Monday, November 23, 2015

Post-Thanksgiving Planet


For any international readers, you may have noticed American social media buzz about a curious little holiday we call "Thanksgiving", which we pretend is about Pilgrims and Natives preparing meals together at the dawn of our colonial period. It's kinda really totally actually NOT, but as with most holidays, we like myths more than we like historical facts.

This excuse to over-eat is held each year on the third Thursday of November. Then, on the third FRIDAY of each November, we celebrate an even more curious custom known as... Wishing We Could Move To Planet Mercury.

Your Weight On Other Worlds
There is a great contraption at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where you can step on a large scale and see what you weigh on all the planets. I've been on it, and it's quite a fun experience. They also have their calculator on a web page, so you can see Your Weight On Other Worlds.

(I think it goes without saying, there will never, EVER be a book fad known as "The Jupiter Diet".)

Why the discrepancies? In simple terms, gravity is the force of attraction between objects. Gravitational pull is what makes the Earth orbit the sun, or the moon orbit the Earth. Suns, moons and planets are all surrounded by fields of gravity. These fields will be different, depending on things like planet size, mass, speed, its location in any solar system, and any other objects around it in space.

If Earth's force of gravity is measured at 1.00, force on other planets would be:

List of Planets and their Gravitational Forces
We'll include Pluto for the purists. And so I don't have to listen to any arguments.

More complex components of gravity come into play, but in general: the larger the object, the greater the gravity. However, the further away you travel from an object, the less you are affected by its gravitational field. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, so it has the strongest field (except for our Sun, which is over 27+!). You cannot stand on Jupiter, because it's mostly gas. However, if it had a surface, the force holding your body on the planet would be much greater. This increases your weight, even though your mass remains the same.

At any rate, multiply your weight by any of these numbers, and you will see what you weigh on that planet.  Oh goody, math homework!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Death Star Math


So there's this realty company named Movoto, and they somehow grew a sense of humor, despite being a realty company.

Death Star

Not only are they funny, they are space enthusiasts! On the Movato blog, they profess an admiration for SpaceX, and say they have been inspired by commercial space initiatives to think up interesting ways to relate to space!  Hey, don't most of us do this all day?

On this same blog is an amusing info graphic about how many average homes could fit into the DeathStar, and I'm digging whomever they go to complete their artwork.  In terms of working environment, this place must be a hoot. Clink on the link or the picture to see the answer. :)

Launch Your House Into Space

It gets better. Want to know how much money it would take to launch your entire house into space? I tried it. It would take $678 million to put my dwelling up into the black. 

To put that number into perspective, that's just slightly over the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of Ecuador. 

They don't happen to mention whether you will just be orbiting around Earth in your floating house or if you theoretically get to travel somewhere interesting. Pity, as I was expecting the follow-up graphic to be the mileage to Europa!

Earth's Moon

The space fun doesn't stop there. Last but not least, just how large would a house have to be in order for it to be visible on the moon??

No joke, just a little larger than the city of Houston.  I'm betting we wouldn't lack for construction volunteers on the project, however...when do we leave?  Check out Movoto's site -- but make sure it's when you have some time to kill.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Aluminum Foiled Again


 Inevitably, after any moon landing anniversary, the hoaxers emerge from the timber paneling to bellow about shadows and wind and stars, and all the reasons why thousands of people worked on the Apollo project, "duping the world" -- yet fascinatingly, no whistleblowers have come forward for 5 decades.

Upon a recent entangling with one of these poor souls on Twitter (which we should just re-name "Trollville" at this juncture), I pointed out they might actually be projecting far more competence onto government bureacracies than deserved. The response was "I'll keep my tinfoil hat, thank you."

People still wear tinfoil hats??

MIT's Ali Rahimi
Ali Rahimi of MIT. Seriously.

Horrible news for the Conspiracy Theory Crowd came many moons ago, when an empirical study should have shut down any arguments.

Alas, if you could "reason" with conspiracy theorists, there wouldn't be any conspiracy theorists.

Whether you embrace the contemporary fashion for blocking government beams (or alien beams, in some circles) it turns out that tin foil headgear actually enables mind control!  Go figure.
Oh, Tabby. Not you, too!

Seeking resource links about radio waves (different writing project), I once stumbled over this enlightening piece of news, whereby several scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (who knew they had so much time on their hands?) experimented with various radio frequencies used by the United States government. Would a tin foil hat truly stem the tide of Big Brotherly evil?

Astonishingly, after testing three common helmet styles, MIT researchers found that the tin foil magnified the waves instead of blocking them.

Fashion Statement

So hmm, maybe the aliens among us set this conspiracy theory in motion all along, hoping that tin foil caps would catch on??

You have no idea how much I wish I was making this up:

A quarter million dollars worth of equipment was used, including computer power, a network analyzer, a signal generator and omnidirectional antenna – all used to test signals in various ranges... all to find out that regular old Reynolds foil amplify the bands allocated to the government.

Wernher von Braun
Recently De-classified.

So what CAN one use to block alien beams or government mind-control technology? I have no idea, but I am sure new products for just this purpose are due to hit the market.

Please, please let it be chocolate.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Third Annual FIREFLY and COSMOS T-Shirt Giveaway


Browncoats! Spacetweeps! Science nerds!

It is that time of year again. In celebration of Shepherd Book's milestone birthday this week, I'm once again partnering for tweetstorms with GeekChicTees for a Firefly T-shirt giveaway!

The contest will run for one week, today through next Friday (July 3rd - 10th). On July 10th, our supremely indifferent cat will pick one two lucky winners, and Ron Glass will officially be a septuagenarian!  Like, wow.

As always, very special thanks to Captain Mal's Wisdom, who always helps us get the word out to space cadets of all stripes. (Though we're pretty sure they do it for the cool free T-shirts, too.)
Click to enter T-shirt Giveaway!

To enter the contest for either free T-shirt, pop over to our Official Giveaway Page and choose ways to enter on Twitter and Facebook.

Winners, upon sending clothing size and address confidentially, get to pick their favorite products from the GeekChic Tees catalogue!

Note: While we chose Rafflecopter's platform for easy collating so we don't miss any entries, know that email addresses are never farmed. They may ask you for email to sign up, but NO ONE at, GeekChic Tees or CMW will ever, ever, ever send spam or sell the email addresses of Browncoats. That is some serious Alliance-style BS right there! Anyone who even asked us for something that rude would have to get past Jayne & Vera, first.

 Click to Enter T-Shirt Giveaway!
Click on picture to enter contest!

If you are not on Twitter or Facebook, you can also share this page to Tumblr, Pinterest, and/or Google+ and comment on this blog post to say you have done so. We'll be watching all new messages!

Enter as many times as you like, on as many platforms as you like. We'll go check them out! Every follow, share, and tweet counts as an entry.

Winner will be announced directly afterward on this blog, Twitter, and Captain Mal's Wisdom. Which you should totally be following already, anyway.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Weightless Porn


Anyone buying this? The 200-Mile High Club. Space agencies everywhere want you to believe it doesn't exist. And of course, as soon as I start blathering smugly that I don't court controversy or scandal, the concept of space porn hits the news.

 So let's talk about it. Seems the Pornhub team of Los Angeles has created an Indiegogo campaign for "Sexploration," whereby they hope to fund the first sex tape in space, and give away swag for those who contribute. You don't want details. I didn't even want details. Careful how you go about Googling it if you're curious.
Because space scientists are so enthused about Apollo
being associated with pornography

Despite the epic eye-roll my extraocular muscles conducted involuntarily, sex in space is a hugely overlooked area of research. So much so that if we truly want to discuss the concept of "colonization" on any other celestial body, one can actually call it a "research GAP" now.

While I don't think sensationalized pornography will be instrumental in addressing said gap, I'll reluctantly resign myself to acceptance if this gets some conversations started. Perhaps the problem is that the subject makes news so infrequently, and tax-payers are so squeaky about admitting sexuality in varying levels of gravity is a reality. Sex is a basic biological drive, and we're absolutely going to take it with us wherever we go.

My quibble comes with the immaturity with which any such efforts are accompanied (and this was edited just to show the cleanest stuff):

Look at all the potential Nobel Prize winners!

A few years back, the London Telegraph, NY Daily News, and even TIME journalists made unfunny quips about Shuttle Discovery Commander Alan Poindexter's statement that "We [astronauts] are a group of professionals. Personal relationships are not an issue."

I groaned when I saw this, knowing it would be crammed down every available throat if any two astronauts were so much as photographed hugging. Seems like this subject comes up every few years, the worst episode being the Document 12-571-3570 hoax, I repeat, HOAX... where the 1996 STS-75 mission allegedly completed assignments for testing various carnal positions in weightlessness.

Really? Pretty nifty accomplishment for the all-male crew of STS-75, being that there were no women and certainly no married couples aboard the orbiter (that only happened once, and they were married after the flight assignment had been set) -- but hey, don't let any pesky facts interfere with our all-too-human tendency to be humorously immature about intimate relations.

For the reality-challenged: This didn't actually happen in space.

I have two overall thoughts on this matter rearing it's head again:

1. People need to grow up. Stephen Hawking famously commented that successful off-world exploration and perhaps even the long-term survival of humankind will depend on learning to live and reproduce in space. Many science fiction novels have also examined the possible physics or developmental challenges in practical terms. This area of science is not an American Pie sequel and will be addressed in time.

2. Sexual intercourse has indeed occurred in micro-gravity, just not among humans or large mammals. Reproductive studies upon other taxa, such as fish, birds, insects, fish, and amphibians are evident in the literature for anyone who actually cares to examine scientific documentation, as opposed to the puerile ramblings of tabloids and pornographers who trivialize:

Ijiri, K: Fish Mating Experiment on STS-65
Freshwater Oryzias latipes mated, laid eggs in space, and these eggs developed normally to hatching in microgravity.

Ronca, April: Effects of Prenatal Spaceflight in Neonatal Rats
Ten pregnant rats flown for 11 days on board the NASA space shuttle from gestational day 9 (launch) until gestational day 20 (landing) of the rats' 22-day

Fritzsch, Bruce: Foetal Rats / Birds Raised in Micro Gravity on STS-66
Deficits in behavioral orientation have been observed in chicks and rats reared in microgravity, suggesting that microgravity may induce the growth of anomalous neuronal connections between the vestibular and motor systems.

Wakayama S: Effects of Microgravity on Mouse Development on STS-80
Sustaining life beyond Earth will require clear understanding of how the space environment affects key phases of mammalian fertilization and reproduction.

The question isn't whether or not we can figure out a way to "do it" in weightlessness. We are animals. We will always find a way. The crucial question is can females safely become pregnant, and give birth to normal, healthy progeny on other worlds?

For more information, and differing opinions, see Motherboard's interesting 3 part series on Sex and Gender Issues In Space.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Laws of the Space Jungle


My last post wished the Hubble a happy 25th birthday and one of my pals joked over Facebook that hey, Hubble can finally get a rental car!  I had a funny flashback to Hubble turning 21, and quipping that it could finally have a beer.  Why do we project human milestones onto hardware missions? Beats me. Perhaps it's just our simplest measure of the passage of time, serving as easy comparison.

My buddy Mike C. in Austin quipped back on the same string, "Well if astronauts went up to repair it again and share a beer, since it is technically in space, would the age laws from the US apply on missions?"

Would you believe the answer is yes?! Technically, astronauts who imbibe in space would have to be 18 years old on Russian or Chinese rockets, 20 in the Japanese ISS module, and 21 on any various American crafts.

So says Article 8 of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (excerpt): "A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body."

Space Treaty
Mostly so this doesn't happen...

The HST is a shared project between NASA and the ESA, but the Hubble is on the American Registry of Space Objects, and also listed by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs as US territory. The same would apply to any of our orbiters or landers.

International Space Station laws apply similar "Location"-based principles. The broad agreement says "...each partner state in this visionary cooperation adventure registers its own part of the station, and consequently can apply its own laws to events therein."

The drinking age would only be a single example. Even patent law applies; if something is invented in the Kibo module, Japan owns the rights.

Legally speaking, we now have a piece of the US annexed to a piece of Europe annexed to a piece of Russia annexed to a piece of Japan in low earth Orbit.

Space Law
Cool, huh? And it's just the tip of the iceberg. Space Law is developing into such a robust field, all the major Space Treaties, Declarations and Principles are too numerous and labyrinthine to cover effectively here… but consider this:
The UN's master list of all agreements between space-faring nations is now 55 pages long... and those are just the titles! In addition, space exploration is subject to international law, not just the dictates of those with the resources to get there. In other words, all nations have a say in how space is used, even if they do not have launch capabilities.

Those who are curious can visit the UNOOSA site to browse traffic regulations, liability for floating debris and collisions, [lack of] moon ownership and, believe it or not, extra-terrestrial alien rights.

That's not a typo. ALIEN RIGHTS.

Interested in pursuing it as a career? As space tourism becomes a reality, this field will only grow. They even list the many schools offering degrees in space law. Because that's what we need. More lawyers ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy 25th Anniversary Hubble!


Wow, it seems like just yesterday, we were celebrating Hubble's 21st birthday, back when the intrepid eye-in-the-sky was old enough for a beer!

On April 24, 1990, STS-31 Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off on its mission to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) into orbit. This amazing astronomical observatory, a joint NASA-ESA project, has now been orbiting above Earth's atmosphere and observing celestial bodies for more than two solid decades!
Full-size Hubble Space Telescope mockup in the Smithsonian
(The "Structural Dynamic Test Vehicle")

Named after astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953), the HST is capable of taking extremely sharp images in ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and many of its captures have led to incredible astrophysical breakthroughs, not the least of which is accurately determining the rate of expansion of the universe. In our own neighborhood, HST taught us a great deal about TNOs, dwarf planets and KBOs; and the very farthest objects seen, in Hubble Ultra Deep Field, or HUDF, are galaxies 13 billion light years away!!

To date, Hubble has observed more than a million celestial targets and amassed more than 100 terabytes of data in multiple archives!

Not too shabby for a telescope with a rather... inauspiciously blurry beginning!
Click to embiggen

Plaque reads: "Inside Hubble is one large, round, curved mirror and other smaller mirrors that focus light into cameras and other scientific equipment. When Hubble was launched and scientists first turned it on, they had a problem: the pictures were blurry! It's large, round mirror accidentally had the wrong curved shape, so the telescope couldn't focus. Luckily, the problem could be fixed by adding more small mirrors to the telescope, and in 1993, a crew of astronauts flew up and carefully slid them into place.  It was like putting on a pair of eyeglasses. Suddenly, Hubble could see stars, galaxies, and gas clouds much fainter and farther than anyone had ever seen before."
Before and After
Click to embiggen again

In May 2009, the fifth and final service mission, STS-125 Atlantis, captured Hubble to replace gyroscopes, computers, and scientific instruments over a whopping 37 hours of space walks! With that marathon upgrade, they made the telescope 100 times more powerful than when it launched. Human hands (or rather spacesuit gloves) won't touch it again, but hopefully it will last at least another decade.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Artoo in Love


So today I get to hit you with the best three minutes and thirty seconds you have ever seen on YouTube. And if you're a fan of Star Wars, you will of course consider this an R2-D2 "spinoff" film -- hopefully the first of many??

The aerial shots and special effects alone are worth the cinematic interest, the sound effects are a crack-up, and to anyone who has grown up watching Star Wars (and that's all of us), it's stunning the degree to which this little droid can still draw adoration from our hearts.
"I don't know. Fly casual."

Who hasn't fallen head-over-wheels in love this way, fallen into depression after being chase off by a Sithy-bot, but then prevailed by finding an even better electrical match? Aww, don't cry over stolen mailboxes, R2. (Because C-3PO totally would have called her "Yoko," anyway.)

You're nodding. See, I knew it.

We've all been there:

See YouTube Page for full Film Credits

The short-and-sweet film was written and directed by engineer Evan Atherton, who together with the star's R2-D2 builder and film producer Grant McKinney, used Autodesk's Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco to 3D print parts for R2-KT (the pink robot love interest).

STAR WARS meets 3-D PRINTERS. It's all too magical.

"Artoo in Love" premiered at the Sonoma Film Festival, drawing attention, articles, and reviews from the likes of Esquire, Boing Boing, the New York Daily News, the Dork Side, Huffington Post, and my personal favorite, San Francisco Travel. Wow! Not too shabby for a debut short!

It even crossed the pond to appear in the UK's Mirror. As it spreads around the world, one wonders if there is no Tinder equivalent for hardware?

R2-D2 builder Grant McKinney (left) with pals at Yuri's Night
(Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion - CA Sciences Center)
Photo Credit: Gerard Fajardo

Be sure you watch "Artoo In Love" a few times -- appreciating the amazing original score! Laughter, tears, lightning bolts! This has it all.

And I'm not just saying that because it was filmed in San Francisco, my home city, and, in my not even remotely humble opinion, the absolute BEST skyline in the world. But that part didn't hurt.   

Robot romance in the future site of Starfleet Headquarters?? That's the stuff.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Countdown to Yuri's Night!


 On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to enter space. Secured in a small capsule named Vostok 1, he launched from Leninsk, Kazakhstan (now renamed "Baikonur"), the first and still-largest space launch facility in the world. The 27-year-old cosmonaut made a historic 106-minute (not 108!) orbital flight around planet Earth.

Юрий Гагарин
Юрий Гагарин 1934 - 1968

In 1962, the Soviet Union established День Космонавтики, or "Cosmonautics Day,” to commemorate this amazing achievement.

In 2001, Loretta Hidalgo, George T. Whitesides and Trish Garner founded "Yuri’s Night," with the support of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) — and each year since, the parties celebrating the first human in space have only grown larger! This year, festivities all around the world are being held between April 4th – April 12th. The current count for Yuri’s Night parties is 160 parties in 42 countries!

The goal of Yuri's Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by a worldwide network of celebrations and educational events, Yuri's Night creates a global community committed to the future of exploration while developing leaders and innovators.

Yuri's Night 2015

This year, *THE* place to be is the Space Station Museum!

On Saturday, April 11th from  noon to 8pm, this particular party will be the only one on the North American continent with actual Yuri Gagarin artifacts on display.

There are precious few places where one can see AND TOUCH Russian Cosmonautica outside of Russia... and The Space Station Museum in Novato, California is one of them! (Kansas Cosmosphere being the other big draw.)

Who can pass up Russian Tea Cookies... with TANG??

The highlight of the Yuri's Night celebration will be a LIVE Skype session with astronaut Dan Bursch at 5:00pm, to reflect on the significance of Yuri Gagarin's historical flight into space and answer questions from any and all space enthusiasts.

Yuri's Night

Please feel free to come in a space-themed costume! And bring your camera. There will be lots of good photo ops!


Tickets are not actually needed, but TSSM would like an estimate for attendance, so please register a free ticket at the Event Brite website if you plan to attend.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


That's not a typo! Vacation!

I'm sorry I have not been writing as often as usual -- but it's also gratifying to have so many new projects, even if they divide my attention!

I'm going on another blog hiatus, but for happier reasons. For the first time in 6 years, I am taking a GENUINE vacation, where there is no "work" involved before or after fun days off.

For three weeks, I'll be traveling through the Dutch Antilles and Latin America, and I'm not taking my laptop. I guess by the end of week 1, I'll know if "not being connected to the internet" is a relief, or bringing on serious withdrawal.

 I'm off to Aruba, Curacao, Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica...
See you on the flipside!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weightless 3D Printing: The Next Giant Leap


The race to Mars quietly enjoyed two giant leaps toward reality in recent months. A journey to the red planet poses many challenges: propulsion, radiation shielding, predicting what a ship and crew would need to make the journey, and of course, human health over the 500+ theoretical mission days.

Addressing the health piece, NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and RFSA Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend an entire year in orbit, a long-duration experiment designed to study physiological changes in weightlessness, as well as psychological reactions to isolation.

The other piece? A small company called Made In Space announced that an astronaut on the International Space Station installed their 3D printer inside the Micro-Gravity Science GloveBox, created the first test print in orbit, then further printed a custom tool for a repair. Before the printer was there, Barry "Butch" Wilmore would have had to wait for the right tool to be delivered on the next rocket from Earth!

Butch Wilmore and the 3D Ratchet
The ratchet heard 'round the world

Many moons ago, I wrote a blog article entitled "Regolith Castles" (March 2011) wherein I detailed the adventures of Enrico Dini, who used lunar analog material to make giant 3D prints (or, layered composites based on 3D software models) of structures that might one day be used to build habitats in low gravity on our Moon.

3D printers were invented in the 1980s, but it took until the 2000s for them to show up in TED talks and seminars about new "disruptive technologies" of the 21st century. Also now known as "additive manufacturing," 3D printing has now made splashes in many supply industries (from metals to chocolate!) and was even featured on The Big Bang Theory in January of 2013. Can a reality TV show be far behind??

If anyone had asked me "How long until we have a 3D printer that can operate in micro-gravity?" I'm quite sure my answer would have been, "It won't be on this current space station. It will be on the next one after 2030." Then, perhaps, Enrico Dini's visions in the next decade. But, the leap came earlier than expected!


Made In Space has completed 20+ 3D prints in orbit since the first test print in November of 2014, and will compare the items made in micro-gravity to those made on Earth.

3-D printers on the ground? New. Cool. Fun! 3D printer in space?? This doesn't just change the game. It changes the entire sport. Imagine basically emailing new items into space instead of launching them inside rockets.

As with most spacetweeps, the first thing that popped into my head was Apollo 13. With the ability to send software to a spacecraft, and print whatever parts are needed, the practical applications are at once obvious -- and mind-blowing.

Apollo 13

Launching heavy hardware is expensive. Any spacecraft can now potentially take printers and lighter raw materials, to create customized tools with reduced human effort. When there's no making a quick U-turn back to Earth in dire emergencies, a machine that can swiftly print what is needed, on demand, from a medical cast for a broken wrist to new receptacles for the inevitable hydroponics farms, the 3D printer becomes the new "Spacecraft Must Have."

The technology will extend to food such as 3D printed pizza, accessories such as 3D printed cameras, and eventually, perhaps even metals for hull or hatch repairs, or fabrics for spacesuit patches. One thing is certain: in the not-far-future, probably closer than we think, there will be no such thing as a mission without multiple additive manufacturing printers.

3D printers will be the new way we build things in space: satellites, space stations, spacecraft internal quarters, and ultimately, off-world colony habitats. No more lugging along millions of dollars worth of spare parts that must be stored, but may never be used.

Additive Manufacturing Facility
Second Printer: The AMF
Photo courtesy of Made In Space, Inc.

Made In Space will be launching it's second printer in 2015, the AMF, or "Additive Manufacturing Facility." NASA will still be a customer, but in addition to their continued experiments with station supplies, this larger and higher-precision hardware will be made commercially available to companies, universities, government agencies, and artists who are interested in the ability to create objects in space.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

They Were Flying For Me


The end of January and beginning of February holds an unusual amount of losses for our space program:

January 27, 1967… Apollo 1 lost
January 28, 1986… Challenger STS-51L lost
February 1, 2003… Columbia STS-107 lost

I have to be careful on this day, because many news outlets re-run footage of
Challenger in particular, and I for one simply never wish to view it again. Instead, from time to time, I chose to visit the Challenger Memorial in Houston, while it was still there. I have also visited the Apollo 1 Memorial at Cape Canaveral, and the Columbia Memorial in Arlington.

While there are many civic and private memorials, or schools and streets named after astronauts in their home towns or other cities -- quite incredibly, there is no national memorial for NASA's collective tragedies. 

Sad that this amazing piece of work was presented by musician John Denver, who would himself perish in an air crash. "They Were Flying For Me" is truly a beautiful song, with moving footage of the Challenger crew.

We are certainly not alone in our losses. The official efforts of the USA and USSR have claimed 9 human lives in training accidents, 15 in flight, and 3 in space.

NASA also has very informative Day of Remembrance slide shows for the three missions in which the most lives were lost.

Astronaut Memorial - Neil Armstrong Museum

The most recently constructed memorial, which I felt very privileged to see in fall of 2014, is at the Neil A. Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Created by Tony Hight in 2009, it's one of the few that lists every major mission in which an entire crew was lost in service to their country.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Star Talk Radio Live!


Star Talk Radio is on the road again! And this week, Bill Nye The Science Guy will be hosting Neil deGrasse Tyson's usual gig in Los Angeles and San Francisco!  Lucky, lucky audiences in California.

Okay, okay, don't say it... if it's Star Talk Radio LIVE and ONSTAGE, it's... not.. exactly RADIO. But who's quibbling with the best radio show and podcast around?

Star Talk Radio Live

StarTalk, from Curved Light Productions, is the first (and still only) popular commercial radio broadcast devoted to space exploration, the search for life in the universe, astrophysics, and cosmology -- and they manage to make all these subjects accessible to listeners of all ages and backgrounds with facts, humor, celebrities, and occasional co-hosts.

If you are not a regular StarTalk listener... um, who are you and what are you doing on my blog?? No seriously, if you're new to the show, you can brush up on the format and fun by seeing their greatest hits: TOP TEN Most Listened To StarTalk Radio Shows in 2014.

There's one episode where NdT had a conversation with GOD. Make time.

Bill Nye's Website

I'm so very flattered to tell all my readers and followers that the StarTalk social media team invited me to "guest-host" their Twitter account during Bill Nye's show on Friday, January 23rd.

Engineer, comedian, Emmy-winning TV host, and owner of 150+ bow ties, Bill Nye is also the current CEO of The Planetary Society.  I happen to be a proud, card-carrying member. It will be my distinct pleasure to put all my Nye-rich knowledge into describing the show on Friday night at the historic Nourse Theatre in San Francisco.

If you're local to the Bay Area, you can purchase tickets to come live-tweet #StarTalkRadio with us, or follow along with all the great sciency comedy from home by following the social media hashtag #StarTalkLive.

The above video is from Nye's 2014 San Francisco StarTalk show, at the annual SF Sketchfest. Watch this if you want to get an idea of what's in store!

For all the news this week about #StarTalkLive, you can follow the major players on Twitter at @Pillownaut, @ScientificScott, @TheScienceGuy, @EugeneMirman, and of course the Big Guns: @StarTalkRadio.