• 45th anniversary of Apollo 12: Lightning strikes, near abort, Playboy playmates, and XKCD

    Apollo12VisorHappy 45th anniversary of the Apollo 12 mission to the Moon! It’s hard to believe what was accomplished nearly 50 years ago during the Space Race. If you were alive to experience the excitement of the race for space, perhaps every Apollo mission was exciting for you. For the next generations, the historically famous benchmarks (such as Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin’s first flight, Apollo 11, and Apollo 13) are typically the ones that are remembered. This is not to say that other missions were not extraordinary, just not as colloquial.

    Yesterday marked the

  • TBT: Check out my new pad.

    It’s bigger than anything we’ve ever built and (except the Death Star) just about anything we’ve imagined building. And it’s the new home of Philae. Congratulations to the Rosetta/Philae team, ESA, and humanity! :)Philae_Cribs

  • See the Ball, Be the Ball.

    What do we know about potentially habitable worlds beyond our Solar System? What will it take to find out whether or not they are habitable… or inhabited? What are we doing to improve our ability to answer those two questions? These are the things my colleagues and I get to work on every day, and recently I had a chance to present an overview of this  with one of my colleagues, Mike McElwain. Mike is an instrument scientist, and between the two of us we’re involved with most of the US-based mission concepts that plan to directly image these extrasolar planets. We