Category Archives: Spaceflight

Captain Kirk Tweets the Space Station (updated)

This feels significant. Like we are crossing the threshold from science fiction into non-fiction.

Great post from Universe Today.


[Update] The @SarcasticRover brings us this light-hearted addition.

The Sarcastic Rover

What is better than a rover doing science on Mars? A sarcastic rover that hates the planet but loves “doing a science”. Check out @SarcasticRover.

A few choice quotes:

Almost forgot about my awesome discovery… It’s carbon. I found some carbon. Not sure how it got here. YOU’RE WELCOME.

When humans land on Mars I hope their first words are: “Look out, it’s got a laser and free will!” Then burning silence.

Every science begins with a simple question… usually that question is something like, “I wonder why that didn’t kill me?”

Whenever I flip a rock over on Mars I always yell “SURPRISE!” – just in case

Why Tent

After a one month deep dive into the Tent protocol, I am coming up for air to let you know what I’ve found.

For me, Tent boils down to a swiss-army knife for social networking, communication, and storage. Tent improves communicate by structuring information and by making you the owner.

Try Tent

First, try it for yourself.

The team putting together the Tent protocol has created a business with a reference implementation. Head over to, create an account, and try out their first service: microblogging. Use a few different apps to get a flavor for the ecosystem. My app recommendations are Zelten and Essayist.

The average user will be a few layers removed from Tent so here are a few reasons why they should care about this thing they cannot see.

Own Your Stuff

The stuff you create on the web is yours. At least it should be. Tent enables ownership by first saving your stuff in one place; in YOUR place. You can then allow other sites to see it as long as they agree to your licensing terms.

This time, THEY have to approve YOUR EULA!

Your connections are YOUR connections. These people are your friends, family, and colleagues. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the rest should not own your social graph so store it in Tent. If sites want access to your connections, you can grant them access with specific licensing terms and you can revoke that access at any time.

Create Stuff

Tent can already accommodate microblogging and longer documents. In the coming months, it will support many more content types.

This is beautiful. If you need something that doesn’t exist already, you can create it yourself or hire it done. Keep this new thing to yourself or make it a proposal for the official protocol. It is up to you. What could you make? Team collaboration. Home and hab automation. Personal logs and repositories. Opponent matching for games along with high score boards.

Tent in Space

I am a space enthusiast and would like humanity to make it to the moon and Mars. I am passionate about pondering how technology will be part of that endeaver and then making it happen. This is why I volunteer as part of the team and why I’ve spent the last month helping the first Tent applications become successful.

As you can imagine, space travel and settlement have challenges.  Most of them we can’t imagine yet.  Our space explorers will need software solutions to help meet those challenges.

Let’s give them a tool and die shop for software with Tent being a prominent member of the tool belt.

NASA taps Apple to build next Mars lander | Scoopertino

NASA taps Apple to build next Mars lander | Scoopertino:

Faced with severe budget cutbacks, NASA has turned to Apple for help with its next Mars lander.


One Giant Leap

Kyle Baxter in the article One Giant Leap:

Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on a world outside our planet Earth, passed away today.

Let that sink in a little bit.

And yet…

Keeping Mars Time on Earth

Are you viewing the images coming back from the Curiosity rover on Mars? I am.

I found myself wanting to know UTC time (the pictures are logged in this time) along with Martian time to keep things straight in my head. The sols (Martian days) really mess with my mind.

I found this Java-based Mars clock which you might find interesting. I’ve changed the map view to Robinson and have centered the map on the MSL Curiosity site.

Get Curious

Hidden in a post about fake Mars rocks going on tour is this gem:

The tour is part of a campaign called “Get Curious” that was created to honor the new Curiosity Mars rover, the main element of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is due to land on our neighboring world Aug. 6.

If, like me, you have a fascinationwith Mars, you might already know about this but this Get Curious site rocks! (Pun absolutely unintended). The site has a landing countdown, lots of information, and plenty of images and video. The enjoyment starts with the tethered lander hovering on the page. Next up, I am going to check out the Mars Landing 2012 e-Book from National Geographic.


Utterly Stunning Video – NASA Watch

NASA Watch:

Why does not feature things like this is simply baffling.

Agreed. This is inspiring.

Going Home | Letters to Earth

You are an astronaut on the International Space Station with one day left before returning home. What do you do?

Tomorrow we light our rocket,
 we burn our engines and likewise,
  burn a hole in the sky,
   And thus fall to Earth.
How does one spend your last day in space?

I love this Letter to Earth by Don Pettit explaining his thoughts on the day before leaving. Frontier indeed!

XKCD Exoplanets

Yes, this is an exciting time.