Interplanetary Superhighway (Math, Geometry, and Mars Missions)

Let's say you've got nothing else going on, and you decide to launch a mission to Mars, as you do. Technically, assuming you had the rocket and the launch pad and the range clearance, the time and money, etc, you could do that tomorrow some time. BUT, this is a little like Steven Wright's assertion…Read more Interplanetary Superhighway (Math, Geometry, and Mars Missions)

Orbits, and Orbital Decay (Astronomy: Week of 1/21/18)

In case you haven't heard, China's first space station, Tiangong-1 is about to make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.  That's an 18,750 pound (8,500 kg) chunk of stuff, about to fall in a blaze of glory.  We don't know when, and we don't know where.... but probably some time in March, 2018. To understand…Read more Orbits, and Orbital Decay (Astronomy: Week of 1/21/18)