Move over Eagle, the Altair has landed.
NASA today introduced a new name and logo for its next generation lunar lander, which was previously referred to as the Lunar Surface Access Module, or LSAM for short.
"Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila and is the twelfth brightest star in the night sky," wrote Lauri Hansen, NASA's Altair project manager, in an e-mail sent to Hanley this morning, a copy of which was obtained by collectSPACE.com. "The word 'Altair' finds its origins in Arabic and is derived from a phrase that means 'the flying one'," she continued.
"In Latin, 'Aquila' means Eagle, tying our new lander to the historic Apollo 11 Eagle," concluded Hansen, referring to the vehicle that brought mankind's first two men to the lunar surface in July 1969.
The Altair project logo emphasizes that connection, using the major design element from the Apollo 11 patch as its own. Both emblems depict a bald eagle clasping an olive branch in its talons, an image chosen by Michael Collins, Apollo 11's command module pilot, based on a photo in a 1965 book published by National Geographic.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
"NASA Names Next Generation Moon Lander 'Altair'"
The name lacks pizzazz and prestige, but I suppose it will do.
Just get those landers up there, whatever you call them.
Oh, and here's the logo. I suppose it will have to do, too.