Thursday, July 23, 2009


No, ZOI is not a new alternative healthy grain or a Soviet-era secret program. It's an acronym for the Apollo-era Zone Of Interest chart. From the Ranger, an oft-overlooked but essential part of Apollo, to the final landing decisions, the Zone Of Interest was a living document, updated as new science/data came in. Essentially a roadmap to the future, this version highlights the Ranger, Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor flights. These were the spacecraft that provided the data, and in many cases the images, which led to the first Apollo landings. Crude as they were, these missions paved the way.

It's a day off (mostly) in blustery Ventura, CA. A good 25 degrees (F) cooler than LA, I'll sacrifice the comfort of the office to the cool breezes off the ocean any day. It's also the end of the Apollo anniversary news cycle, at least in the US. One more radio spot and it's over. I just hope that a few folks (um, voters!) got out to Apollo events and got the message: this is not just history, it must also be the future.

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Welcome to the Missions to the Moon book blog. This is a place to re-live the heady days of the Apollo and Soyuz lunar programs- perhaps the crowning achievements of the 20th Century. Many blog entries will include a new downloadable image or artifact from the space age- items rarely seen and not available in print. It's all in the spirit of my newest book, Missions to the Moon- to remember the great adventure of the Golden Age of space exploration, and ponder what wonders await us in space.

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