Apr 2, 2011

An Apology

I'm sure most of you have realized this but the one about driving moon buggies was, off course, an April fool's joke.
I talked with my dad about what I should do for this year's April fool's, and this was what we came up with. We spent quite a while writing it, so if you haven't seen it yet, you really should.
Let's just make clear what's true and what's false.
"My dad's friend's acquaintance works at the space adimnistration"- not that I know of. Though this is possible, my dad hasn't found any.
"This is the condition of the tires of the LRVs'(lunar roving vehicle) that were left on the moon on the Apollo missions."- False, I don't think there was such information. But 17's rear right's broken fender IS true.
"Lunar rovers were actually powered by electricity"- True. It's amazing they could build such a thing decades ago.
"the footage is from the camera on the rover."- True, the rover had a camera that could be controlled from the Earth.
" And in the years of solitude on the moon, the capacity revived a bit."- Nah, probably not. Though it'd be great if it was so. I think there wasn't much left in the batteries.
"This is cool. The battery capacity left when the astronauts just left the moon, and the capacity now, decades later."- again, no such information. And of course the "3.1415..." was a giveaway.
And the rest is all fake. Even the book titles and authors were made up. ( Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental :)

I had a lot of fun doing this, so I might do it again next year, so look out!
And speaking of next,...
The next day is my violin school's concert.(for those who don't know I've played the violin since I was 5) I hope I won't stumble over anything,  and if I don't, I might upload the video of me playing. Concerto no.23 by Viotti, if you must know.

Dog Miraculously Rescued 3 WEEKS after Quake

This is one amazing rescue. She was found on a drifting pile of rubble in the ocean.
She was really healthy and doing well. I wonder what she was eating on the rubble, there must have been some leftover food.
There are many sheltered animals in Tohoku, one because their owners are missing and another because they're not allowed in some evacuation sites. Hope they'll find family soon.

Apr 1, 2011

Golden Tickets to Drive the Moon Buggy

Just to make sure, this was written on April 1st.
My dad's friend's acquaintance works at the space adimnistration, and he heard a interesting piece of information. This is amazing! First, the basic facts;

This is the condition of the tires of the LRVs'(lunar roving vehicle) that were left on the moon on the Apollo missions. Oh and the bibliography is at the bottom of the blog post.

Lunar rovers were actually powered by electricity, so they're one of the earliest electric vehicles!! (well, you can't use gasoline, that wouldn't be practical because there's no oxygen on the moon) I like the way the driving looks reckless, I think it's because of the 1/6 gravity of the moon.

No, it's not that the cameraman was left on the moon, the footage is from the camera on the rover.
As you can see from the video(from 17), the people at earth could control the video camera on the rover, even after the astronauts left. This means there was sufficient amount of life left in the batteries of the rovers. And in the years of solitude on the moon, the capacity revived a bit. You see the same kind of things in everyday electronics, too. (like when you leave your iPod in a low-power state for a couple of hours, remember how the remaining battery sometimes goes up?)
This is cool. The battery capacity left when the astronauts just left the moon, and the capacity now, decades later.

People at the space agency were able to reverse the procedures for transmitting the current speed & position of then rover, so now it can actually be controlled from the earth.
The administration just recently realized this fact. Now, it's reported that they are controlling the rovers from the earth by a radio signal.

But that's just the beginning. From what my dad heard, the space agency will soon let 6 lucky people DRIVE the rovers!
They might choose the winners by putting "golden tickets" in the space agency's spin-off products.

"Apollo; the moon and beyond" by My Arm's Strong
"Encyclopedia of manned spaceflight" by Gene Cranky
"Early Uses of Electric Vehicles" by Jam Lovell
"Lunar Excursion for Dummies" by Buzz Lightyear
"A Lunar Golfer's Guide" by Tiger Woulds
"Guide for Living in a 1/6 Gravity Environment" by L. Gaga
"A Small Giant Step Forward" by Jules Vern
"How to Clean Your Shoes on the Moon" by Robert Go-dirt
Happy April Fool's!!!!!!!!

Mar 31, 2011

Site Update- this month's overview of the visitors to my blog

I decided to do an overview of this blog's performance (such as visitors and pageviews) at the end of evvery month, if I don't forget.
This is the graph for all time, from January when I started the blog.
overview of site stats
Just look at that spike in the graph! This month was an extraordinary one, in fact, more visitors came than double the sum of visitors in the past months! About 1,000 came here in March.
The most refereed sites (places where people came from) were:
1. google- 154
2. ustream- 41
3. facebook- 27
4. google(uk)- 27
5. twitter- 26
and so on
One of the reasons so many people came here is because of the earthquake in Japan, I think. I did a few blog posts dedicated to that. Yeah, this month was a long one. It's 20 days from the earthquake, but there are STILL aftershocks from time to time!
Another reason is probably because I learnt some HTML. There was this book that taught me a bit about SEO(search engine optimization), and there were some helpful tips there, that I could use by editing HTML. That is what I think led to google being in the first place.

Visitors to this blog:
1. America- 339
2.Japan- 208 (oh and mine isn't counted)
3. Hungary- 51
4. Britian- 45
and the list goes on.

One last data before we go. This is the most interesting of them all, I think. The search keywords:
1. "drift bottle app"- 4
2. "satellite images of space"- 2
3. "3DS isn't worth it"(which I agree)- 2
4. "europa moon surface"- 2

Tomorrow's already April, which means we survived 1/4 of the year. But will you survive on April fool's? Happy fooling!

Mar 30, 2011

Mars; The Red Planet [part 2- climate]

See part 1 first with the basic info about Mars, if you haven't seen it yet.

As I've written, Mars has 4 seasons but is very cold. The air pressurized on Mars if so thin, it's actually equivalent to that at 30 km(about 10,000 feet) above ground on Earth. Even if there was liquid water there, it would vaporize immediately because of the thin air. But there is frozen water on the planet, but we'll get to that soon, maybe on the next article.
Amazing. It's a photo from another planet! I can't imagine, that in a few decades we'll be walking on it. Looks otherworldly, I guess.
Anyway,  the sky is pink mostly because the wind on Mars blows up the red soil. This planet's wind is really strong, and it's not unusual that a sandstorm covers the whole planet!! Wind velocity can reach 200 meters (about 656 feet) an hour!
In 2007, the sandstorm almost shut down the rovers Spirit and Opportunity because it reduced the light coming to the solar panels. After that, the rover's powers decreased a lot because sand settled on the panels.
 Also, tornadoes are a common thing too. And hurricanes. It's not a good place to live in.

During the 20 years between the Viking mission and the Mars Pathfinder, there was a drop of 20 degrees C in the temperature. The climate on this planet seems to change around a lot.

Mar 28, 2011

Mars; The Red Planet [part 1- basic info]

Mars and Earth compared

The hotly-anticipated (I hope so) Mars feature to cerebrate 1,000 pageviews of this blog.

Mars is half the size of earth, and the 4th planet from the sun.It actually has 4 seasons, just like our planet. But it's very cold there- only a few degrees Celsius at daytime and even drops to -100degrees C during the night.. This is mostly because of Mars' weak gravity(1/3 of Earth's), which can't hold enough atmosphere to keep the climate warm.

It takes 24 and a half hours to rotate around its axis. It may look like a good thing for Martian space explorations, because the length of a day is similar to that of the mission control on Earth and the rover or whatever equipment (or humans, soon) on Mars. But according to an expert, it's not. She said that it's pretty confusing, because the time difference gets more pronounced later.

After a month on Earth, there'll be a time  lag of 15 hours on Mars. Which would be pretty weird. Will future manned missions to Mars use the time on Earth to keep track, or the one on Mars?

In part 2, I'll probably write about explorations to Mars.

Mar 27, 2011

This is Too Bad- Ideas to put 3D Camera on Mars Rover Scrapped

This is Curiosity, NASA's rover to Mars which will launch soon (November this year) and land on the planet in 2012. The mission name is "Mars Science Laboratory". (at least for this mission they don't have a crazy acronym)
The first to land on Mars was Soviet's Mars 2 (well, I'll admit this naming is a little weird)
But it lost connection with Earth within seconds of landing. I don't know, but I'm guessing a few people thought Martians did something at that time.
I'll write more about this in my soon-to-come article about Mars (to cerebrate 1000 pageviews!)

Remember this movie? I watched it too, in 3D, though everyone said it doesn't pop out, it just makes a certain "depth" to it. To me it was okay, I was glad the 3D effect was not as "popping-out" as Christmas Carol.(It's a pretty long story, and to make it short, "my first movie to watch in 3D, Christmas Carol, gave me and my dad a long-lasting headache.) In Avatar, my head was saved from the terror, James Cameron tuned it fine. At this point, I finally remembered the topic of this story.
James Cameron has been designing a 3D camera to work on the rover Curiosity, but sadly the plans were scrapped. Aw, but stereoscopic's so cool! 
I'll soon write about how to take 3D photos on Google Earth. Really! It's pretty cool. Along a 3D photo viewing method that I came up with.