Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!

posted by N.E. Lilly on September 12th, 2008

Is anyone else slightly saddened that we haven’t been back lately?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon… we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

Delivered at Rice University in Houston, Texas on 12 September 1962 by John F. Kennedy

It's always science fiction…

posted by N.E. Lilly on August 27th, 2008

In technological terms we have the interstellar equivalent of canoes (I’m being kind with that comparison, it’s probably closer to the level of kick boards). We haven’t even left the kiddie pool, and yet Rocket Scientists Say We’ll Never Reach the Stars.

Yes, I understand that it will take a phenomenal amount of energy to reach even the nearest star in anything approximating an endurable amount of time. But this pronouncement is being made just a bit too soon, given that we haven’t yet been able to send human beings much farther than the Moon, our nearest neighbor. European civilization had hundreds, nay, thousands of years of naval experience before they had the ability to colonize the Americas (even once the Americas were “discovered” it took another 200 years for Europeans to establish permanent residences). Will we reach the next star over in my life-time? I honestly doubt it, but never? That dog won’t hunt.

Dark Matter Trails

posted by N.E. Lilly on August 24th, 2008

Using a powerful computer model, researchers discovered clumps and streams (trails even) of Dark Matter winding their way through the Milky Way.