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Feb 24 2013

Mars flyby and other links

This was supposed to be a secret until this coming Wednesday, and it was secret, right up until someone spilled the beans almost a week early:

Buzz is building about a planned 2018 private mission to Mars, which may launch the first humans toward the Red Planet. A nonprofit organization called the Inspiration Mars Foundation — which is led by millionaire Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist — will hold a news conference on Feb. 27 to announce the 501-day roundtrip mission, which will aim for a January 2018 launch.

Yes, there are many unresolved questions. But these people are not flakes; they are serious veteran space travel professionals. I think they’re really thinking about doing this. There will be more info soon.

  • A development that will no doubt astound some and possibly leave others deeply confused: Permafrost melts when the temperature rises, and it often releases stored methane.
  • Internet moguls establish new lucrative science prizes.
  • I’m sorry, the universe is beautiful and all, but it really is out to kill every last one of us.
  • This is, like, the only half-way happy news I could find in all of science-dom, via EvoBlog:

    In 2012 the Creation Museum reported a 10 percent decline in attendance from the previous year, and its parent group, Answers in Genesis, posted a 5 percent drop in revenue. That continues a four-year slump and a new low for the museum at 280,000 total visitors last year. Even more ominously, fundraising for the Ark Encounter has slowed to a crawl. Its future is further imperiled by the decline of the Creation Museum, whose visitors were expected to be a huge source of funding for the ark park.

4 comments

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  1. 1
    davidmc

    Nearly 5 million visited the Natural History Museum in London last year, but it does have the advantage of being in a huge city and, you know, being a real fucking museum.

    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources-rx/files/annual-visitor-numbers-updated-2012-112806.pdf

    I tried and failed to find the number of vistors to the Hat Museum in Stockport.

  2. 2
    Crudely Wrott

    Prediction:

    There will be no encounter with an ark. Again. But there may be a few people waving from a boat with some farm animals aboard.

    End prediction.

  3. 3
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Cheers for these – interesting and in one case breath-takingly spectacular with that solar flare albeit others quite worrying.

  4. 4
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Thinking of links and things flown by – here’s one for y’all :

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/asteroids/news/asteroid20130219.html#.UStSl3WKr0c.facebook

    Latest animated RADAR images of 2012 DA14 the asteroid that flew by the other week via NASA in case y’haven’t already seen this.

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