What a special treat to share with family after dinner! Watching SpaceX perform a perfect triple landing with Falcon Heavy on its first commercial launch, its second launch. the two Falcon Heavy boosters returned to land at Kennedy Space Center and the core stage landed on SpaceX's drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You". What a thrilling thing to watch. the launch and landings were all absolutely stunning viscerally and visually.
Humanity's first ever glimpse at a black hole, thanks to the Event Horizon Radio Telescope. Talk about awe-inspiring! A reminder that space exploration includes exploring through telescopes, through robotic exploration and through human space exploration. All three can provide us with that sense of wonder!
Today we are expecting two very exciting events in space exploration and understanding.
SpaceX will attempt its second launch (and its first commercial launch), and we are expecting the announcement of the first pictures of an actual blackhole. Being able to see these events brings home the importance of visuals in our understanding of space and our desire to understand space...
Perfect time to share a small quote from a column by Priyamvada Natarajan.
She is a professor of astronomy and physics at Yale and the author of “Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos.”
"This happened more than 400 years ago, when Galileo presented six watercolor images of the moon as he saw it through his repurposed spyglass — which we now know as a telescope. It happened about 200 years later, when Louis Daguerre made the first astronomical photograph — also of the moon. And it happened in 1990, with the first image of the infant universe, taken by a NASA satellite, and in 2017, with the Hubble Space Telescope’s images of clusters of galaxies.
On Wednesday, images from the Event Horizon Telescope have the potential to redefine the cosmos once again, and prompt wonder and curiosity about our place in it."
So why am I reviewing and diving into a book on the Wyeth Tradition? Because the artists like Pyle, Wyeth and Rockwell understood how to bring out the wonder of the human condition, the human form. How to tell a wonderful story about humans in their seemingly un-wonderfulness.
That's what I want to accomplish with my art.... I guess... but maybe in reverse.
I want to take wonderful, unusual scenarios of the space age; and show the human side of things. How the humans involved in wonderful things are wonderful not because they are in an exciting scenario, but are wonderful because they are just humans doing their best. Somehow I need to be able to show that the technical and scientific side of things , while exciting because its technical achievement, but mostly because it's humans pulling it off!
So hard to get to the point where we are O.K. with things not immediately looking fantastic or precisely as envisioned! This rather difficult piece is really waiting til the last details to look as I intended but it really is getting there!
It's the interior of the Apollo Lunar Module ("Eagle"). The viewer of the art is in Neil Armstrong's position, looking out at the lunar surface zipping by as he searches for a safe landing spot (he finally landed with only 16 seconds of fuel left!) In the window we see Neil in his helmet. On his helmet is the reflection of the control panel with the fuel alarm and a program 1202 alarm (the 1202 alarm was saying the navigation computer was overloaded -it took a cool head with an insanely good memory to know this particular code would be OK as long as it did not persist, most would think it was cause to abort the moon mission). Reflected in the rolled up window shield is Neil's hand on the control taking the lunar module in for a white-knuckle landing. Capcom Charlie Duke responded to Armstrong's "the Eagle has landed" with "thanks, you had a lot of guys turning blue down here".
I've started a Patreon page to help cover the cost of art materials. I know that for far too many folks any sort of financial commitment has to be very carefully weighed. Even a $1 donation is treasured by me and I appreciate the hit "small" contributions take on many budgets.
I only have one tier - it starts at $1. Contribute if you would like to help me spread inspiration, excitement and support for space exploration.
Visit my Patreon page here:
completely new technique for me... trying using traditional media, then scan in and finish with digital painting in painting software, this is working for me because I am not able to "feel" the composing process in the software and need to do that "old school".
Elon Musk and SpaceX make this one of the most exciting times to be alive... period!
Old school rocketry has its own handsome gravitas, but I am so excited about STARSHIP!
What a BEAUTY! And he is really ramming this through the production cycle. New Space, Space 2.0 - whatever you call it... HERE WE COME!
Here, a shout-out to James Vaughn - whose space art sets a standard for all of us to aspire to
Check out his gallery of space art, both old space and new space, on fineartamerica!
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Most people around now don't recall when Apollo 4 launched.
NASA hadn't worked out the suppression system, and windows were blown out miles away. Seismographs in New England picked up the vibrations from the launch in Florida.
Walter Cronkite was reporting from a block house miles away. You can hear him talking about the window panes (special windows for the block house) shaking and them trying to hold them in with their hands. the ceiling tiles starting falling and part of the rook got peeled back.
You can hear Walter Cronkite start talking about that just as the video ends.
Working on a special series of pieces celebrating the Apollo program and our reach for the moon. It will focus on the missions and machines that took us to the moon. In my mind the key missions were: Apollo 4 - the first test of the Saturn V in the configuration that would take us to the moon; Apollo 8 - Our first trip to the moon, when we saw earthrise; Apollo 11 - when we set foot on the moon; and Apollo 13 - arguably our finest hour in space! Above is a loose concept of where I am going with the Apollo 4 piece.
Launch visibility for LADEE is from S. Carolina to parts of Canada, & west to Ohio border. Launch is Sept 6 @ 11:27.