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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Last night was the January meeting of the Canadian Space Society with a talk on the weaponization of space. It was great, albeit somewhat depressing, because the trend in the last several years has been the US moving towards claiming they own space, but they'll let others play in their sandbox (i.e. they'll provide "security" for everyone").

Also, there will be a Space Symposium this Friday at Convocation Hall starting at 7 PM, hosted by the U of T space club, ASX. There's a great line-up of speakers, including Dr. Mike Brown, one of the co-discovers of the "10th planet". Tickets are only $10. Highly recommended.

And welcome back Stardust, which parachuted down safely after a seven-year flight in space. It collected pristine samples from the earliest days of the solar system from Comet Wild 2, and maybe also some grains of true interstellar dust.

Finally, the first Pluto probe, New Horizons, is standing on the launch pad ready to go. Cross your fingers!

UPDATE: Dang, launch scrubbed due to high winds. They'll try again tomorrow.

UPDATE UPDATE: Double Dang, launch scrubbed again, due to thunderstorms in Maryland knocking out the primary power to the control center there. They'll try again tomorrow (Thursday).

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I'm excited about that Pluto probe as well. ^_^ I was listening to a news item about it on CBC the other day and I thought of you since you're the only other person I know who'd probably be as thrilled about it. XD

Yeah, unfortunately the launch was scrubbed again today, thanks to the weather. Not at the Cape, that was fine, but in Maryland. Thunderstorms knocked out the primary power to the mission control center there. Try again tomorrow.

The slightly scary thing is that in order to make the Jupiter gravity assist the launch has to be performed by Feb. 8. If it doesn't make it on time, it'll add FIVE YEARS to the flight time (14 years compared to 9).

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