Tag Archives: nasa

  creature features

Moon Rockets, Space Brains, And Vampire Squid, All In This Week’s Sci-Blog!

Hi there, Wonkeratti! It’s time once again for another appalling Wonkette sci-blog.Check the seals on your pressure suit and come on in! At 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, NASA successfully launched a moon rocket exploration mission from the Space Coast. Woohoo, we’re goin’ to the Moon! Sounds like it’s the mid 1970’s, doesn’t it? It’s 2013, though and there has been change. Instead of the Kennedy Space Center, the Space Coast we’re launching from is now the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in the Eastern Shore of Virginia at the southern tip of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. This was the the first-ever lunar mission to launch from Virginia. Instead of an enormous, heavy lift Saturn V designed specifically for the Moon program,the launch vehicle was a smaller, 5 stage Minotaur V, constructed by the Orbital Dynamics company. Orbital Dynamics converted the Air Force’s retired stockpile of LGM-188 ballistic missiles to the Minotaur satellite launch vehicles. You might remember the LGM-188 better if we used its officially-designated euphemism “Peacekeeper” or its problematic development name “MX.” No longer carrying  a payload of 10 300-kiloton civilization obliterating bombs, these rockets are lofting instruments of exploration. Swords into Plowshares — that’s change we can believe in. After the jump, a nice video of the launch, courtesy of NASA Television: Read more on Moon Rockets, Space Brains, And Vampire Squid, All In This Week’s Sci-Blog!…
  creature features

Kickass Telescopes, Newly Discovered Mammals, And Welcoming Our New Insect Overlords, All In This Week’s Sci-Blog

Welcome Wonkeratti, to another appalling Wonkette Sci-Blog! You will need Drinks. You will not need Pants. We live in weird times and it’s awfully easy to become disoriented — especially if you’re obsessed with keeping up with the news. Perhaps, as you’re holding a little flat screen in your hand that pulls the news out of thin air you click on an article with an actual photo of an extrasolar planet light years away and you suddenly realize “Woah — I’m living in The Future!” Then you see that the State Police are photographing the license plates of everyone on the road “just because,” government contractors are hoovering up all of your phone and emails and the NSA is building a massive data storage center in the desert because Ft. Meade’s run out of room to store all of your dick jokes. “The Future” is suddenly “1984.” If all that’s not weird enough, you go home, flip on the news and find that what you thought was an obscure pastel-colored Internet Meme has transmogrified into a social movement and is coming to a convention center near you. Suddenly “The Future” of “1984” is “The Twilight Zone” and you need to shut off the TV before the political news comes on. All things considered, deciding to build a philosophy and lifestyle around a little girl’s cartoon about magical ponies is probably a rational reaction to a manifestly irrational world. If traveling to a new city with an extra pair of pony ears and walking around in a blisteringly pink wig works for you, then that’s great. Someone who’s a genuine writer and a scholar of society could expound on this phenomenon much better than I. The folks at Bronycon ’13 are clearly happy and seem to be far more well adjusted than the average CPAC conventiongoer. At least at Bronycon, the Furries are out in the open. Read more on Kickass Telescopes, Newly Discovered Mammals, And Welcoming Our New Insect Overlords, All In This Week’s Sci-Blog…
  the final derptier

House GOP Will Explain To NASA All About This Space And Science Stuff

Hello, have you met the Republican wingnuts on the House Science Committee? They include: Paul Broun, who has told supporters that evolution and the big bang theory “are lies straight from the pit of hell,”  and Dana Rorhabacher, who once suggested that temperature fluctuations on earth millions of years ago can be traced to dinosaur flatulence. There is also good old Todd Akin, who has stated that “legitimate” rape cannot result in pregnancy because women’s bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down.” So it is not really a big surprise that these learned men reviewed NASA’s carefully prepared plans, shot them to shit, and gave them new marching orders to complete on a reduced budget: Read more on House GOP Will Explain To NASA All About This Space And Science Stuff…
  Revenge of the Nerds!

Nice Time! Florida Teen Who Constructed Hydrogen Bomb In School Sentenced To Space Camp

Okay kids, put on your thinking chaps, it’s time for a science quiz! Q: What happens when you combine aluminum foil and hydrochloride-based toilet bowl cleaner in a sealed container? A: You don’t have to go to school anymore, AND YOU GET TO GO TO SPACE CAMP! (Also a small amount of hydrogen gas is released. Oh, the humanity!) This is known as Wilmot’s Law, so named because it’s what happened to that girl in Florida, Kiera Wilmot, who got Zero Toleranced and led away from Bartow High School in frickin handcuffs fer chrissakes because she showed initiative and has functioning brain tissue, which is Not Okay In Schools Anymore, because… terrorism? We guess terrorism. Read more on Nice Time! Florida Teen Who Constructed Hydrogen Bomb In School Sentenced To Space Camp…
  to the stars so long as it's cheap

Newt Gingrich Still Angling For Job As Governor of Moon

The 2012 election is the collision of many, many smaller issues: Immigrants, and how they’re destroying everything; the disenfranchisement of Poors, due to laziness; that little issue of health care and who gets to blame whom for $700 billion in Medicare cuts. Plus deficits and tax rates and reproductive rights and Freedom and student loans and Sharia law and Libya and Gitmo and income inequality and gay marriage and how single women are whores, just to name a few. There’s a lot of stuff going on in a lot of places. What should we be focusing on? I know! The moooooooon! If some of you Undecideds were feeling pretty ambivalent about all those issues but are super passionate about space travel, the Romney campaign has prepared a brochure for you — they’ve got a whole space plan! One Republican, however, is displeased with the plan: Captain Newton Tiberius Gingrich, he of the famous primary-season promise of an American moon base. Read more on Newt Gingrich Still Angling For Job As Governor of Moon…
  A Wingnut Of Mars

Spite-Generated Harpy Michelle Malkin Has Thoughts On NASA, Science, Forced Abortions Probably

Nerds everywhere are celebrating last night’s successful landing of NASA’s “Curiosity” rover, breathing a sigh of relief, glorying in the awesome technological achievement, and giddily anticipating that some JPL engineers will almost certainly get laid. But hold on just a damn minute, here: rage-based nonsequitur generator Michelle Malkin would just like to remind all you liberals that you are not allowed to be happy about this. For one thing, she’ll have you know that Barack Obama, the wildly free-spending socialist who just can’t stop spending taxpayers’ dollars on everything, actually proposed a $300 million cut to NASA’s budget, probably so he could spend it on abortions for hippies on welfare. It was so horrible that planetary scientists were drivent to holding bake sales to raise money. For another thing, something-something-something HYPOCRISY!!! Read more on Spite-Generated Harpy Michelle Malkin Has Thoughts On NASA, Science, Forced Abortions Probably…
  thou shalt not envy thy opponent's credentials

CA Republicans Sue Hispanic Dem Candidate For Being Too Inspirational

A law firm with ties to the California GOP is deeply bothered to see Mexican-American Jose Hernandez’s name on the ballot for U.S. Congress (that is not the joke yet, but we could probably just stop there, ha ha) because he has listed himself as “astronaut” on the line for his occupation. Hernandez, the son of migrant Mexican laborers, is a recently retired astronaut, a fact the law firm pointed out in a lawsuit filed last week. This means that Hernandez is CHEATING, by describing himself according to his career accomplishments over the span of more than say, the last week. May the Republicans suggest a more rule-abiding generalized occupational description such as “Brown person” instead? Read more on CA Republicans Sue Hispanic Dem Candidate For Being Too Inspirational…
  one very small step for lego man

Canada (Two Teenagers + Lego Man) Takes Over American Space Program

Things have not been going so well for America’s space program. We had a sad when we read about how the Obama Administration basically told Barack he could not have any exciting or inspirational “moon shot” programs, because everything had to go to Wall Street (heh heh). So not only did “moon shot”-style inspirational programs such as the “national smart energy grid” or whatever get killed, but the actual NASA program to send people to the Moon and to Mars got killed. Granted, those programs were giant boondoggles and probably never would’ve sent anyone anywhere, except to federal prison for bribery, but …. And now two Canadian kids have sent a (Lego) man into space, for about $400. Read more on Canada (Two Teenagers + Lego Man) Takes Over American Space Program…
 

Some Guys: Obama Teleported to Mars With Us

The latest ploy to draw skepticism (or bizarre, unwanted fandom) to our $99 Million Dollar Man, President Obama, is to suggest that he teleported to Mars during a top-secret CIA mission to explore the planet in the 1980s. According to two guys named Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings, Obama, then known as one “Barry Soetoro,” joined them and seven other young Americans, including the current director of DARPA, in a project that involved teleporting to the Red Planet through a so-called “jump room.” The claim is apparently serious enough that the White House has taken the time to deny it ever happened to Wired magazine’s Spencer Ackerman. Read more on Some Guys: Obama Teleported to Mars With Us…
  weeping boozehounds from space

John Boehner’s Drunken Crying Ruins NASA Ceremony (VIDEO)

Were you lucky enough to have a real, live astronaut visit your elementary school back when public schools still existed? Bet the kids were so so super excited!!! We definitely were, because, of course, even a low- to middle-tier astronaut is several orders of magnitude cooler than anyone who hasn’t been weightless in Outer Space. But did your classmates cry? Did they cry like the actual children they were? Hey, it’s okay! Crying was a developmentally appropriate response, according to science, probably! This, however, is not the case when the “child” is your Weeper of the House John Boehner. Read more on John Boehner’s Drunken Crying Ruins NASA Ceremony (VIDEO)…
  the final frontier

Bored NASA Agents Now Invading Denny’s In Search of Moon Rocks

NASA had so much fun scaring the hell out of random horrified people by showering Earth with giant gobs of flaming scrap metal that they figured, “why break a streak?” So now they’re busy terrorizing and manhandling 74-year-old grandmother Joanne Davis for trying to sell a tiny speck of a moon rock that her late husband gave her to raise money for her ill son, because only NASA is allowed to have moon rocks according to NASA rules. Instead of just going to ask her about her nice little moon speck, however, the agency set up a full-blown fire ‘n brimstone sting operation and rained columns of officers in body armor on the elderly woman while she was having lunch, at her local Denny’s. Hooray for your taxpayer dollars at work! Read more on Bored NASA Agents Now Invading Denny’s In Search of Moon Rocks…
  terror from the skies

NASA Now Says Falling Satellite Will Maybe Destroy America Today

Have you heard about that no-big-deal falling six-ton bus-sized satellite that wasn’t really a risk for the United States? Well, NASA just changed its story, and now the U.S. is in the path of destruction. The satellite will fall out of space in a few hours. It might break up into pieces that mostly slam into the oceans, and it might kill you and everyone you love. Then again, it might kill people you don’t love. So, think of it as your own erratic U.S. predator drone or Angel of Death. Read more on NASA Now Says Falling Satellite Will Maybe Destroy America Today…
  cold-ass jawas

Dumb NASA Names Frozen Gas Giant Planet ‘Tatooine’ (Because It Has Two Suns)

The Kepler planet-hunting telescope has discovered something amazing 200 light years from our own dumb planet: a frozen gas giant about the size of Saturn, which orbits dual stars. So, other than it being a frozen gas giant the size of Saturn, the planet is exactly like the baked desert world of Tatooine from the Star Wars movies. Read more on Dumb NASA Names Frozen Gas Giant Planet ‘Tatooine’ (Because It Has Two Suns)…
  space bums

Nice Spaceman Running For Senate From Washington State; Will End Minimum Wage & Colonize Space

You know things are horrible in American Politics when a guy campaigning for U.S. Senate on a platform of free trade/space colonization and ending the minimum age so bums can work as low-paid “government helpers” sounds more reasonable than actual senators currently in positions of great power. Read more on Nice Spaceman Running For Senate From Washington State; Will End Minimum Wage & Colonize Space…
  lost in space

Goodbye Forever To America’s Dreams of Space Travel (and Everything Else)

America’s half-century of manned spaceflight came to a crashing end (actually a safe landing) today as the space shuttle Atlantis completed the final flight of the entire NASA program. In a nation that refuses to care for its sick and find work for its tens of millions of idle people, sending a 1970s low-orbit glider around the Earth every so often is obviously out of the question. As for replacements, there is no replacement for the shuttle. Human exploration and colonization of space will be left to some other country, or perhaps it won’t happen at all. And considering what we’ve done to this planet, there are worthwhile arguments for simply keeping our dumb, violent, diabetic race of slobs here on Earth until we die out from bird flu or anal leakage or whatever. Read more on Goodbye Forever To America’s Dreams of Space Travel (and Everything Else)…
  it's morning in america

Newt Gingrich Is Not Allowed In the Republican Party Anymore

Uh oh, you guys, a Republican presidential candidate Said a Thing Yesterday, and considering there was no higher profile candidate to trump (PUN?!) his thing, Newt Gingrich is your official Monday morning Guy Who Said a Thing Yesterday. On Meet the Press (which confirms that this happened Sunday, because if it’s Sunday), criticized the Republican Party in Congress for coming up with actual policy for once (Paul Ryan’s Budget of Wonder), calling the Medicare cuts “right-wing social engineering.” Uh, okay! We guess he is officially kicked out of the Republican Party, for criticizing it. That is usually what happens when people criticize their own party right? Or are we just trapped blogging about politics even though 99% OF POLITICS IS ABOUT NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENING? [WSJ] Read more on Newt Gingrich Is Not Allowed In the Republican Party Anymore… Read more on Newt Gingrich Is Not Allowed In the Republican Party Anymore…
  we are them

NASA Scientist Finds Evidence Life Came To Earth On Meteorites

Look up there tonight, in the sky. According to a distinguished scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, a whole bunch of bacterial life arrived here on Earth inside a rare kind of meteorite that just happens to break apart on contact with water. Do those people always giving you hell look like aliens? Maybe they are … just like you! We might just be the worst space aliens in the universe. This, at least, explains Mitch McConnell. Anyway, it seems we have something close to proof that life is not unique to Earth. With thousands of planets discovered in the past couple of years and billions of planets likely in our own little Milky Way galaxy, the whole “we are alone in the universe” special story was getting pretty beat up. Now, we can all acknowledge that we are descended from common alien space bugs — barnacles on the Ship of Existence — and we don’t ever have to talk about any of this ever again, right? Read more on NASA Scientist Finds Evidence Life Came To Earth On Meteorites…
  nice try moon

Man Doesn’t Believe In Gravity, Will Interview President

Let’s all cue this video up to 1:40. Yes, this atheist is rather dumb, because he doesn’t seem to understand either: The Moon creates the tides. It’s called “gravity,” a revolutionary new theory. Will NASA please tow the Moon away from Earth so we can show Bill O’Reilly his single belief is incorrect? Hopefully in time for Barack Obama’s interview with him on Super-Bowl Sunday. What? Read more on Man Doesn’t Believe In Gravity, Will Interview President…
  my name is laika

Obama Wants To Send Stray Dogs Into Space, To Die

About two-hundred years ago, our enemies The Rooskies put an alive dog in a space capsule and shot it into orbit, for laughs. Russians have a very dark sense of humor. But Americans — especially the kind of Americans who run things, in Washington — do not have any sense of humor at all. Instead of coming up with something even more ridiculous, like putting a cat in a submarine or setting Elvis Presley on fire, the Americans freaked out and said “Good Gravy we have got to also send some unwanted little creatures into space,” so they captured John Glenn and next thing you know Tom Wolfe was selling the movie rights to The Right Stuff and half a century later it’s almost impossible to remember that by the 21st Century we would most definitely have human space colonies all over the Solar System and mod orbital sex resorts. Anyway, Obama says today is our “Sputnik Moment,” even though that was pretty clearly 53 years ago. It’s like Obama doesn’t even know how to use Wikipedia, probably because he’s afraid it will leak all over the place. Read more on Obama Wants To Send Stray Dogs Into Space, To Die…
  cary grant was right

Invisible Space Monsters Made of Arsenic Will Kill Us, NASA Announces

NASA finally made their big announcement about alien life this afternoon: They were looking around some mud somewhere and found a microorganism that is made of arsenic instead of the usual stuff of which every other living thing on Earth is made. This means life can perhaps exist in many other ways we can’t conceive, so there are probably a bunch of invisible arsenic dinosaur-like things walking on the Moon, and we didn’t even know it. It may turn out there are intelligent beings with structures of PURE GOLD on other planets, when we were stupidly looking for worthless carbon-based humanoids all along. THERE IS A NEW FRONTIER: WE MUST VENTURE OUT AND KILL AND MAKE NECKLACES OUT OF THESE KIND GOLD-BEINGS. Read more on Invisible Space Monsters Made of Arsenic Will Kill Us, NASA Announces…
  journamalism

NASA Press Release About Space Monsters Led Reckless Bloggers To Mention Space Monsters

Thank the Neutered Dwarf-Gods of Journalism for the Columbia Journalism Review, which has bravely come to the defense of “responsible science reporters,” who have all become scientifically butthurt because NASA put out another bullshit press release promising “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” But what if the NASA announcement isn’t really about an impending invasion of Horrific Galactic Hell-Beasts who will destroy our world after slowly eating/digesting its 6+ billion miserable human occupants? What if a blog was irresponsible about this? Read more on NASA Press Release About Space Monsters Led Reckless Bloggers To Mention Space Monsters…