Modern simulations of NASA’s classic spaceflights

Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Education, Space Travel | 0 comments

Modern simulations of NASA’s classic spaceflights

Simon Plumpton uses the moniker “lunarmodule5” on YouTube. Not many people would get that, but those who do are grateful for the remarkable work he’s been doing to make the spaceflights during NASA’s golden age feel real and present again. Lunarmodule5 didn’t have those experiences first hand, the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975 being his earliest memories. But that started a fascination in him such that he at one time hoped to become a science and space journalist, such as James Burke (the host of the BBC’s Apollo coverage). When that...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

Posted by on March 23, 2014 in Essay | 0 comments

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

In 1968  Popular Science magazine ran an article on a new film by the always enigmatic but brilliant director, Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was known for taking on  very few projects, but the ones he did would force people to sit up and take notice. Serious notice. His latest “picture” (as Kubrick and indeed directors of old would refer to their medium), was as enigmatic if not more so than Kubrick himself. Based on a short story by noted science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, the picture, er, film titled ‘2001-A Space Odyssey’ burst on the...

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Charging stations

Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Announcement | 2 comments

Charging stations

< This is most people’s charging station. This is my charging station. And from behind. Any questions?

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #4: Soyuz Control Panel

Posted by on January 19, 2014 in Essay, Fun, NASA Space stuff, Space Travel | 1 comment

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #4: Soyuz Control Panel

Growing up during the prime of the space-race oriented my nerdling interests for the rest of my life. As all cravings of sorts, I can either exercise my rather pedestrian will, or cave and feed it. In this case I chose to feed it against the better judgments of my bank account. So I collect NASA artifacts from the earliest days of the space program and even before. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Sotheby’s auctioneers had an event dedicated just to materials from the Soviet space program. Things such as prototypes of space suits for moon...

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This is what it means to be Amazon’s Free App of the Day

Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Distant Suns App, Essay, iPhone/iPad, Programming, Uncategorized | 2 comments

This is what it means to be Amazon’s Free App of the Day

When we released Distant Suns on the Kindle over a year ago, one of my hopes was that it would be selected as Amazon’s Free App of the Day. And suddenly a couple of months ago I was contacted by Amazon and told that they wanted precisely that and to expect between 75K to 100K downloads! In theory it would generate thousands of new users who would hopefully show their friends Distant Suns and inspire future purchases later on. After supplying some artwork, my role was to simply stand back and wait. January 2 was floated as the day and...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #2

Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Fun | 1 comment

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #2

And now the second installment in the new craze that’s sweeping the nation: Weird Crap in Mike’s Place! I received a package last week that had two items in it that I strongly suspected had never, ever, shared the same shipping container. One of my hobbies is collecting space and aviation memorabilia. This goes well beyond models and a few pictures, and include flown hardware and rare documents. The holy grail of both Aviation and Space came up for auction a few weeks ago: A fragment from the original 1903 Wright Flyer and a piece of Yuri...

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50 years ago today

Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Essay | 0 comments

50 years ago today

Most adults will have as part of their makeup some memory of dramatic, tumultuous events that they can narrate to the finest details as the answer to the question:  “Where were you when….?” Over the recent years such events include 9/11, the Columbia disaster, and here in the San Francisco area, “the earthquake.” For my generation, though the “…” becomes “…Kennedy was shot?” Fifty years ago this hour as I write this, I was in the first grade. One of the older kids in her traffic guard outfit (kids, if you don’t know what that is, ask your...

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CometWatch-n-stuff

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Announcement, Distant Suns App | 0 comments

CometWatch-n-stuff

Thanks to all of you who have picked up CometWatch (and to Space.com for reporting it). A couple of things I wanted to do missed the release simply because I found either no way to slow up Comet ISON for a few extra days, nor was I able to integrate iOS 7′s new CoreTimeTravel framework to zip me back a few days for that “extra edge.” But for the main task to help you located ISON, particularly after closest approach, it does pretty well. So enjoy, hope that ISON survives its closest approach to the sun on the 28th and happy...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #2

Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Fun | 0 comments

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #2

Weird Crap in Mike’s house #2 From time to time over the past couple of weeks a number of people who know that I like anything NASA (except of course for the cancellations of Apollos 18, 19 and 20. I still grimace at that like a three year being served escamoles, as does Joe Engle no doubt. Get over it Joe!)….and so what I thought of Gravity. I loved it, from beginning to end, in spite of the dozen or so fundamentally basic errors. Most of the problems in the show are absolutely necessary to propel the story along. Things such as the close...

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Latest Distant Suns build and iOS 6

Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Announcement | 0 comments

Some iOS 6 users have been having problems with the latest build of Distant Suns. I have the fix ready to go, but will take a few days to get it approved and into the store. In the meantime if you are experiencing problems with the constellation selector, you should be able to rollback to the previous build for a few days. The Management.

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