06 January 2009

News from the high frontier

So there is a lot of interesting news coming from the aerospace industry. Most of this stuff is science-nerd interesting, but that's beside the point. Here's what has recently got my rocket-senses a-tinglin'*:

- The Hubble Space Telescope, along with a bunch of other telescopes, has created the largest, most detailed image of the center of our galaxy. Sure it's false color, but it's still pretty damnit. Here it is, the center of the galaxy in all of it's glory (not actual size):

[To download a better version and read a better explanation of what you're actually seeing, go here.]

- Straight from our "My God, it's the future" desk comes a story about how astronauts should probably be steering spacecraft with their minds.

- Are you familiar at all with the concept of a space elevator? I think it's gotten enough news coverage by now that most people are at least passively aware of the idea. Anyhow, a scientist from the European Space Agency has demonstrated a solution to one of the more complicated problems with current designs - how to transfer energy to the actual climber. And he did it using a broomstick and an electric sander. Go here for a short video showing his concept. Occam's razor, anyone?

- Finally, in less scientastic, more industry-riffic(?) news, FloridaToday has an article detailing what they think will be the biggest headlines from the aerospace industry this year. It talks primarily about the importance of the decisions that the Obama administration will be making but it also discusses the final Hubble repair mission, the workers at Kennedy Space Center who will lose their jobs when the Shuttle program ends, NASA's lunar pathfinder, and a few other interesting news goodies.

I'm curious to know if anyone else actually interested in this stuff or am I talking on a dead line here? Is there any point in even wondering about that kind of stuff when you write a blog?

*I hope this statement gets taken out of context by someone.

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