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 …

President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, speaking to incoming freshman students at Rice University, Houston, Texas

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Wow how time flies

I had intended to reblog this back on July 8, but it completely slipped mind.

Oh well, happy belated anniversary to me!

Originally posted on Contrafactual:

Welcome to Contrafactual – “that which is not true, but might be under certain conditions”.

Thanks for stopping by. Things will become clearer in the days to come.


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SpaceX Soft Lands Falcon 9

SpaceX Soft Lands Falcon 9 Rocket First Stage


Following last week’s successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage reentered Earth’s atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able to consistently reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.


After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don’t allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode.

We will attempt our next water landing on flight 13 of Falcon 9, but with a low probability of success. Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success.


This message was sent from SpaceX to […]. It was sent from: […], SpaceX, 1 Rocket Road, Hawthorne, CA 90250. For more information on SpaceX, please visit http://www.spacex.com

Space Rocket History

Interested in the history of space travel?

Tired of the same old tunes, news, or talk radio during your drive time commute?

Want to expand your knowledge of the most exciting (and fearful) decades in the history of humanity?

Then the Space Rocket History podcasts are for you.

I discovered them on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app. I listen to Mike’s 20 minute podcasts to and from work. I thought that I knew all there was to know about the early history of space flight – boy was I ever wrong. Mike has done his research. Of course Mike has the advantage of having access to post-Soviet information that I never had as a kid growing up.


As you can see the iTunes reviews are 5 stars! I am one of those 5-star reviewers.



Get it free from iTunes


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Alleged 4.7-inch iPhone 6 sapphire display meets sandpaper and Joe Rogan’s mean archery skills


A follow-up to my post Tranparent Aluminum Arrives

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:


Last week, YouTuber Marques Brownlee got his hands on what is claimed to be a sapphire glass panel from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6. The initial video (found here) put the panel through a variety of torture tests including, knives, keys, and even a flexibility test to show off the panel’s durability. While there were no scientific tests performed to prove the front glass is actually sapphire, the result of each test was very impressive. Well, apparently that wasn’t enough…

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