Command Module

It’s nice to collect whole sets of things. It completes the series, finishes the story. A long term aim of mine is to bag all the Wainwrights in the Lake District. It’s going to take a while as I live in the exact opposite corner of the country and it pretty much takes a day to get there. I’m trying to complete Gran Turismo Sport but I don’t think I’ll ever do it or if I do it will be after they bring out the edition for the PS5 [which I’ll buy obviously].

A recent trip to the Science Museum in London to meet up with the Fulham 5 meant another chance to see one of the Apollo Command Modules. There are twelve command modules around the world [USA + London]. I’ve seen three of them and I doubt I’ll ever get to see more than another two or three of them but it’s worth a try to see them all.

I’ve seen the Apollo 11 Command Module in Washington DC. The Apollo 10 Command Module in London and the Apollo 14 Module at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. I reckon there’s a chance I’ll see a couple more of them.

Apollo 14 Command Module
Apollo 14 Command Module

Above is the interior of the Apollo 14 Command Module. Just enough space for three humans to survive take off and re-entry. This conical cocoon sat atop the supply and Service Module that kept the astronauts alive. There was also the Lunar Module which they docked with in Earth orbit before performing a burn to take them out of the large gravity well.

If you think there’s not a lot of room in the CM then I suggest you go and take a look at one of the Soyuz capsules. They are much smaller and contain the same number of people. Those pesky Russians sure know how to make hard-working dependable technology!

ISS Pass 2

Don’t think I’m going to see the ISS tonight as there is 8/8 cloud cover at the moment. I’m very glad I managed to fleetingly see it last night.
I have signed up for emails from NASA informing me when the ISS is going to pass over this part of the Kent countryside. Hopefully I won’t miss the next opportunity to see it.
I need to spend more time star watching later in the summer. I could do with a decent telescope. Maybe one that connects to my phone or computer to automatically track the celestial body I find interesting.
I’ve seen Jupiter and Saturn through telescopes in Florida and Australia. It’s awe inspiring to see these bodies of our solar system. It really brings home how far science and human knowledge has come in the last 400 years.
We are still in the infancy of human scientific verifiable knowledge. I hope that one day we leave our superstition and fairy stories behind.
This communication went somewhere I wasn’t expecting!

ISS Pass 1

I’m not really sure why I looked or how I found out but the International Space Station passed over the Kent countryside last night. It will also pass over tonight.
According to a website the sighting time last night was about 20:30 Hrs. I was preparing to head outside and observe this modern wonder when there was a knock at the door!

ISS Passes

I had a few minutes to help my neighbours out with a problem they had and get into my back garden. Fortunately they only needed a little help and I stood on the patio with a glass of wine in hand.

At 20:35 the sky was not really dark but I hoped to see the ISS pass. The moon was bright. I used my Star Walk iPhone app to check where I should be looking and waited. After a short while there was a bright star travelling fast through the sky. It was the only other thing visible in the sky apart from the moon. After about a minute I looked away and the ISS disappeared behind the dust and particles towards horizon. It was wonderful to see. I’ll be out again tonight!

BTW – I don’t like the fact the website that displays the information has a mixture of 24Hr and 12Hr clock times. I don’t think they understand the conventions!


This is an extremely beautiful picture taken a short while ago from the International Space Station. I will include some links and acknowledgements soon.

I found this because I follow Phil Plait on Google+ and in my RSS feeds. A link to his post here. Find the actual copy in here somewhere.


Latest iPhone Backgrounds

These are my latest iPhone backgrounds. Many thanks to @Cmdr_Hadfield and his tweeting of pictures from the ISS!

Current lock screen:
Sunrise through the atmosphere.


Current home screen:
The ISS solar panels.



Just put new icons on the mobile version of my website. They are from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. I like them and many thanks to the person who made them. When I remember I’ll link to that site. Link here.
Going to try and find some way of having the icons on my main site, I think that’ll look really cool. At the moment I am still bothered by time out errors and 500 errors. I think my server shares its time with other sites or it spends a long time doing site maintenance. Will try to find out.
I secretly hope that this site will take off and be very widely read but in reality I don’t want that responsibility. I could, of course, post stuff that isn’t well written and doesn’t make sense but in reality I want to use this to improve my writing skills which are currently poor.
Here’s to the web allowing me to indulge myself and make writing feel like fun, even with the iPhone touch pad.