Mission Highlights: Space X’s Dragon Makes History (in 2:27 seconds)

A historic moment in space history went almost unnoticed very recently. The first commercial launch of a space shuttle was made by Space X, an independent contractor who are now looking to expand the influence of the ground to outer space. If you doubt the importance of this first successful mission of Space X’s Dragon shuttle launched to the International Space station, to return to earth 2 weeks later safely having orbited the plant hundreds of times, this short video will help to give you a sense of it’s importance.

If you are wondering why this moment is important it is that historically, the pursuit of exploration and expansion for the Human race does not accelerate fully, and never has, until the common man, unallied to any government or political power chooses to take control of the technology and advancements that will allow him (or her) to see new, uncharted frontiers. While you can call it commercialism, commercialism is funded through people’s aspirations and dreams. The founding fathers of the New Land (although already occupied) went because, they, as individuals could see the value in a new frontier.

The passionate and dedicated team at Space X have done this and the pride and joy they have in achieving this, the first of so many goals is obvious in this speedy recreation of what happened just a few short weeks ago. The importance of this movement forward in the history of human culture comes through loud and clear, as one solitary space shuttle broke the blue sphere that houses us and moved us forward quietly into the future.

Sorry if it’s a little over the top but it’s early in the morning, I can’t sleep and this moved me more than perhaps I expected. Just thought I’d let you know that while most of us were sleeping, the universe around us got a little closer without us knowing…


Angry Birds Space, In Space!!

Newsflash! Angry Birds Space will be out on March 22nd. Don’t care? Fair enough. However, in case you were uncertain as to what might be special about the gameplay on this one Angry Bird’s have somehow involved a floating physicist (with a slight cold) in space. Yes, NASA’s Don Pettit from the International Space Station in orbit around the planet Earth is prepared to demonstrate to the kids how to wear socks in a weightless environment and how the new game will differ substantially from the current one by explaining orbital trajectories in space. Nice to see ’em trying out new stuff.

Considering that Angry Birds is effectively a game built on Team 17’s Random Map generating engine from Worms it’s nice to see their actually thinking about new physics engines to knock it all down. God knows they have enough money and time on their hands….

It’s now gonna use orbital trajectories instead of flat, old boring Earth based gravity sim. God help me I might actually get on it now. If it’s good enough for Space Ranger Don Pettit then it’s good enough for me. May his space flu clear up soon.

Dropping Science: Happy New Year From the ISS


I know I wasn’t going to post any Dropping Science over Christmas but this video hit the internet earlier today and if anything illustrates what can be achieved through cooperation and scientific exploration, it’s this. Happy new year from the International Space Station and happy new year from us at the bunker.


Dropping Science: What Does it Feel Like to Fly Over Planet Earth?


As promised, here is the second recent video from the International Space Station (ISS). This week we have time lapse footage taken by the station as it passes over the earth at night. Cities become fiery pits of light and lightning strikes flash out into space like the beacon of a lighthouse.

The recording begins over the Pacific and then heads roughly southwards across the Americas and down into Antarctica where it hits dawn. If you’re interested in playing “name that glowing dot” some of the cities and landmarks passed along the way are (in order): Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon.


As a reminder, we’re down at the Entertainment Media Show with David Tennant today and tomorrow. If you want to meet the good Doctor or pick up a signed copy of our own comic, please drop by to Earls Court.

Dropping Science: Here’s What The Aurora Looks Like From Space!

NASA have released a couple of stunning videos taken from the International Space Station in recent weeks. I’ll post the other one up next week, but this week I wanted to take a look at this clip which demonstrates that one of the most incredible sights on Earth is also one of the most incredible off Earth.

This particular display was caused by a coronal mass ejection from the Sun on September 14th. Three days later the charged particles from said ejection collided with the Earth’s atmosphere creating this dazzling show. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Space is wonderful.