This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week, I’m beginning to question the title of this post – do I have too much space and astronomy and not enough science in here? I don’t know and I actually chose the title just because it sounds good, but I actually like to keep the focus on space and astronomy with only a bit of unrelated science thrown in. This week there was nothing major that overshadowed the rest, but a lot of very interesting things have happened, including some very fascinating astronomy, space exploration and even space business news that just kept coming and coming! And as usual you can watch Friday’s Weekly Space Hangout which has some of the news in this article talked about in more detail.
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This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week was the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight, the first time humanty had left the Earth – on this occasion, there were two amazing announcements: Bigelow Aerospace and ULA joining forces to bring inflatable habitats into space and Stephen Hawking’s and Yuri Milner’s Project Starshot – the latter one is much more conceptual than the first at the moment, but this could be a turning point in space exploration. Together with the successful sea recovery of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, we surely live in interesting times regarding space and science. Otherwise, it’s been almost all good news across the board this week including the recovery of Kepler – here are the headlines that grabbed my attention.
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It’s April 12 again and as every year, I almost forgot about Yuri’s Night again and for that reason I’m simply adapting last year’s post and added a few new links and other information to it. Yuri’s Night is an open, worldwide celebration of humanity’s first spaceflight on April 12th, 1961, which was also the first flight of the Space Shuttle twenty years later. It’s not about Soviet spaceflight or Yuri Gagarin specifically, but actually the fact that this was the beginning of human space exploration itself. It’s not about politics at all, which is especially important nowadays because of the strained relations with Russia, but only a way to raise more public interest about space exploration. This is why Yuri’s Night has also been called the World Space Party, a celebration that humankind had ventured off its home planet for the first time.
The number of events on the Yuri’s Night website is still not back at the all-time record of over 300 in 2013, but has gone up a bit from last year with over 250 star and space parties listed. There are even quite a few in Germany, but like every year, unfortunately nowhere near where I live. But the organizers leave it up to everbody to make up their own event – throw a star party, just meet somewhere, screen a movie or hold an online event! Everybody can celebrate in their own way, but the organizers would just appreciate if you would let them know what’s going on so they can list it on their website.
As usual, the lack of clear skies prevent me from really celebrating again, because like every year, on April 12 the clouds come rolling in. I’m not aware of any online events happening today apart from the rather curious fact that the Yuri’s Night team has made a commercial partnership of sorts with Disney. But April is also Global Astronomy Month and Astronomers without Borders president Mike Simmons was a guest on the Learning Space Hangout last week! He’ll also do a hangout about astrophotography on April 19 and will be a guest on the Weekly Space Hangout on April 22. If you want to do some digital stargazing, I can also recommend the successor to the Virtual Star Party called the Global Star Party, which is happening almost every weekend now and already has 37 episodes to watch in addition to the over 100 past shows from the VSP.
And while I’m not reposting the article with my collection of space-themed reviews over on DVDLog this year, I still recommend having a look at all those movies and television series – and maybe I’ll write a short article about an amazing coincidence involving the recent SpaceX rocket landing and an old soviet space movie later this week. And as always, keep watching my stream on Google+, especially the Space & Astronomy collection to find out more – and you can join us in the WSH Crew Community to keep track of all the space news and hangouts there and on our new website! And keep watching the skies… if you don’t have clouds overhead, you might see six humans in a big space station flying overhead. Some of them are even on Twitter and are posting photos and more from space every day!
This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week, of course, belongs to SpaceX, who not only launched the first Dragon transporter since the failure last year safely into space, but also brought the first stage back and landed it safely on a sea barge. The spacecraft has also arrived at the ISS now, so 2016 suddenly looks very bright again in space exploration after the somewhat worrying events in the last two years. SpaceX may have stolen the show this week, but there were a whole lot of other things happening which have been somewhat overshadowed by the big news. Let’s see what was going on…
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This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. This week, we had no Weekly Space Hangout, but there was still a lot going on – not all of it good, but most of it interesting. There was a fair share of broken things, most notably the still unknown status of JAXA’s Hitomo satellite and ULA’s sudden problems with the normally very dependable Atlas V workhorse, but on the other side a Progress freighter made a perfect flight to the ISS and Blue Origin launched and landed its New Shepard for the third time. Plus lots of space exploration and science!
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Several people have asked me why I haven’t yet said a peep about the new remastered edition of LucasArts’ classic adventure Day of the Tentacle – and there are actually only two reasons: it’s probably not going to run on any of my current computers (which is somewhat ironic!) and I simply haven’t gotten around to it yet. So, after my skeptical opinion about the new version of Grim Fandango last year, what’s my take on this one? In short, I think it’s awesome – from what I’ve seen in the Trailer, the Making Of and in some other Youtube videos, this is a whole different effort than Grim Fandango and more in the style of the two Monkey Island remasters that were made some time ago.
This means that the whole artwork has been redrawn from its 320×200 original, something which makes a lot of sense since the background and characters were originally hand drawn. There were actually some rumours that the sad remnants of LucasArts had tried to do a pseudo-3D version of the game shortly before they were bought up by Disney, although this upgraded 2D rendition is a much better approach and stays completely true to the original. The artwork is actually so precise that it looks like a pixel grid was removed and the voices and music were also remastered, but I think the original version is still one of the best adventures ever made. One of the reasons I’m not really rushing to get the new version which would probably fail to run on my old machines is that I’ve played DOTT at least three times from beginning to end in the last couple of years – once even on my Android tablet. So I’m not particularly keen on playing it again at the moment – but rest assured, I will go and play it at some time in the very near future, maybe when an Android version is going to be released!
Let’s hope that this is going to open the doors to more upgrades of classic LucasArts adventures – Tim Schafer has already mentioned that Full Throttle is in the works, but what I’d particularly love to see are remastered versions of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and maybe The Dig and Sam & Max Hit the Road. Given the legal problems that DoubleFine must have had getting the rights to DOTT, all this is highly unlikely… but with the enthusiastic reaction to both the new Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, I think nothing is impossible right now. Disney should just release all the games into the capable hands of DoubleFine and then