Apart from North Korea, my other obsession is all things astronomical. The rare occasion that finds me outside my bunker, I try to keep abreast. Three decent stories this week.
First, Planck. Amazing dataset looking into the dawn of the universe, and it also shows A. How europe is kicking our ass even in unmanned science. B. How much can be accomplished with little money in comparison to some NASA $ sinkholes. C. Why space should never be commercialized, and why NASA's push toward private industry is a mistake and will never be able to replace governmental space exploration. No corporation launches Planck or prior CMB probes given no $ to be made. Oh, and the universe got another 0.1 billion years older.
Voyager... Awesome. Just awesome. The pinnacle of human achievement. Our first step outside our solar system.
Curiosity... I'm not thrilled with NASA over this. It appears they got spoiled rotten with Spirit and Opportunity. Seven months on, and they've drilled one pebble. It's a damn miracle the thing survived that crazy landing system, but it did... This thing can run circles around the other rovers speedwise, and so far it has crawled along like a snail. Great, except it isn't. Computer A gets hit with radiation a week back, now on to Computer B and more troubles. They don't have a backup for the backup, so if they lose them both that's all she wrote.
I wish they'd realize how amazing it is that it made it there, and that seven months running is equally miraculous. Time to throw precaution to the wind and actually do something, spin that puppies wheels and go somewhere. They're being so cautious taking it safe and slow, when any day a CME could happen or the computer crash. Seven months on, little accomplished and even less ground traveled. Let's hope it works out and Curiosity lives forever, but it doesn't look too swift right now.