Nothing quite like silent apprehension bursting into raucous celebration when a lander touches down on another planet. This is the first image, a couple of minutes after landing, dust-cap still on the camera, wide-angle distortion, horizon cutting a slice at the upper edge, a single rock centre-bottom, above the shadow of InSight.

Drone Day Berlin 2017

I love me some drone. I love it more when my awesome friends drone. Justine will be. Tomorrow, Saturday, afternoon, in Berlin, drone-ing bits of NASA. It’s going to be most excellent! (& If you’re not in Berlin, and are in Canada, then Drone Day has you sorted.)

Drone Day Berlin 2017

The sky opened and out came dr(((o)))ne

Please join us in an afternoon celebration of Drone Day ( on a cloud of sound. Around the world people will be making drone sounds on this day.

You are absolutely welcome to come.

There will be drone, experimental, and ambient sounds. There will be paper and some art supplies for you to use. There will be free tea for you to drink. Come listen, relax, draw, work on quiet creative projects, explore your meditative mind, or catch some droned out ZZZs. Take some time for your ears.

There is an elevator and there are accessible bathrooms. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a ground-floor pickup.

Justine Lera
Verónica Mota
Mike Verdone
Tiffany Conroy

Saturday, May 27 at 15:00 – 17:30
SoundCloud HQ, Rheinsberger Str 76/77, 10115 Berlin, Germany.


I got up early to to watch the MSL Curiosity land on Mars. Utterly amazing! 7 Minutes of terror! Wow, and live tweeting, Google Hangout with some of the most incredible astronomers, live feeds from NASA and ESLpictures arriving from Curiosity and making it to Twitter within minutes of landing, and computer simulation of the entire landing. Really beautiful.

water flowed on Mars within last seven years

Continuing on from yesterday’s quotes from HAL as post titles, I was giddy with anticipation about NASA‘s Mars announcement today, and had to wait till I got home before the immensely satisfying statement of liquid water on Mars in the past seven years. Well there’s the balloon-puncturing ‘may have flowed’, emphasis on the scientific absence of hubris and so on, but…

“These fresh deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water is emerging from beneath the ground and briefly flowing down the slopes. This possibility raises questions about how the water would stay melted below ground, how widespread it might be, and whether there’s a below-ground wet habitat conducive to life. Future missions may provide the answers,” said Malin.

— Science Blog

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I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it…

Who woulda thought NASA would suddenly come over all media-savvy and blip out not one but two press releases in a matter of days? First with the “Back to the Moon! (er … soon … ish)”, which has got everyone going “yeah!!! … uh … yeah!!!” and wondering what to do between now and 2024 when we all get to live in Shackleton Crater near the moon’s south pole due to clement and sunny conditions most of the time. But somehow picking an asteroid hole named after the Antarctic explorer who spent far too long not exploring and marooned on the embarrassing misnomer Elephant Island eating penguins doesn’t inspire moon-tourist confidence.

NASA, mourning the silence of long-faithful Mars Global Surveyor after ten year mission are now keeping all space geeks, which I am deliriously proud to be, salivating with mind-numbing anticipation over Briefing to Announce Significant Find on Mars which is happening sometime around 3am Thursday. Plenty of wild speculation mostly revolving around water, microbes, aliens. I think it sounds all too much like 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I know exactly what they’ve found.

Shanghai to Mongolia via Mir

Reblogging again, this time combining a some of my disparate loves. Astronaut Shannon Lucid, like writer J. G. Ballard has had one of lives that is so far removed from the ordinary. I’m really only blogging this post from Science Blog because there’s something about her life, from being born in Shanghai to spending most of a year on the Russian space station Mir that embodies something of the glorious strangeness of being human.

For Lucid, the trip will bring back memories of her unique childhood upbringing. As an infant, in 1943, during the height of World War II, Shannon was held captive along with her parents, aunts and uncle, and grandparents, by the Japanese Army in Shanghai’s Chapei Civil Assembly Center prison camp. Shannon learned to walk in early 1944 onboard the Swedish ship Gripsholm, the world’s first transatlantic motorship, which transferred Shannon and her parents back to the United States as part of a peaceful exchange of noncombatant citizens of the warfaring nations. The Gripsholm made its way back to the U.S. via India and South Africa. While in port in Johannesburg, Shannon received her first pair of shoes.

— Science Blog

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