Space Station Science Officer joins Trek designer for Leonard Nimoy/Spock tribute

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spock_tribute_ISSGreat tribute image by NASA, ISS science officer Samantha Cristoforetti, and Star Trek designer Michael Okuda. I’ll let slide the Next Generation communicator pin and it’s too-high placement on the tunic, and just enjoy the Enterprise NCC-1701 no bloody A, B, C, OR D! floating outside the window.  I would say the shirt is the wrong shade of blue, but with the recent flap about the color of clothing flying around the Internet these days, I’ll just let it pass.

“… his was the most human”

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Interstellar – a short review. Matthew McConaughey saves the world, but not in a Lincoln

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It’s a long movie.  I mean, really long.  At 2 hours and 49 minutes, it requires you devote a lot of time and attention to a story line that does not move quickly.  The unfortunate thing with that is there are enough plot holes that are large enough to fly a spaceship through, and the science is murky, at best.  With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

A quick synopsis: Continuing crop failures on Earth predict the collapse of human civilization.  Our only hope?  A secret plan from a NASA in hiding.  Send exploratory missions through a recently discovered, and not natural, wormhole, to another galaxy to find planets capable of supporting human life.  (they might have reasonably called the movie “Intergalactic”, since the new worlds are in some unspecified galaxy, far far away.  I suppose it didn’t test as well as “Interstellar”. Pity.)

The hero of the story is a former NASA engineer-turned-farmer who, after a convoluted story that leads him to the secret NASA facility, must go and find out what happened to the exploratory missions.

Worm holes, black holes, snarky robots, time dilation, relativistic issues, and love all work their way through the story, mostly killing people.  But in the end, our intrepid hero saves the day, saves humanity, and then steals a spaceship to join the woman he didn’t realize he loved on a desolate planet in another galaxy.

If you can ignore the glaring science fails, like a space station in Saturn’s orbit that is way too small for a 1g environment as shown, and too far away from the Earth to be as big as it is, and the seemingly random use of relativistic time issues while ignoring them elsewhere, to list just two, and focus instead on the story, then you’ll enjoy “Interstellar”.

Unless you’re really a sci-fi geek, however, I’d recommend waiting until it’s on DVD, Blu-Ray, or a streaming service to watch it.  That way you can take a break or two, and not feel like you’re a prisoner of doomsday.

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine.

Three and a half stars (or galaxies?).

Monday: Geek attire arrives

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Arrived in today’s mail.  Science doesn’t care. Reality is what is real, not what we want to be real.

Beefcake, interstellar

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Eta Carinae and the Expanding Homunculus Nebula (2014 Dec 02)

Eta Carinae and the Expanding Homunculus Nebula, 7,500 to 8,000 light years from Earth.  NASA

Geek Space: Shuttle Enterprise October 26, 1977

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From Science is a verb‘s Facebook:

On October 26, 1977, NASA’s Space Shuttle Enterprise completed its fifth and final Approach and Landing Test free flight. Enterprise was released from the back of a modified NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and had a two-minute glide back to the runway at Edwards Air Force Base.

The Approach and Landing Test program demonstrated the orbiter’s capability for safe approach and landing after an orbital flight from space. It also validated crucial onboard control systems necessary for the Shuttle Program’s next step: the launch of Shuttle Columbia into orbit on April 12, 1981.

To learn more about Space Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests , visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/flyout/approach_landing.html

#Mars Geek: Sept. 3, 1976 #Viking2 lands on Red Planet

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Two days before my 19th birthday. Incredible images to follow the successful Viking 1 lander in July.  What a summer!

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