Sunday, January 15, 2017

Space news

a few days ago I linked to a podcast about the black woman mathematician in the Space Program. Apparently the story is now a movie, and (surprise surprise) it is a hit at the box office.

Imagine that: A movie about ordinary (well, very smart but ordinary hard working) people is a hit. And yes, it has a race relations subtheme, but that's not why it is a hit: it's a good story.

And a reminder of how things really were in 1961... the good and the bad.



in other space news, (via DavidReneke), Space X is back at work.

The SpaceX rocket explosion in September 2016 kept certain satellites from launching into space and affected Iridium Communications’ shares in the marketplace. ‘Astro Space News’ contributor Megan Ray Nichols reports.
The project, dubbed Iridium NEXT, will replace the 20-year-old satellites that comprise the largest commercial satellite network in the world. SpaceX’s mission is to place 70 satellites from Iridium over 18 months through seven launches.
The new satellites offer better communications coverage for a variety of entities, such as the aviation industry that will use the technology on airplanes to replace the outdated ground-to-air radio communication currently employed by airports and operators. The explosion delayed the satellite project for months. This project will allow companies, like Iridium, to replace aging satellites in low-earth orbit.


From PopMech: The Science behind the "impossible" EM Drive...

The NASA researchers provide a number of possible explanations for this weirdness, like internal vibration or heat distortion, none of which involve breaking the laws of physics. And truth be told, one of those explanations is almost certainly correct. It's much more likely that the researchers are overlooking something than that much of our physics is wrong.


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