Sunday, March 28, 2004

X43A Experimental Flight Success!


The X43A experimental vehicle is designed to test hypersonic flight technology. Saturday's successful test took place off the California coast.
An Example of Why This Election Matters
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which would prosecute, in cases under federal jurisdiction, an attack on a pregnant woman and her unborn child as an attack on two persons. The measure passed on a vote of 61-38. One of the 'No' votes was that of Senator John Kerry. President George W. Bush is eager to sign the bill into law.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Old Media Echo Chamber
In this week's Space Review, Dwayne Day explains the sloppy journalism behind the common impression conveyed by the Old Media that President Bush is proposing to spend 'a trillion dollars' on 'a mission to Mars'. One more example of why to take what you learn from the Old Media (formerly the 'mainstream media') on any significant public issue with more than a few grains of salt.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Feast of the Annunciation

Link from Knights of Columbus, Artist not listed

The Word being made flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit. In our current times, this feast highlights the value of human life, and is often marked as the Day of the Unborn Child.
Space Commission Hearings

The President's Space Commission held its third public hearing session yesterday and today in Atlanta. A highlight was testimony by space entrepreneurs on the need to engage the private sector in space activities. A reminder that the commission is soliciting public input on its web site (Click on the 'Contact Us' button.).
The Shores of Mars
Catching up with a busy week which featured the historic announcement that scientists have conclude there was an ancient sea where the rover Opportunity is now studying the Martian surface.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Next step for SETI
As Project Phoenix has concluded, an announcement of funding for the more advanced Allen Telescope Array.
St Joseph's Day
Today is the feast day of my patron saint. (Since my middle name is Patrick, I have a sort of double-header this week for patron saints.)

Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession were left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power I fly unto you and beg your protection. Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me. Amen.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

"So Many Stars"
SETI Institute scientist Pete Backus, a good friend from my California days, reflects on the conclusion of Project Phoenix, which recently completed its final observing campaign at the Arecibo radiotelescope in Puerto Rico, in articles here and here. Pete assures us that the search has only just begun.
Vice President Cheney gets to the point...
...on the threat of terrorism in the world, and challenges Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's consistency and credibility on security issues. The text of the VP's speech is here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Expelling snakes from DC
On this St. Patrick's Day, I'm happy to report that two of Washington, DC's most notorious abortion clinics, Hillcrest NW & Hillcrest SE have closed down, apparently due to staffing shortages and many prayers. (I've often joined the group praying the Rosary on Saturday mornings at Hillcrest, NW over the past three years.) Thanks be to God!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Artist unknown, Link by Catholic Forum

Catholic Forum provides descriptions of St. Patrick here and here.

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Pope John Paul II's Role in History
Michael Novak marks another milestone in JPII's papacy in this National Review article.
A Distant World
A distant icy world further blurs the distinction between the planet Pluto and smaller objects beyond the realm of the planets. The newly discovered object, named 'Sedna', from the name of a sea goddess among Arctic peoples, was found and characterized by a combination of ground and space-based observatories.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Looking Deep into the Past

The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft.
One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge.

Psalm 19:2-3

The Hubble Space Telescope's Ultra-Deep Field imagery was released today, showing humankind's deepest view in space and time of the universe to date. The image includes light emitted from objects when the universe was just 400 million years old. The current age of the universe has been determined to be approximately 13.7 billion years.

Photo credit: NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team

For more background information on this awesome image, go to the NASA press release.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Everybody loves Hubble!


Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative members of Congress are speaking out to urge NASA to reconsider allowing the Hubble Space Telescope to cease operating without further servicing of some kind. A House Resolution was introduced today by Mark Udall (D-CO). Meanwhile, Senator Sam Brownback, Senate Space Subcommittee chairman, says servicing Hubble should have priority over some International Space Station (ISS) tasks. Proponents say some unconventional approaches could address Shuttle safety concerns.
Mars once 'drenched' in water.
The report and a plethora of other articles linked at

Monday, March 01, 2004

This is becoming a really interesting week.
First day of the tenth annual 'March Storm' on Capitol Hill organized by ProSpace is going real well. In a blessing of fortunate timing, 'Stormers' are able to add encouragement for passage of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 on the House floor this Thursday. The bill will establish a regulatory environment which will enable the growth of a commercial human spaceflight industry.

While not a part of the ProSpace agenda, the buzz picked up from some Hill staffers is that there is a serious effort afoot to save the Hubble Space Telescope from early demise. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, NASA is set to announce 'significant findings' from Mars Tuesday afternoon.