Archive for the ‘Interplanetary Travel’ Category

10/17/2016 – Ephemeris – Elon Musk’s vision of how he’ll colonize Mars

October 17, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, October 17th.  The Sun will rise at 8:01.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 6:53.  The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 8:21 this evening.

On September 27th Elon Musk announced his plans to send people to Mars, hopefully by 2024.  He explained in detail how he would do it.  He made an hour-long presentation at the International Astronautical Congress meeting in Mexico, which can be seen on the Internet at  Also there is a shorter animation of how he expects to do it.  He expects to send hundreds of people at a time into Earth orbit.  The booster would return to the launch pad and another second stage with fuel loaded on top of it to be launched again on the next orbit to refuel the manned stage before sending it to Mars.  Robotic missions would be sent before to set up the infrastructure for the Mars Base.  I’m somewhat skeptical, but all great adventures start with a dream.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Arrival on Mars

New colonists looking out at the Martian landscape. Credit: Screen cap from SpaceX video.

Short 5 minute video:

Full address to the International Astronautical Congress meeting:

11/07/2014 – Ephemeris – GTAS meeting tonight and Star Party

November 7, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, November 7th.  The sun will rise at 7:28.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:23.   The moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 6:15 this evening.

Tonight the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will hold their monthly meeting at he Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory at 8 p.m. featuring yours truly presenting the Hitchhikers Guide to the Solar System.  I have found, what NASA and other space agencies have found, that once orbiting the Sun in the solar system. One can go anywhere in the solar system with a minimum of energy, if one has the time.  We’ll start by looking at orbits about the Earth and how they can be changed.  We’ll look at escape velocity and those  seemingly strange Lagrangian points, plus stealing energy from the planets.  At 9 p.m. there will be a star party featuring the Moon and some of the brighter deep sky objects.  The observatory is located on Birmley road.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


Interplanetary Transport Network

Artist’s concept of interplanetary superhighway or Interplanetary Transport Network. Credit: NASA/JPL.