Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's Fun to go to the I-S-D-C!

Yes, that's a take-off of a Seventies song, but the International Space Development Conference 2008 is being held here in DC tomorrow through Sunday, and that's where I'll be.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Phoenix Makes Landfall on Mars

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Timely image of Phoenix suspended from its parachute descending to the surface taken from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Icy, patterned ground on Mars, imaged by Phoenix after landing.

The Phoenix lander arrived in the northern polar region of Mars last evening. A number of spectacular images have already been released. In a few days, controllers will start commanding the robotic lander to begin digging into the permafrost and conduct experiments on the frozen water deposited there. The results may provide indications on the possibility that microbial life was or is present on this region of Mars.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another Venture on Mars to Begin Sunday

The Phoenix lander will land on the northern polar region of Mars on Sunday. There the NASA spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, will investigate the significant presence of frozen water at this region and what it could mean for the past or present possibility of life on Mars.

Here is the Phoenix Mars Mission home page, which I've also added to my side bar.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Personhood in Colorado

A prolife group in Colorado says on Tuesday it will turn in more than enough signatures to qualify an initiative on the state's November ballot recognizing the personhood of unborn human beings from the moment of fertilization. The initiative potentially sets up a challenge to the 1973 Supreme Court decisions which imposed abortion on demand in the United States and will highlight the visibility of abortion during this year's elections for president and other offices.

Awaiting a Launch Site Decision

Orbital Sciences Corporation will shortly announce it's decision on whether its primary launch site for the Taurus II rocket will be Wallops Island, Virginia or Cape Canaveral, Florida. The vehicle will be one of those selected by NASA to demonstrate capabilities to resupply the International Space Station.

Along with my desire to see larger rockets launched from a location three hours driving distance from my residence, I think the nation could use two Atlantic coast orbital launch facilities to provide redundancy inn case of hurricane damage to either site.