Friday, May 04, 2007

R.I.P. Wally Schirra

As poor serendipity would have it, Wally Schirra died this past Wednesday. No, he didn’t make it to the moon, as I had drunkenly insisted earlier (see post below), but he was the only astronaut to fly in all three of the earliest American space programs: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. The picture above is from his final mission, Apollo 7. His generation is passing, and is being replaced by those who use their NASA underwear to go on long road trips to shoot each other, like rejected plot episodes from Desperate Housewives.

On the subject, here is a link to a cool image of all objects in our solar system greater than 200 miles in diameter. (Link courtesy of Incoming Signals, which doesn’t post nearly as often as it should). Note the large number of Trans Neptunian objects discovered in the past few years. Our neighborhood is filled with large balls of rock and ice that we are only just now becoming faintly familiar with. We’ve got a long ways to go.