Saturn’s moon Enceladus is spewing out some impressive geysers of water ice. The NASA/ESA Italian space agency team that flies the Cassini spacecraft just released this composite image captured in November showing about 30 of the jets near the south … Continue readingTagged Cassini–Huygens, Enceladus, European Space Agency, Hubble Space Telescope, Italian Space Agency, Saturn, Spacecraft, Water
NASA’s sun seeking Solar Dynamic Observatory is safely on its way to a geosynchronous orbit of about 22 thousand miles in altitude to do what Sheryl Crow would do – soak up the sun – while it’s still free – … Continue readingTagged Geosynchronous orbit, Magnetic field, NASA, Sheryl crow, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Solar flare, Spacecraft, Sun
You might want to put March 8th in your blackberry calendar – because that is the day SpaceX has reserved the range at Cape Caneveral to launch its Falon 9 rocket for the first time. The company – founded by … Continue readingTagged Elon Musk, International Space Station, Missions, NASA, Space, Spacecraft, SpaceX, Technology
On the theme of the “Little Spacecraft that Could,” we bring you the amazing seven year odyssey of Japan’s Hayabusa – which is Japanese for Peregrin Falcon. Three years, late, after a fuel leak and a cascade of failures that … Continue readingTagged Asteroid, Earth, Hayabusa, ITunes, Japan, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Space, Space debris, Spacecraft, Technology, Twitter, YouTube
Remember the Mars Phoenix? Could it rise from the ashes — or more accurately from a Dr. Zhivago like glaze of dry ice? NASA last heard from Phoenix in November 2008. The craft landed near the Martian North Pole about … Continue readingTagged Mars, Mars Phoenix, Missions, NASA, North Pole, Phoenix, Planet, Space, Spacecraft, Technology
Somewhere up there Curly Howard is nyuck nyuck nyucking over this one. NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer – or WISE – spacecraft left the pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base – is now on its way to scan the heavens … Continue readingTagged Astronomy, Infrared, NASA, Near-Earth object, Solar System, Space, Spacecraft, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
The hangar door is sealed tight once again at Burt Rutan’s shop in Mojave California. The Scaled Composites team focused on the nitty gritty details of getting SpaceShipTwo ready to carry some paying passengers to space. If they fly like … Continue readingTagged California, Richard Branson, Scaled Composite, Scaled Composites SpaceShipTwo, Scaled Composites WhiteKnightTwo, Space, Spacecraft, Virgin Galactic
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Hubble Repair Missions. After all, I cut my teeth on the space beat covering the legendary STS-61 mission in December 1993 – the first, the most dramatic – and … Continue readingTagged Astronomy, Florida, Hubble Space Telescope, James Webb Space Telescope, Lagrangian Point, NASA, Space, Spacecraft, Technology
HINKLEY, Calif. – We all love a neat, tidy Hollywood ending to a David and Goliath story. Sadly, in the real world, they are hard to come by. More often than not, the little guy might win a battle, but Goliath prevails over the long haul — winning the war.
Before I went to Hinkley, I did, of course, watch the movie once again. As it turns out Erin Brockovich is accurate in many respects.
You might remember the woman who gets a big check at the end of the movie after the down-on-her-luck, crusading legal assistant has brought a giant utility to its knees for polluting the groundwater beneath the tiny desert town half way between L.A. and Las Vegas.
In the movie, she was known as Donna Jensen (and played by Marg Helgenberger). There is no real-life Donna Jensen — the details of her story are a composite of several real-life travails.
But Roberta Walker was the main inspiration. Naturally, it was not long after I met her that I asked her what she thought of the movie.
Miles O’Brien is a veteran freelance broadcast and web journalist who focuses on science, technology & aerospace.
He is the Science Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, and a regular correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series.
For nearly seventeen of his thirty years in the news business, he worked for CNN as the Science and Space Correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.
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E-mail Miles: miles [at] milesobrien [dot] com