DC's National Cathedral to host memorial service for Neil Armstrong
September 4th, 2012
07:41 PM ET

DC's National Cathedral to host memorial service for Neil Armstrong

A memorial service to honor astronaut Neil Armstrong will be held September 13 at the Washington National Cathedral.

The first man on the moon died on August 25, at 82, from complications of a cardiovascular procedure.

According to a statement from NASA and the cathedral, a "very limited number of seats will be made available to the public." People who are interested in attending should contact Christine Peterson at christinepeterson@nasa.gov.

The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, will officiate at the service, which will begin at 10 a.m. ET, the release said. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and other dignitaries will pay tribute to Armstrong, who also flew combat missions as a Navy pilot during the Korean War.

Armstrong's family held a private memorial service on Friday in Ohio. Memorials were also held around the country, including events at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Armstrong took two trips into space. He made his first journey in 1966 as commander of the Gemini 8 mission, which nearly ended in disaster.

Armstrong kept his cool and brought the spacecraft home safely after a thruster rocket malfunctioned and caused it to spin wildly out of control.

During his next space trip in July 1969, Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off in Apollo 11 on a nearly 250,000-mile journey to the moon that went down in the history books.
It took them four days to reach their destination.

The world watched and waited as the lunar module "Eagle" separated from the command module and began its descent.

Then came the words from Armstrong: "Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."

About six and a half hours later at 10:56 p.m. ET on July 20, 1969, Armstrong, at age 38, became the first person to set foot on the moon.

He uttered the now-famous phrase: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

After his historic mission to the moon, Armstrong worked for NASA, coordinating and managing the administration's research and technology work.

In 1971, he resigned from NASA and taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade.

Armstrong largely avoided the public spotlight and chose to lead a quiet, private life with his wife and children.

The cathedral is home to a lunar rock, which the Apollo 11 astronauts presented to church officials in 1974 when they dedicated the church's Space Window.

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Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
Study: Air around natural gas sites potentially harmful
Workers fix a valve on a natural gas well in South Montrose, Pennsylvania.
March 27th, 2012
03:31 PM ET

Study: Air around natural gas sites potentially harmful

When people talk about natural gas fracking and pollution, they most often are referring to the water issues sometimes associated with the wells.

But a new study suggests that air pollution should be an important part of the conversation also.

“In the development of natural gas, air should also be considered,” Lisa McKenzie, lead author of the study and research associate at the Colorado School of Public Health, said. "People living near the well are potentially at risk for health effects."

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Filed under: News
To drill or not to drill more in the Arctic?
Travel through the waters off the coast of Alaska can often be hampered by ice.
February 9th, 2012
06:33 PM ET

To drill or not to drill more in the Arctic?

At stake is nearly 30 billion barrels of oil. That's the amount of recoverable crude under the Arctic Ocean near Alaska, according to government estimates. Shell Oil hopes to begin drilling this year to tap into the reserves.

But environmentalists and researchers say more study is needed before Shell or any other company gets the go-ahead.

In late January, nearly 600 scientists sent a letter to President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar demanding the administration focus on the science of drilling in the area. They urged the president to consider a USGS report issued last summer that gave 62 “pressing needs,” the letter stated.

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Filed under: On Earth

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