Oct 11 2016

We’re Going To Mars?

Apparently we’re going to Mars. Seriously. Well, soon. Check this out from President Obama (via CNN):

English: Diagram of the interplanetary traject...

English: Diagram of the interplanetary trajectory of Mars Polar Lander enroute from Earth to Mars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space,” writes the President, “sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth.”

Source: Barack Obama: America will take the giant leap to Mars – CNN.com

And if you want a job on Mars, check this out.


Mar 06 2016

Astronauts Return To Earth – Do You Think Space Travel Is Cool?

Astronauts return to Earth! That’s right, folks, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly has touched down on terra firma, along with his fellow space travelers, after spending almost a full year on the International Space Station.

The above paragraph should be read in an old-timey newsreel type of voice. That’s how I heard it when I was writing it.

Mostly, as I’ve been saying — SPACE TRAVEL! It’s awesome.

English: S99-05705 - Astronaut Scott J. Kelly,...

English: S99-05705 – Astronaut Scott J. Kelly, commander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Major Tom (OK, commander Scott Kelly) is back but NASA is apparently still working on getting to Mars. (See related links below.)

Mars. So cool.

Is anyone else excited about this? I mean obviously some people are. But are any of you folks? DaddyTips readers? Friends of DaddyTips readers? People who stumbled across this site from a search engine? Do you think space travel is cool?

When you hear “astronauts return to Earth” do you feel a little flutter in your gut? Or is it just another tidbit of news that flits by your eyes like so many digital space junk?

(Heh heh. Space junk. Sorry.)

For me, I’m happy to hear about space exploration and that it’s getting news coverage. That means that at least I’m not the only one still dreaming of hopping a flight to Mars.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is back on Earth.

Source: Scott Kelly back on Earth after nearly a year in space – CNN.com


Jul 23 2015

Earth-Like Planet Found by NASA

This is so cool. NASA has found an Earth-like planet, described as “Earth’s bigger, older cousin.”

Captain Video And His Video Rangers

This isn’t a picture of real space travel.

Read the full story at CNN.com.


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Jul 14 2015

Oh Snap, Pictures of Pluto

Guess what? Earth people (or at least devices built by Earth people, specifically people at NASA) have finally gotten close to Pluto. And they took pictures!

 

From BusinessInsider:

“People didn’t think it could be done … but it’s worked essentially flawlessly for the last nine years,” Alan Stern, principal investigator of New Horizons, said about the spacecraft and its mission on Tuesday at a NASA briefing.
For decades, the Plutonian system was the only one of the original nine planetary systems in the solar system unexplored by the space agency.
Now, NASA has become the first organization to reach the dwarf planet and its moons, and it can finally tick off that empty check box marked “Pluto.”

Usually I hope for the discovery of alien beings on other worlds. In this case, though, I kinda hope there aren’t any Plutonians. If there are, I hope they don’t mind that we demoted their world to “dwarf planet” status awhile back.

This of course assumes that the Plutonians are capable of aggressive action, and if so, are interested in attacking us. Which is not a given. The planet could be populated by super-intelligent shades of the color blue, for example. (Apologies to Douglas Adams.)

No matter what, I say GO NASA GO! YAY SPACE TRAVEL! (Remember when we said it was time to get more excited about space travel? We meant it. Yay outer space!)

Source: Humankind visits Pluto for first time – Business Insider


Jan 09 2015

What To Do When It’s Stupid Cold Outside (Tips)

Came across this article of tips about what to do when it’s stupid cold outside. It appears to be warming up a little, but it’s still cold. Really cold. Did I mention that it was cold?

WINTER 1973 - 1974 MAMMOTH by NASA/Glenn Research Center

The image above is, thankfully, not from my window. It’s a NASA pic from the 70s. Looks cool, though, right? (Ouch. Bad pun. Sorry.)

One of the tips is to wear good socks, something that is near and dear to my heart. Or, more accurately, my feet.

Stay warm! Or as warm as you can. Cuz baby, it’s cold outside.

(That’s Ricardo Montalbán, by the way. He’s awesome. The lovely lady is Esther Williams; they’re singing Frank Loesser’s Academy Award-winning song Baby, It’s Cold Outside in the film Neptune’s Daughter. Who says this isn’t the DaddyTips age of extra information?)

Image: WINTER 1973 – 1974 MAMMOTH by NASA/Glenn Research Centervia via Archive.org

18 Ways to Stay Warm (and Safe) When It’s Ridiculously Cold | NBC New York.


Aug 31 2014

More Cool Space News

Ready for more cool space news? This Gizmodo headline had me at “hello world” — NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover’s Flash Memory From 125 Million Miles Away.

NASA Opportunity Rover

How neat is that? According to Gizmodo, “NASA’s Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars… But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA’s doing a full system backup, memory wipe, and reboot. It’s just like your routine computer cleanup, just from the next planet over.”

The Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity (note to future Geek Gold Gard parents — good names for twins!) have 256MB of flash memory each.

Imagine it this way. It is the Dark Times, the days of Windows 95, 98, and (Lords of Cobol help us all) Windows ME. Eventually the computer running said operating systems becomes so filled with cruft that it is unusable. (To be fair, this happened to me recently with Windows 7, although that was more about the bloatware that came pre-installed on the laptop. But I digress.) You reformat the hard drive and re-install the OS. (In my case, after several years of this, you give up, buy a Mac, and become an iHole.)

Now imagine that you are doing something similar, but remotely. REALLY remotely. Like, you’re on Earth and the computer is on frickin’ MARS.

Remember, we promised to get more excited about space travel.

This XKCD comic was in the comments section on Gizmodo, but I’m reposting it here because (a) I can (XKCD is cool that way) and (b) it’s funny.

XKCD Spirit

NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover’s Flash Memory From 125 Million Miles Away – Gizmodo

Image via Wikipedia


Jan 26 2014

Let’s Get More Excited About Space Travel

Here’s an idea. Instead of endless reports about Justin Bieber and other mindless crap, let’s get more excited about space travel.

Captain Video And His Video Rangers

(This isn’t a picture of real space travel. It’s Captain Video and His Video Rangers. Old TV show.)

Live streaming video by Ustream

(By the way, the latest Bieber news, as of this writing, is that Usher flew to be by Justin’s side and offer emotional support or something. In case you’re curious. Who says this isn’t the DaddyTips age of having your cake and eating it too?)

On January 23, 2014, three days ago, NASA launched a Next-Generation Relay Satellite. No, not Star Trek: The Next Generation. Something real. The TDRS-L Satellite. Launched by NASA. Frickin’ NASA! And they broadcast the launch live on Ustream! And I didn’t even know! (The video is archived and embedded above. I was wrong. The video embedded above appears to be NASA’s live Ustream channel. Sorry. Here is a link to the video of the launch.)

Nobody cares. Why doesn’t anyone care? We should really care about this a lot more than we do.

Why should we care? Read more »