The mission poster for the latest NASA International Space Station mission decided to boldly go for a Star Trek look. In a case of life-imitating-art-imitating-life, while the ISS crew wear Next Generation uniforms, the background logo is of the NX-01 Enterprise, which featured the ISS in the opening sequence. So does this create a temporal paradox?
NASA had done some other movie parody posters before for its shuttle and ISS expedition teams. No word on when the ISS’ superlaser will be fully charged and operational.
On Wednesday, Stephen Colbert celebrated America’s latest scientific development: A super laser that can “focus 192 laser beams on a small point, generating temperatures and pressures that exist at cores of stars or giant planets.” Sound familiar? See The Colbert Report clip beneath the cut. Continue reading
George Takei and Mark Hamill are guests on this episode of Irrelevant Astronomy. And how can you say no to a tongue-in-cheek robot talk show produced by NASA anyway?
Most of The Physics of the Death Star is pretty much Greek to me (art degree!) but long story short, the amount of energy the Death Star needs just to blow stuff up:
It’s a solid week of the sun’s entire power output. Dumping it in about a single second, as required to blow up Alderaan, is a very, very impressive feat. Doubly so when you take into account the fact that the binding energy is just enough to dissociate the planet into a diffuse cloud. If you want to actually blow the thing up into pieces flying out at many times escape velocity, you need much more energy.
So how much would it take to move that thing around? Even in zero gravity? How about the lights? Interior gravity? Refreshers? Mouse-droid charging stations? On second thought… I don’t want to know. (via)
No, USA Today is reporting this one straight, complete with comments from Howard Roffman. The Force Trainer “uses brain waves to allow players to manipulate a sphere.” Naturally.
No, you’re not tapping into some “all-powerful force controlling everything,” as Han Solo said in the movies. But you are reaching out with mind power via one of the first mass-market brain-to-computer products. “It’s been a fantasy everyone has had, using The Force,” says Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing.
…In the Force Trainer, a wireless headset reads your brain activity, in a simplified version of EEG medical tests, and the circuitry translates it to physical action. If you focus well enough, the training sphere, which looks like a ping-pong ball, will rise in the tower.
Call me when they start making the toy lightsabers with real light, okay? (via)