Posts Tagged ‘space’

As I have mentioned in the past, I would love to have the chance to explore places that no one has ever seen before. Given the lack of options available in reality, I do so through writing, and through gaming, especially games which feature exploration.

A new game is coming out soon (well, hopefully soon), which will cater for that desire for exploration like no previous one has. No Man’s Sky is a space exploration game in an infinite universe, or at least as close enough to infinite that you can see it on a clear day. Featuring some 128 quintillion worlds, there are so many that a single person will only touch on a fraction of them and many, probably even most, may never be seen. The chances that you will come across a planet already discovered by another are low, so you will be the first to ever see many of these places. And that appeals to me.

 

The whole thing is procedurally generated, from planets to plants and animals and everything in between, and it looks stunning. It may very well be the last game I need to buy for a long time – I will be playing for years I can foresee, just puttering around the universe, visiting new planets, seeing the new creatures and landscaped there and generally just exploring.

 

Around 90% of the worlds you come across will be barren worlds, covered in deserts or ice, toxic or irradiated, and not bearing life. 10% will bare life, but only 10% of those, or 1% overall, will be flourishing. Finding those gems will be a big part of the game. Even so, all worlds will be interesting and unique and worth a visit – as long as you have upgraded your suit to survive them.

One thing I do plan on doing when I get the game is documenting my journeys through it.

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The engines used to spend Apollo 11 to the moon have been fond – more than four kilometres below the surface of the Atlantic.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, used private funds to locate then raise the F-1 engines, and hoped they can be displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.  He also maintains they remain the property of NASA

It is great to see such an amazing piece of history rediscovered, and also the philanthropic gesture made by Bezos.

Year of the Comet

Posted: March 15, 2013 in Space
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When I was in grade six, one of the themes for the year was space. It was a big year for it, as the Voyager probes were off doing fun stuff, with Voyager 2 doing a flyby of Uranus, there was the Challenger disaster, and then of course there was Halley’s Comet.

This was going to be the highlight of the year, with a trip very early one morning to go and see it out away from all the bright lights. I admit to being a bit of a space nerd at the time, with sapce ships and space travel and all that fun stuff a big influence on me. And after hearing all the talk of previous appearances of Halley’s Comet, when it covered half the sky and was visible even in the daytime, I was looking forward to it.

Except it turned out to be a bit of a dud. At best it was a barely visible smudge to the naked eye and only through a telescope could you see it properly. I was rather crushed, given that chances were I wouldn’t be ariund to see its return. Still, I held out hope that one day I would see a spectacular comet blaze across the skies.

It turns out that it may be this year, in what some are dubbing the Year of the Comet. Already we have had two small comets, Lemmon and Pan-STARRS, which were actually both visible together in the southern hemisphere for a short while.

But the big treat is a comet that should make an appearance later in the year, comet ISON.  It is a sungrazer, which means that it will fly very close to the sun, but if it survives that, predeictions are that it could be the most spectacular comet to appear in anyoen’s memory, perhaps even to the level of the Great Comet of 1680.  We shall once it makes it flyby around the sun, and puts in its expected appearance in in late October or early Novemeber, all the wya through to mid January, 2014.  I am remaining cautiously optomistic.

The Great Comet of 1680

And there is talk of another major comet making an appearnace in 2014, comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Springs).  It could be another really visual one to see, like ISON, but what makes this one so interesting is that there is a possibilty, small though it is, that it may collide with Mars.

 

Fireballs Over Russia

Posted: February 16, 2013 in General
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The vision emerging of the meteor exploding over the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk is rather impressive.  When you hear the explosion from the fireball, you can see why hundred were injured when windows were shattered.  It is also a reminder of why we shouldn’t be ignoring space.  Sadly with budgets for space exploration and research being slashed, the chances of picking up one of these coming in lessens.  If it had been just a bit bigger and hit the ground, then attitudes might change.


You can see why there might have been a lot of injuries from flying glass. The bright flashes would have attracted people to the windows and then the explosion would have broke the glass.

Lego Men In Space

Posted: January 29, 2012 in General
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Now this is amusing – a couple of Canadian teens have sent a lego man into space.  Well, near space.

They strapped the lego man and a camera to one of those high altitude balloons and launched it, getting to the edge of space – and they were able to recover the lego when it finally came crashing back down to earth as well.

At least they can launch something into space nowadays, unlike the Australian space program, which vanished way back, or even the US one, which seems to be scrapping any prospect of manned space flight in the foreseeable future.  That kind of thinking seems very short sighted.