It's Sunday and time to bravely dump all those links I have been collecting all week of stuff that I just didn't have time to comment on, so I will divest of them now with (hopefully) brief comments. In no apparent order here they are
Do you want to play a game?
Cool idea to use a game to teach a system to dock by picking the 'winners'. Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah - here:
For robotic control, I think these guys have a fairly interesting approach. I will be looking into their concept / API for some ideas for a personal project I have on the back burner...
So the Russians are going to help the the ESA with a Mars mission? As noted in the above movie, there is much to like and dislike about the Russian space effort. They make things work, perhaps not in the most elegant way. On the other hand, sometimes finesse matters. I am aware of a constellation of commercial dead satellites whose rapid demise is at least partially attributable to Russian involvement.
On the other hand, I like this launch approach. The price point puts it in the sweet spot for most commercial ventures. However, in the commercial space game, talk is cheap and the follow through is rarely what is advertised. Inevitably the cost rises or the scope reduces as real hardware matures. It will be interesting to see if that is true with this method. My main concern is what happens between the point the satellite is released from the shuttle at 50 miles and where it reaches it's a target orbit at say 450 miles. there is a lot of cost and engineering to go that extra 400 miles.
Just for fun, Jerry Pournelle had a link to a cool optical illusion here. I'd advise reading the description before following his link - it will make the illusion even more cooler.
Not exactly the tech that we were led to believe was possible in Jurassic Park, but I find it laudable the guy is so devoted to bringing back an extinct species. The problem of course is what it if becomes an invasive species? Like we really need another class of flying rats to poop on our stuff? I say ok, as long as they keep them contained (which we know from the movies is impossible)
I didn't even know Grimm was back. I liked it at first, but then it got all 'Lost' like and was too much effort to follow. I will give it a try & hope for the best I guess.
So you think your 401K is safe from being snatched as 'revenue' to make up for the difference in tax income and massive spending? It could never happen? After all, that's money you personally didn't spend but saved for retirement. Well the depositors in Cyprus are finding out that it can happen. Sobering to think that fiscally we are probably much worse off than them... what will be our remedy?