Sequel to Top Gun: Maverick #

Making Eagle Dynamics, Heatblur, the U.S. Navy, and Tom Cruise, volleyball, and fast mover fans happy.

Not expecting much from the plot writing, but if the flight cinematography is as good as in the first film I will be satisfied.

Real Pilot’s Instructions on Flying a Virtual Spitfire #

Requiem, responding to a comment on his video about takeoff and landing in a Spitfire MK.IX in IL-2 Sturmovik:

Colin Delaney thank you very much! To answer your question yes I fly professionally and am incredibly lucky to do so. It’s quite a story how I went from a flight simmer to real life pilot. Previously I was a flight instructor for single engine, multi engine, and instrument training but currently I’m an airline pilot flying the CRJ-900 in the USA. I try to approach these videos with my flight instructor and gamer hat on to make them as understandable as possible, plus I have them peer reviewed by other real life pilots (with airline / fighter jet experience) before releasing them too. If its good enough to make it past that review then I’m happy for you guys to see it :-)

Would love to hear that story Here it is — a wonderful story of human kindness — thank you for the link, Requiem! See Requiem’s video on common landing errors and how to fix them (this time flying a P-51 in DCS), one of a series of succinct, informative virtual flight lessons.

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The Daring Spirit

Edwin Aldrin Jr. inside the Lunar Module after EVA. Apollo 11 Mission image AS11-37-5533. The image is uncredited, though given the time and location it must have been taken by Neil Armstrong, unless Buzz was taking a selfie!

50 years ago two members of the human species stepped on another world for the first time, an extraordinary achievement, displaying the ability of human beings to work together to overcome our natural limits.

Flight, a thing of myth, dreamed of for centuries, and achieved for the first time a mere 66 years before the giant leap to the moon, is, to me, along with our time-travelling ability of written language, one of the defining achievements of our band of wanderers.

We need better leaders to help us achieve our potential, while keeping our ambitions, this daring spirit, balanced with the need to keep our home in the cosmos, the only one we have at this moment, from becoming uninhabitable to us.

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JFK’s Moon Speech #

Paul Burka, on John F. Kennedy’s speech 1962 speech announcing the goal to land on the moon before the end of the decade:

It is a great speech, one that encapsulates all of recorded history and seeks to set it in the history of our own time. Unlike today’s politicians, Kennedy spoke to our best impulses as a nation, not our worst.

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Compass Rose With Back Azimuth

Compass rose with back azimuth by Simon Griffee.

I made this compass rose to be able to quickly see the bearing directly opposite a given bearing, in other words, the back azimuth (the small red numbers). Useful to head back the way you came, or to tell someone you see in the distance roughly where to head to meet you, in both real and virtual worlds.

Download PDF ~92KB

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Kerbal Space Program On Sale #

The game that helped the author of xkcd and Thing Explainer understand orbital mechanics can be bought for $10, until July 24.

Holy mackerel, nothing went wrong! #

Michael Collins, the astronaut who orbited the moon aboard Apollo 11 command module Columbia while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface:

That’s unusual; all those little bits and pieces — pieces of machinery here, that little bit of it up over there — all the things that could have gone wrong. The flight to the moon and back is a long and fragile daisy chain. Any tiny break in the chain and and the whole venture is screwed…

…I just couldn’t believe that our equipment, down to the last little nut and bolt, that there wasn’t something, somewhere in it that had been overlooked, something that was going to malfunction and when it went wrong, something we might or might not be able to cope with.

So I salute the designers, engineers, the mechanics and the maintenance people, all of them who made that equipment so reliable.

Neil Armstrong’s Photo Legacy #

There is only one photograph of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, and in it, he has his back to the camera.

But there is also a high definition scan from Apollo 11’s on-board motion picture (film) footage, showing Neil’s face while on the lunar surface, made for Andrew Chaikin and Victoria Kohl’s wonderful book, Voices From The Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences.

Apollo 11 in Real Time #

Follow a replay of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission in real time. The launch, 50 years ago, is in just over t-minus 10 minutes.

Don’t Always Listen to the So-Called Experts #

Margaret Hamilton, who led the team that created the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11:

Often in the evening or at weekends I would bring my young daughter, Lauren, into work with me. One day, she was with me when I was doing a simulation of a mission to the moon. She liked to imitate me – playing astronaut. She started hitting keys and all of a sudden, the simulation started. Then she pressed other keys and the simulation crashed. She had selected a program which was supposed to be run prior to launch – when she was already “on the way” to the moon. The computer had so little space, it had wiped the navigation data taking her to the moon. I thought: my God – this could inadvertently happen in a real mission. I suggested a program change to prevent a prelaunch program being selected during flight. But the higher-ups at MIT and Nasa said the astronauts were too well trained to make such a mistake. Midcourse on the very next mission – Apollo 8 – one of the astronauts on board accidentally did exactly what Lauren had done. The Lauren bug! It created much havoc and required the mission to be reconfigured. After that, they let me put the program change in, all right.

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