The Hare on the Moon
Any Russian would immediately understand this cartoon and “laugh out loud” (to us, it’s a real LOL). The Wolf is one of the two protagonists in the famous multifilm series Ну, погоди! (Nu, Pogodi!: Well, Just You Wait!). The Wolf could never catch the Hare, his nemesis… just like the Coyote with the Roadrunner, no? By the way, the cartoonists modelled the Wolf after the famous Soviet actor Vladimir Vysotsky… another point that Russians would immediately catch. Vysotsky was a “bad boy”, who died young, but who was THE iconic figure of his generation… many Russian actors and pop musicians still draw inspiration from him today.
The Chinese lunar rover Yutu (Jade Hare) undocked from its lander after effecting a successful soft landing as part of the Chang’e 3 mission to the Moon, and deployed itself on the lunar surface. Sergei Yolkin has some fun with that.
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On 19 December, a Russian Soyuz-ST-B with a Fregat-MT stage launched the European Space Agency (ESA) unmanned space observatory Gaia from the Centre Spatial Guyanais Kourou (CSG Kourou) spaceport in French Guiana. Gaia shall carry out high-precision measurement of coördinates and stellar movement in our galaxy, tracking over a billion astronomical objects, to create a new fundamental star catalogue and a three-dimensional map of our stellar system. Gaia will also investigate the hypothesis that the Milky Way was the result of the confluence of many smaller galaxies. The onboard apparatus installed has unprecedented camera sensor resolution; it can detect a lock of hair 700 kilometres (435 miles) away. The telescope, which consists of 106 CCDs, creates an image of about 1 billion pixels. The observatory will orbit in one of the five L2 Lagrange points (points of gravitational equilibrium) between the Sun and the Earth, some 1.5 million kilometres (932,000 miles) from Earth. ESA expects the mission to last five years.
19 December 2013
European Space Agency cosmonaut Samantha Cristoforetti prepares for a training exercise in a centrifuge at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Zvyozdny Gorodok in Moscow Oblast. Cristoforetti is scheduled to be a part of a mission to the International Space Station in November 2014. The USA has to shoot its cosmonauts into space from Baikonur, because the USA wasted its space exploration dollars on pointless wars of aggression on the Afro-Eurasian mainland and shameless tax giveaways to the Affluent Effluent (Wet Willy Romney deserved to be bustin’ rocks for tax evasion, not running for US President… sheesh!). You see, there’s a cost to unpatriotic Me-First Republican obstructionism. American cosmonauts have to go to Russia to fly into space. Am I the only person to see something wrong with that picture? If you support the Republican Party, you oppose America’s independent role in space… all so that some lazy investor can go to the country club and buy a cheesy poorly-made McMansion (unerneath the glitzy exterior is nothing but a cheap plyboard frame on a concrete slab built by unskilled labour… a disaster in the making… an apt metaphor for Republican greed and stuidity). What a buncha maroons!
NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is on an unmanned robotic mission to orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface, and environmental influences on lunar dust. The purpose of the mission is to catalogue the composition, density, and variability of the lunar atmosphere.
7 September 2013