NASA names next-gen lunar lander Altair
2007 12 18

From: collectspace.com


NASA's emblem for Altair combines design elements from the Apollo and Constellation programs. (Image: NASA)
Move over Eagle, the Altair has landed.

NASA today introduced a new name and logo for its next generation lunar lander, which was previously referred to as the Lunar Surface Access Module, or LSAM for short.

"That's the name they chose," said Jeff Hanley, NASA's Constellation Program manager, under which Altair falls. "We can stop calling it LSAM or esoteric things like that."

Hanley revealed the new name at a meeting with industry representatives held at Johnson Space Center to provide a general background to the lunar lander preceding NASA soliciting ideas for its development from contractors.

Sparked by a star, motivated by a mission
"Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila and is the twelfth brightest star in the night sky," wrote Lauri Hansen, NASA's Altair project manager, in an e-mail sent to Hanley this morning, a copy of which was obtained by collectSPACE.com. "The word 'Altair' finds its origins in Arabic and is derived from a phrase that means 'the flying one'," she continued.

"In Latin, 'Aquila' means Eagle, tying our new lander to the historic Apollo 11 Eagle," concluded Hansen, referring to the vehicle that brought mankind's first two men to the lunar surface in July 1969.


The Apollo 11 mission (left) and Altair project (right) logos.

The Altair project logo emphasizes that connection, using the major design element from the Apollo 11 patch as its own. Both emblems depict a bald eagle clasping an olive branch in its talons, an image chosen by Michael Collins, Apollo 11's command module pilot, based on a photo in a 1965 book published by National Geographic.

"We needed something simpler, yet something which unmistakably said peaceful lunar landing by the United States," Collins wrote in his 1974 book, "Carrying the Fire". "Jim Lovell, Neil [Armstrong's] backup, introduced an American eagle into the conversation. Of course! What better symbol -- eagles landed, didn't they? At home I skimmed through my library and finally found what I wanted in a National Geographic book on birds: a bald eagle, landing gear extended, wings partially folded, coming in for a landing. I traced it on a piece of tissue paper and sketched in an oblique view of a pockmarked lunar surface," wrote Collins.

The Altair version of Collins' eagle greatly simplifies the detail of the Apollo artwork and reverses the direction that the bird is landing on the lunar surface.

The newer logo also spells out the name "Altair" in a font that is reminiscent of how "Apollo" appears on its project emblem.


NASA's four logos associated with its effort to return astronauts to the Moon: Constellation, Ares, Orion and Altair.

The Altair logo is triangular in shape, continuing a theme that is present in the emblems for its parent program and sibling projects.

Under NASA's Constellation program, Orion crew vehicles and Altair lunar landers will launch to Earth orbit on Ares I and Ares V rockets respectively. Like the patches for the other initiatives, the Altair insignia includes 10 stars in its background, a symbol previously attributed to each of the 10 NASA nationwide centers working to return astronauts to the Moon.

As currently envisioned by NASA, Altair landers will bring four astronauts at a time to the lunar surface, as well as supplies and equipment to establish an outpost. An initial return to the Moon is targeted to launch before year 2020.

The Constellation program rose as a result of the Vision for Space Exploration proposed by President George W. Bush in January 2004, after the loss of shuttle Columbia eleven months earlier.

In June 2006, NASA revealed the name and logo for its new launch vehicles, Ares I and V. Less than a month later, collectSPACE.com was the first to report the title and emblem given to the crew exploration vehicle Orion, as was confirmed by NASA in August 2006.

NASA previously applied "Altair" as an internal-use only "notional" title for the Orion crew vehicle. The agency has also used the name for a high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

All four insignias, including the Constellation and Altair logos, were designed for NASA by Michael Okuda, who may be best known for his work on the Star Trek series.


An artist's concept of Altair landing on the Moon. (Image: NASA)


Article from: http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-121307a.html



Related Articles
Altair
Altair (spacecraft)
Project Constellation


Latest News from our Front Page

The Aeon of Horus is Ending and the Elites are Nervous as their Icons are Dying
2014 04 18
I predict there is going to be a huge resurgence of interest in European indigenous spiritual traditions from Norse to Celtic/Gaelic to Slavic and so on. Millions of Europeans are going to realise that we are the victims of Christianity and New Age garbage. Their bastardised Kabbalah, the psychic force used by Crowley and the elites to cement his Aeon ...
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
2014 04 18
From: truthbeknown.com Contrary to popular belief, Easter does not represent the "historical" crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In reality, the gospel tale reflects the annual "crossification" of the sun through the vernal equinox (Spring), at which time the sun is "resurrected," as the day begins to become longer than the night. Rather than being a "Christian" holiday, Easter celebrations date back ...
Man-Made Blood Might Be Used in Transfusions by 2016
2014 04 18
Researchers in the U.K. have created the first man-made red blood cells of high enough quality to be introduced into the human body The premise of the HBO show and book series True Blood revolves around a technological breakthrough: scientists figure out how to synthesize artificial human blood, which, as an ample new source of non-human food, allows vampires to "come ...
The Trials of the Cherokee Were Reflected In Their Skulls
2014 04 18
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people. The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics. ...
Our Fears May Be Shaped by Ancestral Trauma
2014 04 18
Last December, an unsettling Nature Neuroscience study found that mice who were taught to associate the smell of cherry blossoms with pain produced offspring who feared the smell of cherry blossoms, even if they had never been exposed to it before. We knew that the process was epigenetic—that it was not hard-wired in the permanent genetic structure of the mouse—but ...
More News »