Last week, I was having lunch with some friends, which included a number of programmers. One of them mentioned an old urban myth, that I hadn't heard in several years, which claims that, due to a programming bug (involving a misplaced semicolon), NASA once accidentally sent a probe into the Sun. I pointed out to my friend how implausible this was. … Continue reading NASA has never accidentally sent a probe into the Sun.
Similar to the relative spacecraft and rocket sizes I linked to the other day, here's xkcd's version, in horse units. At first I thought he was referring to horsepower, but then I realized it was horse mass. (Click through for full sized version.) via xkcd: Payloads. It's worth noting how large the Saturn V and … Continue reading xkcd: Spacecraft and launch vehicle payloads, in horses
This is pretty cool. A Reddit user put together a chart showing all the human occupied spacecraft that have been used so far. Click through to see the full sized version. via Every Ship That Has Carried Humans Into Space, In One Chart. One thing that stands out for me is how huge the Saturn V was, … Continue reading Every Ship That Has Carried Humans Into Space, In One Chart
If you've ever read in any old time science fiction, you probably encountered a lot of stories where the characters took off vertically in a rocket ship, and later landed in the same rocket ship, vertically. Vertical take off and landing (VTOL) is an old dream. But it's turned out to be brutally difficult in … Continue reading Project Morpheus test flights