Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Far Out Sci-Fi #12

Some retro, vintage and crazy Science Fiction stuff. Plus lots of cool stuff from the International Space Station (ISS)


"Aluminum Foil, It's not just for leftovers" - Natalie Wood

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MIT and NASA are testing some bowling ball-size droids that look and act a lot like the “remotes” Luke Skywalker used to practice his light saber skills. (Officially, of course, these are called SPHERES, as in Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellite. Seriously?) NASA insists they’re designed to test automated rendezvous and formation flying in zero-gravity.

General Motors and NASA have developed a C3PO type robot, called Robonaut, that’s designed to support human crew member operations in space. It upper torso and arms were delivered to the International Space Station in 2011 and it has since acquired a set of legs that allows it to move about the ISS interior spaces. It will eventually be able to work outside the Space Station performing tasks that are too difficult or hazardous for a human astronaut. 
NASA and the Made In Space Company developed an ISS-based 3D printer specifically designed and delivered for use on the ISS. A practical demonstration occurred in December of last year when a digital design file for a ratchet wrench was transmitted from the ground to the Space Station and the wrench was successfully printed on board. 
NASA makes open source files available that can be used for 3-D printing 

  Here’s a complete list of the technology experiments being done onboard the ISS.


A pair of comically inept US Army soldiers, Privates Philbrick (Robert Ball) and Penn (Frankie Ray), are sent along with several competent troopers to investigate a newly discovered cave near Fort Nicholson, in an unnamed western US state. Leaving the pair to guard the cave entrance, the others go inside and are quickly overpowered by "vegetable Monsters" which prove to be controlled by two tall Amazon-like humanoid Alien women, Professor Puna (Dolores Reed) and Dr Tanga (Gloria Victor), from the planet Chalar. They have set up base in the cave to prepare the way for an Invasion of Earth, and have enough information to depart shortly in their Spaceship. After considerable foolishness on the part of Philbrick and Penn, they discover the women can be mentally confused by a simple kiss which affects their higher brain functions. This allows the pair to rescue their companions and foil the invasion plans by preventing the women's departure. At the conclusion, they are married to Puna and Tanga, who have decided to remain on Earth and presumably to forget their home world 


An Alcubierre Warp Drive stretches spacetime in a wave causing the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract and the space behind it to expand. The ship can ride the wave to accelerate to high speeds and time travel. 

Miguel Alcubierre, theorized that faster-than-light speeds were possible in a way that did not contradict Einstein by harnessing the expansion and contraction of space itself. Under Dr. Alcubierre’s hypothesis, a ship still couldn’t exceed light speed in a local region of space. But a theoretical propulsion system he sketched out manipulated space-time by generating a so-called “warp bubble” that would expand space on one side of a spacecraft and contract it on another.


Cassini flew past Saturn's moon Enceladus for its 20th targeted encounter. Cassini has seen and photographed quite a lot of Enceladus before, but there's still new terrain for it to cover. Saturn has seasons just like Earth does, except they take much longer. When Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, it had just passed the southern summer solstice, so the south poles of Saturn and all the moons were bathed in continuous sunlight while large areas of their northern poles were in shadow. The equinox happened in August, 2009, bringing sunlight to the north poles for the first time in a decade. Even then, the sunlight barely reached the polar regions, throwing long shadows that obscured the terrain. It's only now, late in the mission, that Cassini is getting a good look at Enceladus' north pole 

Walking Robot and Flying Camera Drone Work Together to Successfully Navigate Terrain and Avoid Obstacles


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Official) 
32 million views in 2 days...

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Plenty of Carrie Fisher 

Our Halloween Over Lords? 


Mike aka Proof said...

First time I saw Invaders from Mars I was young, impressionable and home alone. The idea that the ground could unexpectedly open up under you and swallow you, and that you couldn't trust anyone, because you couldn't know who had been compromised was scary.

Katy Anders said...

A couple quick thoughts:

1. About Invasion of the Star Creatures: never seen it, but this post mentions "vegetable monsters." I love that concept. For some reason, plants that act like animals or sentient people scare the crap out of me. I don't know why. I need to use the idea somewhere sometime.

I think might fear might stem from that time I was attacked by a neighbor as a kid and it it turned out she was a celery witch...

2. Leia on the beach: Why are pictures of women looking surprised so sexy:? The picture of ehr here when she doesn't look surprised isn't nearly as hot. of course, it doesn't always work or else the eternally-surprised Taylor Swift would be the hottest woman on the planet.

I'll bet Taylor Swift is actually made out of collard greens.