Video: Science Fiction/Future Now panel at Comic-Con

Here is a video for the Science Fiction/Future Now panel at Comic-Con:

Science fiction has ever been the muse of real-world advances, but now ideas can be achieved almost as soon as they are thought up. So how do writers, out-dream the dream makers? How do writers handle the truth of real science and the fiction that is needed for writing their stories? Is it a crisis for the writer’s imagination? Or does it serve to inspire?

The panelists include:

Sci-Tech: The Martin Jetpack at the golf course and beyond

Over the years I’ve posted several times about the Martin Jetpack in development in New Zealand. The vehicle is now going into production and the company is hoping to find markets in a number of different areas. Bubba Watson’s suggestion of a Jet Pack golf cart is tongue-in-cheek but it does inspire thoughts of unusual applications that might actually be practical: Bubba Watson’s crazy jetpack golf cart takes clubs to new heights – CNET –

This video presents somewhat more realistic applications:

The Jetpack deploys a parachute in case of engine failure. Here is a video about tests of the fast deployment mechanism:

Space history: Bonhams memorabilia auction + Start space collecting + Smithsonian’s Apollo 11 collection & 3D model

Bonhams in New York City held a “Space History” auction on Wednesday: The space auction where a Sputnik model goes for $269,000 – The Verge (lots of pictures included)

More than 280 items were for sale at Bonhams; all told, they racked up a combined total of $1,315,063. Among the most expensive items was a set of 15 gold-colored plaster casts of the right hand of 15 NASA astronauts, including those of Neil Armstrong and the ubiquitous Buzz Aldrin. The casts, which sold for $155,000, were used to make perfectly fitting space suit gloves in 1967. A flown space suit worn in 2003 by Don Pettit aboard the Soyuz TMA-1, following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, sold for $62,500.

A full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, serial number “OKб-1/003/1957”, with live transmitter (still operational, with a new 12v battery). Polished metal sphere with 4 external antennae, approx 23 inches in diameter on manganese brass stand with anti-static o-ring, stand approx 4 feet 9 inches tall, stand and model together approx 6 feet 6 inches tall, and approx 100 lbs. Produced at the OKб-1[OKB-1], the Experimental Design Bureau-1 factory, also known as the S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, in 1957 sometime prior to the launch of the Sputnik-1… Continue

This article discusses not just the Bonham auction but space memorabilia collecting in general: Buying Space Memorabilia Can Be Cheaper Than You’d Think – WIRED

Still, [Robert Pearlman of] says, it doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. “You don’t need to be able to afford anything more than a stamp,” he says, to send NASA a request for an astronaut autograph. “Bonhams represents a very specific audience. Their bid amounts and their valuations are high—not unheard of and not unwarranted for what they’re auctioning. But for under $100, you could build a very respectable collection.”

The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is currently displaying a collection of Apollo 11 related artifacts: Smithsonian debuts Neil Armstrong gloves on display, reveals Apollo 11 3D model – collectSPACE.

Check out the new interactive 3D model of the Apollo 11 capsule here. This video is about the making of the digital model of the capsule:

Video: The dance of the Earth and Moon as seen by DSCOVR

NOAA’s DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) spacecraft  has a clear view of the hemisphere of the Earth facing the Sun. This can give it a great view of the Moon and Earth together. In the video below, I concantenated three videos produced by the EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Camera)  on DSCOVR, two of which show the Moon crossing the face of the Earth and one showing the Earth eclipsing the Moon.

The reason that the DSCOVR spacecraft can obtain such views is because it sits a million miles away from Earth on the L1 Lagrange point (see diagram below). L1 is one of five Lagrange spots where an object can remain fixed relative to the earth due to the counterbalancing pulls of the Sun and Earth’s gravitational forces and the inertia of the object.

l1_DSCOVR_diagram[1]Diagram of DSCOVR  at the L1 point. (Credits NOAA).

Here is a new video that shows a time lapse of one year of DSCOVR images of Earth: