NPR “joe’s big idea”: NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Chemical Building Blocks For Life On Mars.
“For the first time, scientists say they have clear evidence that the chemical building blocks of life exist on Mars.
What they can’t say yet is whether there is, or ever was, life on the Red Planet.”
Heute started die nächste Crew zur ISS, der Start findet um kurz nach 13 Uhr deutscher Zeit statt. Bis zur Ankunft auf der ISS wird es allerdings dieses Mal zwei Tage dauern. Die Mission heißt Horizons.
Der deutsche Astronaut Alexander Gerst (Astro_Alex auf Twitter, Astro_Alex_ESA auf Instagram, Alexander Gerst auf Flickr) ist mit von der Partie und wird als erster Deutscher auch Kommandant auf der ISS werden.
DLR: Mission Horizons: Raketenstart mit Alexander Gerst aus Baikonur, Kasachstan (deutschsprachig), Live-Stream auf YouTube.
Alexander Gerst schreibt außerdem ein Blog bei der ESA.
The New York Times: Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86.
“Alan Bean, who became the fourth man to walk on the moon and turned to painting years later to tell the story of NASA’s Apollo missions as they began receding into history, died on Saturday at Houston Methodist Hospital. He was 86.
His death was announced by his family in a statement released by NASA.
Mr. Bean stepped onto the lunar surface preceded by Pete Conrad, the mission commander of their Apollo 12 flight, in November 1969, four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first lunar explorers.
The flight of Apollo 12, while thrilling in its own right, was not nearly as dramatic as the pioneering mission of Apollo 11, but it resulted in a more extensive exploration of the moon.
Mr. Bean returned to space in July 1973, when he commanded a three-man flight to the orbiting space research station Skylab, the forerunner of the International Space Station. The astronauts on that mission spent 59 days in space, a record at the time.”
ars technica: Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the Moon, has died. “Bean loved being an astronaut. He may have loved being an artist more.”
I’m just now watching an interview with Alan Bean in two parts from 2011. (YouTube, ca. 40min altogether)
See also MeFi obit thread.
XKCD What if: Earth-Moon Fire Pole. “My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman’s pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth? – Ramon Schönborn, Germany”
I loved this and am tempted to use it in one of my next physics lessons…
Link via MetaFilter.
NPR The Two-Way: Stephen Hawking, Who Awed Both Scientists And The Public, Dies.
“There aren’t very many scientists who achieved rock-star status. Stephen Hawking, who has died at the age of 76, family members told British media early Wednesday, was definitely a contender.
“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” the family statement said, according to The Guardian. “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him for ever.””
Link via Garret.
Many more links and stories about Hawking in this MetaFilter thread: A brief history of a man.
I read his most famous book “A Brief History of Time” (Eine kurze Geschichte der Zeit) years ago, but think I’ll re-read it now.