Tag Archives: NASA

Poets Are From Earth, Haiku Go To Mars

23 Sep

So NASA emailed me to say my haiku had arrived on Mars…

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There’s a sentence you don’t read (or write) every day.  And what’s great is, it’s true!

Truth is relative, of course.  NASA did email, as they do every day; I’m subscribed to their website.

I did write a haiku, however, and it did go to Mars…along with thousands of others submitted to their competition.  NASA put all of the entries on to a DVD in case the Little Green Men like Japanese poetry.

According to the website:

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft successfully entered Mars’ orbit at 10:24 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21, where it now will prepare to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere as never done before. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars.

It doesn’t say anything about my haiku but I guess they’re kind of busy with all the, like, sciency stuff and that.  Go figure.

But hey – I can say with absolute truth: my writing is out of this world 🙂

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#Global Selfie Earth Day

21 Apr

I subscribe to NASA’s emails and I received one the other day that I’d like to share.  Tomorrow, they want everyone to take a selfie.

Are you up for it?  If you don’t do Twitter, Facebook, etc., post it to your blog then leave a link here in the comments and I’ll come check you out.

Here’s their blurb:

NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.

The year 2014 is a big one for NASA Earth science. Five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about our home planet are launching to space this year. NASA is marking this big year for Earth science with a campaign called Earth Right Now, and as part of this campaign the agency is asking for your help this Earth Day, April 22.

While NASA satellites constantly look at Earth from space, on Earth Day we’re asking you to step outside and take a picture of yourself wherever you are on Earth. Then post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.

For more information on getting involved

For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities in 2014, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow

Martians Read English?

3 May

A chance to go to space!

Even better: a chance to go to space without leaving your computer.

No, not on Richard Branson’s £200,000 ticket to the atmosphere with your laptop as carry-on luggage, but through a request from NASA (via Sky News):

Nasa Wants Three-Line Poems For Mars Mission

The space agency is inviting the public to send in poems to go on a DVD that will be carried on a new Mars mission.

Nasa is inviting the public to send in their name and a poem to be put on a DVD that will be carried aboard a Martian-bound spacecraft.

The disc will be in the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, scheduled to launch in November.

Every name submitted will go on the disc but the space agency also wants people to write a short haiku poem.

A haiku is a form of writing that originated in Japan and is usually made up of three lines and around 17 syllables.

The three best poems, as voted for online by the public, will end up heading to the Red Planet.

People who send in their names for the DVD will be able to print off a ‘certificate of appreciation’ to record their involvement and the deadline for entries is July 1.

The voting for the three best messages begins on July 15, with the winners announced on August 8. The MAVEN mission itself is expected to blast off in late 2013.

See here for details (there’s something I never expected to Google: Nasa poetry competition…).  

And remember, if you win, to link back to this blog.  Martians read Laughing Housewives, I’m sure.

 

I’ve Never Seen The Man In The Moon

13 Dec

But I have seen a smiling face on Mercury.

From the NASA website:

It looks like even the craters on Mercury have heard of Bob Ross! The central peaks of this complex crater have formed in such a way that it resembles a smiling face. This image taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft is oriented so north is toward the bottom.

Look At The Pretty Pictures!

23 Feb

I am subscribed to NASA’s website and they sent this pic yesterday:

Aren’t they pretty?  They are called buckyballs.  I have no idea what they are or what they do, despite this explanation (there’s a reason I only subscribe to NASA, rather than work for them):

Formally named buckministerfullerene, buckyballs are named after their resemblance to the late architect Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. They are made up of 60 carbon atoms arranged into a hollow sphere, like a soccer ball. Their unusual structure makes them ideal candidates for electrical and chemical applications on Earth, including superconducting materials, medicines, water purification and armor.

I am sharing the information because I like the picture and the name.  ‘Buckyballs’ sound like such fun, er, things. 

A great name is vital.  Consider what came in the previous day’s email:

Looks good, doesn’t it?  It is an image of the fastest wind from stellar-mass black hole.  It is so beautiful, it should have a romantic name, like Angel’s Breath from Angel’s Mouth, or something.  So what do the scientists at NASA call it?  I’ll let them speak for themselves:

The stellar-mass black hole powering this super wind is known as IGR J17091-3624, or IGR J17091 for short.

Gotta love those catchy nicknames.

Star Trekking Across The Universe (Not)

21 Jul
Atlantis deploys the landing gear before landi...

Image via Wikipedia

Are you happy or sad the Space Shuttle has been retired?

This is the second time we’ve been asked this question, and Nancy suggested I re-post my first answer.  Given the state of the economy, and in a bid to save the world, I’ve taken her advice, because it’s good to recycle and re-use things; so don’t go thinking it’s laziness on my part that brought you here.

I waited for today to answer this question (again), because today, Thursday, 21 July 2011, sees the return to earth of the last Space Shuttle; the last flight any shuttle will ever make.  I could cry. 

We should be out there, crossing the final frontier.  And by ‘we’ I mean, of course, ‘the Americans’, because, well, that’s what they do.  I’ll settle for the Russians, the Chinese, the Fijians if necessary; but I don’t read or speak Russian, Chinese or Fijian, so following a space programme on their websites – assuming they have websites; you know how secretive the Fijians are – is going to be difficult.

That’s the mushy bit over with; here’s the original post, complete with the WordPress prompter’s then-factually incorrect question:

Tomorrow is the last Space Shuttle mission. Does this make you, happy, sad, or indifferent? Why?

Okay, it might not be tomorrow; it might already have happened because I’m writing this yesterday but in the future of the moment the prompt was given. So it might be tomorrow, or not: Space Shuttles are notoriously unreliable. I guess any plane that needs a parachute to land is going to have glitches, however, so I don’t hold that against them.

I am truly sad that the era of the Shuttle has come to an end. We should be out there in space, doing stuff.*

*Bear with me: I’m an enthusiast but not so hot on the technical jargon.

Stuff is what we do: search out new lives and new civilisations. Boldly go where no split infinitives have gone before.

It started with the bloke who thought, ‘This village is all right but there must be more than just us out there,’ and went to see for himself, dragging his missus and kids along so there was always supper on the table and someone to haul the water.

Having found he wasn’t alone in his universe and there was, in fact, another village over yonder (with his missus sighing, ‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it: they eat their bread butter side down. I blame that Seuss fella’), he felt the urge to search out more villages, maybe one with a posh hotel and a shower: ‘Clean me up, snotty. I’ve travelled five miles to get here.’

And so he (it’s always a he because paternalistic attitudes prevail even in these enlightened times when a woman can’t get elected President because she doesn’t cry and people don’t like it because she’s hard and then she does cry and people don’t like it because who wants a cry baby as leader of the free world?) conquers the villages he visits and moves on to the next. On to towns, cities, shires, countries, new worlds across the sea, taking care not to fall off the edge on the way.

Finally, he thinks that space might be a good idea because those pesky communists wanted it first. Illogical, yes, but great motivation.

In 1969 he makes one giant leap for mankind (have you tried walking daintily in those huge suits?) and celebrates with a game of golf and a growth industry of conspiracy theorists who claim there was no way he got a hole in one with no shadows to prove it.

Some of his mates follow in his moon boots then bam! 1972 passes and nothing…no more moon walks that don’t involve a single white glove.

How did that happen? It’s like someone decided: been there, done that, got the space shirt; now we have a parking garage and huge garbage dump and we can live happily ever after.

Maybe they have a point: despite all the movies, we haven’t been invaded yet. What self-respecting alien wants to live in a world that uses space trash instead of ozone to keep the temperature ambient? A world that doesn’t want a follow-up to velcro?

Clearly, our prime directive is to save money and stay at home, avoiding the neighbours.

Of course I’m sad.

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