|"Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily"
Date: February 2011
Issue No. 82
Twenty five years past, on 1986.01.28, the Challenger exploded barely a moment after take-off. For those of us who grew up believing in our "reach for the stars" this was nearly as shocking a disaster as 9-1-1. The space industry is still reeling under the impact. To the general public, it seemed a worthy excuse to cut back on the programs to extend our explorations beyond the surface of the planet.
We would do well to honor the sacrifice of the Challenger crew by actively supporting their dream.
All SF General and O*W*C chats will now be held in our Web chatroom at:
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New SF books for February 2011
IORICH - Steven Brust
LEVIATHANS OF JUPITER - Ben Bova
THE SEA THY MISTRESS - Elizabeth Bear
SECRET OF THE DRAGON - Margaret Weiss, Tracy Hickman
PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE - Michael W. Gear, Kathlean O'Neal Gear
BRENDAN - Morgan Llywelyn
CONAN THE TRIUMPHANT - Robert Jordan
STORM OF RECKONING - Doranna Durgin
UP JIM RIVER - Michael Flynn
SHADOW PROWLER - Alexey Pehov
GODS OF RIVERWORLD - Philip Jose Farmer
LEGION - William Peter Blatty
IN FIRE FORGED: WORLDS OF HONOR V - David Weber
GOLDEN REFLECTIONS - Fred Saberhagen
MUCH FALL OF BLOOD - Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Dave Freer
COUNTDOWN: THE LIBERATORS - Ton Kratman
BOUND IN BLOOD - P.C. Hodgell
MOON FLOWER - James P. Hogan
Science Fiction - Penguin Group(USA)
Bantam Dell Publishing Group
Random House, Inc: Science Fiction and Fantasy
MegaflowGraphics artwork by Patrick McEvoy.
Seen in games, comics, books and multimedia products.
Movie & TV Buzz
2011.02.04 2011.02.11 2011.02.18 2011.02.25
NOTICE: For the time being we will be discontinuing FICTION CORNER
Conventions for February 2011:
2011.02.04-06 SUPERCON XVIII Hastings, MN
2011.02.10-13 CAPRICON 31 Wheeling, IL
2011.02.11-13 2011 EATON SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION Riverside, CA
2011.02.11-13 CORFLU 28 Sunnyvale, CA
2011.02.18-20 BASAURICON Basauri (Biscay), Spain
2011.02.18-20 BOSKONE 48 Boston, MA
2011.02.18-20 FARPOINT 2011 BALTIMORE, MD
2011.02.18-20 GALLIFREY 2011 Los Angeles, CA
2011.02.25-27 CONDOR 2011 San Diego, CA
2011.02.25-27 MYSTICON Roanoke, VA
2011.02.25-27 VULCAN EVENTS SCI-FI CONVENTION TAMPA 2011 Tampa, FL
2011.02.27 COLUMBUS COMIC BOOK & SCI-FI TOY SHOW Columbus, GA
Your favourite convention not listed here?
go to O*W*C Resources Conventions Calendar for more!
SPACE BABEL - The latest in Science, NASA and Other Agencies
NASA's first solar sail makes unlikely comeback in orbit
LOS ANGELES -- After testing the nerves of engineers, NASA confirmed Friday a tiny satellite unfurled an ultra-thin solar sail, a technology that has far-reaching applications both near Earth and in deep space.
Project officials have "multiple confirmations" of a successful sail deployment, according to Dean Alhorn, the NanoSail-D mission's project manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
SpaceX proposes rocket-powered landing system
LOS ANGELES -- SpaceX announced Monday it submitted a proposal to NASA last month to start an estimated $1 billion process upgrading the company's Dragon capsule, the first step in making the ship ready for crew rotation flights to the International Space Station.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based firm transmitted the proposal to NASA Dec. 13. It entered the second Commercial Crew Development, or CCDev 2, competition along with several other aerospace contractors for a share of the expected $200 million payout to be released as early as March.
SpaceX to Upgrade Robotic Spaceship to Carry Astronauts
With one successful test flight of a private space capsule under its belt, a commercial spaceflight company is looking ahead to another big step: upgrading its robotic Dragon spaceship to carry astronaut crews.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies known as SpaceX has submitted a proposal to NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program to begin developing a version of its Dragon spacecraft to transport people into orbit.
The company submitted the proposal Dec. 13, just five days after launching the first Dragon space capsule into orbit, returning it to an ocean splashdown, and fishing the craft out of the Pacific Ocean.
Virgin Galactic's Private Spaceship Aces Another Glide Test
Leonard David, SPACE.coms Space Insider Columnist
The private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic scored another successful drop test of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spacecraft today, the latest in a series of smooth solo glides over the California desert for the commercial spaceship.
SpaceShipTwo, designed and built by the Mojave-based company Scaled Composites, was released from its huge mothership a little after 8 a.m. local time today (Jan. 13) and soared in glide mode back to Earth to a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The high-altitude flight did not reach space, but was the fourth in a series of demonstration flights ahead of an actual suborbital spaceflight test.
Mars Hides More Water Than Thought, Study Suggests
Charles Q. Choi, SPACE.com Contributor
The poles of Mars might not be the only place where water ice might be hidden on the Red Planet now scientists suggest it could also lurk at the equator in craters.
This ice could impact future exploration of Mars, and perhaps even serve as a source of life-sustaining water for any human missions there.
Past research had suggested that water could once be found at the Martian equator. Now, however, the Red Planet's climate is thought to be too harsh, generally, for water to exist the air on Mars is so thin that any ice on or near the surface of the relatively warm equator would quickly vaporize.
However, scientists have unearthed evidence that ice could be found right below the surface much closer to the equator than expected. Radar scans of equatorial hills on Mars also suggest those might harbor as much water as a polar ice cap, although researchers could not rule out the possibility their findings might reflect fluffy, dusty or loosely packed material that holds only a small amount of ice.
NASA Reveals New Tech Ideas to Explore Final Frontier
WASHINGTON NASA unveiled new technology ideas for the future of space exploration in a series of panels this week that encourage the public to weigh in on where the space agency's limited funding should go.
The first series of panels part of a yearlong series of technology meetings ran through today (Jan. 28). The series discussed 14 tech-related space topics, ranging from robotics, power and navigation to entry, descent and landing, including how to land on other worlds and asteroids.
This is the first NASA technology roadmap meeting in which the agency has reached out to the public for ideas.
And, of course, don't forget to check out our very own Blog:
A short break from gravity
Hook in the Book
It was a glorious spring day in Sacreth, the Valley Kingdom. The sky was a soft expanse of blue, unmarred by even a wisp of cloud, and the brilliant radiance of the sun was eased by a gentle breeze from the west, bringing a clean smell of wildflowers and freshly-cut grass.
The sun's rays gleamed on the pristine but aging building of the University, along the cool banks of the Roe River. They shone on the vast open space of the Quadrangle, the heart of the campus, where hundreds of students--and in many cases, their professors--were passing the day in study, sport, or simple relaxation in the company of their friends. Birds fluttered by, or sang from perches on the hundreds of trees planted in strips along the edges of the neatly manicured expanses of grass that dominated the square.
The southern edge of the Quadrangle was demarcated by Avellin Hall, named after one of the six mages who had founded the University just over four hundred years ago. The students referred to the structure as "Caterpillar Hall," and the building with the three wings that had been added since its original construction, did resemble a narrow, segmented creature, stretching out to fit every stride of available space. A portion even intruded onto a corner of the Quadrangle, as if menacing the adjacent Tallwarden Hall.
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