NASA wants us all to get out and see the worlds! And by way of encouragement, they have created some travel posters to showcase some of those worlds! (No word on how to actually get there, but I am sure PanAm is working something up.)
For those of you following along on Facebook, you may have noticed our fearless leader’s caveat that posts may not be as frequent due to real life commitments. We all have those and, until recently, most of us have been able to find time to post a celebration of technology fairly regularly. However, life changes and sometimes it changes due to a new life.
Unless you have been living under a rock, or perhaps have a cold empty heart devoid of emotional excitement for space adventures (coincidentally, space is also a cold empty void), you probably noticed NASA very recently conducted a successful test launch and recovery of the new Orion capsule. (Still not to be confused with this other, more atomic Orion.) Once upon a time, such tests would have been conducted using happy, energetic little monkeys, but now we live in a digital, monkey loving world, a world where we could likely take bets on who will receive sentient being legal status first, a computer or a monkey. NASA went the computer route, sending a robo-monkey to shoot video out the Orion window. Most of that was streamed ‘live’, but not the critical phase involving superheated plasma during re-entry. Luckily the digital monkey had a nice steady hand, so hit the jump and check out some plasma!
The Orbital Sciences Antares rocket is a new rocket system. During a launch last night from the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport at Wallops Island, VA, only its fifth, something failed causing this spectacular explosion. Luckily, no one was injured, but it does appear there is significant damage to the launch facility.
The explosion occurred approximately 15 seconds into the flight.
Maybe he is White Hat, using his powers for good.
Image via the Green Box.
Last week marked 58 years since a relatively unknown yet undoubtedly impressive stunt was pulled off in New York City (and this week is 56 years since it was pulled off again, but we’ll get to that momentarily). On the late evening of September 30, 1956, the young Thomas Fitzpatrick, whilst enjoying some tasty beverages in a Washington Heights barroom, found himself engaging in a bit of a friendly wager. The wager in question, according to third-hand retellings, was that Mr. Fitzpatrick could, or could not, make it back to the bar in 15 minutes from New Jersey.
Being challenged so, the only recourse was to take the trip to New Jersey, and prove it. The solution he had to this dilemma was relatively simple–‘Mr. Fitzpatrick, then 26, took a single-engine plane from the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in New Jersey and took off without lights or radio contact and landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street.
The New York Times called it a “fine landing” and reported that it had been widely called “a feat of aeronautics.”’
There were some in the city that were mildly displeased about this stunt, and Mr. Fitzpatrick was initially charged with the theft of the plane. The plane owner, perhaps out of admiration for the impressive feat of strength, declined to press charges, so instead the charges were reduced to the lesser crime of ‘landing a plane in the street’, which was (and perhaps still is) specifically against city code. Once the landing fees of $100 were paid to the city, the whole matter seemed settled.
Until just over two years later. That’s when, in another bar in the same neighborhood, Mr. Fitzpatrick now found his truthiness in question. ‘On Oct. 4, 1958, just before 1 a.m., he took again a plane from Teterboro and this time landed on Amsterdam and 187th Street in front of a Yeshiva University building after having “come down like a marauder from the skies,” in the words of Ruben Levy, the magistrate at Mr. Fitzpatrick’s ensuing arraignment. Newspapers reported that Mr. Fitzpatrick jumped out of the landed plane wearing a gray suit and fled, but later turned himself in.
Mr. Fitzpatrick told the police that he had pulled off the second flight after a bar patron refused to believe he had done the first one.’
Via the New York Times, who owns the lead image.
The aeronautical landscape is littered with the rotting shells and mylar prints of cancelled aircraft programs. Setting out to push the boundaries of man’s capability often goes hand in hand with rising costs and lengthened schedules. These two things also give opponents of said programs leverage to do away with them at their first opportunity. Such is the story of the British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2.
The passion that those who feel ‘the Apollo record is full of anomalies and inconsistencies’ still surprises me at times. The idea that it is easier to believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of folks involved with NASA and the Apollo program pulled off the greatest hoax in history and managed to keep the secret, even to this day, than it is to believe those same hundreds and thousands put forth their best effort and took risks and accomplished one of the biggest technological challenges of the last century, well it quite honestly astounds me.
Yesterday I came across a video from computer graphics company NVIDIA that purports to: “Explore the truth behind the iconic Buzz Aldrin moon landing photo. See how modern graphics innovations can shed new light on a 35-year-old conspiracy theory.
It is a piece of advertising for their new gear, but I think re-creating a 45 year old scene rock by rock digitally is quite an interesting tech accomplishment, and if they get a little bit of advertising by aiming the ad at a controversy that has arguably gained traction in the age of the internet, well there you go. The video has been on YouTube for less than a week, and the amount of comments, many of which argue very strongly against the assumptions made by NVIDIA and discussing how it in no way proves anything, are quite impressive. Even more fascinating to me, the first comment links to a site, aulis.com, that has quite the discussion about those Apollo program ‘inconsistencies’. One of the recent posts is also a discussion of how NVIDIA attempted to rope a skeptic in for exploitation, for one assumes just this video advertising campaign. But the skeptic in question was not fooled, oh no. Conspiracies within conspiracies, Egad!
Hit the just to see the video, and decide for yourself if you want to believe!