NEWS NEWSLETTER: SEPTEMBER 2011Digital Papyrus newsletter
"Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily"
Date: September 2011
Issue No. 86
No excuses... Well, not many. It's been an interesting month.
Started this file almost a month ago, really! Then there were last minute preparations for a vacation and mini-reunion with arauised. We had a wonderful time!
Meanwhile, the file sat, open and "in progress" on the desktop at home. The laptop was back in the shop for service. Crikey! And, after a week away from it, I forgot. I didn't even notice the file was open until last Friday... Sheesh! And all that was left to do were the "Precursor" and "Last Words".
"At the launch for Vortex, someone who regularly checks out my website asked whether I read science fiction and fantasy at all. True, I've been more inclined to use this space to mention out-of-genre books. I figure SF readers -- who are most likely to be peeking in here -- already know the genre and can be trusted to draw their own conclusions. I'm more likely to talk about books my regular readers might not have encountered. Performs a useful service, in my opinion. Moreover, I don't read in the field as deeply as I used to. Not because I'm not interested, but because reading for research takes up a lot of my free time and my eclectic taste rules out a dedicated diet of SF and fantasy."
From the Earth to the Moon: GRAIL spacecraft blast off
WILLIAM HARWOOD, STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE"
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL--Catching a break from the weather, a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket blasted off Saturday and successfully boosted two NASA science satellites into space on looping, round-about trajectories to the moon, the first step in an ambitious $496 million mission to map the cratered satellite's gravity and internal structure. FULL STORY (with video)
Rover begins 'whole new mission' at Martian crater
STEPHEN CLARK, SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Showing signs of wear after more than seven years driving across the plains of Mars, NASA's Opportunity rover is investigating a broad impact crater unlike any place ever visited on the Red Planet, effectively beginning a new mission for the celebrated robot, scientists said Thursday.
"This has the potential to be the most revealing destination ever explored by Opportunity," said Dave Lavery, the mission's program executive at NASA headquarters. "This region is substantially different than anything we've seen before. We are looking at this next phase of Opportunity's exploration as a whole new mission, entering an area that is significantly different in the geologic context than anything we have seen with the rovers." FULL STORY
Auditors to NASA: Don't trust your own cost estimates
STEPHEN CLARK, SPACEFLIGHT NOW
NASA's internal cost assumptions for developing a colossal heavy-lift Space Launch System and multi-purpose spacecraft are too optimistic should not be fully trusted, according to an independent analysis by Booz Allen Hamilton.
NASA released the executive summary of the Booz Allen Hamilton independent cost assessment Tuesday. The report is dated Aug. 19.
Although NASA Administrator Charles Bolden approved the design of the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket in June, the White House held up the public release of the launcher's engineering layout until the completion of a cost analysis. FULL STORY
NASA Finalizes Space Station Science Deal With Nonprofit
NASA has finalized a deal with a nonprofit group to run some science research on the American portions of the International Space Station.
In July, the space agency chose the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage some U.S. science efforts on the orbiting lab. The agreement between the two parties is now official, and it will pay CASIS up to $15 million per year, NASA announced today (Sept. 9). READ MORE
Spaceport's Construction Heralds Era of Commercial Space Travel
Leonard David, Space Insider Columnist, SPACE.com
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Spaceport America is billed as the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
Under construction roughly 45 miles north of Las Cruces on a remote desert landscape, the 18,000-acre Spaceport America site sports a nearly two-mile long, 200–foot-wide “spaceway” that can handle the suborbital traffic flow of pay-per-view space tourists using anchor tenant Virgin Galactic and its WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo system.
A futuristic-looking terminal hangar is nearly complete, adding to the facility’s space-age ambiance. But another vibe is in the air – a “build it and they will come” optimism, but one that also has its fingers crossed for good luck. READ MORE
PV for the single [Luna Sea - Gravity - 2007] featured on the album "Lunacy"
Song is also featured in sci-fi horror film "Another Heaven"
Hook in the Book
4 X 109 A.D.
Everybody falls, and we all land somewhere.
So we rented a room on the third floor of a colonial-style hotel in Padang where we wouldn't be noticed for a while.
Nine hundred euros a night bought us privacy and a balcony view of the Indian Ocean. During pleasant weather, and there had been no shortage of that over the last few days, we could see the nearest part of the Archway: a cloud-colored vertical line that rose from the horizon and vanished, still rising, into blue haze. As impressive as this seemed, only a fraction of the whole structure was visible from the west coast of Sumatra. The Archway's far leg descended to the undersea peaks of the Carpenter Ridge more than a thousand kilometers away, spanning the Mentawai Trench like a wedding band dropped edge-up into a shallow pond. On dry land, it would have reached from Bombay on the eastern coast of india to Madras on the west. Or, say, very roughly, New York to Chicago.
Spin Robert Charles Wilson
One of the many many advantages or portable computing, is the ability to get things done away from your desk. It helps, however, if your hardware doesn't decide to rebel.
Another spectacular advantage to modern portability is the ability to pack an entire library in the back pocket of your travel bag. Not that we read a lot while on vacation, but it was nice to have more than one book available for each of us without having to pack an entire briefcase full of paperbacks. The hubby is reading a mystery series, currently. Me? ...