Tag Archives: Great Britain

New astronaut crew to ISS, including Brit

A Russian Soyuz rocket today successfully launched a new crew to ISS, including Great Britain’s first official astronaut.

Tim Peake is not the first Brit in space, but he is the first paid for by the British government. The first British citizen to fly in space, back in 1991, was Helen Sharman, whose flight was a publicity stunt mostly paid for by the Russians themselves.

The crew is expected to dock with ISS later today.

Great Britain space agency calls for an increased space effort

The competition heats up: The United Kingdom’s space agency has issued its proposed future strategy, focusing on a renewed involvement with ISS and the European Space Agency.

Following a public consultation and lengthy discussions across government, the new strategy, published today, concludes that continued involvement in the ISS and other programs via ESA membership is the best way to involve U.K. scientists and industry in human spaceflight. The document says the government will consider bilateral projects with other space agencies but fears always being the junior partner since the United Kingdom has no launchers or space stations. It does not think that the commercial launch industry is sufficiently mature for the United Kingdom to buy services commercially. The report also states: “The Agency will also consider its role in human exploration missions beyond Earth orbit, especially where this complements science and technology goals for robotic exploration.”

I wonder if the newly elected conservative British government agrees with this strategy. It appears to me that it was researched and written prior to the election.

Tory victory in UK even better than predicted just yesterday

The final tallies of the election in Great Britain have given the conservatives an outright majority.

They don’t have to form a coalition with anyone to form a government. Moreover, this is after months of listening to pollsters and pundits insisting they would at best achieve a tie with the left, and most likely get kicked out of office.

Read it all. The results strongly suggest that, except for the separatist movement in Scotland, conservatives rule Britannia.

Tory Party unexpectedly wins big in Great Britain

The rage builds: Conservatives in Great Britain have won a much larger victory in today’s election than polls or pundits had predicted.

The article attributes the surprisingly big win to a variety of factors. Yet, this election reminds me of the Israeli election, which the polls and pundits all said would be a tie, or go to the liberal parties. Instead, Netanyahu’s rightwing party won big.

Both elections, plus other recent elections in the U.S., suggest to me that there is a growing disconnect between the electorate and the intellectual class who makes these predictions. With such a disconnect, don’t be surprised if the candidate who wins the election in 2016 is the one who is least liked by that pundit class.

Britain narrows its competition for spaceport

The competition heats up: The British government has down-selected its choices for a future spaceport in Great Britain to six airports, two of which have already said they are not interested in taking on the job.

The remaining four sites include two in Scotland, and one each in Wales and southwestern England. If I had to choose just based on orbital mechanics, the English site would win, as it is farther south thereby capable of putting more payload in orbit for the same fuel. However, politics and pork will certainly be a factor in any final decision, as this spaceport location is being decided not by private companies but by the British government.

Great Britain’s proposed suborbital spaceport locations

The competition heats up: More information was released today describing Great Britain’s suggested spaceport locations.

These spaceports are specifically aimed at the suborbital space tourism market, for American companies like Virgin Galactic or XCOR, or for the developing British company Skylon.

It is interesting that 6 of 8 are located in Scotland, which might very well not be part of the United Kingdom after a vote on separation this fall.

A spaceport for Great Britain?

The competition heats up: The government of the United Kingdom today outlined its intention to build its first spaceport by 2018.

The announcement listed eight potential sites, six of which were in Scotland, which is presently threatening to break away from the United Kingdom. This announcement I suspect is less a call for British space exploration and instead a political effort to encourage Scotland to remain in the UK.

Great Britain’s first official astronaut has been picked for a five month mission on ISS in 2015.

Great Britain’s first official astronaut has been picked for a five month mission on ISS in 2015.

Astronaut Michael Foale was born in Britain, but he flew on Mir as an American. Britain meanwhile had banned spending any government money on space exploration in the 1960s, and hadn’t changed that policy until about two years ago. If the reaction to Canadian Chris Hatfield’s ISS mission is any guide, this mission will liven things up a bit for space exploration in the old country.

An attempt to drill down into another buried lake in Antarctica, this time by Great Britain, has encountered serious technical problems because of a failed boiler.

An attempt to drill down into another buried lake in Antarctica, this time by Great Britain, has encountered serious technical problems because of a failed boiler.

New research has found that from 20,000 to 7,000 years ago Great Britain was surrounded by a vast area of dry land that reached as far as Denmark.

New research has found that from 20,000 to 7,000 years ago Great Britain was surrounded by a vast area of dry land that reached as far as Denmark.

The research suggests that the populations of these drowned lands could have been tens of thousands, living in an area that stretched from Northern Scotland across to Denmark and down the English Channel as far as the Channel Islands.

As the ice age ended and sea levels rose, this land was slowly swamped and engulfed by the North Sea.

An eco-terrorist was arrested in Great Britain on Sunday for breaking into an agricultural research facility and trying to destroy a test crop of genetically modified wheat.

Attack of the ignorant: A protester was arrested in Great Britain on Sunday for breaking into an agricultural research facility and trying to destroy a test crop of genetically modified wheat.

“Science in the service of politics.”

Climate scientist Richard Lindzen of MIT spoke before a public meeting of the House of Commons in Great Britain yesterday. You can read his entire speech here [pdf]. Please do. He know his stuff. More important, he begins his presentation by immediately accepting these points:

  • Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere.
  • There is a greenhouse effect.
  • There has been a doubling of CO2 in the past 150 years.
  • There has probably been a warming of about 0.8 degrees Celsius in the past 150 years.
  • Increasing CO2 alone should cause some warming.

He then notes that while none of these points are controversial among serious climate scientists, none of these facts are a cause for alarm.

The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest. [emphasis mine]

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The savage barbaric murders of Jewish children by Islamic killers

On March 11, a Palestinian terrorist (nothing more than a savage if you ask me) broke into the Jewish home in the West Bank and brutally murdered two adults and three of their children, aged 11, 3, and 1. When the news reached Gaza, there were celebrations, with candy being handed out to children.

On March 13, Melanie Phillips, a blogger in Great Britain, decided to comment on these horrible and barbaric murders by Islamic killers.
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