The Ships of Space

One of the things that I love to think about is technology advanced space ships. When I do end up thinking about this I like to think about how they are built. What they would do. How the would be used and, where they would go. Whenever I get lost in my thoughts, I can see my inside one of these spacecraft exploring the universe as if i’m riding my bike around the neighborhood.

Whenever I picture one of these magnificent boats of space being made I think of the final scene from Star Trek “Beyond” when the U.S.S. Enterprise is being rebuilt. I would picture some sort of advance engine type firing up and preparing to warp with a low humming sound and the humming gets louder until they fire and the ship begins to move at immense speed to some far away solar system, even a galaxy where mankind has never seen before. Speaking of exploration, I imagine ships all over the universe thriving at the fact that there could be a new home (not saying earth isn’t good for humanity) and searching for minerals and more elements on the periodic table trying to advance our technology even more. Wouldn’t you want to see the vastness us outer space without full astronaut training?


Humans on Mars?

Putting the first man on the moon was one thing, but putting humans on Mars is the next step and is proving to be a lot more difficult. Although we have had robotic exploration of Mars for over 40 years and had the first rover land on Mars in 1997, we still aren’t close to prepared to send humans to Mars. Human exploration of Mars begins with the low-Earth orbit around the International Space Station to test communication devices needed for deep space exploration and how to protect astronaut’s health in deep space. NASA’s next step which is stated on their website is to send robots to redirect an asteroid to orbit around the moon to explore it in the 2020’s. However, NASA isn’t expected to send people to Mars until at least 2027 which has come with some controversy.

Many people think that the mission should be given more time to avoid possible errors and safety hazards. Although despite controversy there have surprisingly been over 200,000 men and women to sign up around the world. Keep in mind that this is also only a one way ticket because when you sign up to go to Mars there is no coming back. This number has to obviously narrowed down to a select few to actually go to Mars and so there is a training and then selection of who gets to go. During this selection one of the finalists in the Mars One program accused the officials in saying that their process of choosing is flawed because the top candidates helped finance the program. What do you think about this mission, would you ever go to Mars? I would definitely not but obviously there are people here on Earth that are completely comfortable with living on Mars for the rest of their lives.


Falling into Fame

As you may have known, Felix Baumgartner recently broke the barrier of sound, by skydiving 128,100 feet!  After spending 3 hours in a balloon flying 24 miles up, he then jumped at speeds of 833.9 miles per hour! After free-falling (skydiving without a parachute) for about 7 minutes, he then opened his parachute and was able to land on his feet! You can watch the youtube footage, here. However, before he was even able to leave the balloon, Baumgartner was required to complete a 40-step checklist rehearsing what he would be doing from stepping off the plane, to landing on the ground. Although the jump was assumed to be live, it was actually under a 20 second delay in the small chance Baumgartner’s head exploded!

Although Baumgartner broke the barrier of sound, he did not actually break the worlds free falling record! He was going to attempt to, but when there was confusion about his visor fogging up, he was instructed to jump from his current location. So, what do you think about the crazy jump? Would you ever try skydiving? I think it would be really fun, but 24 miles up?! That’s too much for me!

~Alle Marino

“Curiosity” hits Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory is a robotic space probe mission to Mars launched by Nasa in late November. The project successfully landed the Mars rover named Curiosity in Gale Crater on August 6 2012. Some of the reasons that they started the mission was to find how suitable the planet was to live on, it’s climate and geology, and also to find data for a manned mission to Mars. Curiosity has many different scientific instruments which were all designed by an international group. The rover is around two times longer, and five times heavier than the previous space rovers, Spirit, and Opportunity. It also carries ten times the mass of scientific instruments and samples. Nasa anticipates that the rover will explore for at least 687 earth days, and was tested to explore for about 4 years.

“The landing of the Mars science rover Curiosity does not qualify as a significant scientific achievement and should not be getting so much of the public’s attention, says the team of scientists who discovered the Higgs Boson last month. (Borowitz-New Yorker).” Of course the Higgs Boson discovery was very important and new but so is the Mars mission. For me, that statement is wrong because it is proclaiming that one discovery is bigger and more significant than the other. Both are equally of  importance. But I also feel that NASA’s mission to Mars has some defects. Mainly it’s one of being so costly. For example, the total cost of the MSL project is about $2.5 billion from the U.S. and Germany contributed 2.5 million euros which is equivalent $3.1 million. This expenditure is not necessary as is the mission not completely necessary either. The money could be going to local and more current problems in the U.S. However if Curiosity does discover great things, then our world benefits greatly as well. So, keep going NASA’s very own, very advanced rover, Curiosity!

~Samira Anant

The Death Of A Great

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died on Aug 25, 2012. He was 82 and is going to be buried at sea. Neil Armstrong, who commanded Apollo 11, the mission that landed men on the moon on July 20th 1969 did not like to be considered a hero. When he returned to earth with his crew, everyone wanted to see them; presidents, prime ministers and kings. They were awarded medals and even streets were named after them. They went on a tour and went to 25 countries which took them 35 days.

Neil Armstrong was such a big impact on the science world. He proved that humans were able to go to another planet and he was the first one to leave earth. In my opinion he accomplished one of the greatest things in history. If he hadn’t done what he did we might not know what is happening outside of earth. He helped the science community in so many ways. He will be remembered forever.

~James Eigner

To Infinity and Beyond

On May 22, 2012, SpaceX successfully launched the first commercial (non government) spacecraft into space. SpaceX’s launch vehicle, Falcon 9 carried the spacecraft, Dragon, into the atmosphere. After reaching space Dragon approached the International Space Station (ISS). Upon arriving, the station’s robotic arm moved Dragon into place to attach to the station. The spacecraft returned to Earth on May 31 splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, 450 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. This difficult feat was a success, making Dragon the first commercial spacecraft to visit and berth to the ISS.

I know you are wondering, why is this such an accomplishment? For starters, any  space travel you’d be driving for hours trying to find your vacation destination, asking your parents the same old question, “Are we there yet?” Secondly, only four governments have made it to the ISS. If a business makes it to space before other governments, that has to be HUGE. I am impressed with the SpaceX mission and am proud to say that I was alive when this feat in history was made.

~Arman Cabral

Transit of Venus

On June 5, 2012 an amazing event will happen. The Transit of Venus. This is when Venus passes between the Sun and Earth. This rare event  only happens in pairs. The last time this happened was in 2004. On the 5th it will be the second half of the pair. After that the next time our planet will be able to see this event is in over 100 years in  2117. This means that if you were born today this is most likely your last chance to see the Transit Of Venus. This amazing event will last over six hours. The best time to see it in Cheshire is around 7:00 and 8:00pm. For this wonderful site it is important to wear proper solar filters. If you don’t have these don’t worry there are plenty of other ways by using cardboard and binoculars. Now with this information I hope you can enjoy this spectacular event.

~Niletta Burton

The Future Is Not So Far Away!

Have you heard about the 60’s tv show called Star Trek? Well, the starship featured in the show named the USS Enterprise may not be so futuristic now! Scientists and engineers have plans for production of a similar spacecraft in twenty years. You might think, how is our government going to get all that money? Well just a slight tweak in taxes, we can get the money we need for this project very quickly.  We could have one of these spacecraft hurdling through space in no time!

Today, for man to travel to planets in our galaxy is not even really possible. But when we get these spacecraft up and running we could reach Mars in 90 days. With today’s technology we would reach mars in 214 days, which is a big difference and advancement in world history.

Almost all of the specifications are planned out. The ship would be built in space, there would be a rotating gravity wheel inside the saucer ( as shown in picture ) and it would look almost identical to the fictional USS enterprise! It would have 1 nuclear reactor to propel the ship and it is said to have 3 more to make the electricity needed to power it. The spacecraft will function as a spaceship, space station and a spaceport. It will be able to drop off rovers, satellites and other machines to observe a planet or go a different direction in space. There would also be space for people to check out space for the first and most likely only time (there will  be no guarantee that the price will be cheap). Also, one of the coolest most futuristic parts of the spacecraft is its laser it can use for cutting through ice or rock on a planet.

~Noah Perlroth

Beware Aliens…We’re Coming.

We can all probably admit that we as humans don’t take very good care of our planet.  It’s quite depressing actually, how wasteful we are.  I mean, yeah it’s enjoyable once in a while to purchase a bunch of junk that we don’t really need.  We all would agree that cars, computers, phones, iPods, etc.. make our life better for sure, but they also guzzle tons of energy that is destroying our planet. Not to mention how lazy we’ve gotten with putting trash in actual trash cans and recycling bins.  Having said that, I believe we do try to reverse, if not at least try to stop this process with recycling being easier than ever.  Organizations dedicated their time to physically cleaning up this Earth, solar powered items are available, and there is new smarter technology to conserve as much energy as possible.  But has anyone ever thought that maybe we’re too late? That the damage is done?  Earth will eventually perish and where are those future generations supposed to go to?

Fortunately, scientists have discovered a new planet that seems to be the most Earth-like yet!  It’s got an incredibly snazzy new name- HD85512b.  Gotta love those scientists’ creativity.  Research shows that it’s about 36 light years away and 3.6 times the mass of Earth.  It was spotted when a star’s light twinkled slightly, suggesting the gravitational pull of a nearby planet.  However, the best news for us is that it is the perfect distance from its parent star (its sun) to have liquid water exist on its surface.  More good news suggests that since it is less than 10 times the size of Earth’s mass, it is likely to have an atmosphere similar to it.  This planet also has a circular orbit, meaning that it will have a stable climate like Earth’s.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds super promising and I’m really excited for more research to be done.  However, there was an identical discovery like this in 2010 that implies that the planet found then was simply a data glitch, and indeed ceased to ever exist.  Hopefully, our technology has improved in the last year because if this really turns out to be an error, the human race is kind of screwed if we don’t clean up our act.  After all, where are the 2012 survivors going to go? Just kidding…but still.  Can’t wait until some new data arrives! Keep you posted!

~Esha Bhandari

Could there be a LOT of other Earths?

     Just a few days ago on September 12th, 16 new super earths were discovered. These are earths that are a little heavier than our earth, and can possibly support life. There is specifically  one, that is in a great location, a perfect distance away from a star. Could this be a new home for the human race? Or will there be someone/something already inhabiting this environment?

    The E.S.O. (European Southern Observatory) discovered 50 new exoplanets including the 16 super earths. They did this using HARPS telescope. To me it looks like ESO’s pulling ahead of NASA. Uh-oh. Anyway, they are focusing in on one planet in particular called HD 85512 b, (why they didn’t just give it a name like Hector or Felix or something, is beyond me), is estimated to be 3.6 times more massive than earth and 35 light-years away, which sounds like a lot. I can’t even imagine what it would look like!! The only problem is that they have to do more investigating on if it has liquid water on the surface.  And if it does?

Imagine saying, Awww you’re moving? Where are you moving to? And the response you would get is:  I am moving to planet HD85512 b! I’ll send you postcards through a rocket!

     That would be crazy! But then again the earth would be a lot less crowded and it may solve our problems of running out of natural gasses and other natural resources. I think what might happen though is we are eventually going to get there, and there will be another species on the planet already. The theory may be crazy but it’s definitely not impossible. When you think about how there are planets just like ours out there, it gets less and less unbelievable to think there may be other species like us in space.

     So, what do you think? Will we ever get to planet HD 85512 b? I think so. If you had a choice would you go check it out? I would, it would be so cool to see! And do you think we will be the only ones there? I don’t. What is your opinion?

~Emily Inzero