Science and Exploration

A Human Voice Speaks From The Moon Once Again

By Keith Cowing
October 12, 2013
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A Human Voice Speaks From The Moon Once Again
LADEE At The Time of Wargo Audio Message Playback

On 9 October 2013 at 5:31 pm PDT (10 Oct 00:31 UTC) NASA’s LADEE spacecraft played back a recording of someone talking from lunar orbit. The person speaking was Mike Wargo, a NASA scientist who had died several months earlier.
According to people working with the LADEE team “The LADEE operations team downloaded Mike Wargo’s audio clip today (Oct 9th), at 5:31pm Pacific time.  This was the 4th anniversary of the LCROSS impact, and some of the LADEE ops team knew Mike from that mission, so they thought that day appropriate. Attached are some graphics of where LADEE was over the Moon during the transmission.

Downlinked file from the Moon, today, 09 Oct 2013 (the 4th Anniversary of the LCROSS Impact)

Event log output:

INFO dsp_seqprt 13-283-00:31:53.672: 13-283-00:31:37.261358
CF_APP 21 INFO Outgoing trans success 0.23_2068,src /ram/tmp/MikeWargo-clip2.mp3

Click on Image to enlarge – larger version of top image.

In August 2013 Mike Wargo died unexpectedly. At the time his co-workers sent out this message: “With deep sadness, I must tell you that our friend and colleague, Mike Wargo, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. This news comes as a great shock to us all, and he will be missed terribly. In our grief, let us remember how Mike inspired us with his inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm, his hearty laugh and booming voice, and his dedication to NASA. Mike was HEOMD’s chief exploration scientist, and his contributions to human exploration were many. He represented the directorate on the science teams for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS missions, and most recently, he was a member of the Mars 2020 Science Definition Team. Mike led by example, working closely with colleagues in the lunar, planetary, and Mars science communities, to build collaborative and highly productive projects for both Exploration and Science.”

The NASA Lunar Exploration Analysis Group expanded on these comments, saying: “Mike exuded an infectious passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for forging closer ties between science and exploration at NASA, which he achieved because of his encyclopedic knowledge of science and exploration issues that are involved with human spaceflight.”

A Memorial Tribute for Mike Wargo will be held on 17 October 2013 from 11:00-noon with an informal reception to follow. The tribute will be held at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC. Please note that the Cosmos Club requests that gentlemen wear a jacket and tie. Those who wish to give a gift in Mike’s memory are encouraged to make a donation to MIT Michael J. Wargo for the Department of Materials Science Endowed Fellowship Fund. Contact Bonny Kellerman, bonnyk -at- or at 617-253-9722

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.