Tag Archives: space-ish

How Space Science Might Have Gone

But for an accident of history, this is how space science would have been done: This is the launch a few days ago of the Compton Spectrometer and Imager, a soft gamma-ray (0.2 to 10 MeV) telescope designed to look … Continue reading

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The Human Population of Space

… is currently about six.   That is, if one adds up all the person-years spent in space by various crews, it comes to about six for recent years.  In a previous post from 2010, “The Population of Space”,  I had … Continue reading

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Ceres: the Best Place in Space?

We’ve recently learned something extraordinary about the dwarf planet Ceres, something that might make it the most habitable place in the solar system outside of the Earth: It appears to have an icy mantle 100 km thick.  That would give … Continue reading

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“The Martian”: Really Mundane SF

A few years ago Geoff Ryman, the renowned author of “Was” and “The Unconquered Country”, got sick of the tropes of science fiction.   Faster-than-light interstellar travel, aliens, and alternate realities were cheap devices that encouraged boring and lazy writing.   While … Continue reading

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“Gravity” and Retreating From Space

I was once surfing around the cable channels when I came upon a screen that was almost completely white. Almost, but not quite – slight ripples and whorls were moving slowly across it. There was hardly any sound, just a … Continue reading

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Adding Glitz to NASA: the Interstellar Probe

Hmm, what should NASA do next after the spectacular Curiosity mission?  A solar observer?  Seen that.  A lunar orbiter?  Like the ones China and India already did?  A Mars orbiter?  Like the several that are already there?    Even I … Continue reading

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The Inspiring “Pale Blue Dot” and the Clunky New Horizons

I recently came across a striking animation of Carl Sagan’s famous passage from his last book “Pale Blue Dot”: Pale Blue Dot from ORDER on Vimeo. He’s commenting on this picture, taken at his request by Voyager 1 in 1990 … Continue reading

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