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Organic Chemistry Takes Place In The Void Of Space

The excellent New Scientist Magazine reports that organic chemistry takes places on asteroids that are flying around in space.

(Above–The asteroid known as 951 Gaspra. Here are some facts about asteroids.)

From New Scientist—

“For the first time, rocks from an asteroid have been shown to power the synthesis of life’s essential chemicals. The asteroid in question fell to Earth on 28 September 1969, landing on the outskirts of the village of Murchison in Victoria, Australia. Tests showed it was laced with amino acids and some of the chemicals found in our genetic material. The discovery suggested that space was not the chemically sterile place it was once thought to be, and that organic chemistry was widespread. It hinted that the molecules life needed to get started could have been produced in space, before dropping to Earth.”

I find this discovery encouraging. Positive–even “creative”— things can happen in an environment as hostile as outer space.

I don’t know about you, but I often feel I must be on the moon or in another galaxy, because surely the crazy and mean-spirited behavior I witness and read about each day cannot be of this Earth.

I’m glad that even in what might seem to be a void, hopeful things can happen.

So when you feel you are in a void of decency because of some barbaric public policy idea, or in an intellectual void because everything you are hearing makes so little sense, just think of all those asteroids flying around brewing up various chemicals and amino acids.

It is almost always possible to make some kind of progress.

By |2011-05-24T23:22:08-04:00May 24th, 2011|NASA, Science|Comments Off on Organic Chemistry Takes Place In The Void Of Space

Endeavour in Space

I try to make it a habit to always post video when the space shuttle takes off. But it never took off two or three days ago. Unfortunately, it took off at approximately 2 a.m this morning. The video, which I would have expected to be spectacular, was almost as exciting as watching paint dry. Once Endeavour cleared the tower, you really couldn’t see the shuttle. It was extremely disappointing.

The good news is all appears to be going well. Below, is the “Image of the Day” from NASA.


By |2008-03-15T22:16:35-04:00March 15th, 2008|NASA|Comments Off on Endeavour in Space

Discovery lands

This was a huge mission. Prolonged difficult spacewalks. Absolutely a great accomplishment.  We need more of this.  I need something to be proud of.



Discovery and its crew returned to Earth on Wednesday and concluded a 15-day space station build and repair mission that was among the most challenging — and heroic — in shuttle history.

The space shuttle touched down just after 1 p.m., after safely crossing the continent in the first coast-to-coast re-entry since the Columbia disaster almost five years ago.

Commander Pamela Melroy was greeted by crisp fall weather as she brought Discovery down on the runway. (more…)

By |2013-11-03T18:42:58-04:00November 8th, 2007|Domestic Issues, NASA|Comments Off on Discovery lands
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