Posts Tagged ‘space’

R.I.P. Opportunity

I woke up yesterday to the news that NASA had officially declared Opportunity to be dead, which has made me sadder than I expected. I was working in the aerospace industry when Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars back in 2004, and I remember it being a very exciting time at work.

(I did not work on Mars-related stuff at the time, but it was all anyone wanted to talk about. You couldn’t get three feet around the office without the rovers coming up in one form or another.)

And, to be honest, I hadn’t thought about the rovers in years. Spirit was declared dead a long time ago, and then Curiosity was launched, and Opportunity slipped my mind.

For a rover meant to last 3 months, the fact that it lasted almost 15 years is pretty dang amazing. And NASA did such a good job of getting us all to care about some little (I say little facetiously–neither Spirit or Opportunity is that small, and Curiosity is freaking huge) robots exploring on another planet.

But I will admit I cried a little, when I learned that Opportunity’s last message was “My batteries are low and it is getting dark.” (And it makes me feel better to know I wasn’t the only one.)

I know it’s just a machine, but Godspeed, Opportunity. Thanks for all your hard work.

It seems to me you lived your life
like a rover in the wind
never fading with the sunset
when the dust set in.

Your tracks will always fall here,
among Mars’ reddest hills;
your candle’s burned out long before
your science ever will.#ThanksOppy. I owe you so much. pic.twitter.com/x0i5WqA9sL— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) February 13, 2019

Friday Round-up

My thoughts and prayers are with Japan today.  Here are some options for helping them.

Space/Science
Secret Space Shuttle Blasts Off for Second Mission
Alien Microbe Claim Starts Fight Over Meteorite
Solving the Mystery of the Most Violent Event in the Universe
Voyager Continues to Explore Edge of Solar System (Soon it will find the Borg and be transformed into V’ger and wreak havoc)
Picture of Saturn and Titan
Real Life Transformer (They programmed it to dance!  That’s awesome, but…why?)
Amazing photo of ISS/Discovery in front of the sun

Scifi/Fantasy
Interview with Robin Hobb
Giveaway for Sonia Gensler’s The Revenant (Plus other fun swag – enter by Sunday)
Review of The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
3 Ways George Lucas’s Wife Helped Star Wars
Brandon Sanderson muses on the Suvudu Cage Matches
Review of Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Grey
Favorite Undercover 80s Aliens
Interview with Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert about Hellhole
History of Science Fiction (graphic)

Misc Books
Science Fiction Author Declares War Against Literary Fiction

Writing
Query Letter Critique Contest (focused on YA)

Things of Interest
National Geographic builds House from Up! (Awesome, but…why?)

Friday Round-up

Science/Space
Pictures of Discovery Approaching the ISS
Henry Morgan’s Cannons Found in Panama (Yay, pirates!)
Picture of Discovery docking with the ISS taken from Earth!

Scifi/Fantasy
2010 Stoker Nominees
Review of Elizabeth Bear’s Grail
Review of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol 5
Excerpt from M.M. Buckner’s The Gravity Pilot
Massive book giveaway
Release Date for New George R. R. Martin Book
Creepy Apollo 18 Poster
Star Wars Fans Trying to Save Lars Homestead

Misc Books
Mystery Novelist telling Story Page by Page on Lamp Post
Kindle Gives Thriller Writer a Plot for Success

Writing
Get Wired In (Not writing specific, but helpful for focusing)
Revisiting the Fantasy Hero

On We Blindly Stumble
Cats with Thumbs
Alice, the Saddest Whale in the Ocean

Friday Round-up

Space/Science
The Extraordinary Face of the Moon
Picture of Discovery on the Launch Pad
Interactive James Webb Telescope (launches in 2014)
Photos of Discovery Launch
Sotheby’s to Auction 1961 Soviet Capsule

Scifi/Fantasy
Endurance wallpapers
Locus Magazine Recommends Some of Tor’s Short Stories from 2010
Review of Ian McDonald’s Ares Express
What does poor showing of I Am Number Four mean for Scifi Movies in 2011?
Video Excerpt of The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Apparently there is also a movement at the moment to help Nathan Fillion buy Firefly.

Misc Books
Borders’ Footprint
Notes in Margins
Tim Burton’s Children’s Book Rejection
Indie Alternatives to Closing Border Stores

Writing
Dark Fairytales Writing Community
Seven Stages of Critique Grief

The Boat, It Floats
100 Best Protest Signs from Wisconsin
China Bans Reincarnation  (I just…what?)

Friday Round-up

Science/Space
Symphony of Science
Earliest Photos of Universe Yet
Possible Previously Unknown Gas Giant in Our Solar System

Scifi/Fantasy
Literary Crushes
Book Cover Smackdown
How to Tell if You’re Going to Get the Girl

Misc Books
Books of Love Letters
Return of the Serial Novel?

Writing
Writing Full Circle
Search Engine for Writers
Is Your Writing in a Rut?

Friday Round-up

Space/Science
Private Company to put Robot on Moon (For some reason, this sounds like a terrible idea to me.  Sounds like a good way to leave trash everywhere and mess up scientific missions.)
Last Rollout of Space Shuttle Discovery (video)
Recycling the Space Program
Trying to Prove the Multiverse (The quantum physics at the bottom kind of hurts my head.)
All 1200 Possible Exoplanets Found by Kepler Visualized
NASA’s New Technique to Find Alien Life
Pictures of Space Shuttle Discovery’s Building

Scifi/Fantasy
The Furniture of Steampunk
Winners of the 2010 British Fantasy Awards
Chance to win a signed copy of Maria V. Snyder’s Inside Out
The Unreal and Why We Love It Part 6: Recognition
Star Wars Characters – Who Got Better?  Worse?
New #Torchat on Twitter
What Star Wars Job are you suited for?  (I’m a Jedi! \o/)

Misc Books
10 Greatest Child Geniuses in Literature

Writing
Stop Thrashing

Odds and Ends
Who to blame for the snow?
Science Valentines
If Social Media was High School
Headless Monk Forces Move of Amusement Park Ride
IKEA Instructions for the Large Hadron Collider

Also, this is awesome: Zombie Choose Your Own Adventure, all across the interwebs.

Friday Round-up

Space/Science
Nabokov’s Butterfly Theory Proved Correct
NASA spots 54 Potential Life-Friendly Planets

Scifi/Fantasy
io9’s February Scifi/Fantasy Calendar
12 Revolutionary Uprisings in Scifi
10 Greatest Starships of All Time
Utopianism in Steampunk
February Fantasy Book Releases
Free Read: Chenoire by Suzanne Johnson
Recommended SFF reads from 2010

Misc Books
List of Best Selling Authors (Never even heard of some of these people…)

Writing
Query Paralysis

Whatever, Bro
Snow Godzilla (with fire!)

Friday Round-up

Thank Landsquid it’s Friday, amirite?

Space/Science
Extreme Planet Makeover (Might be fun for world-building scifi/off-world fantasy)
Some confusion over the existence of the Triceratops
First One-Fingered Dinosaur Found (It is apparently Dinosaur Week.  But that’s okay, because dinosaurs are awesome.)
Picture of how deep into the universe we can see versus time

Scifi/Fantasy
Thundercats Cartoon Network Redesign  (Whhhhhhy leave my childhood alone)
Excerpt from The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
5 Astronomical Goofs in Scifi Movies

Writing
Outlining
Find and Replace (Sweet!)
Best Tweets from WDC11
Query Vocab Lesson
Being a good critique partner

Miscellaneous
Today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Disaster. :\

Friday Round-up

Space/Science
Discovery Astronaut Hurt in Bike Accident (Poor shuttle astronauts.  They are having a bad month.)
Darkness on the Edge of the Universe
First Mammoth Cloning Experiment Officially Underway (Poor mammoths.  They are going to look around and wish they’d just been left alone to stay extinct.)
Dark Matter Galaxy Detected (bonus gorgeous picture of the Milky Way)
NASA’s Kepler Discovers First Rocky Exoplanet (Video)
How Deep the Universe
Business Case for Mining Asteroids

Scifi/Fantasy
Fantasy and Steampunk Debuts for 2011
Excerpt: Among Others by Jo Walton
Interview with Gene Wolfe
Science Fiction Musicals (Personally, I rather liked the Simpsons’ parody of Planet of the Apes)
What Apocalyse Scenario are You Best Cut Out For? (Terminator for meeee)
Vader vs. Voldemort

Misc Books
11 Books That Take Place in a Single Day
Babysitter’s Club: Where Are They Now?

Writing
Head-Hopping

Whatever Floats My Boat
Fractal!
You have an accent on Twitter

Twitter friends, don’t forget to track hashtag #wdc11 to keep track of the Writer’s Digest conference this weekend.

Friday Round-Up

I’m moving the round-up to Friday this month as I’m trying out a new posting schedule.  Let me know if you prefer Thursday or Friday.  I work on the round-ups all week long, so it doesn’t much matter to me what day they go up on.

Science/Space
Zambia’s Forgotten Space Program
Last week’s solar eclipse from space
Creation of Hanny’s Voorwerp
Problem with Discovery’s External Tank Determined

There’s a Delta Heavy rocket launch scheduled for next Wednesday from SLC-6 (pronounced Slick-6 by those of us in the industry) at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.  SLC-6 is interesting because it was intended for West Coast space shuttle launches but was never used for such, though the link above has pictures of the only time a shuttle ever stood on the pad.  (Interesting to note is that the shuttle is the Enterprise, which was purely a mock-up and was never intended for actual spaceflight.)

I am a space neeeerd.

Scifi/Fantasy
Science Fiction Novels to look forward to in 2011
Be a character in John Scalzi’s new book
World-building

Misc Books
Most Literate US Cities

Writing
Lyrical Press is looking for editors (I thought about it, but I don’t have the time)
Suturing Readers into your Characters
5 Situations Where it’s Better to Tell Than Show
Are you using “there” as a crutch?
Naked Writers
Query Letters – Hooks
Steampunk Writing Contest – Fairy Tales