“Chewie, We’re Home.”

Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney
Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

I know that Star Wars lovers everywhere are currently on their nth replay of the brand new The Force Awakens movie trailer, and for good reason. BECAUSE IT IS JUST PURE AWESOMENESS.

Seriously.

There were tears.

I have nothing else to add, except, for the first time in my adult life I can’t wait til Christmas.

Keep hitting repeat. And again:

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R2-D2 On The Moon? Why Not!

"R2, where are you?" On the moon... Credit: NASA/Corbis/Ian O'Neill/Discovery News
“R2, where are you?” On the moon… Credit: NASA/Corbis/Ian O’Neill/Discovery News

Sometimes, all it takes is the slightest of hints before I start Photoshopping stuff on the Moon that shouldn’t be there.

We’ve seen the Banff crasher squirrel steal Buzz Aldrin’s thunder.

We’ve seen the Sarlacc monster gobble up the LCROSS booster.

(Meanwhile, on Mars, something odd happened to rover Spirit.)

And now! We have R2-D2 trundling across the lunar surface as the perfect Moon rover design for dodging levitating Moon dust. Don’t ask me, it’s SCIENCE!

(Note: The inspiration for R2-D2 was not my idea, blame Astronomy Now’s Keith Cooper for that stroke of genius. But the ‘shopping is totally my doing. I have a lot of time on my hands, apparently.)

Read more: Why R2-D2 Would be the PERFECT Moon Rover

What Happened to Mars Rover Spirit?

“A big rusty transporter came over the hill and the Jawas sold it for scrap metal…” — Paul Quinn

NASA is giving Mars rover Spirit one more month to signal that she’s still alive before search operations are scaled back and attention shifted to her sister rover Opportunity. Unfortunately, the prognosis isn’t good. It’s been a little over a year since Spirit last communicated and it’s looking increasingly likely she’s succumbed to a lack of energy and freezing conditions on the Martian surface.

But… something else might have happened.

“A big rusty transporter came over the hill and the Jawas sold it for scrap metal…” — Paul Quinn (via Facebook)

It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before, in a galaxy far, far away…

Credits: Main Mars vista with Spirit superimposed: NASA. Jawa sandcrawler and Jawa figures: LucasArts. Edit: Ian O’Neill/Astroengine.com. Inspiration: My mate Paul Quinn!

Flying Laser Ready to Begin Airborne Weapon Tests

The 747 plus ABL (USAF)

747 airliner? Check. Huge laser? Check. Huge-flying-missile-melting-laser? Nearly.

Actually, I’d want to fly the aircraft remotely, unmanned, and fire the oversized laser pointer at the 747 from a distance. Just to see how long it would take to melt. But that’s just me.

Boeing on the other hand, has succeeded in building a flying laser. Toward the end of 2008, the Airborne Laser (ABL) had been installed inside its Boeing 747 host and it was undergoing static tests. Sure enough, the megawatt laser had proven its worth and fired at a target, twice, in one-second bursts. Details are sketchy as to the damage the ABL caused, but Boeing and other US military contractors heralded the test as a success (if you ask me, the target probably looked like this afterwards).
Continue reading “Flying Laser Ready to Begin Airborne Weapon Tests”

Pentagon Denies Space Weapons

“The United States is not developing space weapons and could not afford to do so even if it wanted to” said an official with the Pentagon last Thursday. Space weapons have always been a bit of a hush-hush topic, and it looks like the trend hasn’t been broken with this recent announcement. The real issue surrounding the announcement is what the Pentagon’s ideas of “space weapons” are.

Guest article by John Nestler (website: Space Marauder)

space_weapons

The United States is not developing space weapons and could not afford to do so even if it wanted to,” said an official with the Pentagon last Thursday. Space weapons have always been a bit of a hush-hush topic, and it looks like the trend hasn’t been broken with this recent announcement. The real issue surrounding this announcement is what the Pentagon’s ideas of “space weapons” are…
Continue reading “Pentagon Denies Space Weapons”

The Death Star: An Uneconomical Way To Blow Up Planets

A Death Star made from Lego. Still too expensive. (Gizmodo)
A Death Star made from Lego. Still too expensive. (Gizmodo)

It’s been one of those bad blogging days. Usually, I’d start the day rifling through the day’s space news on the mainstream to work out what has been going on in the world. If some exciting stuff has been going on, my notebook will be filled with scribble, usually priming me for an afternoon of writing for the Universe Today or Astroengine. Usually. Today, although I got up bright and early, my writing ability took a U-turn much like the abysmal LA winter weather (grey and soggy). Writer’s block.

Bloggers writers block is especially frustrating as there is no end to the cool stuff going on in space (and even if there isn’t, I can usually unearth something not-so-cool and make it cool by doing a bit of research), but for some reason my brain wouldn’t budge. Not a bit. Plus I’m co-writing a book (but I’m not saying about what… yet), so it was a double-whammy bad writing day.

I gave up, had a bath, read a book and watched two episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Awesome
Continue reading “The Death Star: An Uneconomical Way To Blow Up Planets”