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CRATERS OF THE MOON: The volcanic lava beds of Southern Idaho are a desolate stretch of some 63 extinct or dormant volcanoes, craters and cinder cones with an eerie semblance to a moonscape. It was here, on August 22 1969, that Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, Joe Engle, and Eugene Cernan arrived to learn the basics of volcanic geology in preparation for trips to the moon. This autographed photo evokes the cool star power of pioneers from another era.

We leave now as we once came,
with peace and with hope for all mankind.

the last words spoken on the moon at the end of the Apollo 17 mission

Read more here:

Many thanks to +Gnotic Pasta who gave me the link and is a fantastic source on all things Idaho (other than potato farms).
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Thanks for sharing this. I have been to Craters of the Moon, it is well worth a visit and is not a bad drive from Boise, Idaho Falls, or Pocatello.
+Michael Dotres , exactly my thought, especially the two in the center! We need more rock star scientists and science pioneers like them today.
Times do change, remember when pilots were treated like celebrities?
The photo drew me in, the quote will shape my day. :)
I can't decide whether this pic is cooler or the pics of the various Solvay conferences, but I do know that I want to photoshop my image into all of them and hang framed copies around the house.
If you photoshopped yourself onto Gene Cernan (center), +Thomas Kang , I would ask for an autographed copy for my wall :)
+Gnotic Pasta gave me the link in a comment on yesterday's post. His desert pictures are from somewhere here. He mentioned Bruneau Sand Dunes.
Great post! and thanks for the kudos too. :-) Interestingly enough the Vulcanism that created Craters of the Moon is currently in....YellowStone. YellowStone Park is the far eastern tip of the hotspot that moved West to East over the course of many thousand years. I haven't posted any pixs from Craters of the moon yet...been a good ten years since i was there last...hmmm..might have to take a drive this weekend just for some photo ops.

Bonus science here folks: Did you know just a short distance away was the first city in the world to be power by nuclear engergy?????
Yellowstone is one park that I did visit, +Gnotic Pasta . Loved the geysers and hot springs, saw moose and bison. It was ravaged by fires though, so all that burnt forest was disturbing (even if they are supposed to be regenerating). We then went south to the Grand Tetons where we almost saw a black bear :P
On the science nugget: which city was first powered by nuclear energy? Was it also a first for a nuclear generator?
That fire happened in 1988...horrible fire and did a lot of damage. There are many many great places in Yellowstone to hike, well off the beaten path that your average tourist goes to. How do you almost see a blackbear?? lol. The Teton's (where is Feisal, he'd love to hear about the name origin) are a fantastic mountain range. I climbed Grand Teton many years ago. talk about a work out!!

Arco is the first nuclear power city.

On December 20, 1951, the Experimental Breeder Reactor Number 1 (EBR-1) produced electricity that illuminated four light bulbs. In 1953, the EBR-1 first demonstrated the nuclear breeding process in which fertile isotopes are converted to fissile isotopes. The nuclear power plant was capable of producing over 2,000 kilowatts of electricity. Five boiling water reactors were built between 1953 and 1963. These reactors were part of the Boiling Water Reactor Experiment (BORAX), and the facilities were named BORAX-I through BORAX-V.

On July 17, 1955, electricity generated by uranium-fueled nuclear power from BORAX-III was fed into the transmission lines powering Arco, Idaho, a town of 1,000 approximately 20 miles from the NRTS. Arco thus became the first city in the world to receive all of its electricity from atomic energy. The town was first cut off from all other sources of power and the nuclear-powered electricity was sustained for over an hour. The test was intended to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of nuclear power generation.,_Idaho
It's too bad that #neildegrassetyson is only a rock star among us geeks. I hope he becomes a rock star like the astronauts of yesteryear.
Hey, +Gnotic Pasta did you know the first self-sustained nuclear chain reaction was conducted down the street from me? I'll post a picture of the site sometime, with my dog of course.
From french fur trappers that spent to much time in the wilderness and had a vivid sense for the visual outline of the mountain range. :-D

I think Science gurus such as NdgT and Michio Kaku are becoming more and more mainstream and having an influence on more than just the geeks.
On our long honeymoon in 1989, we sped in our car through Yellowstone in the dead of night, one year after the big fire, all the scraggy outlines were lit by moonlight. Well, I was actually asleep, but was woken up by my husband because he knew I wanted to see the Park. I think I said something like, wtf, yes, but not in the dark, and went back to sleep.
Fermi himself described the apparatus as "a crude pile of black bricks and wooden timbers."

Amazing and gutsy pioneers that is for sure...
+Michelle Beissel , what a charming honeymoon story :) I'm guessing your new husband had other sights in mind, but oh well :)
+Michelle Beissel give him credit. He was only following instructions. You didn't specify the being awake part. :~)
"Come glow in the dark in Arco Idaho!"
or being in the daylight ROFL...

I remember my first trip to YS..I was concerned about missing a sighting of Yogi Bear (being a 7 yr old, Yellowstone and Jellystone where the same park of course) I told my dad to wake me up when we got there, day or night. Never did see him this day, i like to think he was out there under the trees enjoying a stolen Picnic basket.
Well he was a man on a mission, +Rajini Rao, but sadly not that one--he was totally focused on getting us from the East Coast to the West Coast as fast as possible.
Their is doubt on moon mission of NASA , they still not disclosing original
What original is it that you seek, +Vinod Pandey ? Some moon rock that you will analyze in your laboratory? Or a secret handshake from Neil Armstrong? I love conspiracy theories :)
Are you people still living in the 60s? Everyone knows the moon landing was faked by Kubrick! Just check out;

(seriously everyone, check it out, awesome documentary that made a huge impact on me and it will open your eyes on a variety of topics)
Ah man, you are spoiling it! ;p
One of its main points is the power of media and famous figures and how they can sway public opinion, how easy it is for people in power to distort the truth.
Don't worry +Koen De Paus most people ignore me and my comments. No need for a spoiler alert.
No it's because Stanley Kubrick admits to having faked it. Henry Kissinger, Buzz Aldrin, Donald Rumsfeld and many others admit on camera during live interviews that the whole thing was set up to win the cold war and to make the world look at America as the leading nation.

The power of images... Just watch the docu, you'll understand ;)
Perhaps it's because space is so vast that it's... discouraging. :)

It's hard to quantify the evolution of space exploration but still... We have been doing some really amazing things since those faked moonlandings! ;) They are just not that high profile and many people stopped caring. Something might change that though... 86 days till curiosity's touchdown and HD footage of Mars! :D

Ion Engines, laser propelled solar sails, we have the technology! But lost our sense of adventure :) Fusion engines and even anti matter engines are physically possible so one day we'll conquer deep space... We have to! Whether we ll send out biofactories that can produce humans on site, use cryonic freezers to ship us over there, send smart robots or become robots, only time will tell, but if we do nothing, our story will end together with that of our sun which is kinda sad considering the universe would still have MUCH more time on its clock.

To be honest I would be surprised if we have that much. Conservative estimates point to the sun becoming 10% more luminous and thus creating hell on earth in as little as a billion years which is nothing on the timescale of the universe, especially if you consider that life has been around for 4.5 billions which would mean that these are our final hours.
very true; on a related note >!/neiltyson/status/200741615365660673

The man has a point! Then again, there seems to be nothing we can do, apart from landing an actual meatbag, that would make the news. :(

Dunno if it's this bad everywhere but in Belgium science almost never makes the news. Nobody here knows about curiosity, nobody knows about planetary resources, nobody knows about the dwindling budgets and next gen space telescopes like the JWST being in danger because of it. Nor do we get any other science news for that matter :( We get 10 minute long main items about footballers throwing a party after their victory in first class...

I don't want to live on this planet anymore

+Gnotic Pasta It took me a while to figure out what you meant by NdgT. At first, I thought there was a science popularizer that used a stage name, like Ice-T or 2Pac.
it's G+ Not sure where i picked that up at...likely from Rajini or others of the Incorrigible group. (inside joke to those in the know)
It doesn't take much of a stretch of imagination to guess just how incorrigible the group is.
You can always tell the culprits; they're always acting too casual, but with shifty eyes.
It turns out that my dad was the guy who took the photo of these guys when he was a young intern right out of college:
How cool can a group of guys be? Want to go back and read The Right Stuff again. Thanks for a great reminder of that incredible time.
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