Hold your breath! YU-55 is in the neighborhood

Earth will have a visitor a little closer than the moon.

Near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55 will pass within 0.85 lunar distances from the Earth on November 8, 2011. The upcoming close approach by this relatively large 400 meter-sized, C-type asteroid presents an excellent opportunity for synergistic ground-based observations including optical, near infrared and radar data.  Read more from NASA     What would happen if it was to hit a large city?   Not good.  Could it strike the moon.  Not according to NASA?  Read how NASA tracks these huge asteroids.

Run the simulator at http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2005%20YU55;orb=1

Did we go to the moon?

Absolutely.  The conspiracy truly involves the cold war and  American technology at the time. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is slowly mapping out the moon and with that, the Apollo landing sites can be seen and although initial pictures were grainy, the pictures are getting better and better.   So is there any truth in some pictures may have been taken in a studio.  Perhaps.   Over 40 years nearly half of a century, there will be picture mix ups and some pictures may be used twice or there may be inconsistencies with stories astronauts recall.  But bottom-line, the technology at that time was truly amazing.   Even more amazing is the personnel that made it possible.

(Above – Where is LRO?)

I have nearly every Apollo and space exploration book that came out of the ’60s and ’70s.   I also have autographs of Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and others.

Amazing generation of engineers, technicians and astronauts

With that said, one of my favorite stories that comes from Apollo was when Apollo 12 was struck by lightning.   The command module lost power and systems failures were apparent.  All telemetry was lost and the Saturn V along with three astronauts could be lost from this near disaster.   It is amazing but one 24 year old engineer, John Aaron who calmly said, “Flight, Try SCE to Aux”.    Mission control relayed this obscure recommendation to the command module and fortunately astronaut Alan Bean knew where this switch was.   With the hundreds of engineers and three astronauts, only two people remembered in a time of crisis where the switch was.    Astronaut Pete Conrad nervously laughed all the way into orbit.  (This is one of the best  videos  to watch and  listen to (mp3.)

There’s a moral to this story.  Because John Aaron and Alan Bean knew their  job – because they cared, they saved not only the mission but the astronauts who were on their way to the moon.

In today’s world of high tech, new IT personnel should know their jobs inside and out.  They should constantly research new technology and read as much as they can.  Dawn and I have seen a trend where new IT personnel become comfortable with knowing only one area of information technology.   That is not to say that the new generation doesn’t care.   Society has put us in a mobile world where the internet is available 24/7, creating IT personnel who become comfortable only with their job at hand.   We’re also seeing a trend in that once new IT personnel settle in their job, they don’t seek additional certifications or go to seminars.    Our advice to them, keep growing.  Your education cannot stop.

With trillions of dollars of databases exposed to the internet, it is their job to keep data safe and keep their business operational.   Looking back at the Apollo program, the 400,000+ personnel who made it possible worked 16 and 18 hour days to complete their mission.   They balanced their personal lives and business lives and continued to grow.  In the world of IT, you have to continue to grow or you’ll slowly fade away and be lost as new technology comes out.

Remember – “SCE to Aux”

Another good article
Lost? Move SCE to Aux

Join the International Space Apps Challenge!

What is the International Space Apps Challenge?

Demonstrating its commitment to the Open Government Partnership, NASA will work with space agencies around the world to coordinate an International Space Apps Challenge to be held in 2012 that will encourage scientists and concerned citizens from all seven continents – and in space – to create, build, and invent new solutions in order to address challenges of global importance.