What's happening in space (that's interesting)


Hello, I’m Scott Manley, and today I’m going to show you how to get back to Kerbin from Gilly using nothing but the thrusters on a spacesuit.


In other news about that launch, the cargo…

Christmas Dinner Rocketed To International Space Station

Important supplies! And mouse food without mold, apparently.


Nah, that’s pretty much what I meant by this -

Here is an external shot of the rocket landing -


First I heard moldy food. And I thought, that’s not good. Then I heard moldy mouse food. And I thought, oh okay… wait, no. That’s still not good.


Where are the brains for the engine and thrusters on those returning candles?


Isn’t that an actual video of his?

Scott makes me smarter and yet I feel dumber at the same time.


Yeah. It wasn’t just a random example, but something he did just before atmospheric hearing was added.


SpaceX should hire Scott Manley for their launch and pre-launch commentatings(?).


That’s really cool. It’s understandable that Einstein might despair about the constant given that we are only now beginning to uncover this stuff scientifically.


I don’t have the time to full out nerd about this kind of thing, but I have always been pretty fascinated by it.

Some people freak out about the weirdness of the universe and how tiny and insignificant we really are. I think it’s amazing and awesome.


Cool interview with SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell. Marketplace is an economics show so it’s not super-space-techy, but it’s still really interesting. Humans on Mars in 10 years, eh? Bit optimistic but it’s nice to know there’s someone out there working hard on it!


I don’t think they’ll solve the “radiation is bad for you” problem in just 10 years development time. Unless they encase everything in lead, which will cost a metric shitload to launch into orbit.

Kind of similar to us needing to solve the “Moon dust from Hell” issue before we can start building bases there.

Basically, people are too optimistic.


When I see pics of Mars it looks like such a forsaken place, devoid of life, it makes me wonder why anyone would want to live there.

I understand that we need to expand and get off the planet we’re killing, but Mars is just so unappealing.


Only a couple dozen people “live” in Antarctica, and that’s on Earth, where there’s oxygen. Nobody is going to live on Mars until it’s terraformed.

People will go there, though.


We’re going to end up populating Mars with smarter and smarter robots. Humanity’s children will reach the point where they’re like, hey, why bother with this oxygen crap it just makes stuff rust.


Seems like it would be far far easier to stop killing our planet.

Heaven is the place where all wrongs are righted. If you’ve got heaven to look forward to after you die, it doesn’t matter how screwed up things are in life. It’ll all get erased and be better after. Space is heaven for the space age; it has the same mythos and ties into similar cultural ideas about our place in the cosmos. It’s also similarly chimerical. Earth is our home in profound ways that we mostly fail to appreciate: from microbiology, to ecology, to the chemistry of the air and soil, to gravity. Weather, the length of the day and year, magnetic poles, our distance from our sun, the quality of light–we’re specifically adapted to all of that. We’re irrevocably entangled in our planet’s ecology. We rely on social, cultural, energy, and economic systems that depend on our multitude. Any environment on Earth is many orders of magnitude more hospitable to us than anywhere else would be.


I agree that we should take better care of the planet, but will we? Also, there are things that could still wipe us out if we do take care of the environment – the giant asteroid hit, nuclear war, something like AIDs that is as communicable as a cold virus, AI run amuck, etc.

The idea is if we expand off the planet we increase our survival chances. If we don’t we probably have a much more limited lifespan as a species.


In the end it’s just a question of, is it desirable for intelligent life to go out into the cosmos or not? If so, then tooling around our own solar system is a stepping stone. If not, then we can just settle in comfortably and try not to wear out our little biosphere. Some day the sun will explode, but that’s on a time scale orders of magnitude beyond the entire history of humanity.

I want us to go out into the cosmos, but it’s possible this is just because all that Star Trek viewing in my youth short circuited my rational processes. It depresses me to think that our species might end up stuck in one place, unable to go somewhere new. But, without short term economic incentives and suitable places to go, it’s a big ask to go up there.


For those in the northern hemisphere, Mercury is quite high in the morning and about as easy to see as it ever can be (high enough to see from my drive, well above the local trees and buildings). The picture is for Dec 21, when Jupiter and Mercury will come close to lining up.


Lots of launches to watch today