Tag Archives: space-ish

Space Is Not That Big

So we just had the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, and there’s renewed interest in doing another landing on the Moon.  That got me thinking about space as the final frontier. How much is there out there really?  I added … Continue reading

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Mad Science #5: Fluorine-Based Rocket Fuels

One of the purest examples of maniacal engineering is the field of liquid rocket fuels.   These chemicals have to contain as much energy as possible, and so are  dangerous by definition.  A fun and opinionated version of their development … Continue reading

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Nothing Has Ever Been Manufactured in Space

I happen to own something that has been to space – a laptop bag made partly from the orange nylon of Soyuz re-entry parachute: A Montreal company, Everquest Design, went out to Kazahkstan in 2003 and recovered the parachute from … Continue reading

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How Space Science Might Have Gone

But for an accident of history, this is how space science would have been done: This is the launch a few days ago of the Compton Spectrometer and Imager, a soft gamma-ray (0.2 to 10 MeV) telescope designed to look … Continue reading

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The Human Population of Space

… is currently about six.   That is, if one adds up all the person-years spent in space by various crews, it comes to about six for recent years.  In a previous post from 2010, “The Population of Space”,  I had … Continue reading

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Ceres: the Best Place in Space?

We’ve recently learned something extraordinary about the dwarf planet Ceres, something that might make it the most habitable place in the solar system outside of the Earth: It appears to have an icy mantle 100 km thick.  That would give … Continue reading

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“The Martian”: Really Mundane SF

A few years ago Geoff Ryman, the renowned author of “Was” and “The Unconquered Country”, got sick of the tropes of science fiction.   Faster-than-light interstellar travel, aliens, and alternate realities were cheap devices that encouraged boring and lazy writing.   While … Continue reading

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