Friday, December 30, 2011

Space Moment of the Year


It's rare that I quote the words of others on my blog, since I prefer to share my own musings. Occasionally, however, I find something so stirring that I ask the author for permission to share. In most cases, this has taken the form of op-ed type paragraphs, photographs from space events, or journal entries from studies.

Featuring a poem is definitely a first! But I found this beautiful piece of writing so elegant, so profound, and so very moving, I thought I would make it my final post for 2011.


"This piece was built using Adobe Photoshop CS5. The background image is of the "Black Eye Galaxy" M64. Image credit goes to NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI), with acknowledgments to S. Smartt (Institute of Astronomy) and D. Richstone (U. Michigan).

The poem is my creation--inspired largely by reading Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson's excellent book Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries." ~ Jake

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Space Highlights of the Year


Amazing happenings in space, other than July's final Shuttle launch...

January: Royal Pain in the X-Files?! PSSRI scientists announced that they expect humanity to find an alien civilization in the next two decades or sooner, and advised governments of all nations, supervised by UN committee, to draft action plans for First Contact: "Should it turn out that we are not alone in the Universe, it will fundamentally affect how humanity understands itself—and we need to be prepared for the consequences."

Unsurprisingly, one evolutionary palaeo-biologist insisted Earth must prepare for the worst. Hawking felt vindicated.

Hostile Alien
September: Einstein set a speed limit and it seems some physicists think neutrinos are breaking it, so are we gonna have a problem with that, Theory of Special Relativity? If Faster-Than-Light particles are found, we will see a whole lot of excitement and controversy in the world of particle physics. However, the only thing that shocked me was that it was NEWS to so many.

The initial theory was put forth by a Portuguese cosmologist named João Magueijo in a fantastic book called "Faster Than The Speed of Light" (2003). He was clearly ignored, but espoused the theory of Variable Speeds of Light (VSL), insisting that during creation and development of the Universe, light waves have fluctuated. Most young physicists know the work, and those who comprehend quantum mechanics are very familiar... but trying to get the Old Guy Contingent to embrace new parameters of classical physics is like buying your 20-year-old canine an iPhone.

Dark Energy
October: Three scientists who watched stars explode and deduced from these supernovae that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate shared the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dark energy, anyone?

November: Mars500 "landed on Earth" after 520 days of simulation inside the "spaceship" in which they traveled to the red planet, frolicked upon the surface of the red planet, then flew home. Can humans cope with the emotional stress and isolation of long duration-spaceflight? They emerged, pale, grinning, and still sane. Radiation and Micro-Gravity sims of the same duration would be harder, methinks.

December: HISTORY, baby! Astronomers discovered Exoplanet Kepler-22b, the first planet outside the solar system orbiting in the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ) around its star. Could life potentially exist? With each passing year, we clever little hairless apes get closer and closer to being able to detect such evidence!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Space Photos of the Year


Shamelessly using this week's theme as an excuse to publish this picture, which I would distribute every day if I could.

Heather with Shuttle Atlantis
Dream. Come. True.

That's me. That's Space Shuttle Atlantis. I was photographed with this beautiful orbiter on July 7th of this year, whilst cavorting with numerous other space enthusiasts, journalists and KSC workers.

The following morning, I laughed I cried I watched in awe as she took to the skies for the final time, providing the curtain call to the Space Shuttle Program.

STS-135 Launch
I still cannot believe I took this photograph.

It took days to sink in. Actually, it took weeks to sink in. Someone recently tweeted the 6-month anniversary of the launch, and I realized it is still sinking in.

It was my great honor and joy to witness this amazing piece of human history in the year 2011.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Space BAH of the Year


Just when you thought there were certain staples in life you could count on.
Time Magazine released their annual Year in Review book. 138 pages for $35. Casey Anthony and Justin Bieber got larger photographs and text blocks than the Space Shuttle Program, 1981-2011. Lady Gaga got two pages. No joke.

That's right, space fans. 30-year program benefiting all humankind via exploratory science, medical + agriculutral + biological research, and international relations? One paragraph.

Berserk bimbo in a bacon dress? TWO. PAGES.

Lady Gaga vs. The Space Shuttle
Some of my pals tried to comfort me by saying they wouldn't buy it, and agreed it was ridiculous that pop culture trumped science, politics and nature. A few asked about other public figures, which I had to try to recall from memory, because I sure wasn't about to buy that book.

Kim Jongs Il & Un shared one page. The Iceland volcano also had its own page. No mention of bin Laden at all. The movie "Avatar" filled another two-page spread.

So, I say to Time Magazine in 2011... Bah!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Space Commercial of the Year


Dream come true for one special lottery kitty!

Of course, I wish there were more space-themed commercials to choose from, but across the board, I have yet to see anything during the Superbowl that tops this! Enjoy :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

How To Find Treasure From Space


I mentioned yesterday that Geoff Notkin of the Meteorite Men gave me a copy of his book, which now holds the distinction of being the tome in my personal library with quite utterly the longest title ever:

Meteorite Men
But, accurate, certainly. And so full of passion! There is something so compelling about someone who is excited about how they make their living... those amazing people who bound out of bed and cannot wait to do what they do. Seeking bits of an alien world is a unique mission, as evidenced by Geoff's eloquent introduction:

"Meteorites are the most remarkable things on our planet, and they are not even from this planet. They are pieces of extra-terrestrial rock and metal that have fallen onto the surface of the earth. Meteorites are at tangible link with an existence outside of the world we know and are, literally, visitors from outer space… within them are clues to the origin of suns, planets, asteroids, and possibly, even life itself. They are valued by enthusiasts because a space rock is, perhaps, the most intriguing of all collectibles."

If he wanted to light a fire under people to make them want to go hunt meteorite themselves, this book absolutely succeeds!

Off Road in Australia
Then I look at pictures like this and realize
I'm quite cozy at home watching on TV, thanks.

Well, even if I never canvas a frozen Russian steppe with a metal detector, thanks to Geoff I can now intelligently articulate regmaglypts, chondrules, ablation, bolide, and strewnfields. Can you tell the difference between a fall and a find? How about the difference between a crater and an impact pit?

About halfway through the book was the intriguing sentence, "Nothing gets Meteorite Men co-host Steve Arnold more charged up that a good fireball chase!" Alrighty then. What's a fireball?

Well you can find that out, and more, in these helpful and educational pages – but don't think it's all fun and games. One must consider, as Notkin highlights from experience, the pitfalls of permits vs. trespassing, local laws for space rock hunting – and let's pretend for a moment that field equipment isn't exactly cheap.

Digging in Kansas
Backhoe rentals. Also not cheap.

Another reality of the meteorite hunting life is all the "meteowrongs" one is apt to dig up in serious pursuits, and Geoff describes a hilarious list of objects he's unearthed over the years, including unexploded bombs and missiles! So my sofa is looking comfier all the time.

But hey, for those of you more apt to frolic in the wild with shovels and snappy multi-pocketed utility vests, remember:

"Most meteorites spent millions of years traveling through the vacuum of space at temperatures approaching absolute zero. When meteorites land on our planet, they are immediately exposed to oxygen and moisture, and the process of terrestrialization begins. Iron starts to oxidize, the decay of radioactive isotopes commences, and delicate fusion crust will begin to corrode. The sooner a fresh fall is delivered into the hands of a researcher, the more valuable it is to science. There is a real urgency to recover new falls and get them to labs as quickly as possible."

Digging in Poland
You haven't lived until you've dug holes in every continent

So are there any catches to living the exciting life of a meteorite man? A few, says Geoff. Seems he has a growing pile of boxes crowding into his life, filled with rocks. The senders want to know if they have found meteorites? But wait, I said, puzzled; the book clearly indicates how to identify meteorites in the laboratory and in the field.

Geoff laughed. He knows. He wrote it. But even with the advised magnet tests, estimations of weight and density, and describing varying means of visual identification based on features, it turns out that he increased rather than lessened the numbers of people sending him rocks in boxes!

Punchline: read his book, or the Meteorite Identification Tips on his Aerolite web page, you won't need to spend money to mail a rock to anyone. You'll have all the information you need to identify true meteorites!

Human nature: People want to send a rock to the guys on TV, so they can tell their friends about it.

Not Digging in Chile
Someday, I want to look this happy standing inside an Impact Crater

What's next for the Meteorite Men? Well, I'm personally hoping to see an ANTARCTICA ROAD TRIP! Catch Meteorite Men on the Science Channel Monday evenings. If you miss the show at its premiere time, it's also run twice more for you night owls, and can also be found On Demand in many areas that offer DirecTV.

All photographs from © Aerolite Meteorites LLC, gratefully re-used here with permission of the Meteorite Men. In order, they were taken in Australia, Kansas, Poland and Chile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meteorite Hunter Geoff Notkin


And last but not least for This Week In Pictures, the finale of Akimel A-al Astronomy Night in Phoenix, Arizona. The final speaker of the evening was none other than Geoffrey Notkin of the Meteorite Men!

He let me touch his rock. And this one was heavier than I am! (I think I asked him where he found it, and he told me, but I was so bowled over by all the fun that I promptly forgot. If I find it on his website somewhere, I'll update later. ;)

Geoffrey Notkin
Heather & Geoff

Being oblivious to most things on cable television, I was something of a buzzkill latecomer to the space rocks party, but was quite immediately hooked by their adventures once I tuned into the new episodes!

Geoff tells great stories, works hard to engage people interactively in the science of his calling, and truly brings to life the excitement of being a meteorite hunter -- whether it's fun, rugged, intoxicating, cold, crowded, rewarding, life-threatening... or all of the above:

здравствуйте = Russian = Hello!

Like astronaut Bill Gregory before him, he spoke about his training and knowledge base, then took questions from the children. He also then challenged them to answer questions about things they were learning at their Astronomy Night event, and passed out copies of his book to those who offered up correct responses.

Geoff kept the audience well-engaged, and stayed for hours displaying his meteorite samples, answering questions about his tools of the trade, and signing autographs or posing for photos with everyone who asked.

I also managed to get a signed book, which I've been reading hungrily and will describe tomorrow. For the entire suite of pictures from the evening, see the Astronomy Night album in my Picasa Gallery.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Astronaut William Gregory


...Continued Astronomy Night awesomeness from yesterday, and a further promise to keep it short on the babbling this week. More pictures, more videos, less text! I give you, Shuttle Pilot Gregory!

Astronaut Bill Gregory
Me with astronaut Bill Gregory

I Love A StarMan With Two First Names. That would be USAF Lieutenant Colonel William Gregory, pilot of STS-67 in 1995, the record-breaking mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour.

At the time of the mission, Bill and his crew set a duration record of 16 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while completing 262 orbits and traveling nearly seven million miles.

NASA astronaut William Gregory
Long story short, Bill showed some fun mission videos, narrated a great slide show, spoke at length and then fielded the usual astronautesque questions from surrouding children about what it is like to live and work in weightlessness, and how one trains for those spacey duties.

I think my favorite story was about how it was his job to clean the space toilet. Still want to be a pilot? Not all glamour and glitz, it seems.

On a more serious note, my favorite part is the video clip above, showing a lightning storm Gregory filmed from space! Awesome stuff.

His mission was also the second flight of the ASTRO telescope, which can be seen in one of the slides.

William Gregory STS-167
See the entire collection of photos in the Astronomy Night album on Picasa, which also includes images of a few other scheduled events, as listed on the giant screen behind Bill's head!

And seriously, if you child's school is NOT holding an evening like this at least once per year, find out why. Science Matters.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Astronomy Night AZ Style


After departing Houston on Road Trip #432 (that's just a wild guess), I drove through Arizona (it's rather IN THE WAY if one hopes to reach California) and stopped in Ahwatukee (a suburb of Phoenix) to join a giant crowd of fellow nerds (genus: Not-Trekkie-Nerds) at Astronomy Night at the Akimel A-al School!

That may have been the most distracted compound sentence to ever appear on my blog. But, it's December and you're all too busy shopping to read things carefully anyway. So posts this week will be largely pictorial...

Gamma Ray Bursts Project
8th graders know more than you do

This delightful annual event for students, parents and local space enthusiasts is open to the public, so I didn't even have to sneak in just because I'm a hopeless astronaut groupie!

Yes, there was an astronaut there, and I will feature him tomorrow... but first! Check out some of the amazing projects completed by the 7th and 8th graders of the local Middle School.

Is Pluto still a planet?
Pluto still gets lots of love

I must say, it was so immensely gratifying to see such widespread interest in so many areas of science by energetic and curious youngsters, many of whom incorporated profound research and even some beautiful works of art into their chosen projects.

Clearly, this school benefits from enthusiastic teachers, involved parents, and participation from local clubs and museums -- including the Saguaro Astronomy Club, the Phoenix Astronomical Society and even the esteemed Challenger Space Center of Arizona -- many of whom sent speakers, laptop presentations, interactive games for all ages, and even models of asteroids.

Lunar Rocks
Local teacher trained by NASA Marshall to handle Moon Rocks!

The evening's festivities included telescope viewings in nearby sports fields, a portable Planetarium, and... door prizes. Well, any reason to sell raffle tickets at school events -- heaven knows the government sure doesn't value science enough!

Conveniently, and in addition to the Space Shuttle pilot who spoke, there was also a meteorite pro on-hand to answer questions about extra-terrestrial rocks and how to find them on Earth. When YouTube finally starts cooperating this week instead of ruthlessly changing all of our channel front formats, I'll embed a few clips for our viewing pleasure...

What, indeed?

Check out my Astronomy Night album in my Picasa Gallery to see more wonderful projects from a whole lotta smart kids, including cosmological breakfast cereals and NASA space suit diagrams. Many more videos and pictures to come of this great event, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mars500 Tweetup!


In early November, the Mars500 crew left the isolation of their spaceship when they "landed" back on Earth after a 520-day mission simulation to the Red Planet.

Mars 500
Following the official hatch opening, the crew faced continued medical checks and follow-up studies that were compared to their pre-simulation data. Alexey, Sukrob, Aleksandr, Wang, Romain and Diego (the latter two are keeping everyone updated from their Twitter accounts) will for some time remain under the eye of the mission controllers as data is analyzed, but can now enjoy all those things they probably took for granted before in life... family and friends... sunshine and trees... life on Earth!

Some members of the crew are on a rock star tour of sorts, attending PR events sponsored by the ESA for the European members in France, Italy and Spain. Each of these are designed to communicate their experiences and early sim results to teachers, university students, media and other space agency reps.

On December 6th, a Mars500 Tweetup was held in Rome for a select lucky few; Luca Di Fino of Rome, who tweets under the @ Luke2375 handle, was kind enough to share some of his wonderful photographs from this fun event.

Mars500 Tweetup
Romain, Kate, Stefania & Diego...
The Mars500 crew and the AFSC crew!

Two of the attendees of the Tweetup were none other than @SpaceKate and @Stelgys – you may remember them from the Mars500 All Female Symbolic Crew, a group of science-minded ladies who closely followed the Mars500 project over the past 2 years.

Luke is a physicist involved in the ALTEA experiment aboard the ISS who also writes the ALTEA Space blog in English and the LucaDiFino blog in Italian. Both carried reports of the Mars500 Tweetup and fantastic photos.

Using the hashtag #mars500tweetup, he even compiled every Tweetup contribution from the event in Rome! Great job!

Mars500 Crew now consider one another
The Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP-RAS) recently published a Mars500 Simulation completion report, with an introduction by Roskosmos head V. A. Popovkin.

The 16-page PDF media kit includes details on psychological evaluations, off-nominal situations, Mars surface rock-collecting simulation, system verifications, crew health verifications, medical controls, and scientific programs of the mission.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Asteroid Astronauts


Every astronaut or cosmonaut who has perished in space flight (3), died during launch (7) or died during re-entry to Earth's atmosphere (8) have been commemorated with various posthumous medals, statues, memorials and museum exhibits.

Some have had libraries, schools or streets named after them in their hometowns, or even geological formations on the Moon or Mars titled in their memory. Still others have been the subjects of songs, documentaries, and one disaster was dramatized in a TV movie.

Among all these variations, all the fallen space travelers have one specific honor in common... all have asteroids named after them.

Soyuz 1 crew:
1836 Komarov (Vladimir)

Soyuz 11 crew:
1789 Dobrovolsky (Georgi)
Volkov (Vladislav)
Patsayev (Viktor)

STS-51-L Challenger crew:
3350 Scobee (Francis "Dick")
Smith (Michael)
McAuliffe (Christa)
Jarvis (Greg)
McNair (Ronald)
Onizuka (Ellison)
Resnik (Judith)

STS-107 Columbia crew:
51823 RickHusband

Astronaut Asteroids
I'm an Asteroid.
So get out of the way...

Many other space travelers have also had asteroids named after them for various reasons, and while not as exclusive as the group of Moon Walkers, it's a pretty darned small club!

In order of discovery + naming, they are:

1772 Gagarin (Yuri) - Russia
2552 Remek (Vladimír) - Czech
4763 Ride (Sally) - USA
6469 Armstrong (Neil) - USA
6470 Aldrin ("Buzz") - USA
6471 Collins (Michael) - USA
7749 JackSchmitt - USA
9496 Ockels (Wubbo) - Holland
9512 FeiJunlong - China (Renamed)
9517 NieHaisheng - China (Renamed)
12790 Cernan (Gene) - USA
13606 Bean (Alan) - USA (Renamed)
21064 YangLiwei - China
22442 Blaha (John) - USA
22901 IvanBella - Slovakia

All are Main Belt Asteroids. See the accompanying links to examine their orbital paths, physical parameters and circumstance under which each was discovered.

For general information about asteroids, go to the Goddard Space Flight Center Planetary Science page for the Asteroid Fact Sheet.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Astronaut State


Do you know how special the state of Ohio is to NASA? 21 astronauts were born in Ohio, 4 more moved there as small children and thus consider Ohio their home, and 12 more got their college degrees in Ohio! Wow.

Why so many from Ohio? Perhaps it's because two great astronaut role models, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, are from Ohio. Perhaps it's because, thanks to the Wright Brothers, Ohio is the birthplace of flight? Probably a combination of both, and given early education about famous flyers from their state, more folks from Ohio grow up dreaming about the stars!

Ohio State Quarter With Astronaut
Still, the number of inhabitants in Ohio (which contains only 3% of the entire American population) is rather low in comparison to California, Florida or Texas, where one might expect a greater showing in the astronaut corps. Nope! Percentage-wise, Ohio tops the list with their magic #21:

1921: John Glenn - Cambridge
1926: Karl Henize - Cincinnati
1928: James Lovell - Cleveland
1930: Neil Armstrong - Wapakoneta
1930: Donn Eisele - Columbus
1931: Charles Bassett - Dayton
1949: Kenneth Cameron - Cleveland
1949: Judith Resnik - Akron
1951: Ronald Parise - Warren
1952: Ronald Sega - Macedonia
1952: Terence Henricks - Bryan
1955: Carl Erwin Walz - Cleveland
1955: Donald Thomas - Cleveland
1956: Gregory Harbaugh - Cleveland
1956: G. David Low - Cleveland
1956: Michael Gernhardt - Mansfield
1957: Michael Foreman - Columbus
1958: Nancy Currie - Troy
1962: Mary Ellen Weber - Cleveland
1962: Michael Good - Parma
1965: Sunita Williams - Euclid

Number of Astronauts Per State
Ohio is also the only state to boast nearly an entire mission crew from within their borders! Ohioans definitely followed STS-70 with great prid, because four of five astronauts on Space Shuttle Discovery -- Nancy Currie, Tom Henricks, Don Thomas, and Mary Ellen Weber -- were from Ohio. Then Governor George Voinovich attended the launch and made the fifth crew member, Kevin Kregel, an "honorary Ohio citizen".

During the flight, the mission control center played the Cleveland Indians baseball song as a wake-up call for the crew. (Nancy Currie was actually born in Delaware but moved as a baby to Troy, Ohio… so she considers this her "hometown" . What do you think? Should we them get away with that one?)

Ohio Space Shuttle CrewI am not always enamored of their choice of words, but did commentary on how "Ohio Is Full of Astronauts" in one of their famously sarcastic essays, Six Insane Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened.

Terribly amusing, but don't click if you're easily offended by profanity. isn't always Safe-For-Work!

Thursday, December 8, 2011



Of the 522 space travelers I had the pleasure of researching and studying throughout November while creating my Astronaut Birthplaces Map, perhaps the most exclusive group of astronauts are the Moonwalkers: 12 humans who walked on the Lunar surface between July 1969 and December 1972.

All were male. All were American. All were Caucasian. All were born between 1923 and 1935. Three of the 12 men were Texans. One, Buzz Aldrin, earned a PhD.

Men Who Walked On The Moon

All but one were military men. Jack Schmitt was the lone geologist, and the only one who didn't serve in the armed forces. Of the remaining 11, seven were Navy men and four were in the Air Force.

Three are now already deceased: Conrad, Shepard and Irwin.

The nickname "Buzz" originated in childhood when his sister mispronounced "brother" as "buzzer", and this was shortened to Buzz. Aldrin made it his legal first name in 1988. When signing his name, he now tends to cross out "Edwin" on photographs or in older books.

Apollo Moon Landings
Eugene Cernan's distinction as the last person to walk on the moon meant that Purdue University of Indiana would hold the honor of being the alma mater of both the first person to walk on the moon and the last. Neil Armstrong earned Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. Cernan earned his B.S. in electrical engineering.

Modern space suits possess urine collection hoses with pelvic attachments, and it is assumed that men will fit one of the available sizes: L, XL or XXL. In deference to astro-egos, there is no S or M. This was not the case with the Apollo EVA suits. Among the 100+ items left on the surface of the moon by Armstrong and Aldrin are four urine collection assemblies – two Large and two Small. Which man wore which size remains unknown.

Apollo 11
The Apollo 11 moon-walkers are the only astronauts to have a "star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though their marker is actually round. You know, in the shape of the moon.

Number nine John Young was also the first commander of a Space Shuttle orbiter.

The youngest at the time of his moonwalk was 37. The eldest was 47.

Astronaut Scott Parazynski
Scott. Everest. Moonrock.

While not a lunar surface veteran, Scott Parazynski (STS-66, STS-86, STS-95, STS-100, STS-120) took a moon rock and other small remembrances of fallen astronauts to the summit of Mount Everest in 2009. He is the first and only astronaut to climb the world's tallest peak. So perhaps that is the smallest club, after all ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Astro Birthdates & Milestones


Continuing from yesterday? On my domain, there is a full list of all astronauts listed by birth month, and then another with all astronauts listed by birth year. Both are handy for seeing the oldest to youngest throughout all the world space agencies, and I thought it might also be fun for people to see if they share a birthday with a space traveler.

Astronauts by Birth DatesThen again… someone who is a real space geek might start wondering if any of those dates held interesting facts or milestones. Someone with time on their hands might actually look for patterns.

For instance: In terms of birth dates, the oldest space traveler was Georgi Beregovoi of the Ukraine, a Cosmonaut born April 15, 1921, just 3 years after the revolution that dethroned the last tsar, and put Lenin at the head of communist Russia. John Glenn clocks in second, born on July 18, 1921… when World War I officially ended under President Warren G. Harding.

The youngest space traveler is Yi So-Yeon of South Korea, a KAP taikonaut born June 2, 1978. Russia has recently selected new cosmonauts born in the 1980s, but as yet none have flown. This record will continue to change, of course, where as Beregovoi will always be the "earliest born earthling who went into space".

Astronauts as children
Pays to be a dreamer...

Jack Lousma is the only space traveler from Earth born on February 29th. He celebrates his birthday every four trips around the sun when we have a Leap Year!

NASA astronaut Gregory Linters was born October 4, 1957 – the very first astro-child born after Sputnik was launched. He was the first Space Race Baby!

The most space travelers were born in the month of August. Second place, May. December and July are tied for the least number of Astros, at 33 apiece.

Since 1923, at least one space traveler has been born every year until 1973. The leanest years were 1924 and 1938, when only singles are on record: Deke Slayton (NASA) and Jean-Loup Chrétien (CNES) , respectively.

The year that saw the most births of future astros? 25 space travelers were born in the year 1956.

On April 12, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space and return safely. Belgian spationaute Frank De Winne (ESA) was born April 25th of that same year, the first space traveler born into a space-faring world.

On July 20, 1969, Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong become the first humans to land on the lunar surface. American astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson (NASA) was born August 14 of that same year, the first space traveler born after the historic moon walk.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Astronaut!


Looooong blog post... probably one of the longest I will ever print, but an interesting reference if you enjoy calendaring and comparing.

BEHOLD, a list of all 522 space travelers from Earth, listed by their birth month and day, and then another column by YEAR. NO astrology remarks please, this is a haven of science.

If your day isn't represented, you could still be the first person in history to grab that date! Apply now!

January 1, 1942 Gennadi Sarafanov (RKA), Russia
January 1, 1947 Vladimir Titov (RKA), Russia
January 1, 1956 Sergei Avdeyev (RKA), Russia
January 1, 1959 Abdul Ahad Mohmand (Intercosmos), Afghanistan
January 3, 1959 Fyodor Yurchikhin (RKA), Georgia
January 4, 1970 Christopher Cassidy (NASA), USA
January 6, 1933 Oleg Makarov (RKA), Russia
January 6, 1948 Guy Gardner (NASA), USA
January 6, 1957 Colin Michael Foale (NASA), England
January 6, 1963 Philippe Perrin (ESA), Morocco
January 7, 1935 Valeri Kubasov (RKA), Russia
January 7, 1941 Frederick D. Gregory (NASA), USA
January 7, 1951 Talgat Musabayev (RKA), Kazakhstan
January 8, 1942 Vyacheslav Zudov (RKA), Russia
January 11, 1926 Lev Dyomin (RKA), Russia
January 13, 1949 Rakesh Sharma (Intercosmos), India
January 14, 1943 Shannon Lucid (NASA), China
January 15, 1969 Anatoli Ivanishin (RKA), Russia
January 16, 1946 Michael Coats (NASA), USA
January 16, 1948 Anatoly Solovyev (RKA)
January 16, 1952 L. Blaine Hammond (NASA), USA
January 16, 1955 Jerry M. Linenger (NASA), USA
January 17, 1943 Daniel Brandenstein (NASA), USA
January 18, 1958 Jeffrey Williams (NASA), USA
January 20, 1948 Jerry L. Ross (NASA), USA
January 20, 1930 Buzz Edwin Eugene Aldrin (NASA), USA
January 21, 1950 Joseph R. Tanner (NASA), USA
January 22, 1955 Thomas David Jones (NASA), USA
January 23, 1930 William R. Pogue (NASA), USA
January 23, 1949 Robert D. Cabana (NASA), USA
January 24, 1952 William Readdy (NASA), USA
January 26, 1952 Mario Runco, Jr. (NASA), USA
January 28, 1939 John M. Fabian (NASA), USA
January 28, 1950 David Hilmers (NASA), US
January 28, 1951 Leonid Kadenyuk (RKA) , Ukraine
January 29, 1942 Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez (Intercosmos), Cuba
January 29, 1948 Mamoru Mohri (JAXA)

February 1, 1935 Vladimir Aksyonov (RKA), Russia
February 1, 1961 Daniel Tani (NASA), USA
February 3, 1958 Joe F. Edwards, Jr. (NASA), USA
February 5, 1947 Mary L. Cleave (NASA), USA
February 6, 1961 Yuri Onufrienko (RKA) , Ukraine
February 7, 1929 Konstantin Feoktistov (RKA), Russia
February 7, 1932 Alfred Worden (NASA), USA
February 7, 1963 Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (NASA), USA
February 9, 1954 Ulrich Walter (DLR), Germany
February 9, 1960 Peggy Whitson (NASA), USA
February 10, 1968 Garrett Reisman (NASA), USA
February 11, 1960 Richard Mastracchio (NASA), USA
February 13, 1939 Valery Rozhdestvensky (RKA), Russia
February 13, 1939 Sigmund Jähn (Intercosmos), Germany
February 13, 1942 Donald Williams (NASA), USA
February 13, 1964 Stephen G. Bowen (NASA), USA
February 14, 1947 Phạm Tuân (Intercosmos), Vietnam
February 15, 1944 Aleksandr Serebrov (RKA), Russia
February 15, 1964 Leland Melvin (NASA), USA
February 19, 1932 Joseph P. Kerwin (NASA), USA
February 19, 1948 Byron Lichtenberg (NASA), USA
February 19, 1952 Rodolfo Neri Vela (NASA), Mexico
February 19, 1956 G. David Low (NASA), USA
February 20, 1943 Aleksandr Aleksandrov (RKA), Russia
February 20, 1954 Vasili Tsibliyev (RKA)
February 20, 1972 Anton Shkaplerov (RKA) Crimea
February 21, 1964 Mark E. Kelly (NASA), USA
February 21, 1964 Scott J. Kelly (NASA), USA
February 22, 1952 James Bagian (NASA), USA
February 23, 1928 Vasili Lazarev (RKA), Russia
February 23, 1949 Marc Garneau (CSA), Canada
February 23, 1959 Clayton Anderson (NASA), USA
February 26, 1928 Anatoly Filipchenko (RKA), Russia
February 26, 1958 Susan J. Helms (NASA), USA
February 29, 1936 Jack Lousma (NASA), USA

March 1, 1924 Deke Slayton (NASA), USA
March 2, 1960 Mikhail Tyurin (RKA), Russia
March 3, 1942 Vladimir Kovalyonok (USSR), Belarus
March 3, 1946 James C. Adamson (NASA), USA
March 3, 1949 Bonnie J. Dunbar (NASA), USA
March 3, 1949 James S. Voss (NASA), USA
March 4, 1965 Yuri Lonchakov (RKA), Kazakhstan
March 5, 1953 Valery Korzun (RKA), Russia
March 5, 1962 Robert Curbeam (NASA), USA
March 6, 1927 Gordon Cooper (NASA), USA
March 6, 1937 Valentina Tereshkova (RKA), Russia
March 6, 1946 Patrick Baudry (CNES), Cameroon
March 7, 1936 Loren Acton (NASA), USA
March 7, 1940 Viktor Savinykh (RKA), Russia
March 8, 1952 Vladimir Vasyutin (RKA) , Ukraine
March 9, 1934 Yuri Gagarin (RKA), Russia
March 10, 1961 Laurel Clark (NASA), USA
March 11, 1956 Curtis Brown (NASA), USA
March 11, 1963 Marcos Pontes (RKA), Brazil
March 12, 1923 Walter “Wally” Schirra (NASA), USA
March 13, 1970 Aleksandr Samokutyayev (RKA), Russia
March 14, 1928 Frank Borman (NASA), USA
March 14, 1934 Eugene Cernan (NASA), USA
March 14, 1939 William B. Lenoir (NASA), USA
March 14, 1963 Pedro Duque (ESA), Spain
March 14, 1967 Michael Fincke (NASA), USA
March 16, 1927 Vladimir Komarov (RKA), Russia
March 16, 1932 Walter Cunningham (NASA), USA
March 16, 1959 Michael J. Bloomfield (NASA), USA
March 17, 1930 James Irwin (NASA), USA
March 17, 1936 Ken Mattingly (NASA), USA
March 18, 1954 James F. Reilly (NASA), USA
March 18, 1957 Christer Fuglesang (ESA), Sweden
March 20, 1960 Yuri Shargin (RKA), Russia
March 21, 1941 Dirk Frimout (NASA), Belgium
March 22, 1951 Musa Manarov (USSR), Azerbaijan
March 24, 1932 Lodewijk van den Berg (NASA), Netherlands
March 24, 1951 Kenneth Reightler, Jr. (NASA), USA
March 24, 1957 Scott J. Horowitz (NASA), USA
March 25, 1928 James Lovell (NASA), USA
March 26, 1962 Yuri Gidzenko (RKA) , Ukraine
March 28, 1946 Wubbo Ockels (ESA), Netherlands
March 29, 1931 Aleksei Gubarev (RKA), Russia
March 29, 1947 Aleksandr Viktorenko (RKA) , Kazakhstan
March 29, 1957 Michael Foreman (NASA), USA
March 29, 1965 William Oefelein (NASA), USA
March 30, 1957 Yelena V. Kondakova (RKA), Russia
March 31, 1957 Patrick G. Forrester (NASA), USA

April 1, 1946 William Frederick Fisher (NASA), USA
April 1, 1973 Sergei Volkov (RKA) , Ukraine
April 3, 1926 Gus Grissom (NASA), USA
April 4, 1964 Satoshi Furukawa (JAXA) , Japan
April 5, 1949 Judith Resnik (NASA), USA
April 5, 1950 Franklin Chang-Diaz (NASA, Costa Rica
April 6, 1957 Paolo A. Nespoli (ESA) , Italy
April 9, 1950 Kenneth Cockrell (NASA), USA
April 9, 1963 Timothy L. Kopra (NASA), USA
April 11, 1941 Frederick Hauck (NASA), USA
April 11, 1942 Anatoly Berezovoy (RKA), Russia
April 11, 1965 Piers Sellers (NASA), England
April 12, 1937 Igor Volk (RKA) , Ukraine
April 13, 1949 Jean-Jacques Favier (CNES), Germany
April 14, 1929 William E. Thornton (NASA), USA
April 14, 1942 Valentin Lebedev (RKA), Russia
April 15, 1921 Georgi Beregovoi (RKA) , Ukraine
April 15, 1951 Marsha Ivins (NASA), USA
April 15, 1951 John L. Phillips (NASA), USA
April 15, 1956 Gregory Harbaugh (NASA), USA
April 15, 1960 Mikhail Korniyenko (RKA), Russia
April 15, 1965 Soichi Noguchi (JAXA) , Japan
April 16, 1956 David McDowell Brown (NASA), USA
April 16, 1959 Michael R. Barratt (NASA), USA
April 17, 1964 Andrei Borisenko (RKA), Russia
April 20, 1945 Gregory Olsen (Space Tourist), USA
April 20, 1955 Donald Pettit (NASA), USA
April 21, 1951 Aleksandr Laveykin (RKA), Russia
April 21, 1962 Sergei Zalyotin (RKA), Russia
April 25, 1961 Frank De Winne (ESA), Belgium
April 27, 1942 Valeri Polyakov (RKA), Russia
April 27, 1953 Ellen S. Baker (NASA), USA
April 28, 1943 John Oliver Creighton (NASA), USA
April 28, 1949 Jerome Apt (NASA), USA
April 28, 1956 Paul Lockhart (NASA), USA
April 28, 1957 Léopold Eyharts (ESA), France
April 29, 1953 Nikolai Budarin (RKA), Russia
April 30, 1957 Duane G. Carey (NASA), USA

May 1, 1925 Scott Carpenter (NASA), USA
May 2, 1957 Dominic Gorie (NASA), USA
May 3, 1949 Albert Sacco (NASA), USA
May 4, 1956 Michael Gernhardt (NASA), USA
May 4, 1959 Maurizio Cheli (ESA) , Italy
May 5, 1941 Anatoli Levchenko (RKA) , Ukraine
May 5, 1949 Oleg Atkov (RKA), Russia
May 5, 1960 Douglas H. Wheelock (NASA), USA
May 5, 1965 Fei Junlong (CSNA), China
May 6, 1949 David Leestma (NASA), USA
May 6, 1952 Chiaki Mukai (JAXA) , Japan
May 6, 1955 Donald A. Thomas (NASA), USA
May 6, 1966 Aleksandr Skvortsov (RKA), Russia
May 7, 1959 Tamara E. Jernigan (NASA), USA
May 8, 1952 Charles Camarda (NASA), USA
May 9, 1931 Vance D. Brand (NASA), USA
May 10, 1958 Ellen Ochoa (NASA), USA
May 10, 1963 Lisa Nowak (NASA), USA
May 12, 1962 Gregory H. Johnson (NASA), England
May 13, 1942 Vladimir Dzhanibekov (RKA), Uzbekistan
May 13 1956 Aleksandr Kaleri (RKA), Latvia
May 13, 1957 Claudie André-Deshays Haigneré (ESA), France
May 14, 1952 Donald McMonagle (NASA), USA
May 14, 1957 William G. Gregory (NASA), USA
May 14, 1964 James M. Kelly (NASA), USA
May 15, 1942 Anthony W. England (NASA), USA
May 15, 1949 Frank L. Culbertson, Jr. (NASA), USA
May 15, 1975 Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger (NASA), USA
May 16, 1945 Brewster Shaw (NASA), USA
May 16, 1954 Dafydd Williams (CSA), Canada
May 17, 1967 Joseph M. Acaba (NASA), USA
May 18, 1930 Don L. Lind (NASA), USA
May 19, 1939 Richard Scobee (NASA), USA
May 19, 1948 Jean-Pierre Haigneré (CNES), France
May 19, 1955 Pierre Thuot (NASA), USA
May 20, 1944 David M. Walker (NASA), USA
May 20, 1951 Thomas Akers (NASA), USA
May 20, 1964 Paul W. Richards (NASA), USA
May 21, 1942 Robert Springer (NASA), USA
May 21, 1945 Ernst Messerschmid (DLR), Germany
May 23, 1958 Thomas Reiter (ESA), Germany
May 24, 1951 Ronald Parise (NASA), USA
May 24, 1972 Maksim Surayev (RKA), Russia
May 25, 1931 Georgi Grechko (RKA), Russia
May 25, 1964 Ivan Bella (RKA), Slovakia
May 25, 1965 John D. Olivas (NASA), USA
May 25, 1969 Dmitri Kondratyev (RKA), Russia
May 26, 1951 Muhammed Faris (Intercosmos), Syria
May 26, 1951 Sally Ride (NASA), USA
May 27, 1948 Aleksandr Volkov (RKA) , Ukraine
May 30, 1958 Michael Lopez-Alegria (NASA), Spain
May 30, 1963 Helen Sharman (Project Juno), England
May 28, 1944 Paul Scully-Power (NASA), Australia
May 30, 1934 Alexey Leonov (RKA), Russia

June 1, 1928 Georgiy Dobrovolskiy (RKA) , Ukraine
June 1, 1954 Jeffrey Ashby (NASA), USA
June 2, 1930 Pete Conrad (NASA), USA
June 2, 1956 Mark Polansky (NASA), USA
June 1, 1950 Gennadi Manakov (RKA), Russia
June 2, 1978 Yi So-yeon (KAP), South Korea
June 4, 1965 Shannon Walker (NASA), USA
June 4, 1967 Robert S. Kimbrough (NASA), USA
June 5, 1956 Richard Searfoss (NASA), USA
June 6, 1932 David Scott (NASA), USA
June 6, 1956 Jay C. Buckey (NASA), USA
June 8, 1937 Bruce McCandless (NASA), USA
June 8, 1965 Stanley Love (NASA), USA
July 9, 1943 John Casper (NASA), USA
June 9, 1946 F. Drew Gaffney (NASA), USA
June 10, 1929 James McDivitt (NASA), USA
June 11, 1944 James van Hoften (NASA), USA
June 12, 1949 Yuri Baturin(RKA), Russia
June 13, 1945 Ronald J. Grabe (NASA), USA
June 16, 1940 Taylor Gun-Jin Wang (NASA), China
June 18, 1937 Vitali Zholobov (RKA) , Ukraine
June 19, 1933 Viktor Patsayev (RKA) , Kazakhstan
June 20, 1941 Ulf Merbold (ESA), Germany
June 20, 1945 James Buchli (NASA), USA
June 20, 1948 Gary Payton (NASA), USA
June 20, 1953 Brian Duffy (NASA), USA
June 20, 1954 Ilan Ramon (ISA), Israel
June 21, 1958 Gennady Padalka (RKA), Russia
June 21, 1964 Oleg Kononenko (RKA), Turkmenistan
June 21, 1965 Yang Liwei (CSNA), China
June 22, 1930 Yuri Artyukhin (RKA), Russia
June 23, 1930 Donn Eisele (NASA), USA
June 24, 1946 Ellison Onizuka (NASA), USA
June 26, 1925 Pavel Belyayev (RKA), Russia
June 26, 1952 William Pailes (NASA), USA
June 26, 1956 Bernard A. Harris, Jr. (NASA), USA
June 27, 1937 Joseph P. Allen (NASA), USA
June 27, 1951 Sidney M. Gutierrez (NASA), USA
June 27, 1956 Sultan Salman Al Saud (ARABSAT), Saudi Arabia
June 28, 1946 John M. Lounge (NASA), USA
June 29, 1955 Charles Precourt (NASA), USA
June 29, 1962 George D. Zamka (NASA), USA
June 30, 1951 Stephen Oswald (NASA), USA

July 1, 1961 Kalpana Chawla (NASA), India
July 1, 1963 Ed Lu (NASA), USA
July 2, 1940 Georgi Ivanov (Intercosmos), Bulgaria
July 2, 1952 Linda M. Godwin (NASA), USA
July 2, 1959 Wendy B. Lawrence (NASA), USA
July 3, 1935 Harrison “Jack” Schmitt (NASA), USA
July 3, 1943 Norman Thagard (NASA), USA
July 4, 1961 Richard Garriott (Space Tourist), England
July 5, 1952 Terence Henricks (NASA), USA
July 7, 1960 Kevin A. Ford (NASA), USA
July 8, 1935 Vitali Sevastyanov (RKA), Russia
July 10, 1942 Pyotr Klimuk (Intercosmos), Belarus
July 11, 1950 Lawrence J. DeLucas (NASA), USA
July 12, 1957 Richard Husband (NASA), USA
July 13, 1934 Aleksei Yeliseyev (RKA), Russia
July 13, 1950 George Nelson (NASA), USA
July 14, 1936 Robert Overmyer (NASA), USA
July 17, 1959 Janet L. Kavandi (NASA), USA
July 18, 1921 John Glenn (NASA), USA
July 19, 1943 Roy D. Bridges, Jr. (NASA), USA
July 20, 1941 Vladimir Lyakhov (RKA) , Ukraine
July 22, 1942 Toyohiro Akiyama (Tokyo Broadcasting System), Japan
July 25, 1932 Paul J. Weitz (NASA), USA
July 25, 1957 Daniel W. Bursch (NASA), USA
July 26, 1949 William Shepherd (NASA), USA
July 26, 1951 William S. McArthur (NASA), USA
July 27, 1946 Toktar Aubakirov (RKA), Kazakhstan
July 27, 1961 Daniel C. Burbank (NASA), USA
July 27, 1972 Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (ANGKASA), Malaysia
July 28, 1961 Scott Parazynski (NASA), USA
July 30, 1953 Aleksandr Balandin (RKA), Russia
July 30, 1954 Gregory C. Johnson (NASA), USA
July 30, 1962 Vladimir Dezhurov (RKA), Russia

August 1, 1944 Yuri Romanenko (RKA), Russia
August 1, 1946 Richard Covey (NASA), USA
August 1, 1963 Koichi Wakata (JAXA) , Japan
August 2, 1934 Valery Bykovsky (RKA), Russia
August 2, 1949 Bertalan Farkas (Intercosmos), Hungary
August 3, 1935 Georgi Shonin (RKA) , Ukraine
August 3, 1951 Hans Schlegel (ESA), Germany
August 3, 1964 Joan Higginbotham (NASA), USA
August 4, 1943 Michael J. McCulley (NASA), USA
August 4, 1955 Andrew M. Allen (NASA), USA
August 4, 1955 Charles Gemar (NASA), USA
August 5, 1930 Neil Armstrong (NASA), USA
August 5, 1941 Leonid Kizim (RKA) , Ukraine
August 6, 1950 Winston E. Scott (NASA), USA
August 6, 1962 Gregory Chamitoff (NASA), Canada
August 7, 1956 Kent Rominger (NASA), USA
August 7, 1962 José Hernández (NASA), USA
August 8, 1940 Dennis Tito (First Space Tourist), USA
August 8, 1948 Svetlana Savitskaya (RKA), Russia
August 9, 1971 Roman Romanenko (RKA), Russia
August 11, 1961 Frederick Sturckow (NASA), USA
August 12, 1951 Charles E. Brady, Jr. (NASA), USA
August 13, 1942 Robert L. Stewart (NASA), USA
August 14, 1943 Jon McBride (NASA), USA
August 14, 1952 Mark C. Lee (NASA), USA
August 14, 1969 Tracy Caldwell Dyson (NASA), USA
August 15, 1959 Scott Altman (NASA), USA
August 15, 1947 Sonny Carter (NASA), USA
August 16, 1933 Stuart Roosa (NASA), USA
August 16, 1939 Valery Ryumin (RKA), Russia
August 16, 1958 Peter Wisoff (NASA), USA
August 17, 1952 Kathryn C. Thornton (NASA), USA
August 17, 1952 Thomas J. Hennen (NASA), USA
August 17, 1953 Robert Thirsk (CSA), Canada
August 18, 1954 Umberto Guidoni (ESA) , Italy
August 18, 1958 Sergei Treshchyov (RKA), Russia
August 19, 1935 Story Musgrave (NASA), USA
August 19, 1946 Charles Bolden (NASA), USA
August 19, 1962 Michael Massimino (NASA), USA
August 20, 1938 Jean-Loup Chrétien (CNES), France
August 22, 1932 Gerald P. Carr (NASA), USA
August 23, 1952 Klaus-Dietrich Flade (DLR), Germany
August 23, 1956 David Wolf (NASA), USA
August 23, 1967 Dominic A. Antonelli (NASA), USA
August 24, 1946 Richard N. Richards (NASA), USA
August 24, 1949 Anna Lee Fisher (NASA), USA
August 24, 1960 Steven W. Lindsey (NASA), USA
August 24, 1960 Franz Viehböck (Austromir), Austria
August 24, 1962 Mary E. Weber (NASA), USA
August 24, 1964 Salizhan Sharipov (RKA), Kyrgystan
August 25, 1960 Lee Archambault (NASA), USA
August 25, 1965 Andrew J. Feustel (NASA), USA
August 26, 1932 Joseph Henry Engle (NASA), USA
August 26, 1942 John E. Blaha (NASA), USA
August 26, 1959 Kathryn P. Hire (NASA), USA
August 27, 1941 Yuri Malyshev (RKA), Russia
August 27, 1958 Sergei Krikalev (RKA), Russia
August 27, 1965 Oleg Kotov (RKA) , Ukraine
August 28, 1960 Leroy Chiao (NASA), USA
August 29, 1948 Charles Walker (McDonnell Douglas), USA
August 29, 1959 Chris Hadfield (CSA) , Canada
August 29, 1960 Thomas Marshburn (NASA), USA
August 30, 1971 K. Megan McArthur (NASA), USA
August 30, 1931 John "Jack" Swigert (NASA), USA
August 31, 1945 Leonid Popov (RKA) , Ukraine
August 31, 1953 Pavel Vinogradov (RKA), Russia

September 1, 1961 Christopher Ferguson (NASA), USA
September 2, 1944 Claude Nicollier (ESA), Switzerland
September 2, 1953 Gerhard Thiele (ESA), Germany
September 2, 1959 Guy Laliberté (Space Tourist), Canada
September 3, 1944 Sherwood Spring (NASA), USA
September 5, 1929 Andriyan Nikolayev (RKA), Russia
September 6, 1946 Bryan O'Connor (NASA), USA
September 6, 1955 Carl Walz (NASA), USA
September 7, 1939 S. David Griggs (NASA), USA
September 9, 1952 Lee Morin (NASA), USA
September 9, 1956 Anatoly Artsebarsky (RKA), Ukraine
September 10, 1933 Yevgeny Khrunov (RKA), Russia
September 10, 1945 Richard Mullane (NASA), USA
September 10, 1948 Charles Simonyi (Space Tourist), Hungary
September 11, 1935 Gherman Titov (RKA), Russia
September 11, 1937 Robert Crippen (NASA), USA
September 11, 1967 Randolph Bresnik (NASA), USA
September 12, 1940 Roger K. Crouch (NASA), USA
September 12, 1966 Anousheh Ansari (Space Tourist), Iran
September 14, 1950 Huu-Chau “Eugene” Trinh (NASA), Vietnam
September 14, 1958 John Herrington (NASA), USA
September 15, 1941 Mirosław Hermaszewski (Intercosmos), Poland
September 16, 1956 Kevin R. Kregel (NASA), USA
September 17, 1930 Edgar Mitchell (NASA), USA
September 17, 1930 Thomas P. Stafford (NASA), USA
September 17, 1943 Samuel Durrance (NASA), USA
September 17, 1961 Pamela Melroy (NASA), USA
September 18, 1932 Nikolai Rukavishnikov (RKA), Russia
September 18, 1944 Charles Veach (NASA), USA
September 18, 1954 Takao Doi (JAXA) , Japan
September 18, 1973 Mark Shuttleworth (Space Tourist), South Africa
September 19, 1957 Richard M. Linnehan (NASA), USA
September 19, 1965 Sunita Williams (NASA), USA
September 20, 1960 James Pawelczyk (NASA), USA
September 21, 1945 Bjarni Tryggvason (CSA), Iceland
September 21, 1955 Richard Hieb (NASA), USA
September 22, 1965 Robert Satcher (NASA), USA
September 23, 1944 Loren Shriver (NASA), USA
September 23, 1961 William C. McCool (NASA), USA
September 24, 1930 John Young (NASA), USA
September 26, 1948 Vladimír Remek (Intercosmos), Czech Republic
September 27, 1952 Dumitru Prunariu (Intercosmos), Romania
September 27, 1966 Stephanie Wilson (NASA), USA
September 29, 1942 Clarence W. Nelson (NASA), USA
September 29, 1959 James D. Halsell (NASA), USA
September 28, 1940 Aleksandr Ivanchenkov (RKA), Russia
September 29, 1966 Liu Boming (CSNA), China
September 30, 1949 Michel Tognini (ESA), France
September 30, 1964 Stephen Frick (NASA), USA

October 1, 1950 Boris Morukov STS-106 (RKA), Russia
October 1, 1964 Eric A. Boe (NASA), USA
October 2, 1939 Yuri Glazkov (RKA), Russia
October 3, 1935 Charles Duke, Jr. (NASA), USA
October 3, 1951 Kathryn D. Sullivan (NASA), USA
October 4, 1957 Gregory Linteris (NASA), USA
October 5, 1929 Richard F. Gordon, Jr. (NASA), USA
October 5, 1930 Pavel Popovich (RKA) , Ukraine
October 5, 1958 Brent W. Jett, Jr. (NASA), USA
October 5, 1958 André Kuipers (ESA), Netherlands
October 7, 1969 Karen Nyberg (NASA), USA
October 8, 1956 Janice E. Voss (NASA), USA
October 8, 1959 Carlos I. Noriega (NASA), Peru
October 9, 1957 Yuri Usachov (RKA), Russia
October 10, 1946 Franco Malerba (ASI) , Italy
October 10, 1958 John M. Grunsfeld (NASA), USA
October 10, 1962 Rex J. Walheim (NASA), USA
October 10, 1966 Zhai Zhigang (CSNA), China
October 11, 1936 C. Gordon Fullerton (NASA), USA
October 12, 1932 Jake Garn (NASA), USA
October 13, 1952 Michael R. Clifford (NASA), USA
October 13, 1962 Michael T. Good (NASA), USA
October 13, 1964 Nie Haisheng (CSNA), China
October 15, 1964 Roberto Vittori (ESA) , Italy
October 16, 1956 James H. Newman (NASA), Micronesia
October 11, 1936 C. Gordon Fullerton (NASA), USA
October 17, 1933 William Anders (NASA), Hong Kong
October 17, 1956 Mae Jemison (NASA), USA
October 20, 1963 Julie Payette (CSA), Canada
October 21, 1950 Ronald McNair (NASA), USA
October 21, 1966 Douglas G. Hurley (NASA), USA
October 22, 1933 Donald H. Peterson (NASA), USA
October 24, 1961 Susan Still (NASA), USA
October 24, 1966 Jing Haipeng (CSNA), China
October 25, 1935 Russell “Rusty” Schweickart (NASA), USA
October 26, 1940 Gennadi Strekalov (RKA), Russia
October 26, 1955 Stephen Robinson (NASA), USA
October 27, 1946 Terry Hart (NASA), USA
October 27, 1946 Steven R. Nagel (NASA), USA
October 27, 1953 Michael A. Baker (NASA), USA
October 29, 1952Valeri Tokarev (RKA), Russia
October 30, 1946 Robert L. Gibson (NASA), USA
October 30, 1953 Aleksandr Poleshchuk (RKA), Russia
October 30, 1957 Aleksandr Lazutkin (RKA), Russia
October 30, 1961 Ronald J. Garan, Jr. (NASA), USA
October 30, 1964 Sandra Magnus (NASA), USA
October 31, 1930 Michael Collins (NASA) , Italy
October 31, 1949 Terrence Wilcutt (NASA), USA

November 1, 1953 Jan Davis (NASA), USA
November 2, 1944 Jeffrey A. Hoffman (NASA), USA
November 3, 1954 Kevin P. Chilton (NASA), USA
November 5, 1948 Robert J. Cenker (NASA), USA
November 5, 1961 Charles Hobaugh (NASA), USA
November 5, 1961 Alan Poindexter (NASA), USA
November 5, 1962 B. Alvin Drew (NASA), USA
November 8, 1936 Edward Gibson (NASA), USA
November 8, 1947 Margaret Seddon (NASA), USA
November 8, 1948 Dale Gardner (NASA), USA
November 10, 1933 Ronald Evans (NASA), USA
November 11, 1946 Vladimir Solovyov (RKA), Russia
November 12, 1937 Richard H. Truly (NASA), USA
November 14, 1930 Edward White (NASA), USA
November 14, 1933 Fred Haise (NASA), USA
November 14, 1956 Ken Bowersox (NASA), USA
November 15, 1959 Timothy “TJ” Creamer (NASA), USA
November 16, 1950 Carl Meade (NASA), USA
November 17, 1944 John-David Bartoe (NASA), USA
November 18, 1923 Alan Shepard (NASA), USA
November 18, 1951 Mark N. Brown (NASA), USA
November 19, 1956 Eileen Collins (NASA), USA
November 19, 1962 Nicole P. Stott (NASA), USA
November 19, 1964 Nicholas Patrick (NASA), England
November 19, 1958 Jean-François Clervoy (ESA), France
November 20, 1968 James Dutton (NASA), USA
November 21, 1933 Henry Hartsfield (NASA), USA
November 22, 1930 Owen Garriott (NASA), USA
November 22, 1942 Guion Bluford (NASA), USA
November 23, 1935 Vladislav Volkov (RKA), Russia
November 25, 1940 Reinhard Furrer (NASA), Austria
November 26, 1937 Boris Yegorov (RKA), Russia
November 26, 1963 Richard R. Arnold (NASA), USA
November 27, 1952 Jim Wetherbee (NASA), USA
November 28, 1951 Barbara Morgan (NASA), USA
November 29, 1949 Kenneth D. Cameron (NASA), USA

December 1, 1951 Aleksandar Aleksandrov (Intercosmos), Bulgaria
December 1, 1967 Konstantin Kozeyev (RKA), Russia
December 1, 1967 Terry Virts (NASA), USA
December 3, 1934 Viktor Gorbatko (RKA), Russia
December 3, 1960 Steven Swanson (NASA), USA
December 4, 1945 Roberta Bondar (CSA), Canada
December 4, 1952 Ronald Sega (NASA), USA
December 5, 1947 Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa (Intercosmos), Mongolia
December 5, 1949 Bruce Melnick (NASA), USA
December 8, 1927 Vladimir Shatalov (RKA) , Kazakhstan
December 12, 1951 Steven Hawley (NASA), USA
December 12, 1964 Kenneth Ham (NASA), USA
December 14, 1936 Robert A. Parker (NASA), USA
December 14, 1954 Steven MacLean (CSA), Canada
December 14, 1960 Catherine “Cady” Coleman (NASA), USA
December 18, 1934 Boris Volynov (RKA), Russia
December 18, 1951 Andrew Thomas (NASA), Australia
December 18, 1956 Reinhold Ewald (ESA), Germany
December 19, 1951 Frederick W. Leslie (NASA), Panama
December 19, 1957 Michael E. Fossum (NASA), USA
December 21, 1945 Millie Hughes-Fulford (NASA), USA
December 22, 1961 Yuri Malenchenko (RKA) , Ukraine
December 23, 1937 Karol J. "Bo" Bobko (NASA), USA
December 24, 1969 Ole g Skripochka (RKA), Russia
December 25, 1959 Michael Phillip Anderson (NASA), USA
December 27, 1970 Naoko Yamazaki (JAXA) , Japan
December 28, 1968 Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA) , Japan
December 29, 1958 Nancy Currie (NASA), USA
December 29, 1962 Barry Wilmore (NASA), USA
December 30, 1953 Daniel T. Barry (NASA), USA
December 30, 1958 Steven L. Smith (NASA), USA
December 31, 1948 Viktor Afanasyev (RKA), Russia
December 31, 1956 Martin J. Fettman (NASA), USA

Again, the link to an additional resource page showing this same list sorted by birth year is available over at! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crowds, Chaos & Commerce

Wow... is it that time of year again already? Didn't I just scrape the tinsel off my boot from the last round? *Sigh.* Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Pretty soon we will just call the entire winter season: "Shoptember".

I went to the grocery store at 6:15am this morning (no joke – the best time to produce-shop, quickly and painlessly, is before 8am), and then made it a point not to go near any merchants, large or small... an embargo that will remain in effect until December 31st. I'm a nerd. Most of my friends are nerds. And you certainly don't want us shopping in packs. Here's why:

XKCD 309 Shopping Teams
If you have a nerd on your Shopping List (and you do, or you are one), remember that we honestly don't understand why anyone leaves the comfort of their wireless laptops to visit malls anymore. You can order online from ThinkGeek and have anything delivered to your doorstep. That's been my rule for clothing and necessities for some years now.

I am not even remotely kidding. Click the links to see these genuine products:

Stay Puft Marshmallows With Added Caffeine

Groaning, Shuffling Remote Control Zombie

LabCutter Science Cookie Cutters

Lab Science Cookie Cutters
Delicious Science For the Foodie Nerds

The Mad Scientist Annoy-A-Tron

STAND BACK, I'm Going To Try Science shirts

Magic Wand-shaped Programmable TV Remote Control

Wooden Catapult & Trebuchet Kit
Some assembly required, but we live for those words...

Talking Bacon

Ten Little Zombies: A Children's Book
For parents determined to raise apocalypse-prepared progeny...

USB Rocket Launcher

CTRL + ALT + DELETE Coffee Mug Set
Microwave Safe!

Avoid anything Hello Kitty or things with the word "nerd" actually on them. We already have phasers and remote control Millennium Falcons, so don't bother. Favorable options will be anything preceded by the designation "Ninja", any and all "red shirt" jokes, and of course, anything at all with the NASA logo on it.

The best place for the latter is The Space Store & NASA Gift Shop... though I deliberately refrained from posting individual products from here, because once I get rolling, I wind up broke.

And remember, the first rule of Bacon Club is… you do not talk about Bacon Club. Your friendly neighborhood 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100100 thanks you.