Second Space Tourism company on-line.

Blue Origin’s Sheppard Capsule mission a success.

Having watched both the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin tourist missions, I think, as a tourist, I would choose Virgin Galactic over Blue Origin for a ride into space; there is just something about the civility of Virgin Galactic’s approach over Blue Origin’s. One thing Branson knows is tourism and entertainment. Taking off and landing at a SPACEPORT, with all the creature comforts, has such an appeal over something that looks vintage Russian (landing in a dirt field). The long term options seem better for Virgin Galactic with an ability to take off and land almost anywhere. I can see high-speed travel and eventually a transport to a Virgin Space Hotel. Blue Origin’s future seems limited.

That said, my bet is on SpaceX for going beyond tourism.

Space Tourism starts on July 11th, 2021

One of my favorite reads was “THE SPACE TOURIST’S HANDBOOK” by Eric Anderson, who on April 8th, 2001, blasted off in a Soyuz rocket for an eight day ride to the ISS and became the 415 person to enter space and the first person to pay to get there. His account and advice are written in this incredible handbook–– a must read for anyone wanting the see the blue dot from above.

Fortunately, the technology has advanced exponentially since 2001 and going into space with Virgin Galactic makes things a lot easier.

What really matter(s)

Take a break from the idiocracy. Gazing into these images, I can’t help but think our existence is a conscienceless for the universe to identify what, itself, is.

I write Science Fiction as a means of inventing future tech to see these wonders for myself.

Click on the image below to see the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021: Shortlist revealed (BBC.com)

https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-57653901

Super Flower Blood Moon

This Wednesday (May 26th) will be a Super Flower Blood Moon, a must see if you have yet to experience this astronomical event–– it does turn blood red before your eyes. It is an early riser so set your coffee makers on timer and get out there. For all my friends in Florida, I know you will have been up for hours. LOL.

The May Full moon is known as a Flower Moon. Blood Moon refers to a moon passing through the shadow of Earth. Super Flower Blood Moon a Full Moon, larger than normal because it is closer to the Earth, In May, passing though Earth’s shadow.

The map below (image only) shows what areas will be in totality or shadow. Use This link to find your exact location.

If you can’t make it outside, due to clouds then click below to watch it live

SPACE WEATHER ALERTS

I subscribe to NOAA Space Weather Alerts, because….. This is what came across this morning, an alert of K-7, which is pretty high on the scale and considered a STRONG storm.

I use a couple of sites to see what is going on after receiving an alert:

Space Weather Live

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

For Further information about the K-index, SWPC provides a short summary of it’s characteristics, and please visit the official Kp index web page(link is external) at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).

The K-index quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth’s magnetic field with an integer in the range 0-9 with 1 being calm and 5 or more indicating a geomagnetic storm. It is derived from the maximum fluctuations of horizontal components observed on a magnetometer during a three-hour interval. The planetary 3-hour-range index Kp is the mean standardized K-index from 13 geomagnetic observatories between 44 degrees and 60 degrees northern or southern geomagnetic latitude. The label ‘K’ comes from the German word ‘Kennziffer’ meaning ‘characteristic digit.’ The K-index was introduced by Julius Bartels in 1938. SWPC has used the K-index since the forecast center began operations.

Advantageous – Sci-Fi that makes you think

I so much enjoyed watching a Sci-Fi on Netflix called, Advantageous. A great film… a thinking person’s film. As someone once said, ‘everything has already been written’, and I believe that to true. Advantageous is not a new concept. Robert Sawyer’s Mindscan, which was one of my all time favorite Sci-Fi reads , delves into the reality of mind transference. But unlike Mindscan. Advantageous feels too close to home. There was one line in the film where the protagonist states, ‘There is too much data for the human to process’ and she went on to indicate this as the downfall of current society–– the root cause of so much emotional suffering. Just like COVID was the catalyst for amplifying remote access working, something that has been talked about in my generation, but never a great need to push this concept with face-to-face teams and city living doing so well. Then COVID hits and now the need is viewed differently and the millennials have their generational change as we did ours. Remote commuting is here to stay and the idea of concentrated work forces, I believe, are in the rearview mirror.

So that line in the film, Advantageous….. It got me thinking of something I have felt for some time, that eventually, for humanity to survive, it needs a quantum leap and I mean that literally. The problem with humanity is that it is based upon a binary system: On/Off, Up/Down, In/Out, Good/Evil, Right/Wrong, Yes/No. This is certainly evident in our current day society, amplified by social media. There does not seem to exist any middle ground and the polarization of a world society is being fed upon this system.

Then quantum theory comes along, not based upon a binary system but a system of three: On/Off/The other thing…..

So it makes sense to me that the evolution of humanity will be as different as wampum is to cryptocurrency. “With change comes casualty,” but through change, humanity will survive, synthetically–– a handing over of the baton to AI (based upon a quantum platform). Not until then will humanity be looked upon as an advanced galactic species acting as one. Everything is cyclic and where we began as one, we will become one again.

Advantageous depicts the dawn of an intermediate container species, just as the CD/DVD was to digital streaming.

FOREST 404

Biophony [bi oph ony] : A term coined by Dr. Bernie Krause, referring to the collective sound in Ecology of vocalizing species (sans humans). A good example would be the different species of insects, frogs, birds, monkeys, etc., in a rain forest, vocalizing at one time, but not talking over each other.

I was reading a post on LinkedIn by Elsa Sotiriadis, PhD (*BioFuturist*) about a BBC Podcast/Sounds/Experiment called, Forest 404, which is an eco-thriller starring Pearl Mackie with theme music by Bonobo.

I find the title quite clever, being that 404 refers to the HTTP error code: “Not Found” (therefore, Forest Not Found). The story takes place well into the future, where a young girl (Pan) has a vocation of sifting through sound bytes of the past (aka, the slow times) and must decide what to delete and what to keep (hint: they are rewarded for deleting and Pan is quite good at freeing up terabytes of space.).  She comes across a SoundScape of a rainforest; now extinct in the fast times, and becomes curious about the origin of these sounds. But curious is not what those in charge want.

To get started, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/forest (I recommend registering an account and logging in before you start listening).  It took me a bit to figure out what was going on and what to listen to in what order. I will save you this. Start with EP0.

  • All Episodes begin with Ep*
  • All accompanied talks begin with T*
  • All accompanied SoundScapes begin with S*

Each episode has an associated talk and SoundScape.  For example, Ep1 (episode 1) has an associated talk (T1) as well as an associated SoundScape (S1).  There are nine episodes in all. The episodes are the actual eco-thriller.  The talks are like a mini TED talks about the sounds explained through experts in their field (do not skip these), and finally, the SoundScapes are just that, the pure sounds of the episode (insight enhanced after the talks).

Each episode is about twenty minutes in length and the talks and SoundScapes range from four to eight minutes.  Take on one episode set per night (E, T & S), before bed, and I highly suggest the use of headphones, ear buds, etc. to get the full impact of how beautiful this truly is.

This entire production is an experiment to educate the listener and receive feedback to see if the needle has moved toward the understanding of Ecology (the slow times) and how good humanity (the fast times) is at interrupting the natural order of Ecology.  There is a survey you can take to add in your data set to this project. I would recommend you listen to at least two episodes and their associated talks and SoundScapes before taking the survey.

I have studied Ecology at length; it made up the bulk of my learning toward my degree in Marine Sciences and remains a major influencer in how I look at life around me. The rewards of the concepts, knowledge and observation have been the focus of my writings in Science Fiction.

I hope you take the time to experience this project, but it will require you to step away from the fast times.  This production is a beautiful blend of science, art, and the eco-responsibility of us all.

A Lost Opportunity

Mars Opportunity has not been heard from since June 10th, 2018, after a global dust storm swept across the Martian surface, most likely covering the solar panels with a layer of red dirt, too thick for NASA’s attempts to clear it away before Opportunity’s on-board batteries drained  against the cold winter months.

 

Today, NASA has announced it will stop trying to reach Opportunity–a time to say goodbye.

One of my favorite images from Opportunity was the tracks lit left behind, leading back to the horizon.  The things Opportunity saw…. Postcards wishing you were here.

Rover tracks disappear toward the horizon like the wake of a ship across the desolate sea of sand between the craters Endurance and Victoria on the Meridiani Plains. Opportunity took the image while stuck in the sand ripple dubbed Purgatory for over a month. This panorama (only partly shown here) was named Rub Al Khali after the “Empty Quarter” in the Arabian Desert.
Image Number: WEB13648-2014
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

Fifteen years ago, Opportunity landed on Mars and was only anticipated to last ninety days.  Congratulations to all the NASA engineers and staff, to all those who contributed the financials, to all of us on Earth who followed this journey.

To see the raw Images taken by Opportunity over the past 15 years, click here.

So long for now Opportunity, we will see you when we get there.  And one day, when all who visit and move to Mars, I am sure you will have a proper place in the Mars Space Museum among your peers told for and lost, who will have made our visit and stay possible.