Space

Category archives for Space

Jules Verne at Disneyland

Though I really enjoyed my late 70s childhood visits to Disneyland and Disneyworld, I am no friend of disnification, and I’ve always seen the Paris Disneyland as a bit of a joke. But my mom wanted to treat my kids to a visit last week, and so I came along too. The Paris Disneyland has…

The wonderful Curiosity rover on Mars has been much in the news lately, but let’s not forget about the previous rover generation! Opportunity landed on Mars nine Earth calendar years ago today on 25 January, and it still works fine. Its mate Spirit was mobile on the Red Planet for over five years and then…

Jack Parsons (1914-52) was a rocketry pioneer, a science fiction fan and a deeply committed occult follower of the aged Aleister Crowley. I recently read the 2004 edition of John Carter’s biography of the man, Sex and Rockets. The Occult World of Jack Parsons. Despite such promising material, it’s not a very engaging or well-written…

The Curiosity rover / Mars Science Laboratory has landed safely on Mars and is returning data! So now we have two rovers on Mars again, Opportunity and a new one of unprecendented size and instrument sophistication. Curiosity has a laser gun that allows it to measure emission spectra at a distance, an instrument that allows…

Oldest Human-Made Object in Space

The recent launch of the Curiosity Mars rover has quietly broken the record for oldest human-made object in space, and instantly pulled numismatics, the study of coinage, into the Space Age. Prior to the launch, the oldest human-made object in space was the Vanguard 1 satellite, which was launched in 1958 and operated until 1964.…

Dear Reader, remember the remote-controlled Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity? How long is it since the last time you thought of them? Opportunity landed on Mars eight Earth calendar years ago today, and it still works fine! Its mate Spirit was mobile on the Red Planet for over five years and then functioned as a…

The Curiosity rover, a science robot the size of a car, is on its way to Mars where it will use a new landing system and hopefully spend several fruitful years trundling about. One of the coolest instruments on it is a laser gun coupled with a spectrometer: Curiosity can zap a rock from a…

Comet Tempel 1 Re-Visited

Recently my mind has been blown twice. First by listening to the first four songs on Funkadelic’s acid-drenched 1970 album Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow. Then by studying the above picture. It’s comet Tempel 1. Up close in interplanetary space. And it’s been visited twice by different space probes: first Deep Impact…

Dear Reader, remember the remote-controlled Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity? How long is it since the last time you thought of them? Spirit landed on Mars seven Earth calendar years ago today, Opportunity on 25 January — and at least Oppy still works fine! Spirit has sadly been stuck on the edge of a small…

Update 13 December: Florian at Astrodictum Simplex has translated the whole entry into German. Thank you, Florian! Update 21 December: German pop-sci web zine Scinexx reports on the poor status of the impact hypothesis and refers to this blog entry. They also mention a really weird idea of the CIRT’s that I hadn’t heard about:…