Archive for NASA

Mars – You Have To Laugh

Posted in America, Britain, British Humour, Canada, England, Environment, European Union, News, Space, UK with tags , , , , on 01/12/2015 by floroy1942
Alien Woman Shouting To Her Family - "Sweetheart - Supper's Ready!"

Alien Woman Shouting To Her Family – “Sweetheart – Supper’s Ready!”

Humankind is supposed to have developed into a super intelligent species here on Earth, but it’s amazing how many loonies still live among us. Ever since the Mars Rover landed on the planet and started driving around the surface all sorts of people have come up with the most ridiculous stories and theories the world has ever heard.

These people are the so-called UFO hunters, and they have been busy filing reports of alien life, animals, statues and spacecraft on the surface of Mars. According to them there has been and still is life on Mars, even though scientists have proven that it is a dead planet.

As more photos of alien beings, animals and even spacecraft emerge on the web I have to admit that some people can be very inventive, and are probably very good at using Photoshop. Just because the sun’s light catches a rock at a certain angle they immediately jump to the conclusion that it is a statue or an alien, or even an animal. There is no end to the inventiveness of some of these people. Take a look at the following and see what you think:


A Mars Inhabitant With Child Out To Get A Suntan

A Mars Inhabitant With Child Out To Get A Suntan

A Mars Rat

A Mars Rat


A Mars Lizard

A Mars Lizard

Ducks On Mars?

Ducks On Mars?

Mars Family

Mars Family

See what I mean! Scientists have proven that Mars is a dead planet but that does not stop the weirdo’s among us from coming up with all sorts of wild theories.

All you can say about them is that it does give you a chance of a chuckle now and then.

Mars Message

Mars Message

Until next time.


Is It Really Possible To Live On Mars?

Posted in America, Environment, Health, Insanity, Life in the Universe, Modern World, News, Space, Travel, USA with tags , , , , on 25/10/2014 by floroy1942
Going To Mars

Going To Mars?

I have read with some interest the reports on sending people to live on Mars, and the experiments currently taking place in Hawaii. Although I am not a scientist, it makes me wonder if we are not going too far. The idea that six people could live a sustained life on the Red Planet for many years seems just a bit too ambitious.

Mars Habitat Trial In Hawaii

Mars Habitat Trial In Hawaii

Consider what it would be like. You live in a small habitat (1,000 sq.ft.) with five other people with basically no-where to go. No bars, cinema’s, local shops, parks or even family. You can go outside but only when wearing a spacesuit, and once you get outside what can you do, basically nothing except go for a stroll. In the first few months there will be all sorts of experiments to keep you busy, but when they are finished, what then? You are doomed to spend the rest of your life on this planet because you can’t get back to Earth. I think the average person would go crazy after a few months of this.

Inside The Dome

Inside The Dome

The current experiments in Hawaii are looking at how people will react to one another when cooped up in a single habitat with nowhere else to go. So far there have been two missions of four months each, and two more are planned, one of eight months and one of a year. These experiments will give a good idea of how people react to each other in a small space over a given period.

Cosmic Rays - Earth Is Protected By Its Magnetic Field

Cosmic Rays – Earth Is Protected By Its Magnetic Field

The first challenge will be to get there and still be in sufficient good health to be able to build your habitat. Experience has already shown that prolonged exposure to cosmic radiation, which is everywhere in space, is detrimental to health. NASA has already learnt this from I.S.S. astronauts who stayed on the space station for prolonged periods. Experts consider the longest time a man can be in space is 400 days, and for a woman it is less at 320 days. The strength of cosmic rays is determined by the sun which goes through periods of high and low activity. The more activity the less the rays will penetrate our solar system. The time taken to reach Mars is anything from 131 to 225 days depending on the orbits of Earth and Mars.

So this begs the question, what affects will the cosmic radiation have on the Mars astronauts? Prolonged exposure to cosmic rays will cause radiation sickness and cancer. Will they be fit enough to get out of their capsule and begin building their habitat, or will they even survive long enough to get there? All questions no-one seems to have an answer for.

Let us presume they make it to the landing site, for then comes the next big challenge i.e. building their home. In a Mars atmosphere this could take weeks, and in the meantime they will have to live in their capsule or ship. One would presume that earlier spacecraft had been sent to the planet stuffed with building parts, tools and of course food and water. One can only hope that the craft carrying them will land near enough to those supplies. Imagine if something goes wrong and they land perhaps ten or a hundred earth miles from the supply craft. That could be a disaster. The one thing never to be forgotten is that with any plan, something can always go wrong.

Oxygen Scrubber As Used In Submarines

Oxygen Scrubber As Used In Submarines

Given that everything goes to plan, the habitat is built and they move inside, what then? They are forced to rely on man-made equipment that must keep them alive until either they die of radiation sickness and cancer, old age, or just maybe space science makes sufficient advances to bring them back in maybe ten or twenty years. So far as the habitat is concerned, they will have to rely on oxygen scrubbers to provide them with this necessity and they do work for long periods, like in submarines, but would they last for years on end? Everything has a life when it eventually wears out or something breaks.  Any breakdown in the oxygen system would be catastrophic, for the repair shop is not just around the corner.

ISS Meal - Yummy!

ISS Meal – Yummy!

The next thing that comes to mind is food. Current plans showing the proposed housing unit does not seem to show any space for plants. If that is the case then growing their own vegetables is out of the question. The inhabitants may have to rely on so-called space rations like they use in the space station. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life eating goo from a plastic bag. Can you?

ISS Supplies En Route

ISS Supplies En Route

People living on Mars will also require regular supply rockets in order to keep them alive. Anything can interrupt this which would condemn these people to die. A rocket failure, a tracking failure, even an economic crisis that would prevent such an expensive endeavour, for expensive it would be.

Launch Failure

Launch Failure

Allowing for the twenty four minute delay in radio transmissions to Mars, I can imagine the faces of the Mars crew to hear that their next supply ship has crashed on the launchpad. I for one would certainly not volunteer for something like this and I don’t think any sane person would. There are many experts who are of the opinion that this project is impossible from a practical viewpoint and it may be cancelled, but we will have to wait and see.

Moon Landing

Moon Landing

There is a saying; “Don’t run before you can walk”, which seems to aptly describe this current endeavour. It would make more sense to try this on the moon before attempting to put people on Mars. At least it doesn’t take ten months for anything to get there, communication is much better and it would not be as expensive. Most important though, is that it would be possible to retrieve people if the whole experiment went wrong. Perhaps someone should give this some thought.


Searching For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence – Is It Wise?

Posted in America, Britain, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , on 06/08/2012 by floroy1942

For as long as it has been technically possible, scientists have been monitoring the heavens for any sign of an intelligent race somewhere among the stars. To date of course no such thing has been found, but what if we did get a signal from some other life form out there in the Cosmos? The next big question would be: Do we respond?

Hollywood Aliens Come In All Shapes And Sizes

We have all at some time or another seen the Hollywood version of an invasion from space by a technically superior race of beings that look like anything from a beetle to something vaguely human. In typical Hollywood fashion it then becomes a test of survival for the human race against the nasty aliens. Somehow we always manage to find a method of overcoming them and sending them back where they came from with their tail between their legs! True Hollywood stuff!

But what of reality? What would we do if we did get a signal? Questions would be flying around the globe with many saying we should respond, while others would be more circumspect. There can be little doubt that if ‘they’ were able to send a message, receive a reply and start a conversation, it would make them far more technologically advanced than we are at the present time.

Pioneer 10

The human race already took a risk when Pioneer 10 was launched in March 1972 to study Jupiter and Saturn, and was then sent into deep space on the 1st of January 1974 after completing its planned tasks in our solar system. On board is a plaque showing the outline of a male and female, plus the position of Earth relative to our sun.

It carried telemetry to send regular reports back to Earth and the last successful reception of data was received 27th April 2002. Further attempts at communication with the satellite were made on 23rd January 2003 but the signal was too weak. In October 2009 it was estimated that Pioneer 10 had reached a distance of 100 A.U. (astronomical units: 1 unit equals 149,598,000 kilometers).

Pioneer 11 quickly followed its counterpart and was launched fourteen months later in 1973 and spent six years exploring the asteroid belt, Saturn and Jupiter before leaving our solar system on the 10th of October 1979. Both Pioneer probes were sent in opposite directions into deep space. Pioneer 10 was sent into space away from the centre of our galaxy, whereas Pioneer 11 was sent towards it.

Voyager 1 Flight Path

The two Pioneer missions were followed by the Voyager programme with probes 1 and 2, the first was launched by NASA in 1979 and again, after exploration of the asteroid belt, Saturn and Jupiter, they too were sent into deep space.

Voyager’s Golden Record

As with the Pioneer probes, each carried a plaque giving any finder information about Earth. It also included photos of the Earth and its lifeforms, a range of scientific information, spoken greetings from people, namely the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the United States, and a “Sounds of Earth” recording that included the sounds of whales, a baby crying, waves breaking on a shore, and a collection of Earth music, including works by Mozart and Chuck Berry. To be honest, I cannot imagine what an alien race would think of Chuck Berry!

What really interests me is what they would think of our planet if they manage to decipher what is on the disc. Depending on what they need to survive, like atmosphere, food etc. they could either find our Earth enticing or repulsive. To find a probe they would have to be much more advanced than we are and quite capable of interstellar travel, something that is not even on the horizon for mankind. We would no doubt be to them as the Neanderthals are to us, so what would they do, what would they want from us?

One Of The Most Famous Hollywood Aliens

Naturally, they may be benevolent and pass on some of their wisdom to us, or, they may decide we are ripe for the picking and annihilate us all. It may well be that all our weapons would be useless against such an advanced race and the only way we could defeat them would be bacteriological warfare and infest them with our human diseases. “Here you go mate. Try some anthrax or Ebola!”. Of course, on the other hand they may consider us so primitive that they leave us alone. In the immortal words of Captain James T. Kirk: “Beam me up Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here!”

Gliese 581 Orbits A Red Dwarf

One thing is for sure, if the probes are ever discovered by some advanced race of beings somewhere out there among the stars, the fate of mankind may hang in the balance if they ever decide to come and have a look at us. However, considering the distances involved, the nearest Earth-like planet to us so far discovered is Gliese 581, which is around 192 trillion kilometres from Earth or 20.3 light years away, so maybe there is some comfort in that. But, science fiction has often speculated on the existence of wormholes and travelling at the speed of light, and when you think about, it could only take them 20.3 days to get here if they are so far advanced. Scary thought!

No, to me its a scenario that is best left alone, and I just hope that all these people listening to the stars for sounds of intelligent life do not answer the call if, or when it comes.


The UK’s Two-Faced Stance On Cybercrime

Posted in Britain, England, Extradition, Government, Hacker, Hackers, Health, Insanity, MP's, Police, Prison, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/07/2011 by floroy1942

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read an article about the Home Office stance on cyber-crime last week, when Crime and Security Minister James Brokenshire said at the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance launch that “there should be no safe havens for cyber-criminals”! He called for  ‘international treaties, bilateral treaties, and common agreements between nations to make sure miscreants active outside their home country can be prosecuted when scams and hacks take place’.

Can’t Touch Me-I’ve Got Asperger’s!

I definitely agree with the statement, but I couldn’t help feeling it was two-faced considering the case of Gary McKinnon, who was arrested in Britain in 2002 for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computer systems. He caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage and is still wriggling his way out of deportation to the States for trial after nine years. The US government has been trying to have him extradited since 2002 when the FBI and British police tracked him down. Initially, his defence stated he was looking for evidence of UFO’s, but when that didn’t seem to work they suddenly found out he was suffering from Aspeger’s Syndrome. How convenient!

Related Post:

The sad thing is, as the case drags on people are now feeling sorry for him and want him released. It’s ridiculous! They seem to have totally forgotten that he is a criminal and deserves punishment. It’s people like him that cause misery, expense, and often despair among computer users across the globe.

It is worthy to note that Asperger’s Syndrome did not appear to have any impact McKinnon’s ability to answer questions or explain himself during this interview. In fact, he came across as a perfectly normal person and much more intelligent than the two fawning interviewers who did nothing to hide their sympathy and support for him. To me, this man’s ‘defence’ is the weakest I have ever heard!

Ryan Cleary-That’s Funny So Have I!

Ryan Cleary, who is alleged to be a member of the now defunct Lulzec Group was caught a couple of weeks ago. Cleary, who is said to be highly intelligent, is going down the same road as McKinnon by claiming he too suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, and if these two stick to their stories they may never face trial.

Report on arrest of Ryan Cleary:

Related Post:

“Asperger’s Syndrome is distinguished by a pattern of symptoms rather than a single symptom. It is characterized by qualitative impairment in social interaction, by stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, activities and interests, and by no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or general delay in language. Intense preoccupation with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness are typical of the condition, but are not required for diagnosis.” Quote from Wikipedia.

What this says in a nutshell is that a sufferer does not mix with others well, and suffers excessive concentration and attention on a single subject. It however goes on to say there is no significant impairment of cognitive development (i.e. relating to the process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception) or general delay in language (i.e. no speech or understanding impairment).

Now to me, this does not mean these two have any excuse for ducking the legal process, or for that matter, deportation when required by another government. They may not be functioning the full 100%, but close enough to it to face their comeuppance.

So this whole scenario makes the statement by Brokenshire somewhat of a barefaced lie. You cannot go around asking other countries to stop being a haven for cyber-criminals when we ourselves do just that. Every hacker, spammer, and cyber-criminal who gets caught can just claim to have Aspergers Syndrome and walk free!

Do As You Would Be Done By?

But there again, why not? Stranger things have happened within the British justice system! It seems the Home Office have forgotten the old saying: “If you wish to lead, lead by example!”


The 17,500mph Rubbish Tip

Posted in Britain, Environment, Europe, Insanity, Life in the Universe, Modern World, Plastic Rubbish, USA with tags , , , , on 29/06/2011 by floroy1942

It amused me somewhat to read the other day about a supposed UFO sighting over the BBC building in London that was ‘filmed’ and put on YouTube. In my opinion, all UFO sightings can be discounted these days, and in fact for the last several decades, because no extraterrestrials could get near our planet because of all the garbage that is currently surrounding Earth.

Yuri Gagarin – The First Human In Space 1961

Ever since the first manned space flight by Russian Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, the level of debris floating around above our atmosphere has risen rapidly. In 1981 it was estimated there were about 5,000 items both large and small floating around the Earth. By 2011 this has increased to 22,000 known objects with a total mass of around 5,500 tonnes What will it be in 2050 – 100,000, a million? These figures do not take into account the hundreds of items that have burnt up in the atmosphere over this period.

It has become necessary for people like NASA and their Russian equivalent to use sophisticated radar to track the path of all objects in this gigantic garbage patch to avoid collisions when launching space missions.

We have already done quite a good job of turning our entire home into a waste dump (remember Plastic Island?), and have for the last four decades been equally successful with the space that surrounds it.

The International Space Station

This week the astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) had to retreat to their Soyuz rescue vehicles because of a near miss by a small object. It missed by only 250 metres. Had it hit the station, the results could have been catastrophic, and many billions of dollars would have ended up as more useless space junk.

News Report:

This is the first time such drastic action has been necessary, and it was undertaken because the piece of trash was seen too late for avoidance measures., On many occasions in the past the ISS has had to move to get it out of the trajectory of floating objects.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink!

Actually, the term ‘floating junk’ is a bit of a misnomer as the junk is not actually ‘floating’, but travelling at a speed of 17,500mph. Moving that fast, a small fleck of paint can dent a panel or crack a window on the ISS. Any astronaut on a space walk would be instantly killed by even such a small thing. Remember the old adage that a piece of straw will pass through a block of concrete if it is travelling fast enough?

 Space junk can be anything from a tool lost by an astronaut during a spacewalk to the burnt out sections of rocket boosters or dead satellites. They can vary in size from several millimetres to something the size of a small house.

Many are in low earth orbit (LEO) and eventually burn up on reentry into the atmosphere, but those further out like weather, communication, and GPS satellites in geosynchronous orbit, can be with us for years and even forever.

The Final Launch Phase – Adding To The Debris

Every time someone sends something into space we end up with burnt out rocket stages, shields, discarded satellites, Elton John’s old piano and many other bits left floating around out there and no-one seems to care. I suppose it will not be until an astronaut dies, or there is serious damage to the ISS that costs millions of dollars to repair, that someone will eventually decide to bring out the space vacuum cleaner.

Space Junk Tracking:

Some plans have already been put forward to clean up te mess, but we have yet to see one in action. One idea was to launch a satellite that carried a huge net capable of capturing  debris but so far nothing has come of it. While the idea may have some merit, it certainly hasn’t been thought through sufficiently because to cover anything like a reasonable area the net would have to be gigantic. The use of lasers has also been suggested, but to be honest, on the scale they would be required, they are still science fiction.

The Future Of ‘Taking Out The Trash’?

I wonder how long it will be before we are so swamped in trash that someone has the bright idea of sending it all to the Moon or Mars?

It seems clear to me that before Man can attain his long sought goal of reaching the stars, something will have to be done to solve the problem of all this space junk. For there can be little doubt that eventually we will seal ourselves in with an impenetrable layer of rubbish that will make space exploration a distant dream.


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