May 2009

My Own Private Star Trek

May 15, 2009

by Jon Lomberg I had no idea when the week started that I would be publishing not one but two essays on Star Trek. But Jon Lomberg was inspired by Athena Andreadis’ take on the new movie to write down his own reflections on the series in its many forms. Lomberg’s name should be instantly […]

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Kepler Observations Begin

May 14, 2009

With the Herschel/Planck telescopes now on their way — the successful launch took place at 1312 UTC from the European Space Agency’s launch pad at Kourou, and the two spacecraft are now on separate trajectories — we can take a breather to reflect on what a busy time it’s been of late for space telescopes. […]

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Reflections on the New Star Trek

May 13, 2009

by Athena Andreadis This morning I have the pleasure of introducing my friend Athena Andreadis, who will give us her thoughts on the recent Star Trek film. Dr. Andreadis is Associate Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the author of To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star […]

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Thursday Launch for Herschel and Planck

May 12, 2009

While we’re thinking about space telescopes like the aging but potentially repairable Hubble, let’s not forget the launch now scheduled for Thursday from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. The European Space Agency’s Herschel instrument will be lifted into an orbit 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, stationed at the second Lagrange point (L2) so that […]

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New Missions for Hubble and Spitzer

May 11, 2009

With all eyes on the mission to service the Hubble telescope, it’s fascinating to see that technology created for the James Webb Space Telescope is going to be used to enhanced Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The particular Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, or ASIC, design in question mirrors that of the Webb instrument and also […]

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Freezing Out the Dark Energy Field

May 9, 2009

A testable prediction about dark energy? Such is the promise of a new formulation from Sourish Dutta and Robert Scherrer (Vanderbilt University), whose dark energy model interacts with normal matter and has observable results, including a prediction about the expansion rate of the universe. Astronomical surveys in the next decade should be able to detect […]

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A Look Back at Star Trek’s Biology

May 8, 2009

The appearance of the new Star Trek film has inspired Athena Andreadis to revisit the epilogue of her 1998 book To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek (Random House). Andreadis (University of Massachusetts) is a frequent commenter on issues of space exploration on this and other sites, including her own Astrogator’s Logs, […]

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New Title on Gravitational Focus Mission

May 7, 2009

Claudio Maccone’s new book is out, an extension and re-analysis of the material in two earlier titles that examined the author’s innovative ideas on deep space systems. Maccone is best known to Centauri Dreams readers as the major proponent of a mission to the Sun’s gravitational focus where, at 550 AU and beyond, a spacecraft […]

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EGR: A ‘Hail Mary’ Pass to the Stars

May 6, 2009

EGR, standing for Embryo/Gestation/Rearing, is the name of a mission presented by John Hunt on Tibor Pacher’s PI Club site, where Tibor encourages the development of what he calls ‘crazy ideas.’ Crazy, that is, in terms of brainstorming, getting concepts out there for comment and growth. Hunt’s is likely to be controversial on several levels, […]

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Wired Looks at Advanced Propulsion

May 5, 2009

Wired has picked up on our Frontiers of Propulsion Science book with just published interviews of Marc Millis and Eric Davis, co-editors of the volume. Interviewer Sharon Weinberger had a tough assignment, dealing with a 739 page collection of technical and scientific papers aimed, as she notes, at scientists and university students. But her questions […]

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