Thursday, March 3

We have liftoff

Three, two, one ... here I go into the blogosphere. I hope to use this space to post some of the interesting stuff that I come across as I go about my work of reporting on astronomy, the space program and so on for New Scientist magazine and occasional other venues. There are a lot of interesting websites I come across, tidbits of news that don't quite rise to the level of being actual news stories but that are worth a mention and that some people might find interesting.
This is my first foray into the world of blogs, and I've only read a few. I've been inspired by my friend Oliver Morton's very interesting blog Mainly Martian, which is a great place to keep abreast of the most interesting things going on in the latest Mars data, from the NASA twin rovers and the Mars Express mission. I've also recently looked at a few others that focus on science, but I haven't really found much yet. As I find interesting things, I may note them here.
Upcoming events that I hope to post information about here in this blog, as they unfold:
The Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference, an annual meeting that is the big festival of new information about the solar system around us. And this year's meeting promises to be one of the best ever, with lots of new stuff coming out about the latest Mars data (frozen seas! methane that is suggestive of the presence of living microbes on Mars today! the real story from the scientists whose dinnertime chat got exploded into a premature and overblown web story!) as well as great new stuff from Cassini on Saturn and its moons Titan and Enceladus, the latest on what was recovered from the crash-landed Genesis mission, more on Martian meteorites, and who knows what else.
And then, maybe, later this year, the return of the space shuttle to flight. NASA now says it'll happen on May 15. I'm betting it won't. We'll see. Frankly, I'll be surprised if it flies anytime this year, but I could be wrong ...
And as I always have, I will be following closely the activities of small rocket companies like X-Prize winning Burt Rutan and his Scaled Composites, as well as companies like Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures that hope to sell flights into space.
So stay tuned to this space, space fans. I hope you'll find things here that you won't have seen elsewhere.


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