Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moon Landings Weren't Faked-British Humor

OK, I'm a late comer to this bit. Its funny to watch. enjoy. Again, click on video if needed to view on YouTube itself.

Monday, July 26, 2010

NASA Kepler Mission Discovered Earth Size Worlds

From comes this article quoted in its entirety.

Scientists celebrated Sunday after finding more than 700 suspected new planets -- including up to 140 similar in size to Earth -- in just six weeks of using a powerful new space observatory.

Early results from NASA’s Kepler Mission, a small satellite observing deep space, suggested planets like Earth were far more common than previously thought.

Past discoveries suggested most planets outside our solar system were gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn -- but the new evidence tipped the balance in favor of solid worlds.

Astronomers said the discovery meant the chances of eventually finding truly Earth-like planets capable of sustaining life rose sharply.

NASA so far formally announced only five new exoplanets -- those outside our solar system -- from the mission because its scientists were still analyzing Kepler’s finds to confirm they are actually planets.

“The figures suggest our galaxy, the Milky Way [which has more than 100 billion stars] will contain 100 million habitable planets, and soon we will be identifying the first of them,” said Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University and a scientist on the Kepler Mission. "There is a lot more work we need to do with this, but the statistical result is loud and clear, and it is that planets like our own Earth are out there."

End quote.

Ref. July 25, 2010. "NASA's Deep Space Camera Locates Host of 'Earths'" (

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Forty-One Years Ago...

Forty-One Years Ago...

Forty-one years ago humans took their first step on another world and our universe changed. I was NINE years old when this took place. I am FIFTY years old today as I write this blog. And I feel like we have not done a damn thing since.

There was the space truck (i.e the Space Shuttle). Then EVENTUALLY, there was a orbital space station for the space truck to go too. Along the way, we lost two of those dump trucks and on the last one, I lost a former Air Force ROTC classmate who was the commander of that ill-fated mission. I remember I was in a light sleep that morning when I heard the sonic booms and I thought, "Uh oh. Some poor SOB out of Clovis (New Mexico) is going to get their ass chewed out when they return to base.

Forty-One years have passed...and I feel like we still haven't done a damn thing but spin our wheels so to speak. One study after another study. Just enough for the politicians to get through another election cycle and NASA not to do anything really important as far as Manned Space Flight goes.

I fear now that I will not live long enough to see Man land on Mars. I really, really hate that feeling. I really hope that I am wrong on that.

Forty-One Years Ago...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Close-Up of Crop Circle Orb Photographed

A crop circle orb was finally photographed at close range it appears. And it is an amazing photograph! For the full story, please visit the following link (

UFO Delays Air Travel in China

Discovered this article through the Drudge Actual link to article below.

A photograph was taken of the UFO hovering over Hangzhou. The capital of East China's Zhejiang province late Wednesday on July 7, 2010. Photo from Metro Express.

Xiaoshan Airport was closed after the UFO was detected at 9pm. Some flights were redirected to other cities such as Nigbo and Wuxi, said a Chinese spokesman (unnamed of course). Flights were delayed up to 3-4 hours before normal schedules were resumed. Source: China Daily(By Yang Yijun).

The UFO appears to be of the "cigar" class of object with smaller lights (windows?) above the main light/underbelly of the object.

UPDATE (July 11, 2010): From Information, this is nothing more than rocket debris-they think. Link added below in Ref section.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

U.S.S. America (LHA-6) and Global Hawks in the news

Discovered the news that Northrop-Grumman won the contract to do the replacement to the Tarawa class Amphib. Did a Google search and found images of the LHA-6 U.S.S. America. Also Cdr Salamander's blog that gave more details about the ship than the corporate website (kinda odd I thought).

Any way, it appears the island on the starboard side is at least as long as the other amphibs in the U.S. Navy. From the CGI images, I'm guessing its slightly narrower than before.

The ship is designed to transport 20+ F-35s (if that program doesn't crash and burn!). Also carries V-22 and CH-53 helicopters. With this ship, the well deck is gone-so no hovercraft like the LCACs.

And like Cdr Salamander, this is basically a baby escort carrier for the 21st century. He wrote down the general characteristics of both the LHA-6 and the old Midway class aircraft carrier.

And yes, I could call it a small CV or CVS - it is the right size.

General Characteristics: LHA-6

Displacement:-Approximately 44,971 long tons full load
Length:-------844 feet (257.3 meters)
Beam:---------106 feet (32.3 meters)
Draft:--------23 feet
Propulsion:---Two marine gas turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower, two 5,000 horsepower auxiliary propulsion motors
Speed:--------20+ knots
Crew:---------1,059 (65 officers)
Load:---------1,687 troops (plus 184 surge)
Armament:-----Two RAM launchers; two NATO Sea Sparrow launchers (with Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)); two 20mm Phalanx CIWS mounts; seven twin .50 cal. machine guns
Aircraft:-----A mix of: F-35B Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL aircraft; MV-22 Osprey VTOL tiltrotors; CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters; UH-1Y Huey helicopters; AH-1Z Super Cobra helicopters; MH-60S Seahawk helicopters
Just to compare, remember the USS CORAL SEA (CV-43)?
General characteristics: Midway-class aircraft carrier

Displacement:-45,000 tons
Length:-------968 ft (295 m)
Beam: --------113 ft (34 m) waterline
Draft:--------35 ft (11 m)
Propulsion:---Geared steam turbines 212,000 shp
Speed:--------33 knots (61 km/h)
Crew:---------4,104 officers and men
Armament:-----Original armament:
----------------84 × Bofors 40 mm guns,
----------------68 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
----------------18 × 5"/54 caliber Mark 16 guns
--------------Refit armament:
----------------16 Sea Sparrow
----------------2 close-in weapons systems
Armor:--------Belt: 7.6 inch
Deck:---------3.5 inch
Aircraft carried: Up to 130 (World War II)
45-55 (1980s)

(end Quote).

He then went off on a side-note about naming the following on ships of this class. I personaly like his choices. But I'm still worried that one of the big Ford class nuclear CVNs may not be named after U.S.S. Enterprise. I'm in fact a bit worried that that name will somehow appear on one of these smaller hulls of the America class.

I have also dug into my archives for the blog postings I did on the U.S.S. Enterprise and on the Japanese Helicopter deck destroyers (i.e. Carriers). Both links are below. But I do want to quote part of that article here:

Currently, the 18,000-ton, 610 foot long, Hyuga (DDH 181) is jointed by sister ship Ise. A third ship of this class is still planned. The next carrier will be longer with a flight deck of 763 feet long. It will weigh in at about 25,000 tons. Currently these ships will operate the SH-60s of which 10 to 11 can be carried by the Hyuga class. Crew size is in the 350 personnel range.

Checking out Wikipedia, DDH-181(Hyuga) and sister DDH-182 (Ise), will be able to operate Harriers and F-35 Lightning IIs when they become operational. The ships will then be equipped with a 12 degree ski-jump.

Smaller carriers-they may be named something else to get the funding needed to get them built, but they are coming no matter what. Anyway, links below.

As an aside, also on the Northrop-Grumman website, was this little bit of news about testing of two Global Hawks doing mid-air refueling! Check out that news release as well!

Cdr Salamander blog (
Northrop-Grumman website ( & press release for LHA-6 (
Two Global Hawk UAVs Will Conduct mid-air refueling oepration test. (
Link to my post about naming a future carrier U.S.S. Enterprise (
This is my post about Japan's Helicopter Destroyer class Ise (