Before the Apollo program would ever be able to make the journey across the cis-lunar void to the Moon, NASA’s astronauts first needed to learn how to fly, work, and live in space. Between 1965 and 1966, NASA flew an aggressive series of two-man missions into low-Earth orbit, where they practiced and tested many of the flying techniques, spacecraft systems, science and living skills that would be required to ensure that the voyage to and from the Moon was conducted as safely as possible. The flight program that NASA implemented in order to accomplish these lofty goals was known as Project GEMINI. In a mere 20 months time, 16 NASA astronauts flew a total of 10 missions aboard the GEMINI spacecraft, orbiting the Earth over 600 times while acquiring a wealth of space experience that in the following years would serve to help make the upcoming Apollo lunar program such a resounding success. The GEMINI astronauts were some of the first men to explore this new ocean over our heads that is known as ‘space’, and they did indeed see some amazing sights up there during their flights. Aboard each GEMINI spacecraft was a piece of equipment known as the “Voice Tape Recorder” (VTR). The purpose of the VTR was to give the astronauts the ability to verbally record any thoughts, comments, or observations throughout the course of each flight, primarily during the periods when they were not in radio contact with one of the MSFN (Manned Space Flight Network) ground stations spread out at
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A few times each year in Santa Clarita, the conditions are just right for these strange clouds to form. They’re sometimes called “UFO” clouds because of their rounded, saucer-like shapes and hovering behavior. They’ve been around as long as any other kind of clouds, and were “officially” described/catalogged in the mid 1800s – long before HAARP or even use of electricity by humans. Much earlier records (paintings, text, etc.) no doubt exist as well. In the scientific world, they’re known as Lenticular clouds (Altostratus lenticularis), or “standing wave” clouds, and generally form over, downwind of, or sometimes upwind of mountain ranges. This event occured in the afternoon and evening of March 9th, 2010 and provided some spectacular skies around sunset. The cause is interesting… Fluid dynamics also apply to air, since wind moves much like water; it flows over the surface of the earth and when it encounters surface features (like mountains) it flows up and over them, like boulders in a river, generating ripples/rapids in the airstream above and downwind. Unlike water, these air currents are normally invisible, unless clouds exist to make them visible. Lenticular clouds form when moist air from lower altitude is forced up into colder, lower pressure layers of the atmosphere where it condenses, usually at the peaks of the air rapids and waves. As the air descends down from the peaks, it warms and evaporates. The result is a cloud that remains mostly stationary while any