Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Solar System Missions Update 12/2016

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of December 1st 2016.

So here's the last one for this year, were the exiting final phase for Cassini has now begun with the F-Ring orbits, which will be followed by the Grand Finale Orbits in April 2017 and then in September - the END.

What is definitely not exiting is the scarcity of events for 2017... let's not lose hope and Keep Exploring!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

And now to something completely different

I have been thinking in the last few weeks, because recent significant events made me do that. And now I think I found what was nagging me the whole time: The 20th century may be finally about to end.

Explainer: Remember the old-timey demagogues, not the really olden ones who actually believed their own lies, those were just creeps. But the later 20th-century type, who went by the mode "Look, we all now what I say is total bullshit, but it's the bullshit you want to hear, so roll with it." Npw here comes Mister President-elect D.J. Trump, who, well, just doesn't do that any more. Instead, he goes "I am lying. My lies are the greatest lies. And if you don't believe that, you are a liar." So he doesn't even pretend anymore. Could it be that he is the final end product of that era, a ridiculous joke that is just an over-the-top parody of all the nonsense that came before him. and of course completely dysfunctional.

Think about it. All those ideology fluffheads aimlessly flailing around, like those pathetic losers who actually like Trump, spouting racist and whatever-ist nonsense. Or the gormless impotent student protests going on right now. Is it just me, or do they all appear to just go through the motions, not even knowing what it is the want. OK, as far as hardcore Trumplers go, they just want to hate, no need to know what to hate necessary. But that doesn't detract from my point, I think. And of course there are still those dudes who really want to believe their own crap, like islamists. But that is just a bunch of total losers who are literally doing nothing but habitually committing crimes against humanity. I think it's painfully easy to see how that is an absolutely pathetic, pointless waste that's going precisely nowhere.

So what we see right now may be the end of something, the end of all that ideology bullshitting that never solved any problems anyway, done in by a merciless over-the-top assclown. And of course it will go with a bang, like those things do. Like when the Soviet Union went with the believe-my-own-bullshit mode of politicking. And now it is time for the USA. Damn, I would have liked to see it stick around a bit longer. That's of course not to say there wont be an entity called "USA" anymore, it just wont be the one we know right now anymore. So, maybe not so bad to see this version go, then. But that has to happen, the primary entity for every delusion goes with said delusion, like the Roman, Spanish or British empires. I leaver that as an exercise for the interested reader to figure out for what delusion those went. The latter one was probably colonialism.

So there you go, there may be hope after all. What remains to be seen is what delusion will replace the current one, then. Meanwhile, the era that begins now needs a good name. My suggestion would be "Post-veracity age". Keep in mind, this may all be yet more self-delusional drivel, I'm just a simple cant-not-be-inquisitive space nerd after all.

And don't let your search for truth be destroyed by certainty.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Solar System Missions Update 11/2016

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of November 1st 2016.

Well, it's one less, one more this month again. The ESA ExoMars orbiter is now enlarging the Mars family once more, while the lander demo didn't go quite as planned. Since that was only the dress rehearsal, the real thing can only be a success now! I hope 😳

But the most significant change happened on the moon, where I finally decided that the reports about the demise of the Chinese Yùtù rover (aka the Jade Rabbit) were not exaggerated and so did what I had to do.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Solar System Missions Update 10/2016

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of October 1st 2016.

Well, it's one less, one more this month. Rosetta ended its mission with an amazing comet touchdown, while OSIRIS REx launched and is doing great. 👋

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Solar System Missions Update 09/2016

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of September 1st 2016.

So STEREO B is back! And a new mission on the list: KPLO, the Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, which will presumably launch in 2018.

Meanwhile, this month OSIRIS REx will launch and Rosetta will end its mission with a comet touchdown.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Simulate all the planets

So I was searching for a better simulation framework for my Solar System orrery project, and somebody pointed me to three.js, a WebGL 3D-Library. It looked promising. Now it would be nice to do that with all the planets, and somebody already thought the same. Even better. Of course, while a nice simulation, the models left a little bit to be desired in terms of accuracy, so I tried upon myself to improve that. Well, see the result below for yourself. Click/tap on the buttons at left to select a model, holding down a mouse button will stop the rotation.

The bodies rotate with the same relative speed as their natural brethren, although a wee bit faster in absolute terms. The tilt agains the ecliptic is also equvalent

See some more examples here, all the planets dancing in a circle, Earth and Moon doing their thing. Check out the documentation or fork/download the threex.planets source in the GitHub repository. It also includes all the credits for the image sources.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Solar System Missions Update 08/2016

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of August 1st 2016.

We'll see plenty of action in the second half of this year: Juno at Jupiter will see its first perijove in August, and begin the science mission in November. Meanwhile, in September OSIRIS REx will launch and Rosetta will end its mission with a comet touchdown, and in October ExoMars will reach Mars and Schiaparelli will land on it. Finally, Cassini will begin its orbits through Saturn's ring plane in November as the beginning of its grand finale.