Friday, May 27, 2016

India Tests Shuttle Concept

India’s space agency ISRO says Monday's (May 23rd) test flight of their reusable space shuttle was a success, validating the technologies on board.

ISRO also released video of the launch, showing the ignition and lift-off of the HS9 booster rocket with the shuttle resting on its nose.

The $14m (yep, 14 million)  Reusable Launch Vehicle, which is around the size of a minibus, was lofted to an altitude of apx. 40 miles, before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

The craft was allowed to skip back into the atmosphere at Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound)and exposing the Reusable Launch Vehicle to max temperatures of around 3632 degrees.

India's shuttle is not expected to come into service for at least 15 years, but ISRO hopes the reusable technology will reduce costs and make access to space more affordable.
More info HERE

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mars Mystery Plumes

In 2012 Amateur astronomers using telescopes on Earth were the first to report cloud-like plumes that reached heights of 155 miles above the surface of Mars. The feature developed in less than 10 hours, covered an area of up to 621 x 311 miles, and remained visible for around 10 days.

Frozen carbon dioxide and water are not thought to be able to form clouds of 155 miles high in the atmosphere.

The high altitude corresponds to the ionosphere, where the atmosphere directly interacts with the incoming solar wind of electrically charged atomic particles.  

Get complete article at the ESA page HERE

What Planet Was First to be Viewed With a Telescope

You know by now that my humor tends to be a bit off color:

Case in point is from Elite Facts.  They report that the very first planet to be viewed with a telescope was Uranus, 

Think about it for a bit......

The rest of this list can be had on YouTuve HERE

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mark has been talking about CBS dropping Super Girl, which has become a fast favorite.  There was hope that CW, which it did, would pick the program up (The CW is co-owned by CBS and Warner Brothers)

The announcement went out Thursday the 19th of May and the Super girl series will begin with the start of the 2016 continuing into the 2017 prime
time season.

Super Girl will play Monday 8:00-9:00 PM 

Read more by selecting MORE INFO

Monday, May 16, 2016

Another Canadian heading to the International Space Station - in a Russian spacecraft

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), announced that Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques has been assigned to a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), aka Mission 58/59

This is Saint-Jacques' first mission. He'll launch aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in November 2018 to join an international crew. This marks the 17th space flight for the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

Before joining the Canadian Space Program, Saint-Jacques was a medical doctor and Co-chief of Medicine at Inuulitsivik Health Centre in Puvirnituq, Nunavik, an Inuit community on Hudson Bay. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at McGill University

The Quebec native will bring his expertise in medicine, engineering and astrophysics to the Expedition 58/59 crew. In anticipation of this first assignment, he'll begin mission training in Russia, Japan, the United States and Canada starting this Summer.

015 Nebula awards have been released.

Nebula Award logo
From IO9    The 2015 Nebula awards have been released.  There  were a healthy mix of  print and digital.  What's more the awards were dominated by women this year. 

from the article
The science fiction world has had its share of drama with the Hugo Awards as various slates have worked aggressively to push against the growing numbers of women and people of color appearing on award ballots. The Nebula Awards have demonstrated, for two years in a row, that science fiction and fantasy literature remains a strong, inclusive body of literature.

For a complete article select the LINK


    Uprooted, Naomi Novik  
    Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon 
    The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin   
    Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
    The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu
    Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen   
    Updraft, Fran Wilde 


    Binti, Nnedi Okorafor
    Wings of Sorrow and Bone, Beth Cato   
    The Bone Swans of Amandale, C.S.E. Cooney  
    The New Mother, Eugene Fischer
    The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Usman T. Malik
    Waters of Versailles’’, Kelly Robson

    Our Lady of the Open Road, Sarah Pinsker
    Rattlesnakes and Men, Michael Bishop
    And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead, Brooke Bolander
    Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds, Rose Lemberg
    The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society, Henry Lien
    The Deepwater Bride, Tamsyn Muir

Short Story

    Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers, Alyssa Wong
    Madeleine, Amal El-Mohtar
    Cat Pictures Please, Naomi Kritzer
    Damage, David D. Levine
    When Your Child Strays From God, Sam J. Miller
    Today I Am Paul, Martin L. Shoemaker

Sunday, May 15, 2016

SpaceX Dragon Prepared to be Unloaded

SpaceX Dragon resupply craft departs the International Space Station
Remember that SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft
which splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at
2:51 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 11, about 261
 miles southwest of Long Beach, California  

Seems the Dragon brought back a heafty load.

3,700 pounds of NASA cargo, science and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station.

The first destination for the Dragon will be taken by ship to Long Beach where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA.Then prepared for shipment to SpaceX's test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.

for complete article  information

Beam Me Up episode bmu_466 ia Online!

Episode 466 of Beam Me Up

I play Sail away by STYX  and I talk about recent 'of interest' here on the blog.

This week I open with STYX Come Sail Away.  You wouldn't think it had a science fiction connection, but it does!  Listen close. 

Next I head to the blog with articles like (all tongue in cheek mind you) strange ways to die in space.

There is some breaking news concerning CBS'Supergirl.

And the story for this week: Automatic Sky by Stephen S. Powers

Link to podcast

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Two Second Shorts of Animated Space Death

"Death in Space" is a collection of 2 second scenes depicting the many ways to meet an untimely death in outer space.

kind of like a tongue in cheek Darwin in space Award.

Death in Space from Thomas Lucas on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

David Scholes' Newest Story

David just sent in the link to his newest story on Farther Stars Than These
 Here’s a link to my latest sci-fi story “The Shooting Gallery” on Farther Stars Than These: 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mercury Transits Sun

Did you get a chance to catch Mercury as the planet transited the sun Monday?  If not I have a small cut of a video that NASA put on YouTube. Plus a 49 year record of  Mercury transiting.

    Transits of Mercury:  1901-2050 

                           Date       Universal    Separation*     
                                        Time    (Sun and Mercury)

                        1907 Nov 14     12:06         759"     
                        1914 Nov 07     12:02         631"     
                        1924 May 08     01:41          85"     
                        1927 Nov 10     05:44         129"     
                        1937 May 11     09:00         955"     
                        1940 Nov 11     23:20         368"     
                        1953 Nov 14     16:54         862"
                        1957 May 06     01:14         907"      
                        1960 Nov 07     16:53         528"      
                        1970 May 09     08:16         114"     
                        1973 Nov 10     10:32          26"     
                        1986 Nov 13     04:07         471"     
                        1993 Nov 06     03:57         927"     
                        1999 Nov 15     21:41         963"     (graze)
                        2003 May 07     07:52         708"     
                        2006 Nov 08     21:41         423"     
                        2016 May 09     14:57         319"     
                        2019 Nov 11     15:20          76"     
                        2032 Nov 13     08:54         572"     
                        2039 Nov 07     08:46         822"     
                        2049 May 07     14:24         512"     

          * distance (arc-seconds) between the centers of the Sun and Mercury


Sunday, May 08, 2016

Supergirl's Fate May Already Be Sealed

Supergirl continues to hang in the balance, but the DC series could find a new home at The CW in time for season 2, according to deadline.

Switching from CBS to The CW would seemed like an already done affair.  Especially since CBS and CW co-own the series. What's more CBS happens to hold co-ownership of The CW with Warner Bros. Entertainment.  This, it would seem, blows the rumor that CBS wants more viewer-ships and leans closer to licensing fees – reportedly clocking in at upwards of $3 million per episode could seal the switch-over.