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
September 4th, 2012
02:21 PM ET

Up in the sky: 'Solar whip,' Northern Lights

Space geeks are agog over the above video, shot by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, depicting a beautiful whip-like solar filament stretching across the surface of the sun.

The video, which shows solar activity from August 6 to 8, shows a dark red filament that's about half a million miles long.

Unstable magnetic forces cause these filaments, which are cooler clouds of solar material, to be tethered above the sun's surface, according to NASA.

A small cloud of radiation associated with the "solar whip" did reach the Earth. A minor geomagnetic storm and a minor solar radiation storm brought the Northern Lights to parts of North America over the weekend.

Both storms have ended, according to the National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center.

CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano says the Northern Lights may be visible tonight, too, because a strong solar flare is about to happen as Sunspot AR1564 continues to grow and could cause the formation of an M-class flare, a solar euruption of medium strength.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours. Those flares will be visible because the active region is turning toward Earth.

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Filed under: In Space • the Sun
September 4th, 2012
10:23 AM ET

The ninja plane

CNN's Chad Myers shows how a new type of plane could someday get you from New York to Tokyo in five hours.

Filed under: On Earth


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