Tuesday, November 07, 2017

James T. Kirk Goes to Mars

James T. Kirk is going to Mars or better said, the actor, who famously portrayed Capt. James T. Kirk in the original "Star Trek" TV series and a number of movies, is one of more than 2.4 million people who have signed up to send their names to Mars aboard NASA's InSight lander.

The signatures will ride aboard two microchips affixed to InSight, which is scheduled to launch toward the Red Planet in May 2018. The first microchip is already aboard; it has been engraved with 827,000 names, which were collected in 2015.

Cassini's Last few Moments


Cassini put up a good fight. 

The NASA Saturn probe fired its thrusters full bore for at least 91 seconds during its suicide plunge into the ringed planet on Sept. 15, battling hard to keep its antenna pointed at Earth for as long as possible, mission team members said.

"Given that Cassini wasn't designed to fly into a planetary atmosphere, it's remarkable that the spacecraft held on as long as it did, allowing its science instruments to send back data to the last second," Cassini project manager Earl Maize, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory  in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "It was a solidly built craft, and it did everything we asked of it." [

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Star Trek best Captains


From Space.com contributing writer Elizateth Howell we have a compilation of some of the best Star Trek live action to date (the list was compiled a few days before the newest Star Trek program airs)
 https://www.space.com/ best-star-trek-captains. 


6. Capt. John Archer ("Star Trek: Enterprise," 2001-05)
5. Capt. Benjamin Sisko ("Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," 1993-1999)
4. Capt. James T. Kirk ("Star Trek" reboot movies, 2009-present)
3. Capt. Kathryn Janeway ("Star Trek: Voyager," 1995-2001
2. Capt. James T. Kirk ("Star Trek: The Original Series," 1966-1969; "Star Trek" movies,
1. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard ("Star Trek: The Next Generation," 1987-1994; "Star Trek: The Next Generation" movies, 1994-2002)

For the complete article please click here

Monday, September 11, 2017

The End of a Very Successful Mission




On Sept. 15, Cassini will dive straight into Saturn, collecting data from the planet's atmosphere and firing it back to Earth in the 1 to 2 minutes before breaking apart. The dive will bring an  end to the probe's 13-year extended mission in the Saturn system, where it has unearthed many incredible and unexpected science discoveries. 

On Sept. 13 and 14, Cassini's cameras will take the probe's last images of the system. 

On Sept. 15, starting at 4:37 a.m. the "final plunge" will begin as the spacecraft gets into position to sample the atmosphere. Normally,there is at least an hours-long delay between when the probe collects data and transmits it back to Earth, but because Cassini will only be able to transmit for 1 to 2 minutes during the final plunge, the probe will send data within 2 to 3 seconds of collecting it, Cassini scientists have said. The spacecraft will transmit data back to Earth from eight of its 11 instruments, but it will not have enough bandwidth to send images (which require larger data files), which is why the probe will take its final snapshots of the system on Sept. 14.

To read the complete article, click HERE

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Bones May heal Quicker in Earth type Gravity




It was once thought that space would prove to be the ultimate life extenuation and healing environment.  However studies have shown that broken bones  heal far quicker in a  Earth like gravity.


Hey check this out! NASA's Cassini probe has now been circling Saturn for 13 years.

Cassini was launched on Oct. 15, 1997, covered a total of 2.2 billion miles. The journey featured Venus flybys in April 1998 and June 1999, an Earth encounter in August 1999, and a Jupiter flyby in December 2000.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
NASA's Juno spacecraft has over-flown  Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot.

Juno  flew over the 10,000-mile-wide storm — which is so big that three Earths could fit inside it — at 10:06 p.m. EDT  July 11 during the probe's sixth science flyby of Jupiter.

The encounter will provide humanity its first up-close looks at the Great Red Spot, which astronomers have been monitoring since 1830

For more info, click  HERE

Monday, July 31, 2017

Beam Me Up 485 now online


Beam Me Up episode 485 is now online.

Two stories are available this episode.

The first is by a new author to BMU  To Watch the Storms by J.D. Byrnes.

And  Johnny's Last Affair by Doug Hilton.

The blog address is www.beammeuppodcast.com

Tuesday, July 04, 2017



Mars exploration took a big leap 20 years ago on July 4, 1997.  NASA's Pathfinder mission touched down on the Red Planet, delivering a lander and a small rover called Sojourner — the agency's first wheeled Mars craft — to the surface.

Pathfinder helped pave the way for two decades of eight other NASA robots to have reached Mars, and five of them remain active today.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Adam West RIP we will miss you


Adam West was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington, to parents Otto West Anderson, a farmer, and his wife Audrey V. (Speer), an opera singer.
At age 14, Adam attended Lakeside School, then went to Whitman College, where he got a degree in literature and psychology. 

West died on 9 June 2017, Los Angeles, California, USA from leukemia




His bio can be found HERE

Sol may have had a companion


Ever heard of Nemesis? A mysterious companion to our sun, causing all forms of chaos in our solar system.  

For decades, some scientists have speculated that Nemesis truly exsisted and whose gravitational tug periodically jostles comets out of their normal orbits, sending them careening toward Earth. The resulting impacts have caused mass extinctions, among other things.  

Now, a new study reports that almost all sun-like stars are likely born with companions, making a strong case  for the existence of Nemesis.

For more info, click this LINK

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Space X Makes Historic Launch



In a historic first, Space X successfully launched a refurbished Dragon cargo craft atop a Falcon 9 rocket, which returned to the launch pad a few minutes later.

SpaceX Liftoff

Falcon 9 return

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Air Force's X-37B Space Plane Lands in Florida After Record-Breaking Mission



After circling Earth for an unprecedented 718 days, the X-37B touched down Sunday May 7 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida — the first landing at the SLF since the final space shuttle mission came back to Earth in July 2011

The fourth mission, known as OTV-4, was launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the first three landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But Air Force officials have said they want to consolidate X-37B launch and touchdown operations on Florida's Space Coast, so Sunday's landing might be the first of many at the SLF (Shuttle Landing Facility). 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Don't Expect a Hollywood Ending



Don't expect a Hollywood ending is what director Ridley Scott warns.  Scott, who delights in terrifying moviegoers, suggested in a recent interview that the prospect of belligerent invading aliens might transcend the realm of sci-fi. According to Scott, hundreds of alien species are "out there" on distant worlds, and Earth's inhabitants should prepare for the worst if they ever decide to visit our planet.


For more, log into the article here:



Friday, April 28, 2017

Voices on the Solar Wind Extended


Nick Wood writes -

(I am writing) just to let you know I have extended Lunar Voices on the Solar Wind (#266) to a book length 'Phulani on the Moon', now shortlisted for the Sanlam Youth Literature Prize in South Africa: 

http://www.puku.co.za/News/13985/SHORTLIST-FOR-THE-2017-SANLAM-PRIZE-FOR-YOUTH-LITERATURE-ANNOUNCED 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Catching a Few Rays

An image of a spacecraft, with two solar panels on either end, and a collection system in the open position, visible on the top of the spacecraft, with the lid open.
Reach overhead on a cloud-free, summer day, and you can almost believe like you can catch a few of its rays. While your efforts will prove to be unsuccessful, you should  know that scientists have literally caught some of the Sun's rays. And you know what's even cooler? There's a place on Earth where you can actually hold a piece of the Sun!


Stored within two tidy cleanrooms at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas is a collection of metallic wafers and foils, and etched within their insides are particles of the solar wind

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Return to the Moon


45 years ago NASA last sent astronauts on a lunar mission. Now SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced his company's plans to send two private citizens on a flight around the moon in 2018 reminicent of NASA's Apollo 8-flight. The weeklong trip will look a lot like spacex-moon-flight — the first and only purely circumlunar, crewed mission in history

For the complete article, click here

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bringing Earth germs to Europa's salty seas? PLUS: Will we create mutant microorganisms during space travel?

As humanity extends its physical reach into the solar system, un­in­tended mixing of
Earth life with those of  other planets and or their moons becomes increasingly realistic.   What happens if/when we introduce Earth’s microbes to other planets? What if we bring alien micro-life back to Earth?  

Below and at the link, postdoc microbial researcher Jennifer Tsang considers the   practical & ethical questions regarding such interplanetary contamination .

Staying Safe in Space   

by Jennifer Tsang
The thought of bringing alien life forms to Earth or of creating dangerous mutant microorganisms during space travel might seem straight out of a science fiction movie. But are these concerns real­ly that far fetched? As our interest in astrobiology (the study of life in the universe) grows, the concern for an un­in­ten­tio­nal exchange of life between Earth and other celestial bodies becomes increasingly realistic. What happens if we introduce Earth’s microbes to other planets? What if we bring alien life back to Earth? Questions regarding such interplanetary contamination pose not on­ly practical issues but ethical ones as well.

Microbes cover every niche of our planet. The Dutch mi­cro­biologist Lourens Baas Becking once said, "everything is everywhere, but the environment selects." Microbes ex­ist as invisible passengers inhabiting all plants and ani­mals, including humans. Microbial life exists on Earth in habitats ranging from frigid waters to hydrothermal vents, from low to high pH, and even with or without oxygen. Clearly, microorganisms survive and even flourish in near­ly any condition imaginable. Because of this re­sil­i­ence, astrobiologists are concerned that microbial life could survive the stresses of space flight and possibly contaminate other planets upon arrival. We don’t want to travel to a new planet only to “discover” life that we mistakenly brought from Earth, nor do we want to disrupt life, or its evo­lution, on other planets.

Safeguarding against interplanetary contamination
As discussed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting this Fe­bru­ary, NASA plans to send a spacecraft to Jupiter’s moon Europa in 2025 (Figure 1). The mission aims to search for undiscovered life on Europa. As water is necessary to sustain life, the large salt­water ocean beneath the icy surface of Europa makes it a hopeful candidate for extraterrestrial life (Figure 2). To minimize planetary contamination, the Europa lander will be built in a clean fa­ci­li­ty. Though a clean facility is “clean,” it is not sterile, and some species of bacteria have been found. Any microbes remaining on the lander will be baked out at temperatures greater than 125°C for hours to days. The lander will be encased in an aluminum biobarrier keeping con­ta­mi­nants at bay during its long journey to Europa. As Kevin Hand, an astrobiologist from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said during the AAAS meeting, “we want to keep Europa for Europans.”
Europa_poster(Click to enlarge) Figure 2. Cross-section of Europa. Source
Introducing microbial life to other planets is not the only risk. Microbes could be brought back to Earth knowingly for study or inadvertently through contaminated equip­ment. Samples must be handled with care to minimize any unknown risk to native life on Earth. The Europa lander mission is not scheduled to bring samples back to Earth, but sample-return is possible for future missions. Such missions may bring back anything from liquids, soil and rocks, or small amount of minerals that will be studied using instruments that could not be brought into space. To prevent contamination of Earth, collected samples are studied using the most stringent biocontainment facilities (BSL-4).
You may be wondering whether interplanetary contamination actually matters. After all, me­teo­rites and micrometeorites have bombarded planets in our solar system for four billion years. Ma­ny scientists believe the transfer of microbes between planets has already happened. Others think that we are unnecessarily cautious and should spend precious research dollars elsewhere. How­ev­er, can we risk a War of the Worlds-style alien invasion of Earth? The dilemma remains: we don’t know if interplanetary contamination is a real risk, but it seems reasonable to take precautions in case these risks exist.
Microbial evolution in space
Coming from a planet where microbes rule every niche (including the human body), it is inevitable that astronauts bring microbes from Earth onto space missions. What is unclear though is how mi­crobial life adapts and evolves to new conditions. Things get even more complicated when you throw in how the human microbiome and immune sys­tem changes in space. With these cir­cum­stan­ces, it is likely that host-microbe interactions will change upon leaving Earth.
There is strong evidence that the immune sys­tem is compromised during space travel. Moreover, the human microbiome becomes less diverse after time in space: samples from astronauts on the Salyut and Mir orbiting platforms showed a significant reduction in human microbiota diversity even after just two weeks! Opportunistic pathogens, which rely on reduced immune function or altered host microbiota to cause disease, have the potential to wreak havoc in space. Changes in our microbiome and immune sys­tem go hand in hand; our microbiome, just like our immune sys­tem, protects against pathogens.

Fig_3_Mark_and_Scott_Kelly_at_the_Johnson_Space_Center _Houston_TexasFigure 3. Scott and Mark Kelly. Source
To gain insight into changes in the human body during space flight, NASA began a study of twins. Identical ve­te­ran astronauts twins, Scott and Mark Kelly, provide an ideal comparison for the effects of long-term space mis­sions on the human body (Figure 3). Starting in March 2015 Scott spent a year on the International Space Sta­tion (ISS) while his brother Mark served as an earthbound control subject. By obtaining baseline measurements of each, scientists could pinpoint biological differences after a year of zero gravity and freeze-dried food. Fred Turek, a scientist from Northwestern University characterized the microorganisms from the twins and found differences in viral, bacterial, and fungal microbiome between them. In Scott’s microbiome, the ratio of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, two dominant bacterial groups in the gut, was altered upon space travel. Upon return to Earth, the ratio of the two bacterial species returned to pre-flight levels.

To make matters worse for astronauts, bacteria become more virulent and more resistant to an­ti­biotics in space. These changes are due to both increased radiation levels and the microgravity environment in space: environmental stressors that select for resistance. Radiation breaks DNA strands or damages DNA bases, preventing it from being read or replicated correctly, leading to mutations. After 40 days on Mir, mutation rates in yeast were two to three times higher than in ground controls. In a study of Bacillus subtilis spores, mutations leading to rifampicin resistance were induced by 2-4 orders of magnitude greater than Earth controls. A high mutation rate allows bacteria to more quickly adapt to changing conditions.
Under microgravity conditions, growth rate, motility, and metabolite production are also altered. This is likely due to reduced extracellular mass-transport, with movement of molecules limited in low gravity. A team of scientists from the University of Colorado, the Hudson Alpha Institute, and the University of Alabama, determined how microgravity affects gene expression of bacteria by comparing the same Ecoli strain grown on Earth and on the ISS. They found that cells grown on the ISS had increased expression of genes associated with starvation, metabolism, and use of al­ternative energy sources.
Many times, astronauts are unable to return to Earth until their space missions end. Because crewmembers may become sick or injured in space, it is essential that we understand the fate of microbial life in space. Between 1989 and 1998, there were 26 documented infections in space for US astronauts. Studies in the 1980s showed that antibiotics need to be 2-4 times more con­cen­tra­ted to kill Ecoli and Saureus in space than on the ground. Increased antibiotic resistance in bac­teria may mean that typical treatments are not effective, and increased virulence may mean that the symptoms of an infection are more severe. As we expand our reach into the solar system, we need to take precautions to make sure we do so safely for ourselves, the Earth, and other celestial bodies.
Jennifer Tsang is a postdoctoral research fellow studying antimicrobial resistance in the lab of James Kirby at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She blogs at The Microbial Menagerie.


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover is Experiencing Wheel Deterioration


The NASA Curiosity Mars rover has developed a break on one of it's six battered aluminum wheels. A recent photo check of the rover's left middle wheel revealed two small breaks, NASA officials said Tuesday March 21. But the rover can still drive on the Martian surface with little difficulty.

The breaks were spotted in the wheel's raised treads, known as grousers, on Sunday March 19th after photos from Curiosity were compared to similar ones from a previous wheel check on Jan. 27. Pits, holes and dents have been noted before, but the two broken treads are the first sign of deeper wear on the affected wheel.

BMU 483 Is Now Online


In episode 483 - my first song is a toe tapper from the Kongos called Come With Me Now. In a break with the past, I play two back to back tracks.  My second is a cut from Bruno Mars called Can't Believe it Just Rang. 

My first story is by David Scholes called Return of the Benefactor.

in articles, researchers are trying to perfect food production using waste products.

The last story is a flash from the past. Thus it is another episode in Poul Anderson story Inside Earth.

Click HERE for podcast audio or down-load.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Close Approach Comet Arrives in April


Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacombini-Kresák zooms past the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3198 in this photo taken by astrophotographer Chris Schur on March 14. At the time, the glowing, green comet was about 16 million miles from Earth. This "April Fool's Day Comet" will make its closest approach on April 1, passing within 13.7 million miles of the Earth.

More Info, click HERE

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pee not Pea May be Integral In Long Term Space-flight


Most food to the International Space Station are shipped as cargo from Earth. However, longer-duration space missions, such as those to Mars, will need a self-sustaining food supply.

Scientists are researching how to grow food in space, including a test system that involves a tank of urine and a tomato plant, as reported by the BBC.

The Earth is a closed biological system with plants producing oxygen and food. Then you have the animals and microbes that degrade the plant and animal waste processes into soil.  Without these systems, no sustainable long-term life-support system would be viable.

Using both synthetic and human urine, scientists are conducting lab experiments to re-create this cycle in a way that could be useful for long term space-flight, the BBC reported.

for more click HERE

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Beam Me Up Episode 482 Now Online

Harris Tobias


Welcome to Beam Me Up episode 482. This week I start by playing a song selection, after which I read Harris Tobias' the Word Maker. From there I head over to the Beam Me Up blog to read some of the most recent articles.

Finally, in my "flash from the past" segment, I play part 3 of Poul Anderson's story Inside Earth.

Click HERE  for episode 482                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Space X Plans to Orbit the Moon in late 2018


In what would be a first, SpaceX plans to fly two private citizens around the moon atop one of the company’s own rockets. And, SpaceX says, the cost will be paid out of the astronauts’ own pockets.

Elon Musk, billionaire founder and chief executive, said that two individuals came to him and asked if SpaceX could and would set up the flight, and that they are “nobody from Hollywood.” They’ve put down their deposits and will start fitness tests and training later this year to make the flight in late 2018.

For more click HERE


Monday, February 27, 2017

NASA Plans a Probe to the Sun


NASA is sending the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft to within 4 million miles of the sun in 2018. And the agency is taking every precaution to keep the craft from melting.

NASA plans to launch the Solar Probe Plus mission to the sun. Earth is about 93 million miles  from the sun, and Solar Probe Plus is slated to get within 4 million miles of the blazing star. 

For complete article, select HERE

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Discovers Record Setting Planets in Habitable Zone

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a planetary system known to contain seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star. All of these seven planets could have liquid water, under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

For complete article select  HERE

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Beam Me Up 481 Now Online

This week on Beam Me Up, episode 481, Ron Huber heads up the program with a reading of a David Scholes short story.

Next I summarize articles from the Beam Me Up blog (wrfrbeameup.blogspot.com).

I finish off the program with part two of Poul Anderson's Inside Earth.

Enjoy

Podcast download HERE

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Dawn spacecraft has detected organic compounds on Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. These findings, combined with the fact that Ceres has abundant water and maybe even internal heating, suggests that primitive life could have developed on Ceres.


For complete article select HERE





Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Japanese cargo craft burns after resupply


A Japanese cargo craft fell back to Earth Sunday Feb. 5 after delivering supplies to the International Space Station  and attempting a novel space-junk experiment. 

The spacecraft, named HTV-6, arrived at the space station in December filled with 5 tons of food, water, clothes, science experiments and other gear. It intentionally burned up in Earth's atmosphere at 10:06 a.m. EST on Sunday (12:06 a.m. Japan StandardTime), according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. 


Monday, February 06, 2017

Episode 480 of beam Me Up is now online


This week in Beam Me Up, Episode 480, I start reading Poul Anderson's story, Inside Earth.

Press HERE to listen to part 1. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Scientists Thought

 
Scientists trained the Hubble Space Telescope view of the galaxy UGC 9391, which contains variable stars and supernovas that scientists studied to calculate a newly precise value for Hubble's constant.  What they found was the universe expanding 5 to 9 percent faster than astronomers had thought.

Scientists used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study 2,400 Cepheid stars and 300 Type Ia supernovas.

These are two different universe phenomenon allow scientists to measure distances across the universe. Cepheids pulse at predictable rates and Type Ia supernovas blaze up with consistent luminosity.  This allowed the distances to the 300 supernovas, which lie in a number of different galaxies. Then, the researchers compared these figures to the expansion of space, which was calculated by measuring how light from faraway galaxies stretches as it moves away from Earth, to determine how fast the universe is expanding — a value known as the Hubble constant.

The new value for the Hubble constant comes out to 45.5 miles per second per megaparsec. (One megaparsec is equivalent to 3.26 million light-years.)

The new figure is 5 to 9 percent higher than previous estimates of the Hubble constant, which relied on measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation which is an "echo" of the universe's creation 13.8 billion years ago.

More information available click HERE

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Suicide Squad / Batman: Attack on Arkham


In Suicide Squad a team of dangerous criminals consisting of elite hitman Deadshot, former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang, genetic mutation Killer Croc, and specialized assassin Slipknot. They are placed under command of Colonel Rick Flag to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government. Each member has a nano bomb implanted in their neck, designed to detonate should any member rebel or try to escape.

In Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman rescues Riddler from a black ops assassination ordered by Amanda Waller, returning him to Arkham Asylum. Invoking Priority Ultraviolet, Waller captures criminals Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, KGBeast, Killer Frost and King Shark for the Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and recover a thumbdrive in the Riddler's cane; while in Waller's employ, Riddler copied information on the squad to make it public knowledge. She forces compliance by threatening to detonate nano-bombs implanted in their necks. KGBeast, who believes it's a bluff, walks out on Waller and is killed as an example to the others.

The simularities between the two films is far more than just having a few of the same characters, many of the action points are shared as well as a good deal of the plot devices. 

At first I thought that each movie was playing parts of the same canon but I am now more inclined to think of the movies as a slightly different telling of the same plot line. 

Check out the wikipedia for more information. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beam Me Up 479 Is Now Online


This week for episode 479, after a short musical interlude, I spend some time on the Beam Me Up blog with articles like the age of the Moon, a loss in the historical NASA astronaut crew and the Air Force's x37b space plane is due to set new records in mission length.

Finally I read a short story.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

X-37B Due to Break Longest Time in Space Record


The U.S. Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane has now spent 600 days in Earth orbit on the vessel's latest mission, and is nearing a program record for longest time spent in space.

The robotic X-37B lifted off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 20, 2015, kicking off the program's fourth space mission (which is known as Orbital Test Vehicle-4, or OTV-4).

If the uncrewed spacecraft spends 74 more days aloft, it will break the duration record set during OTV-3, which touched down in October 2014.

But it's unclear how long OTV-4 will last, or just what the X-37B is doing as it circles Earth; most details about the space plane's missions and payloads are classified.

This SPACE.com infographic depicts the B Orbital Test Vehicle is an unmanned space test vehicle for the USAF. See how the unmanned space drone works here.

 For more information, press the HERE link

Monday, January 16, 2017

RIP Eugene Cernan

U.S. Navy Captain Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, died Monday, Jan. 16,

Previous to the final Apollo mission, Cernan piloted the Gemini 9 mission with Commander Thomas P. Stafford on a three-day flight in June 1966. Cernan logged more than two hours outside the orbiting capsule.

In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, the first comprehensive lunar-orbital qualification and verification test of the lunar lander. The mission flew the lunar module to within eight nautical miles of the moon's surface.

for more click here


Friday, January 13, 2017

The moon is very old, it turns out




It would appear that the moon is very old, it turns out.

A new analysis of lunar rocks brought to Earth by Apollo astronauts suggests that the moon formed 4.51 billion years ago — just 60 million years after the solar system itself took shape.

Some studies have come up with similar estimates, while others have argued for a younger moon that coalesced 150 million to 200 million years after the solar system was born. The new findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

For more information you can log to this page. Press the link button.



Podcast 478

I start this week with a story from David Scholes called Other Side the I mistakenly call Reincarnation, it's good no matter what the case.

From the blog, it would seem that Germany's fusion reactor works!  David has a story collection available on Amazon. Pluto has structures similar to ice pressure ridges but on a truly vast scale. 

Finally I play David's Urban Pacifiers, which is a really great short tale.

podcast 478

Friday, January 06, 2017

Some of Nimoy's Stage Credits

Listner Phil really knows his theater.  I asked him what he knew about Nimoy and stage and he
sent me back a "did you know" list:

Here are just a few stage shows that Leonard Niemoy was in and parts he played.

Musical Theatre
Melody Top Theatre Milwaukee, WI (Regional Theatre)
Camelot - Arthur (1973)
Fiddler on the Roof - Tevye (1974)
My Fair Lady - Henry Higgins (1976)
Oliver - Fagin (1972 - 1973)
The King and I - The King (1974)

Dramas
Atlanta Theatre Guild, Atlanta, GA (1955)
A Streetcar Named Desire - Stanley Kowalsky
University of Alabama Town and Civic Center Clark Memoiral Theater
Cat on A Hot Tin Roof - Brick
Town and Gown Repertory Theatre - Birmingham, AL. (1959)
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - Randle Patrick McMurphy
Little Theatre on the Square - Sullivan, IL. (1974)
The Fourposter - Michael (1975)

The bladed terrain of Pluto’s Tartarus Dorsa region, that were photographed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its epic flyby in July 2015, as ice ridges 1,650 feet or so tall.  On Earth, these structures rise just a few feet above the ground in cold, mountainous regions of Earth.

The gargantuan size is predicted by the same theory that explains the formation of these features on Earth. 

On Earth however the structures are made up of snow or water ice, whereas Pluto's ridges are mostly methane and nitrogen ices. 

Researchers say that Pluto's structures probably formed within the past few tens of millions of years.