NASA names next-gen lunar lander Altair
Move over Eagle, the Altair has landed.
NASA's emblem for Altair combines design elements from the Apollo and Constellation programs. (Image: NASA)
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
Latest News from our Front Page
Stephen Hawking: humanity needs to live in space or die out, physicist warns via hologram
Humans should go and live in space within the next 1,000 years, or it will die out, Stephen Hawking has warned.
"We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity," Mr Hawking said. "I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet."
Hawking issued the warning during one of two talks at the ...
What's wrong with the Swedes - and so many other Whites?
Another in the unending list of suicidal behavior by Swedes, this one by Cecilia Wilkström, a Member of the European Parliament for the center-right (!) Liberal Party, who is concerned about the recent drownings in the Mediterranean of Africans attempting to invade Europe. Note that, once again, the Holocaust is front and center stage as a paradigm requiring Westerners to ...
Scenes of Chaos in Baltimore
A largely peaceful protest over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal cord injury in police custody, gave way to scattered scenes of chaos here on Saturday night, as demonstrators smashed a downtown storefront window, threw rocks and bottles and damaged police cruisers, while officers in riot gear broke up skirmishes and made 12 ...
MSNBC Guest: "You Don't Have to Have a White Person Around to Have White Supremacy Play Out"
What makes the academic study of “white supremacy” and “white privilege” so perfect for racialists is that it requires absolutely no parameters of study. There are no standards of proof. There is no way any claims can be vetted in peer-reviewed journals because the “evidence” can be explained by other factors. Anything and everything can be pointed to as being ...
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs
Immigration - Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck's colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. The 1996 version of this immigration gumballs presentation has been one of the most viewed immigration policy presentations on the internet.
Presented by immigration author/journalist Roy Beck
|More News » |