This looks like a very interesting paper, suggesting that a Tunguska-like event wiped out the ancient Middle East, and could explain a lot of myths. (Ctrl-F for “Tunguska” to see the specific abstract.)
And of course, it has current implications that we’ve been lucky, and dodging bullets.
Forbes has a story.
A little over half an hour away. Watch live.
[Update after the successful landing]
I’m seeing a lot of the usual nonsense about how if NASA can land a robot on Mars why don’t we believe them about climate? That’s like saying, if someone on a baseball team is a really good pitcher, why don’t we pay any attention to the outfielder’s opinions about politics?
Why do straight men hate it so much?
Ummmmm…because it’s a load of bollocks? I’m pretty sure that my lack of belief in it has nothing to do with either my gender or my sexual orientation. The real question should be why do women and gays buy into it so much?
How support for it can be a political liability.
I would note that this is another problem with a government space program in a representative republic, and why it’s hopeless to think we can do Apollo again. People who want to see space science happen need to look to other funding sources.
[Update late morning]
D’oh! New Mexico, not Arizona.
Bob Zimmerman examines the planned landing site.
Breakthrough and NASA have signed a Space Act Agreement for support of a private mission. This is the most likely way for it to happen, and it will probably happen before a Europa mission (it probably would have even with Culberson, given the requirement to use SLS).
I’ve been busy for the past couple days, and will continue to be, with first the Space Settlement Summit, and starting today (and concluding tomorrow) a meeting of the Moon Village Association. For those who want to participate, the latter will supposedly start to be live streamed at 8 AM PDT, but I don’t know the URL. I’ll update when I get there and find out what it is.
[Update after conference start]
Here is the livestream. Scott Pace is speaking.
It’s about to make its last flight. Most of the media won’t realize how historical this event, or that rocket is. Somewhere, Max Hunter is smiling.
This is terrible, and a huge loss to the lunar development community. I just saw him in January at the lunar landing science workshop at Ames. He had finally come around to oppose SLS. Condolences to his family and other friends, RIP, and ad astra.
[Update a few minutes later]
More from Leonard David, who was as shocked by the news as I am. I hadn’t been aware that he had lung cancer.
It’s about 0230 EDT, and I’m still up, planning home renovations for tomorrow. But I’m in south Florida, about fifteen minutes from the swamp to the west, and the sky is clear for both the Perseids and the Parker Solar Probe Delta IV launch in an hour, 150 miles north-northwest of me. So I might as well stay up a little longer. Hoping I’ll see the Milky Way for the first time in a long time.
Well, saw half a dozen meteors, one of them right next to the ascending rocket. No Milky Way, though.
[Update Sunday night]
Given my recent failed attempts to see it, I’m wondering (slightly depressed) if it’s an age-related vision decline. It was very distinct in my youth, but it seems like there are a lot fewer stars than there used to be.