Tuesday, June 27, 2017

First Polish cosmonaut, launches with Soyuz 30 1978

Cosmonaut Miroslaw Hermaszewski

June 27, 1978, Miroslaw Hermaszewski became the first Polish national in space, when he took off in Soyuz 30 with Commander Pyotr Klimuk.  The Soyuz 30 crew docked with the space station Salyut 6 and spent almost 8 days conducting experiements with the Soyuz 29 crew.  Hermaszewski and Klimuk returned to Earth July 5.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy birthday, Astronaut Bernard Harris!

Astronaut Bernard Harris, born June 26, 1956 in Temple, Texas, became the first black astronaut to perform an EVA.  His first mission was STS-55, in April 1993 on board the  Space Shuttle Columbia where he was a payload specialist.   His second flight was STS-63 in February 1995 aboard Discovery, the first mission of the US/Russia Shuttle/Mir program.  Harris performed an EVA with Michael Foale, who performed the first EVA for a British astronaut.  It was also the first time a Shuttle was piloted by a female, Eileen Collins.

My latest "The Wooden Samurai" is now available from JMS Books!

My latest story The Wooden Samurai is now available from JSM Books!

In 1708 Japan, Hirata, a samurai serving Lord Takarada, is enjoying his elevated status in the daimyo’s army when he finds a gift, a wooden carving of a samurai on a horse.  Hirata realizes he has a secret admirer but who is it?  He discovers it is Matsuda, a young archer in Takarada’s retinue, who has taken a liking to Hirata.

But Hirata is not ready for a relationship with a man and refuses Matsuda.  After his rejection, Hirata realizes that he does love Matsuda, but now the archer is far away with Lord Takarada in Edo Castle and he does not know when they will return.

Hirata decides on a plan to convince Matsuda that he is ready, but before he can put it into action, an earthquake and a tsunami destroy the daimyo’s manor.

Hirata becomes frantic, since he has no idea if Matsuda is alive and if he will ever see him again?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trump's EPA does not consider people, only oil and gas industries

The Donald's EPA has taken steps in the past few days to demonstrate its commitment to the oil and gas industry.  And they aren't even trying to hide it.

Monday, TEPA Admin Scott Pruitt appointed Jeff Holmstead, a lobbyist for the oil industry, as his No. 2 man.  Holmstead even testified before Congress last year:

“My biggest clients are utilities, refineries, a coal producer, and several oil and gas companies.”

Holmstead was a top EPA official during Shrub's administration and helped roll back regulations placed on the oil and gas industry to protect our clean water and clean air.  He will continue to pursue The Donald's ruinous agenda, to the detriment of Americans' health.

Tuesday, many of the scientists on advisory boards that their employment will not be renewed.  This comes after last month's dismissal of half the key scientists on 200 advisory panels, leaving the ranks of TEPA frighteningly low of scientists.  With so many seats now available, it is no stretch of the imagination to predict what is coming.  Pruitt and Holmstead, both in the pay of the oil and gas industry, will appoint like-minded people, and ignore the pollution released by these industries and its harmful effects on people.

We are doomed.


Happy birthday, Toyohiro Akiyama, first Japanese in space

Toyohiro Akiyama, born in June 22, 1942 Tokyo, Japan, is the first person of Japanese descent to travel into space.  He flew aboard Soyuz TM-11, launched December 2, 1990 and spent almost 8 days in space, giving live reports daily from Mir.  He returned to Earth on Soyuz TM-10 December 10.

Unfortunately, Akiyama had to evacuate his farm which was affected by the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rick Perry is as stupid and greedy as Scott Pruitt and The Donald

The Donald's plan to gut the EPA, and roll back any regulation that protects our clean air and clean water is well on its way.  By appointing nay-sayers to the right positions, he can eliminate any and all barriers to his own oil and gas interests.  This was made clear when he appointed Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier with absolutely no experience in science, to head the EPA.  He also appointed ex-governor of Texas Rick Perry (a Bush flunkee) as Energy Secretary.

Like Pruitt, Perry is a global-warming denier and wasted no time in proving his ineptitude and plain ol' stupidness.  He said earlier this week he does not "believe" carbon dioxide from human activities is a main contributor to climate change.  As if he hadn't emphasized his lack of education enough, he went on to blame climate change on the oceans:

According to AP reporter Matthew Daly:

Asked on CNBC's "Squawk Box" whether carbon emissions are primarily responsible for climate change, Perry said no, adding that"most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in."

So the "good ol' boy" train rolls along.  We've known for a while that Pruitt has been on his knees among the oil and gas industries, but now we find out who's been hanging it out for him.  Or maybe Perry's on his knees, too.  Both of them have a reason to poison the environment:  to make more money!  

Just like The Donald!

Perry also said skepticism is a sign of being a "wise, intellectually engaged person."  That might be correct, Perry, but in your case, it's a sign of being a total moron.


Space Shuttle Endeavor (STS-57) 1993

Front row (L-R) Pilot Brian Duffy, Commander Ronald J. Grabe
Back row (L-R): Mission Specialist 3 Peter J. Wisoff, Mission Specialist 2 Nancy J. Sherlock, Mission Specialist 4 Janice E. Voss, and Mission Specialist 1 G. David Low

Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off from Kennedy Space Center June 21, 1993.  The 10-day mission involved six astronauts, numerous biomedical and materials science experiments, one EVA, five stars (insignia), one satellite retrieval, one to two inches increase in height (due to spine lengthening in space) and about 4.1 million miles.

Pretty routine stuff, but in space, they don't much care for the non-routine stuff.