August 13, 2007 [LINK / comment]

What meteor shower???

Jacqueline and I must have waited 45 minutes outside last night, but all we saw were one or two fleeting glimpses of a meteor -- maybe. As far as we're concerned, this year's Perseid meteor shower was a big bust! (Apparently, the peak hours were from 2:00 to 5:00 AM.) Thanks to, however, I learned that folks in the west will get a "consolation prize" of sorts: On September 1 the Aurigids meteor shower will take place for the last time in our lives. Unfortunately, us Easterners will probably miss it!

Another cracked tile

Ever since the Columbia disaster, NASA officials have been extremely cautious when it comes to any possibility of a recurrent heat shield tile failure. So, even though the space shuttles have landed many times with much worse tile damage than the Endeavour has right now, they will spare no expense to avoid any risk. This, unfortunately, shows why the Space Shuttle program is doomed in terms of its original purpose -- transporting goods into orbit routinely and economically. I hope somebody in NASA is drawing the appropriate lessons from this.