Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

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Archive for the ‘Science Missions’ Category

Occupy The Solar System

Posted by pwl on September 30, 2011

Going beyond the small dream of Occupy Wall Street; embrace a real dream: we are already occupying the Earth, soon the Moon and then onto the goal of occupying the entire Solar System! A worthy goal for the various space programs of Earth.

The NASA director gives 54 minute talk on occupying the solar system.

Dr S.Pete Worden, Director of NASA Ames Research Park, NASA’s cutting edge research base in Silicon Valley, discusses humanity’s goal of settling the solar system.

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Posted in Awesome, Colonization, Complex Systems, Hard Science, Rational Thinking, Science Missions, Space Travel | Leave a Comment »

Canada Hit By NASA Satellite? NASA To Be Hit By Littering Bill From Canada?

Posted by pwl on September 24, 2011

Update 4: It seems that none of the following can be substantiated. Initial data are often wrong.


Canada again. What are we a friendly target or what? Looks like Alberta near Calgary. Let’s see 26+ counts of littering.

“The 6-ton UARS satellite — the biggest piece of space debris to fall from the sky since Sky Lab in 1979 — fell back to Earth early Saturday morning. Debris is reported to have been found near Calgary, Canada.”
Canada Hit by Nasa Junk Satellite at Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, near Calgary

This video seems to be showing the satellite broken up and reentering and burning up above Alberta. It doesn’t show any coming down crashing into Alberta.

Update 1: It looks like the satellite passed over Alberta on it’s way to the Pacific Ocean splash down.

Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said the spacecraft entered the atmosphere around 12:15 a.m. EDT over the coast of Washington. He said much of the debris likely fell over the Pacific Ocean, though its trajectory suggests some of it could have fallen over more heavily populated areas in the U.S. and Canada, including Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Calgary, Alberta; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“Pieces are falling off of this flaming fire ball, and some of it has enough momentum to go hundreds of miles,” he said.

Cole said that was possible because the last track for the satellite included Canada, starting north of Seattle and then in a large arc north then south. From there, the track continued through the Atlantic south toward Africa, but it was unlikely the satellite got that far if it started falling over the Pacific.

Cole said NASA was hoping for more details from the Air Force, which was responsible for tracking debris.

But given where the satellite may have fallen, officials may never quite know precisely.

“Most space debris is in the ocean. It’ll be hard to confirm,” Cole said.

Some 26 pieces of the satellite representing 1,200 pounds of heavy metal had been expected to rain down somewhere. The biggest surviving chunk should be no more than 300 pounds.
NASA Says Satellite Fell to Earth Over Pacific Ocean

Update 2 Could it be that the video is a hoax. It looks impressive however… possibly the video is real but the reports of the debris landing in Alberta are the hoax.

Last night there was a report of long streaks on the Environment Canada Radar in the Calgary area. Here is a image I captured from their site. Unfortunately only one frame of the radar had the streak on it. I don’t know if the direction is wrong. I don’t know if the radar would see the satellite pieces either. They’d have to be within the radar’s range which I don’t know the parameters of, especially the full extent of the vertical range.

The time seems wrong though showing 11:30pm MDT in the Weather Radar image and the satellite “fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23, and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24.” Since “Mountain Time (Canada) (Daylight Savings) is 2 hours behind Eastern Time (Canada) (Daylight Savings)” that means that 9:23 pm MDT to 11:09pm MDT is the time period of the reentry. Maybe it could have been delayed and come in just after Nasa’s estimated window? Hmmmm… don’t know at this point.

Well the Google Map of Okotoks, Alberta puts it in the weather radar zone between High River and Calgary right under the path in the radar image, so maybe this was the satellite captured on the radar? It’s in the same area anyway.

Slashdot reports.

Update 3:

“1820 GMT (2:20 p.m. EDT)
Nick Johnson, chief scientist with NASA’s Orbital Debris Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, says the space agency has received “no credible” reports of observers seeing the UARS re-entry. Officials think the satellite most likely fell into atmosphere over the open Pacific Ocean around 12 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT) and the surviving debris would have landed in the sea before reaching North America.” – SpaceFlightNow.com.

Posted in Science Education, Science Missions, Science Smackdown, Splish Splash Taking a Bath, The Sky Is Falling, Video | 6 Comments »

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Neutrina Sings Again

Posted by pwl on September 23, 2011

It ain’t over till the fat lady Neutrina sings again in a number of encore performances around the world, aka “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (to borrow a principle from Carl Sagan).

A quick summary of the alleged discovery of slightly faster than light neutrinos:

CERN’s Antonio Ereditato does a brief BBC Inteview.

“[The following] is the live Webcast from CERN on Friday September 23, 2011. Given the potential far-reaching consequences of the OPERA experiment — which observes a neutrino beam from CERN 730 km away at Italy’s INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory, indicating that the neutrinos travel at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light — independent measurements are needed before the effect can either be refuted or firmly established, according to a CERN statement just issued. The OPERA collaboration has therefore decided to open the result to broader scrutiny.”
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Posted in Adventure, Awesome, Complex Systems, Energy, Good science attitude, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Humbled by Nature, Majestic Universe, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Science Education, Science Missions, Video, Wait for it!, WOW!!! | 1 Comment »

The Pioneer Anomaly, a 30-Year-Old Cosmic Mystery that Illustrates Dedication To The Scientific Method

Posted by pwl on December 17, 2010


The Pioneer Spacecraft: Pioneer 10 now soars toward the constellation Taurus, and 11 aims for Aquila

Thirty years ago, NASA scientists noticed that two of their spacecraft, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, were veering off course slightly, as if subject to a mysterious, unknown force. In 1998, the wider scientific community got wind of that veering—termed the Pioneer anomaly—and took aim at it with incessant, mind-blowingly detailed scrutiny that has since raised it to the physics equivalent of cult status. Now, though, after spawning close to 1000 academic papers, numerous international conferences, and many entire scientific careers, this beloved cosmic mystery may be on its way out.

Slava Turyshev, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., and Viktor Toth, a Canada-based software developer, plan to publish the results of their strikingly comprehensive new analysis of the Pioneer anomaly in the next few months. Their work is likely to bring a conclusion to one of the longest and most tumultuous detective stories of modern astrophysics.

NASA launched Pioneer 10 in the spring of 1972 and Pioneer 11 one year later. The spacecraft’s joint mission was to gather information about the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn (in the case of Pioneer 11), and their moons. As they hurtled past those various celestial objects, the probes measured previously unknown properties of their atmospheres and surfaces; they also photographed Jupiter’s Red Spot and Saturn’s rings up close for the first time. Then, after completing their “flyby” missions in the mid-1970s, the Pioneers kept going. Carrying identical plaques depicting a man and a woman, the atomic transition of hydrogen, and the location of our planet within the galaxy—a message to aliens—the probes became the first manmade objects ever to plunge beyond the solar system into the inconceivable cold and dark of interstellar space. [1]

This is a fascinating story for many reasons: (1) it has parallels to the entire climate debate, (2) complex computer models of various forces of Nature such as gravity and heat, (3) 1,000s of scientific papers peer reviewed none-the-less attempting to find the cause of the anomaly, (4) destruction of the data (almost), (5) refutation upon refutation leading nowhere, (6) a mystery of great complexity, (7) models that are just to inefficient or full of errors, (8) mistaken idea after mistaken idea, (9) complexity, (10) tenacious independent non-official scientific oriented people dedicated to solving the problem on their own time, (11) …, (N) the list of valuable comparisons goes on and on.
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Posted in Adult Supervision Required, Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Complex Systems, Ethics in Science, Exercise For the Reader, Get some perspective people, Good science attitude, Gravity, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Majestic Universe, Philosophy, Rational Thinking, Science Education, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, Science Smackdown, Something to think about, Space Travel, They got the math wrong!, Vehicles, Wait for it! | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

The Spirit of Mars

Posted by pwl on February 4, 2010

The Spirit of Mars
(Click to enlarge).
Thx1138 to XKCD.

Posted in Adventure, Awesome, Ethics in Science, Fun, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science Missions, The End is Nigh, Wait for it!, Yikes! | 1 Comment »

NASA JPL Satellite Eyes On the Earth 3D – Gravity Balls and Friends

Posted by pwl on December 10, 2009

Very cool tool from visualizing data from NASA satellites in 3d in a web browser.

What I’m interested in is not just the visualization aspect but the actual data behind the visualizations since as we know from the Climategate confirmations of scientific fraud in climate science visual images can be highly misleading towards the alleged scientists point of view. Raw data please. All manipulations MUST be FULLY documented with the software source code that made the changes and detailed reasons listed for all adjustments.

If we are to raise our knowledge, skills and competence in using the scientific method to study the Earth, Moon, Sol and other relevant systems we must do some basic learning. Hard science requires making use of hard data without cheating and with showing ones data and any adjustments with justifications and open source code for auditing and proper open peer reviews!

Now let’s see what we can learn from this 3d puppy. My favorite is the GRACE Gravity satellites.

I’ve often wondered what impact the uneven gravity has on the Earth’s climate systems and if the gravity effects are taken into account in the so called climate models. As you can see from the above video the Earth isn’t even an oblate spheroid, it’s a really bumpy place when it comes to gravity. This must impact the weather and thus the climate systems as the atmosphere and water and ice move about.

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Posted in Adventure, Awesome, Big Brother Planetary Control System, Climate Science, Climategate, Complex Systems, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Graphics, Gravity, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, It's weather AND climate!, Learning about Science Organizations, Majestic Universe, Math, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Ficition, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, SkyNet Battlefield Earth, Total Control Over Our Lives, Video, WOW!!! | 4 Comments »

Naught to 2,500 mph in 10 seconds!!! Zoom, zoom, zoom!!! Book your place in space!

Posted by pwl on December 7, 2009

Virgin Galactic.

While Branson get’s it wrong on ManN Made Global Warming Climate Change his engineer Burt Rutan gets it on target!

Rutan made headlines … in 2004 with SpaceShipOne, which became the first privately built, flown, and funded craft to reach space in June of that year, winning the Ansari X Prize a few months later on October 4. SpaceShipOne completed two flights within two weeks, flying with the equivalent weight of 3 persons and doing so while reusing at least 80% of the vehicle hardware. The project team was honored with the 2004 Collier Trophy, awarded by the National Aeronautic Association for “greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.” The craft embodies Rutan’s unique style, and is another of the “icons of flight” displayed in the NASM Milestones of Flight exhibit.

This achievement was quickly commercialized — Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, announced that it would begin space tourism flights in 2008 using craft based on the designs of SpaceShipOne. Dubbed SpaceShipTwo, these new craft, also designed by Burt Rutan, are intended to allow six “experience optimized” passengers to glimpse the planet from 70–80 miles up in suborbital space. Production of the first of five planned SpaceShipTwo craft has started, with the first test flights currently scheduled for 2007-8. An explosion at the Scaled Composite factory at the Mojave Spaceport on July 26, 2007 killed three engineers and seriously injured three others. They were testing components for SpaceShipTwo, but as of August 2007[update] Scaled
Composites remained dedicated to perfecting the design of SpaceShipTwo.

On July 29, 2009, Burt Rutan drew a full house for his presentation at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s EAA Airventure 2009 Oshkosh Conference entitled “Non-Aerospace Research Quests of a Designer/Flight Test Engineer” where he discussed his thoughts on his hobby of climate change.[1] Although he admitted in his presentation that he was not a climate scientist, he stated he spent most of his career on data analysis and interpretation and how it is used or misused.[2]

I put myself in the (Those who fear expansion of Government control) group, and do not hide the fact that I have a clear bias on [ Anthropogenic global warming (AGW)]. My bias is based on fear of Government expansion and the observation of AGW data presentation fraud – not based on financial or any other personal benefit. I merely have found that the closer you look at the data and alarmists’ presentations, the more fraud you find and the less you think there is an AGW problem… For decades, as a professional experimental test engineer, I have analyzed experimental data and watched others massage and present data. I became a cynic; My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s [sic] merits are dependent [sic] on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”. That is true whether the product is an airplane or a Carbon Credit.

Burt Rutan also states he was raised Republican but now seems to think that both official parties have grown too big and socialist for his more libertarian leanings. He describes his interest on the topic deriving from his “interest in technology, not tree hugging”.

Posted in Adventure, Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Science Missions, Space Travel, Video | Leave a Comment »

Excellent Summary of Dupenhagen aka Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009

Posted by pwl on December 7, 2009

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Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Climategate, Complex Systems, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Dupenhagen aka Copenhagen 2009, Energy, Ethics in Science, Evil Walks the Earth and Carries a Big Stick, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Get some perspective people, Green Religion, Hard Science Required, Holding those who run the world responsible for their crimes against humanity, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Paradigm Shift, Philosophy, Proofs, Proofs Needed, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, The End is Nigh, The Sky Is Falling, Video, WOW!!!, Yikes! The sky is NOT falling! | Leave a Comment »

Let’s go Direct to Mars for real!

Posted by pwl on July 22, 2009

Mars Direct is a proposal for a relatively low-cost manned mission to Mars with current rocket technology. The plan was originally detailed in a research paper by Robert Zubrin and David Baker in 1990. The mission was expanded upon in Zubrin’s 1996 book The Case for Mars.

The plan involves launching an unmanned “Earth Return Vehicle” (ERV) directly from Earth’s surface to Mars using a heavy-lift booster derived from Space Shuttle components. The booster is no bigger than the Saturn V used for the Apollo missions. Several launches are made in preparation for the manned mission.

The first of these launches the ERV, a supply of hydrogen, a chemical plant and a small nuclear reactor. Once there, a relatively simple set of chemical reactions (the Sabatier reaction coupled with electrolysis) would combine a small amount of hydrogen carried by the ERV with the carbon dioxide of the Martian atmosphere to create up to 112 tonnes of methane and oxygen propellants, 96 tonnes of which would be needed to return the ERV to Earth at the end of the mission. This process would take approximately ten months to complete.

Some 26 months after the ERV is originally launched from Earth, a second vehicle, the “Mars Habitat Unit” (MHU), would be launched on a high-energy transfer to Mars carrying a crew of four. This vehicle would take some six months to reach Mars. During the trip, artificial gravity would be generated by tying the spent upper stage of the booster to the Habitat Unit, and setting them both rotating about a common axis.

On reaching Mars, the spent upper stage would be jettisoned, with the Habitat Unit aerobraking into Mars orbit before soft-landing in proximity to the ERV. Once on Mars, the crew would spend 18 months on the surface, carrying out a range of scientific research, aided by a small rover vehicle carried aboard their MHU, and powered by excess methane produced by the ERV. To return, they would use the ERV, leaving the MHU for the possible use of subsequent explorers. The propulsion stage of the ERV would be used as a counterweight to generate artificial gravity for the trip back.

The initial cost estimate for Mars Direct was put at $55 billion, to be paid over ten years.

Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Business, Complex Systems, Dreaming, Energy, Ethics in Science, Exercise for the Reader (that's you), Gravity, Hard Science, Hard Science Required, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Invaders from Earth, Learning about Science Organizations, Philosophy, Politics, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Economics, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science Info Educational Videos, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, Something to think about, Space Travel, Vehicles, Video, WOW!!! | Leave a Comment »

A REAL Doomsday Scenario We Should be Putting Our Resources into Preventing!

Posted by pwl on June 3, 2009

Rather than wasting resources on the myth of global warming we should be putting all of our resources into preventing and averting the inevitable asteroid impacts that will befall Earth given time. To do nothing is irresponsible.

Thanks to NJM for the video link.

Posted in Awesome beyond awesome, Climate Science, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Double Yikes!!, Film, Get some perspective people, Hard Science, Majestic Universe, Rational Thinking, Reality Based Environmentalism, Science Education, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, Something to think about, TerrorForming Earth, Terrorfying, The End is Nigh, The Sky Is Falling, Video, Violent, WOW!!!, Yikes! | Leave a Comment »

Stunning Launch of STS-125 Atlantis Hubble Repair Mission in HD

Posted by pwl on May 14, 2009

Ok, enough of things going slooooowwwly… now for some real speed!!!

WOW!

Too bad they didn’t show the separation of the large External fuel Tank (ET) from the shuttle.

Here are some highlights and other awesome clips, also in HD! Wow, I’ve got those very same kitchen timers (the white ones hanging all over the shuttle)! They are very cool with four count up/down timers plus one count down and one count up timer. Awesome!
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Posted in Awesome, Awesome beyond awesome, Fun, Gravity, Hard Science, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, It's a good thing that your god(s) die with you, Majestic Universe, Science Education, Science Missions, Science over Propaganada, Space Travel, The Ground is Falling Up!, Video, WOW!!! | Leave a Comment »

On the Gravity of Apples and Moons

Posted by pwl on March 19, 2009

Nothing can exceed the speed of “c”, light, not even gravity! Einstein proved this in his Special and General Theories of Relativity. This means that even invisible beings (aka gods) can’t travel faster than the speed of “c”, which proves that they can’t be omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent since these attributes all require information travel faster than light! Sorry, as a result gods simple can’t exist in our universe!

“The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory is spearheading the completely new field of gravitational wave astronomy and opening a whole new window on the universe. LIGO’s exquisitely sensitive instruments may ultimately take us farther back in time than we’ve ever been, catching, perhaps, the first murmurs of the universe in formation.”

The challenge of gravitational wave detection (pdf).

LIGO Caltech | LIGO Wikipedia

Posted in Belief Stricken, Complex Systems, Gravity, Hard Science, Humbled by Nature, Ideas Crazy Enough to Have a Chance, Ignorance to Knowledge, Intelligent Designer - Yeah Right, Majestic Universe, Proof God Can NOT Exist, Proofs, Religion, Science Education, Science Missions, Some Intelligent Designer, Space Travel, Video, Yikes! The sky is NOT falling! | Leave a Comment »

Making Sense of the Data

Posted by pwl on March 16, 2009

getmesomethatdo

Which data can you trust? Data from who? How can you trust data when it seems to always be changing or getting corrected? How can you trust the data from people with a clear political agenda especially where there is contradictory data or conclusions drawn from the same, or what seems to be the same, data?

Sigh.

Posted in Climate Science, Complex Systems, Damn it!, Debunking Bad Environmentalism, Ethics in Science, Hard Science Required, Human|Ape, Humbled by Nature, Proofs Needed, Science Education, Science Missions | Leave a Comment »

Explore Mars Today

Posted by pwl on March 13, 2009

Mars is totally awesome!

Posted in Hard Science, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Invaders from Earth, Mars, Science Education, Science Missions, Space Travel | Leave a Comment »

Those who resist, fear, avoid or ignore questions of their science are no longer scientists …

Posted by pwl on February 25, 2009

Those who resist, fear, avoid or ignore questions of their science are no longer scientists, they are activists, politicians or religious demagogues who want their science to be accepted on belief and faith just because they say it’s so – they are the worst kind of high tech priest especially if their science turns out to be correct or partially correct. This is a sign to question their science even more intensely! People committed to science and science education embrace questions as questions from others are a tool and opportunity for sharpening and improving their science and a way of teaching it to the ignorant masses which at first even includes other experts in their field! Question Authority! The worst that can happen is that some or all of their science is falsified which simply makes them better scientists. Either way the scientists learn something or the ignorant have an opportunity to move from ignorance to knowledge and eliminate the enemy of knowledge and us all, belief and faith. Question Authority! Question Science, Scientists and Science Educators!” – pwl

Many thanks to the endearing Associate Professor PZ Myers and his wonderful group of true believers at pharyngula for inspiring this quote with their endarkened policy towards the ignorant masses known as “Open Season on Fresh Meat”.

Posted in Bad Science Attitude, Caustic Scientists, Climate Science, Definition of Terms, Ethics in Science, Ignorance to Knowledge, Quotations, Science Missions | Leave a Comment »

Our Lumpy Graceful Earth

Posted by pwl on February 22, 2009

Lumpy Earth - GRACE Gravity Map of Earth - Americas

Lumpy Earth - GRACE Gravity Map of Earth - Americas, Pacific Ocean

Measuring Gravity With Grace
“It’s an assumption that has made introductory physics just a little bit easier — the acceleration of a body due to gravity is a constant 9.81 meters per second squared. Indeed, the assumption would be true if Earth were a smooth sphere made of uniform elements and materials.”- NASA

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Posted in Climate Science, Humbled by Nature, Ignorance to Knowledge, Science Missions | 51 Comments »

 
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