Sunday, September 30, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070930

A few years ago, rabid Star Trek fan James Cawley wondered what a fourth season of the original Star Trek series would look like. He obtained the blueprints of the original set and started building the old Enterprise bridge in his barn. Then, with some other like-minded souls, he put together a pilot for the fourth season, complete with special effects (and starring, you guessed it, himself as Captain Kirk). Well, Star Trek: New Voyages became an instant hit online. Since that first show, the production values have become better and better, and the New Voyages team has attracted some of the original stars of the show in guest roles, and even got D.C.Fontana to write an episode. Today's space video of the day is the trailer for the new episode, released in August, called World Enough and Time. This episode features George Takei in a guest starring role, with a cameo by Grace Lee Whitney and the computer voice performed by Majel Barret Roddenberry. The entire episode is available on the New Voyages website.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Saturday, September 29, 2007

what the...

OK, I give up. I have been reading this comic strip for months, and I still have no clue what the heck is going on. A little help...? I mean, what's up with the flesh-eating zombies, and the angst of multitudes of characters that all look exactly like each other, and, and... arrgh.

Space Video of the Day - 070929

Today's space video shows the launch of the Dawn spacecraft, bound for the asteroids Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. I have argued before on this blog for the outright cancellation of the mission (and the firings and possible prosecution for fraud of the mission manangers, due to the enormous cost overruns and delays), but it is on it's way now. Hopefully the mission proves to be worth being nearly 40% over budget and several years late.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070926

Today's space video is a rather long one, broken up into five sections - a History Channel program called Mars: the Red Planet.






This is the Space Video of the Week. Be sure to check out the Space Video of the Day Archive

Monday, September 24, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070922

Not all rocket launches take place from the ground. On April 25, 2007, NASA launched the AIM satellite on a Pegasus rocket, which is brought to high altitude and high speed by a carrier plane before being dropped and ignited, much like Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070920

Today's space video of the day is a retrospective of the 42 year career of John Young, Orlando's favorite son and astronaut extraordinaire, which was produced by NASA on his retirement in 2004.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070918

Today's space video is actually two videos, parts 1 and 2 of a video about America's first space station, Skylab.




Space Video of the Day Archive

Monday, September 17, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070917

A week ago, the Cassini spacecraft did a flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus, giving us the clearest view yet of this strange moon. There is an equatorial mountain range circling the moon, with some mountains up to 20 kilometers tall; it almost looks like the moon was broken apart and squished back together.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070916

On September 14th, the Japanese Space Agency launched their KAYUGA probe to the moon; today's space video shows the launch of the spacecraft.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070914

In the 1920s, the Orteig prize was offered for the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, in an effort to increase research on aircraft. Won by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, the Orteig prize sparked innovation in the aircraft industry. Similarly, in 1999, the X-Prize (later the Ansari X-Prize) was a $10 million prize offered for the first team to send a craft capable of carrying passengers above 100 miles altitude twice in the span of two weeks. This was won in 2004 by Scaled Composites, and it sparked the beginnings of a suborbital launch industry that will be offering launches to paying customers before the end of the decade.

Yesterday Google and the X-Prize foundation announced the Google Lunar X Prize, the largest international prize in history, with $30 million in prizes up for grabs. The $20 million first prize is for the first team to soft-land a robot on the moon, travel at least 500 meters, and return panoramic images and video. The $5 million second prize goes to the second team to complete the task, and the remaining $5 million is for bonus prizes for such things as surviving the 14.5 day lunar night, for imaging an Apollo landing site, for travelling longer distances (ie 5 km) and/or for verifying the presence of water ice in the permanently-shaded crater bottoms on the lunar poles. The first prize is available until December 31, 2012, and the contest closes on December 31, 2014.

I am going to enter this competition (I didn't name this blog Robot Guy for no reason). Of course, I'm not going to do this all by myself, but the team I am on includes some very smart engineers, including the guy who invented the afterburner and the thrust tubes used on all supersonic aircraft today. I am very excited about this prize, and even if I don't win it will spark innovation in both the launch industry and in autonomous robotics.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070910

Today's space video of the day is the pivotal scene from the classic science fiction movie 2001: a space odyssey. Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.


Space Video of the Day Archive

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070909

One of the funnest parts of working with rockets is the really cool explosions. OK, so Rapid Unplanned Disassembly isn't the goal of most rocket launches, but it still looks really cool. Today's space video of the day is a collection of RUDs. I swear I can hear Homer Simpson's voice during some of these launches: "woohoo! d'oh! woohoo! d'oh!"


Space Video of the Day Archive

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Space Video of the Day - 070904

Today's space video is part one of a Science Channel program called Space Station and Beyond. Parts 2 through 5 will follow in the coming week or so.

Monday, September 03, 2007

just a little bit longer...

OK, so my hiatus from blogging lasted a little longer than I thought it would. Regular blogging should resume tomorrow with yet another Space Video of the Day.