Feb 12, 2017

Sunday Focus: Does NASA Watch Movies?

     Lots of attention over the weekend to earths' moon as a lunar eclipse occurred. 
     And there are reports about manned missions back to that body.
     But NASA is also looking ahead to 2030 or so, just 13 years from now, when it wants to land a craft on the moon of another planet to determine if there really is an ocean eleven miles or so under the surface that contains more water than all of the oceans on Earth. 
     So what's the movie reference? 2001, A Space Odyssey, of course, in which the fictional monolith sends a message to mankind:

"All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace."

    Yes, I know, just a movie, but a cultural bookmark too. And once scientists have been told you can not do something...they'll try for it. So Europa is in NASA's sights.
     There is, naturally, an Alabama angle to all of this. The newest and most powerful rocket ever is being designed and tested in Huntsville.

"Scheduled for its initial test flight in 2017, the SLS is designed to be flexible and evolvable to meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs. The initial flight-test configuration will provide a 77-ton capacity, and the final evolved two-stage configuration will provide a lift capability of more than 143 tons."
     From Boeing, which won the $2.8 Billion contract.


[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of www.timlennox.com]


1 comment:

Jay Croft said...

Hardly suitable as a front lawn ornament, methinks.