Tag Archives: nasa

NASA Set For Big Return Following Obama Re-Election

Now that the election is finally (finally!) over, NASA has started to slowly unveil its future plans, secure in the knowledge that a president who isn’t totally ass-backwards on science is sitting in the White House for another four years.

I’ll give it to you in Gnomish.

Phase 1: Get probes up on the moon to look for water. We already know it’s there because NASA bombed the moon back in 2009 and unearthed rather a lot of it. Turns out that parts of the lunar subterranean are wetter than parts of Earth, such as the Sahara. Before you say “well, duh” keep in mind that this is the moon we’re talking about here.

Phase 2: Land some dudes on an asteroid, presumably to take a closer look at future mining possibilities before the private sector establishes its monopoly. There’s also that mothership buzzing around that really needs to be shot down.

Phase 3: Build the Newt Gingrich lunar colony on the far side of the moon, where A) no one can see it, just to troll moon landing-deniers even further, and B) to give college stoners another reason to throw on Dark Side of the Moon.

Phase 4: Construct new stations at the Lagrange points to facilitate our new moon base and further fiddly-pokery around the rest of the solar system. Mass Effect was right!

Phase 5: Get Your Ass To Mars! If the unexpectedly-long lifespan of Opportunity was any indication (eight years and counting!) Curiosity will undoubtedly still be roaming around by the time we get there, probably quite lonely. Hang in there little buddy.

strong bad moon
Strong Bad has already beaten us there, unfortunately.

Phase 6: ???

Phase 7: Profit!

Before you start packing your bags and flipping the bird to all the landlubbers you can’t wait to leave behind on Earth, keep in mind that all of this will still likely take two or three decades to accomplish. Unless that crazy Mars-based reality show actually takes off, in which case, enjoy your deathtrap, ladies!

It is, of course, really nice to see that the wheels are in motion at all. That said, if the old Soviet Union is ever going to break out of its zombie slumber, now would be a great time.

Source: Space. (Spaaaaace!)

Hear The Earth Sing From Space

That other sound you’re hearing right now is hundreds of new age musicians cutting samples.

Quoth The Verge:

NASA has released a recording of a phenomenon called chorus, which consists of radio signals caused by plasma waves found in our planet’s radiation belts.

“This is what the radiation belts would sound like to a human being if we had radio antennas for ears,” explained Craig Kletzing, from the University of Iowa, who says that the new recording is “one of the clearest examples” of chorus so far.

What strikes me the most about this are all the chirping noises, almost like the sound of crickets at nightfall. I always imagined that if the Earth had a “sound” of its own, it would be something from nature, so it’s an oddly reassuring feeling to be right about that.

Give it a listen and see what you think. Just hold off on the dubstep remixes, okay?

Well, if not crickets, then perhaps the Earth sounds remarkably close to something off a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album.

I wonder what the radiation belts of other celestial bodies sound like? We may never find out in our lifetimes, but I figure some of them would be quite different. If Earth sounds like a field of crickets, imagine the intensity of a much larger gas giant. Jupiter in particular could be deafening.

Raise your skinny fists like antennas to heaven…

Source: The Verge / Image: NASA