Geeking Science: The New Horizon and the Old Sexy

Image created in a Meme generator by Erin Penn

Our relationship with the International Space Station has moved into old married couple stage. Sexy new ideas, exciting discoveries, touches of imagination, lust of exploration, all are distant thrills of yesteryear. That doesn’t mean the relationship is over. Like an old couple, we check in periodically, encouraging those involved in our space exploration relationship to keep the long hours in the endless night. The pains of old equipment and the housecoat covered in solar dust isn’t exactly a candlelight dinner, but starlight is always there.

While we keep looking for the new thrill, like the furthest distant world ever visited by spacecraft which the New Horizon just passed and will be sending information back to us for the next 20 months (talk about long download speeds! – more about all this New Sexy here), we shouldn’t ignore this amazing relationship and responsibility we share with the world. The information gathered by the years and decades of operation will help us settle the great beyond.

If you don’t already have NASA bookmarked, go here.

I would also recommend joining the Planetary Society, a non-profit group supporting space exploration around the globe by government agencies, non-profit groups, universities, and commercial endeavors.

Space and the International Space Station may not be the New Sexy, but sometimes the best thing in the world is curling up by the fire with a good friend and sharing what is happening in our boring every-day lives. Especially when it involves Dragons. 

On Sunday, the Dragon module from the Space Station returned to earth with the newest scientific research. The experiments brought back by the Dragon include:

    1. The Design of Scalable Gas Separation Membranes via Synthesis Under Microgravity – An environmental experiment to remove excess carbon dioxide from the air. Useful for space exploration AND could maybe lead to developments which could reverse some of the carbon load damage here on Earth.
    2. Three-D printer-recycler – Turning waste plastic into filament for three-D printing. Cutting down on space debris, making every pound put into space worthwhile, and providing versatility once there. As with everything space-worthy, constant testing to make it the most robust product possible also translates to Earth uses in other harsh environments.
    3. Virtual Reality – This particular experiment is testing how astronauts react to and perceive microgravity. Long-term space use could mean we will be visiting Ultima Thule instead of just our cameras. Earth use includes helping people suffering vertigo and other perception issues.

More details about the experiments can be found at Some Strange Science Will Launch Into Space This Week for NASA (November 13, 2018) and throughout the web.


Image acquired from NASA – (the original blog post related to this has been deleted)
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured moments after being released from the Canadarm2 robotic arm.