What? No new posts in 2012? Doc. F., hangs his head in shame.
A superbly written piece by Denise Chow, of SPACE[dot]com, based on Texas State researcher’s trip to Lake Geneva’s Villa Diodati (some vacation) that is — if you believe Mary Shelley actually wrote the novel Frankenstein — in the first place.
“…a long-standing controversy over whether the account is true, or if the author took some liberties…”
Many ‘modern scholars’ doubt Mary Shelley even wrote the Novel at all. This in spite of the fact it was submitted to the publishers in her own handwriting. The fact is; Mary was a gifted copyist, taking dictation from her literary parents, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin.
True enough, the original text of Frankenstein is definitively in Mary Shelley’s handwriting, but this is no argument for her authorship, because she often acted as scribe for Percy Bysshe Shelley, her husband and probable author of the novel.
Ad to this the fact, that none of her other published works come even close to the genius of Frankenstein, and you have a greater mystery than — was the Moon shining through her window on the night of her supposed monstrous inspiration’s birth?
see also: Frankenstein’s Moon
Now that the Space Shuttle Program has concluded; ‘safeing‘ of the three remaining operational craft, Endeavour, Discovery, and Atlantis, (Columbia and Challenger suffered loss of vehicle and crew) (shuttle Enterprise, never flew into space) dismantling of the orbiters OMS pods, and storage of the vehicles occupies what’s left of the NASA shuttle workforce, and astronaut corps.
Also, in this photo: Mobile Launcher Platform, Crawler-transporter can be see. (upper left)
Major questions remain; e.g., what is to become of the manned space program, Constellation, and the Ares I rocket? Decommissioning and demolition of Launch Complex 39B, is already underway.
NASA is going ahead with plans to bring down the fixed and rotating service structures at pad 39B, even though the Ares I rocket and the entire Constellation program are being axed.
see also: Kennedy Space Center – Google Maps
Uncertainty and criticism.
A combination of engineering obstacles and a trillion dollar budget short-fall, conspired to doom NASA’s Constellation program, including the Ares V, all effectively canceled, in October 2010, by the passage of the 2010 NASA authorization bill.
“It’s a very dynamic time, and a lot of folks aren’t real comfortable with all the uncertainties… None of us are.” –Peggy Whitson, Chief Astronaut, Johnson Space Center
Obama’s 2011 budget request eliminated the Constellation’s rocket, crew capsule, and the Ares I man-rated and Ares V heavy-lift vehicles. In their place it; funnels billions of dollars to ‘new spaceflight technologies‘, and outsources to commercial firms, the task of ferrying astronauts to low-Earth orbit.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) says that under Obama’s strategy “America’s decades-long dominance of space will finally come to an end.”
The Lab, wonders about what NASA has already spent developing these new systems.
- $9 billion into the development of a new rocket, Ares I, and a new spacecraft, the Orion.
- Terminating the program and closing out contracts will cost $2.5 billion more.
Will the R&D transfer to private sector contractors or be shelved?
Elon Musk, an American engineer, and entrepreneur, is best known for co-founding PayPal, and SpaceX, and is the original investor in Tesla Motors.
“The problem with Constellation was that success was not one of the possible outcomes…”
Of course, he would say that. Musk, who funded the first viable production electric car–the Tesla Roadster–is designing a private successor to the Space Shuttle, designated the F9/Dragon.
Absent the shuttle, and budgetary realities aside, what if anything, has really changed? NASA will still oversee the astronaut corps, all-be-it with significantly reduced numbers of active duty astronauts. The space agency will still be in charge of outsourcing; something they’re all ready quite familiar with. True, the names of the spacecraft have certainly changed, but except for a slip in the time-line, the mission goals remain the same, i.e., regular trips to LEO, the ISS, developing new craft and technology, a manned mission to an asteroid, and then–on to Mars.
What have we learned?
Anxious astronauts and Washington politicos not withstanding; The Lab concludes; the US will remain a space-faring nation, but not before some much needed house keeping, and prioritizing.
Keep watching the skies!
[developing story... stay tuned]
see also: NASA Announces New Homes for Space Shuttle Orbiters After Retirement, 2 NASA Space Shuttles Meet Nose-to-Nose, Launch pad demolition paves way for uncertain transition, Astronaut Corps Shrink as Shuttles Stop
Posted in exploration, man in space, NASA, space, technology | Tagged Constellation, Elon Musk, F9/Dragon, Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Orion, pad 39B, Space Shuttle, spaceflight, SpaceX | Leave a Comment »
The ‘Lab’ was somewhat disappointed by early NASA’s Dawn spacecraft remote viewing image of protoplanet Vesta; viewed from a distance of 26,000 miles (41,000 kilometers); away from the 530 kilometers (330 mi) wide asteroid.
A large file was discovered on the Wikipedia entry for Vesta, but it lacked that snappiness. Into Photoshop it went and out came this ‘enhanced image. ‘
For your comparison: the original, not enhanced image.
After processing by Frankensteam’s Lab.
In the words of Richard C. Hoagland, of Enterprise Mission fame:
- The amazing visions of “an artificial Vesta”
- game changer
- geometric shapes that indicate ruins
- station built by a Type 2 civilization
A new video shows a UFO that appeared to witnesses “as bright as a second sun” crossing the skies over the ECETI Ranch in Trout Lake Washington on the evening of Monday, June 27, 2011. The event was just one in a series of ongoing sightings that occurred during the previous four nights, captured in both visible light and infrared night vision using a stereo camera imaging system. The video also shows lights on Mt. Adams accompanied by mysterious flights over the peak, a UFO that disappears in mid-air while flying in clear skies, witnesses using lights to engage luminous vehicles, orbs swarming around a low-flying UFO and incredible acceleration when what appears to be an inter-dimensional spaceship makes a rapid exit.
London UFO–is it real?
A new viral video making the rounds on the Internet purports to show what’s been dubbed a “mothership” and at least three separate smaller alien spacecraft filmed in the skies over London.
The most famous video (which was taken anonymously and is one of two or three versions in circulation) shows a large glowing white oval moving in and out from behind clouds over the course of about 20 seconds, and then zooming off, with three white dots also making an appearance. — Space.com