Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Voyager enters the 'Final Frontier'

Here's a link to Blogsofwar on Voyager I. On it's 28 year mission, it will soon leave the "solar system." Here's a nice graphic of the bow shock on JPL's site.

Solar Sails and NASA missions reviewed

In the Wednesday, May 25th issue of the OC Register are two space related articles. The Local section has an article about Solar Sailors. A Tustin company named L’Garde is manufacturing a sail made of Mylar to propel a spacecraft. NASA wants to monitor solar activity by using a spacecraft propelled by a solar sail.

The second article is in the Science section about NASA’s reviewing the missions planned. Manned Space flight is taking precedence as some planetary projects though Jet Propulsion Laboratory would be “deferred--not eliminated.” Two missions deferred are the Terrestrial Planet Finder and the Mars Science Laboratory due to a tight budget. Getting Discovery ready for launch has increased the budget by 1 billion.

Good news is NASA’s new Chief Michael Griffin is looking at Saving the Hubble if the next two Shuttle fights are successfully flown and demonstrate safe flight to rescue the ailing space telescope.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Star Wars Technologies and the spin offs

As an original "Star Wars" fan from 1977, I'm looking forward to the last installment. George Lucas developed the technology that now appear in
"Home stereos, cell phones, medical imaging devises and virtually every Hollywood studio.."
Lucas formed a group of computer artists to create a computer program called "EditDroid," one of the first digital editing system. The system allowed movies to be transferred to computer disks from film reels. Now all movie-editing bays contain the technology. Lucas sold off his technologies because at the time there was no market for them. Pixar was a spin-off from selling his computer team to Steven Jobs in 1986. Another technology Lucas created was the theater sound system "THX."

My hats off to George Lucas and all the spin-offs he created. Special effects in movies have really improved since "Star Wars" in 1977.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Voyager program saved for now

The Voyager program was in jeopardy of being cancelled. Money has been transferred from another fund. Space Politics has more. I wonder how far, far away Voyager is from earth. It was a grand journey traveling to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and beyond.