Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weekly Rundown

    The ISS will get it's second resupply from SpaceX as planned. Everything is underway, and on schedule to launch at 10:10 am EST tomorrow morning, March 1st 2013.  It will be carried aloft by a Falcon 9 rocket, also built by SpaceX. The rocket and resupply module stand a total of 157 feet tall. It will be carrying 1,268 pounds of supplies and equipment for the experiments going on. The rocket is two stages, and the first stage is powered by 9 rockets that generate 855,000 pounds of thrust at sea level, reaching around 1 million as it leaves the atmosphere. The Dragon itself is 14.4 feet tall, and capable of carrying 7,000 pounds between the pressurized and unpressurized sections. The crew will be loading 2600 pounds of samples and equipment to be returned to Earth. It is scheduled for a parachute splashdown on March 25, off the coast of Baja California. This is the second of 12 SpaceX missions  to the ISS for NASA.

    2 million miles across, and spinning so fast it's outer surface is nearing the speed of light. And yeah, it's real. It's the super massive black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 1365. The spin rate was measured using data from the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray Satellites. This is the first time that anyone has been able to accurately measure the spin of a black hole. Think about the power of this thing. With gravity so strong that it actually drags the surrounding space along with it. That is just amazingly strong, and amazingly fast. So, if it can reach nearly the speed of light, and it certainly does not have limitless energy, (although it's bloody freaking close to having limitless energy), then maybe we can learn something here. Not sure what, but maybe something that we can actually use here and now. Well, close to now anyway. Yep, still hopeful here. A little anyway. And for those that are sincere fans of Einsteins Theory of Relativity, this is a gold mine, it has to be. No where else are you going to find space and time as messed up and distorted as you are going to find here.


     Anyone want to do a fly-by of mars? Besides me that is, but I'll never get chosen. Dennis Tito announced 
his plans on Wednesday, Feb. 27th, when he announced the new nonprofit organization he has founded called  the Inspiration Mars Foundation. IMF huh? And guess who they want to get to go. It's a two person team, on a 500 day trip locked in a small area together. Since it is a long trip, and close quarters, they want to send a husband wife team. Why they have to be married is beyond me, though being a couple might be a good idea. He says it is important to do it that way because they will be representing humanity. Representing to who? There is no one there, unless there are things they haven't told us. Represent humanity my behind. They are hoping to find out if sex is possoible in space, and what happens if you get pregnant. Fine, I volunteer me and the GF. At least if we did meet another race, (ha ha), I'd be the perfect speaker for us. I'd tell them the truth, we're fecking nuts. And then beg for a way to go with them. See, I'd be perfect, again. LOL. Hell, stick my brain a robot body, and I'll volunteer for the first long range mission to Alpha Centauri. Just laser beam the latest good movies and tv shows to the ship. But no news. Or send me mail plods, I'll pick them up on the way back, if I came back ever that is. Okay, I'm an ex drifter; truth is, I wouldn't be back for thousands of years, or when I needed more of the fuel source, even if I had a warp drive ship. Too many places to go, and too much to see out there. Someone please invent me a robot body. Thank you in advance. Married couple, PTTTHHHH. So they have a fight and what, he sleeps on the outer hull that sleep cycle, lol.

     Anyone tired of asteroid and comet scares yet. . Anyone out there ready to repopulate the planet after hiding in a shelter to avoid the destruction? Well tough luck folks, this one isn't for us. This one is aiming for our little red buddy out there. More or less anyway. Comet C/2013 A1 was discovered on Jan. 13th by the autralian veteran comet hunter Robert McNaught.  They finds indicate that it will pass Mars around Oct. 19th, 2014, at about 60,000 miles. They have tightened that orbit since to the point that it may pass within 23,000 miles of Mars. Now forgetting that the comet will miss, hopefully, what about Mars getting hit by debris from it. If it was me, I'd be sending another rover up there, and getting it in position where they believe they could get good shots, and maybe get extremely lucky and be close to a debris impact site if it happens at all. Though I am betting the two would be nowhere close together. See, that is why we need a base on Mars. I'm willing to make the sacrifice and volunteer for that mission as well. 

And lastly this week on the science front (Barely making the cut for space science here), is a photo taken from space of the Mount Etna Volcanic eruption.  It erupted yesterday on Feb 27th, 2013, and we already have pictures of it from space. One anyway that has been released, and probably more by the time I get this done. The photo was taken by Chris Hadfield, of the Canadian Space agency.  He is aboard the ISS, and regularly posts pictures he has taken from space. He's a general little shutter bug, thank the stars. Not exactly space science, but an astronaut did it, so close enough.

Nothing of any major interest in the Science Fiction area this week. Lots of speculation and rumors, but nothing concrete of any real interest that most of us don't already know about anyway. The biggest news was that the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that is probably going to be murdered anyway, has been pushed back a few weeks. Not due out till 2014 anyway, and Bay is doing it so there go more good memories probably. But at least now it is no longer saying that they are aliens, but spawned because of aliens coming to Earth. Who knows. I've given up on more than half the stuff he does. And don't be surprised if in 5 weeks I am saying the opposite, and we are back to them being the aliens again. 

That's it for this week folks. Now I'm off to watch some movies now that I finally got HD. Yep, still playing catch up, like I will probably be doing for the next 10 years. But wow do I like HD. Finally get to play RE6 as well. This is turning into a good week actually.

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