Jul 032015
 

Color-wise, at any rate:

New Horizons Color Images Reveal Two Distinct Faces of Pluto, Series of Spots that Fascinate

nh-7-1-15_pluto_charon_color_hemispheres_annotated_jhuapl_nasa_swri

Those large black spots on the “opposition” hemisphere had damned well better come into view clear enough to make out what they are… or we’re in for *decades* of inane whacko conspiracy theories along the lines of the “Face on Mars.”

 Posted by at 11:48 am
Jun 292015
 

I’ve been pecking away at various aspects of Pax Orionis lately. Most of my writing has been involved with various aspects of the history leading up to The War. I could have started with the war first, and backfilled the history after, but it seems to me better to start at the beginning, work through the course of events leading to the war, and then staging the war with the world that the history gives.

Since the US fights the war with Orion ships, I figure it’s a good idea to figure out how many ships the US has, of what type, and what their capabilities are. Below is a very preliminary chart of the ships of the USSF and NASA in chronological and to scale. Names and numbers will likely change; the designs are currently in flux. The double vertical line at the right indicates the war, so the two craft introduced after that are post-war designs.

pax orionis-Model

 Posted by at 3:45 pm
Jun 282015
 

Well, this isn’t so good. It’s not the usual sort of explosion, where there’s a very sudden fireball and the vehicle turns into confetti in a split second; this disaster seems to be stretched out over a few seconds. It kinda looks like there was a fuel or oxidizer dump from up front… perhaps the second stage. Also early on in the “anomaly” you can see something drop away from the vehicle. I wonder if perhaps that’s the Dragon capsule? The disaster was good and slow… *perhaps* the abort systems got the capsule away. But I’d imagine if that was the case the booster itself would have *promptly* turned into so much tinfoil.

UPDATE: A tweet from Elon Musk says that there was an “overpressure event” in the second stage LOX tank. Cause was “counterintuitive.”

Another angle:

 Posted by at 8:51 am