ULA to begin human spaceflight in 2017

Today I was personally assured by ULA that they will be launching humans into space again from Cape Canaveral in 2017.

That was in response to my criticism of Charles Bolden announcing NASA needed to focus more on a destination for tourist travel.  I thought that was a clear indication of his ineptitude given the fact that since 2011 we’ve had a destination with no ability whatsoever to get people there.

That overwhelming fracking problem?

All we’ve heard for the last decade is the overwhelming, undeniable, evidence points to the fact that fracking has caused an increase in earthquakes in central United States.

No one can possibly question this statement of fact or risk being taunted in the exact same manner one would have been if they had the audacity to question global warming.  You’re a flat-Earther, Moon landing denier, you’re mentally challenged.   Seriously:

Now, the upside to this rather simple explanation for the increased earthquake issue is something the very simple-minded could understand, stop fracking.

There.

Problem solved.

However, as with almost every hot-button politically correct issue of the last twenty years, the problem is not what the activists think it is, and therefore, their solution won’t solve the problem.

This, is apparently the actual, real, problem:

Likely cause for recent southeast US earthquakes: Underside of the North American Plate peeling off

That sounds a lot more ominous than “stop fracking”.  However, that’s because it is.  As with “global climate change”, the underside of the North American plate peeling off into the Earth’s core is not something man is going to “correct” any time soon.  Blaming it on corporate America, greed, or Republicans won’t stop it.  Passing some bizarro tax won’t stop it either.  It has occurred since the dawn of Man and will continue long after our generations are gone.  And, if it does stop, so will mankind.

As with “climate change”, we’ll just have to figure out how to live with it since it will never, ever, realistically, go away.

The reality of this one is a lot simpler than proving the reality of man-made global climate change.  With the collapse of the oil industry, the fracking industry is dying a very rapid death.

By the end of this year, fracking production will be next to nothing.

How many people want to take the bet that the earthquakes will stop?

That Green Moon meme

First of all, let me get this off my chest, I hate memes. 99% of them are bogus. 99% of them are only there as click bait. If you you think you’re on top of the game because you forward every meme you stumble across, step away from the Webdream, this ain’t the place for you. Now that that’s clear, let’s move on to the latest garbage infesting Facebook, the green moon meme.

Now, according to this one,

“several planets are going to align”……

Let’s stop there for a second, shall we?  “Several” planets align every single day.

“Which will cause the Earth’s Moon”…….

How, pray tell, will tiny little dots in the sky, most of which are well beyond the Earth’s orbit, affect our Moon?  Get a pencil and paper, draw them real quick, then show us how they possibly could interfere with light that is coming directly from the Sun and hitting the Moon.  And remember basic physics still apply, NONE of those “several” planets actually emit any light whatsoever.  So, it’s got to bounce of that unnamed planet, reflect billions of miles back the Moon, and be strong enough to affect the wavelengths coming from the Moon.  That’s all.

Do yourself, and more importantly, all of us, a big favor, and fact-check your memes before pushing them on us.

And if you can’t seem to stop yourself from doing that, at least hold off on the planets aligning bull.  That will never, ever, impact anything.  All nine could align and nothing would happen.

But if you really want to look smart, DON’T SHARE MEMES.

Launch and Landing of Spacex Falcon 9

My God this is exciting stuff!

However, that excitement was dampened by this news:

The only thing that would be more exciting to me is if we could actually send a man into space and fix very expensive satellites.

You know, like we could before Obama was president.

March 17, 2016 Jupiter impact

This is just cool:

Jupiter is basically the solar sweeper.  We keep pondering what would happen to Earth after a major impact, Jupiter gets them all the time.  Although you’ll see some discoloring in the Jovian atmosphere, it never seems worse for the impact.  If it weren’t for Jupiter, Earth would get hit a LOT more often.  Life wouldn’t exist as we know it.  So, when you think astronomy’s not important, think again.

BTW, that video was shot by an amateur, John McKeon.  Pretty dang cool.

Comet P/2016 BA14

An insignificant, but fairly close asteroid, turned into a 3,000 foot wide comet, grazing Earth at a record close distance. Actually close enough for ground based telescopes to get some pretty neat images of it:

Which always makes me wonder, if we can’t really detect a half-mile wide comet grazing the Earth with any real idea of how big it is, which directly determines how big a threat it is to us, then MAYBE we should invest in technology that would allow us to do a better job doing that than, oh, guessing at life on planets billions of miles away.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey to me is the most important sci-fi movie ever made. For a lot of reasons. Not withstanding the remarkable imagery. When watching a movie, the imagery is what a person remembers the longest. No one did it better than Stanley Kubrick:

It’s also one of my all-time favorites of any genre, for a lot of reasons. I’ll probably tackle them later. It’ll definitely take more than one post to express my admiration for this film.

Interstellar

Remember all those things I complemented The Martian about?  Interstellar is everything that is wrong that I listed.  Matthew McConaughey delivers a sometimes over-the-top performance. There’s lots of drama.  Lots.  There are two serious WTF moments.  The second one takes the movie in a direction no movie has ever gone before.  I still don’t understand it.  The movie defies several well known laws of physics.  And, it takes liberties with pretty well documented natural phenomena that makes it real, real, difficult for a science buff to sit comfortably through, especially at two and a half hours.

All that being said, if you go into this just wanting to watch a good story, with SOME good acting, and have the ability to ignore the numerous plot holes.  This is a good one to watch.

I can’t do that tho.  Going to give it one thumb for entertainment value based purely on the incredible WTF moments, and that’s it.

The Martian

One of my favorite movies of 2015 by far was The Martian.

Just a very well done movie.  Easy to watch for anyone of any age.  Language is a little dicey for real young kids, but that’s the worst of it.

Now, I’m a science-fiction buff.  I like space movies.  I like it most when they at least pay some homage to reality.  It’s possible to have a good plot without freakish glaring holes.  This is one of those movies.  Science buffs like myself can enjoy the movie.  We’ll notice some sticking points, but not enough to wreck the movie.  Matt Damon tosses in just the right amount of humor and emotion.  Good movie.  All thumbs up.