Lucky Charles Simonyi is going back into space March 26, the first private citizen to make a return trip. He will conduct a series of experiments as well as communicate with students via HAM radio on the ISS (ARISS) during the 12 day trek. We first mentioned him back in 2007 and now, like then, he will continue to blog from his website and feature live video and audio content from NASA TV in his “Follow the Updates” section. Although the second flight is undoubtedly still costing him a fortune, we expect he will reuse his suit.
Read More | Charles in Space
We told you last week about NASA looking for help naming their new Node 3 module, and if you are into “The Colbert Report” you undoubtedly heard that he dissed the names that they came up with, Earthrise, Legacy, Serenity and Venture.
“Those aren’t space modules, those are organic teas,” Colbert said. “But you know what name would look fantastic on the side of that module? Colbert!”
Since the airing of that episode, the comic has gotten over 30,000 votes, second to the top name “Serenity” and beating out “Xenu,” Scientology’s galactic ruler. But you have to love the idea that perhaps if we all vote enough, we may see the name “Colbert” painted on the side. You have until March 20 to contribute to the count.
Read More | Live Science
Sometimes we wonder about too much time on scientists’ hands when we hear that some of them from the University of Tokyo have been working in conjunction with the Origami Airplane Association to create a paper airplane that can survive a flight from the ISS into Earth’s atmosphere. Having begun testing a 3.1-inch prototype in a wind tunnel, the glider, which is shaped like the Space Shuttle, has been exposed to wind speeds of Mach 7 (5,300 mph.)
Although no launch date has been set, Professor Sinji Suzuki says he hopes a message of peace will be written on it before launch, since they don’t know exactly where it will land. We think that should be if, considering it may burn up before it reaches home.
Read More | Pink Tentacle
Clayton Anderson has become an official litterer in space by tossing a 200 lb. camera mounting and 1,400 pound ammonia tank off the Space Station yesterday. NASA officials believe that the container will circle Earth for almost a year before it goes back into the atmosphere and burns itself up. Anderson’s comment about the task was, “I’ll be sending my bill in the mail for trash disposal.”
There are at present over 9,000 pieces of debris out in space that are trackable, leaving us to believe that some of those UFOs or meteors that get reported might possibly be space rubbish that they have just tossed out for lack of room. What is junk to one might be treasure to another, so it seems to us that they could just put up an orbital shed to house the stuff, bring it down later, and have a heck of a garage sale.
Read More | USA Today