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Posts Tagged ‘orbital debris’

We’re not hibernating exactly. It’s just that a weird warm front – the thing we used to call a January thaw – is approaching from the South. Temperatures are supposed to climb into the mid-70s today and continue through the weekend. There is zero visibility here on the mountain, it’s as if we’ve been enveloped by a huge marshmallow, or wrapped up in cotton. Birds won’t fly in these conditions.
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Every now and then I’ve thought I might want to write a science fiction story. More Atwood and less Bradbury, who once said , ÔÇťAnything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.” Of course the best stuff is just ever so slightly removed from reality, one step beyond the norm so that we can easily imagine this dystopia. Hunger Games was just a reality show gone horribly wrong in the future.

I would create a world that is the direct result of Climate Change; one in which the sun delivers 3rd degree burns to our skin in just 3 minutes of direct sun exposure, so that we all become night creatures. If some of us had to go outside during daylight hours, we’d be dressed like an astronaut. Think how we would have to adapt to becoming nocturnal. It would be like the boy in the bubble, only it would be a universal Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome and planet earth would have to figure out a way to survive.

Warm January days and the news of another asteroid nearly missing us, these will always kick me into fantasy mode, but this story on BBC put me over the edge:” US Shoots Down Death Star Superlaser Petition.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20997144 Did you know that The White House must respond to any and all petitions that contain more than 25,000 signatures? I guess whoever made that rule didn’t fantasize about the internet? “In a playful response, a senior US government official said the Obama administration ‘does not support blowing up planets.’ The official also said the cost – about $850 quadrillion – was too high.”

Bob just came in from the hot tub. He will often tell me he’s spotted 4 or 5 floating satellites in the early morning or early evening sky; “Space junk” we call it. Without Northeast light pollution, sky gazing in VA can be amazing. Obviously not today. Would you be surprised to hear that NASA tracks about 100,000 objects, some as large as dead satellites in the sky. This “orbital debris” is threatening to make our atmosphere a junkyard. After almost every mission, the space shuttle had to have windows repaired or replaced from collisions with orbital debris.http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/what-is-orbital-debris-58.html

Space Junk

Space Junk

I told Bob that Bean was chasing a red fox and that he needn’t worry about the Death Star. He said, “OH, good she didn’t catch it did she?”

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