Colbert’s consolation prize, NASA nanosatellite, and Toronto student’s awesome space colony

May 13, 2009 at 1:36 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

tech talk tuesday

Brazil Brazil crackdown on sat-hackers bouncing ham signals off US military satellites:

“Brazilian radio-cops are handing out $20,000 fines to satellite hackers who bounce their ham signals off FLTSATCOM — an array of disused US military satellites — using them as range-extenders for purposes as diverse as trucker-chatter to avoiding the logging cops in illegal Amazon logging operations:”

space 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Living In Space:

“Exploding boobs, toilet target practice, the second birth…”

space 10 things you don’t know about black holes:

“Ah, black holes. The ultimate shiver-inducer of the cosmos, out-jawing sharks, out-ooking spiders, out-scaring… um, something scary. But we’re fascinated by ‘em, have no doubt – even if we don’t understand a whole lot about them”.

space 10 things you don’t know about the Milky Way Galaxy:

So you’ve lived here all your life – in fact, everyone has – but what do you really know about the Milky Way galaxy? Sure, you know it’s a spiral, and it’s 100,000 light years across. And of course, BABloggees are smarter, more well-read, and better looking than the average population, but be honest: do you know all ten of these things? Really?


United States Democracy be Damned: NASA Nixed “Colbert” ISS Node:

Colbert, we have a problem

“NASA has bucked the will of the people and named the International Space Station’s next module “Tranquility” instead of the rightful winner of the online voting contest, ‘Colbert’ (after the comedian Stephen Colbert)”.

But Colbert didn’t walk away empty handed.

Astronaut Sunita Williams, who ran the first marathon in space two years ago, announced on his show on Tuesday that Colbert would get something in the new node named for him – and it’s not the toilet, as had been rumoured. Williams said his name would grace the node’s treadmill, due to launch in August. The exercise equipment will be called the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill.

United States NASA Nanosatellite To Study Antifungal Drug Effectiveness In Space:it's the size of a loaf of bread

PharmaSat weighs approximately 10 pounds. It contains a controlled environment micro-laboratory packed with sensors and optical systems that can detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells and transmit that data to scientists for analysis on Earth. PharmaSat also will monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration the yeast and the satellite experience while circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Scientists will study how the yeast responds during and after an antifungal treatment is administered at three distinct dosage levels to learn more about drug action in space, the satellite’s primary goal.

Ontario Toronto student’s space colony design wins NASA contest:Toronto high school student Eric Yam estimates his award-winning Asten space settlement design could be completed over a 30-year time frame at a cost of more than $500 billion US.

Yam’s description of the settlement runs 92 pages and includes detailed drawings using the free downloadable software Google SketchUp.

And it leaves no stone unturned, covering everything from emergency procedures to which foods will be grown on the station, based on their nutrient content.

Yam’s plan calls for 15 years of planning followed by 12 years of construction and another three years to make the settlement habitable. His estimated cost to build the station is $563 billion US.

The project even delves into how the society on the station would work and borrows heavily from Canadian policies, including adopting a tax regime based on the Canadian income tax system and deciding who lives on the station based a point system modeled on Canada’s immigration policy.

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