Monday, March 31, 2008

Terri's Day

Today is the third anniversary of the court-imposed cruel death of Terri Schindler Schiavo. Terri's family have asked that this date be observed as a day of remembrance.

Meanwhile, Nat Hentoff takes Barack Obama to task for his comments on the 2005 congressional action on Terri's case.
When he was a professor of constitutional law, Obama probably instructed his students to research and know all the facts of a case. The reason Congress asked the federal courts to review the Schiavo case was that the 41-year-old woman about to be dehydrated and starved to death was breathing normally on her own, was not terminal, and there was medical evidence that she was responsive, not in a persistent vegetative state.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Entrepreneurial Space Developments

This was a big week for developments in the emerging commercial space industry:

- XCOR went public with the announcement of its Lynx suborbital spaceplane. The vehicle's applications could include space tourism, scientific research and helping to address the military's need for 'operationally responsive' access to space.

- A commercial agreement was announced for flying a portion of a deceased persons ashes to the lunar surface, in an expansion of an existing service that takes human ashes into space.

The Space Access 2008 conference is taking place in Phoenix, Arizona. Henry Cate has posted his first report here. Note that his final paragraph links to several other bloggers covering this conference, which brings together the leaders in the emerging entrepreneurial space industry.

Welcome Home Endeavour

Space Shuttle Endeavour returned to Florida Wednesday evening following its sixteen day mission adding to the capabilities of the International Space Station.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Have a Blessed and Happy Easter!

At daybreak on the first day of the week
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.
They said to them,
"Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day."
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb,
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.

Lk 24:1-12

For an explanation of why Easter comes so early this year, check out this article.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Entering into the Paschal Mystery

Hugh McNichol of writes about the Easter Triduum which began this evening of Holy Thursday.
For us Catholics this evening event begins recounting the events that will lead to the Cross on Good Friday, and thankfully the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. However the focus on the Eucharistic sacrifice, the partaking of the Eucharistic Bread is the event that keenly shows our Catholic identity and union.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, RIP

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the science fiction author and sci/tech visionary passed away today in Sri Lanka at age 90. Clarke was the first to propose geosynchronous orbit as the place to locate the communications satellites that have served to bring our world closer together. He is perhaps most well known as the author of the story that Stanley Kubrick made into the profoundly inspirational movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Sir Arthur was one of the major influences on those of us who are involved in trying to open up the space frontier. Look for more commentary on the major space web sites and blogs.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Artist unknown, Link by Catholic Forum

Monday is March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Celebrations have started early over the weekend. Also, since it happens to fall during Holy week this year, a rare occurrence, the Church is not liturgically observing the feast on Monday. So, be blessed, safe, and happy whenever you are celebrating Ireland's patron saint.

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.

In the spirit of the holiday, check out for webcasts of Irish music and other media direct from Ireland.

Working in Space

The STS-123 mission to the International Space Station is progressing nicely, with the addition of the logistics module for the Japanese Kibo laboratory and the work-around that has awakened the still-being-assembled Dextre robot.

Life and Politics

It's been an unbelievable week, with Spitzer, Ferraro and the Preacher (Barack Obama's, that is), but there are real issues we face. ProLife Blogs has a post explaining why John McCain is the only obvious choice when it comes to protecting human life. While his support for embryonic stem cell research is definitely not prolife, he appears open to rethinking that position. Meanwhile, the two Democratic presidential wannabees are going to ridiculous extremes to please the pro-abortion lobby.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lighting Up the Night


Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off early this morning on the STS-123 mission to the International Space Station to deliver part of the Japanese laboratory module Kibo and a Canadian robotic arm system called Dextre. The mission will last for sixteen days.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Approaching Storm

I'll be participating in the annual ProSpace March Storm on Capitol Hill next week. the issues to be presented this year include bolstering the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (space station resupply), Mitigating disastrous impacts by Near Earth Objects and promoting Space Based Solar Power as a future energy source. To learn more and to register to participate, go to this link. (Training on Sunday is a mandatory part of participation.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

McCain Has It

John McCain won the four primaries held today and Mike Huckabee gracefully announced he is dropping out and endorsing McCain. McCain delivered a strong speech defining how his positions on Iraq, the economy and other issues differ sharply from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are still in too-close-to-call races in Ohio and Texas. Here's the latest posting on the whole situation from Fox News.