Proxima Centauri, closest star to our Sun, as seen by Hubble
A planet has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri located about 4.24 light years away. Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf and is about 15% as bright as our local star the Sun. Interestingly, the planet found is located in the theorized habitable zone of the star.
Technologies are very close that would allow man to travel at nearly 20% light speed enabling us to visit this star within a 20 year timeframe. As a reference, the Voyager probes were launched in the 70s and we would be receiving pictures of the planet by now if they had interstellar technology at that time.
Here is a summary of current & theoretical space technologies:
The most fascinating (to me) is the last one referred to as the "Alcubierre Warp Drive". Basically a caterpillar drive that generates a warp bubble to travel.
Anyway, I found it extremely interesting that we found a potential solar system that we absolutely will be exploring sometime this century. I hope I live to see it!
Let's keep UM owning space.
I am a UM alum and, besides this board, I don't really keep in touch with the alumni association or have any other Michigan connections. I thought this was at least a decent way to get the word out to my Michigan brothers and sisters:
On Monday, November 16, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (in Huntsville, AL) is going to post an announcement on USAJobs.gov asking for student co-ops (now called Pathways Interns) to start in summer and/or fall 2016. However, this announcement will only be open for one day! On top of that, only the first 75 applicants will be considered.
If you (or someone you know) is a Michigan engineering junior or grad student and are interested in NASA, go ahead and apply. It would be best to establish an account on USAjobs.gov now to build a resume before Nov 15 so the "submit" button can be pressed on Nov 16. Gotta be one of the first 75 applicants.
Zoltan is rooting for you.
U of M (still) owns Space.
For those unaware, December 4 next month will be the first ever launch of the Orion Crew Capsule. Orion, similar in shape to the old Apollo capsule, will be the spacecraft of the future to ferry astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
This test flight coming up will be unmanned with the capsule on top of a Delta IV heavy rocket (the temporary launch vehicle until the SLS rocket is complete) but here's the cool part: The capsule was designed by Lockheed Martin and a good number of the Lockheed engineers who designed it were Michigan grads. I found out today that these Michigan grads are placing a UM flag in the capsule. No other college flags are going and the only other flag onboard at all will be the United States flag.
I was just watching the Olympics with the Mrs. and NBC had a piece about the space race between the United States and Russia. It reminded me of an incredible story I heard.
I have had many conversations with a man who was employed at NASA at the time of the first moon landing. As I'm sure you are all familiar with, Neil Armstrong, while taking his first steps on the moon, bounces slightly. Most people think it was because of a lack of gravity. My engineering friend said that was not why Armstrong bounced when he hit the moon's surface.
Before Apollo 11 landed on the moon, there was an extensive amount of discussion involving the NASA brain trust over what, exactly, the moon was made out of. After months of deliberation, the panel had decided on two possibilities. Either the moon was solid, and a human could walk on it. Or the moon had a center comprised of space dust and any human who touched it's surface would fall a hundred meters into it's center and be lost forever.
Neil Armstrong, before placing his feet on the moon's surface, wasn't sure if he'd ever come back to Earth. His bounce was a reflex, because he didn't know if he'd be buried forever in outer space, or be the first human to successful walk on the moon's surface .
I've thought of this so many times and can't believe how bad ass that crew was for taking that trip.
Space X launched their Falcon 9/ Dragon Capsule to the ISS today. Regardless if you feel if low earth orbit should have been privatized or not, it's still pretty cool.
Link to full launch (embed below).
A Friday article on the Grantland site about how teams are using "space" players in the NFL:
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My post is not intended as a slam on MANBALL or the current coaching staff, of whom I'm currently a big fan. If Hoke et al. want to move toward a Wisconsinesque road-grader offense that gets the job done, I'll be completely behind the idea.
But, I think the parallels between RichRod's offensive philosophy and what's described in the article are interesting. If his ideas were that lousy, would they be used at the highest level of football?