LightSail A

I was captivated by this photo of solar sails taken on June 8.


The image from The Planetary Society was featured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day for June 19, 2015. Described in part as:

Once considered the stuff of science fiction, sailing through space was suggested 400 years ago by astronomer Johannes Kepler who observed comet tails blown by the solar wind.

More can be read at both sites and on this blog entry.

Space Shuttle Endeavour


Today, Martine and I did something a little different. I was curious to see the NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour, which was on display in a large hangar at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles. To get there, we took the relatively new Metro Expo Line from its current end of the line in Culver City to the Expo Park/USC Station.

The Endeavour was amazing. There was nothing Disneyfied or cleaned up about its appearance. The shuttle had spent some 296 days in space between its maiden voyage in 1992 and its arrival in Los Angeles in September 2012. It had circumnavigated the earth 4,671 times for a total of 123 million miles. Instead of looking nice and neat and clean, there was something gritty about its looks, especially around the nose cone: The heat of re-entry placed the most stress on the protective tiles tiles (see below)…

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Curiosity Rover

Ground controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrate the successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars.

One of the first images received.

Visit the NASA site for information, photos, video and more.