Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘space race

Planets Aligned

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Is it a coincidence that Apple releases Mac OS X Lion and the new MacBook Air models on the anniversary of the Eagle landing on the moon 42 years ago?

Perhaps…but if the timing were really well thought through, STS-135 Atlantis might have landed back on earth today as opposed to its scheduled landing tomorrow.

Pretty soon, we space nuts will have to look beyond the Space Shuttle for our orbital kicks.

In fact, I’m already looking beyond the Shuttle and into the Heavens, and to the increased focus on commercial space ventures.

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced today that the Dawn spacecraft, which the company built for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, successfully achieved orbit around the solar system’s move massive asteroid, Vesta, which resides in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and which is 1.7 billion-miles away.

It took Dawn four years to make it out to Vesta, and successfully entered its orbit last Friday. As its mission progresses over the next year, Dawn will descend to additional science orbits at 425 miles and then 125 miles above the asteroid’s surface, which is said to be the size of Arizona.

Godspeed to the Asteroid Mapper…it’s going to have to be the next best thing to a man (or woman) being there.

Back here on Earth, IBM shared some good news earlier today, awarding nearly $1 million in Smarter Planet grants to 11 organizations around the world.

Known as the IBM Centennial Grants, these are both monetary and in-kind awards up to U.S. $100,000 each which fund innovative projects in areas such as healthcare, energy, and food safety.

These grants fall under the auspices of IBM’s continued “Celebration of Service” as the company enters its second century of social engagement and of IBMers helping their communities work better.

By way of example, one award recipient, the Drishtee Foundation, i funding a Smart Rural Aggregation Platform which will help evolve Drishtee’s model villages into sustainable Smarter Villages in rural India.

The solution will help to aggregate critical services and products related with livelihood, agriculture and information services and making services accessible to farmers and village communities.

You can read more about IBM’s Celebration of Service here.

Written by turbotodd

July 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Planets Aligned

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I guess I’ve been living under a rock.

I keep CNBC on in the background at times, and I just saw reporter Erin Burnett being given a sendoff from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  Apparently she’s taken a new position at CNN, says the Times’ Media Decoder blog.

Adios and vayo condios, Erin, “International Superstar,” as the “Morning Joe” crew likes to refer to Erin.  International markets coverage on CNBC won’t be the same without her.

In the category of mean-spirited piling on, CNET’s Circuit Breaker blog is reporting a group of hackers are planning another wave of cyberattacks against Sony, this time apparently “in retaliation for its handling of the PlayStation network breach.”

They can’t say they weren’t warned.

Then again, there’s an upside to everything.  If you social media acolytes were wondering what it would take to get more C-level execs out there blogging, have your global gaming network be hacked two times in two weeks on the tail end of even more bad news in the form of a horrible tsunami and earthquake, and you might just get your answer.

Sony’s PlayStation Blog welcomed a post (a letter, actually) from Sir Howard Stringer, in which he apologized as well as announced measures to reassure Sony network users, including one for U.S. PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers that includes a $1 million identity theft insurance policy.

Sony will also be offering a “Welcome Back” package to its customers “once [their] PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are up and running,” one which will include a month of free PlayStation Plus membership for all PSN customers, among other treats.

When will that be?  VentureBeat’s GamesBeat says Sony has “entered the final stages of internal testing to bring its beleaguered online network” back online.

This, too, shall pass, and it’s time for a small moment of celebration.

I’ve always been a bit of a space junkie — it’s probably one of the reasons I ended up working in technology.

And if you’ve followed IBM’s Centennial communications this year, you’ve seen a number of videos online and TV spots that highlighted the role IBM played in helping land a man on the moon.

We didn’t get there in one fell swoop.  It took the better part of the decade, and Project Mercury was a key step in the direction of manned spaceflight for the U.S.

NASA celebrated its 50th anniversary of manned space flight yesterday at an event at the Kennedy Space Center.  Concurrently, IBM celebrated the team of mathematicians and technologists which supported the Project Mercury missions in the 1960s.

Professor Arthur Cohen led the IBM team that supported Project Mercury and recounts the project in the video below.  You can also read the fascinating details behind IBM’s support of Project Mercury here.

As you prepare to be launched back to the liftoff of the Space Race, does anyone but me find it strange that this celebration occurs as all the planets come into alignment for much of the month of May??

Written by turbotodd

May 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

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