Self Care – Astronomy Picture[s and Video] of the Week: Spacewalks

Spacewalks are honestly rather fascinating. I’ve been enjoying pics and videos of them for a long time, now.

I think everyone here already knows what a spacewalk is, but here’s the Wikipedia breakdown (of Extravehicular Activity, of which a spacewalk is the most common type), just in case…

Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft beyond the Earth’s appreciable atmosphere. The term most commonly applies to a spacewalk made outside a craft orbiting Earth (such as the International Space Station), but also has applied to lunar surface exploration (commonly known as moonwalks) performed by six pairs of American astronauts in the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972. On each of the last three of these missions, astronauts also performed deep-space EVAs on the return to Earth, to retrieve film canisters from the outside of the spacecraft. Astronauts also used EVA in 1973 to repair launch damage to Skylab, the United States’ first space station.

A “Stand-up” EVA (SEVA) is where the astronaut does not fully leave a spacecraft, but is completely reliant on the spacesuit for environmental support.[1] Its name derives from the astronaut “standing up” in the open hatch, usually to record or assist a spacewalking astronaut.

EVAs may be either tethered (the astronaut is connected to the spacecraft; oxygen and electrical power can be supplied through an umbilical cable; no propulsion is needed to return to the spacecraft), or untethered. Untethered spacewalks were only performed on three missions in 1984 using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), and on a flight test in 1994 of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER), a safety device worn on tethered U.S. EVAs.

The Soviet Union/Russia, the United States, and China have conducted EVAs.

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Climate-Hater-in-Chief

From AP News

President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor’s sweeping plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Sunday.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the executive order to be signed Tuesday will undo the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Pruitt said Trump’s intention is to bring back coal-mining jobs and reduce the cost of electricity.

I’ve been saying this a lot, but… Agent Orange hates the earth. He wants to destroy the climate. He wants to make things worse.

I think the idea of a post-apocalyptic future where a toxic climate has destroyed most life and surviving humans live underground and have to breathe bottled oxygen, and “going outside” could mean certain death without protective gear, turns him on.

How is This Still a Thing? What is Happening?

Didn’t we agree, like, thousands of years ago, that the earth is not flat? So what the hell is happening?

I mean… don’t get me wrong… I know that there are still people who genuinely believe the earth is flat. But they’ve always been… like… fringe of the fringe. Even most know Young-Earth Creationists agree that the earth isn’t flat! Like… if Ken Hamm agrees that the earth is not flat, then maybe… you know… that’s a piece of science we can all agree on, right?

So what the hell is going on? Why is famous person after famous person coming forward to say that they think is the earth is flat?

Even People magazine noticed this

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Stephen Hawking Has Words for Agent Orange

From LiveScience

Stephen Hawking does not feel welcome in Donald Trump’s America. The renowned physicist made this unhappy claim in a recent interview, and he expressed particular concern about how the Trump administration is treating the issue of climate change.

Hawking discussed U.S. politics during an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Monday (March 20). Hawking, who once called Trump a “demagogue,” said the new U.S. president was elected by “people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization.” The Trump administration’s policies pertaining to climate change, and science in general, are an attempt to satisfy that electorate, Hawking told interviewer Piers Morgan.

Well… okay then, Professor Hawking…

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Well Now I’m Torn

I’ve always been one of those who’s hated that we didn’t take what happened with the moon landings further than we did. I’ve never understood why we didn’t build a base on the moon. I’ve never understood why people aren’t there today. I’ve never understood why we didn’t set a goal for putting humans on Mars back then, as well.

I mean… okay… I do understand. We went to the moon in the first place because of the Cold War. It could be argued that we wouldn’t even have a NASA today if not for the Cold War, so…

But that doesn’t make the fact that we didn’t continue that momentum after the Cold War any less annoying. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s really sad that the Cold War was our only motivation.

But now…

Now, NASA’s new budget has been slightly increased, and they’ve been given a goal of putting people on Mars.

should be excited by this. It’s something I support.

The problem?

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Like I Said… Agent Orange Actively Wants to Make Climate Change Worse

So here’s what Conspiracy-Theorist-in-Chief wants to do to the EPA (from the Washington Post):

The Trump administration plans to take a sledgehammer to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Thursday’s proposal by the White House would slash the EPA’s budget by 31 percent — nearly one third — from its current level of $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. It would cut 3,200 positions, or more than 20 percent of the agency’s current workforce of about 15,000.

“You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it. So, I guess the first place that comes to mind will be the Environmental Protection Agency,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters. “The president wants a smaller EPA. He thinks they overreach, and the budget reflects that.”

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Self Care – Astronomy Picture of the Week: Quasar’s Light Yields Clues to Outflow

So… that supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy? It’s inactive, and has been for a long time. Scientists wondered just how long it’s been inactive, and now they have an idea…

It ate it’s last meal about 6 million years ago.

And here’s the image (as usual, click on the image for the hi-res tif file):

Quasar's Light Yields Clues to Outflow

Quasar’s Light Yields Clues to Outflow