Friday, August 31, 2007
From Science Daily:
Future ice ages may be delayed by up to half a million years by our burning of fossil fuels. That is the implication of recent work by Dr Toby Tyrrell of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Arguably, this work demonstrates the most far-reaching disruption of long-term planetary processes yet suggested for human activity.
The basis of this article is that the more CO2 being absorbed in the ocean, the more acidic the ocean becomes. And as the water gets more acidic, the calcium carbonate shells of marine life dissolve.
That means more CO2 is stuck in the atmosphere, not in the ocean.
Ice ages usually happen every 100,00 years, but according to mathematical models by Tyrrell's team, we are going to miss the next one. And if we burn all available fossil fuels, we miss the next five.
From the Star Telegram:
If you hate creepy-crawlies, you might want to avoid Lake Tawakoni State Park, where a 200-yard stretch along a nature trail has been blanketed by a sprawling spider web that has engulfed seven large trees, dozens of bushes and even the weedy ground. But if you hate mosquitoes, you might just love this bizarre web.
"At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland," said park Superintendent Donna Garde. "Now it’s filled with so many mosquitoes that it’s turned a little brown.
"There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs."
I wish this article was a little more serious and scientific, but we all can't be science writers.
The spider that probably created this giant web is the social orb-weaver spider.
found via neatorama
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Two pictures of frog-piloted devices.
Fleets of frogs, traversing the slipstreams, trading high-altitude sunglasses, DIY single-person airships and delivering collector air-mail stamps from High Amphibia.
found on Mi-Mi Moscow via We Make Money Not Art
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Spirit and Opportunity have made it through the 6-week long dust storm and are getting back-up on their wheels.
From New Scientist:
Lofting dust high in the atmosphere, the storms blocked precious sunlight needed for the rover solar panels to generate power. Both rovers had to stop driving, and Opportunity was so starved of power that its handlers worried it might freeze to death during the cold Martian night.
Now, the storms have finally receded and both rovers are about to start driving towards much-anticipated targets.
The rovers seem to have suffered little damage. Spirit has got grit on one of its lenses that NASA is going to try and "shake off," and Opportunity seems to be fine.
NASA is still checking on instruments that do not have protective covers before getting the rovers moving again.
Here are a few adds from the AT&T "You Will!" campaign from 1993, where one of Ma Bell's largest children tries to place itself in the future by telling you how great the future will be if you just keep AT&T in business!
Yes, that was Tom Selleck narrating the adds.
I remember watching these adds on my tv as a teenager, sitting on a moulding shag carpet on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Everything looked so new, so accessible, so different than my life at the edge of waning fishing harbour. Just imagine, I could read a book from around the world, or send a fax from the beach.
High-tech! What I didn't notice at the time was the Blade Runner-ish colour and lighting choices.
Anyway, the future seemed so cool in this future. And looking back, almost all those promised inventions have been made and/or already dismissed.
Imagine, caring about faxes, reading books at strange angles on our screens, or still being able to find functioning public phones?
What is really telling about the mindset of this big telecom in this add is that the structure of this future is very company and platform specific. Everything goes on in the machines, not between them. This future is not networked, it's not open, it's not powered by Google. AT&T holds all the keys to this future kingdom.
And there are no cellphones.
Good thing the gates crashed, and we are all mucking around, trying to figure out our future communication.
Since this add aired, AT&T was sold out, shut down, and re-born as Cingular, then re-branded as AT&T. Will they ever die?
That's right, microbes that are almost a million years old. Is that odd?
When a cell dies, its DNA fragments into pieces but the samples the researchers studied were all very long strands -- evidence the cells were able to continuously repair genetic material and remain alive
The scientists don't know how the microbes do it, but that mechanism could be the key to anti-aging in humans, and life on Mars. The permafrost of Earth and Mars are similar; in fact, the Martian permafrost is cooler and more stable, making it a better home to this type of microbe.
Here's hoping that we find old, old life on Mars.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
For those of you who were in the wrong hemisphere, under cloudy skies, at the bottom of the sea or not willing to get up in the middle of the night to see a beautiful act of nature, here is a video.
I like that this video captures the Martian red of the Moon, but I am not sure about the panning of the shot.
Chris Anderson is the editor of Wired and writer of the book The Long Tail.
In this 26 minute talk (don't worry, it's captivating) Anderson describes why free is better than charging, and choice is better than selection.
We are in the early days of a better nation, where content, interest and generosity will prove to be the basis for a diverse and endless economy.
And this is how it's going to happen.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Video by the amazing Mike Spiff
If you don't know who Jonathan Coulton is, then you are not really getting the nuance of the future soon.
Coulton is the best nerd core musician out there, the musical equivalent of the IT crowd.
So, watch this excellent video and become a fan of Jonathan Coulton, the Mark Twain of about-to- break-out-shut-ins (really, I just mean me.)
Bonus video: the future soon!
All videos are built in World of Warcraft. Although I don't have the attention span to play video games, I am sure impressed with the world building potential of this game.
Well, now due to my addictive mining of blogs through my RSS reader (I think I might have a problem) I have found a video link from the Underwire.
The Promet was designed by Kawada Industries as a humanoid robot test platform - they are even renting the robot out to other robotics researchers.
In the video, Promet is dancing the Aizu-Bandaisan, a traditional Japanese folk dance that is in danger of being lost as an art form.
The designers hope that the technology being developed through the Promet will lead to better robots in the home, workplace and public life of an aging Japanese population.
The robots ability to use motion capture techniques to mimic the dance routines, and fluidity of movement due to its "cantilevered crotch joint" have made this robot one of the premier bipedal designs today.
Promet reminds me of a video I have posted before about a fictional robo-cop in Jo'burg. Future Soon has learned that robots really do need those metallic elven ears.
"We’re going to zone the skies above Los Angeles for floating buildings,” said city planning spokesperson Z. Rowe Gees. “These structures, called Strat-Houses, will be modeled after the old dirigibles, over a thousand feet long. Unlike zeppelins such as the Hindenburg, they will not be carried aloft by explosive hydrogen. The Strat-Houses will be supported by nacelles filled with helium.”
Living quarters will be built inside the airships, with penthouses on top and sub-penthouses below. Engines fore and aft will keep the entire structure stationary.
“Floating above the smog at two thousand feet, the lower penthouses will have truly spectacular city views,” Gees pointed out. “All of the westward-facing condominiums will have unobstructed ocean views, while the eastern side will look out at the mountains."The airships will be kept out of LAX's flight path.
Well, that is where you know this story is fake - when you can have floating, 1000 ft. airships, why would you use jets?
But I love the idea of a city above the cloud level. How would that work? There is no physical infrastructure, other than the airships. No need for zoning.
So, how do you organize? Pods? Flocks? Are your municipal voting rights associated with the land you vote for, or do they re-organize the district to include semi-stationary floating houses based on your altitude?
Do you even need cities anymore, when you can vote cooperatively in your sky-house and go wherever you want to go?
So, in the future soon skies you will find floating pods of airship villas, with smaller balloons and ornithopters. They travel the skies, maintaining seasonal flight routes that take you up the coast, following the harvest as summer moves north.
Look really close, and you can see the starfish shapes of the orbital ascent floaters, spreading the floating land of the home planet.
Of course, no future is complete without a little steampunk floating household, all brass and mahogany. Why, you might even find a predatory flying cat or two... be nice, because they do bite.
Weekly World News article found via Treehugger
Friday, August 24, 2007
Over on SPACE.com there is a rebuttal against the claims of hydrogen-peroxide based life. Norman Pace, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado, is skeptical of the new claims. "It sounds bogus to me," Pace told SPACE.com. "I don't consider the chemical results to be particularly credible in light of the harsh conditions that Mars offers." Pace, the University of Colorado microbiologist, thinks there is one very important reason why hydrogen peroxide life is unlikely. "Hydrogen peroxide inside cells is deadly in terrestrial kinds of cells," Pace said. "In fact, that's one way that our cells combat bacteria, by producing hydrogen peroxide locally." For Pace and many other scientists, the definitive experiment performed by the Viking landers was the gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) test, which was capable of identifying substances by their chemical makeup. That test failed to turn up evidence of organic compounds. "That's the interesting experiment. Everything else can be explained chemically," Pace said. I guess we will just have to go to Mars and find out. When the Phoenix Lander gets there next year, maybe we will have more answers.
Norman Pace, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado, is skeptical of the new claims. "It sounds bogus to me," Pace told SPACE.com. "I don't consider the chemical results to be particularly credible in light of the harsh conditions that Mars offers."
Pace, the University of Colorado microbiologist, thinks there is one very important reason why hydrogen peroxide life is unlikely. "Hydrogen peroxide inside cells is deadly in terrestrial kinds of cells," Pace said. "In fact, that's one way that our cells combat bacteria, by producing hydrogen peroxide locally."
For Pace and many other scientists, the definitive experiment performed by the Viking landers was the gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) test, which was capable of identifying substances by their chemical makeup. That test failed to turn up evidence of organic compounds. "That's the interesting experiment. Everything else can be explained chemically," Pace said.
I guess we will just have to go to Mars and find out. When the Phoenix Lander gets there next year, maybe we will have more answers.
The soil on Mars may contain microbial life, according to a new interpretation of data first collected more than 30 years ago.
...Loop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany, said on Friday the spacecraft may in fact have found signs of a weird life form based on hydrogen peroxide on the subfreezing, arid Martian surface.
His analysis of one of the experiments carried out by the Viking spacecraft suggests that 0.1 percent of the Martian soil could be of biological origin.
That is roughly comparable to biomass levels found in some Antarctic permafrost, home to a range of hardy bacteria and lichen.Awesome.
The article goes on to say that Houtkooper thinks that if their is life on Mars, it could have been seeded by meteor ejecta from Earth (or vice versa.)
That old panspermia debate keeps on showing up. Tune in next week to future soon radio for a Science Chaser Primer on Panspermia.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
This is the Oblique Flying Wing. A potential new flying platform for the U.S. Air Force, this X-Plane should be flying secretly over a dried-out lake by 2010.
Designed by Northrop Grumman, this plane is probably the first of many new designs that compete for the lucrative new Air Force contract.
I wonder where they will put the pilot?
Check out this history of oblique wing airplanes.
found via Danger Room
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Over on Engadget they are advising people to wait to buy an iPod in the near future because they think a new model is coming out.
"...sources at retailers are continuing to tell us that Apple is slowing down iPod shipments, strongly suggesting the company is running out its current stock to make room on shelves for new product.
We can't speak to what specific technology Cupertino's got brewing behind the scenes (we know it's OS X-based, and hear it'll use more flash), but whatever it is, we'd wager it'll be released in September or October. And not just because Apple's has taken to launching at least some new iPods every year since 2003, or admitted that it considers its iPhone business its "third", separate from its dedicated music player business (and thus wouldn't consider the iPhone its big iPod launch for 2007), or has just generally been mum about the iPod all year. It's more to do with the fact that since 2004 the company has statistically fallen into the groove of using those two months to launch new flagship iPods."
Engadget speculates a flash-driven, video-capable device and maybe more memory for the rest of the line.
With the Russians claiming the north pole, flying long-range bomber sweeps and having their ripped presidents roaming Siberia, I thought you might like a little animated Russian hip-hop.
I can't understand what they are saying, but I think I get a feeling for a return to the glory days of the Motherland.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
When flash floods threaten to Kuala Lampur, where do you want to be?
Probably not in this new water channel/driving tunnel. But don't worry, the four kilometre stretch of road is only open to the public when serious flooding isn't happening.
The SMART (Stormwater Management And Road Tunnel) was built to handle flash floods from two rivers in Kuala Lampur and handle congestion.
If you look at the above image you will see how the tunnel is only closed to traffic during extreme storms. The rest of the time you are only driving in a partial or almost completely flooded tunnel!
Here is a video from Extreme Engineering:
I guess as long as it doesn't leak...
Found via deputydog
"Novel," the top search term on China's biggest search engine, Baidu, yields thousands of Chinese literature websites. More than 100,000 amateurs shirk mundane duties to publish their tales of fantasy and love in installments on these platforms. A handful of anonymous web authors have seen their pageviews soar into the upper seven digits. When that happens, print publishers come knocking.
And it's not just print. Companies from almost every entertainment field, including films and video games, are joining forces, heralding the next generation of Chinese entertainment empires. The creative content of one internet novel can be sold to various national entertainment companies up to five times. A film version of Ghost Blows Out the Light is in pre-production and many popular internet novels have spawned TV series and online games.In the print world, book length is limited by the cost of paper, printing and distribution. On the internet, where production costs are close to zero, length equals profit. VIP readers pay a couple of cents for every thousand characters (a print novel generally has 250,000 characters). Contracted authors are paid seven to 12 dollars per thousand characters, depending on their clout. Zhang Muye gets 12 dollars per thousand.
This is a fascinating article - the true money behind online publication is starting to show up in China. People are funding themselves though serial writing - it's like the 19th century all over again.
But is this success just related to the culture of Chinese readers? Are books selling online because of draconian censorship laws that limit on-paper publishing and access to international reading?
Maybe, but this does not change the fact that content is making money online, and in a market that has nothing to do with the West.
This article has also got me excited about my own serial aspirations, so stay tuned to this blog for future soon fiction.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Depends on the reptile.
In hot deserts, animals must get water any way they can. A new study sheds light on what has to be one of nature's most bizarre adaptations to dry environments: Certain lizards have a network of tiny channels in the spaces between their scales that can suck up water from the ground (or from rain falling on their back) and transport it to their mouth for drinking.
The space or "hinges" between the lizards scales have small tube-like channels that collect water from the entire body and deposit that water, through capillary action, into the reptiles mouth.
Now I know the adaptation I want when we start to colonize the deserts of the world.
Meet Mira-A, a star that has been known to science since the 16th century. Part of a binary constellation, Mira-A is a red giant, or a star that is in its final death throws. The new information about Mira is that instead of an expanding ball of gas surrounding the dying star, there is a 13 light year long tail trailing the star.
Why? NASA scientists think that the cloud is being pushed away by solar wind from Mira as the star speeds away through space. How fast? 130 km per second, or, faster than a speeding bullet.
Odd? Probably not. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is a space telescope that can see further in the UV spectrum. NASA scientists think that this tail-like formation could be behind many stars in the sky.
What does that mean? More awesome astronomy posters, and a better appreciation of the mass of matter that gets spewed out of a dying star. That cloud you see has enough matter in it to coalesce into 3,000 Earth sized planets.
Here is a nifty video:
That tail is 13 light years long. To get an idea how long that it, that tail of matter stretches three times the distance between our sun and our next nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri.
So will our sun shed a tail five billion years in the future? Probably not, because our sun is not moving as fast as Mira-A through space.
Too bad, I like the idea of our sun becoming a gargantuan comet. But I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of a stellar apocalypse.
New Scientist and Reuters
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Chris posted a strange little video a few months back. HE said he didn't know what the video was about, where the robot was from or even its name.
Thanks to my endless amount of time spent online and waiting for the mother corp to call me in, I have found all the answers (about this little mystery.)
The bots name is the Keepon, a research "beatbot" from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.
The mission: linking smiles, connecting to the future.
And here is the new video:
The music - Spoon. Funding - Wired.
Found via BotJunkie
Posted by Sterling at 8/16/2007 03:20:00 PM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The Mars Phoenix Lander is on its way, but do you know what it is going to do when it gets to Mars?
Dr. Tom Duck, from the Atmospheric-Optics Laboratory at Dalhousie University, is the primary scientist involved with the LIDAR.
This news-story was shot in the fall of 2006 with the help of Meredith Brooks.
Friday, August 10, 2007
You are looking at Dsungaripterus, a pterosaur that would crush, crack and swallow it's prey. Some people call it ugly, even revel in it's awkwardness.
Not me. This guy is a bad-ass, fur-covered reptile of the skies. I get the impression that if I saw this animal on the plains of Old Earth, I think I would get the same thrill as the time I watched a cougar walk across my yard in Ucluelet. Or the first time I saw an orca from the dock.
All muscle, all energy; making me think, did I just see that?
I am not sure if I read the post at Witton's blog correctly, but if my pterosaur posts helped inspire this picture, then all I can say is I am honored.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
(Originally published on Jan. 2, 2007 in the Chronicle Herald, Halifax, N.S. Photo by Christian LaForce, Herald staff)
Senior creates own power
With spare parts, he built a windmill
By CHRIS CLEMENTS
Take a front axle from a Volvo, some trees knocked down during
hurricane Juan, corroded pipe that was pulled out of a well, add some
elbow grease and what do you get?
If you're Walter Jakeman, you get a windmill.
"I've always wanted to build a windmill," Mr. Jakeman, 75, said Friday.
"Finally, with power the way it is, I decided to go with it."
After the hurricane, all the trees were down around Porters Lake, "and
I managed to get some spruce to whittle out the blades," he said.
"And we live close to a junkyard, so I could get the Volvo parts. It
just went from there."
The Volvo axle is important because of how it's made.
"The axle is an integral part of the front strut, and it's got really
heavy bearings," said the Five Island Lake resident. "It's a nice
package to build with."
The blade assembly is mounted on the rotors and the axle is mounted on
the windmill's frame so that the whole assembly is able to turn and
face the wind no matter which direction the wind is blowing.
The electronic side of things is no problem for Mr. Jakeman. He used
to do electrical work for IBM.
The power from the windmills, as well as the power generated by the
two small solar panels in the backyard, is used to charge batteries
that Mr. Jakeman holds on to in case of power outages.
The Jakemans get their water from a well, so having power is very important.
The family is still connected to the power system, he said.
"If I lived on an island I might be heavier into it. It's just for
fun. If you want to get off the grid, you're talking big bucks."
Mr. Jakeman said his two windmills probably cost less than $500, while
to go completely off the grid would likely cost $15,000 to $20,000.
"And that's a lot of light bills."
Nobody has yet approached him to build a windmill, but he's willing to
help anyone who wants to build one. He says it can be a difficult
process. "You can make a lot of mistakes."
Mr. Jakeman said he'll likely build one more windmill, avoiding one of
the mistakes he made with the previous two: he'll make it bigger. To
take full advantage of the wind, he said, the windmill should be at
least 10 metres high.
Building a windmill is not something that happens overnight.
"It's a commitment," Mr. Jakeman said. "You don't sit down on Friday
at dinnertime and say 'I'll make a windmill' and then have it done by
suppertime. It takes a week to cut the blades out."
Maintaining the windmills can also be a commitment, he said. The
blades on the smaller of the two windmills, 2.3 metres in diameter,
are in need of some work right now.
"The juice in the wood, with the centrifugal force, all ran out to the
tips, so it's got heavy tips."
Mr. Jakeman got the plans for the windmills from the
www.otherpower.com website, which bills itself as "the cutting edge of
The windmills and solar panels are not Mr. Jakeman's only backups in
case of a power outage.
"I built a gas generator with a truck alternator, so if the wind
doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, I can still charge my
Posted by Chris at 8/08/2007 09:39:00 PM
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
(Originally published Jan. 3, 2007 in the Chronicle Herald of Halifax, N.S.)
This little light of ours gonna shine in Mars
NASA using Dal laser technology to study red planet atmosphere
By CHRIS CLEMENTS
The green laser beam that's been shooting into Halifax's night sky
from Dalhousie University since September 2003 is on vacation.
The lidar, a form of radar using light from lasers, is in Ottawa being
used to calibrate a smaller version of itself. The smaller one, when
ready, will be going on a long trip — all the way to Mars.
Tom Duck, a professor of physics and atmospheric science at Dalhousie,
built the larger lidar and has been using it to analyze atmospheric
conditions over Halifax.
The Phoenix mission, another NASA project to explore the red planet,
will launch in August and the smaller version of Mr. Duck's lidar will
be part of it.
The motto of the Phoenix mission is Follow the Water and Mr. Duck's
device will be part of a meteorological package the Canadian Space
Agency is contributing to the mission. The lidar will help determine
how the Martian atmosphere factors into the water cycle by analyzing
the amount of dust, clouds and water in the planet's air.
Victoria Hipkim, a program scientist for planetary exploration with
the space agency, says the polar ice caps on Mars evaporate every
spring. The water from the ice caps skips the liquid phase completely
and transform directly from ice to vapour. It is this vapour that the
lidar will look for.
Ms. Hipkim said this mission will go where no other mission has gone before.
"As you can imagine on Earth," Ms. Hipkim said from Montreal, "if all
the missions had gone to the equator and then suddenly one was able to
go to the Arctic regions, they would get a very different picture of
climate and the planet."
But there's a reason polar missions to Mars are rare.
"We're landing in the middle of polar summer," said Mr. Duck, who has
a doctorate in physics from York University. "When it becomes polar
winter, the terribly cold temperatures will probably destroy the
spacecraft. We'd be very surprised to hear from it again after that."
After landing in May 2008, the mission is scheduled to last for 90
"sols," or Martian days. But Mr. Duck hopes the data will keep coming
for as long as possible because atmospheric lidars work better in the
dark, and the winters are a lot darker.
At the time of the 2003 unveiling of his lidar, Mr. Duck wasn't
considering sending his work to Mars, he was thinking locally.
Nova Scotia's air quality is better than a lot of other places in
North America, making it a good location to test the lidar. But
Halifax is downwind of the continent's major pollution centres and the
city gets plenty of airborne particles flowing in from other areas.
"Sometimes we say that Nova Scotia is the tailpipe of North America,"
said Mr. Duck.
In the summer of 2004, some of the first measurements taken by the
lidar picked up smoke that had travelled a long way.
"One of the neat things that we saw were measurements of forest fire
smoke from Alaska," said Mr. Duck. "That was really amazing. It goes
to show just how far aerosols and pollution in general can be
When the lidar picks up something unusual, like smoke from a forest
fire, chemical analysis is done to determine exactly what it is, then
mathematical models are used to figure out where that air picked up
Once that's done the results of the tests are compared to information
about the area where the air came from. In the case of the smoke,
there were massive forest fires in Alaska in 2004.
"It's exactly like detective work," said Mr. Duck. "You have to bring
all these different pieces together and solve the puzzle."
Halifax Regional Police use lidar as well. Const. Jeff Carr says they
have been using the detection system to catch speeders since 2000 and
it has a big advantage over traditional radar guns.
"They're highly accurate. The laser light beam measures distance and
speed. There's basically no room for operator error.
"You can basically clock the speed of anything that comes towards you,
whether that be a vehicle or even, believe it or not, a person walking
That's the kind of accuracy that's going to be needed to solve the
puzzle of the Martian water cycle.
Posted by Chris at 8/07/2007 05:07:00 PM
Saturday, August 4, 2007
From New Scientist:
NASA's Phoenix Mars lander blasted off on Saturday on a mission to determine whether icy ground near the planet's north pole could ever have supported life.
The mission launched at 0526 EDT (0926 GMT) on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.
The Phoenix spacecraft will land in May 2008, the first probe to touch down in either of the planet's frigid polar regions. It will dig up samples of the ice and soil there, analysing them for complex organic molecules that could be signs of past or present life.If you haven't noticed over the last few months, the future soon has a special connection with the Mars Phoenix Lander. Both Chris and I have conducted tv, radio and newspaper interviews with researchers involved with the project. In the next few days we will link our stories to the site (Chris is busy, and I can't figure out how to compress my tv story.)
Well, until Chris and I get our act together, here are a few video clips.
NASA - Mars Phoenix Lander
The NASA simulation
Friday, August 3, 2007
Another great find on the Make: Blog - a robot that rides a bike.
I like this little guy, especially the little turning gear in his chest (I think it has something to do with balance.)
But I am concerned with the children in Japan - if you fall off your bike, you might be hypnotised by blinking lights and taken away to the Murata Boy hive.
Or at least that is what Murata Boy told me.
I have a show about how soon the future will be.
Wait, I sort of have that show already....
Found these pictures on the Make: Blog. The radio station is RMF-FM in Krakow, Poland.
The station looks like a Doctor Who set.
My kind of place.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
"The workers killed in Thursday's blast had been testing a nitrous-oxide delivery system for a commercial spaceship under construction by Scaled Composites for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. And while it's too early to tell what effect Scaled's accident will have on the industry as a whole, it's safe to say it will take more than this to put the commercial spaceflight genie back in its bottle. Meanwhile, the three men who died -- Eric Blackwell, Todd Ivens and Charles Glen May -- are being remembered by others in the industry as heroes who died for a higher calling.
"We are reaching for the stars, and it is not easy," said space entrepreneur and Space Frontier Foundation co-founder Rick Tumlinson in a press release. "Accidents happen. Good people die. And we move on. We move on to reach the goal they died for, because to do less would be to dishonor them and their sacrifice."