Thursday, April 30, 2009

NASA to Abandon Moon Base Idea?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17052-nasa-may-abandon-plans-for-moon-base.html

That's fine. The private sector can and will build a Lunar Infrastructure. We don't need NASA as much as everyone thinks we do. NASA should focus on Mars. Let the rest of the private sector build upon the moon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's National Academy of Sciences Speech

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/27/The-Necessity-of-Science/

For those who only wish to focus on a 5 second teleprompter screw up, it's disturbing the level to which bitter people will find fault with whatever they oppose (on both sides of the political aisle). I'm generally Conservative and not happy with a lot of Obama's fiscal policies and Congresses desire to overtake private business, but I feel those issues will be rectified when mid-term elections juggle the power base a bit. I think the Dems are in for a rude awakening.

However, I'm not petty enough to whine forever about everything and I will acknowledge Obama's positive moves when I see them. This speech about math/science is one of them. It's actually kind of funny, because some of the things he wants to do are some of the same things I talk about in my book. Now I need to revise some of my book to account for this. lol. It's all good, because the end result is a positive move for science, math, engineering, and progress.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Bogus Big Bang Breakdown

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090428-gamma-burst.html

I have a question based on this and another recent article, and this has actually been picking at my brain for quite some time, but only now have I thought to bring it up.

If this explosion occurred 13 billion years ago, when everything including us is supposed to be so packed together, and we are only seeing it now, how did we get 13 billion light years away from it in the first place if nothing is supposed to go faster than the speed of light?

The only way for us to get so far away from the "source" explosion (or anything near it like this explosion in the article) is to travel faster than the light that the explosion emitted. Then we have to somehow slow down so it can play catchup, then we look back and voila, we see that light catching up to us 13 billion years later. What?!

Additionally, for those who will say that the Big Bang was not a point source event, you are contradicting everything I've every read or seen in ever science journal, book, or show that discussed the Big Bang, because it always talks about how the universe was a tightly packed sphere of everything, so hot and dense that there weren't even separate forces. And then BOOM, the explosion happened, everything separated out, particles and forces formed, and eventually so did everything else, but it all came from a hot dense point source.

The more I apply logic, the more the Big Bang becomes unraveled and ridiculous. I hate the Big Bang.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Book (reason for lack of posting)

Hello my friends. Some of you might be wondering why I have not been posting much lately. Honestly, it has to do with the fact that I'm knee deep in writing my book. It's a non-fiction about space exploration and development, written in much the same way I write my posts here. In fact, decent chunks of the book are directly from my posts in here. lol. So, I am still reading articles and thinking about them, but have spent most of my time writing my book. I will try to post on here at least 2 times a week so you know I'm alive. lol.

Of course, if you find something that you want my thoughts on, you can always find me on Facebook. I'm easy to reach.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Best Ford Commercial Ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syvOkl6FgNo&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fhome.php&feature=player_embedded

No, this isn't space related, but it is about something near and dear to my heart, and it's not cars.

A Chink in the Armor of ITAR

http://digg.com/d1pRaN?OTC-em-sh2

Hooray Bigelow, for not only challenging this ridiculous aspect of ITAR, but for winning! That's one stupid rule down, only 134 more to go! lol. Okay, I don't know if it's 134, but there are a lot of stupid rules related to ITAR that completely ruin the ability for American aerospace companies to compete in the global market, especially the new and upcoming private space businesses.

It's about time that someone challenge ITAR, and with this win, I bet you will see more and more challenges that will relax ITAR to where it's supposed to be, which is protecting military and national defense information/hardware, not intruding on private commercial space.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Better Safe Than Sorry

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/SpaceX_Delays_Falcon_1_Razaksat_Launch_999.html

So SpaceX noticed a possible issue between their rocket and the payload, and they delayed the launch. This shows two key things:

1. An attentive staff that's willing to speak up when something is amiss.
2. The responsible act from SpaceX in postponing their launch in order to ensure the safety of the payload.

As responsible as they are innovative, SpaceX is now showing the same level of attention to detail that the "big boys" do. Good, that's the way it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Musical Homage to Spirit and Opportunity

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090414-spirit-reboot.html

Because of a discussion on space.com, and a witty one liner by a regular commenter based on this song, I decided to make the whole thing. :) Why not? Hope you like it.

'Little Rover Bot Guys'

Adaptation of 'American Pie' by Don McLean

Not so long ago...
I can still remember
How those rovers used to make me smile.
And I knew if they had the chance
They'd find some life and do a dance
And maybe, we'd be happy for a while.

But 2009 made me shiver
With every glitch that they'd deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
They couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember when they fried
But I know those little rovers tried,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the rovers died.

So bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But by now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."
"This is where my little bro's died."

Do you see the planets above,
And do you wonder what they are made of?
If curiosity makes it so.
And do you wish that you could go there,
Stand on the soils of way out where,
Where there is an unworldly glow?

Well I know that we can't do that yet
But I've got a secondary bet.
We'll send something else in place.
To the far vast reaches of space.

They are small and slow, but very cool
And able to do great science too,
But all good things must end, that's true
The day the rovers died.

So now we're sayin, Bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But by now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."
"This is where my little bro's died."

Now for five years they've been on their own
Diggin' up dirt anda' grinding stone,
And that's how it's supposed to be.
But then they found some funny elements,
And all the scientists were quite perplexed
In a state of mental curiosity.

Oh, and while the rovers drove around,
Wheels locked and power down,
They kept on plugging along;
As we sang their victory song.
And while Spirit drove out around Home Plate,
And Opportunity chugged away,
We knew that we would rue the day,
The day the rovers died.

So now we're sayin, Bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But by now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."
"This is where my little bro's died."

Helter Skelter, with no shelter.
The Martian winter makes it welter,
Minus a hundred and falling fast.
They woke up strong many times in the past.
And we wondered how long they would last,
With their solar panels effectively in a cast.

Now we hoped that they would both resume
While the MSL was being tuned.
We all held our breath to see,
Oh, but it just wasn't meant to be!
`cause the rovers fate was sharply sealed;
The Martian weather refused to yield.
Do you recall all that they revealed
The day the rovers died?

And so we're sayin, Bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But by now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."
"This is where my little bro's died."

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation fixed on space
With no ability to start again.
So come on: MSL, you do the trick!
Bring the answers fast and quick
Cause answers are a scientists only friend.

Oh, and as I watch them add delays
My hands are clenched in fists of rage.
No mission born in there
Could break that overrun spell.
And as the warriors drifted off into the night
Succumbing to their sacrificial rite,
I saw Mars laughing with delight
The day the rovers died

He was singin, Bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But by now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."
"This is where my little bro's died."

I saw engineers who sang the blues
And I asked them for some happy news,
But they just sighed and turned away.
I then went out to my back yard
Where I'd see them working if I thought real hard,
But the visions in my head, they wouldn't stay.

And on the surface the dust did blow,
The lights were off, no life to show.
And not a word was spoken;
The data streams all were broken.
And the three things I admire most:
Spirit, Opportunity, and their human hosts,
They all moved on, well, almost
The day the rovers died.

And they were singin, Bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But right now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."
"This is where my little bro's died."

They were singin, Bye-bye, little rover bot guys.
You did so much good for science,
But right now you're all fried.
And your big old brother will soon be there by your side
Sayin, "This is where my little bro's died."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Global Warming Fun

So because of a statement in an article I read I asked a question, or more aptly made a thought statement...just thinking out loud to start a simple discussion. Here's the fun. :)

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090414-st-perchlorate-sludge.html

Completely random thought, but this statement fuels the question, "On Earth, heat is constantly escaping from the planet's molten interior, which warms the bottom of glaciers and ice sheets, melting the ice, "and the ice sheet literally can slide," Hecht explained."

I wonder how much research has been done on "Global Warming" with respect to the planets core heat. Advocates of G.W. use the melting ice caps as a "sign" to prove their damn theories that people are the cause by heating the atmosphere, but could there be an internal explanation instead of an external one? Just a thought.
_________________________

Salts on the surface...okay...but what's in the caves? :)

__________________________________________


So someone wrote back...

If you're suggesting that the interior of the planet is heating up, and this explains the melting caps and global warming, it's not.

The interior of Earth is hot, but as I understand, it's only the insulation of the planet that keeps it hot, there's no reaction that is keeping the core molten. It's slowly cooling as heat escapes, like Mars. Since Earth is bigger, it takes a lot longer to cool down than Mars did. But one day it will, and Earth will lose its magnetic field, and the atmosphere will be blown away by solar winds.

Also, I suggest you do some reading on climate change. Humans are causing it. It's not a natural phenomenon. Trust me on this.

__________________________________________

And I wrote back...

You're preaching to the wrong guy, because I have done a fair amount of reading on this and firmly believe that Global Warming is a political farce, and that we're not nearly affecting our global temperature as much as the alarmists think. 50 years of study over a 4 billion year old planet is a joke of data collection, not to mention the sun itself, planetary interactions, our position relative to galactic center where the most high energy bursts come from, etc.

And stop saying "Climate Change", what a crock of crap. My climate changed yesterday, from an 80 degree day to a 75 degree one. Should I panic? What a loose and bogus term to use...Climate Change. Nice way to butter both sides of your bread so that you seem right now matter what facts actually come out, especially when they aren't in your favor. This suggests that the Global Warming term was losing its charm, since the planet has been actually cooling over the past few years. Please.

As for the core, I know that it's cooling all the time, I'm not suggesting that it's warming, but that there may be new sub-ocean vents (or the current ones are growing) near the poles heating up the local waters. I have no proof or anything, just a thought based ont he statement in the article itself.

The core is hot and molten because of intense pressure related to the mass of the planet compacted at its center of mass, and the internal dynamo of liquid metal spinning related to the Earth's rotation. The heat escapes through vents (volcanoes, steam vents, etc.) and filters throughout the atmosphere. The core affects the atmosphere more than the atmosphere can affect the core.

__________________________________________


To be continued...maybe...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weird Development

Well, suddenly I cannot comment on my own Blog while at work. I can see the Blog. I can post new things, obviously, but I cannot comment...or reply to your comments...while I'm here. I guess they've ramped up Internet security. That sucks when I'm on a break and can't work with my Blog, so I will give comments when I am home, which means you'll have to be patient. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Potpourri

So Much Dust...Space Allergies?

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090407-m33-galaxy.html

Okay, so not exactly space allergies, but NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope did find a boat load of dust in a nearby Galaxy. The only way they could see it was via infrared because it was "cold" dust that didn't reflect any light from it's surrounding sources...stars. What I'd like to know, and what this article didn't cover, is how much dust there was and could it affect the various measurements of the galaxy? In other words, is the enough "invisible dust" here to put a chink in the armor of Dark Matter? Just something to ponder.
____________________________________________

Colbert, AKA Node 3

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090407-astronauts-colbert-node.html

Well, this is dragging on forever, but it's kinda fun. I mean come on NASA, you left the door WIDE open for this to happen. You should be pleased that people are even talking about you, since you apparently don't know how to develop and maintain a decent enough PR campaign on your own anyway.

Look, the fact that Steven Colbert even caused this to happen is interesting enough and he should be entitled to his spoils. He won! Yes, you reserve the right to name Node 3 whatever you want even after the voting was in, but common sense dictates that you put that rule there so people wouldn't try to call the Node "Shithead", "Jackass", or "Madonna".

You desperately need the positive PR since Ares is so over budget and already behind schedule, and even some Congressional officials think Colbert is the rightful winner. Look, the ISS is only going to be up there for what...another 15 or 20 years? It's not like you're naming a Moon base after the guy.

I wonder if Minnesota is running your voting scheme?
____________________________________________

The Cosmic Hand of God?

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090404-chandra-nebula.html

Of course not! Yet this didn't stop people from going off on a religious banter in the thread related to this article. In fact, someone told me that I should believe in God. Well there goes my religious freedom to not be religious. lol. It's kinda funny when I tell people I'm an Atheist, as if they think I should be out pillaging, plundering and being a general jackass. Well, I am a jackass, but only mildly so. :) So, here's what I wrote back...

I should believe in God? No, I shouldn't, I don't want too, and I'm not. I don't need some mythical creature or ancient book of fabled stories to guide my moral compass. Life is a very simple process (eat, sleep, drink, breathe, survive) and how one conducts themselves is even more simple. Make strong efforts to be good, do good and try to improve the lives of others around you. I don't need religion or God for that lesson, it's common sense and decency.

To me, God is construct to make people feel good about themselves in spite of a difficult and relatively insignificant existence. Kind of a bummer when you think about it, but for most people God makes it all better knowing that some grand being has future plans for you...or so you hope. But hey, at least it makes you content and happy. That's great.

I, however, understand completely that I will be around probably less than 100 years relative to the billions of years that the universe is old. Not even 1/4 of the blink of an eye, and I'm okay with that. I don't need to know the answers to questions I cannot possible prove in the first place.

I don't know what will happen when I die and I really don't care. I can't prove anything after life anyway, no one can. It's all conjecture, circumstantial evidence and hope driven faith in something better. None of that is tangible or provable. I don't know why we're here, or the meaning of life (other than Monty Python's version). I'm content with that.

Maybe the purpose of life is to not worry so much about the purpose of life...and just live it!

And of course this wasn't good enough for some people and so I wrapped up with this...

My final word on this, and it references a very interesting movie called Zeitgeist, which can be found here...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-594683847743189197

From time code 10:30:00 to 40:20:00 is all about religion and how the constructs of Christianity parallel, and are in most cases directly in line with many other religions from all around the world and at different times in history. All the stories are the same, and all are mythology. If you have an ounce of open mindedness you can watch this, even if you are religious, and see the parallels right before you.

I do not begrudge religion, but I do begrudge those who think all should be religious, or seek to find religion in all places, such as this neat, but completely secular cloud of dust and gas.

Friday, April 3, 2009

ITAR Revisited

http://www.satellitetoday.com/st/headlines/U-S-Congress-Discussing-Bill-to-Ease-ITAR-Satellite-Export-Controls_30511.html

Well, this is funny. I remember talking about this last month. I wonder if anyone important is reading this blog and passing my nuggets of wisdom to Congressional officials. lol.

Either that, or common sense is prevailing and there is an increasing number of people who realize that certain aspects of ITAR are killing the American Space Industry, and therefore a strong part of our productive economy. Either way, this is a major step in the right direction. I hope it succeeds.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dark Matter Detection?!

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/090401-dark-matter-annihilation.html

Many of you have probably come to think of me as an Anti-Dark Matterist. Okay, so I made that term up, but it fits. :)

So, here's the shocker......I like this story. At least this time it's not a computer model, or a simulation of experimental math, but hard data and findings. I also love this statement in the article itself,

"We hope to have detected dark matter, but now we need other verification coming from other experiments," Picozza said.

Now THAT'S the proper process! The words "hope" and "need other verification" are key and paramount to the true scientific process.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm a convert by any means. I still have severe reservations about the entire Dark Matter Theory, but at least in this article they are not claiming pseudo-facts and making definitive statements, which is what so many other Dark Matter articles seem to do. That has been my gripe all along.

Dark Matter may or may not exist. The math may or may not be broken. Electricity may be the answer. There are a lot of maybe's and possibilities, but at least this article follows proper protocol in my book.

Mock Mars Mission Mockery

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090331-mock-mars105-begins.html

I'm not fond of the all male crew setup. Are we going to dodge the "sex in space" topic forever? Are we really that anal, no pun intended, about sex in space?

Something tells me that sticking a crew of guys on what amounts to a three year mission to Mars is just asking for micro-social unrest and a black eye incident. Plus the place will probably smell like a bag of dry roasted peanuts after a while. lol.

If we really plan to colonize anywhere else in the solar system, you MUST factor in gender mixing. You cannot avoid it, so you might as well start off the experiment right away addressing it, because it's not going away. Long duration trips to Mars will have mixed crews, otherwise it's one hell of a sexist endeavor, and I think that would be a bunch of crap. We're not asexual creatures.

Also, if this is about research, then there are far too many flaws for it to be justifiable research, and many of them have been addressed in the forum for this article, like the fact that they know help is really on the other side of the door. That's without a doubt the biggest flaw in the whole thing and if this is how any past experiments were done, then I don't like them either.

Put them on an island. Put them in the arctic. Put them somewhere where there is justifiable risk, so that their minds and bodies can react accordingly.

Some say that we are already doing this with the ISS. You can't really compare ISS vs. Lunar or Martian living. Even the lunar 1/6 g is more than you ever get on ISS, and that matters physiologically. As far as social interaction, ISS is showing things, but 6 months with 3 mates is a lot different than 36 with 12.