Archive for November, 2011


During the early years at Cape Canaveral, the original Mission Control Center (MCC) consisted only of three rows, as the Mercury capsule was simple in design and construction, with missions lasting no more than 35 hours.

The first row consisted of several controllers, the BOOSTER, SURGEON, CAPCOM, RETRO, FIDO, and GUIDO.

The BOOSTER controller, depending upon the type of rocket being used, was either a engineer from the Marshall Space Flight Center (for Mercury-Redstone flights) or an Air Force engineer (for Mercury-Atlas and later Gemini-Titan flights) assigned for that mission. The BOOSTER controller’s job would last no more than six hours total and he would vacate his console after the booster was jettisoned.

The SURGEON controller, consisting of a flight surgeon (either a military or civilian doctor), monitored the astronaut’s vital signs during the flight, and if a medical need arose, could recommend treatment. The CAPCOM controller, filled by an astronaut, maintained nominal air-to-ground communications between the MCC and the orbiting spacecraft; the exception being the SURGEON or Flight Director, and only in an emergency.

The RETRO, FIDO, and GUIDO controllers monitored spacecraft trajectory and handled course changes.

The second row also consisted of several controllers, the ENVIRONMENTAL, PROCEDURES, FLIGHT, SYSTEMS, and NETWORK. The ENVIRONMENTAL controller, later called EECOM, oversaw the consumption of spacecraft oxygen and monitored pressurization, while the SYSTEMS controller, later called EGIL, monitored all other spacecraft systems, including electrical consumption. The PROCEDURES controller, first held by Gene Kranz, handled the writing of all mission milestones, “GO/NO GO” decisions, and synchronized the MCC with the launch countdowns and the Eastern Test Range. The PROCEDURES controller also handled communications, via teletype, between the MCC and the worldwide network of tracking stations and ships.

The flight director, known as FLIGHT, was ultimate supervisor of the Mission Control Center, and gave the final orbit entrance/exit, and, in emergencies, mission abort decisions. During Mercury missions, this position was held by Christopher Kraft, with John Hodge, an Englishman who came to NASA after the cancellation of the Canadian Avro Arrow project, joining the flight director ranks for the 22-orbit Mercury 9, requiring Kraft to divide Mission Control into two shifts. The flight director’s console was also the only position in the Cape MCC to have a television monitor, allowing him to see the rocket lift off from the pad. The NETWORK controller, an Air Force officer, served as the “switchboard” between the MCC, the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland (as on-site real-time computing did not exist), and the worldwide tracking station and ship network.

The back row, consisting primarily of NASA and Department of Defense (DOD) management, was the location of the operations director (held by Walt Williams), a general or flag officer who could coordinate with the DOD on all search-and-rescue mission, and the PAO (“Shorty” Powers during Mercury), who provided minute-by-minute mission commentary for the news media and public.

In addition to the controllers in the Cape MCC, each of the manned tracking stations and the Rose Knot Victor and Coastal Sentry Quebec tracking ships, had three controllers, a CAPCOM, SURGEON, and an engineer. Unlike the Cape CAPCOM, which was always staffed by an astronaut, the tracking station/tracking ship CAPCOMs were either a NASA engineer, or an astronaut, with the latter located at stations deemed “critical” by the flight director and operations director.

The First 100 Days

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Cool, Government, History


Rechargeable Liminous Umbrella

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Cool, Creative, Gadgets, How To, Life

Holy Bible

Posted: November 20, 2011 in Religion

The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books (Biblical canon), their contents and their order vary among denominations. Mainstream Judaism divides the Tanakh into 24 books, while a minority stream of Judaism, the Samaritans, accepts only five. The 24 texts of the Hebrew Bible are divided into 39 books in Christian Old Testaments, and complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible. The Hebrew and Christian Bibles are also important to other Abrahamic religions, including Islam and the Bahá’í Faith, but those religions do not regard them as central religious texts.

The Jewish Bible, or Tanakh, is divided into three parts: (1) the five books of the Torah (“teaching” or “law”), comprising the origins of the Israelite nation, its laws and its covenant with the God of Israel; (2) the Nevi’im (“prophets”), containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites – specifically, struggles between believers in “the Lord God” and believers in foreign gods, and the criticism of unethical and unjust behavior of Israelite elites and rulers; and (3) the Ketuvim (“writings”): poetic and philosophical works such as the Psalms and the Book of Job.

The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the (minimum) 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books. The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Christ and are central to the Christian faith. Christian Bibles include the books of the Hebrew Bible, but arranged in a different order: Jewish Scripture ends with the people of Israel restored to Jerusalem and the temple, whereas the Christian arrangement ends with the book of the prophet Malachi. The oldest surviving Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century; the oldest complete Jewish Bible is a Greek translation, also dating to the 4th century. The oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (the Masoretic text) date from the Middle Ages.

During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospel accounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments together are commonly referred to as “The Holy Bible” (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια). Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, and cite passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief. The canonical composition of the Old Testament is under dispute between Christian groups: Protestants hold only the books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonical; Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox additionally consider the deuterocanonical books, a group of Jewish books, to be canonical. The New Testament is composed of the Gospels (“good news”), the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles (letters), and the Book of Revelation.

The Bible is the best-selling book in history with approximate sales estimates ranging from 2.5 billion to 6 billion.

What’ll It Be,Daddy ?

Posted: November 20, 2011 in Food and Beverage