Friday, January 27, 2006
New Horizons, which is on its way to Pluto, is the fastest
spacecraft ever built. Even so, the trip will take nine years.
At the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting
last year, an award was given for a paper about a new propulsion
system that could do it in a day. So why are we doing it the
old-fashioned way? Because it works. There are two worlds.
There is the world that sends robots to explore Mars, finds a
vaccine for cervical cancer, unravels the structure of DNA,
invents Global Positioning, etc. And then there is an alternate
world that discovers cold fusion, homeopathy, the Podkletnov
gravity shield, hydrinos, and the Heim space drive. Inhabitants
of both worlds speak similar languages, look alike, even have
identical DNA. It's not just that things don't work in the
alternate world, that can happen even in the real world. But in
the alternate world it doesn't seem to make any difference.
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports the highest
annual average surface temperature since instrument recordings
began. 1998 was about as warm, but for the two warmest years to
be that close together is even more troubling. Warming is no
longer the question. What is causing the increase? Is it simply
natural solar variation, as the polluters prefer to believe, or a
build up of greenhouse gases? The administration would rather
not know (WN 6 Jan 06) . The
Deep Space Climate observatory, already built and waiting five
years for launch, would provide an unambiguous answer. This
clearly puts the administration in the "alternate world."
Huge gaps in virtually every field of science would have to be
overcome for a hydrogen car to be feasible. The goal is for
hydrogen vehicles to be in showrooms by 2020, 12 years after Bush
leaves office. Energy Secretary Bodman kicked off the Washington
Auto Show on Tuesday with the announcement of $119M in funding
and a "Research Roadmap." It's a roadmap of the alternate world.
Stephen Harper, a Conservative, elected as Canada's prime
minister on Monday, informed the U.S. today that the Northwest
Passage is Canadian water. Changing ice conditions due to global
warming are opening the waters for the first time in history.
Last week, WN reported that a former campus Republican leader was
offering cash to students to keep tabs on radical professors.
UCLA officials said this would violate school policy. Andrew
Jones shrugged that students would volunteer anyway.