Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Essence of Science

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/dark-matter-annihilation-fermi-101027.html

When it comes to Dark Matter, I do get annoyed when people claim it to be real without having ever provided a shred of evidence to support that assertion. Is DM possible? Sure, and there is a lot of theoretical analysis to support it, but theory is not reality, so I think sometimes that scientists fall off the wagon of what science is really supposed to be all about.

With that said, at least this new finding (see article) isn't a computer model or mathematical masturbation as a form of "proof". Don't get me wrong, those have purpose, but this kind of information is what I'm patiently waiting for, to see if the "place holder" of Dark Matter has any chance of being more than theoretical.

"I want a lot of people who are experts to think about this hard and try to make it go away," he said. "If we all agree we can't, then we'll have our answer." -- Dan Hooper

And statements like this confirm why I love science, and is the proper stance for the true nature of what science is supposed to be all about. No blanket acceptance, no dogmatic stance never to be challenged, but quite the opposite, an ever present challenge brought on by the very people who discover things. The, "Please, prove me wrong," mentality that helps solidify ideas or reduce them to the trash bin, helping to expand our knowledge, because even if something is shown to be wrong, we have learned something new.

Science is always searching for the truth of the moment, but is never satisfied and passionately hunts for the next best truth with new knowledge and tools.

And with that mindset, we advance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It Seems Like Only Yesterday

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zft4au0FVhk&feature=player_embedded

In the beginning there was dirt. Then trucks came with blueprints and a vision. Almost sounds like the beginning of Las Vegas, and in a weird kind of way, similar. A crazy guy implements his vision to entertain people in a way never before imagined, bucking the establishment and forging his own path.

As Spaceport America held its runway dedication, these thoughts occurred to me. Then I applied them to the new Lunar Facility a few years (decades?) later, albeit with a nice time delay, but at least the people there could do amazing jumps of joy the likes of which would make Jordan envious.

Next, in a similar landscape for Spaceport America, I envisioned the same thing happening on Mars. By then, probably a bit less cumbersome of an undertaking, hopefully with less business and politics involved and more dedication to doing what's right for humanity in the long run. Nevertheless, the vision is nice. I wonder what spacecraft we'd have christened by then to accomplish the joyous task of ferrying mankind into the stars from whence we came?

Evolution is a constant construct, ever moving and fluid like water. Technical evolution, social evolution, mankind's evolution into something greater...hopefully more humble and thankful, more compassionate and caring, more open minded and magnanimous. An emergent man, not an established man.

To this end, Ad Astra Virgin Galactic. May the fruits of this labor lead to humanities self reflection as many start to gaze back upon this glorious world from a new perspective, a world where evolution never rests.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moving on Up!

http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/private-space-station-first-clients-101019.html

It seems that while Congress is asleep at the wheel, Bigelow has decided to drive his bus towards the future. Good. And I venture to say that one of two things will happen. Either Bigelow will develop into a major global player with help from the government (by not getting in his way), or he'll start running into real roadblocks with ITAR crap and have to move everything overseas and tell America to piss off.

I say this because ITAR is retarded when it comes to commercial space and international cooperation. Really, it is. Just look at how ITAR completely screwed the American commercial satellite industry when it decided to make it nearly impossible for American companies to retain ties with its foreign clients or partners. Because as we all know, we must "protect" ourselves from everything, which includes screwing ourselves if necessary.

So with Bigelow announcing his deals with Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom, I wonder how his space stations, his technology, and his foreign relations will be treated under the thumb of ITAR and the paranoid military minds that seem to govern its implementation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Virgin's Virgin Voyage...for Enterprise Anyway

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-solo-test-flight-101010.html

This is great stuff, as is any positive development in the arena of space exploration and development. It's nice to see Virgin Galactic press on, in spite of the lack of space exploration push this nation (the USA) seems to be experiencing right now. Oh well, we are all part of the human race...people will wake up to that one day, one way or another...and in the long run I don't care if it's VG, SpaceX, NASA, China or Zimbabwe that helps propel humanity deeper into the beauty of space. For every expansion outward, we help solidify our inward capabilities. Better for us, better for the future, better for the planet and better for mankind.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The China Syndrome

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-viral-video-ufo-china,0,5226156.htmlstory

So there was another UFO over China, sending the world into a frenzy! Okay, maybe not the world, but all the fun loving UFO nutters are chomping at the bit over this one. I must admit, it's kinda weird, but as a science minded person, I will only conclude one thing, that it is a UFO. It's unidentified, it flies and it's an object. That's about it. Anything beyond that is just speculation or self placating Conspiracy Theory junk. Still, it looked kinda cool.
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http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/china-change2-moon-probe-maneuver-101006.html

China's second Moon probe is setting up shop in orbit. Soon it will start Lunar Observation science, probably establishing a data set to work from for the eventual Moon Base I'm sure they're going to build. After all, no other nation is really taking space exploration seriously.
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http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/china-launches-two-research-satellites-101007.html

"Two research satellites flew into a nearly 400-mile-high orbit early Wednesday (Oct. 6) on a Long March rocket, continuing a pace of nearly one Chinese launch a week since the end of July."

Yeah, that about covers it. On a related note, I got a cool gift yesterday, a small banner showcasing the end of the Space Shuttle Program and its 30 years of service to space exploration. A few weeks ago I got a neat little lapel pin. And in a about 6 months, I'll get a pretty pink slip.

Ad Astra!