…things I Loved! Week of Jan 13th – Jan 19th 2013
On Wednesday, January 16, NASA published this animation of the Orion spacecraft’s upcoming (2017) Exploration Mission-1. Did it excite me? Just a bit, a great bit! Exploration Mission-1 will be the first integrated flight test with both the Orion spacecraft and NASA’s new Space Launch System.
In other Orion related news the European Space Agency (ESA) announced this week that, in a collaborative effort, it will be supplying a driving force to the Orion spacecraft in the form of its Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs). The ATV-derived service module will provide propulsion, power, thermal control, as well as supplying water and gas to the astronauts in the habitable module.
”ATV has proven itself on three flawless missions to the Space Station and this agreement is further confirmation that Europe is building advanced, dependable spacecraft,” said Nico Dettmann, Head of ATV’s production program. This collaboration between ESA and NASA continues the spirit of international cooperation that forms the foundation of the ISS.
This awe-inspiring image of spiral galaxy NGC 1309 was by far my favorite astronomy image of the week! Brought to us by the Hubble Legacy Archive, the ESA, NASA, and with processing by Martin Pugh, this stunning galaxy, which lies 100 million light-years away in the constellation of the River (Eridanus), spans about 30,000 light-years making it about one third the size of our own Milky Way galaxy. <– Click link for a jaw-dropping artist’s illustration of what some distant astronomers might likely see if peering back at us from across the expanse! I don’t want to sound all boastful or anything, but WOW, we have one awesome galaxy!!
In the blogosphere this week, I first and foremost have to sincerely thank the brilliant photographer, writer, artist, and all-around Renaissance-dude, J.E. Lattimer, for his very kind mention of Things I Love in his January 14th post, Blog of the Year 2012. The nod is very much appreciated, and many congrats to J.E. on his award. I first mentioned J.E. back in March of last year in my post titled …things I LOVED! Week March 12th through March 18th. Since that time Mr Lattimer has expanded to 3 blogs: Fictional Machines, Arcane Arrangements, and Mysteries of the Wasteland. Check them out, prepare to be amazed!
This week, for me at least, seemed to be dominated by images and the photographers who take them. 3 photographers in particular completely blew me away. Not only am I impressed with their images, but also in how they fully demonstrate how the resulting images, no matter how good the equipment, depend entirely on the artist behind the camera.
In his January 15 post titled Bavarian Forest National Park – Lusen Mt, one of my very favorite astro-photographers, Werner Priller, documents through words and A-MAZ-ING photographs a night spent camping out in -17C temperature just a stone’s throw from the Czech border. This is an incredible effort on the part of a photographer who makes a life’s work out of incredible efforts; the forest, the frozen summit cross (WOW!!), Warner’s camp site, the wolves (!!), all under such a beautiful starry night as to make Van Gogh blush! I don’t think I have to mention again to check out this post …you’re probably already there.
Another photographer I’ve mentioned before, the elusive George Weaver of She Kept a Parrot, this week stole my heart right out of my chest (she has a way of doing that!) with her January 16 post titled The Star Wars Cowboy. Ms Weaver is, by far, one of the best story-tellers I’ve ever come across. Though her stunningly honest photography, and her equally honest words, she takes us on a journey which always feels familiar because she is, in fact, reminding us of who we are. And we are human. Thank you George.
Speaking of humans, the 3rd photographer to catch my attention this past week is Richard Guest of The Future Is Paper Mâché. Since May of 2012 Richard has been walking up to complete strangers in the streets and alleys of London, asking if he could take their picture, and the results are entirely interesting! This week, amongst others, I found absolutely intriguing Mr Guest’s January 13th post titled Street Portrait #48 (Pierce), and his January 16th entry Street Portrait #50 (Peter). While you’re there checking out Richard’s street photography be sure to also check out some of his collaborations with other artists, including the above mentioned J.E. Lattimer (Nineteen Eighty-Four).
In closing this week I leave you with an earworm from The Misfits, I Turned Into A Martian, a little shout out to Curiosity who’s about to start drilling up the Martian surface!! Yep, we’re cooking rocks on another planet, and how freaking cool is that!!
Have a GREAT week, and Dare Mighty Things!!