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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Houston, ALTAIR has landed!

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Author Topic:   Houston, ALTAIR has landed!
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-13-2007 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As of today, NASA's Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM, the new lunar lander) is to be referred to as Altair.

The new name and logo were revealed to members of the aerospace industry during a briefing still underway at Johnson Space Center.

According to Lauri Hansen, NASA's lunar lander project manager, "Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila and is the twelfth brightest star in the night sky. The word "Altair" finds its origins in Arabic and is derived from a phrase that means 'the flying one'.

"In Latin, "Aquila" means Eagle, tying our new lander to the historic Apollo 11 Eagle," Hansen wrote in an email obtained by collectSPACE.com.

kimmern123
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Posts: 83
From: Norway
Registered: Dec 2006

posted 12-13-2007 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kimmern123   Click Here to Email kimmern123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great name! Tying it to Eagle as well I think is a wonderful thing to do. The meaning of the name also fits very well with Altair's purpose. Now all we have to wait for is for the actual hardware to be made. I guess that's still several years away though...

KSCartist
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Posts: 2896
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 12-13-2007 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I think the name is very appropriate and I can surely understand why they would want to tie it to the LM on Apollo 11, I wish they had done a better job of illustrating the Eagle on the logo.

It's simply an Apollo 11 patch in reverse and the illustration is almost "child-like." But maybe that's what they intended since today's kids are tomorrows explorers.

Tim

ShuttleDiscovery
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Posts: 152
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Registered: Feb 2007

posted 12-13-2007 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ShuttleDiscovery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The patch maches the Constellation, Orion and Ares ones (triangles). I hope an embroidered version comes out soon!

Is there a hi-res version of the patch?

onesmallstep
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Posts: 1310
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 12-13-2007 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice and elegant design, with both the eagle and the letter script echoing Apollo. I guess with both the CEV (Orion) and LSAM (Altair) both having names now, they will dispense with crew-given names for each, as was done in Apollo.

-Al

NavySpaceFan
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Posts: 655
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 12-13-2007 04:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by onesmallstep:
I guess with both the CEV (Orion) and LSAM (Altair) both having names now, they will dispense with crew-given names for each, as was done in Apollo.
I think that the crews will still have individual call signs for their spacecraft, makes the mission more personal.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-13-2007 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More details and quotes from today: NASA names next-gen lunar lander Altair
quote:
Move over Eagle, the Altair has landed.

cspg
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Posts: 6210
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-14-2007 12:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How do you pronounce it? In French, it would "alta-eer" but in English?

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-14-2007 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
How do you pronounce it?
When Jeff Hanley said the name at yesterday's industry meeting, it was pronounced, 'al-tare'.

Mr Meek
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Posts: 353
From: Chattanooga, TN
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 12-14-2007 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
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.

Surely I'm not alone in thinking that's yet another cool link between NASA and everyone's favorite pseudoscience fiction franchise.

...Just as long as the ships don't have any inscrutable LCARS displays with the magical X/Y pad that does EVERYTHING!

jimsz
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Posts: 616
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Registered: Aug 2006

posted 12-14-2007 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz   Click Here to Email jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like the concept but the image is really done poorly.

They certainly could have created a more professional looking presentation design that what they have.

Choose2Go
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Posts: 73
From: Merritt Island, FL, USA
Registered: Feb 2004

posted 12-14-2007 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Choose2Go     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
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.

Mike credits his interest in space art and design to a NASA Spacemobile education program he attended while in grade school. This shows the benefit of investing in education. You never know how you may effect a child or influence their future. Good job, Mike!

cspg
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Posts: 6210
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-14-2007 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The name Altair is also referenced in the movie Forbidden Planet, which I like very much.

Anybody has come up with (silly) acronym(s) for ALTAIR?

Chris.

tegwilym
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Posts: 2331
From: Sturgeon Bay, WI
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 12-14-2007 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShuttleDiscovery:
The patch maches the Constellation, Orion and Ares ones
All the patches have 10 stars. What do those refer to?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-14-2007 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
All the patches have 10 stars. What do those refer to?
As mentioned in our above linked article:
quote:
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.
The pattern of the stars in the Altair logo form the constellation Aquila, with the bright (larger) star referencing the location of Atlair.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 1310
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 12-14-2007 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Anybody has come up with (silly) acronym(s) for ALTAIR?
How about: Advanced Lunar Transport and Astronaut Intravehicular Restroom?

-Al

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 3445
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-14-2007 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ALTAIR: American Lunar Thingee Aimed (at) Impact, Return.

eurospace
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Posts: 2610
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-15-2007 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as NASA needed the Germans to take their rockets to go to the Moon, they now need the French to invent names: Altair was the designation of Jean-Pierre Haigneré's first mission to space station MIR in 1993.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

International Director (Europe), Space Unit
Vice President, Weltraum Philatelie e. V.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

art540
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Posts: 432
From: Orange, California USA
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 12-15-2007 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Altair is a very prominent star in the summer skies and much better known than any aerospace mission or vehicle...

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2331
From: Sturgeon Bay, WI
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 12-15-2007 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
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.
Ah! Thanks Robert. I guess I read that article too fast and went right past that. Oops.

Tom

John Youskauskas
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From:
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 12-17-2007 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Youskauskas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was trying to figure this out when I first looked at the patch, and actually counted 11 stars, including the one in the "A". I assumed this was a reference to Apollo 11 as well as the eagle.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 42988
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-22-2007 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA added the Altair announcement to its website on Dec. 18: NASA Chooses "Altair" as Name for Astronauts' Lunar Lander

Not many (if any) new details (and the logo is still absent from their site) but there are a few new hi-res images of Altair docked with Orion and on the Moon.

All times are CT (US)

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