Category Archives: Science/Engineering

Roadster to the Sun

Space X’s Elon Musk celebrated the Feb. 6. 2018, first flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket by launching a cherry-red Tesla roadster with a space-suited mannequin driver into solar orbit. Video low-orbit view here.

“The Tesla will likely make quite a few laps around the sun before its deep-space adventure comes to an end. An orbit-modeling study performed last year predicted that the space car will eventually slam into either Venus or Earth, probably within the next few tens of millions of years.”

When you’re filthy rich you can do anything, obviously. Even evade the environmental wackos who might have held this up. Too late, guys, the roadster is now about 226 million miles away. And probably a wreck.

Via Space dot com

The Fitzgerald

A warship doomed by ‘confusion, indecision, and ultimately panic’ on the bridge.

The Navy she has become a sloppy ship. The Fitz was the second destroyer hit by  a tanker merchant ship, this time in broad daylight, in three months in 2017.

Via the good journalists at the Navy Times

UPDATE:  “There was debris everywhere,” Fort said under oath of the destroyer’s Combat Information Center. “Food debris, food waste, uneaten food, half-eaten food, personal gear in the form of books, workout gear, workout bands, kettlebells, weightlifting equipment, the status boards had graffiti on them. I’d never seen a CIC like that in my entire time in the Navy,” the surface warfare officer of more than 25 years recollected.

An impressive hole

View of the far side of Luna, a great hole to be explored, and inside the Chinese probe, an experimental biosphere that may lead to a moon base for people– a sustainable closed ecosystem.

Just another day at the office

The 16th dragon ship to rendezvous with the International Space Station has delivered Xmas goodies and “a team of space-going mice” which I’m sure will outrage PETA if they don’t make it back alive.

The Chariot tank

The things I like about Israel’s Merkava (Chariot) tank are its low profile in defilade and it’s rear exit-survivability. The latter alone is seldom found in the world’s other tanks which are wholly designed to fight.

“Combined with a tiny general population in which even minor personnel losses were felt across society, the Israeli military envisioned a tank which prioritized defensive capabilities and firepower above all else,” read the report, stating that “the construction of an entirely new class of main battle tank by Israel, a tiny country, is certainly a major achievement.”

Of course the rear-exit for the crew means the engine must go in front where it’s more vulnerable. Israel would rather save the crew to fight another day.

Via Jerusalem Post

Tyson has three accusers now

“…Dr Katelyn N. Allers of Bucknell University claimed deGrasse Tyson groped her at an event in 2009. Another woman, Ashley Watson, claimed…she quit her former job as his assistant in response to repeated inappropriate sexual advances he made toward her.

“Both allegations came to light about a year after musician Tchiya Amet claimed that deGrasse Tyson raped her when they were both graduate students. He is yet to comment on the allegations.”

I never liked this guy since he blatantly promoted global warming on his Cosmos television series. He’s too much like Bill Nye for my taste. But, then, my taste runs more to the Mr. Wizard of my childhood.

November cold so far

It usually waits in Central Texas to get cold, cold in December and then only for short periods with quick warmups. January is our winter and by mid-February it’s warming up for good.

Not this year. Freezing nights have already been here and more are expected.

No big surprise, says Martin Mlynczak of Nasa’s Langley Research Center:

Very few sunspots on the sun this year means “it could be about to get very cold very quickly…If current trends continue, it could set a new Space Age record for cold…It could happen in a matter of months.”

Oh, joy.

Via Metro

UPDATE:  We’ve been spared the snow so far. We rarely get snow.