Thursday, March 13, 2008

Carnival of Space Review and Shuttle Launch STS-123

Well today I have an assortment of topics, I am reviewing my favorite stories from this week's Carnival of Space. Also I have a wrap-up for the latest shuttle launch.

Well this week's Carnival was hosted on Missy's Window and I have for you my top three stories from this Carnival:

-One story that I really liked was over on Centauri Dreams and discussed really many novel ways of colonizing the Cosmos. Though they focused on the idea of letting a von Neumann probe find a promising planet and using the matter it finds there to establish a colony and fill it with settlers. Not the normal kind of flesh and bone human settler, but an uploaded consciousness that would be able to take physical (robotic) form to explore the new environment. They also talk about the Singularity which is an interesting topic of debate, but anyway, go ahead and check it out, and make sure that you read some of the comments, they are interesting.

-FlyingSinger on Music of the Spheres has an article about how you can become a space tourist now, and for free. The way to do this is ORBITER, a free space flight simulation where you can launch the Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center to deploy a satellite, rendezvous with the International Space Station or take the futuristic Delta-glider for a tour through the solar system. It is a relatively realistic sim and a good bit of fun, give it a go!

-Ethan from Starts with a Bang puts in his say for the ever continuing debate about dark matter and the acceleration of the universe. An interesting article and pretty simple compared to some that explain in too scientific of terms for most people to understand.

If you want to check out the whole Carnival go to Missy's Window.

Next up we have the latest shuttle launch STS-123. The Shuttle Endeavour went up on Tuesday the 11th in the wee hours of the morning just as planned. The purpose of the mission is to deliver the Japanese Kibo Logistics Module and the Canadian Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator robotics system to the International Space Station. Here is a countdown to the launch if you missed it with some pictures from people there during the launch, and here is NASA's launch blog. The current mission duration is set for sixteen days though with extension days built in, this mission has the ability to be the longest shuttle flight in history. The completion of the mission will leave nine flights remaining in the Space Shuttle program until its end in 2010, excluding two as-yet-unconfirmed Contingency Logistic Flights. STS-123 is the 25th shuttle mission to the International Space Station. Just go to if you want the day by day schedule or if you just want more info. Also if you want to track the International Space Station here's a Google Maps program that lets you do just that.

Source: NASA,

Well thanks for reading today, if you have anything to say go ahead and leave a comment or email me at

The Fool


Swubird said...

Great pot. I went to some of the links and read some of the stuff. Orbiter is my favorite. If they open that up to the public it would be worth a drive to Texas just to take the simulated flight. Yahoo! I was always a wanna-be astronaut.

The Fool said...

Yea the Orbiter simulator is really quite good and is sure a lot cheaper than actually going to space. Though I have to admit I would much rather really be in space than on my computer.

The Fool

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks for the update on the Shuttle, and other items. Have just downloaded the Orbiter Program, since I like video games and I like spacefilght simulators, thought this would be cool to get.