This week, we have news of the Phoenix Lander’s astonishingly successful landing on Mars which brought a little piece of Trek along with it to the red planet. This plus how you can go to the moon, orbital skydiving world records, some purported”real” alien footage, and our gadget of the week: Sony Video Glasses! Read on!
Star Trek Lands on Mars!
Hopefully, you have heard the news of the Mars Phoenix Lander’s unprecedented success in its landing on the red planet last Sunday. Well, a little piece of Trek landed along with it. Nestled among the many scientific instruments on the craft is a silica-glass DVD which includes a digital library of literature and art, relating to the Red Planet and its unique influence on our culture and is designed to last hundreds — if not thousands — of years. Among the art is a copy of the Enterprise-D dedication plaque from Star Trek: The Next Generation, since that ship’s home was the planet Mars. Another piece in the collection is a magazine cover painting by Trek illustrator Rick Sternbach. There is also a "Mars Radio" portion of the disc which includes narration by Patrick Stewart. Read More!
One of the first images take by Phoenix. You can see the DVD!
Go to the Moon with LRO
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), slated to launch November 24, 2008, is calling for people to send their names to the moon! Names will be collected and placed onboard the LRO spacecraft for its historic mission bringing NASA back to the moon. You will also receive a certificate showcasing your support of the mission. The deadline is June 27, 2008 for the submission of names, so don’t wait. Thanks, Eric Enderle for the tip! Read More!
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Orbital Skydiver Attempts World Record
French “orbital” skydiver Michel Fournier’s bid for a record-breaking parachute jump from Earth’s stratosphere was aborted Tuesday when the balloon that was to carry him into the far reaches of the sky slipped away from his flight crew. There was no immediate word on how the effort was botched, but his flight crew was attempting to recover the balloon, according to his official Web site. Fournier, 64, planned to start his “Big Jump” at 40 kilometers above the Earth’s surface and land safely — a risky proposition that French authorities have barred on their territory. Thanks to Eric Cheung for the tip!
Fournier intends to break orbital skydiving record
Space Station Toilet Breaks + Guinan has bad advice
The International Space Statoin’s vacuum-based toilet is on the fritz. It is working for ‘number two’ but not number one (if you know what I mean). For that the crew have rigged a ‘urine bypass’ (there’s a phrase we never Geordi use) and have also used the toilet on the Soyez capsule docked with the station. The problem appears to be a Russian built pump and a replacement is headed up with the Shuttle launch this week. On a discussion about this on The View former Star Trek The Next Generation actress Whoopi Goldberg offered the following unhelpful advice: "It’s a million dollars. Stick your butt out the window!"
In space, no one can hear you flush
“Real” Alien Footage?
Jeff Peckman from the Extra Campaign is trying to prove to the world that aliens exist. In fact, they’ve already made their debut appearance on Earth! An infrared video taken by a colleague of Peckman, which will be shown to the media at a later time, is said to prove once and for all the existence of alien life on Earth. Do we buy it? Probably not, but it’s worth a look. See what he has to say in the video below, and see Science Quickies for more news the Extra Campaign is stirring up.
UPDATE: Here it is
Peckman has now shown his video to the press, but he is waiting to reveal it to the public in a future documentary. However an image has been released (below). Read the report at the Denver Post.
Gadget of the Week: Sony Video Glasses
Touted by engadget as the device that will make everyone "Star Trek chic", Sony’s Video Glasses which can show full-color video images may just take us one step closer to looking like Geordi La Forge. The prototype supports a QVGA resolution, weighs 120g, is 3mm thick at the lens, and has a contrast ratio of 50:1. The glasses use a proprietary holographic waveguide and an optical engine made up of a LED light source and a transparent LCD panel.
Not quite as sleek as a VISOR
Quote of the week
‘Star Trek’ was on TV, and I was a huge fan of it, so that stated my dream of really wanting to go up there and work there as an astronaut.
– Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide,
who is schedule to launch on the Shuttle Discovery this weekend
Here’s a warp-speed look at science tid-bits that didn’t quite make the cut, but nonetheless merit mention.
- Forecast Looks Bright for Shuttle Launch
- Microsoft goes multi-touch
- Strange ring found circling dead star