Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Twenty-First Century Vehicles

Depictions of crewed vehicles in our current century. Some flight-proven, some under testing or completely hypothetical.

Touring the Solar System

A poster depicting all of the robotic explorers of our Solar System.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


A sketch (colored magic marker?) by Robert McCall of a lunar colony. I recall a bunch of these appearing in a magazine (newspaper Sunday supplement?) in the 1970's.


David Hardy takes us to Enceladus. A plume in the foreground, Saturn dominates the sky.


Michael Carroll depicts the Galileo orbiter on approach to Jupiter, passing the small "potato moon" of Amalthea.

Return Journey

Artwork by Pat Rawlings showing private and government space stations in orbit around the Moon and a Earth-bound shuttle heading home.

Entry Interface

Uncredited art from 1968 showing the Apollo Command Module re-entering the atomosphere.

Dream Mighty Things

The SLS, Blue Glenn and now the ever-growing SpaceX family.

What's Up in the Solar System?

What's up in the solar system in terms of robotic exploration for October? (More than a few days behind in my posting, like much of my life right now.)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Quest for the Homeworld

An article talking about E.C. Tubb and his most famous series: Dumarest of Terra. Stretching well over thirty (relatively thin) books, short on character, long on fantastic ideas, the series contributed to GDW's SF-RPG Traveller.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Durable Good

Here is a venerable ("old ass" give me a break) Commodore 64 that has been in use for over twenty-five years.

Now that is a durable good (says the man who still has a slide rule collection).

Wait! No dust cover on the keyboard? What?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oblique Tools

Can a tool for musicians be of use to a critic of food? Apparently, yes.

Also worth reading for the description of what happens in a restaurant when the critic is recognized.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hide and Seek

We watched as it landed. We watched as it tried to explore. We waited and listened when contact was lost. Now, as the ESA Rosetta comet probe reaches the end of mission (and will itself terminate on the same body), comet lander Philae has been located on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.


What's this? Oh, nothing. Just the sounds of aurora from another planet.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016


So what's happening in the solar system this month? Emily Lakdawalla brings us the news. One mission to end after a success, but 19 still active!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Forgotten Voyager of a Sideshow

Way back when, we were going back to the Moon. And then not. And then yes. And then no. And so on.

Luckily, on one of the up cycles, we launched several probes to enhance our knowledge of our neighbor, in preparation for one of those (cancelled) plans to return. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the cornerstone of the latest series of probes is still going and has had its mission extended.

So, what next. LRO? Here's a list of targets and why they are the cornerstone of this mission extension.

Maybe someday we'll return to the Moon. Maybe some day we'll realize we can afford a lot more missions than we currently have (maybe we'll reduce spending in other areas?). If so, the LRO and others will have helped to pave the way back.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

This Is Me, Jack Vance

Happy birthday to one of my favorite authors, Jack Vance. Yes, you can see the chips of wood pulp throughout his writing, but very few write with his eye towards character interplay, odd costumes and customs, plots of vengeance, humor, mystery and more.

(Go look for the story of the houseboat project between Jack Vance, Poul Anderson and Frank Herbert.)