Categories
Film Science and nature

Voyager 2 enters interstellar space and all I can think about are Klingons

Last week we learned that Voyager 2 had followed in its sibling’s metaphorical footsteps, and entered interstellar space. According to Ars Technica:

On Monday, NASA announced that one of its longest-running experiments has started a new phase. Five years after Voyager 1 reached interstellar space, its sibling, Voyager 2, has joined it there. While the Oort Cloud of icy bodies extends well beyond the probes’ current locations, they’ve gone past the point where the charged particles of the solar wind dominate space. Instead, their current environment is dominated by cosmic rays ejected by other stars.

Ars Technica

When I read this news, I immediately thought about a scene in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier*, in which a Klingon Bird of Prey de-cloaks, and destroys one of the Voyager probes:

*Thanks to Ken Gagne for reminding me which movie this was!

If you’re not familiar with the Voyager probes, definitely take a look at NASA’s mini-site with information, and multimedia about these two historic probes, and trailblazers.

These infographics, alone, are awesome!

Categories
Science and nature Travel and places

Orion’s successful launch brings Mars closer

NASA successfully launched its Orion spacecraft on 5 December 2014. It may not sound like much when rocket launches are not uncommon but the Orion spacecraft is more significant than the seemingly routine satellite launches we see online.

According to NASA:

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

Human space travel seems pretty remote when we are more concerned about electricity supply to our homes but in the bigger picture, Orion’s launch points to a brighter future for our species and perhaps even its future survival.

Here is a great close-up video of the launch itself:

Categories
Science and nature

Enter the Dragon v2

Does anyone else think government space agencies are going to be able to keep up with Space X‘s innovation engine?