There was a time when travel was sleek and sophisticated (and inaccessible). Frank Sinatra sang about flying. I remember finding an old PanAm in-flight service menu my grandfather ha kept in his attic. There was real food that you might actually want to eat. The newest installments in the NASA/JPL Visions of the Future poster series invite us to imagine travel across our solar system and the galaxy with nostalgia for the optimism of mid-20th Century travel and hope that the future of space exploration is sexier than The Martian.
This week, my other other family at Science for The People is discussing invading organisms large and small. They talk to Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, to learn why (and how) researchers are creating new strains of flu virus. They’re joined by marine invertebrate researcher Dr. Benjamin Miner, to talk about the wasting disease killing starfish on the west coast of North America. And they talk to physicist Ross Lockwood about the HI-SEAS project, exploring the psychological conditions facing a human crew on a mission to Mars.
Everyone’s favorite real-life spaceman, Commander Chris Hadfield, recently returned to earth after 5 months aboard the International Space Station. Interestingly, the press paid little attention to the fact that an alien kitty stowed away on the ISS and grew so attached to Hadfield that he accompanied him back to Canada. As these recent photos show, the cat (unimaginatively dubbed Space Cat) is experiencing a few difficulties adjusting to life on Earth.
He may have trouble eating one with that space helmet on. Dealing with grabbity is also a challenge. Continue reading “Science Caturday: Space Cat comes down to Earth”