Sunday, January 25, 2015

The two faces of Ceres


Dawn Mission Director: Probe will introduce us to a strange new world

Artist rendition of the Dawn spacecraft approaching Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Artist rendition of the Dawn spacecraft approaching Ceres as seen on Spaceflight Insider

The two faces of Ceres. All celestial objects are two-faced. The face the vast majority of humans are allowed to see and the face NASA and other top dogs get to see. We humans need protection, like a child who might run out in traffic if not holding the hand of an adult. Speaking of which, I could use more 5 star reviews on my books, because some of those same types of people, the ones that want to protect humanity from dangerous information, have been leaving 1 star reviews, and warning people of the perils of reading Lou Baldin books. Oh the  

Lou Baldin
NASA’s Dawn mission is closing in on a mysterious, unknown world located in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter. The dwarf planet Ceres, named after the Roman goddess of agriculture, is nearing the point in its history when mankind will unlock its secrets. So far, humanity has only had a glimpse of this enigmatic orb using the Hubble Space Telescope, so what we might find at the dwarf planet after Dawn’s arrival – has those both within and on the outside of the space community interested in what awaits the spacecraft.
Marc Rayman, the Mission Director and Chief Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, could not hide his excitement: “Everyone should be excited by this. Everyone who has ever gazed in wonder at the night sky, everyone who yearns to know what lies beyond the confines of our humble home, everyone who longs for adventure and seeks to peer beyond the horizon, and everyone awed by the mystery, the grandeur, and the immensity of the cosmos can share in this,” he told “Together we are going to be introduced to a strange new world!”
Dawn is slated to arrive at Ceres on Mar. 6. The spacecraft will enter the dwarf planet’s orbit at an initial altitude of 8,388 miles (13,500 km) for a first full characterization. Then it will explore Ceres from survey orbit at 2,374 miles (4,400 km), and next it will go lower to only 913 miles (1,470 km). To travel from one orbit to another, it will use its extraordinary ion propulsion system to spiral lower and lower and lower.
“The exact time of orbit entry varies a little bit because of changes in the schedule of Deep Space Network availability, which affects when we pause ion thrusting. In addition, of course, while we have estimates of Ceres’ mass, we do not know it precisely, so the strength of its gravitational pull is not certain,” Rayman revealed. “Nevertheless, in our latest design, orbit entry occurs around Mar. 6 at 1:30 a.m. EST (06:30 GMT). It is unlikely to change by more than a few hours.”
But this isn’t a first time when Dawn visits a celestial body. In July 2011 the spacecraft entered the orbit of asteroid Vesta for a one-year exploration. Thus, Dawn will be the first mission to orbit two separate extraterrestrial bodies. “We will make all the same kinds of measurements at Ceres that we made at Vesta and will produce all the same products, including the geological maps. That is the one of the benefits of having one spacecraft that can orbit multiple deep-space destinations, a first in the exploration of space,” Rayman said.
Vesta and Ceres are important for scientists to explore because they are remnants of the formation of our solar system. It’s possible that both bodies contain the basic building blocks associated with life. Scientists believe that Ceres may harbor an internal ocean of liquid water under its surface. The surface is probably a mixture of water ice and various hydrated minerals such as carbonates and clay.
Processed image of Ceres as seen on Spaceflight Insider
This processed image of Ceres, as seen from the Dawn spacecraft, hints at craters on the dwarf planet’s surface. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
“This is an exciting opportunity to study an exotic, alien world of ice and rock. We hope to discover how the large inventory of water — mostly frozen, but some perhaps as liquid — affects this dwarf planet. There may be signatures in the physical appearance, as displayed in our photographs, and in the composition, as revealed by our other measurements,” Rayman said. “Part of the thrill of an ambitious adventure like this, however, is that we cannot say what new discoveries and findings we will make. This is truly a mission of exploration. Ceres is the first dwarf planet discovered, the largest body between the sun and Pluto that a spacecraft has not yet visited.”
The spacecraft will also deliver the highly anticipated high-resolution images of Ceres. The photos will be well over 800 times better than the best we have now from Hubble. “For more than two centuries, we have only been able to glimpse it as a fuzzy little patch of light,” Rayman noticed. “In its lowest altitude orbit, Dawn’s images will have a resolution of better than 40 meters per pixel. So we will be able to see exquisite detail compared to what we have now.”
As the Dawn approaches Ceres, the excitement of unveiling the unknown, mysterious protoplanet grows. This ‘strange new world’ as Rayman describes it, is about to unlock its secrets. “I am very excited about the arrival at Ceres. Before the Dawn mission, Vesta and Ceres were among the last unexplored worlds in the inner solar system. We are about to unveil a mysterious orb that has beckoned for more than two centuries. It holds secrets from the dawn of the solar system,” Rayman said.
Rayman provides all the latest updates regarding the mission on the Dawn Blog.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flying saucer over house

Back in 1994, I built a house in a new subdivision, one that was way out in the boonies, cornfields as far as the eye could see. It was going to be a bedroom community on the outskirts of Kansas City. The developer was going to put in a golf course and a lake. I was one of five builders selected to build it out, a twenty year project. I and another builder jumped right in and started building, the other three builders backed out. I finished my house and so did the other builder, I was about to start more houses when the developer went bankrupt. Couldn't sell my house so I moved into it. Ended up living there for ten years. The first 3 years we had the whole undeveloped subdivision and hundreds of acres of cornfields to ourselves. This is the house where I wrote my first book, In League with a UFO. A new developer came in and built out the subdivision after it had sat there for 3 years with no activity. The bank was going to let me take it over for a song (little cash) but I was busy building in other subdivisions and passed up on one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. The new developer couldn't build houses fast enough and sold them before they were finished. The golf course and lake never got put in. But the subdivision came to life and was filled with new families and school age children nearly overnight. 

One day my daughter came home from school and asked me what a UFO was. She was in grade school, and said that a boy on the school bus, a neighbor that lived across the street from us, who was a year or two older than her, said that he saw a UFO parked over our house. So she wanted to know what a UFO was. I gave her a vague explanation and she never brought it up again. When we had the whole place to ourselves, UFOs were more frequent, and the stars on a cloudless night were so plentiful one could reach up and grab a handful. Not so, where I live now, city lights hide them. The painting is a description of the UFO over my house that the boy described to my daughter. Haven’t lived in the house for ten years but I still own it. I can’t seem to sell the house, so if anyone is interested let me know. Be forewarned, it’s been contaminated by extraterrestrials and is now haunted by Space Aliens! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Summer of 1957, I was staying with grandparents, at their farm. It was a few years after the war, and many homes were damaged or destroyed. My grandfather converted an old barn into living space and moved his family into the old barn. (Still have family living in the old place today). A storm was brewing when one of my aunts took me upstairs (what used to be a hayloft), and put me to bed.
Excerpt from book, “UFOs in the year of the Dragon”:
                Two months before moving to America, I was visited by a child-like being smaller than I was.  I was five years old and a little over 3 feet tall.  The being was less than two feet tall and skinny.  Some of the entities and people that had visited me up until then had been much taller and were adults dressed in official uniforms, army, police or Aliens.  I was taken to places, buildings, and on ships with other humans.  Some of the ships I was taken into didn't have the bells, whistles, and the magic that real extraterrestrial ships had.
                The ship I was about to enter had the bells and whistles and some other strange goings on that included military operatives and Aliens.
                The visit took place while I was at my grandparent’s house, and it happened shortly after my aunt put me to bed and turned the light out in my room.
                I had my first buzzing sound in my ears as if bees were near my head and then entered my head. It was a new sensation for me and was created when certain types of beings, or humans working with certain types of Aliens, came near humans equipped with Alien gadgets.
                I could still hear the socializing of uncles, aunts and friends going on in the kitchen below my room.  I wanted to go back down to the kitchen and be with the grandparents but wasn't allowed to leave the room by the obscure being.
                A fierce thunderstorm brewed outside the window and I decided to try and go down with the adults in the kitchen in defiance of the being that told me to stay in the room.  I got out of my bed and looked for the door in the dark room.  I felt uneasy from the flashes of lightning, the trees blowing violently in the wind, and the rapid-fire thunder bolts raining down from the sky like hail.
                The bedroom was dark as pitch, and the darkness, penetrated by the flashes of lighting, provided occasion to see where the furniture was in the room.  Nevertheless, it was difficult to see my way around the room.  I felt my way around the room with my hands and followed the wall to the door.  When I reached the door, the door knob would not turn and the door would not open.  I tried the light switch next to the door and the light did not come on.
                I went back to my bed and sat on it, puzzled that the door would not open when it easily opened all the other times.  A few minutes passed and the talking in the kitchen died down.  Then the sound of footsteps from aunts, uncles and grandparents, coming up the steps and going to their bedrooms put me at ease about the storm.
                I had no desire to sleep and sat on my bed staring into the darkness and listening to the thunder, and the rain that was hitting against the shutters. 
                The being that was keeping me awake was about to enter my room.  A circular pattern appeared on the wall to the right of me and took up a large section of the wall.  The circle darkened and became a hole, a vortex, to another place.  The paranormal world was nothing new but the opening in the wall was an odd twist for my human mind but not much of one.
                Encounters increasingly more bizarre and unpredictable followed as my childhood awareness of the supernatural world became more subdued as the human side of reality progressively intruded into my life as I became older.
                From the hole emerged a small being, not human but with human features, arms, legs, head, and a non-human feature, a tail.  The creature looked like a fairytale being, about two feet tall, and slender.  The thing jump out of the hole like a lizard and onto my bed and sat next to me.

                I jumped out of the bed and headed for the door, not sure what the thing was or what it wanted with me.  Telepathically, it told me not to be afraid.  I then got back in bed and we talked and played as children for several minutes or perhaps hours.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Phantom Airplane

As a kid growing up in Kansas City, living in a rough part of town, across the street from our house, was a “social club”, called the trap. Several big shots frequented the trap, where gambling took place, mostly card games, where the rich and famous came to donate some of their cash to a good cause (their own health and welfare). This was no Sunday picnic kind of place, this was real life and death stuff. Outside the club fewer than a dozen well-dressed dudes kept a close eye on things while the bosses did their business inside the trap. The street was usually crowded with cars and finding a parking spot not easy. Not that anyone who was not associated with the club dared park anywhere near the place. However, there were always two sometimes three cars that managed to find parking, FBI guys. They kept their distance from the club, sitting in their cars reading newspapers, smoking cigarettes and talking with each other. Two FBI guys per car. Each assigned to one of the big shots inside the club. When the big shots left the club, followed by their personal entourage of body guards, one of the FBI cars tailed them. It was annoying for the big shots but they learned to live with it, and life went on.
I’m no big shot but I too have a tail. They work hard at not being conspicuous but they are only human. Sometimes they don’t even attempt to hide, and even have a conversation with me. Mostly when I go out of town. One day, about a year and a half ago, my wife and I left the house and were going out to eat. We drove a few blocks and I happen to look up in the sky and there was this huge airplane, something like a DC10. No markings and it was just sitting in the sky not moving. Odd as hell. I looked at my wife, who was not looking up and said, “Do you see that airplane just sitting there?” She looked and said what the heck, it’s not moving. I knew better than to try and take a picture, but I attempted to do just that. I looked for a place to stop my car and couldn't fine one so I turned into the apartment complex and park my car, jump out with my IPhone, and watched clouds quickly form around the airplane. I was going to take pictures of the clouds anyway but lost time set in. My wife and I were taken aboard the plane. Black ops interrogated me but most of what happened is a blank. A few minutes passed and we were back in the car, and our happy disposition was gone. We continued to the restaurant but hardly talked. My wife remembers seeing the airplane but nothing else.

The painting depicts the airplane over the apartment complex where I parked my car…and was beamed up. Happened in broad daylight, around 5:30PM one summer day.

Lou Baldin

Thursday, January 15, 2015

NASA Probe’s 3 Billion-Mile Trip to End in Dwarf Planet's Embrace

 Jan 15, 2015 7:43 AM CT
NASA spaceship, its engines too weak to power a skateboard, is drawing closer to a never-visited dwarf planet in a quest to learn more about how Earth was formed.
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Artist rendition of Dawn spacecraft orbiting Vesta. 

Below is how Earth and every planet in the solar system came into existence, born of the sun and exploding out of the sun:

Lou Baldin

Dawn, a golf-cart-size NASA probe launched seven years ago, is on its way to rendezvous with Ceres, a minor planet as big across as Texas, on March 6. A rocky globe in the asteroid belt that probably holds a reservoir of ice, Ceres may provide keys to understanding what our own planet was like at the very beginning of its formation.