Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Rosetta pick

ESA just posted a new, detailed pic of the comet the Rosetta probe is now orbiting after a 10-year flight. I only have a few comments. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

1. Great image. Hats off to ESA for nearing completion of a difficult mission.

2. I sort of believe in a global village, but not on Earth -- in space. ISS is a good example of sharing risks and costs. I think that all capable nations should band together more, and in bigger ways, to do some really exotic stuff in space. Colonizing Mars and the Moon, for example. As an American... let's rephrase that, as a non-leftist American, I prefer seeing NASA in the headlines and the U.S. flag on the Moon and Mars, but I don't mind at all when ESA is in the limelight. I always wish others well. Not always, I guess: here, here, and here.

Many nations have space programs now and many others are heavily involved, so a few massive, joint projects are in order. I'm not talking about the ISS or ISSv2 because that would be just another satellite around Earth, which is something we've been doing since the 1950s. I'm thinking new and amazing. Only one nation can do anything big on its own, and that's mine, but we lack the leadership to get anything done. The current president of USA believes the No. 1 mission of NASA is "outreach to the Muslim world." That's not a joke, though it should be. Even though the USA can move independently, why? The more people involved, the bigger and better the projects can become.

Space Programs (from memory), in order of experience and capability:

Iran (nominally)

Involved but without individual launch capability (from memory):

South Korea
South Africa
New Zealand

3. When are the nutjob conspiracy theorists going to notice an anomaly on the new Rosetta pic? There's a spot on the image, near the center and towards the upper-left, that looks like a hole was drilled BY AN ADVANCED ALIEN RACE (heh).

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