The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Progress in Space: Boeing, Dragon, and Maven ... Oh My! The Five Minute Response

ISS successfully grappled Dragon as of this writing, Courtesy of NASA
It has been a busy few weeks in space! NASA has decided to award both Boeing and SpaceX contracts to complete their crew transports to take astronauts to the International Space Station. Boeing's CST-100 was the safest choice and SpaceX's Dragon v2 the most interesting. The two together should keep things lively. It will also be fascinating to see which capsule astronauts prefer.

NASA's Maven spacecraft came smoothly into its insertion orbit over Mars recently. If all the equipment checks out, we will soon be learning why, oh why, the "red planet" is also the "dead" or "nearly dead" planet ... and what it means for us. Where did that atmosphere go, when, and most pressingly ... WHY???

SpaceX's Dragon cargo carrier is about to dock with the ISS as of this writing. It is bringing with it a 3-D printer to create spare parts for the station in space. Any chance of getting Robonaut2 to oversee those operations?

Yes, it is busy over at NASA right now. More to come with the December unmanned test launch of the Orion crew capsule destined to take astronauts out beyond the orbit of the moon where no human has gone before ... outside of science fiction!

And that's the five minute response.

It looks like I'll need to once again update this post:

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