Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Topics: Politics News
Halliburton on Mars: Take me to your CEO
When President Bush inspires us onward and upward to Mars this week, his political calculations may be more earthly. Expanding space exploration is a wonderful aspiration for America and humanity — and also quite promising for the Houston economy, the national aerospace industry, and one company in particular that has long pondered exploration of the red planet: Halliburton.
Yes, the firm once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney — fabled beneficiary of no-bid multibillion-dollar military contracts and high-priced provider of Kuwaiti oil — is determined to drill on Mars and the moon. Surely this scheme has nothing to do with the Bush space initiative. But somehow, no matter what worthy motivations lie behind the president’s policies, he and Cheney always appear to be shilling for their corporate clientele.
(Consider former Treasury Secretary Paul O’ Neill’s revelations about early Iraq war planning, which included a March 2001 memo — titled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts” — that mapped out potential post-Saddam petroleum exploration.)
Dreams about drilling on Mars date back several years at least. In 1998, a handful of top firms, including Halliburton, Shell and Schlumberger, showed up for a NASA “workshop” at Los Alamos, N.M., to discuss the prospects. Research seems to have intensified since 2001, with Halliburton and other firms engaged in proprietary research on such advanced technologies as laser-powered drills. They appear to have been awaiting this week’s announcement, according to this old clip from Petroleum News, which reported:
“The earliest drilling opportunity would be 2007 … Deeper drilling, into the multi-kilometer range, might occur as part of a 2014 Mars mission which would put astronauts on the planet to assist.”
[10:30 a.m. PST, Jan. 12, 2004]
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.