Category Archives: Space

Space Elevator Redux

The space elevator “games” of yore seem to have petered out, but here’s a new Japanese experiment that may lead to something more permanent.

“The ISS experiment, dubbed Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite–Mini elevator, or STARS-Me, was devised by physicists from Japan’s Shizuoka University. It will simulate on a small scale the conditions that the components of such a system would encounter. Cameras will examine the movement of a pair of tiny “cubesats” along a 10-meter tether in a weightless environment.”

Environmentalists probably would kill any American attempt to build one, but some other country (like Japan) might get it done.

Via Instapundit

Moon landing without the flag

Saint McCain had a cute line about Woodstock: “I was tied up at the time” referring to his POW days in North Viet Nam.

Likewise on the first moon landing I was too busy patrolling in South Viet Nam to notice much about it. But Hollyweird’s excising of the planting of the American flag from its new movie about the event is pathetic.

As Twitter user Stephen Miller said we should be grateful they didn’t have Neil Armstrong take a knee.

Via Twitter

Mars landing too risky

“In “Not Close Enough, a team consisting of NASA and international astronauts sits in orbit around Mars but doesn’t get to go to the surface.  NASA has decided it’s too risky.”

The story is from a good new book Blue Collar Space by Martin Shoemaker. Wherein NASA’s fear of losing astronaut lives is explored. That fear has crippled our space program, space lawyer Laura Montgomery argues. And it makes sense. Such that our only hope to ever land on Mars or do anything else except at great expense is with commercial space, and blowhards like Elon Musk.

Via Ground Based Space Matters

That first moon landing…

…was actually today, Greenwich Mean Time, though to Americans it will always be July 20th. Me, I was patrolling in Viet Nam during the landing and so was too preoccupied to notice until the the next day.

Revulsion over the war and Watergate killed lunar exploration before its time. We keep hearing presidential promises to go back at some later date but we never have.

Via Instapundit

Mining moon ice

For oxygen and water and rocket fuel.

“We’re at the tipping point of a new era in space commerce, where private industry, NASA and international collaborators are joining together to realize the dream of launching humanity into the solar system,” said Hunter Williams, a Colorado School of Mines researcher. “There has never been a more exciting time for furthering science, turning a profit or promoting international cooperation than right now.”

It’s ten years out, but that’s shorter than previous lunar exploration plans.

Via Space dot com

Jews in Space

No, not the Mel Brooks spoof. The real one. A robot version anyway.

“If all goes well, the SpaceIL spider-like craft will give Israel entry into the exclusive club of just three nations that have so far achieved a controlled landing on the moon’s surface.”

Via Instapundit and Times of Israel

Of Owls and UFOs

I’ve never seen a UFO that wasn’t pictured or on video. Likewise I’ve never seen an owl, live, that I recall. But I was drawn to The Messengers by Mike Clelland about both, often in conjunction. The messengers are the owls and they bring mystery, before, during or after a UFO encounter.

I devoted the summer before my freshman year in high school to reading books about UFOs. Books from the public library as this was 1958 and no other sources were available. Books heartily debunked by my Air Force father who’d had some experience with Project Blue Book, a 1952 Air Force collection of thousands of sightings, mostly by pilots, mostly debunked.

The owls are another story. Clelland interviews scores of people who claim to have been abducted by the Little Gray Men and many had owl encounters at the same time. He treats them respectfully and doesn’t waste space gee-whizzing them, let alone debunking them. But it’s the owls that mystify.

Barbara Ellen had her own owl experience, though not (as far as she remembers) a UFO one. Like the others in the book, her owl’s appearance was preceded by an intense emotional time and followed, albeit months later, by profound change.

As Chelli, an Amazon reviewer, has it “It’s just the honest ‘truth’ as best as anyone can wrap their heads around, a flurry of phenomenon so pervasive, so unreal yet there it is, make of it what you will but don’t criticize ‘The Messenger’ for bringing it to you.” Indeed.