Amazing SciFi Spaceships and Models!

I absolutely love stumbling across these gems. The classic sfi-fi shows and movies like Space:1999, UFO, and Moon Two Zero have such a distinctive look to them that even if the story was a bit crap you were still in for a visual treat. It’s kind of sad that now a days whenever you see a spaceship in a movie it’s inevitably gray or white. It’s rare to see anything with color out there, not so with the classics! Anyway, have a look at this beautiful collection of artifacts that Sission has collected and restored and in some cases he’s built accurate replicas of the originals.

“Hello and welcome to my Sci-Fi model website. Here I will be displaying some original film studio props and many of the model replicas that I have constructed over the last 25 years. This will mostly be from the works of Gerry Anderson, who’s world famous television shows have entertained me for a very large part of my life. Thanks mostly to the talents of such artists as Derek Meddings, Mike Trim, Brian Johnson, Steve Begg, Keith Wilson, Reg Hill and many, many others.
Just click on the highlighted text to navigate and I hope you enjoy your visit”

David Sisson Models.

Phoenix Mars lander Killed By Ice


Landing on Mars in May of 2008, the NASA Mars Phoenix Lander worked remarkably well until November of the same year. It sent back hundreds of images and did soil testing that found calcium carbonate and perchlorate. The mission was only supposed to last for three months but like other NASA missions the service life of the lander exceeded expectations and only ended when the winter sun could no longer charge the probes batteries. When the Martian winter had passe it was hoped that the lander might have survived the deadly cold (-87C) and contact could once again be established. However it was not to be. The lander was no longer responding to commands issued from NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter as it did a number of passes over the landing site in multiple listening campaigns. Eventually an image was obtained from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter the that confirmed the speculation that an estimated 100 pounds of icy buildup has damaged the delicate solar panels.
Phoenix Mars Lander is Silent, New Image Shows Damage.

“NASA’CAR” Rocket Racers Take Off

I’ve been waiting a while for news of this. It’s fantastic that a demo has finally made it off the ground, please pardon the pun… Not too sure about the ‘play in the stands’ notion, that might be too much of a gmick for the spectators to handle.

A single rocket racer flew in front of the aviation crazed crowd at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 2008 with its short bursts of rocket power allowing the pilot to climb and maneuver unlike a traditional airplane. As one of the test pilots explains in the video after the jump, it’s full throttle or nothing at all, giving pilots a boost of power…

Video: Rocket Racers Roar Over Tulsa

Airborne Laser Testbed Successful in Lethal Intercept Experiment

Spotted this real-world application of way cool technology today:

Airborne Laser Testbed Successful in Lethal Intercept ExperimentFeb. 11, 2010 – At 8:44 p.m. (PST)
A short-range threat-representative ballistic missile was launched from an at-sea mobile launch platform. Within seconds, the ALTB used onboard sensors to detect the boosting missile and used a low-energy laser to track the target. The ALTB then fired a second low-energy laser to measure and compensate for atmospheric disturbance. Finally, the ALTB fired its megawatt-class High Energy Laser, heating the boosting ballistic missile to critical structural failure. The entire engagement occurred within two minutes of the target missile launch, while its rocket motors were still thrusting.

ALTB video

[via Launch-Alert mailing list]
Airborne Laser Testbed Media Gallery

Soviet Star Wars

Not that the proliferation of weapons in space (or other places for that matter) is something to ever wish for but you have to admit that the idea has a ‘Buck Rogers’ kind of coolness to it.

“…a massive satellite, the largest ever launched, equipped with a powerful laser to take out the American anti-missile shield in advance of a Soviet first strike. It was real, though—or at least the plan was… …[The Soviets] funded two massive R&D studies in the late 1970s and early 1980s to explore how to counter imaginary American missile defense ideas,” he says. Two concepts emerged: Skif—a laser “cannon” in orbit—and another weapon known as Kaskad (Cascade), designed to destroy an enemy’s satellites with missiles fired from another craft in orbit.”

Soviet Star Wars