MENU 
Fine dining for every age: United Airlines in-flight meal; 1896 dinner; Captain Nemo’s Table; Joliet ice cream store; Cape Kennedy Cafe kids’ menu; Japantown’s Takara; Oroville’s Tong Fong Low; Myra Breckenridge’s 1970 weekend party.

Curated lunch from The Myra Breckenridge Cookbook (1970) incl. Spinach Souffle; Carp in Beer; Nantucket Clam Pie; Sweet Cherry Soup.

Curated dinner from The Myra Breckenridge Cookbook (1970) incl. Brandied Pate; Endives Au Gratin; Paella Valencia; Saddle of Boar; Cassoulet; Pigs' Tails; Zabaglione; Bourbon Balls.

Curated breakfast from The Myra Breckenridge Cookbook (1970) incl. Scrambled Egg w/ Oyster; Southern-style Hash.

Menu from Oroville's Tong Fong Low incl. Cream Cheese Crab Wonton; House Chow Mein; Tomato Beef Chow Mein; Singapore Noodles; Beef Noodle Soup; Sesame Chicken; Walnut Shrimp.

1896 Dinner Menu: Green Turtle Soup; Planked Shad; Diamond Back Terrapin; Lamp Chops Princesse; Benedictine Punch; Squab; Dressed Lettuce; Ice Cream; Assorted Cakes; Coffee; Cognac.

1928 In-flight Menu for United Airlines flight, New York to San Francisco:  Chicken Broth; Craclers' Assorted Relishes; Mignon of Veal (main); Russian Sauce; Baby Lima Beans in Butter; Bermuda Potato; Assorted Breads; Cheese Salad; Pineapple, Pear, Orange, Cream; Baba au Rum or Cheese & Crackers; Coffee, Tea, Milk.
1954 dinner hosted onboard the submarine Nautilus: Sea Cucumber Preserves; Fillet of Sea Snake; Fillet of Blowfish, Based in Barnacles w/ Sea Squid Dressing; Giant Sperm Whale Cream Sauce; Saute of Unborn Octopus PUdding; Seaweed Cigars.

Circa 2001 menu for Japantown's Takara incl.: Asari Clams in Broth; Vinegared Salmon, Shrimp, Mackerel; Fermented Squid; Fresh Hamaguri Clam; Tofu in Fish Broth; Savory Egg Custard w/ Chicken; Beef Tripe.

Circa 1968 Children's Menu at Cape Kennedy's Wolfie's: Roast Beef Sammie; Large Kosher Frankfurter; Fried Shrimp Platter; Small Chopped Steak; Roast Turkey Sammie; Beef Stew Plate; Junion Salad Plate; Ham & Sweets.

2020 menu for Rich and Creamy Ice Cream Store in Joliet, Illinois, incl. Frozen Banana; Slushes; Sundaes; Milk Shakes; Ice Cream Sandwiches; Banana Splits; and Strawberry Shortcake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, Hot Caramel, Pecans.


  PIXELS 
Reflection of sky on water.





-¦  December 2022  ¦-

  ROCKETEER  


a n a l y s t      On April 15, 1726, while taking tea in the garden with his friend, Issac Newton (b.1642) pondered on an apple which had just fallen to the ground. William Stuckeley records how Newton mused:
      “Why should that apple al­ways descend per­pen­dic­u­lar­ly to the ground? Why should it not go side­ways, or up­wards? but con­stant­ly to the earth”s centre? As­sured­ly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in, and the sum of the draw­ing power in the mat­ter of the earth must be in the earth’s centre, not in any side of the earth. There­fore does this apple fall per­pen­dic­u­lar­ly, or toward the center. If matter thus draws, it must be in pro­por­tion of its quan­tity. There­fore the apple draws the earth, as well as the earth draws the apple.”

a n g e l      The ancients, unconcerned of this “drawing power” that Newton was to articulate, mocked the gravity throne and continued sending prayers to heaven. En­treaties written in temple script on paper were then folded into a pouch. A lit candle attached to the pouch sends smoke inside, causing its ascent.       Humankind then followed the lanterns, yet the earliest ones didn’t know to carry oxygen, and returned spouting the wildest tales of beings living in the upper air. The four winds, curious, would approach with whistles and roars and yells, asking questions, including that confounded new con­tri­vance, a wind tunnel.       Sensing fear in their visitors’ eyes, the thunderous voices abated. Zephros drew closer and whis­pered: “We are wind gods of the four cardinal points, heralds of seasons, sons to Typhöeus, fifth and final monster born to mother Earth. We too seek a rea­son for exis­tence, and wheth­er or not it be­comes us to be suit­ed up in turbines, pumps, and such fetters.”       Notos spread icicles while parting his lips: “Can these regulation systems really help with my rest­less­ness? and what’s up with welded insulation?” Euros brought up the sorest point: “Can gravity weigh me down and curb my mood.” Boreas’ grum­ble rumbled: “Magnetosphere con­strains our empire but why? And who are these rocket­men and their reckless aerial turns in guidance and control?”
      Sensing fear in the visitors’ eyes, their thun­derous voices abated. Then Zephros drew even closer and whis­pered: “We are wind gods of the four cardinal points, heralds of seasons, sons to Typhöeus, fifth and final monster born to mother Earth. We too seek a rea­son for exis­tence, and wheth­er or not it be­comes us to be suit­ed up in turbines, pumps, and such fetters.”       Notos spread icicles while parting his lips: “Can these regulation systems really help w/ my rest­less­ness? and what’s up w/ welded insulation?” Euros brought up the sorest point: “Can gravity weigh me down and curb my mood.” Boreas’ grum­ble rumbled: “Mag­ne­to­sphere con­strains our empire but why? And who are these rocket­men and their aerial ad­ven­tures in guidance and control?”

a i r m a n      The four winds invariably took their gasping guests on the grand tour. Earth’s atmosphere is spherical and contains a precise mixture of gases such that oxygen becomes its miraculous chemical product. It has the same shape as mother Earth due to her gravitational grit, which she bestows also to water and all living things. The sea and mountains are deemed to be sentient by the ancients, and so too is Aether considered a being, having undergone “bio­chem­i­cal mod­i­fi­ca­tions by living organisms” ever since its aboriginal form coa­lesced into a paleo-atmosphere. Material enough for Earth to lassoo the grandson to Chaos with a girdle tight enough to separate the deity into distinct layers, and is the main cause of clouds.       This primeval sky god can only be discerned when he digs into his bag of optical tricks and throws mirages, or scatters light. Aether is patron to Earth, whose existence depends on a narrow band of the bottom layer, beginning at sea level.

a v a t a r      Innovative proto-aviators watched how birds populate the air and go where they will. Wings got built and tied to men. Jumps happened. Leonardo da Vinci (b.1452) had his own solution; yet his own design, wings that can flap, never left the sketchbook.      

   Bird wings are folding fans, able to expand and collapse. Each wing is a web of arm bones, having joints which, by evolutionary decree, have quills on the knuckles; each quill grasps one feather.

a e r i a l i s t      Divinities of the air were entranced to receive paper prayers heaven-bound using paper, glue and heated air. They also found out that hydrogen, when it is un­adulterated, possesses levitational abilities also. But being a gas, it would simply dissipate when in contact with one or more gasses.       Rare and difficult to distill, hydrogen requires a chamber, white-hot iron, run­ning water; and had to wait until a non-porous material to con­tain the new gas, was was dis­cov­ered around 1780, had not yet been de­vel­oped.       A ginormous pillow, with a small opening, tied to a large basket and fed a healthy gulp of heated air, took to rising into the atmosphere. Then, as the trapped air cools, this “hot-air balloon” will descend. The first companions chosen to carry out this maid­en flight were a french sheep, duck and rooster.

a c r o b a t      Smoke from large fires first showed the way during wartime: to send a signal, or initiate a maneuver. Kites were another way to harness wind behavior to send sturdier signals. It can also be used as a measure­ment of distance, or just to “test the wind.” Kites can also fight each other.
      Dog-earred generals carried mint editions of “The Myth of Icarus” into battle and tasked military engineers to accessorize kites so as to become fit for carrying a passenger. Even­tual­ly squadrons of pas­seng­ers paid visits to the sky, and giving notice that the empire of the four winds was coming to an end.       Kites were invented for children when they first became aware how they might have, as playpals: the four winds.       Not for war’s sake, Benjamin Franklin (b.1706) is prob­ably the first to use wind power to send a laboratory into space: kite + key + lightning storm.

a l c h e m i s t      Through trial and error someone came up with gunpowder. That a right mixture of carbon, sulfur and saltpeter (an efflorescence mineral found on the surface of stones) will produce a flash accompanied by fire that burns off – an explosion. A wrong mixture produces instead just “smoke and flames.”
      Soldiers saw the promise and quickly adopt­ed the recipe. Dream­ers invented fireworks. Paper tubes filled with confetti and a spoonful of gun­powder then sealed with a fuse sticking out. The tube is tied to a long stick that will act as a tail, then aimed towards the sky. Flame is introduced to the fuse and the detonation produces a propulsive force inside the tube, which ascends before spilling out its contents.       Al­though it was John Bate (b.1600s) figured out how to make compound-rockets, which boosted the appeal of his brand of “fyer workes,” it took until Hermann Oberth (b.1894) to sheath it in metal, for the first time, to insure a sturdier flight.
      Fireworks are propelled missiles guided during a brief initial phase of powered flight. Then a subsequent trajectory that obeys the laws of gravity, and codified as classical mechanics.

a r c h e t y p e       When World War 2 was over, pilots and other aero­nauticals returned to civilian roles.       Back to working for a paycheck, these airmen flexed their know-how and birthed an aerospace industry that now­adays has gone global. By 1960 the skies were al­ready beginning to get mighty crowded.
      Governments were wont to fund space ex­plor­a­tions, get bragging rights, so they practised by dividing up North Pole, a melting continent.       Long­i­tudes and latitudes led to pre­ci­sion map­ping of the world, and in the co-mingling of new dis­ci­plines rock­et science took off to map a hypothetical heaven.




  GROUND  CONTROL 


e n v o y      Today’s astronomers worry about micro-meterorites and cosmic rays bombarding the Inter­nation­al Space Station, close calls among satellites and spacecrafts, and especially wardrobe malfunctions in outer space.       Yester­day’s astronomers had fewer worries, more wonderment. Taking notes, they devised almanacs and calendars. Some built structures to greet celestial returns, Karnak’s temple turns orange with the rising of the midwinter Sun, and the standing stones at Stone­henge ‘has some align­ment on astro­nom­ical phenomena.’       The Babylonians divided the sky into twelve equal wedges, to facilitate the tracking of positions as well as move­ments. Then a map was passed around, show­ing longitudes and latitudes. The Vatican became intrigued, wanting to learn more of this new science, which arrived in Europe from Spain, in translations of Indian and Islamic texts, and a mechanism known as an astrolabe, that can show a map of heaven.
      Caroline Herschel (b.1850) started out as an assistant to her astronomer brother William Herschel (b.1738), polishing mirrors and mounting telescopes. When he then discovered Uranus, she too took a peek, and soon enough discoverd a satellite to the Andromeda galaxy: an elliptical dwarf galaxy.       Then a Harvard computer, while cataloging stars over several photographic glass plates by using a spectroscope, which charts ‘stellar brightness in proportion to luminosity-oscillation periods’ (i.e., the twinkle), devised a ‘standard candle for determining cosmic distances.’ Henrietta Leavitt (b.1868) had just invented a space tape measure to judge distances.

e y e w i t n e s s      The ancients were intrigued by natural glass found in nature, able to let light through, to enhance eyesight by magnification. These qualities were refined, when glass-making was invented, to help address loss of eyesight in the aged, among many other benefits. Polished with a concave or sometimes convex surface, fitted into a holder, this became a magnifying glass. Then someone fitted several lenses into a tube and invented the telescope.
      When the tube became much much larger, a glass plate treated on one side with a photo­sensitive agent was placed inside, and after a period of time, up to two years, yielded a photo­graph of stars.       Author Agnes Giberne (b.1845) wrote the first astronomy books for young minds, bringing them face to face with the Moon, the Sun, comets. “Among the Stars,” which came out in 1885, is 360 pages.

e x a m i n e r      Mary Palmer (b.1839) married a doctor, and amateur astron­o­mer, Henry Draper (b.1837), and became an astute student of the sky. His sudden death age 45 left her with money, paperwork and photographic evidence of their galaxy quest.       Mary Draper then bequeathed an annual sum, beginning in 1886, to Harvard College Observatory, to procure sufficient staff to finish her husband’s catalog of stars.
      The photographic evi­dence were captured on hun­dreds of glass plates, either 17x14 or 8x10 inches in size. Each plate is overlaid with numbered grids and placed, on an inclined plane, under a microscope. A light under the glass-plate illu­mi­nates the photograph.       The first computer, looking through the microscope, calls out each star’s name and grid position, while another computer enters the information into a ledger.       The glass plates are also studied using a spectro­scope, and requires an ap­ti­tude for mathematics to take readings ‘based on the bright­ness of stars.’ Descrip­tions can include normal, hazy, sharp, and inter-deter­m­inants (several kinds). Be­cause of the long exposure time, the pho­to­sen­si­tive agent was able to register ‘long inte­gra­tion times’ yielding data on color, temperature, chemical com­po­si­tion.       Wil­lia­mina Fleming (b.1857) was one of the first Harvard com­puters, a team of women scientists. She had no such background and trained on the job, which was to ‘compute mathematical clas­si­fi­ca­tions.’ It turned out she had a flair for the work: “From day to day my duties at the Observatory are so nearly alike that there will be little to describe outside ordi­nary routine work of measurement, exam­i­na­tion of photographs, and of work involved in the reduction of these observations.

e t y m o l o g i s t      NASA’s predecessor had hired female math­e­ma­ti­cians, as early as in 1935, as human com­puters in a segregated system. As­signed to dif­fer­ent de­part­ments, they would be tasked to take down notes, parse flight test scores, run cal­cu­la­tions, perform analytics.       Jeanette Scissum (b.1938) on her first day, in 1964, at NASA: “Math­e­ma­ti­cian, entry level. They didn’t have computers or a computer science pro­gram at A&M when I grad­u­at­ed, so I didn’t know how to do that. Once I did, everybody had me doing computer stuff for them.”       Math­e­ma­ti­cian Katherine Johnson (b.1918), work­ing in NASA’s flight mechanic division, was told that a space­craft would want to make a landing during prime-time television on a specific date. She then had to figure out when takeoff time must take place. Using analytic geom­etry, Johnson figured it out.       High-school whizkid Mary Winston (b.1921), with degrees in math­e­matics and physical science, worked in the com­puter pool, and was assigned to assist in wind tunnel tests at twice the speed of sound. Showing promise, she went back to school and got an engineer’s degree and became an aerospace engineer. Married to a sailor in the U.S. Navy, she became Mary W. Jackson. The National Aeronautics Space Administration’s D.C. headquarters is now named after her.      
Mathematician Dorothy Vaughan (b.1910), in a 28-year career at NASA’s Langley Research Center, became a specialist in calculating flight paths. Vaughan then had ac­cess to a new office machine, read the user’s manual, taught herself the machine’s lan­guage, Fortran (Formula Translating System), and learned how to program NASA’s first electronic com­puter.       Math­e­ma­ti­cian Grace Hop­per (b.1906) championed the use of English in com­pos­ing tasks fed into elec­tron­ic computers: “Man­ip­u­lat­ing symbols was fine for mathematicians but it was no good for data pro­ces­sors who were not symbol manip­u­la­tors. If they are they become pro­fes­sion­al math­e­ma­ti­cians, not data pro­ces­sors. It’s much easier for most people to write an Eng­lish statement than it is to use symbols. So I decided data processors ought to be able to write their programs in Eng­lish, and the com­puters would translate them into machine code. That was the beginning of COBOL (Com­mon Business Oriented Lan­guage), a computer language for data processors.”       Mathematician Evelyn Boyd (b.1924) joined IBM in 1956: “At a two-week training session I was introduced to the IBM 650 and the pro­gram­ing language SOAP. ... Creation of a computer program is an exercise in logical thinking. Afterwards I worked as a consultant in numeri­cal anal­ysis in an IBM subsidiary. When NASA awarded IBM a contract to plan, write, and maintain computer pro­grams I readily agreed ... to be a part of the team of IBM mathematicians and scientists who were re­spon­si­ble for the formulation of orbit computations and computer procedures, first for project Vanguard, and later for project Mercury.       Mathematician Melba Roy Mouton (b.1929) worked for the Army Map Service before working as a human com­puter for NASA, and fig­ur­ing out trajectory and orbit­al solu­tions for a metal­ized bal­loon in proj­ect Echo.       Writ­ing prop­o­si­tions and coming up with solutions by hand was routine for math­e­ma­ti­cian Annie Easley (b.1933). Then electronic computers came along and, although Easley learned Fortran and be­came a more-valued asset, she still can re­mem­ber the micro-ag­gres­sions: “My head is not in the sand. If I can’t work with you, I will work around you. I was not about to be [so] dis­cou­raged that I’d walk away. ... I’m out here to do a job and I knew I had the ability, and that’s where my focus was.”       Work­ing in the computer pool, Chris­tine Darden (b.1947) was given the task to come up with a computer program for sonic boom. Darden, who grew up taking apart and putting back together bicycles and other manu­fac­tured contraptions, is today an aero­space engi­neer: “I was able to stand on the shoulders of those women who came before me, and women who came after me were able to stand on mine.


  THREAD & THRUM  title of article: Rubble Rubble
Photo of meteorite that landed in Sanchore, northern India, in 2020.
Small space ob­jects enter­ing Earth’s gravi­ta­tion are, first and fore­most, a po­ten­ti­al­ly dan­ger­ous “near-Earth ob­ject”. When­ever such a visit­or buzzes Earth, it be­comes a (pass­ing) meteor­oid – it can free it­self and con­tin­ue its course. It’s a meteor if it can­not. And a meteor­ite, when it has crash landed.
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Photo of meteorite that landed in Sanchore, northern India, in 2020. Composed of germantium, iron, nickel and platinum.  Photo: Alan Fitzsimmons
It took a while to pin down what an aster­oid is. The space rocks that make up the Aster­oid Belt is a col­lec­tion that con­tains more than aster­oids. Af­ter much dis­cus­sions, an asteroid these days is under­stood to be a space rock that can come in a var­i­ous shapes, a width of from about half-a-mile (one kilo­meter) to about 600 miles (1000 kilo­meters); some­thing ir­reg­u­lar and small­er than the Moon. An aster­oid lacks an electro-mag­net­ic core and carries no atmo­spher.
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Enhanced photo of comet Neowise.
A space object with a tail (made of gas and dust) is a comet. There are dif­fer­ent kinds; some can even come from oth­er solar sys­tems.
Two photos: girls posing next to large boulder in Hawaii. Giant rock found ln Joshua Tree, California.





















❚-❚-❚•  In the after­math of the Trojan War, Olym­pians car­ried on the fight with each oth­er – god versus god. This theo=machia so angered Ge (pronunced Gaea), that the premier earth god­dess revolt­ed. Egypt dis­ap­peared in­to a “screaming wind”. An­oth­er Aesir-Vanir con­flict had been brew­ing when rip­ples from the war in the south trig­gered the eight­eenth Rag­narok, send­ing nine worlds and twelve hells top­pling into a watery worm­hole.

❚-❚-❚•  Ge began cramp­ing and vomit­ed out con­tents in her vaults. The larg­est eject­iles had been im­pris­oned there by her grand­son Jupiter. These (4th class) mon­sters, gain­ing back their agen­cy, prompt­ly at­tacked Olym­pus by stack­ing moun­tains and climb­ing up, trig­ger­ing giganto=machia 2.0. What else that didn’t climb out was shak­­en off in un­dulat­ing spasms, clear­ing out cav­­erns and empty­­ing all of the hells that Ge knew about. The last to de­part Tar­­ta­rus, with the keys, were under­world deities Pluto and his titan-aunt Hekate, mak­ing sure every gate was open and all left un­­guarded.

❚-❚-❚•  The goddess with no parents then picked Atlas up and threw the sec­ond-gen titan at her male coun­ter­part, which is what gave Uranus his famous red-eye. Their son, first-gen titan Hyper­ion, wit­nessed all this and had a hydro­gen-heart at­tack; in 1948, the solar god would step down from the Sun. Tak­ing his place on the grav­ity=throne was that “con­tain­er of multi­tudes”, com­plex god Apol­lon, whose outer manifestation now is Helius, “the eld­est flame”. Rendering of the invariable plane in relation to the inner solar system.

Eight planets (+ a few minor plan­ets + the Aster­oid Belt), i.e., the clas­si­cal solar sys­tem, go around the Sun along the “in­var­iable plane”, in har­mo­ni­ous align­ment. Be­yond Nep­tune, though, this pre­dict­able “music of the spheres” is no long­er the case.
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Rendering of the Kuiper Belt as a large band surrounding the inner solar system.
There is a vast­ness be­yond the in­ner solar sys­tem, en­larg­ing by extra­ordi­nary mag­ni­tudes the sway of the Sun. Just beyond Nep­tune is a lab­or­a­tory, in the guise of a ceme­tery lik­ened to the Aster­oid Belt, where ob­jects in res­o­nance to the Sun roam. Just be­yond Nep­tune lies a for­mid­able ring of iced rocks in rela­tive­ly stable or­bits, called the Kuiper Belt (1992), named for Dutch astron­o­mer Gerard Kuiper (b.1905). Posit­ed, ever since the 1930s, as debris and there­fore a part of the solar sys­tem, the first evi­dence sur­faced when Albion (1992), myth­o­log­i­cal Brit­ain, stepped into view: the first Kui­per Belt ob­ject ‐ half a mile (167 kilo­meters) wide, and tak­ing 289 years to go around the Sun.
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Rendering of the angled Scattered Disc in relation to trans-Neptune space.
The Sun has a third ring, an odd sec­tor where trans-Nep­tune ob­jects or­bit in res­o­nance with Nep­tune’s gravi­ta­tion­al heft, the Scat­tered Disc (1966).
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Rendering of the Öpik-Oort Cloud in relation to the inner and outer solar system.
In 1907, astron­omy began imagin­ing a re­gion in the hinter­lands of the out­er solar sys­tem, a “reser­voir of comets”, and where iced rem­nants from the for­ma­tion of the ear­ly solar sys­tem con­tin­ue liv­ing a half-life. In 1932, it be­gan prob­able. By mid-cen­tury, a map of what it may look like was be­gun. Named after Eston­ian astro­physi­cist Ernst Öpik (b.1893) and Dutch astron­omer Jan Oort (b.1900), the Öpik-Oort Cloud (1950).


❚-❚-❚•  Marooned on a chunk float­ing south as Pan­gea broke apart, indi­genes clung on and end­ed up on an­oth­er shore, un­der an­oth­er view of the Sun. Look­ing at sum­mer skies through wintry eyes, they saw the physi­cal, spirit­ual and mor­tal planes clear­er and earli­er than most. They were the first to notice, when the first atom­ic bomb test too place on July 17 1945 in New Mex­i­co, how Ge had curled up and suc­cumbed to cata­tonia. Now­adays, the first peo­ples of Austra­lia are best friends with the faded goddess of the Earth, and help to re­pair her bandag­ing to suit every season.

❚-❚-❚•  Nereus actual­ly didn’t fell any­thing while Ge went through her geo=­machia. His ab­orig­i­nal root mat­ter being H-two-oh, “Medi­ter­ran­ean” soon enough be­gan to splash some of it over the ex­posed parts of Earth, ini­ti­at­ing a tidal rite to soothe his beloved, his grand­mother, his only home.

❚-❚-❚•  In 1950, Pluto and Hekate pre­sent­ed them­selves at the gravity☷throne, and told every­one pres­ent what they had seen: a trans-Nep­tune region of space where there were more rings, where space rocks and ob­jects have zany or­bits, and where every­thing was sus­pend­ed in­side a stupen­dous gos­sa­mer cloud. The king and crone of the under­world had come to the house of the Sun to an­nounce the pass­ing of the old order.

❚-❚-❚•  This had al­ready be­gun dur­ing the for­ma­tion of the in­ner solar sys­tem, when Jupi­ter had jostled with neigh­bor Saturn over throne place­ments. This mini=machia, be­tween father and son, was won by the son. Yet by widen­ing and ad­just­ing their or­bits to avoid col­li­sion, it also caused near­by Uranus to flip onto his back, all the while mak­ing Nep­tune, near enough, to sway and heave, back and forth.

❚-❚-❚•  The premier sea god had im­medi­ate­ly coun­tered to save his trident☵throne, but in the ensu­ing tem­pest dam­age hap­pened, and fling­ing what flaked off into re­mote regions. Nep­tune had also smacked into some­thing sub­stan­tial, shat­ter­ing the ob­ject and hurl­ing debris large and small far, far, far away. Cas­ual­ties from this oly=machia are now every­where you look, yet are sub­ject one and all to the grav­ity☷throne. Thus end­ed Hekate’s ac­count of the gath­er­ing to­geth­er of a hypo­the­ti­cal heaven.

❚-❚-❚•  Pluto, the first minor plan­et, was rec­og­nized as the first trans-Nep­tune enti­ty, a fit­ting place­ment for the king of the dead over­see­ing a mov­ing ceme­tery in out­er space. The near­est cas­ual­ties made up a vast legion called the Kui­per Belt, the sec­ond ring around the Sun. There is yet a third ring, faint­ly sketched out, the odd-behav­ing ob­jects that make up the Scat­tered Disc. Fur­ther out yet is a bub­ble of ceme­tery dust, the Öpik-Oort Cloud, com­posed of multi-bil­lion bits of iced peb­bles. All these trans-Nep­tune ob­jects to­geth­er make up the “frozen forgots”, some larg­er some small­er, some spher­i­cal with moons, mari­nat­ing for the most part in blue-grey bruises un­der dessi­cat­ed dress­ings.

❚-❚-❚•  Pluto had, begin­ning 2004, come to under­stand this new neigh­bor­hood. In a gold­en chariot drawn by four black horses, the infer­nal god had crossed over the sec­ond ring of the Sun and got stuck momen­ta­ri­ly in bow shock, the first visit­or from the in­ner solar sys­tem to do so. Breach­ing which hurled Pluto inex­on­or­ably through un­known terri­tory be­fore end­ing up in poten­tial­ly hazard­ous inter­stellar space (1904). The king of shad­ows had to find a rip­pling band, caused by the Sun’s rota­tion, that resem­bles a “balle­rina’s skirt” in motion. Sens­ing his mo­ment, Pluto drew his sword and act­ed, cleav­ing the hydro­gen wall and step­ping over, ar­riv­ing at the final bar­rier of the helio­sphere, a gelat­in­ous mem­brane that causes ter­mi­na­tion shock – a shield fil­ter­ing out harm­ful rays from cross­ing over.
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A trans-Neptune ob­ject cov­ers all man­ner of space rocks out­side the in­ner solar sys­tem, i.e., be­yond Nep­tune. By this rec­kon­ing, Plu­to be­came the first tNo. The region where these ob­jects con­gre­gate cor­re­sponds rough­ly the size of the helio­sphere (1904). It can be home to minor planets, pro­to-plan­ets planet­esi­mals; minor moons, moon­lets, moon­moons; varie­ties of comets, etc.
+ Rendering of Kuiper Belt minor planet Haumea and two satellites.
The third minor plan­et from the Kui­per Belt, carry­ing two moons as well as a ring a ring, is a “col­li­sion­al fam­ily”, and one day the tri­nary sys­tem will de­stroy each other. Haumea (2004) is an elon­gated sphere devoid of meth­ane and bright as snow. A day for the Hawai‘ian child­birth god­dess is over with in 3.9 hours, yet she spends 285.5 years go­ing around the Sun. Daugh­ter Hi‘iaka 120 miles wide and makes an or­bit every 50 days. Nāmaka, the small­er moon-daugh­ter, is swad­dled in iced water.
+
The duckegg-shaped orbit of Scattered Disc object Eris in relation to the inner solar system.
The twin sis­ter to Mars is a tNo with an ob­long 558-year-long or­bit around the Sun, ap­pear­ing out of the Scat­tered Disc and us­ing Plu­to, or Nep­tune, to swing around and go home, Eris (2005) is a large minor plan­et, 1,500 miles (2414 kilo­meters) wide, and capa­cious enough to stuff the en­tire Aster­oid Belt in her ice-re­flect­ing froz­en-meth­ane plan­et-sized mantle.
+
Extreme-oval orbit of Öpik-Oort Cloud object Leleākūhonua in relation to the inner solar system. Img: Roberto Molar Dandanosa Scott Sheppard Carnegie Insitution for Science
Telescopes scan­ning be­yond the Kui­per Belt came across a very dis­tant ob­ject orbit­ing the Sun, and the first con­fir­ma­tion of a vast back­yard be­yond the out­er solar sys­tem. Named for a migra­tory Pacif­ic Ocean bird, Leleā­kū­ho­nua (2015) is a tNo with an or­bit so ex­treme as to also spend some a bit of time in the Kui­per Belt, and the rest of it trav­el­ling back to the Öpik-Oort Cloud.


❚-❚-❚•  Regular minis­tra­tions by human­kind on Ge was work­ing, and she be­gan to detox, then itched and bloat­ed and ac­ci­den­tal­ly shot great-grand­son Mars in­to out­er space. Ang­ered by this rejec­tion, the mili­tary god turned around and demol­ished the near­est planet; the year was 1534. Long before this event took place, daughter to the sea Venus had long departed the wretched Earth to seek safety closer to the Sun. Mars even­tual­ly bur­ied all the re­mains in his back yard, a ceme­tery now called the Aster­oid Belt (1801), and is the first ring around the Sun.

❚-❚-❚•  Six years later, corpses be­gan to float into view. The first ha­ppened to be spher­i­cal, and hap­pened to be small­er than the Moon, when it was later meas­ured. So er­ron­eous­ly it was tit­led first a plan­et, then an aster­oid, be­fore be­com­ing, in 2006, the first minor plan­et in the solar sys­tem. The larg­est ob­ject in the Aster­oid Belt is agri­cul­tural god­dess Ceres (1801).

❚-❚-❚•  Now revived, the sister to Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto – the second female in Pantheon 1.0 – crosses over to the Gar­den of Apol­lon 2.0, pre­pares beds for grow­ing bar­ley, com­poses hymns to sun­light. Made of am­bient mat­ter, hav­ing no def­i­nite bound­ary, the Sun is a star with the capac­i­ty to shed root mat­ter as ener­gy, in a form rapid enough as to seem solid; the Sun can as­sume diverse forms. Each sun al­so under­goes on­go­ing com­bus­tion, has grav­i­ta­tion­al sway over some sur­round­ing space, its helio­sphere: a shape­less bub­ble, be­cause solar wind plus inter­stel­lar wind plus motion in space.

❚-❚-❚•  A sizeable space rock with an elec­tro-mag­net­ic field is a plan­et, and can host one or more sat­el­lites. There are also plan­ets en­gulfed in visi­ble gasses; some have rings. The celes­tial court now lists the eight clos­est plan­ets to the house of the Sun as the sole first-gen pan­theon. And the oldest seat is the chthon☶­throne on Earth.


  PIXELS 
Reflection of sky on water.



 MENU 



Curated lunch from The Myra Breckenridge Cookbook (1970) incl. Spinach Souffle; Carp in Beer; Nantucket Clam Pie; Sweet Cherry Soup.

Curated dinner from The Myra Breckenridge Cookbook (1970) incl. Brandied Pate; Endives Au Gratin; Paella Valencia; Saddle of Boar; Cassoulet; Pigs' Tails; Zabaglione; Bourbon Balls.

Curated breakfast from The Myra Breckenridge Cookbook (1970) incl. Scrambled Egg w/ Oyster; Southern-style Hash.

Menu from Oroville's Tong Fong Low incl. Cream Cheese Crab Wonton; House Chow Mein; Tomato Beef Chow Mein; Singapore Noodles; Beef Noodle Soup; Sesame Chicken; Walnut Shrimp.

1896 Dinner Menu: Green Turtle Soup; Planked Shad; Diamond Back Terrapin; Lamp Chops Princesse; Benedictine Punch; Squab; Dressed Lettuce; Ice Cream; Assorted Cakes; Coffee; Cognac.

1928 In-flight Menu for United Airlines flight, New York to San Francisco:  Chicken Broth; Craclers' Assorted Relishes; Mignon of Veal (main); Russian Sauce; Baby Lima Beans in Butter; Bermuda Potato; Assorted Breads; Cheese Salad; Pineapple, Pear, Orange, Cream; Baba au Rum or Cheese & Crackers; Coffee, Tea, Milk.
1954 dinner hosted onboard the submarine Nautilus: Sea Cucumber Preserves; Fillet of Sea Snake; Fillet of Blowfish, Based in Barnacles w/ Sea Squid Dressing; Giant Sperm Whale Cream Sauce; Saute of Unborn Octopus PUdding; Seaweed Cigars.

Circa 2001 menu for Japantown's Takara incl.: Asari Clams in Broth; Vinegared Salmon, Shrimp, Mackerel; Fermented Squid; Fresh Hamaguri Clam; Tofu in Fish Broth; Savory Egg Custard w/ Chicken; Beef Tripe.

Circa 1968 Children's Menu at Cape Kennedy's Wolfie's: Roast Beef Sammie; Large Kosher Frankfurter; Fried Shrimp Platter; Small Chopped Steak; Roast Turkey Sammie; Beef Stew Plate; Junion Salad Plate; Ham & Sweets.

2020 menu for Rich and Creamy Ice Cream Store in Joliet, Illinois, incl. Frozen Banana; Slushes; Sundaes; Milk Shakes; Ice Cream Sandwiches; Banana Splits; and Strawberry Shortcake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, Hot Caramel, Pecans.




-|  December 2022  |-

  STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN 
Photo taken from outer space of Northeast Africa






   With over 50 space pro­grams, mother Earth is get­ting con­­cerned about los­ing emigrés to a hypo­thet­i­cal heav­en. Al­ready there are six space agen­cies in the Mid­dle East, and five in Afri­ca. Looks like eight in Cen­tral Europe, and around ten in the Amer­i­cas. Asia has may­be ten, if India, Paki­stan, New Zea­land and a part of Rus­sia are ex­clud­ed.




South African National Space Agency

Since 1841, Cape Town has had a mag­net­ic sta­tion. To­day it is part of a glob­al network collecting data on Earth’s magnetic field. Ear­ly think­ing gave “an im­por­tant role in mak­ing the plan­et habit­able” to it. In­side the iron core the metal turns liquid, mak­ing out the sur­face as the least-hot por­tion of iron’s prop­er­ties. This skin, as it sheds and cools, crys­tal­lizes and will emit rule-driv­en elec­tro-mag­net­ic arcs. A healthy geo-magneto­sphere can im­part spherical harmonics to the iono­sphere and ocean tides.       The Hermanus Magnetic Observatory now lives on uni­ver­sity grounds, and is al­so a part of the coun­try’s space pro­gram. To­day, the South African National Space Agency is the sole weath­er-activ­i­ty cen­ter for all of Afri­ca, em­ploy­ing sat­el­lite feed­back for fires and flood­ing.







New Zealand Space Agency

Learning that its re­mote loca­tion was ideal for a launch site — vast stretch of ocean, negli­gent ship traf­fic means a mis­fired rocket does no harm, this is­land nation slipped into entre­pre­neur­ial shoes, donned minis­ter­ial gloves, and opened its doors to wel­come sci­ence, aero­nau­ti­cal engin­eer­ing, re­mote com­mu­ni­cat­ing and space law.        The New Zealand Space Agency keeps track of methane in the atmo­sphere, and shares its data­base in a bid to slow global warm­ing.



United Arab Emirates Space Agency

United Arab Emirates started a space program in 2014. Eight years later this fledgling has land­ed on Mars, only the sec­ond nation af­ter Amer­i­ca to do so.      The UAE rov­er was devel­oped in-house, as­sem­bled in the Unit­ed States, took off, in­side a Japan­ese land­er, aboard a SpaceX rocket in 2020.
Apollo 12 takes a photo from deep space of Earth's atmosphere backlit by the Sun during a 1969 eclipse.







International Space Station

The era of comfort in zero grav­i­ty took place quiet­ly, in 1988, as the first module of the International Space Station flew to­wards the strato­sphere. It was designed to be “an auton­o­mous space habi­tat for eight months,” wait­ing for the next com­po­nent. Zarya was equipped with “con­tain­er con­nec­tions for con­tin­genc­y trans­fer of water, con­tain­er bags, wipes, fil­ters.” There were six nickel-cad­mium bat­­ter­­ies, two solar ar­rays, three dock­ing ports. A pres­­sur­­ized valve unit with air ducts, fun­nel con­­tain­­ment fil­­ters, dust col­­lect­­ors, smoke de­tec­tor, gas anal­­yz­­er, gas masks, port­­a­ble fans. A pole, hand­­rails, hooks, in­stru­­ment con­­tain­­ers in the cabin. In 2020, Legacy loos were re­placed with new ones. On the draw­ing boards: a waste manage­ment system com­mon to all vehicle plat­forms.       Fif­teen nations are mem­bers to this Inter­national Space Station, a poten­tial­ly expand­able habi­tat, while five co­or­di­nate the day-to-day. All have signed agree­ments cov­er­ing legal, finan­cial and polit­i­cal imp­li­ca­tions in how the sta­tion is util­ized, its traf­fic routes, crew time. ISS is ser­viced by a team of three robots, cap­able of inde­pen­dent or con­joined activ­i­ties.







Italian Space Agency

Italy looked at the 19th cen­tury sky with scien­tific eyes. Inven­tor Luigi Gus­sali (b.1885) would go on to pro­pose, in 1946, the use of solar rays as a pro­pel­lant. Engin­eer Gioulio Gos­tan­zi (b.1875) thought in­stead it would be nuclear pow­er. He also thought about the plight of weight­less­ness, lethal rays from the Sun, whose prox­im­i­ty would bring on heat death.      Italy joined the space race in 1968 with a satellite launch. Twen­ty years later, the Italian Space Agency moved next door to the Vat­i­can.
Photograph of Mercury

Collage of actual and artificial Earth moons






China National Space Administration

China sent a satellite to space in 1970 for a song. Aboard was a music tape on per­pet­ual loop play­ing a eulogy to Mao Zedong, broad­cast­ing the sino revo­lu­tion to outer space. A space pro­gram emerged, orbit­ing around the figure­head of rocket­eer Tsien Hsue-Shen aka Qian Xuesen (b.1911), who had re­turned af­ter being ex­pelled from JPL for polit­i­cal un­cer­tain­ties.       By 2007, the China National Space Administration could af­ford to use a spent sat­el­lite for target practise, and cre­ated a debris field con­tain­ing some 30,000 pieces.       China has now built its own space station. Begun in 2016, the final parts come on­board six years later, which was the plan. But not be­fore an un­an­nounced rocket launch carry­ing two mod­ules to the build “re­entered Earth’s at­mos­phere and crashed west of the Mal­dives in the In­dian Ocean,” anger­ing every­one. Dur­ing the build, there have been rotat­ing con­struc­tion-and-main­te­nance crews liv­ing aboard.       Engin­eers in Cheng­du have de­signed Moon 2.0, a fixed a “fixed” il­lum­i­nat­ed sat­el­lite, 22,000 miles (33,400 km) up and fif­ty miles (80.5 km) wide. In 2022, alien signals were detected.


Indian Space Research Organisation

India’s first Moon mis­sion end­ed on Novem­ber 14 2008 when ground con­trol lost con­tact with the lunar or­bit­er, but not be­fore its sens­ors had detect­ed magmatic water on a crater. The sec­ond Moon mis­sion was launched in 2019 and, hav­ing suc­cess­ful­ly gone into lunar orbit, some sixty-two miles above the sur­face, the space­craft re­leased a robot land­er on an orbit­al des­cent that would last five days for a smooth land­ing. That was when a cyberattack dis­abled the land­er and cre­ated a new crater on the Moon.      In be­tween these two lunar mis­sion, the Indian Space Research Organisation sent a space­craft which ar­rived and then went into or­bit around Mars, and did this when oth­ers have tried but all have failed.      Want­ing bet­ter end­ings, the nation seems trans­fixed on the lat­est scifi releases from Bolly­wood, adrift in tem­por­al time shifts, smart-mon­sters, time-trav­el­ing love songs, and a mission to the red plan­et based on the real one.








European Space Agency

Europe at the end of World War 2 was shell-shocked, there had been a mas­sive brain-drain in every field. Rem­nants of aero­nautic sci­ence kept in con­tact and in 1975 came togeth­er to sign on to a “cohe­sive ap­proach to space.” Establ­ished for un­crewed space ex­plor­a­tion, the European Space Agency soon enough changed its ap­proach to space sci­ence. Ini­tial­ly found­ed by ten nations, ESA now has twen­ty-two mem­bers, and a wait­ing list.     e    Mis­sions over­lap. Ariel and Cheops are two exo-planet hunt­ers. Mercury and Venus are about to re­ceive visitors. Is there life on Mars? will have to wait long­er, be­cause of the war in Ukraine. What hap­pens when dark mat­ter touches dark ener­gy? A mis­sion to draw a map of one per­cent of the known uni­verse. An asteroid defense solu­tion, a way to cor­ral space debris.
Photograph of Venus silhouetted by the Sun

Collage of space rocks in the Asteroid belt






National Centre for Space Studies

France went through the rub­ble of World War 2 on the search for all things bal­lis­tic. Vic­tor­ious though bat­tered, the nation had al­ready set alti­tude rec­ords when the 18th cen­tury was still young. In 1947, a lab was set up to tink­er with these finds to glean achieve­ments in German “rocket pro­pul­sion and guid­ance.”        In 1961 France estab­lished the National Centre for Space Research, with a mis­sion to trans­pose civ­i­li­za­tion to space. Be­fore that could hap­pen, they inaug­u­rat­ed space medi­cine in 1982 by hook­ing up astro­naut Jean-Loup Crétien (b.1938) to moni­tors. The go-to space agen­cy for all things UFO, with a col­lec­tion go­ing back to 1954.        To­day, France’s aero­space pro­gram, hav­ing just joined the air force, faced a setback from Covid-19.







NASA

When World War 2 ended, Amer­ica set in motion Opera­tion Paper­clip, to retrieve Ger­man rocket sci­ence. They found pro­duc­tion site blue­prints, V-2 rockets (100), other tech­nol­ogy. They also found rocket­eer Wern­her von Braun (b.1912), who was amen­able to con­tin­ue where he had left off, and who crossed the Atlan­tic in­to anoth­er life.      Soon enough, in Pasa­dena, the rocket-build­ing Jet Propulsion Lab was con­duct­ing numer­ous tests. The govern­ment noticed, and in 1958 built NASA with them and the Cold War in mind.      In 2019, never be­fore seen foot­age from the Apollo 11 mis­sion were stitched with mem­or­able mo­ments for an edge of the seat ac­count of the first crewed mission to the Moon.      To­day, NASA wants to be the first to reach jupi­ter moon Europa, in 2030. It wants to part­ner with oth­er space agen­cies for an expedition to the moon, and may­be build a telescope on the far side. Their astro­biolo­gists are moni­tor­ing how the human body can be harmed by cosmic rays and its “diverse com­bi­nations of multi­ple ion-energy beams.”
Collage of Mars and moons
Closeup photo of Kuiper belt object Ryugu






Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency

Hideo Itokawa (b.1935), grad­u­ate at Tok­yo’s impe­rial uni­ver­sity with a major in aero­nau­tics, test launched a small roc­ket in 1955 and ushered in Japan’s space age.      Fast for­ward four­teen years, when three sci­ence lab­or­a­tories found that they all need­ed more room. Since their re­search into radio astron­omy, deciph­er­ing the magneto­sphere, and secrets of X-ray were com­ple­men­tary, they came to­gether in 2003 as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. 宇 宙 航 空 研 究 開 発 機 構 (JAXA)’s motto is “ex­plore to realize,” and today con­ducts inno­va­tive research. Theirs is the larg­est ISS mod­ule and giv­en whol­ly to expe­ri­ments. JAXA has al­ready sent a space­craft to rendez­vous with space rock Ryugu and, be­fore releas­ing a land­er, took a pot­shot to cre­ate a crater and ex­pose some under­ly­ing stuff. Plac­ing 0.19 oz (5 grams) of soil into an envel­ope, the land­er flung these ancient sam­ples back to Earth, some 190 mil­lion miles (300 million km) away. Now it wants to re­peat the exer­cise on the martian moon Phobos.







Canadian Space Agency

The Royal Canadian Air Force fought for the allies in World War 2, and flew trans­port, recon­nais­sance, fight­er and bomb­er mis­sions. After­wards, they main­tained their fleet and thought about go­ing high­er. In 1962 they sent a roc­ket into space.      Today, the Canadian Space Agency shares its knowl­edge for the “bene­fit of Canadians and human­ity.” CSA has joined the Arte­mis mis­sion to the Moon, and their web­site has indigenous Moon tales plus the thirteen-moons cycle of First Nations.      Foot­age from an astro­naut train­ing camp in Canada exists, so too of a singing astronaut.
Collage of Jupiter and moons

Collage of Saturn and moons






UK Space Agency

Sometime in 1933, august Brit­ish sky watch­ers cre­ated the world’s first interplanetary society. After World War 2, the govern­ment set in motion Oper­ation Backfire, in an ef­fort to re­cov­er V-2 roc­kets. In 1957, a rocket launch suc­cess­ful­ly reached an alti­tude of 124 miles (200 km).      To­day, the United Kingdom Space Agency is a cham­pion for sustain­able devel­op­ment, wants to tac­kle space debris – an emerg­ing men­ace, and design their space­port. Patience may be reward­ed perus­ing the Royal Air Force web­site to find a folder on UFOs, “com­pris­ing entire­ly of cor­re­spon­dence with mem­bers of the public” and go­ing back fif­ty years.







National Space Agency of Ukraine

Hearhiy Fedorovych Pros­ku­ra (b.1876), grad­uate of Moscow’s im­perial tech­nical col­lege, went into the manu­fac­tur­ing of pumps, gears and tur­bines for pur­poses of hydraul­ic thrust. Gath­er­ing to­geth­er like-minds, they formed an aero­nau­tics club, and, in 1937, shot a mis­sile high over Khar­kiv in Ukraine. Fast for­ward to the 1960s, when the soviet govern­ment re­tooled an auto­mobile plant there and be­gan manu­fac­tur­ing roc­kets. This fac­tory is to­day the National Space Agency of Ukraine, a descen­dant of the soviet space pro­gram.      On February 24 2002, Rus­sia invad­ed Ukraine and a spe­cial force was sent to cap­ture Khar­kiv, where the space agen­cy has its head­quarters.
Collage of Uranus and moons

Collage of Sputnik-1 in outer space






Russian Federal Space Agency

Russia’s rational ren­der­ing of heaven had its begin­nings in the 19th cen­tury. Theor­ist Kon­stan­tin Tsiol­kov­sky (b.1857) mulled on how human­kind will sur­vive in space and drew cut-away space­ship habi­tats. Scien­tist Fried­rich Zan­der (b.1887) figu­red out prac­tical appli­ca­tions for liq­uid-fuels, a neces­si­ty for es­cap­ing Earth’s grav­ity. Adher­ents and stu­dents built an acad­emy, which was fold­ed in­to a classi­fied mili­tary pro­gram in 1992, and Roscosmos is its public face.      When they sent the first dog into space, in 1957, their motto in 1957 was ‘In Space We Trust.’ The first wom­an, Valen­tina Ter­esh­kova (b.1937), and first man, Yuri Gar­garin (b.1934), were also Russian. Cosmo­naut Alex­ei Leo­nov (b.1934) per­formed the first space walk in 1965 (12:09): “I stepped into that void and I didn’t fall in. I was mes­­me­r­ised by the stars. They were every­­where – up above, down be­low, to the left, to the right.” The best-look­ing sat­el­lite is still the first, also launched in 1957: Sputnik-1, a globe with four an­ten­nae.      When the soviet union fell, its space pro­gram was split: the main site re­mained in Rus­sia, but a sliver, respon­sible for roc­kets, was marooned in Ukraine.







Romanian Space Agency

Conrad Haas (b.1509) was a “fyer workes” tech­ni­cian and had devel­oped a multi-stage display that al­ways drew a gasp from his audi­ence. He was born in pres­ent-day Romania, where a taste for shoot­ing things in­to space has never waned. The Moon was wooed in 1906 by aero-mechanic Traian Vuia (b.1872), inven­tor of the “auton­o­mous take-off aeroplane”. Henri Coanda (b.1886) wooed her four years later in a “jet aero­plane”.      When direc­tor Fritz Lang (b.1890) made Woman on the Moon, a 1929 silent black-&-white scifi ad­ven­ture, he brought on board rocketeer Her­mann Oberth (b.1904) to make the look and feel of sequences involv­ing space­flight authen­tic. Oberth re­calls: “Dur­ing my work on the film I was able to con­vince Lang that it would be great pub­lic­i­ty for his movie if we did some serious re­search at the same time. He was able to finance me and I was final­ly able to be­gin per­form­ing actual expe­ri­ments.”      Today, the Roman­ian Space Agen­cy has signed on to the Arte­mis mis­sion, NASA’s lunar explor­a­tion expe­di­tion, and hosts the an­nual Yuri’s Night.
Collage of Neptune and moons

Collage of Pluto and moons






German Aerospace Center

In 1907, mechanic Ludwig Prandtl (b.1875) set up a rudi­men­tary aero­dynamic lab­ora­tory and con­duct­ed ex­peri­ments. Soon enough, inter­est came from a society, an asso­ci­a­tion, an in­sti­tu­tion and a con­sor­tium. They all shook hands while study­ing the sky, in hopes of design­ing the per­fect air­ship. Their ef­forts were re­pur­posed dur­ing World War 2.      In the final days of fight­ing, astron­o­mer Gerard Kuiper (b.1905) drove an al­lied jeep into Ber­lin to find and bring physi­cist Max Planck (b.1858) to safe­ty. The 87-year-old theo­rist was re­search­ing how atoms (mat­ter) and sub-atoms (light) are gov­erned, and many were pay­ing at­ten­tion.      When the fight­ing was over, near­by aviators, gen­erals, research­ers, cod­ers and scien­tists found each oth­er again, and re­sumed re­search for a pro­pul­sive physics as a space society. Then became the German Aerospace Center, a nation­al cen­ter for energy, trans­port and aero­space research.