Cupola on the ISS

With the installation of the cupola attached to the Tranquility module on the International Space Station, I know what I will definitely be taking a look at if I ever visit the space station. (I can dream, can't I?) With its much more open view compared to the tiny viewports that were already on the space station, the cupola provides a beautiful platform for looking outside at Earth or at space.

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AMS heading up this summer

Made and assembled in Switzerland…
AMS-2 in Switzerland

The International Space Station has been an enormously expensive structure in orbit that took over a decade to construct. Despite the enormous expense, however, its scientific capabilities are somewhat lackluster. So it's exciting to hear that the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a superconducting detector which can study cosmic rays, is heading to the ISS in July. It will be a three-year experiment that could contribute greatly to the study of dark matter and antimatter in the universe. And to think that it almost got cancelled due to the lack of a shuttle flight ...

Getting otakus to donate blood

Donating blood

Only in Akihabara, Japan, the mecca for otaku who are crazy about all things anime and manga, could you see a heavily anime-themed blood donation facility. If I lived around a facility like that, I'd almost be tempted to give blood all the time (which is obviously the point).

This reminds me: I should be donating blood, anyway. Not only as a good deed, but I need to be contributing more than enough blood in case I ever need some blood myself. Now if I can just find the time to donate blood without having to worry about the lack of energy for the rest of the day ...

About Constellation's cancellation

The Constellation program was proposed in 2004 as a program to return humans to the Moon through the development of two new rockets and a whole slew of new hardware. Unfortunately, the administration at the time neglected to allocate much funding for the program, which forced NASA to cut funding to a lot of other programs to operate Constellation with a shoestring budget (even increasing NASA's budget to what amounts to occupying Iraq for about a week was apparently too much). It didn't help that the Augustine Commission had a less than stellar opinion of the program.

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