Tiny Point of Light gives opinions on current events
Far beyond Saturn’s rings, a tiny point of light careens around the sun. It is home to roughly 7.1 billion bipedal animals known universally, relatively speaking, as homo sapiens. Many of them give birth, fight wars, and even help one another. They also die - every single one of them. 
I interviewed Tiny Point of Light to learn its thoughts on events that seem to be impacting a significant (?) percentage of these intelligent beings. 
Did you watch Anthony Weiner’s press conference today?Are you kidding? I hosted it! I mean, I guess it matters to the local citizens who want a good leader, but in the end, is it worth obsessing over? Look at me. Look at that picture of me and tell me it’s not ridiculous that a man on that dot held a press conference addressing his sexting incident.
Any thoughts on the Royal Baby?Yes and no. I’m used to welcoming millions of new human beings every day, but I understand why this one was so high-profile. To me, it doesn’t matter that this event received a lot of attention as long as more impacting events get attention as well. It’s an interesting current event and it doesn’t affect anybody whether or not you care about it. Like I always say, “Live and let live.”
What about all the wars, all the killing in the name of a Supreme Being? Humans are prideful. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but an excess of pride generally leads to conflict. Perhaps if more humans would look up and gaze at the other tiny points of light, there would be less conflict. I’m very idealist, as you can see.
Fair enough, TPL, but are you saying that we are insignificant?(deep breath) This is a good question. No, humans are definitely not insignificant. A large number of them practice compassion and are trying their hardest to advance civilization without harming others. There are critical thinkers and there are those choose to be ignorant because being otherwise would challenge their identity. Just because I am a Tiny Point of Light in a universe where time and scale are incomprehensibly large and small doesn’t mean that life is meaningless. Rather, it means that humans need to care for themselves so as not to destroy one another. Cherish this opportunity of being alive. Oh, and you know what? I really don’t think that I’m the only celestial body that harbors life. Many astronomers have come to the consensus that there may be more planets than there are stars. That’s pretty insane.
That’s awfully romantic, but it’s nice to hear. This wasn’t too bad, right?It was pointless, but hopefully I’ve made a mark.(Image source: @AstroRM)

Tiny Point of Light gives opinions on current events

Far beyond Saturn’s rings, a tiny point of light careens around the sun. It is home to roughly 7.1 billion bipedal animals known universally, relatively speaking, as homo sapiens. Many of them give birth, fight wars, and even help one another. They also die - every single one of them. 

I interviewed Tiny Point of Light to learn its thoughts on events that seem to be impacting a significant (?) percentage of these intelligent beings. 

Did you watch Anthony Weiner’s press conference today?
Are you kidding? I hosted it! I mean, I guess it matters to the local citizens who want a good leader, but in the end, is it worth obsessing over? Look at me. Look at that picture of me and tell me it’s not ridiculous that a man on that dot held a press conference addressing his sexting incident.

Any thoughts on the Royal Baby?
Yes and no. I’m used to welcoming millions of new human beings every day, but I understand why this one was so high-profile. To me, it doesn’t matter that this event received a lot of attention as long as more impacting events get attention as well. It’s an interesting current event and it doesn’t affect anybody whether or not you care about it. Like I always say, “Live and let live.”

What about all the wars, all the killing in the name of a Supreme Being? 
Humans are prideful. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but an excess of pride generally leads to conflict. Perhaps if more humans would look up and gaze at the other tiny points of light, there would be less conflict. I’m very idealist, as you can see.

Fair enough, TPL, but are you saying that we are insignificant?
(deep breath) This is a good question. No, humans are definitely not insignificant. A large number of them practice compassion and are trying their hardest to advance civilization without harming others. There are critical thinkers and there are those choose to be ignorant because being otherwise would challenge their identity. Just because I am a Tiny Point of Light in a universe where time and scale are incomprehensibly large and small doesn’t mean that life is meaningless. Rather, it means that humans need to care for themselves so as not to destroy one another. Cherish this opportunity of being alive. Oh, and you know what? I really don’t think that I’m the only celestial body that harbors life. Many astronomers have come to the consensus that there may be more planets than there are stars. That’s pretty insane.

That’s awfully romantic, but it’s nice to hear. This wasn’t too bad, right?
It was pointless, but hopefully I’ve made a mark.

(Image source: @AstroRM)

Vintage video of Dr. Sally Ride discussing the upcoming space shuttle program

Today marks one year since she passed away.

I found this video from 1980 of Dr. Sally Ride discussing her astronaut training and the space shuttle program that had not yet launched. When she begins talking about NASA’s plans for the space shuttle at 06:12, I found it fascinating that she expected it to be in action for “the next 10 or 15 years, probably.” It turned out to be a three-decade-long program.

When I was in elementary school, I owned a few books from the series Charlie Brown’s ‘Cyclopedia and one of them was about astronauts and rockets.

Smiley face
(Image source: Etsy.com)

Inside was a feature on Sally Ride and how she became the first American woman in space. Seeing the picture of her floating aboard the space shuttle helped reinforce my fascination with space exploration.

some text(Image source: NASA)

Dr. Ride, a very private person, also happened to be the first LGBT astronaut in space that we know of. Although she never came out publicly, and she didn’t have to, the posthumous revelation hopefully gave LGBT youth some hope and encouragement.

She was a committed promoter of STEM education and worked hard to inspire educators and students alike.

Honor her legacy and see if you know anybody who may benefit from Sally Ride Science.

Pilot takes picture of rocket launch

These never get old. An airline pilot captured this snapshot of last week’s Atlas V rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

sagansense:

Hypnotic Solar Explosions in 4k
To the naked eye, our sun is an unremarkable ball of heat and light. Under the eye of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or S.D.O, the Sun’s activity is revealed under various spectrums of light. See incredibly detailed coronal mass ejections, bursts, and solar flares. Let the immense power of the sun immerse and mesmerize you in stunning Ultra High Definition.

via SpaceRip

Le cirque du soleil.

(via thescienceofreality)

End of an era: Pets scared by space shuttle sonic booms


Today marks the two-year anniversary of the final landing of any space shuttle. Atlantis’ mission concluded the way it always had, with twin sonic booms over Florida, heralding its arrival.

While space fans are nostalgic about the conclusion of the shuttle program, household pets don’t miss it. Here’s a compilation of animals reacting to the orbiter’s booms:

Nibbles plays it off well:

Nike isn’t amused:

You can hear neighborhood dogs answering back:

These dogs hate their owner. I would:

Same goes for Mr. Weed’s owner:

But this little guy has my heart:

Hat tip to @AstroN8 and @izqomar on some of these.

Live NASA teleconference at 3:00 ET to outline science objectives for 2020 Mars rover.

I’m really hoping the main objectives are to search for signs of life and to determine habitability for future crewed missions.

Astronaut Candidates To Be Filmed As They Go Through Training


According to Forbes, a space entertainment production company called Orion Era will follow the six newest NASA astronaut candidates as they go through training. It will be set up somewhat like a reality show but without the bratty “I-didn’t-come-here-to-make-friends” cast-member. They’ve set up a pretty cool page for the three men and three women who are expected to represent humanity in space: astronautcandidates.com.

NASA urges married same-sex couples to immediately enroll in federal benefits
NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden sent a very supportive message to the agency’s married same-sex employees, encouraging them to enroll in federal benefits for their spouses now that they are entitled to them after last week’s Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act. He offers this encouraging bit (via SpaceRef.com):

For some employees in our NASA family, the application for benefits may be the first time you are coming out to your employer and to your coworkers, but you should be assured that you have the full support of all of us on the leadership team. You should waste no time taking care of your loved ones with this new policy. For many of you, it has been an extremely long time coming and we will provide all the support we can in getting your benefits updated.

With the Supreme Court’s ruling and the Office of Personnel Management’s memo, federal employees in same-sex relationships are now entitled to provide their families the same rights and benefits everybody else has. These include health insurance, life insurance and retirement coverage.
Being a federal agency, I assume this applies to all NASA centers, even to those located in states that have marriage equality bans. It makes you wonder how so many people can be against giving others the quality of life they deserve.
h/t @PlanetDr

NASA urges married same-sex couples to immediately enroll in federal benefits

NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden sent a very supportive message to the agency’s married same-sex employees, encouraging them to enroll in federal benefits for their spouses now that they are entitled to them after last week’s Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act. He offers this encouraging bit (via SpaceRef.com):

For some employees in our NASA family, the application for benefits may be the first time you are coming out to your employer and to your coworkers, but you should be assured that you have the full support of all of us on the leadership team. You should waste no time taking care of your loved ones with this new policy. For many of you, it has been an extremely long time coming and we will provide all the support we can in getting your benefits updated.

With the Supreme Court’s ruling and the Office of Personnel Management’s memo, federal employees in same-sex relationships are now entitled to provide their families the same rights and benefits everybody else has. These include health insurance, life insurance and retirement coverage.

Being a federal agency, I assume this applies to all NASA centers, even to those located in states that have marriage equality bans. It makes you wonder how so many people can be against giving others the quality of life they deserve.


h/t @PlanetDr

letsdolaunch:

Rare Photos Of The Soviet Space Program From Gagarin To Intercosmos

Incredible shots. What an incredible era for spaceflight.

(Source: pablolf)

Grasshopper 250m Test | Ring of Fire (by spacexchannel)


SpaceX, the famed space transportation company, just successfully completed another milestone in their quest toward developing reusable launch vehicles. Watch how their aptly-named Grasshopper test vehicle lifts off the ground 820 feet and comes right back down in a controlled descent. This technology is called Vertical Takeoff, Vertical Landing (VTVL) and could drastically cut down expenses on their Falcon 9 rockets. You see, instead of allowing the rockets to crash into the sea, they could become completely salvageable and most importantly, reusable.