"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Cosmos Clearinghouse for May

Another Great Night Shot from the ISS

Photo Credit: NASA

An ISS photo I posted back in January revealed the veiny sprawl of urban culture in Florida. In a similar vein (Ha!), the above photo strikingly depicts human dependence on water. In this case, we are looking at how Egyptian society clings to the Nile River. And though I'm guessing at the exact locale, it also appears that one heck of a house party was taking place up on Cyprus when this photo was taken.

An Exciting New Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

A while back I did a post speculating on which proposed mission would be NASA's next Cosmic Idol champ. The winner is OSIRIS-REx. If you really want to slog through the translation of that acronym, you can read my previous post. Expected to launch in 2016 (pending the continued functionality of Congress's tiny fiscal balls), OSIRIS-REx will fly to a nearby asteroid and scoop up samples. After literally dropping the samples off in Utah, OSIRIS-REx will continue on for more cosmic groping. Also, the Planetary Society will be playing a direct role in publicizing the mission. Click here for the details.


My apologies for the parenthetical testes joke above. (The parentheses were uncalled for.) The joke came to me as I was typing and I lack the couthiness to delete it. Besides, I'm too busy grinning because I just noticed how this post has taken on a nifty Egyptian theme. But now I'm feeling sheepish for not realizing that earlier in the writing process.

A Childe Can Dream

While checking my links for this post, I was invited to take a web survey at www.nasa.gov. My one suggestion was that they hire Kate Beckinsale as a spokeswoman for new science missions. Not sure that one is gonna make it up the ladder to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, but y'know, nothing ventured...

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