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July 7
1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]


| Friday, Jul 19, 2019
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag on the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 moon mission in July 1969. | Photo: NASA/Neil Armstrong.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag on the lunar surface during the Apollo 11 moon mission in July 1969. | Photo: NASA/Neil Armstrong.

 

HOUSTON — Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, the world stopped to watch in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts walked on the moon. The semi-centennial has rekindled NASA’s interplanetary ambitions. Tapping into a vibrant U.S. space industry, it’s eyeing the moon as a stepping stone to Mars.

After launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11spacecraft, propelled by a series of three rockets, traveled at 25 times the speed of sound, and covered the 238,900 miles to the moon in about three days.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first of only 12 people, all NASA astronauts, ever to walk on the moon’s dusty, cratered surface, just over 2% of the 550 people who have reached space since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin first did so in 1961.

Armstrong’s famous radio message back to Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” culminated eight years of work by more than 300,000 technicians.

The feat cost $25 billion and fulfilled the goal of getting a man to the moon within the decade, which President John F. Kennedy laid out in 1961, prompted by Cold War fears that the Soviet Union would surpass America in space.

NASA’s lunar missions ended in the early 1970s as federal funding fell off amid a move by Congress away from big government projects, to a more fiscally conservative approach that favored partnerships with the private sector.

But U.S. space ambitions have revved up in recent years, fueled by tech billionaires Elon Musk’s and Jeff Bezos’ rival rocket companies, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Blue Origin LLC.

President Donald Trump signed a directive in December 2017 calling for NASA to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024 and establish a base there.

Though Trump dedicated $1.6 billion to NASA in May this year for its new Artemis moon missions, and the agency is set to receive $21 billion in federal funding for 2020, it has contracted with a private company to build a centerpiece.

NASA accepted a $375 million bid from Maxar Technologies of Colorado to build a power and propulsion component of a spacecraft NASA has dubbed Gateway, which will take shape like a giant floating Lego set.

“Imagine the Power Propulsion Element as the engine of a car,” Mike Gold, a Maxar vice president, said in an email to Courthouse News. “It will provide power, maneuvering to get the astronauts closer to the surface of the moon, and communications to Earth and other systems in lunar orbit or on the surface of the moon.”

NASA plans to dock a small astronaut quarters to it by 2024. The living space will be built by other countries’ space programs and private companies adding modules and hardware, just as Russia, Canada, Japan and the United States constructed the International Space Station.

The propulsion element and Gateway will be powered by a solar electric system, a system Gold said took decades and 100,000 work hours to perfect and is essential for any mission to Mars.

Maxar is to test launch in late 2022 and NASA has the option of buying it or not. It’s designed to operate for at least 15 years, Gold said.

Maxar’s history with NASA goes back to Apollo’s roots. It built the agency’s Mission Control Center and supplied instruments Aldrin installed on the moon, Gold said.

While few companies can boast of such a track record, the semi-centennial finds the U.S. space exploration industry in full bloom. Dozens of startups are competing to help NASA construct a lunar human habitat and to build a launch platform for deep-space missions.

With some describing the moon as the “Eighth Continent,” they are building robots and 3D printers to construct lunar buildings, designing lasers to melt moon dust into building materials and landers to explore its south pole, where NASA plans to land astronauts, including the first woman on the moon, for its Artemis mission.

The United States is not the only world power vying for lunar real estate.

China has a rival program. Named for the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, its missions started in 2007.

China in January became the first country to land a spacecraft on the moon’s dark side. It was loaded with radiation and water-detecting devices built by Swedish, Dutch, German and Saudi Arabian scientists.

The moon is a magnet for multinational collaboration.

A 2008 spacecraft launch by India’s space agency collected data that led to the discovery of ice packed in shadowed craters on the moon’s southern pole, which never get warmer than -250 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA hopes to extract the ice and convert it into oxygen for humans and hydrogen fuel for a rocket launch to Mars. Commercial space firms are researching how to do this.

China also aims to build a lunar outpost on the south pole for exploration missions.

Vice President Mike Pence sees China as a threat to U.S. space supremacy. Some experts believe China will beat NASA back to the moon, and the next message from its surface will be spoken in Mandarin.

“Make no mistake about it, we’re in a space race today, just as we were in the 1960s, and the stakes are even higher,” Pence said in March.

With its headquarters 2 miles from the Johnson Space Center, Intuitive Machines is one of

It plans to transport its first lander, capable of carrying 330 pounds, on a SpaceX rocket, its vice president of aerospace services Trent Martin said in an email.

“Our first mission includes five NASA payloads, one commercial payload, and one academic payload. Each payload is performing specific scientific or engineering technology demonstration missions,” Martin said.

Though the company has many former NASA employees on its payroll, none of them worked on the Apollo missions. But Martin said they all have collaborated with Apollo-era NASA technicians and astronauts.

“It was their pioneering spirit that allows us to even attempt to perform a feat previously relegated only to governments of superpowers,” he said.

— By Cameron Langford and James Palmer

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Jul 7, 2020
Soledad Fire at 68% Containment, Firefighters Monitoring Hot Spots
The fast-spreading brush fire that burned nearly 1,498 acres in Agua Dulce reached 68% containment by Tuesday morning, with firefighters still in the area scouting for potential flare-ups, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
Monday, Jul 6, 2020
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 33rd SCV Resident Dies; New Cases Surge in 18-40 Demo
Another resident of the city of Santa Clarita has died due to COVID-19, the city's 26th fatality and the 33rd in the Santa Clarita Valley to date, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Monday, Jul 6, 2020
Tuesday SCV Air Quality: Unhealthy for Sensitive People
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive groups and individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday, July 7, according to the latest South Coast Air Quality Management District forecast.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
A lone medallion – a sleek, black circle adorned with the city of Santa Clarita logo in gold – lies in hiding, waiting to be found by a lucky person in one of the City’s 35 parks.
Residents Invited to City’s Medallion Hunt
The fast-spreading brush fire that burned nearly 1,498 acres in Agua Dulce reached 68% containment by Tuesday morning, with firefighters still in the area scouting for potential flare-ups, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
Soledad Fire at 68% Containment, Firefighters Monitoring Hot Spots
1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]
The city of Santa Clarita's Film Office has reported three productions now shooting in the Santa Clarita Valley:
Now Shooting in SCV: ‘Eden’ TV Show, 2 Still Photoshoots
Another resident of the city of Santa Clarita has died due to COVID-19, the city's 26th fatality and the 33rd in the Santa Clarita Valley to date, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 33rd SCV Resident Dies; New Cases Surge in 18-40 Demo
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive groups and individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Tuesday, July 7, according to the latest South Coast Air Quality Management District forecast.
Tuesday SCV Air Quality: Unhealthy for Sensitive People
After breaking a daily coronavirus testing record over the July 4 holiday weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said hospitalizations remain alarmingly high as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state’s largest counties.
Newsom Reports Spike in California COVID Hospitalizations, Patients in ICU
Caltrans is adopting a set of new, high-priority actions to improve access to walking, bicycling and transit options throughout California.
Caltrans Adopts Action Plan to Increase Walking, Bicycling Statewide
A brush fire dubbed the Soledad Fire burned more than 1,000 acres and shut down Highway 14 Sunday, and as of 9 a.m. Monday was 30% contained, according to Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy David R. Richardson Jr.
Soledad Fire in Agua Dulce Burns 1,500 Acres, 48% Contained
Smoke from the Soledad Fire burning near Agua Dulce has caused unhealthy air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains, sparking a smoke advisory from Los Angeles County Public Health officials.
Soledad Fire Prompts Smoke Advisory for SCV, Local Mountains
As firefighters worked through the night battling the Soledad Fire in Agua Dulce, a second blaze, named the Cambria Fire, was reported Monday morning in nearby Placerita Canyon.
Cambria Fire Scorches 5 Acres in Placerita Canyon
The city of Santa Clarita has canceled the 2020 Concerts in the Park series due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and in accordance with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Safer at Home order.
Santa Clarita Cancels Concerts in the Park Summer Series
After improving the data processing systems, which resulted in no data being reported since Thursday, July 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday reported an increase of 7,232 new cases for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
L.A. County Reports 7,232 New COVID-19 Cases After 3 Days of Data Upgrades
1850 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall arrives in California to look for gold [story]
Henry Newhall
1914 - Rev. Wolcott H. Evans, the future "pastor of the disaster," named pastor of Newhall's First Presbyterian Church [story]
church
1932 - Robert Poore wins the greased pole climbing contest and $2.50 at Newhall's July 4th celebration [story]
4th of July Parade
Park officials have announced Los Angeles County regional parks and natural areas, which include William S. Hart Park, Placerita Nature Center and Vasquez Rocks, will now be closed Mondays and Tuesdays due to staffing reductions.
SCV Regional Parks, Natural Areas Reduce Operating Hours
As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suspends daily reports until Monday, the California Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed a total of 248,235 cases statewide as of July 2 (up from 5,688 from July 1 and another 2,352 results received), with 6,263 deaths (up 100 from July 1) from the disease.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Cases, Hospitalizations, Deaths Rise Statewide
The Old Town Newhall Library will exhibit works by Santa Clarita artists created during "The Quarantine Art Challenge" from July 14 to October 9.
‘Quarantine Art Challenge’ Exhibit to Open at Newhall Library July 14
The Committee for College of the Canyons — Yes on Measure E has been ordered to pay a $9,000 fine for infractions committed in 2016 and 2017.
Committee for College of the Canyons Bond Measure Ordered to Pay $9K Fine
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services has launched a new website to provide county residents with general program information on DPSS services.
L.A. County Launches New Website for Public Social Services Dept.
At the direction of the Department of Public Health, all Los Angeles County beaches will be closed this weekend, resulting in the closure of all lifeguard towers.
Beaches in L.A., Ventura Counties to Close for Holiday Weekend
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Saturday, July 4, according to the latest South Coast Air Quality Management District forecast.
July 4 Air Quality: Unhealthy in SCV for Sensitive People (and Pets)
The city of Santa Clarita has changed the language of its Code Enforcement’s mission statement -- by omitting a portion stating that issues are addressed using the "broken windows" theory -- to reflect what officials said is a more accurate reflection of operations.
City Changes Code Enforcement Mission Statement Regarding ‘Broken Windows’ Theory
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