I don’t know whether to applaud or shudder at Elon Musk’s announcement that Space-X will launch a private ‘moon tourist’ mission late in 2018. I want to applaud because it’s deeply cool, damned bold, and it’s what humanity needs to be doing if we’re to keep any kind of space dream alive. Good stuff. But … More Space X’s trans-lunar mission isn’t a new idea – but it’s cool
One of the great appeals to me of cosmology isn’t so much what we learn about the universe, as what we learn about ourselves. Take the shape of the universe, for example. Cosmologists have long wondered about it. What is the overall structure of the space-time continuum with its myriad galaxies, including ours? The actual … More The Earth isn’t flat, but the universe might be
Every so often we’re told that a rogue star or planet known as Niblick or Niburu, or some similar gibberish, is about to cause the apocalypse. Earth’s going to be whacked in 1984, 1987, 1999, 2012, 2018, apparently, with all the effect of a nine-iron on a golf ball, and NASA are hiding the truth … More Earth’s comet apocalypse at the hands of Gliese 710
The other day I picked up an interesting snippet about the likely breakfast menu on NASA’s upcoming Orion spacecraft. Because the vehicle is weight- and volume-critical, there are going to be problems packing enough food in for the expected 28-30 day duration asteroid investigation missions. The same issue also applies to storing the – er … More Breakfast in space, on an asteroid, in a tin can
Here’s a blast from 2013 about the baddest sci-fi mech ever imagined… ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I posted last week about why huge bipedal fighting ‘mechs’ from sci-fi like Pacific Rim are unlikely, unless the laws of physics change. But that doesn’t mean sci-fi mechs have to be boring. Not at all. More in a moment. First off … More OMG – the baddest sci-fi mega-mech…e-v-a-h! -redux
It occurred to me the other day that the first broadcasts of The Brady Bunch – which originally aired on US TV in 1969 – have reached the following stars, all 47-48 light years distant: Nu Lupi, Theta Boötis, Asellus Primus, Iota Ursae Majoris, Talita (HR7898), Psi Capricorni, 111 Tauri, Psi Serpentis, Psi Capricorni and … More A list of star systems reached by ‘The Brady Bunch’ broadcasts
My short science book Explaining Our Weird Universe 1: cool stuff about time, black holes and quantum magic, is published today. I’m very pleased to have been able to write this. It’s an introduction to the way physicists see the universe just now – a series of short essays exploring some of the weirder concepts … More Explaining Our Weird Universe 1 – out now!