Rockets Blowing Up

Modern rocketry is a pinnacle of engineering.  It requires the right balance of multiple systems, and a deep knowledge of scientific principles such as fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, and chemistry.  But a huge part of the brute force science done in rocketry has been ‘try and fail.’  Countless rockets have exploded in tests dating back to the cold war, and even though they are much less frequent today, there is still value in learning from explosive and expensive mistakes.  Here is a compilation of rocket failures and testing from the last 70 years. ….because sometimes you have a day where you...

Insight Launch Delayed

The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, originally set to launch in March of 2016, has been delayed.  It’s not yet clear when it will launch, but it certainly won’t be on schedule for March. The reason for the scrub is that a major science instrument on the lander has been having issues. The French-made Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) requires a vacuum seal around three main sensors to protect them from the Martian environment.  This vacuum seal allows them to detect seismic activity on Mars, and notice any ground movements as small as...

ISS Assembled Over Time

Since 1998, when construction began on the International Space Station, 400 Km above our heads, it has undergone significant changes.  It makes sense since it takes a long time to build anything in space, nonetheless a multi-million dollar space research laboratory.  Watch the video from NASA’s Johnson Space Centre, and see how quickly parts of the station move, change, and are relocated as the station reaches it’s current glory. It truly is a marvel of science, engineering, and technology. Watch closely at 1:57 as the Canadian made Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (SPDM, colloquially DEXTRE) unit is installed.  A bit of pride for my...