Russian vs. USA Space Race to Mars or Cooperation?
phenomenica - An interplanetary spacecraft for a flight to Mars will be created not before 2025 and the maiden flight to the red planet will be possible only after 2035, said Russian space agency Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov Wednesday.
"The possibility of a flight to Mars needs to be combined with the construction of a spaceship having a new nuclear power propulsion unit, which will make it possible to reach the planet in a month," Perminov said in Russia's upper house of parliament.
He said the propulsion unit, which serves the purpose of changing the velocity of a spacecraft in the space, is to be built by 2019.
Some 7.2 billion rubles ($256 mln) are to be allocated as part of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom's innovation development programme in 2010-2018 on the joint project with Roscosmos to create a nuclear power unit-based transport module for the future spacecraft.
Answering questions from senators in the Federation Council, the Roscosmos head called flights to Mars on board existing spaceships "absurdity," and added that the prospective flight could only be organised on an international level.
Russia, as well as the US, have been developing technology to produce nuclear-powered spacecraft for decades. Roscosmos and NASA are planning to discuss the development of a nuclear-powered spaceship Friday during talks in Moscow.
Man dies after getting sucked into a pasta-making machine
dailymail - A 26-year-old man who was engaged to be married has died after being dragged into a giant pasta making machine.
Health and safety officials are investigating the gruesome accident that saw the man dragged head first into the machine.
Other workers managed to switch off the machine, but the victim died from his injuries.
The horrific accident took place at the Pasta Quistini factory in Ontario, Canada.
A piece of clothing worn by the victim is believed to have got caught up in the machine and dragged him towards spinning metal blades.
The family-run firm has been in business for 30 years and staff said the victim was engaged to the owner's daughter.
John Cartolano, brother of owner Elena Quistini, said: 'This was her future son-in-law, and they were very close.
'The boy was a very good boy. Very dedicated to the family and his work so it's affecting all of us.'
Police have yet to name the victim but have ordered production at the factory to cease until they have completed their investigation into the accident.
Elena Quistini was named Canada's 'Pasta Queen' due to the company's success in supplying restaurants and food chains with a variety of pastas.
First commercial jetpack is 'just months away'
dailymail - It has been the stuff of science-fiction legend for generations, but the era of futuristic personal space-age travel may have finally dawned.
After completing a gruelling seven-minute outside test flight, the longest ever by a jetpack, the world’s first commercial rocketman suit could be just months from hitting the shelves.
Reaching death-defying altitudes of more than 100ft, the Martin Jetpack's flight last week brought 40 years of development near to a conclusion and the dreams of millions achingly close to reality.
Although limited to speeds well below its 60mph capacity, the remotely controlled test, using a weighted dummy pilot called Jetson, smashed records for altitude and air-time.
At its unveiling at a U.S. airshow in 2008, the aircraft did not go higher than 6ft - an arm's reach from a watchful ground crew - or fly for longer than 45 seconds.
Given the success of the trial, the first ‘jet-ski in the sky’ could now be dispatched for solo flights by the end of the year at a price of around £50,000 ($75,000) per machine.
Designed to be the ‘simplest aircraft in the world’ the Martin Jetpack will be a breeze to fly, according to inventor Glenn Martin.
He said: ‘You just strap it on and rev the nuts out of it and it lifts you up off the ground.
‘It’s just basic physics. As Newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when you shoot lots of air down very fast you go up and you're flying.'
Mr Martin says 2,500 people have already signed up for to buy the jetpack, with inquiries coming from Middle Eastern royalty and U.S. millionaires.
The two-litre 200-horsepower gasoline engine powers two ducted fans that can soar across the skies at 60mph at heights of up to 160ft.
The jetpack, which produces up to 6000rpm (revolutions per minute), carries enough fuel to fly for 30 minutes.
Its makers are targeting tourism joy flights, pilot training and private recreational sales.
‘Some just want to dodge the rush-hour traffic and do it in style’, Mr Martin said.
But the invention’s immediate deployment is likely to be as a ground-breaking defence tool with the U.S. military, which first tested jetpacks in the 1960s, and U.S. border control the first organisations to take delivery of the device.
Mr Martin, a 50-year-old father of two, sees the military version of the jetpack being used in hard-to-access areas, war zones to patrol borders and, if unmanned, to make difficult deliveries by remote control.
It could also be used in counter terrorism operations, as an airborne missile platform and mobile surveillance unit.
The New Zealander created the Martin Aircraft Company in 1998 specifically to develop a jetpack that could fly 100 times longer than the 28 seconds of its predecessor, the Bell Rocket Belt.
The Bell Rocket Belt was made famous by presentations at Disneyland, the 1984 Summer Olympics and an appearance in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball.
The belt could carry a man over 30ft-high obstacles and reached speeds of up to 10mph but its limited flying time of just 20-30 seconds and huge fuel consumption at $2,000 per flight made the device impractical and uneconomical.
By contrast, the Canterbury company’s latest jetpack costs just 15 cents for around 20 seconds air-time.
Given the shaky safety record of similar ultra-light aircraft, the inventor said a key component of the Martin jetpack will be its ‘ease of flight’.
Forward and backward movement and sideways tilt of the propellers, for left and right turns are controlled by a joystick in the left hand, yaw (angle) and the throttle by the right hand.
The jetpack will be fitted with electronic stabilisers and computer aided flight controls while a roll cage and ballistic parachute system will also come as standard.
The engine, fuel tank and pilot are positioned between and below the lift-fans to lower the centre of gravity and prevent the machine turning upside down.
While the first outside test is a huge advancement in bringing the device to the shelves, it is still unclear how aviation authorities will treat the jetpack.
Weighing just 250lbs, users in many European countries, including Britain, should not need to be licensed. However, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is still considering an official response.
Either way, Martin Aircraft Company said any attempt to fly the jetpack without professional instruction would be ‘extremely foolhardy’.
The company will require all owners to undertake an approved training programme before flying the aircraft with personal users taking delivery in around 18 months.
77-year-old serial killer suspect arrested...bizarre claims on victim choice
sky - A 77-year-old man has been charged with four murders spanning 20 years amid bizarre claims the victims were targeted because their first and last initials were the same.
Photographer Joseph Naso was charged after investigators searched his home and found evidence linking him to murders across Northern California.
Roxene Roggasch, 18, was found murdered in 1977, Carmen Colon was discovered a year later and Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya were killed in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
Detectives in California say they do not know if the alliterative initials are merely coincidence or part of the pattern of a serial killer.
It has been revealed that police across the United States are now investigating whether Naso could be tied to other cold case murders.
Detectives in New York are looking into whether he could be responsible for the so-called "Double Initial Murders" of three young girls who were abducted, raped and strangled in Rochester in the 1970s.
Almost incredibly, one of the victims in the New York case was also named Carmen Colon.
Naso, a native of New York who also lived in the Rochester area, was a professional freelance photographer who often travelled the country for work.
A DNA sample taken from one of the New York victims did not match Naso but state police say they are not ready to rule him out of their investigation and are hoping to speak to people who knew him at the time.
Chris Perry, of Nevada's Department of Public Safety, said: "We think there are others out there we haven't discovered yet.
"Typically when you are talking about a person who has killed more than once, this doesn't stop."
Naso, who had been living in Nevada, has a criminal history dating back to 1955 although most of his convictions for petty theft.
Sheriff Mike Haley, who has helped launch the cold case task force, said: "The person has travelled around the country, has been engaged with law enforcement across the country, so we suspect, and have to suspect, that any cases that may emerge in the future have a rather long potential list of states that may been impacted."
"Go Capture That UFO": The 1978 Puerto Belgrano CE-2
Very interesting article presented by Scott Corrales at Inexplicata - The Journal of Hispanic Ufology
I visited my friend Eduardo on February 1, 2009. He had been one of the protagonists of a UFO encounter at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base while doing his compulsory military service in the year 1978. This is the main base of the Argentinean Navy, located in southern Buenos Aires province near the city of Punta Alta, some 30 kilometers from the city of Bahía Blanca.
As a preamble, Eduardo explained: “the battalion I served with was assigned custody of the base. It was a security battalion that stood guard throughout the facility. That was our only function within the Military Service.”
In the evening there was a group called GAO (Grupo A la Orden – Rapid Response Group) that would be the first responders in the event of any attack on the base, aside from those standing watch. The rapid response group slept in a guardhouse – we were six soldiers, a duty officer and a duty sub-officer. This was standard. The GAO existed at all times. We weren’t always the same, since there was a rotation involved. Continue reading at "Go Capture That UFO": The 1978 Puerto Belgrano CE-2 - Inexplicata - The Journal of Hispanic Ufology