: is a documentary film set in the not too distant future, following a mission to achieve interstellar space travel. As the mission unfolds with extraordinary results, the scientists find themselves dealing with a much bigger agenda.
is chock full of stuff to tickle the imagination of anyone who has enjoyed science fiction accounts of space travel. You can move your cursor over the "Show topic list" button in the top right corner of the page and start exploring.
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report.
But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3
. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report
investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
"What NASA will learn from dissecting Space Shuttles Atlantis
, and Endeavour
" before they transition
into retirement. (From the May 2012 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space
, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle
, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion.
was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon.
Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963
destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight.
For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy"
goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!).
A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here
(flight footage begins around 0:23).
In the next few weeks, NASA will present President Obama with options for the near-term future of human spaceflight. A manned flight to Mars is one possibility. But if we do send astronauts to Mars, do we really need to bring them home again?
Do Our Brains Change When We Travel in Outer Space?
A book of compiled accounts of astronauts and cosmonauts called The Overview Effect
puts forth anecdotal evidence towards that end. The Overview Institute declares
it as fact and aims to induce the change in as many people as possible. One space tourist has volunteered to be a human guinea pig
A "no-return, solo mission" to Mars?
The comments - 179 of them as of the time of this post - are even more interesting than the article.
Terrorists not allowed in space
(the FAA would like to regulate commercial space flights)
US Airways announces that for just 10 million frequent flyer miles, you can get a free trip to space! "There's just one catch: The rocket and the launch pad don't exist. So don't ask for time off quite yet."
: A hotel and resort destination on the Moon. Check out the Interior Design
. You will be able to skydive inside the tower!!
Do you think civilian flights to space will start by 2010 ? I sure hope so. I can't wait to see this planet from the outside with my own eyes.