Rocket launched into space with octopus mission patch logo

The National Intelligence Program (NIP), the government agency that oversees all intelligence projects and activities of the United States, tweeted an image of an Atlas 5 rocket containing a new spy satellite. The rocket was adorned with an image that duplicated the official mission patch of the mission, NROL-39. It showed an octopus with the words, “Nothing is Beyond our Reach.”

Here’s the Twitter tweet:

The rocket launched on Thursday night from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If the mission patch is to be believed, we currently have an enormous space octopus giving the planet a big, gigantic hug.

Evidently the mission patch has some privacy advocates up in arms (pun intended) over the claim that nothing in beyond the reach of our various spy organizations. As if there really was any question on the matter.

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for privacy advocates. First that cowardly attention whore Edward Snowden lost out as Time’s Person of the Year to Pope Francis, then a rocket with an octopus logo is launched into space.

Satellite-logo-for-spyingIf I had a problem with the mission patch, it would be that the space octopus doesn’t appear to have eight arms. I don’t have a problem with it. I think the logo is cool looking. I like space and I like octopuses. I also don’t have a problem with our nation’s various intelligence agencies doing their jobs.

If you can see Earth, you're not in deep space

The movie Gravity opens this weekend and if the trailer is to be believed, it looks to be a fantastic flick. With that said, the official promotional material about the movie leaves a lot to be desired. From the official promotional blurb about the movie:

Gravity directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuaron, stars Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space.

Deep space? Really? It’s not deep space if you’re in orbit around the Earth. If you can see the Earth, you’re not in deep space.

Also, I get the impression from the trailer that when the accident happens, you can hear things crashing into other things. I hope that’s not the case in the actual movie. In the vacuum of space, as we all learned in 5th grade science class, there is no sound. Sound doesn’t carry in the vacuum of space. Also in the trailer, the soundtrack sounds an awful lot like the soundtrack from Danny Boyle’s Sunshine.

Alfonso Cuaron directed Children of Men, a personal favorite of mine. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are who they are, they make great movies. Well, George Clooney does.

NASA attacks the Moon

NASA sent a rocket into one of the craters on the Moon yesterday on the southern pole. The goal was to throw up a massive plume of dust so that a trailing probe could fly through the plume and analyze it for water.

The resulting plume of Moon dust was over six miles high.

Water (H2O) is important because it’s so expensive to take up to space. I once read that it cost $50,000 to take one gallon of water to space.  Now I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that water is heavy, so in that regard, it does make sense.  With water, oxygen can be extracted to make breathable air.  Hydrogen can be extracted to make rocket fuel.

Water is important.  It would be so much easy to send people to the Moon for extended periods of time if they could harvest water from the Moon’s dust.