1. A Spacecraft for All: 

    • Launched in 1978 and originally tasked with studying the outer reaches of the Earth’s magnetosphere, the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) probe was given a second mission in the 1980s of chasing comets before being shut down in 1997.
    • It was determined to be possible to reactivate the spacecraft in 2014, when it again made a close approach to Earth, and scientists discussed reusing the probe to observe more comets. However, NASA was no longer interested in recovering the spacecraft because of the limitations of its present budgets.
    •  A group of space enthusiasts began to talk. Retired and active aerospace engineers began to exchange ideas with avid HAM radio operators around the world.  Finally, one group took charge. They made a agreement with NASA to have the rights to use ISEE-3 for the benefit of citizen science and obtained the old documentation.  
    • In May 2014, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project raised more than $150,000 with crowdfunding. Some original NASA engineers and various experts offered their help. The group gathered old equipment in their headquarters, an abandoned McDonald’s (they call it McMoons). After a lot of work and trial and error, two-way communication was achieved and ISEE-3 truly became ISEE-3 Reboot. 
    • The ultimate goal was to command the spacecraft to fire its rocket engines to change its trajectory and become captured by the Earth’s gravitational field.  On July 2, the reboot project fired the thrusters for the first time since 1987. They spun up the spacecraft to its nominal roll rate, in preparation for the upcoming trajectory correction maneuver in mid-July. On July 8, a longer sequence of thrusters firings failed, apparently due to a loss of the nitrogen gas used to pressurize the fuel tanks
    • On July 24, the ISEE-3 Reboot Team announced that all attempts to change orbit using the ISEE-3 propulsion system had failed. Instead, the team said, the ISEE-3 Interplanetary Citizen Science Mission would gather data as the spacecraft flies by the Moon on August 10 and enters a heliocentric orbit similar to Earth’s. 
    • Google Creative Labs documented the adventure and created the compendium which was delivered to the public domain last week, A Spacecraft for All

    I tried to summarize the main events of this great technical adventure. The details are interesting. I invite you to visit the google site and to read more: 

    my sources: gizmag (good article) and wikipedia

    The ISEE-3 Reboot blog: spacecollege.org/isee3/

     

     
  2.  
  3. wellreadblackandgreen:

Comet 67P details - OSIRIS by europeanspaceagency on Flickr.
"After 10 years and a journey of four billion miles, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination on Wednesday for the first extended, close examination of a comet. “A six-minute thruster firing beginning at 5 a.m. Eastern time, the last in a series of 10 over the past few months, slowed Rosetta to the pace of a person walking, about two miles per hour relative to the speed of its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk. “Over the coming months, Rosetta and its comet, called C-G for short, will plunge together toward the sun. In November, a small 220-pound lander is to leave the spacecraft, set down on the comet and harpoon itself to the surface. “That will be the first time a spacecraft has gently landed on a comet. “It’s really going to get down and scratch the surface to get the most pristine material that we can from the surface of the comet,” said Matthew Taylor, the mission’s project scientist. “The $1.7 billion Rosetta mission will provide a much longer, much closer look at one comet. Instead of taking a brief snapshot, Rosetta will observe as the comet goes from a quiescent ball of ice and rock to an active comet spewing out dust and gas and then make before-and-after comparisons. “We’ll observe how this occurs, how this activity is onset, how it fluctuates, really how a comet works over a long time period,” Dr. Taylor said. “That’s really the difference between this and anything that’s been done before.” “Launched in March 2004, it followed a circuitous route through the solar system, using flybys of the Earth and Mars to fling itself into the same orbital path as Comet C-G. In January, it successfully emerged from a hibernation of two and a half years and began its final approach.”

The first manmade spacecraft to orbit a comet. Congratulations ESA! 

    wellreadblackandgreen:

    Comet 67P details - OSIRIS by europeanspaceagency on Flickr.

    "After 10 years and a journey of four billion miles, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination on Wednesday for the first extended, close examination of a comet.

    “A six-minute thruster firing beginning at 5 a.m. Eastern time, the last in a series of 10 over the past few months, slowed Rosetta to the pace of a person walking, about two miles per hour relative to the speed of its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk.

    “Over the coming months, Rosetta and its comet, called C-G for short, will plunge together toward the sun. In November, a small 220-pound lander is to leave the spacecraft, set down on the comet and harpoon itself to the surface.

    “That will be the first time a spacecraft has gently landed on a comet. “It’s really going to get down and scratch the surface to get the most pristine material that we can from the surface of the comet,” said Matthew Taylor, the mission’s project scientist.

    “The $1.7 billion Rosetta mission will provide a much longer, much closer look at one comet. Instead of taking a brief snapshot, Rosetta will observe as the comet goes from a quiescent ball of ice and rock to an active comet spewing out dust and gas and then make before-and-after comparisons. “We’ll observe how this occurs, how this activity is onset, how it fluctuates, really how a comet works over a long time period,” Dr. Taylor said. “That’s really the difference between this and anything that’s been done before.”

    “Launched in March 2004, it followed a circuitous route through the solar system, using flybys of the Earth and Mars to fling itself into the same orbital path as Comet C-G. In January, it successfully emerged from a hibernation of two and a half years and began its final approach.”

    The first manmade spacecraft to orbit a comet. Congratulations ESA! 

     
  4. image: download

    
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

     
  5. The Signal (2014) 

    On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare.

    Small indie sci-fi thriller. Lawrence Fishburne in a secondary role. You can see the reviews.  Seems interesting (with some flaws). On my list of films to watch at home, one day.  

     
  6. 13:18 15th May 2014

    notes: 745

    reblogged from: giantmonsters

    tags: Godzilla2014

    plays: 9,347

    bogeymanblitz:

    Skreeeeeonkkkkkkkkkk!

     
  7. 14:22 15th Feb 2014

    notes: 26

    tags: Robocop2014

    I have seen RoboCop yesterday. I appreciated it. The reboot is different than the original film and focuses on different themes. Not perfect, but an interesting sci-fi film.

    My review, if you want to see it, no spoilers:

    Read More

     
  8. 15:11 14th Feb 2014

    notes: 18

    tags: Robocop2014

    Have you seen the new RoboCop?

    I like a lot the original character (I still have a poster of the first film on a wall). I have seen the two average sequels,the 1994 tv series (I appreciated it at the time) and the 2001 mini-series.

    The franchise never managed to be worthy of the original film, but there were some fun moments here and there.  

    I have some nostalgic desire to see more Robocop, even a probably inferior version. Maybe I’m going to see the new film this weekend.

    And you, are you going to see the new film? Have you seen it?

     
  9. 14:55 7th Feb 2014

    notes: 367

    reblogged from: totalfilm

    tags: Robocop2014

    totalfilm:


Robocop (2014) Review
     
  10. 13:10 5th Feb 2014

    notes: 115

    reblogged from: 2087

    tags: Robocop2014vehicle