Archive for the 'space' Category

Nov 11 2013

The script for Episode VII

Published by under space

A very advanced Bespin mining vessel emerges from a wormhole and confronts a Star Destroyer. Darth Vader sacrifices himself so his twin children can escape in lifeboats. The action moves to Tatooine, where a young fuck up named Luke Skywalker drives his uncle’s hover camaro over a cliff. Fifteen years later, Luke is involved in […]

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Sep 24 2010

Just saw Uranus in person for the first time

Published by under space

I had stashed some Galileoscopes at the end of last year, primarily for youngsters, and just put the one I kept together last weekend. It’s been cloudy all week, but finally tonight it’s clear, and it works really well for $25, mounted on a standard camera tripod. It has a 25x and a 50x lens […]

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Jun 16 2010

Kudos Japan

Published by under space,technology

The Japanese space program is doing some cool shit in the way of interplanetary spacecraft, and I have to hand it to them. I’m primarily impressed by their sheer ambition, launching bleeding edge missions that the more conservative NASA would tend to work their way up to. With previous interplanetary experience consisting of a couple […]

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Mar 23 2010

Apollo Lunar Escape System was All Guts

Published by under design,space,technology

Let me take you back to an era before computer control of all aspects of spaceflight was considered necessary. It’s the early 70s, and although additional flights after Apollo 17 were eventually canceled, there were at the time plans afoot for longer duration stays on the lunar surface. However, a longer stay entailed an increased […]

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Dec 16 2009

We’ve found Earth episode 9

Published by under media,space

I can’t believe I’m about to walk down the well-worn path of critiquing science coverage in the traditional media, but here we are. Super-Earth: Newly Discovered Planet May Have Water – TIME. Or more accurately – it *is* water. Every exoplanet report that reaches the traditional media tends to be exaggerated to feed the desire […]

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Oct 08 2009


Published by under space

If you don’t have a 10-inch telescope to see LCROSS impact the moon tomorrow morning at 7:31 EST, there are some other options. NASA has a good page with links, including NASA TV and timing information. NASA should have a live feed from the trailing LCROSS shepard spacecraft. Also, SLOOH is providing a free live […]

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Jun 26 2009

Atlantis may be totalled.

Published by under space

This is crazy. On the last shuttle mission, a work light knob was loose and floating between the instruments and a window. On landing the shuttle contracts and it’s wedged in there now damaging the window. They can’t get it out, and they think it will take 6 months to dissassemble that section of the […]

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Mar 03 2009

Satellite Collisions

Published by under space,sustainability

A new article from sheds some revealing light on the recent collision of an Iridium satellite with a defunct Soviet military satellite. I think there was a common impression that Norad would pick up the phone and call operators if they saw an impending collision so that they could maneuver to avoid it. It […]

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Feb 19 2009

Flickr automatic astrometry

Published by under coding,science,space

A project has been set up which monitors the astrometry tag on flickr and hashes photos to determine what in the sky is being looked at. Not only does it add annotations for notable objects to the photo, it will allow compilation of a growing set of located images. Apparently a rotation invariant hashing algorithm […]

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May 27 2008

Phoenix descending

Published by under space

This has to be the coolest picture NASA has produced in awhile.  It’s a shot from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the Phoenix lander descending toward the surface under it’s parachute.  The original image that was released was a close-up, but apparently Phoenix was floating past this picturesque crater at the time.  Live mission status can […]

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