These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Earth has a new satellite - for a while, anyway. In November of 1969, Apollo 12 blasted off for the Moon with crewmembers Alan Beam, Pete Conrad and Richard Gordon. It left behind, among other things, the 3rd stage of the Saturn V rocket that boosted it into space. In 1971, that 3rd stage left the Earth's orbit to position itself in a Lagrangian point orbit (a place where the Earth's and Sun's gravitational attraction is nearly equal), where it remained until April of 2002. Canadian amateur astronomer Bill Yeung spotted the new satellite in September of that year and after some help from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, confirmed it's identity using spectral techniques that recognized the titanium oxide paint on the object's surface. Alas, the 3rd stage will leave our orbit again in June of 2003, and probably won't return until the mid-2040s. I'll be in my 80s then - scary!