Yes, you (apparently) read that headline correctly!
That NASA has been actively developing an exploration roadmap to the moon comes as no surprise to anyone who follows NASA. Their latest roadmap has been public since March of this year. However, Rubert Murdoch run WSJ decided that this was a good opportunity to attack the administration for ending the failing Bush-era Constellation Program, which had spent $10 billion in multiple redesigns and dead-end development and was found to not be ready to begin its lunar mission before 2027.
Seriously, how cool is this?
This was our first post from Mars. Here is our follow-up post.
We recently read that NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is approaching the protoplanet Vesta, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft was launched back in September of 2007.
“We often refer to Vesta as the smallest terrestrial planet,” said Christopher T. Russell, a UCLA professor of geophysics and space physics and the mission’s principal investigator. “It has planetary features and basically the same structure as Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. But because it is so small, it does not have enough gravity to retain an atmosphere, or at least not to retain an atmosphere for very long.
You see, with Dawn’s high-quality camera we will be able to see the protoplanet through not only a visible but a near-infrared spectrometer which should identify minerals on the surface. Plus there is an onboard gamma ray and neutron spectrometer that should reveal the abundance of elements including iron and hydrogen, and quite possibly water, in the soil. Dawn is also supposed to probe Vesta’s gravity with radio signals.
Hopefully when it does so it won’t see this looking back.
I heard the other day that it had come down from on high that NASA apparently had a new mission, in addition to exploring space, it was now tasked with diplomatic outreach to the Muslim world. Needless to say this announcement made the Christian, right-wing, Conservative, Republicans across the country go bug-f#cking crazy.
Once again, we find ourselves turning to our pal, fake newsman Jon Stewart to put all of this into perspective.
You are going to want to pay special attention to the clip where President Regan (during the height of the Cold War), tasking the space program with outreach to those godless commies. (Personally, I always love how Faux news forgets S#it like this.) Still, the best part of the clip comes from when Stewart compares Islam to, well, you just have to watch.
Continue reading Doing God’s work
Forget Chariots of the Gods! forget Jack Kirby’s Eternals! Forget M. Knight Shamalam!
It has just been revealed that we have been visited from the great beyond, only it isn’t what we thought it was:
The Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn has caught an interesting new view of the tiny moon Mimas.
The probe measured temperature differences across the object’s surface and produced a map that looks just like the 1980s Pac-Man video games icon.
Scientists are unsure why Mimas should display such variations but say it is probably related to the diversity of textures in the surface materials.