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The daily release of energy required to generate the hum is equivalent to a magnitude 5.75 to six earthquake, say Junkee Rhie and Barbara Romanowicz of the University of California, Berkeley.Link
"SS-1" is the top contender in the race for the Ansari X-prize, a global competition to build the first viable commercial spaceship. The winning team will receive a $10 million award. For SpaceShipOne, that amounts to only half of the $20 million or so Allen invested -- clearly, the competition is about more than a cash prize.
Jason DeFillippo joined me and Day to Day producer Nihar Patel for the trip to Mojave -- Jason took some absolutely terrific photos of the launch, flight, landing, and the surreal scene around the airstrip. Link. In this photo, I'm one of a number of silly-looking reporters all squinting intently at the sky and holding their hands against the sun. We were trying to catch a glimpse of a distant SpaceShipOne during its ascent. Vetern tech and space journalist John Schwartz from the New York Times is there in the blue shirt (here's his story: Link). Right about then, Nihar yells out, "HELIOS, THOU ART MY LORD" really loud, which made everyone crack up because we really did look goofy. Like we were participating in an ancient sun-cult ritual, or at least a Planet of The Apes episode.
Link to archived radio segment: NPR Day to Day "First X-Prize Flight a Success for SpaceShipOne", with some of Jason's photos. Link to previous BoingBoing post on yesterday's event, and Link to more of Jason's awesome images.
Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity," Fassihi wrote (among much else) in the letter. "Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler." And: "Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat,' a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.Link
...Making clear what can only, at best, appear between lines in her published dispatches, Fassihi concluded, "One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle."
(Note: there's an advertisement for the University of Phoenix on the right column of the page featuring a scary looking unshaven man with a blinking problem who starts TALKING VERY LOUDLY after the Flash file loads, so you might want to mute your computer's speaker before clicking on the link)
The residents of the island are descendants of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty and the local Polynesian population in 1790.Link (Thanks, Cyrus!)
...believe WIPO's work should help support the multilateral development of intellectual property, not as an end in itself, but as a means to help achieve the economic, social and cultural well-being of individuals and societies across the planet. In that light, we are pleased to see paragraph 6 of the Secretariat's Performance Report emphasize that "WIPO's strategic goals should also be viewed in the larger context of the UN Millenium Declaration adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2000, placing the eight Millenium Development Goals at the heard of the global agenda."Link (Thanks, Thiru!)
- 1-page PDF version by Trevor FilterLink
- HTML version suitable for printing by Ryan Brill
- text-only version by Chuck Welch
- an audio version by Ben Yates
Is Google HQ on fire right now? My wife drove your campus and saw smoke. Are you guys okay? I can probably get a ladder if you need it.The question remains unanswered. Silly Danny -- Google Answers staffers work offsite! Link (via Oblomovka)
The X-Prize webcast of today's flight includes some incredibly beautiful footage from an on-ship camera -- this must be what Melvill saw, gazing out of that little round window. A giant blue dome below, and a black sky with bright stars above. I'd sure like to see the snapshots he said he took up there. Anyway, go ahead and skip through the hoo-ha and just stream the good stuff -- but there is definitely some good stuff: Link
The craft is fueled by nitrous oxide and rubber. I suppose this proves what many Hollywood clubbers have known for years -- that with a little latex and laughing gas, you can get to heaven.
Here, Scaled Composites' Burt Rutan and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen sit in the back of a pickup truck towing SpaceShipOne along the runway, after pilot Mike Melvill's successful flight. Mr. Melvill is still inside the craft. This sight made me laugh. I mean -- come on. A pickup truck towing a spaceship. Garage geekery, grand goals. Link to full-size image. Link to a snapshot moments later, in which Melvill addresses the crowd on the ground, while Rutan and Allen grin widely.
Today's successful flight included a dramatic series of unplanned rolls during ascent. Developer Burt Rutan attributed them to known engineering problems that caused excessive dihedral effect (the way an aircraft reacts when wind hits it from the side). That corkscrew-spiral flight pattern on the way up looked terrifying from where I stood-- as if SS-1 were about to suddenly spin out of control to disaster at any moment. Judging from the gasps I heard in the media corral, others agreed.
Regardless of how risky that portion of the flight may have appeared, or indeed was, pilot Mike Melvill later said the rolls "felt cool" from where he was seated some 337,500 feet above the earth. He said he could see stars above, once he departed Earth's atmosphere. There was enough of a pause at the top for him to take a break from piloting, peek out the windows, and take some snapshots with a little camera he'd stowed on board.
I've been up since 230am today, and there's still work to do on tomorrow morning's NPR "Day to Day" report about today's flight. So for now, just a series of quick snapshots I took at the event. Here, SpaceShipOne at dawn: Link. Here, SpaceShipOne taxis out pre-flight, attached to White Knight: Link. Here, White Knight takes off: Link