Tag Archives: Satellite

Freefall Into/Blast Out Of . . . The Clouds

Not all that much to talk about today, dudes.

Not when you’ve got such an amazing photo to showcase.

A skydiver freefalling towards Earth managed to photograph a rocket blasting its way towards space. The Delta II rocket, carrying a satellite into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc in California, USA, was snapped by Staff Sgt. Eric Thompson while he was plummeting towards Earth. He perfectly captured the silhouette of a falling instructor and pupil with the rocket blasting off into space behind them in the distance. Staff Sgt. Thompson was the instructor with the 532nd Training Squadron based out of Vandenberg. Picture: Caters
A skydiver freefalling towards Earth managed to photograph a rocket blasting its way towards space. The Delta II rocket, carrying a satellite into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc in California, USA, was snapped by Staff Sgt. Eric Thompson while he was plummeting towards Earth. He perfectly captured the silhouette of a falling instructor and pupil with the rocket blasting off into space behind them in the distance. Staff Sgt. Thompson was the instructor with the 532nd Training Squadron based out of Vandenberg.
Picture: Caters

 

How cool is this?

Very, very cool.

Some skydivers were headed down to the deck and, just as they were going down, a rocket was blasting off, through the clouds and headed into space.

It’s definitely a moment of wonder and beauty.

Thanks, Staff Sargeant Eric Thompson.

You made our day.

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Best Of. . . Space

by Richard

I just can’t get enough of these National Geographic photography galleries. The fact that I’m a certified space wacko enthusiast has might just have a little to do with my love for these pictures, dudes. Only a little, though.

I’m pretty sure these pictures are certifiably and objectively wonderful. I mean, just take a look at this.

That’s an unretouched photograph of the Betsiboka River in northwesternMadagascar flows into Bombetoka Bay, which in turn empties into the Mozambique Channel, as seen in a satellite picture released by the European Space Agency in August. That, dudes, is a thing of beauty that we’d never be able to see if we weren’t able to project our footprint out at least a little way into space.

Now, let’s take a look out into space, rather than going to space and taking a look back in.

I’ll let the copywriters from National Geographic give you the lowdown on this one.

In March astronomers using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory released a new picture of the celestial “pom-pom” known as the Tycho supernova remnant.

The puffy cloud of debris is all that’s left of a massive star that exploded some 13,000 light-years away. Light from the powerful blast reached Earth in 1572, making the object briefly visible to the naked eye, even during the day.

The new composite picture shows low-energy x-rays in red and high-energy x-rays in blue. It also reveals, for the first time, bright x-ray stripes—seen in white along the right edge of the remnant—supporting theories that supernovae are sources of high-speed particles known as cosmic rays.

How awesome is this? Very. Also, Tycho is known as a zombie star. Yeah, really. Go here to find out why.

I’ll be back soon with more.

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Attack Of The Space-Laser Janitor

by Richard

In case you dudes don’t know this, Earth is orbited by a whole lot of our trash. That is, we send satellites up to orbit Earth and, eventually, they break down and no longer perform their function. Since we can’t retrieve them and we don’t want to send them crashing down willy-nilly any old where, they get left in orbit.

These dead satellites in orbit, along with all the other space junk and detritus we’ve left up there, all pose navigational hazards and very real dangers for the astronauts working in low-Earth orbit.

Well, some smart dudes who published a recent paper, have an idea what to do about that. Basically, they want to shoot lasers at the dead space junk.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with using lasers to deorbit space junk. It’s people using lasers to measure the distance to the moon. It’s just such a very cool picture that I had to include it.

No, anyway, these dudes want to shoot lasers at the space junk to slow it down in its orbit. Yeah, light can actually do that sort of thing.

It’s actually a pretty simple idea – laser pulses fired at a piece of debris act as a force which slow it down, thus changing its orbit and eventually making it fall into the atmosphere and safely burn up. It was first proposed 15 years ago but it’s only recently that technology has advanced to a stage that it could be built.

Because we’d be constantly controlling it, we could determine where the space junk would deorbit so that it could splash down somewhere people aren’t. You know, we’d probably really had to have a satellite crash down in, say, New York or Tokyo.

The authors of the paper say this sort of thing will need a lot of international cooperation, not because of how difficult it would be to construct, but to avoid the appearance that building a giant laser gun isn’t actually them building a giant laser gun to, you know, rain destruction down on the puny mortals who dare question their divine right to rule.

You know. Like you do.

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