read more please visit:
Teleportation's New Record
In the land of science fiction, we witness routine and successful human teleportation with an effortless ease. In the land of reality though human teleportation is still on our wish list. The only success in the field has been teleporting photons over relatively small distances. It started with a Chinese group who succeeded to teleport a photon a distance of 16 kilometer, and later 97 kilometers. However, a European and Canadian group claims to have teleported information between the Canary Islands over a distance of 143 kilometers away, thus setting a new record.
The goal of the physicists in both groups, of course, is a future of space-based teleportation. To read more, please visit:
My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.
In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream. To learn more about the book, please visit: http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/
To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.
To obtain a copy please visit: