Ballsiest guy of all time

Nothing screams balls more than this:

On Feb. 12, 1984, astronaut Bruce McCandless, ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by a nitrogen jet propelled backpack, previously known at NASA as the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger’s payload bay, McCandless went “free-flying” to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.

Seriously, the only thing between you and the ground is two hundred miles of nothing.  You just have to trust that your jetpack won’t fail, and you won’t fall.  Not sure I have the balls to do that.

10 inches and counting of global warming

About that global warming thingy, Boston is not the only place shattering records for snowfall.  In a place that normally gets about six inches a year in snow, we have ten inches on the ground with possibly another three or four coming tonight.  AND, if things hold up, we will set FIVE record low temps this week in five days.  We’re even going sub-zero for three consecutive days.  People, this isn’t even New England.  This is Kentucky.


Deep Space Climate Observatory launch

This was a perfect, beautiful, launch:

In case you’re wondering what the Deep Space Climate Observatory is, it is replacing the Advanced Composition Explorer.

What that thing has done since 1997 is measure, most importantly, what is coming from the Sun at the Earth.  All those solar storm warnings you see?  That’s ACE stuff.  Satellites don’t last forever and ACE was expected to die anytime now.

Now, you don’t have to worry about not having that one hour warning when the next solar storm is going to hit the Earth.

The Challenger Explosion

On January 28, 1986 I was attending college at Eastern Kentucky University. It was between classes so I was at the run down old house I rented at the time with a bunch of guys watching one of those old very large floor tv’s. Shuttle launches had become very routine and weren’t always televised. So, I sat down to watch the Challenger launch with most of mind set on whatever class issues I had coming up. This video probably looks a lot like what I saw at the time because I was watching CNN.

I did go to class, but I didn’t concentrate very well. I absolutely LOVED the Shuttle program and was pretty much convinced that due to the lagging public interest, this might every well have killed the entire program. As it was, it did shut down the Shuttle program for a couple of years.  They redesigned the shuttles, and they finally retired them in 2011.  From that point forward, NASA has had no capability of putting a man in space at all.  However, in 2011, I made it a point to take my son and go watch what was thought to be the last Shuttle launch.  Congress funded one more after that tho.  Nothing compares to being up close and personal ( about seven miles ), to a Shuttle launch.

Where ya gonna go?

Woke up to these tweets from NASA:

Recap: #ISS crew inside Russian segment after a coolant pressure alarm. No signs of a leak. Controllers are assessing. 11 a.m. EST TV update

About 7:50 a.m. EST: A live #NASA TV update on the situation aboard #ISS. Watch

This would just terrify me if I were there. Where exactly you gonna go in an emergency? Sure, there are escape pods, but what if you don’t have enough time to get to them? You’re talking just a few inches of metal separating you from instant death 24/7.

The astronauts there have balls most people never even dream of having.

This is turning out to be a false alarm, but still……

Dragon docks

I never get tired of this stuff.  The imagery is always stunning to me.

Dragon docks

Even though Obama has set US space travel back about thirty years, it’s probably a chance for a new generation to experience the thrills I did growing up as we once again reach out to the Moon and beyond.

That’s about as optimistic as I am right now dealing with a President with no vision at all. Even though SpaceX is doing ok, man still can’t leave Earth’s gravity for the first President since Johnson.

Does the Sun affect Earth’s climate?

At some point I’ll definitely go into greater detail.  But for the time being, do me a favor and give your opinion.  And even better, leave me a comment why.

<a href="" title="Are solar activity and the Earth's climate connected?">Are solar activity and the Earth&#8217;s climate connected?</a>