category: beyond earth

NASA's Cylon Basestar

NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)

The last time I posted something about NASA there might have been ‘God’s Hand In Space’, but it seems like NASA might have struck gold. While we all know Battlestar Galactica is “fake” NASA Hubble Telescope has seems to have disproved that theory.

I would not be surprised to see a more rational explanation for this however I can only think of two:

  1. Cylon Basestar
  2. Vulcan Scout ship.

What should us common folk do? Watch Caprica! :)


Another successful event about all things Battlestar with the wonderful panel that I was part of again. This being our second time doing this panel we had much more fun this time around since the entire evening was talking about the show. We were not rushed doing other events and we still had time for Battlestar Galactica Trivia in between the major question directions.
read more ‘Galapagos Battlestar Galactica NYC Panel


There has been recent talk of extending the life of the Space Shuttle past it’s retirement date since it is one of the best vehicles to get supplies to the ISS and do other space related tasks including repairing broken satellites that are orbiting.

The Shuttle is set to retire in 2010 however with the new Ares rocket come in 2014 that means there would be a 4 year gap of us having to depend on other nations: Japan, China, and Russia. I think it would be very prudent for the Congress to approve extra funding to allow concurrent use of the Space Shuttle until 2013 along with the resources to still develop the Ares rocket at 100% development. The other altertive is to incress the funding of the Ares rocket development up ten folds or up to the level of funding (plus inflation) times two that the Apollo project got when proposed by President Kennedy to remove a 4 year gap into a 1 to 2 year gap.

But as far as I can tell, the Space Shuttle has proven itself to be a great vechile and it should not be overlooked for extending it’s life. Risking making a flaw in the Ares rocket would be costly to human life if we rush such an important project that will return us to the Moon and Beyond.


For the third time in a row, the privately funded rocket Falcon by SpaceX, has failed to reach orbit. While the launch was fine, the insertion into low-earth orbit failed and had to be blown up 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the flight. Usually I would say that the third time is the charm, but maybe we will see it on the 4th attempt.

The billionaire backer, Elon Musk, of PayPal Fame, has two more rockets left to prove that private space launches are possible. This way there will be no US gap of non-US launches to the ISS during the US Space Shuttle retirement to Orion spacecraft. I wish him the best for the next attempt and God Speed.


NASA’s 50th Birthday

Posted by Shane

Our beloved space agency turned 50 years old today. I like to personally thank the men and women behind the space effort – including employees, military officials, engineers, and contractors. Without them we would have been able to reach for the stars. (I have no doubt that we did land on the moon.) At least for me, I think they are the most incredible minds out there.

Here is to NASA and 50 more years of dedicated service to the mission of Science and Space Exploration!