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GONE IN 30 SECONDS…

30 Oct
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It’s estimated that an average of 8 percent of all commercial rocket launches end in failure.
Multimedia eLearning program by: David A. Johanson © All Rights
David Johanson is a multimedia specialist, CTE instructor and a former Boeing scientific photographer. All content, including photography, graphics and text (unless otherwise noted) was created by the author.
To see an alternative graphic format of this program, please select:  ⇒  https://bigpictureone.wordpress.com
Learning objectives Of This Program Includes:
≥ Definition and meaning of space law
 History and development of  space law
≥ History and development of 20TH and 21ST Century Rocket and Launch disasters
≥ How, where and why rocket launch sites and space portals are located on the globe      
 ≥ Potentially life threatening activities and components of rocket launches                                                                                                                        —————————————————————————————————————–
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The Antares 110 rocket engines roared as they illuminated their departure from Earth — seconds later,  appearing as if mortally wounded, the multi-staged rocket suddenly lost momentum and sank downward, creating an explosive tower of flames. Over the launch site’s PA system an urgent command required all media personnel to leave their equipment and evacuate immediately. It was reported no deaths had occurred — however the total environmental damage,  the launch  site cleanup and insurance liability issues are yet to be assessed.
 Orbital rocket explodes after launch

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 NASA’s video of Antares rocket explosion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL5eddt-iAo
This video shows, press journalist and photographers ordered to evacuate as the Antares rocket explodes and unleashes toxic clouds of vaporized solid rocket propellant. Winds should be blowing to the east, so that burning propellant dissipates over the Atlantic Ocean — not heading west towards potentially populated areas, as is indicated happening in this video.  ⇒  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IclTka711xo
On October 31ST, just three days after  Orbital Sciences, Antares rocket launch explosion, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) disintegrates in an upper altitude reentry over California’s Mojave Desert. Unfortunately the space plane’s pilot was killed, as the remaining components of the craft slammed into an unpopulated areahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy1k5s7Fbl0  ⇒http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/02/virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-crash-investigators-fuel-warningsPhotograph: Kenneth Brown/Reuters

Photograph: Kenneth Brown/Reuters

 

What Goes Up, Must Come Down 
Rocket launch projects have always had to contend with laws of physics, in particular, Newton’s law of gravity. Today, these multimillion dollar programs are governed by another set of laws involving multinational, liability space laws. These binding laws are for protecting individuals, communities and the environment from impacts caused by, man-made objects launched into space or subsequent damage of corporate or national operations in space.
orbital_crs3_launch_milestones_eCase Study: The first record of a space law liability occurring was in 1962, on a street within Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Apparently, a three-kilogram metal artifact from the Russian’s 1960, Sputnik 4 satellite launch, reentered the atmosphere unannounced, over an unsuspecting Midwest. The Russian’s denied it was theirs, fearing liability under international law. This event, helped set in motion, the 1963 Declaration on Legal Principals Governing the Activities of State in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. As an international agreement, it puts forth the responsibility to the State which launches or engages in sending objects into space as internationally responsible for damages caused on Earth. In 1967, the agreement was slightly modified and was titled “Outer Space Treaty 1967.”                  Satellite_crash_BPP_e1070
A photo illustration of space debris from a low Earth orbit reentering the atmosphere over a city. Earth has water covering 70% of its surface — when attempts fail to guide space debris towards open oceans, the chance for these falling objects to hit a populated area increase. Space Law assesses the liability for damages caused by space debris to the nation or agency responsible for its original rocket launch.
By 1984, the United Nations General Assembly, had adopted five sets of legal principles governing international law and cooperation in space activities. The principles include the following agreements and conventions.”Outer Space Treaty” – the use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies (1967 – resolution 2222.) “Rescue Agreement” – the agreement to rescue Astronauts/Cosmonauts, the Return of Astronauts/Cosmonauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Space (1968 – resolution 2345.) “Liability Convention” – the Convention on International Liability for Damaged Caused by Space Objects (1972 – resolution 2777.) “Registration Convention” – the registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (1975 – resolution 3235.) “Moon Agreement” – the agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1979 – resolution 34/68.)
Sky_look_ BPP_ae208Because so many international languages are used for creating these technical agreements — terms and meanings  are often misinterpreted. There are linguistic limitations and a general lack of definitions to adequately cover all the specific space concepts and activities using Space Law. Each Nation has its own agenda and vision concerning the development of space, including corporate, cultural and religious interest, adding to the complexity of governing space.
Although most large “space debris” is monitored  with top priority for enabling reentry over uninhabited areas such as oceans and deserts — satellites or sections of rockets still have potential for an unexpected re-entry over an inhabited area.   Hawa_Futur_BPP_e26
Cuba Gives A New Meaning To A Cash Cow
Case Study: In November of 1960, the second stage of a U.S. – Thor rocket fell back to Earth and killed a cow grazing in Eastern Cuba. The final settlement required the U.S. Government to pay Cuba $2 million dollars in compensation — creating the world’s first “Cuban Cash Cow.”
Eventful And Tragic Rocket Launches Associated With Space Exploration
American physicist, Dr. Robert H. Goddard is the father of modern rocket propulsion. Goddard’s published rocket research during the 1920s, is what German military scientist used to help develop the liquid fueled V2 rocket, which terrorized Europe towards the end of WWll. The V2 (technical name Aggregat-4 or A4) rocket was the first human made artifact to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and reach into space. The basic design of modern rockets has changed little in the 100 years since Goddard was awarded a U.S. patent in 1914,  for a rocket using liquid fuel.
It’s estimated since the 1950s, of the nearly 8,000 rockets launched into space related missions, 8 percent of rocket launches ended in some-type of failure (2012 spacelaunchreport.com.) The resulting anomalies have cost the lives of hundreds of individuals, including; astronauts, cosmonauts and civilians, along with billions of dollars of property and payload losses. Here’s an abbreviated list of dramatic and tragic events associated with rocket launch failures.
A modified V-2 rocket being launch on July 24, 1950. General Electric Company was prime contractor for the launch, Douglas Aircraft Company manufactured the second stage of the rocket & Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) had major rocket design roles & test instrumentation. This was the first launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

A modified V-2 rocket being launch on July 24, 1950. General Electric Company was prime contractor for the launch, Douglas Aircraft Company manufactured the second stage of the rocket & the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) had major rocket design roles & test instrumentation. This was the first launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Vanguard TV3, December 6, 1957 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida (U.S.) was the first U.S. attempt at sending a satellite into orbit. A first event of its kind to use a live televised broadcast, which ended by witnessing Vanguard’s explosive failure. Unfortunately, this launch mission was not ready for prime-time and occurred as a reflex reaction to the Soviet Union’s surprise aerospace success of launching the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, on October 23, 1957. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVeFkakURXM
Vostok rocket, March 18, 1980, launched from Plesetsk, Russia (formerly the world’s busiest spaceport). While being refueled the rocket exploded on the launch pad, killing 50, mostly young soldiers. (Source: New York Times article, published September 28, 1989) http://www.nytimes.com/1989/09/28/world/1980-soviet-rocket-accident-killed-50.html
Challenger STS-51-L Space Shuttle disaster, January 28, 1986, launched from Kennedy Space Center (U.S.) marked the first U.S. in-flight fatalities. After only 73 seconds from lift-off, faulty O-ring seals failed, releasing hot gases from the solid propellant rocket booster (SRB), which led to a catastrophic failure. Seven crew members were lost, including Christy McAuliffe, selected by NASA’s Teacher in Space Program. McAullife was the first civilian to be trained as an astronaut — she would have been the first civilian to enter space, but tragically, the flight ended a short distance before reaching the edge of space. Recovery efforts for Challenger were the most expensive of any rocket launch disaster to date.            http://www.history.com/topics/challenger-disaster/videos/engineering-disasters—challenger
Long Mark 3B rocket launch, payload: American communication satellite, built by Space Systems Loral – February 14, 1996 in Xichang (China) – two seconds into launch, rocket pitched over just after clearing the launch tower and accelerated horizontally a few hundred feet off the ground, before hitting a hill 22 seconds into its flight. The rocket slammed into a hillside exploding in a fireball above a nearby town, it’s estimated at least 100 people died in the resulting aftermath. This event was most likely the worst rocket launch disaster to date, due to the massive loss of human life. Disaster at Xichang | History of Flight | Air & Space Magazine  http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/disaster-at-xichang-2873673/?c=y%3Fno-ist   video of the rocket launch disaster ⇒ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_EnrVf9u8s
iW_V2c9Uw6hI_aeDelta 2, rocket launch – January 1997, Cape Canaveral (U.S.) – this rocket carried a new GPS satellite and ends in a spectacular explosion. Video link included to show examples of worst case scenario of a rocket exploding only seconds after launch (note brightly burning rocket propellant cascading to the ground is known as “firebrand”.) The short video has an interview with Chester Whitehair, former VP of Space Launch Operations Aerospace Corporation, who describes how the burning debris and toxic hydrochloric gas cloud fell into the Atlantic Ocean from the rocket explosion. Rocket launch sites and Spaceports are geographically chosen to mitigate rocket launch accidents. US rocket disasters –     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4-Idv6HnH8
Titan 4, rocket launch – August 1998, Cape Canaveral (U.S.) the last launch of a Titan rocket – with a military, top-secret satellite payload, was the most expensive rocket disaster to date – estimated loss of $ 1.3 Billion dollars. http://www.military.com/video/explosions/blast/titan-iv-explosion-at-cape-canaveral/1137853205001/
VLS-3 rocket, launch – August 2003, Alcantara (Brazil) – rocket exploded on the launch pad when the rocket booster was accidentally initiated during test 72 hours before its scheduled launch. Reports of at least 21 people were killed at the site. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2003-08-22-brazil-rocket_x.htm 
Global location & GPS coordinates of major spaceports &launch sites. Do you see any similarities in the geographic locations of these launch sites? What  advantages do these locations have regarding "Space Law?" For most rocket launches, which site has the greatest geographic advantage & why; which has the least advantage & why?

Global location & GPS coordinates of major spaceports & launch sites.
Do you see any similarities in the geographic locations of these launch sites? What advantages do these locations have regarding “Space Law?” For most rocket launches, which site has the greatest geographic advantages & why; which has the least advantages & why?

Rocket launch debris fields are color keyed in red  & Links to space port’s web sites included. (CLICK ON MAP TO ENLARGE) Quiz ??? – 1.) Do you see any similarities in the geographic locations used for these launch sites? 2.) What advantages do these locations have regarding “Space Law?” 3.) For most rocket launches, which site has the greatest geographic advantage & why? 4.) Which has the least advantage & why?
Location, location, location is a huge benefit for rocket launch sites.
If you zoom into the above World map with its rocket launch sites, you’ll notice they’re located  in remote, uninhabited areas. Another feature most spaceports share is their proximity to large bodies of water, which are located in an easterly direction (with the exception of the U.S. Vandenberg site.)  Rockets are  launched over oceans to minimize the risk to people or property from  catastrophic accidents, which includes falling launch debris and toxic clouds of burnt fuel propellant. Liability from a launch vehicle is the main reason why all ships and aircraft are restricted from being in water anywhere near or underneath a rocket’s flight path.  Rocket’s debris can contain highly toxic forms of unspent fuel and oxidizer, especially from solid propellant fuels.Sattelite_BPP_e82
The majority of  rockets are launched in an easterly direction, due to the Earth’s easterly rotation. This procedure gives the  rocket extra momentum to help escape the Earth’s gravitational pull. An exception for an east directional launch is Vandenberg site in California, which launches most of its rockets south for polar orbits used by communication and mapping satellites.
Launching rockets closer to the equator gives a launch vehicle one more advantage — extra velocity is gained from the Earth’s rotation near its equator. At the equator, our planet spins at a speed of 1675 kph (1040 mph,) compared to a spot near the Arctic Circle, which moves at a slower, 736 kph (457 mph.) Even the smallest advantage gained in velocity means a rocket requires less fuel ( 13 percent less fuel  required for equatorial launches) to reach “escape velocity.” This fuel savings translates to a lighter launch vehicle, making the critical transition of leaving Earth’s gravitational field quicker.
Photo illustration of space debris using a NASA photo of Skylab — David A Johanso

Photo illustration of space debris using a NASA photo of Skylab — David A Johanson

International space law is emerging from its infancy, attempting to clearly define itself from a nebulous amalgam of; agreements, amendments, codes, rules, regulations, jurisdictions, treaties and non-binding measures. There exists today, enough legal framework for commercial interest to move cautiously towards developing outer space. However, with the unforeseen variables and dynamics of space activities, exceptions will be made & rules will be stretched, if not broken to accommodate necessity, justification or exculpation. ~
Part 1 of 2 editions – please check back soon for the conclusion of this essay.
The next edition of the Space Law series includes:
Potential Minefield Effects From Space Debris And The Regulatory Laws To Help Clean It Up.
Will Asteroid Mining Become The Next Big Gold Rush And What Laws Will Keep The Frontier Order?
Music video portal of rocket launches (nostalgia enriched content):
Boards of Canada – Dawn Chorus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfVfRWv7igg
Boards of Canada – Gemini – http://vimeo.com/68087306
Boards of Canada – Music is Mathhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7bKe_Zgk4o
Links And Resources, For Space Law And Related Issues

http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/space-law/

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2588/1

https://www.gwu.edu/~spi/assets/docs/AGuidetoSpaceLawTerms.pdf

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/spacelaw/38/

 

The Space Review: International space law and commercial space activities: the rules do apply Outlook on Space Law Over the Next 30 Years: Essays Published for the 30th – Google Books “SPACE FOR DISPUTE SETTLEMENT MECHANISMS – DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM” by Frans G. von der Dunk Asteroid mining: US company looks to space for precious metal | Science | The Guardian Planetary Resources – The Asteroid Mining Company – News 5 of the Worst Space Launch Failures | Wired Science | Wired.com Orbital Debris: A Technical Assessment NASA Orbital Debris FAQs ‎orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/library/IAR_95_Document.pdf A Minefield in Earth Orbit: How Space Debris Is Spinning Out of Control [Interactive]: Scientific American SpaceX signs lease agreement at spaceport to test reusable rocket – latimes.com Earth’s rotation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Space Review: Spacecraft stats and insights Space Launch Report V-2 rocket – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Billionaire Paul Allen gets V-2 rocket for aviation museum near Seattle – Science Germany conducts first successful V-2 rocket test — History.com This Day in History — 10/3/1942

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/billionaire-paul-allen-gets-v-2-rocket-aviation-museum-near-1C9990063

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The Environment, our Earth’s Lost Frontier?

22 Apr

 

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(On the left horizon, hydrocarbons are being released into the air, blemishes an otherwise clear arctic day.)

Multimedia eLearning by: David A. Johanson © All Rights

All Roads Lead to Nowhere

Early in my career as a photographer I received assignments which took me above the Arctic Circle. Construction companies and architects working for oil companies in Alaska’s North Slope hired me to photograph their on going developments. At that time the Prudhoe Bay oil field’s production had peaked due to years of sustained extraction. A new oil field near the Kurparuk River, west of Prudhoe Bay was the site I was sent to. The Kuparuk oil field is the second largest oil field in North America by area, and traveling by aircraft was the way I moved from site to site.

Roads and construction sites above the arctic circle, rely on heaps of gravel placed over the tundra’s surface to prevent them from sinking into the earth when the ground thaws. Traveling less than 100 feet off the tundra, at 150 miles per hour, the pilot of the Hughes 500D helicopter races to horizon. The orange shelters at the edge of the road, is our intended destination. These metallic enclosures are used to pump hot steam down-into the wells, for recovering a thick slurry of oil, locked deep below the frozen tundra.

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Environmental stock photography for a New Dawn.

Alaska, the Last Frontier  

Flying above an older oil facility, it can clearly be seen — the years of oil production have left Rorschach-like-ink-blots, splattered on the surrounding tundra. I have not been to the oil fields for many years, but I was told at the time — ‘oil companies were trying to cleaning up their act, while leaving a smaller footprint.’ I pray what I heard was true, but as we know — accidents both large and small continue to happen.

On a clear day while flying above vast stretches of tundra, we spotted a small monument, which marked where Will Rogers and Wiley Post had been killed in a plane crash. I spotted dozens of randomly placed metallic cylinders near the site. My bush pilot brought the airplane down for a closer look and cynically said, those are abandoned, empty 50 gallon oil barrels… known as —“Alaska’s state flower.

 Environmental stock photography for a New Dawn.

An old barn in the shadow of Anacortes oil refinery.
There’s something charming about old barns as they weather over the years. This one with its organic wood earth tones, is contrasted against the metallic cylinders of an oil refinery in Anacortes, about 70 miles north of Seattle, on the edge of Puget Sound. On April 2, 2010 five workers were killed at this oil refinery as an explosion and fire ripped through part of the refinery.

EARTH Day seems to have more meaning as the impact of global warming, seismic and volcanic activity focuses our attention on the big picture.

Environmental stock photography for a New Dawn.

Our world is delicately balanced, spinning through space, with us all aboard along for the journey. At least one day, one week, out of a busy calendar year, we’re asked to give homage to our planet by being aware of its’ environment. In honor of this day, I’m sending out photographs and prose that reflect current events affecting our world’s environment.

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Earth Day 2010

“One World, One Planet.”
A fascinating, outdoor setting, with an incredibly diverse ecosystems is the Rainforest of the Olympic National Forest. It was a late summer day when I hiked down form Lake Osset, to where the rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean. This area has never been logged, the old growth forest here stands as it has for thousands of years.

After setting up a tent I walked along a trail leading to a lush meadow. A twig snapped a few feet away from me, revealing two unusual looking deer, grassing in the tall grass. Never have I encountered wildlife, where if I desired, could reach out and touch it. The deer could plainly see me; yet they made no effort to scramble away or even conceal themselves. The reason this wildlife seems tame is that they reside within a remote National park, where no hunting is allowed.  Slowly, I raised my camera loaded with my favorite Kodachrome transparency film. As I began to take a series of photos, I noticed unusual patterned markings on the deer’s body.  Refocusing my lens, amazingly, what appeared was a map of the earth, patterned on the deer. Last year I scanned the transparency, then enhancing it with Photoshop, the world continents clearly revealed themselves in what I’ve themed
– “One Planet, One World.”

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Have you ever gone back to a place and found what you had once treasured was missing? The longing for beauty, which once was, is a reoccurring theme used to select many photos in this essay.

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Earth Day 2010

“Paradise Lost” –
The enchanting scene with a man gazing into the pools of water is from Whatcom Falls. My college roommate sitting on the moss-covered boulders is Mark Nishimura, a fine-art photographer, originally from the state of Hawaii. Mark asked that I photograph him in a place that was reminiscent of the waterfalls back home on Ohau. I used a Hasselblad and slow speed transparency film to help capture the dynamic range of shadows and highlights. This was one of my favorite places to photograph when I attended school at Western Washington University, in Bellingham. Many students would spend summer afternoons cooling off, diving and swimming amongst the deep pools of water. A short walk into Whatcom Park, placed you in a lush environment, under a thick canopy of evergreen trees, moss-covered vegetation with sounds of cascading waterfalls running throughout it.  Environmental Photography

Some years after this photo was taken, tragedy struck, instantly incinerating this charming environment. A refinery’s 16-inch fuel-line running next to the park, ruptured, spewing nearly 300 thousand gallons of gasoline into the creek. In an instant, the fuel ignited, creating a river of fire, which killed three youths fishing in the creek and sending a toxic vapor cloud six miles into the atmosphere. The fireball and plume of smoke was visible from Anacortes to Vancouver, B.C., Canada.  Now, ten years after the catastrophe, I plan to return to the falls and photograph the site with hopes that nature’s healing process is transforming it back to the way it use to be.

Environmental Photography

Environmental Photography

Environmental Photography

Earth Day 2014

“Paradise Found” –
I remember a photography teacher I had in college took us to a beach near Chukanut Drive. When he gave out the assignment, most of the class groaned; we were to pick a spot on the beach, stay within a 25-foot diameter and shoot a series of photos to tell a story. Most of us wanted to take our cameras and explore what the entire beach had to offer. Surprisingly, it was one of the best assignments I was ever given in school; because it broke the stereotype about how you were suppose to see. Within that small domain we discovered, a whole universe was waiting to reveal itself before the camera lens. That photography lesson has stuck with me since, although world travel is a passion, I realize that I really didn’t have to go any farther than my backyard to find great images and no matter what, if resourceful, amazing subjects can be found everywhere.

My home’s back yard is like an outdoor studio full of indigenous plants, birds and amphibians. We avoid using pesticides and only use natural fertilizers on the yard and garden. One afternoon I found this charming tree frog sitting on a leaf, warming itself in the sunshine. With a macro lens on my camera, I was able to get within inches of the frog and let the background merge into soft abstract forms. The photo makes me smile whenever I see it because it reminds me, I never have to go far to reconnect with nature.

Environmental Photography

On a moonlit night, traveling the back-roads of Washington and Oregon —
we found countless sentinels standing guard against the cold breeze of darkening skies.

Environmental Photography                  

The Future is Now…
Working tirelessly with the wind, turbines spin against the moon backdrop, producing ‘clean energy’ for the Pacific Northwest. Throughout the Americas and many other places in the world, the tide is turning as we move more towards wind and solar for a clean, renewable energy source.

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Web Links For Earth Day 

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/illinois&id=9511926

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/04/22/tri-state-area-commemorating-earth-day-with-series-of-events/

http://www.earthday.org

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140421-earth-day-2014-facts-environment-epa/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/04/22/earth_day_2014_a_few_fun_facts_about_our_planet.html

 

 

How Did Rome’s Vitruvius, Become The World’s First Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Architecture?

2 Aug
An example of a variety of architectural styles influenced by Vitruvius. Florence, Tuscany Region, Italy. Photo by: David A. Johanson ©

An example of a variety of architectural styles influenced by Vitruvius. Florence, Tuscany Region, Italy. Photo by: David A. Johanson © All Rights Reserved

Multimedia eLearning essay by: David Anthony Johanson © All Rights

To see an alternative graphic view of this essay please visit: www.BigPictureOne.wordpress.com  

If you would like to experience some ancient Roman music while viewing this essay, open one more browser and click on the  Roman music link provided below (Synaulia III, has Latin signing and soothing melodies)

Architecture is the art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man for whatsoever uses, that the sight of them contributes to his mental health, power and pleasure. Aphorism 4All architecture proposes an effect on the human mind, not merely a service to the human frame.  — From John Ruskin’s – The Seven Lamps of Architecture  ————————————————————————————————

 

The first historic footnote of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, was not as an architect — but of his military engineering service for another overachiever,  Julius Caesar.

Vitruvius first job description involved being in charge of a Roman legion’s heavy artillery —the terrifying Ballista or catapult. Ironically, this future architectural genius was responsible for destroying opposing structures that came before his weapons of mass destruction. You could say, Vitruvius, literally had a major impact on architecture throughout the arc of his careers.

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Vitruvius’ date of birth is recorded around 90 B.C. and apparently the recipient of a broad-minded education —

The floor plans from a Greek House - Vitruvius. Peterlewis - wikipedia project - image free to use with no copyright restriction

The floor plans from a Greek House – Vitruvius. Peterlewiswikipedia project – image free to use with no copyright restriction

science, mathematics, drawing, music, law, rhetoric and history. He is believed to have  apprenticed with a Greek architect, which gave Vitruvius the basic foundation and qualifications for becoming a subject matter expert (SME) on architectural principles.

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo de Vinci was named after & inspired by Vitruvius.   —This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo de Vinci was named after & inspired by Vitruvius. —This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

It’s speculated at the time Vitruvius began circulating his writing, wealthy Roman citizen’s private libraries were accessible to him for specialized study in architecture and engineering.

An upheaval caused by the Empire’s civil and foreign wars channeled Vitruvius’ professional direction towards engineering military machinery. It may have seemed like an irony to him that his skills were being used to destroy architecture, rather than create it.

Contrary to popular belief, the Romans liberally used color & brick instead of marble.  -Herculaneum, Campania Region, Italy.

Contrary to popular belief, the Romans liberally used color & brick instead of marble. -Herculaneum, Campania Region, Italy.

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Julius Caesar's father-in-law residence - Villa of Papyri is located at Herculanieum, which was buried along with the city of Pompei, by the volcano Vesuvius, seen in the upper top frame.

Julius Caesar’s father-in-law residence – Villa of Papyri is located at Herculanieum, which was buried along with the neighboring city of Pompeii in 79 A.D., by the volcano Vesuvius, seen in the upper top frame.

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OPPORTUNITY OPENS A DOOR FOR VITRUVIUS’ CAREER IN ARCHITECTURE

Following the assassination of Emperor Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Vitruvius found employment with Caesar’s nephew and successor —Octavian. Another decade of Roman civil war and the eventual defeat of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., led to a Pax Romana (Latin for “Roman peace.”)                                 Rome_Archt_BPP_et1113       

With Octavian as the undisputed ruler of the Empire, he was granted a new title — Augustus, the Emperor of Rome. Augustus channeled Rome’s wealth towards cultural, civic and public works development. This reinvestment for Rome’s glory, eventually gave Augustus bragging rights, as he is quoted, ‘I found Rome built of bricks; I leave her clothed in marble.’

An example of Roman ingenuity is in using brick for most of a building's construction, then a facade of marble or limestone is applied and finally followed by vibrant color applications.

An example of Roman ingenuity is in using brick for most of a building’s construction, then a facade of marble or limestone is applied and finally followed by vibrant color applications.

 

Augustus’ civic benevolence finally created an opportunity for Vitruvius’ great engineering and architectural contributions to move forward.

As the saying goes — behind every great man there is a great woman. It’s Augustus’ sister, Octavia, who sponsors Vitruvius to write the architectural treatise. Officially, the Books of Architecture are dedicated to Augustus, who uses them wisely to help create a marvelous metropolis.

The white outline of the architectural structure show where the colors were applied — from inside a residence at Herulaneum site, Italy.

The white outline of the architectural structure show where the colors were applied — from inside a residence at Herulaneum site, Italy.

Interior of residence in Herculaneum. Mosaics were used to bring the outside world indoors.

Interior of residence in Herculaneum. Mosaics were used to bring the outside world indoors.

Mosaic tile in the ancient port city of Ostia Antica, Lazio Region, Italy.

Mosaic tile in the ancient port city of Ostia Antica, Lazio Region, Italy.

Vitruvius, throughout his career keeps a low profile, perhaps due to observing what envy and jealousy could inflict on the Romans who attempted to shine too brightly.  

Statue in the ancient port city of Ostia Antica, next to the Tevere River, Italy.

Statue in the ancient port city of Ostia Antica, next to the Tevere River, Italy.

Cross section of Rome's Coliseum - The World's first 'super dome.'

Cross section of Rome’s Coliseum – The World’s first ‘super dome.’ This two-thousand year old stadium remains in use with major music concert & various public events.

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PAST NONCONFORMING STANDARDS IN ARCHITECTURE THREATENS ROME’S RENOVATIONS 

In antiquity, Hellenistic Greek architecture sets the standards for beauty, quality and form. The Greeks, inspired by much older civilizations established around the Mediterranean, refined architecture to its classical ideal.  However, precious little had been written down regarding the styles and standards of Greek architecture, until Vitruvius ambitious efforts were realized.

Ruins at Ostia Antica, near Rome, Italy.

Ruins at Ostia Antica, near Rome, Italy.

As an effect from lack of architectural standards, instructional integrity of buildings could result in disastrous consequences, as well as the aesthetic value of religious, civic and private buildings.

Ionic style capital on top of column

Ionic style capital on top of column

Ancient Rome's Forum 3D, computer generated image  Image Created by: Lasha Tskhondia - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 - Some Rights Reserved.

Ancient Rome’s Forum
3D, computer generated image
Image Created by: Lasha Tskhondia – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 – Some Rights Reserved.

Vitruvius efforts of researching classic Greek architectural techniques and styles developed  into a comprehensive series of books on the methods and theories of architecture. These guiding books on style, function and practice,  served as a foundation for architects and engineers for over two thousand years and are still observed today.  

Rome Forum

Rome Forum

Cross section of Forum

Cross section of Forum

Remains of Rome's Forum

Remains of Rome’s Forum

How Did Rome’s Vitruvius, Become The World’s First Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Architecture? —More to be uploaded on Vitruvius in the coming days.

Links to learning more on Vitruvius

http://blogs.nd.edu/classicalarch/2012/09/28/many-canons-many-conversions/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvian_Man

http://www.bostonleadershipbuilders.com/vitruvius/

How about some ancient Roman music to enlighten your day? Click on the link below ↓

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X83IYWmcEFg&list=RD020MwBCorqBW0

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