I Rip Your Head Off, Comrade

What’s does “the soviet system” mean to you? Not much: it’s just one fuck-up after another.

You’ll recall the billion-dollar project to build a new Cosmodrome in Vostochny, where corruption, poor design and execution have been met with threats from the criminals in the Kremlin. Think they’re back on track?

Think again.

Seems the pride of the Russian space program’s future, the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle will not fit. So much for getting one up from Vostochny by December, bitches. The Moscow Times story from Friday has the details…

The cutting-edge facility was meant be ready for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets in December, but an unidentified space agency official told the TASS news agency late Thursday that the rocket would not fit inside the assembly building where its parts are stacked and tested before launch.

The building “has been designed for a different modification of the Soyuz rocket,” the source said, according to news website Medusa, which picked up the story from TASS.

The quote could not be found on TASS, a state-owned news agency on Friday. TASS’s report instead quoted a spokesperson for the Center for Ground-based Space Infrastructure (TsENKI) – a federal space agency organ tasked the managing with Vostochny cosmodrome.

“Work with the rocket at the integration and testing complex now can not be conducted because the facility is not ready,” the spokesperson said in the report. “There are still imperfections in the construction.”

Good thing Putin has Syria to obscure any bad news coming from within Russia.

I Fink You Freaky, Teletubbies

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Max Fury Road

Cracker-jack job, mate! One of my favorite movies, mashed-up into a trailer with Fury Road

Many thanks to Ezequiel López.

Road Trip: Kepler 452b

NASA’s timed announcement yesterday got quite the bump from social media. It’s only one of 1,030 exoplanets, so let’s not get too excited.

NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth.”

The newly discovered Kepler-452b is the smallest planet to date discovered orbiting in the habitable zone — the area around a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of an orbiting planet — of a G2-type star, like our sun. The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030.

“On the 20th anniversary year of the discovery that proved other suns host planets, the Kepler exoplanet explorer has discovered a planet and star which most closely resemble the Earth and our Sun,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “This exciting result brings us one step closer to finding an Earth 2.0.”

It’s also worth noting this planet is 1,400 light years away. Pluto, for comparison, is 4 light hours away. That’s why it took 4+ hours to send commands to the New Horizons spacecraft. So if we send a signal to Kepler 452b, it would take 1,400 years to get there.

To get to Kepler 452b at the same rate it took New Horizons to get to Pluto (10 years), it would take us approximately 30 million years. Ain’t nobody got time for that! The only way we could make this kind of trip is to be able to “fold space” or change dimensions. Heim Quantum Theory may help us get there by changing dimensions. Fascinating.

Two Launches in One Day!

Both Atlas V and Ariane 5 rockets went up recently. Both were equipped with rocketcams, but the weather was better at The Cape than in Kourou, so the Atlas launch’s lookback was really cool.

Pluto Fly-by

Pretty exciting, actually.


DIY Friday: Satellite Skate Park

Old C-band dishes do make good skate park features, which showed up on this Mashable piece on skateboarders who never made to pro.

Watch this documentary on skateboarding from Boston to New York.

11+ Years of Mars Roving in 8 Minutes

Brilliant time-lapse video covering NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover’s 26-mile trip over the last 11 years.

SpaceX Launch Anomaly

I was bummed to hear of the Falcon 9’s launch failure yesterday.

Click here for a frame-by-frame analysis.

The images coincide with the initial clue that “an oxidizer tank in the rocket’s upper stage, which SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said became overpressurized.”

Audi’s Jet-Fighter Mode

Yes, this has been around for a while, but it’s still very cool.