March 02, 2007
Saturn Survey

The Cassini probe is at it again, this time returning unprecedented "high angle" pictures of Saturn's rings, and a movie of what it looks like to cross the ring plane. Amazing to think those structures are the leftovers from a collision thought to have taken place during the time of the dinosaurs.

Posted by scott at March 02, 2007 11:36 AM

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Dear Space Advocate:

I am contacting you at the request of Tim Kyger, whom many of you know from many space related activities. In his "spare" time, Tim is Chairman of the Heinlein Centennial, a commemoration of Robert A. Heinlein's life and influence that will be held on July 6-7-8, 2007, in Kansas City Missouri. There will be exhibits, tours, art, sales, and programming in three principal tracks--general science fiction, academic Heinleinia, and space. A birthday celebration, the Gala, is planned for Saturday, July 7, 2007, Heinlein's 100th birthday. Several guests have already committed to attend, including the head of NASA, Dr. Michael Griffin; astronaut and moon-walker Dr. Buzz Aldrin; the first winner of the $500,000 Heinlein Prize for Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities, Dr. Peter Diamandis; and (through video link) Heinlein's most illustrious contemporary, Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Details can be found at the Centennial website:

It is no exaggeration to say Heinlein was the most influential science fiction author of the mid-20th century, but his influence extends to this day far beyond the literary. I had the fortune to meet him a handful of times. I recall him once saying he had several filing cabinet drawers of letters from the three full generations of his readers who had come of age during his writing career. Though himself childless, these "children of Heinlein" had written to him to say they had become scientists, engineers, and the like because they were influenced by his writing to enter such fields. Heinlein obviously thought being the sui generis of this nucleus of future technologists was his greatest contribution to humanity. He was a fierce advocate and believer that our human species would, inevitably, venture into space. At one time or another, his book "Starship Troopers" has been on the required reading list of all three service academies. In recognition of Heinlein's influence on readers who would later become aerospace engineers and scientists, the NASA Medal for Distinguished Public Service was awarded to him posthumously in 1988. There is a Robert A. Heinlein Chair in Aerospace Engineering at the Naval Academy as well.

Tim has asked me to contact a number of space-related websites to request the following of you:
(1) To encourage your attendance and participation at the Centennial.
(2) Mention the Heinlein Centennial on your website, and link to the Centennial website.
(3) "Virally" mention the Heinlein Centennial to anybody else you might think of or be in contact with.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I hope you can participate, and please contact me for further information or questions. I can be reached at

Yours truly,
Keith G. Kato

Posted by: Richard Bamberg on March 7, 2007 03:10 PM
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