Archive for the ‘space’ Category

June 16, 1963 First woman in space

49 years ago tomorrow, Cosmonaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space. Thanks to Craig Hill for posting this interesting space history piece. I learned from Craig’s piece that the Vostok (predecessor to Soyuz) capsule required Cosmonauts to eject at 20,000 feet during reentry.

On this 49th anniversary, China plans to send its first female taikonaut, Liu Yang (Major, People’s Liberation Army) into orbit tomorrow.

Taikonaut Liu Yang (Major, People’s Liberation Army – picture from Time)

NASA’s remnants melting

I have close, multi-generational ties to NASA, both within my family and circle of close friends. A few of these folks still ache for the good old days, and tend to bristle at mere mention of commercial or semi-commercial alt.space players like SpaceX, Scaled, or Virgin Galactic.

melting NASA logo, as the agency demeans itself with garbage science

NASA demeans itself with garbage science

We can absolutely forget the good old days as long as NASA continues to mire itself in climate hoax and Muslim outreach. I admire Buzz Aldrin and Walt Cunningham for their courage in standing up against the hypocrisy of supposed world-class NASA scientists’ active participation in this global fraud.

NASA, Reach!

Kudos to Keith Cowing over at NASA Watch for posting this insanely good NASA commercial.  This is no longer the current NASA vision, but we humans will eventually get this right, even if it’s not pretty to watch the sausage making process between now and then.

NASA, Reach!

Jack’s not buyin’ what they’re sellin’

Harrison “Jack” Schmitt (Apollo 17 astronaut) doesn’t subscribe to the New Science hubris school of human-caused global warming.

Harrison Schmitt

Harrison Schmitt

to those who never made a mistake

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, I admire your professionalism.  Who among us hasn’t been involved in a situation trying to improve a situation, only to make it much worse?  In your shoes, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself to such a tame expletive as “Oh, great!”  But you acknowledged your mistake, kept your composure, and didn’t miss a beat as you continued to execute your job.

I’m reminded of the time I was heating a can of Campbell’s soup on my electronic stove at home, trying to save a few bucks, only to spill the entire can of soup over the electronic panel, thus destroying a $500 stove.

rendezvous maneuvers inside the ISS

Here’s an ingenious use of the ISS as a navigational software testbed in the small.

SPHERES for guidance, nav, and control R&D

SPHERES for guidance, nav, and control R&D

a one way ticket to Mars

Buzz Aldrin thinks the first human visitors to Mars should go there to stay.  Affirmative.  Yes.  Absolutely.  This is a very reasonable option that we should seriously consider.

I challenge anyone to name a single benefit of an ongoing risk-averse, toe-in-the-water approach to manned spaceflight.

Mimas the giant, Prometheus the Titan

Saturn continues to dazzle, and Cassini has the best seat in the house.

new images of Phobos released

The European Space Agency (ESA) just released some great pictures of Mars’ larger moon Phobos taken by Mars Express over the last few months.  From the image linked at the bottom of this post, the snaking line of “dents” from the large crater in the upper center down to the dark crater in the lower left is most intriguing.  Surely the curving of this line can’t be an optical illusion caused by the hills and valleys on the moon?  Because I would think that secondary ejecta resulting from the larger Stickney crater (not seen in this new image) would radiate linearly outward from the larger crater?  Or perhaps these are sinkholes exposing a huge crack in the moon itself, possibly caused by the Stickney impact?  I’m no expert on the subject, but wow, what a visually fascinating moon!

north pole of Phobos from Mars Express

north pole of Phobos from Mars Express

better spent here on Earth?

Here’s another perspective on the bailout:  according to this table which currently shows budgetary numbers in 2007 inflation-adjusted dollars, it took NASA 45 years (1958-2002) to spend $700bn!  I’d defend NASA’s enormous accomplishments against that colossal display of Federally-driven fiscal incompetence any day of the week.

If there was any doubt before – no, your tax dollars most certainly wouldn’t have been spent better here on Earth.

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