Space Travel











1971japanspaceencyclopedia03 Sometimes strange and wondrous things are closer than we realize. For instance, did you know that space is only an hour’s drive away, if you somehow drove your car straight upwards? Perhaps someday you will. Via kottke.org:

Space always seems so far away and much of it actually is. But space is actually quite close to where we are all sitting right now. The Kármán line, the commonly accepted boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, is only 62 miles above sea level.

A distance of 62 miles can covered by a car on the interstate in less than an hour. Stable Earth orbits are achievable at only 100 miles above the Earth, with the ISS and Space Shuttles usually orbiting at a height of ~200 miles.



space-colony-2000As we close the book on the final U.S. space shuttle mission ever, it’s heartbreaking to watch NASA videos from the groovy 1970s, a time of incredible optimism regarding the final frontier in the aftermath of humankind’s first walk on the moon. Preliminary plans and concepts were being outlined for self-sustaining space colonies where people could live and work. A space station called Taurus would be home to 10,000 people, with dairy farms, manufacturing, vegetation, solar power stations… and then somewhere along the way we became sidetracked.