Category Archives: Space

Astro-Alex startet wieder!

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.

“I think of myself not as an astronaut who paints, but as an artist who was once an astronaut.”

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.

“Are you sure there isn’t something else we could calculate?”

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.

Stephen Hawking has passed away

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.

“Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge.”

The Guardian: Don’t panic! The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is back. “It’s the biggest thing to happen to the universe since the Vogons blew up Earth. Our writer grabs a babelfish and goes behind the scenes as the space satire returns.”

“The original cast has been reunited to record a new radio series of the intergalactic comedy that, from small beginnings in 1978 on Radio 4, grew into a juggernaut that spawned a TV series, a Disney film, a much-loved series of books, several stage shows and even a video game.
[…]
The new series combines unpublished material, dug out of Adams’ notebooks by archivist and superfan Kevin Jon Davies, and newer plotlines drawn from And Another Thing, Eoin Colfer’s book continuing the saga, which was commissioned by the Adams estate after the author’s sudden death at the age of just 49 in 2001.”

I’ve read the four-part trilogy and enjoyed the original radio play. Looking very forward to this!

Link via MetaFilter.