Archive for the 'Space and Rocketry' Category

Shake-N-Bake, Mars-Style

June 11, 2008

Some good news from Mars. After several days of failed attempts at obtaining a soil sample that can be analyzed from the clumpy regolith of the Martian Arctic, the Mars Phoenix Lander shook a sample into its “oven.” Now we wait for about a week to receive the results of the probe’s thermal and evolved-gas analyzer. More here and here.


Paging D.D. Harriman…

September 14, 2007

Is Peter Diamandis the real-life Harriman?
Thanks to Google, there’s now a $25-30 million X-prize available to the team that lands a privately-funded rover on the moon by the end of 2012, takes some pictures, and moves at least 500 meters on the lunar surface. Details here. And here. And here. And here.

Astronomy Pic Of the Century

May 15, 2007

(From Edge, via Positive Liberty).

Cold War Space

May 9, 2007

Speaking of Dyna-Soar, via Gravity Lens I recently discovered Deepcold, an interesting site featuring the Soviet and American cold-war-era space projects. Check out the Dyna-Soar renderings here.

Blue Origin Test Flight – As God and Robert Heinlein Intended

January 3, 2007

I don’t know how long they’ll be on the main page (there’s no video archive page yet) but Blue Origin has posted videos of their VTOL rocket’s (the Goddard’s) first test flight. The vehicle is clearly inspired by the Delta Clipper design on which I have previously blogged here, here, and here. Please also see Jerry Pournelle’s excellent overview of the Gary Hudson Phoenix design, which influenced the development of the Delta Clipper/DC-X and also played a major role in his, Niven’s and Flynn’s Fallen Angels.

Killer App for Space Tourism

July 24, 2006

I wonder if private space travel will follow in the steps of the Internet, where sex was one of the earliest successful commercial ventures.
While joining the 250-mile-high-club would certainly be uniquely stimulating, it won’t necessarily be easy, was the message of a panel of experts at the recently-concluded Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2006 conference in Las Vegas.
NASA (not speaking for the agency, of course) doctor Jim Logan had the money quote:

“It’s a pretty messy environment, when you think about it….And for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. However … I can well imagine how compelling, inspiring, and quite frankly stimulating choreographed sex in zero-G might be in the hands of a skilled and talented cinematographer with appropriate lighting and music….I’m not kidding: Sex in zero-G is going to have to be more or less choreographed. Otherwise it’s just going to be a wild flail.”

Alan Boyle and Rand Simberg have much more on this, er, titillating topic.

New Extreme Sport?

December 19, 2005

If space tourism takes off (pun intended), I can foresee a market for extreme skydiving from the literal edge of space. Can you imagine that first step out of the cabin door?JoeKittengerJumping.gif
How about knowing that you will break the speed of sound? I would expect a video camera to be built into the helmet to record the jump for future viewing and showing off to friends.
Check out this video (found via BoingBoing) to get a taste.

Nice Crab Nebula Picture

December 1, 2005

Enjoy this beautiful picture of the Crab Nebula, made up of 24 different images taken by the Hubble in 1999 and 2000. (Click the pic for full size).

Hitching a Lift

September 27, 2005

Ted points us to some good news on the successful test of some space elevator precursor technology.
More SF coming true.

Quick Bleg

August 24, 2005

Does anyone know of a decent online archive of Martian maps, including the highest resolution scans from the most recent orbiters, organized like Google maps?
I’m thinking specifically of a draggable, clickable, zoomable Martian atlas.
I’ve done some googling around, but haven’t found anything like this yet.
Any leads would be much appreciated.