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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Steve's Science and Other Fun Stuff

"And rockets and comets and asteroids blah blah blah"
Hi everyone. Stephen Tremp here. I'm slowly making my way back into the blogging scene after taking the summer off to write Murcat Manor. I've missed you all and am glad to see you again! So let's highlight a few of the amazing man-made endeavors happening in our solar system that you can discuss around the water cooler at work. 

To Proxima Centauri and Beyond!
To Infinity, and Beyond! Well, at Least to Proxima Centauri: NASA has been testing new space travel technologies throughout its entire history, but the results of its latest experiment may be the most exciting yet — if they hold up. NASA indicated they had achieved a small amount of thrust from a container that had no traditional fuels, only microwaves, bouncing around inside it. 

If the results can be replicated reliably and scaled up — and that's a big "if," since NASA only produced them on a very small scale over a two-day period — they could ultimately result in ultra-light weight, ultra fast spacecraft that could carry humans to Mars in weeks instead of months, and to the nearest star system outside our own (Proxima Centurai) in just about 30 years. Reference 
The Space Police

Japan to Launch Military Space Force: Japan is planning to launch a military space force by 2019 that would initially be tasked with protecting satellites from dangerous debris orbiting the Earth. The move is aimed at strengthening Japan-US cooperation in space, and comes after the countries pledged to boost joint work on monitoring space debris. 

Thousands of pieces of debris -- including old satellites as well as pieces of rockets and other space equipment -- are orbiting the Earth and threaten to collide with functioning communications and reconnaissance satellites. Reference
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Rosetta Spacecraft Arrives at Comet: After a decade-long journey and clocking up 6.4 billion kilometers chasing its target, the European Space Agency's Rosetta, carrying three NASA instruments, became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet. As many as five possible landing sites on the comet (how cool is that!!!) will be identified by late August, before the primary site is identified in mid-September.
Comets are considered to be primitive building blocks of the solar system and may have helped to "seed" Earth with water, perhaps even the ingredients for life. But many fundamental questions about these enigmatic objects remain, and through a comprehensive, in situ study of the comet, Rosetta aims to unlock the secrets within. Reference
The Query Commish Matthew MacNish

Finally: My query letter for Murcat Manor is up on Matthew MacNish’s the Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. I’d greatly appreciate it if you could check in and help with the critique. And you’ll get a good idea of what Murcat Manor is all about. Thanks in advance, and hope you enjoyed the tidbits today!

Question: What do you think of the Japanese teaming up with the U.S. to police outer space? Good idea, or are they really up to something else?
And don’t forget to stop by my blog (CLICK HERE) and say hello as I’m getting my blogging grove back again.

And if you feel this post is worthy, hit that Twitter button and add a hashtag or three. The universe thanks you!


  1. Landing on a comet - how wild.
    So we're sending troops into space and their first job is cleanup. That figures.

  2. We can always rely on you for interesting scientific information Steve. And everything you have posted here really is very interesting. The Japanese/US collaboration is a good idea, but when you used the term military I immediately reacted against the plan. However, it could be a very good idea.

  3. Hi Stephen - the Rosetta Stone project has been amazing - ten years in the travelling .. let's hope it uncovers some really interesting science ...

    It sounds like the Japanese-US tie up might be a good idea ... not sure what China will think... and hate to think what Russia will do ...

    So pleased you've got so much going on writing wise .. cheers Hilary

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