Friday, October 30, 2009

Sea Launch History

Could this be the way private companies launch manned vehicles into orbit someday?
  1. Private companies could take advantage of equatorial launch sites anywhere in the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans
  2. Passengers could reach an equatorial launch facility in less than two weeks via ship or a few hours via sea plane.
  3. The ocean site could also be used to recover a manned space capsule returning to Earth
  4. Cryogenic oxygen and rocket fuel could be shipped to launch sites from coastal areas
  5. Could be a boon for coastal areas in the US since the rocket booster would be shipped from coastal ports before being transported to equatorial launch sites.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New info on the early hominin: Ardipithecus

Ardipithecus remains go back as far as 5.8 million years ago to as young as 4.4 million years ago. On Friday, Science magazine will present 11 papers detailing what we now know about this ancient late Miocene/early Pliocene hominin. It appears to have walked bipedal but with a highly divergent big toe. The only creature that I know of that also walked bipedally in this fashion was the late Miocene hominoid, Oreopithecus bambolii.

Read the latest info and watch a fascinating video on Ardipithecus at:

Credits: Illustration by J.H. Matternes

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