Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Rundown

            Maybe he didn't make it into space himself, but he more than had a hand in our exploration of the solar system. I am talking of course about planetary scientist Bruce C. Murray. He died Aug. 29 at the age of 81 after a long illness.
            For those that don’t recognize the name, you will recognize his talent and dedication to the exploration of space. He was the director NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, from 1976 – 1982. And a lot of things happened during this time as well. Let’s just list a quick few here as examples.
Viking 1 & 2 both landed on Mars.
Voyager 1 & 2 were launched
Founded the Planetary Society with the late Carl Sagan
            And the list goes on. He also fought tirelessly to keep us moving forward on planetary expeditions during a time when budgets were being shredded like illegal documents at the CIA, and the future of exploration was looking grim indeed.
            He is survived by his wife Suzanne Moss, and also 5 children and grandchildren.
            Goodbye our old friend. May the spaceways remain clear for your sailing freedom to the stars where I am sure you always wished to go yourself. We’ll all catch up with you out there eventually.

            We are getting more evidence it seems all the time that life here did begin out there; in this case our neighbor mars.
            According to Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida, evidence is mounting that life was brought to Earth by a meteorite that originated on mars.
            Basically what this is saying here, is that a form of oxidized molybdenum may have been crucial for life to start here on Earth. This was likely to have been available on Mars surface, but not here on Earth 3 billion years ago as we had very little oxygen but Mars did. So basically though the building blocks of life are founded in organic compounds they need a boost to  get things started. So with either Boron or molybdenum dropped into the mix, things get a jump start and start happening.
            The analysis of a Martian meteorite shows that there was Boron on Mars, and it is thought that some form of molybdenum was also there. Also, with Earth being covered by water at the time, it would have been difficult for boron to form as it has been found now in only extremely dry areas. There wouldn’t have been enough dry areas like this back then for boron to have formed in high enough concentrations to jump start life here.
            Well, what can I say? This works for me. So I guess we could say that we have those blasted Martians to blame for all the problems here after all. And since we are those Martians, I still get to complain about us. So this all works for me in every direction.

            Phase 2 of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which awards up to 500,000 for research and development, has been granted to 6 ideas. And they are pretty good ones too.
            Most are at least a decade away from being of any possible use on a mission, but at least we are preparing for it and doing the research to get us there. Seriously people, someone come up with a cryo system or something that works or a serious life extension plan for us will you.
            Now, in order to make this simple for us, (meaning me here), I am simply going to copy directly the 6 concepts that have been chosen. Here they are along with the principle party responsible for researching the concept.

Propellant-less Spacecraft Formation-Flying and Maneuvering with Photonic Laser Thrusters (Young Bae, Y.K. Bae Corporation, Tustin, Calif.)

SpiderFab: Architecture for On-Orbit Construction of Kilometer-Scale Apertures (Robert Hoyt, Tethers Unlimited, Inc., Bothell, Wash.)

A Gravitational Wave Detector Based on an Atom Interferometer (Babak Saif, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.)

Super Ball Bot: Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration (Vytas SunSpiral, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.)

Nomadic Exploration: Following Routes of Solar Sustenance and Temperate Climate (David Wettergreen, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Sample Return Systems for Extreme Environments: Phase II (Robert Winglee, University of Washington, Seattle)
            Now you see why I copied and pasted it.
            When you look at these in the right way, it seems that there are still people out there determined to get us off this planet. It also seems that there are some pretty big things that could be in the planning somewhere as well that we haven’t heard about yet also. I can hope a anyway.
            Also, at the end of paragraph 3, there is a blue link there to a gallery of Future Visions of Human Spaceflight. Well worth the look, believe me. Needless to say I went back and forth a couple times with the pics and got sidetracked.  But here the link to the main article, and don’t forget to check out that futuristic gallery.

            Don’t panic, not that kind of prophecies. This is just a list of 10 sci-fi predictions that now actually exist. I will only give two of them here, number 10 and 9, and the rest are at the link. Just something I came across here that I thought i would throw in here for fun.
#10 The Atomic bomb.
            The World Set Free, written by H.G. Wells has numerous descriptions of atomic bombs. Yeah I guess that isn’t a big thing, except that the book was published in 1914. Yep, basically 30 years before the first atomic bomb test which took place in 1945, at 5:29:45 am, on July 16th, at  Alamogordo, New Mexico. 18 years to the day before I was born.

#9The Internet
            "From the 'London Times' of 1904" by Mark Twain. He may not have written a lot of sci-fi, but then he was Mark Twain and he was about as out there as a lot of us are  a lot of times it seems. I like him anyway. I think out of a lot of people from history, if I could choose only one to go back and visit, it would probably be him. He would definitely up there on my list at the top, that’s for sure.
            The first link is to the list, and the second link will be to that story.

            Now, as I haven’t been able to keep up this week on the sci-fi front, I do have two things to put up here. Both short, but one may or may not be good news, depending how you look at it.

            Looks like they really are going to try and do this after all. I was kind of hoping this would be forgotten and removed as a very bad idea. From video game to big screen movie usually doesn’t work out to well. And I did play wow for a while myself. It was fun back before they turned the freaking thing on its head, and in my opinion, destroyed the game.
            Now I already know the responses out there. There are basically two of them. Oh hell yeah, and Oh hell no. This time I’m in the middle. I don’t know which way to go on this at all. So I simply won’t say anything on that yet. There seems to be about a 50/50 split of the people I know who have played, or are still playing. I will probably enjoy the movie though to be honest as I simply got irritated at what the game became over time. I was basically a soloer and helped out others here and there though when I could. Even started a guild of nothing but soloers and it worked out pretty good till we all got disgusted and went on to other things. But I doubt they screw this up as bad as some others that have come out in the past. I won’t mention any titles here, but bouncing plumbers come to mind.

            And sorry, but that means exactly what you thought it meant. Yep, from that end. It’s about a guy who discovers that his stomach problems are being caused by a demon living in his intestines. Yeah, I’m going to be seeing this one.  Basically, when he gets stressed out he does what a lot of people do, bury it inside. Well, in his case, not a good idea. So basically, stress turns into demon, which pops out of you know where to take revenge on that which is stressing him out. Yeah, I really have to see this. (Seriously people, there has to be something wrong with me). But this looks hilarious. Well they are right about  one thing. The tag line says, bad sh*t happens. I will give two links to this as well. The first to the Movie pilot page which doesn’t say alot, and the second to the IMDB page with the trailer. You can see it on Itunes or VOD now, and it will be on the big screen October 4th. I have only seen a part of the trailer, and yeah, it’s another of my type of comedy horror things.

            Well folks, hope you enjoyed the rundown and I got a little info out here that you didn’t know yet. And I will be seeing you all again next week. Hopefully with a little more time to keep up with things this coming week also. One more breakdown by anyone’s vehicle that I have to repair, and I really will be trying to steal a shuttle and get out of here.  

            And one last thing for all the Whovians out there. Saturday night will be the Dr Who "Doctors Revisited" special, and we are now up to Doctor #8, which is Paul Mcgann, and this is of course the movie that was shown here back in 1996. This is on BBCA and is on here at 8pm. Here meaning Ohio time. 

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