Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This is a good time to be alive

I get a lot of science stuff in my news feeds. There's been a lot going on and I'm not sure everyone is as excited as I am about what is right around the corner.

  • The impossible drive I posted on this subject a while ago, but it bears repeating. NASA has tested the propellantless drive and even made a few improvements. They added magnetic dampeners and cut outside interference to almost nil, and they still got some thrust out of it. They don't know why it works, but it does. The EM drive still needs to be peer reviewed, but Get this: It works by breaking Newton's laws. You know, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? This has the potential to cut down our flight time to other planets in our system. This article explains how it can be done. Imagine: Mars in 70 days. A 90 day stay. A 70 day return.  Two hundred and thirty days round trip. Astronauts could fly to Mars and be home for Christmas. 
  • Speaking of rockets, a private space company called Space X had a Falcon 9 rocket land. Rockets are at the most basic level, inverted pendulums. Having one launch and land successfully? First time ever. Oh, and they're going to do it again.
  • We're going to Europa! We're going to Europa! This is the only time I want to hear; 'Drill, baby, drill!'
  • From time to time you hear about Cassini, the spacecraft floating around Saturn, taking lots of pictures and doing science stuff. Now Jupiter is getting it's turn in the spotlight. In six months the Juno spacecraft and it's color camera will arrive in the Jovian system.
There's more, but I can't find it right away. I'm also fighting a serious desire to pass out. Tomorrow I'll be driving to the south side of town. 4:30 comes pretty early in these parts.

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