March 15, 2012 |
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the rocket engine manufacturing business in the San Fernando Valley that helped pioneer space exploration in the 1960s, is officially up for sale by its parent company. With headquarters in Canoga Park, Rocketdyne builds rocket engines at a sprawling 47-acre facility near the Westfield Topanga shopping mall. The company is perhaps best known as the maker of the space shuttles' main rocket engines. But it also develops engines for military rockets and missiles.
September 1, 2011 |
A cracked cosmonaut helmet, footsteps in the moon dust, a mysterious flash of light outside a spaceship window — these are some of the images the Weinstein Co. has released from "Apollo 18," a documentary-style sci-fi thriller opening Friday that the studio is marketing as a movie culled from "found footage" from a U.S. space mission. "In 1972, the United States sent two astronauts on a secret mission to the moon," the trailer says. "Despite decades of denial by NASA and the Department of Defense, classified footage of the mission was leaked to the media.
July 21, 2011
NASA fans distraught over the end of the space shuttle program may find a bit of solace in the presentation "Apollo 15 + 40 Years: Serious Science on the Moon," which chronicles the fourth manned lunar landing, in 1971, through video and photographs. John Drescher Planetarium, Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Fri. $5 general admission, $4 seniors and children. (310) 434-3005. http://www.smc.edu/planetarium.
July 16, 2011
L.A.'s water visionary Re "Mulholland's Los Angeles," Editorial, July 10 Though he was a poor geologist (the St. Francis Dam disaster), William Mulholland's environmental legacy is remarkably positive. His 220-mile-long aqueduct is an engineering masterpiece, entirely gravity-fed. It produces hydroelectric power. Contrast this with the California State Water Project of the1970s, which expends more energy than any single operation in California to pump water over the Tehachapi Mountains.
July 10, 2011 |
I began covering the space shuttle project in 1972, soon after President Nixon authorized it. I had recently joined this newspaper as a science writer. And the country was enthusiastic about the idea of a reusable spacecraft, which was expected to be sturdy, economical and reliable. The shuttle turned out to be neither economical nor sturdy, and its reliability has been wobbly. But as I watched the shuttle Atlantis blast off into space on what will be the 135th and final space shuttle mission, I found myself feeling a bit nostalgic.
July 8, 2011 |
Reporting from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis lifted off Friday morning, shooting straight into a brightening sky on a 12-day mission that marks the end of the nation's three-decade space shuttle program. There was a brief hold in the countdown at 31 seconds because of a glitch seemingly involving a piece of retractable equipment. As millions of onlookers on the ground and via television held their breaths, officials checked and reported that the equipment had, indeed, been moved.