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James Webb Space Telescope Update

If you’re a Hubble Space Telescope fan, odds are you will REALLY be a Webb fan. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), previously known as the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), is in the assembly phase. The Webb team is targeting a 2018 launch date. Webb offers several (forgive the pun) astronomical advances over the […]


Curiosity: The Questions of Life

How was the universe created? What would an alien invasion be like? Why do people like sex? It almost sounds like any given GWC podcast. In fact, if you put GWC on TV with amazing special effects as well as international expert guest hosts like Stephen Hawking, NASA experts, and Hollywood stars like Michelle Rodriguez, […]


Earth’s First Generation Ship?

It’s a science fiction staple: Earth’s first interstellar missions (assuming we’re not contacted by some advanced race) begin with “generation” ships — spacecraft that travel at low, sub-light speeds, traveling to the closest stars over two or three lifetimes. Those who initially crew the departing ship will never reach the destination, but their descendants will. Now […]


Commercial Orbital Spaceflight, Circa 2015

I’m a huge fan of NASA, which is why I love the recent shift away from NASA-as-shuttle-service to NASA-as-science. Assuming that this isn’t just a smokescreen to hide ditched funding, it makes perfect sense to me. Let commercial entities handle shipping things. They do a great job of it here on Earth, and there’s no […]


Why Neil dGrasse Tyson Will Voice The New Cosmos

The Operator tipped me to the above video this week — for obvious reasons. Here’s my take: Forget which side of the aisle your politics lean toward. Forget who you voted for in 2008, and forget who you’re going to vote for in 2012. I don’t care, and I don’t really want to hear about […]


Planet Hunting 101 in 2010

The GWC Crüe mentioned in podcast 239 that a new “Earthlike” exoplanet, meaning a planet orbiting a star outside our own solar system, was found around the small red dwarf star Gliese 581 G. Scientists and exoplanet hunters have been finding exoplanets since 1992 and to date have cataloged over 400 of them. Most exoplanets […]


Voyages Via VASIMR®

A Conception of a VASIMR® Powered Lunar Tug Spaceship. I’d have to take a poll to be sure, but judging from the reaction to last year’s five week GWC Cosmos podcast arc I’d bet that a good percentage of GWCers are interested in space travel, space colonization, or just simple weekend sightseeing camping trips around […]


Patching Software From Eight Billion Miles Away

Just came across this AP article describing how NASA Engineers are currently troubleshooting a software glitch on Voyager 2, which recently caused the probe to send its scientific data in an unreadable format. While reprogramming extraplanetary probes is nothing new (we’ve been doing it for years with the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity), there’s a […]


The Ares I-X: Our Next Starship?

Ares I-X Test Flight; Oct. 28, 2009 In the wake of the epic Cosmos podcast arc, it seems fitting that the discussion about the future of space flight has come into the forefront of the news. With the Space Shuttle program due to be retired in 2010, NASA has taken a page out of the […]


A Glorious Dawn (Feat. Stephen Hawking)

Yeah, auto-tune’s become all the joke lately, with enterprising folks applying T-Painery to everything from cats meowing to Mr. T. But the above video is no joke. It’s pretty darn bad-ass. And it’s significant when you consider that we’re just a few weeks away from taking a fun look at Cosmos.


Sci-fi Science: Transparent Aluminum

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, everyone’s favorite engineer, Scotty, gave materials science a slight nudge forward when he handed the secret of making transparent aluminum to a San Francisco plastics company in 1986. Unfortunately, our world (with its fancy reality) still lags a bit behind. We don’t yet have transparent aluminum — at least not […]


Who’s Our Next Science Hero?

A recent post on Slashdot asked: Where will we find the next “science hero?” The author implied that ever since Carl Sagan finished Cosmos, no one’s stepped up to bring science to the public as effectively. Thankfully, I’m not sure that’s true! But read on for my top four Carl Sagan replacement contenders — plus […]


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