Friday, February 29, 2008

NASA to blow up the moon and Microsoft to snap Universe

Two wicked things came to my attention today - first off Microsoft is releasing a new freeware product called Microsoft Worldwide Telescope. Watching the video of the demo, I must admit it looks bloody awesome. Also NASA have announced they are going to ram a spacecraft into the moon and see what comes out in the ejecta. Kind of like Space 1999 but without the nuclear waste dump going critical.

Microsofts WWT is pretty amazing. I know Google have been working on Google Sky for some time, but I do get a bit sick of everything being in perpetual Beta. Not that the actual Google Sky is bad - its just that the MS one looks better.

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space telescopes in the world for a seamless, guided exploration of the universe.

WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft's high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience.

Check out the vid below for the demo.

And it looks like NASA is going to ram the mooon with some space vehicles in Feb of 20009 - heres the press release.

LCROSS will piggyback on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission for an Oct. 28 launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket equipped with a Centaur upper stage. While the launch will ferry LRO to the moon in about four days, LCROSS is in for a three-month journey to reach its proper moon-smashing position. Once within range, the Centaur upper stage doubles as the main 4,400 pound (2,000 kg) impactor spacecraft for LCROSS.

The smaller Shepherding Spacecraft will guide Centaur towards its target crater, before dropping back to watch -- and later fly through -- the plume of moon dust and debris kicked up by Centaur's impact. The shepherding vehicle is packed with a light photometer, a visible light camera and four infrared cameras to study the Centaur's lunar plume before it turns itself into a second impactor and strikes a different crater about four minutes later.

NASA is gonna whup its ass! Well, maybe not - more like mining for water really I suppose.


Anonymous said...

NASA has been setting on an political agenda setting course for several years now. (Since the Bush II Administration) None of it having to do with science.


Spankermatic said...

Do you mean to say :

"NASA has been on a political agenda course setting for several years now"

I agree - being a government agency, they are subject to the whims of the government. Which is staffed exclusively (it seems to me) by weirdos, right/left wing nut-bars, religious freaks and led by some crackpot god-praising denialist called GW2.

This does not make NASA wrong to send a satellite to ram the moon to see what happens. Surely that's cheaper than sending something that lands, takes large amounts of samples and tries to bring them back safely. Or send men to do it. Good on them I say - making the most of a limited budget.

I would also like to see lots of privately funded ventures flying off to the moon as well. The governments of the world would sit up and take notice if a large private company decided to fly to the moon to investigate mining capabilities.

I checked out your site, and its very unclear exactly what you are trying to say. Perhaps you should spend a bit of time summing up the major points, linking the evidence and putting it together so people can read it.

Thanks for posting.