Cat from space

If this were politics the media headline would be “Cat people call from deep space.” And the tagline would be “Republicans pounce.”  We may not sell many papers, but the message of “Taters” chasing a red laser dot did come from deep space, in fact it traveled about 19 million miles, and got there in less time than a normal email message. It was one small paw print for ­Taters the cat, one giant leap for mankind. The 15-second clip (linked below) was sent from NASA’s Psyche asteroid probe on Dec. 11 — and traveled 19 million miles, the space agency announced Monday.  The video was uploaded to the $1.2 billion spacecraft before it was launched in October. It’s the first time NASA has streamed high-definition video from deep space, and it downloaded quicker than most Internet connections on Earth. “Despite transmitting from millions of miles away, it was able to send the video faster than most broadband Internet connections,” Ryan Rogalin, who worked on the project, said in a statement. The HD footage was sent from Psyche as it traveled to an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The footage was delivered via a new cutting-edge laser instrument and took only 101 seconds to reach our planet.

Scientists hope the technological achievement can pave the way for the communication with humans traveling to other planets. “Increasing our bandwidth is essential to achieving our future exploration and science goals, and we look forward to the continued advancement of how we communicate during future interplanetary missions,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. Taters made his space debut through an instrument called a flight laser transceiver, which beamed an “encoded near-infrared laser” to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California. The video took 101 seconds to reach Earth, where it was then downloaded in the observatory and then sent “live” to the company’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the video was played in real time.

“To make this significant event more memorable, we decided to create a fun video, which captures the essence of the demo as part of the Psyche mission,” said Bill Klipstein, the tech demo’s project manager. The footage also shows Taters’ breed and heart rate, as well as Psyche’s orbital path, among other information. One advantage for the trolls on Facebook: If the cat aliens want to communicate, we are ready. “Raoo!”

Long distance relationship

Fat people in long distance relationships.
They don’t work out.

I created a new unit of measure for the distance between you and the nearest large, predatory cat. It’s called a weem.
Used in a sentence, “That lion is a weem away.”

Sometimes I feel like my girlfriend and I don’t speak the same language.
I say we have a “long distance relationship.”
She says I have a “restraining order.”

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, was long ago designed to be as wide enough for two horses’ behinds.
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass…See, who said a HORSE’S ASS wasn’t important!

December 21st  Birthdays

1953 – Tina Brown, 1954 – Chris Evert, 1974 – Karrie Webb, 1959 – Florence Griffith Joyner

1957 – Ray Romano, 1940 – Frank Zappa, 1966 – Kiefer Sutherland, 1977 – Emmanuel Macron

Morning Motivator: