Via Boing Boing: Disney is doing a new space based ride called Mission Space. The pictures look cool.
Via Slashdot: A picture of the Earth from Mars. Includes Jupiter and one of its moons.
I was wandering around SourceForge, looking at what OSX code was available, and found Celetia a solar system simulation.
Still figuring out the controls, but you can “fly” around the solar system. Its amazing how fast you can be going and nothing is moving. I flew from Io to Earth at faster than light and could see very little change for a long time. Gives you a real feeling for how far away things are.
I got my first chance to moderate on slashdot today. I blew all five moderator points on this thread about a new private spacecraft competing for the X prize.
While looking through some of the lower rated posts I found a link to Encyclopedia Astronautica . Looks cool. I haven’t had a chance to really look at it yet.
I haven’t said anything about the Columbia tragedy because I haven’t thought of words worthy of the occasion. I got an email today from the Science Fiction Writers of America and at the top was a poem from one of my favorite authors.
These are words worthy.
“I pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave me birth;
Let me rest my eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.”
— Robert A. Heinlein;
“The Green Hills of Earth”
Space.com has a article listing the top ten space mysteries
I like this line from the origin of the solar system, “We’re left with an old theory that doesn’t work and a new one that is, in the words of its creator, a wild idea.”.
Space.com is cool and I should spend more time there.
My sons and I went to the new Star Trek movie this weekend. It was pretty good, definitely not as bad as SlashDot made it sound.
There’s a scene where a crew man is sucked out of the ship and my son wanted to know why he didn’t explode. I tried to explain, but really I didn’t know exactly. So the internet is the answer and here’s a cool link I found.
I woke up Saturday morning thinking about what technology would be needed if you had a cheap means of getting into orbit. Right now the big problem is getting there, not living there. But if you had something like anti-gravity you could do it easily. The first thing I thought of was space suits. So I got on the net to do some research.
I never really understood the problem of getting into space till I read this paragraph, from a NASA site.
Earth’s atmosphere is 20 percent oxygen and 80 percent nitrogen from sea level to about 75 miles up, where space begins. At 18,000 feet (3.4 miles), the atmosphere is half as dense as it is on the ground, and at altitudes above 40/000 feet(7.5 miles), air is so thin and the amount of oxygen so small that pressure oxygen masks no longer do the job. Above the 63,000-foot threshold(11.9 miles), humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep body fluids from boiling.
To me this means a very special airplane can get you about 10% of the way into space. After that the atmosphere is it too thin. That’s why we use rockets and why the X-prise is such a big deal. It isn’t easy to build a device that carries its own propulsion and fuel for 75 miles.
I’ll use another blog to talk about space suits. I had a bunch of links, but lost them to the blog software I was working on at the time. Here though are a couple of cool space links I do still have.
Earth observatory Cool images of Earth from space.
One danger you face in space is micrometorids and space debris