Real Science

Putin Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: The Next Space Taxi Generation

Republibot 4.0's picture

In the increasingly acrimonious relationship between the US and Russia--which is looking more and more like a nasty divorce case with each passing day--the fate of the US involvement with the International Space Station has been cast into doubt, with the US balking at paying the Russians $71 million each time we send an astronaut up on a Russian Soyuz.


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Real Science: Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

Mama Fisi's picture

I usually don't turn in to bed before 11 PM--trying to go to sleep any earlier just results in an hour of staring at a ceiling I can't see, waiting for the Sandman to beat me to death.  Sunday night was no different...well, not quite.  Shortly after I moved the Chihuahua and got settled under the covers, the gap around the shade on the bedroom window flickered brilliantly for a few seconds.  I assumed it was lightning, and thought no more about it.


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Real Science: NASA Feathers Back Estimate on New Rocket

Mama Fisi's picture

I found this article this morning, ironically whilst drinking my coffee from a NASA cup.  The estimate for the debut of the new heavy-lifting rocket, by which NASA hopes to reach Mars, is being pushed back from 2017 to 2018, in order for the space agency to be "70% sure" of its success.


http://news.msn.com/science-technology/nasa-says-new-heavy-lift-rocket-debut-not-likely-until-2018-1


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It Figures (Real Science Dept.)

Republibot 4.0's picture

Well, apparently it's not bad enough to be descended from apes, or even tree shrews.  Scientists have recently found a 500 million year old fossilized jawless fish that may be the ancestor of all vertebrates.  It figures we'd be descended from bottom-feeders.


http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/tiny-fish-may-be-ancestor-nearly-all-living-vertebrates-n129101?ocid=msnhp&pos=6

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Unfavorable Weather Delays Test of NASA "Flying Saucer."

Mama Fisi's picture

For the "RealScience" file:  NASA has had to scrub a test launch of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator due to weather conditions at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawai'i.  The system will send a saucer-shaped landing unit up on a balloon, then deploy a rocket to raise it to where Earth's atmosphere approximates that of Mars, in order to test whether the new braking syatem will work for vehicles bringing multiple-ton payloads to Mars.


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R2's Day: Real Science Timewaster!

I have been working pretty hard behind the scenes here to add some long overdue functionality to the site (and it will also change the way the site looks... hopefully for the better.   

In the meantime, here is a phenominal time waster.  It's a side scrolling scale map of the solar system where the Moon is one pixel.  It's seriously cool,  but it will require at least fifteen minutes of your precious, precious time....

 

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Earthrise, from Apollo VIII

Republibot 4.0's picture

Here's an absolutely gorgeous and moving video recreating the capturing of the iconic earthrise image taken by the astronauts aboard Apollo 8, 45 years ago.  According to the chatter recorded in the capsule, they very nearly didn't get the picture.  It was literally a lucky shot, and you can share in their excitement as they frantically fumble around for some color film for the camera as the capsule rotates above the lunar surface.



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Real Science: A Sensitive Bionic Hand

Republibot 4.0's picture

I just stumbled across an article describing a new prosthetic arm which enables its wearer to have a restored sense of touch.  It's still under development, but the technology is very encouraging.


You can read more about it here: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/new-bionic-hand-restores-sense-touch-n22891?ocid=msnhp&pos=2


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Real Science: A Titanic Amount Of Gas

Republibot 4.0's picture

Now that all the Who-pla has died down, we can get back to talking about Real Science.

Indications from the Cassini mission show that Saturn's moon Titan appears to look very similar to Earth, with seas, continents, weather, and land features carved by erosion. However, on Titan, which is far too cold for water to flow, the liquid is made of hydrocarbons--methane, mostly, and in such quantities that, if we were able to bring it to Earth, there would not be enough oxygen to burn it all.

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