Friday, December 31, 2004

Space 2004

The Year 2004 was not a great year but certainly not bad. The Shuttle flight still grounded with no sure date about when it will fly again. The ISS still has no enhancements, actually its disintegrating with new parts needed. The Expedition teams are doing a great job maintaining it. But for the first time they had to leave ISS empty to fix it. The Progress and Soyuz with the help of the Russian agency are really helping them sustain.
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/
exp9_spacesuit_fix_040824.html
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/exp9_walkwrap_040701.html

The year also saw the successful completion of Mars Rovers which actually found evidence of water on the planet. Its still finding us new things and exploring new Martian horizon and still going on
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/

StarDust rendezvousing with Wild 2 comet trying to find the structure of comet and trying to find evidence of our life .. panspermia

http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news100.html

We also saw the destruction of the Genesis spacecraft which was bringing in Sun Samples.. which would have helped us know how our solar system was formed.
http://www-curator.jsc.nasa.gov/curator/genesis/

Stopping the servicing of Hubble Space Telescope was another big blow to the science mission. Hubble has given us some of the most incredible images of our universe and still going strong with its Ultra high field photograph. I am sure they will come up with something to restore it.

http://hubblesite.org/
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/
releases/2004/07/

Another great scientific triumph was the launch of Gravity-Probe B spacecraft. This experiment was on paper for the past 30 years and only now we had the technology to go ahead with it. It is designed to prove 2 of Einstein's general relativity theory, the frame dragging effect and the geo-delectic effect. Would definately be interested in their outcomes. The most ingenious research.. For details
http://einstein.stanford.edu

But the limelight of this year goes to the Ansari X-prize winner SpaceShip one and its creator .. Scaled Composites owner Burt Rutan. It ws the first privately funded spacecraft to touch space. It has a really 21st century sci-fi design but its most ingenious quality is the feather effect used for reentry. Reentry is supposed to be the most strenuous task and SpaceshipOne did it with style. It will probably take a decade to perfect it for private travel, but it still the most marvelous feat

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/AirShows/SpaceShipOne2004/
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/10/04/
spaceshipone.attempt.cnn/

things to look forward to --

Cassini is just getting started and in some time will show us some real incredible things that Saturn hold inside it. Also the Hugyens probe which is supposed to find out whether Titan is baby Earth.
Also keep track of the Visions for Space Exploration headed by NASA. That may be interesting and t/Space by Burt Rutan ..

Have a great New Year night and see you next year







Monday, December 27, 2004

Stars in the sky

The night here is cold and cloudy but whenever the sky clears out, there is two celestial objects I look out for. One is the most brilliant nightwatcher.. the Moon ..
the other is the Orion constellation. Orion is more visible this time of the year then anytime. By midnight it spans the whole sky .. one end of the horizon to other. The belt of the Orion is the most beautiful sight. It represents a Greek warrior .. I guess Hercules ..
For anyone whoo wants to see it , just look out for the 3 stars in a line and a 4 star rectagle around this 3-star lining . also towards the right there are a set of 3-stars which looks like a bow . You will know you found Orion. Orion fascinated me mostly because of its mythological references. Almost all Greek literature has a reference to it. http://www.mallorcaweb.net/masm/Ori1.htm
Moon is the most romantic object in the sky. Apart from being compared to a womans face it also is most referenced in poetry and sadly in gore too.
Also for those who wake up early morning . look out for Venus . the brightest star at this point . THere are more constellations. I will just post it later

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Asteroid on Collision course

On the news . Asteroid on collision course with Earth in 2029 . I still remember the last time such an announcement was made. About a comet on collision course with Earth somewhere in 2116 . Yeah we will be long gone, but the commentary's guess it will evaporate all the water on the earth before it even hits so maybe we wont feel the worst effects because we might die of dehydration . I think though the theory is flawed because comets itself are mostly made up of ice and no none power source like the sun, so no question of evaporating the water. Though an impact may do excessive damage to earth nonetheless.
Though it might be an irony that a phenomenon that actually started life on Earth would end life. I for one am a strong believer of panspermia-- the theory that an meteoric impact most likely a comet was responsible for life on earth -- rather than the theory of we being Martians. That would justify the real interest in Near Comet missions like the Stardust mission or the CONTOUR mission or even the NEAR mission on asteroid impacts. It will be real nice to see what scientist come out with. And to all those people who think the recent Mars mission was a waste of time should consider this . These missions can open up secrets of our existence and improve our ability to defend ourselves from the skies above.. which is no less dangerous than the terrorists down here. :)
Also one more thing to add. The bible says the world will end with a rain of fire. I wonder if its the will of God we are fighting against.
Links :
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/asteroid_risk_041224.html

Friday, December 24, 2004

Space Blog

All events happening in space science will be here .

Just a way to put some of the most interesting things for you to read and enjoy :)