Planetary geology and memories of Marty Prinz

With Phoenix Lander scooping ice cubes and sand castles from the polar beach of Mars, it seems that planetary geology is becoming popular. Images from the Messenger fly-by of six months ago are now being recycled through the news media, showing vulcanism on the surface of Mercury. Even the New York Times gets into the […]

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Taikonauts Rumble The Heavens

Fun acquisition for my oddball space books collection, a Chinese copy of “Twin Dragons Rumble the Heavens.” The book is a photo essay on the Shen Zhou 6 orbital mission, in which the intrepid adventurers, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng circled the earth and sailed back to the desert highlands of Mongolia in October 2005. […]

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Broadcasting live, from Mars

It was a blast to watch the live NASA broadcast of Phoenix landing on Mars from sleepy Salem, Massachusetts! Since my buddy, Don, who lives in Beverly doesn’t have cable t.v. or internet, I called him up on my cellphone and turned up the volume so he could listen along to the first powered landing […]

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Gimpy Spirit Strikes Gold

The ailing Spirit Rover–already a four-year veteran of Mars exploration–is now limping backwards over the red planet.   One of Rover’s front wheels is gone gammy, hopelessly stuck.   But, lo and behold!   The unmoving wheel is dragging a trail through the crust of Mars, revealing layers of silica and traces of titanium.  These elements are common […]

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Welt Raum Fahrt – Space 1960

On a trip to Vienna last week, I was happy as a clam to find a copy of “Das Bildbuch der Welt Raum Fahrt,” [Picture Book of Space Travel] which documents the latest advances in Space Travel up to the year it was published, 1960. Directly across the street from the Sigmund Freud Museum was […]

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Race to the Moon

For some reason September 2007 is Moon month, or is that an oxymoron? At MIT, the film In the Shadow of the Moon was launched with a free reception and discussion. Ten years in the making, this film promises some amazing high-resolution footage of the Apollo missions that we have never seen before! Halfway through […]

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Rocks below, Stars above

Little did I know when writing the previous post that Google was cooking up SKY for their latest version (4.2) of GoogleEarth! Now, the greenest tyro can download GoogleEarth, click on Sky, and begin scanning the heavens. Naturally, Google makes this easy and intuitive. They provide a simple menu of Celestial Objects to choose from, […]

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