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The sad demise of Cosmos-1 was commented on here back in 2005, but those plucky sorts at The Planetary Society are back on… and this time, it’s with CUBESATS.

The Planetary Society’s mission, called LightSail 1, will come five years after its Cosmos 1 solar sail failed to reach orbit on a Russian submarine-launched Volna rocket.

The spacecraft in the 2005 failure was built by Russian contractors, but LightSail 1 will be based on a CubeSat platform provided by California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

The Planetary Society did not say how much the new project would cost, but a member of the group donated $1 million for the mission and three-quarters of the required funding has already been raised. The society is seeking more donations to cover the rest of the costs.

Where do I sign?

Surely Jack White can chip in too?

NASA Kennedy Space Center, originally uploaded by moleitau.

“I have no sort of objection now to telling the whole story. The subscribers, of course, have a right to know what became of their money. The astronomers may as well know all about it, before they announce any more asteroids with an enormous movement in declination. And experimenters on the longitude may as well know, so that they may act advisedly in attempting another brick moon or in refusing to do so.”

The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale

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The spacewalking taikonautics of last week, a successful launch into orbit of SpaceX Falcon-1 and this news all make for a fantastic new dawn of a post-NASA era, foregrounded against the spectacular collapse of western late-capitalism.
Charlie Stross is right – you couldn’t make it up.

Bldgblog
Bartlett
23.1.08

RAW NOTES:

Free software and access = no obligation so feeds enthusiasm ?like sunlight or vitamin c?
(He speaks very fast in a NE USA accent this is not going to be a transcript)

Archigram x Ballard x Philadelphia x depression x claustrophobia = start of bldgblog

A catalogue of enjoyment.

Changed his life.
> Map of climate zones in europe projected in europe 2071 from the guardian
How do design climate-appropriately for a rapidly changing climate? What is site-specificity in this dynamic context?

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Refs “solastaglia” cf. Collision Detection (http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2005/12/solastalgia.html) – climate-change melancholy. Losing a homeland without moving anywhere
Will future pharma companies sell you pill to combat climate change
Obsessed by the fact that the earth is becoming unearthly
Showing projected maps of the future coastline is in some senses “adventure tourism”
Be aware of the risks of showing these images – might be exciting rather than prohibitive

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Quotes from “The Drowned World”
> Shows billboard architecture
Could climate change refugees be clinging to billboards on the hammersmith flyover?

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

> Battleship island, japan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashima_Island

> Bannermans island: private home of the world’s biggest arms dealer at the time of the spanish-american war

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannerman’s_Castle

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Rumour was that he used faulty cannons as rebar-the thoughts of turning weapons into architecture is exciting
> Island fortress of the coast of india
> Maunsell towers off whitstable – influence for archigram
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunsell_Forts

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Texas tower off the coast of new jersey – post-war
http://www.radomes.org/museum/documents/TexasTower.html

> Oilrigs by statoil
- Man standing on the seabed
Costs about the same as flat in downtown manhattan / camden designed by rogers
The premium offshore oil-rig market could be tapped into
Dubai terraforming
- The thing that you don’t realise is the scale
Dubai is very disappointing, very boring. Invest that much money and all you can come with is dumb homes for sports-stars? That much hubris, time, money and slave labour? And that?s all you come with? Islands in the shape of a palm tree?

> Artifical reefs – what if archigram had been active in this area?

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

- Looks remarkable looks like chinese armillary spheres- jesuit astronomy instruments
- The reef has a brand on it.
- In 300yrs when this is a “quote/unquote” a natural object – someone will find a logo.
- Sovereign control of undersea structures: there is a feature under the sea between china and japan. Japanese are cultivating coral in order to grow an island so that they can make the territory claim.
What do artificial islands imply for the future of sovereign territory: is the future of colonialism reef science?

George Perec: worms/table/epoxy
http://www.amazon.com/Life-Users-Manual-Georges-Perec/dp/0879237511
China Mieville: slow sculpture
http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/sciencefiction/0,,1312147,00.html
http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/demolition-sculptures-or-sandblasting.html

The evolution of the landmass of north america >california is not solid ground – it is “the remnants of islands, former continents, lost indonesias”

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Google Earth: Ron blakey geology maps

http://tinyurl.com/223rmr

San andreas fault is itself an assemblage of microfaults

Taipei 101 is activating the surface of the earth – causing minor tectonic faults – is it a long term weapon?

The interaction between architecture, weight and the earth’s surface could be further explored
The more people move to LA and build, the safer it will be to live there. The anti-taipei101. Pin the earth down.
We could be massaging the tension out of the earth surface with traffic.

A view to a kill – christopher walken and “terrestrial weaponisation”

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

US military: “Earthquake Array”

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

The us military is the real Archigram.

Modular, portable cities, temporary structures, flexible autonomous cities
Dungeon instancing/sharding: in WoW – what are the implications of that for architecture. If you had billions of dollars and very nimble stagehands you could perhaps achieve this effect in the physical world. If I walk into the same building 5 mins later to you? Is it the same?

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Subterranea Brittanica
http://www.subbrit.org.uk/
Where have all the trapdoors gone? Why doesn?t pret-a-manger have trapdoors?
Border tunnels – hidden entrances in cargo containers on the border. Crosses through sovereign space into a store front in mexico. “The border is filigreed with this sort of thing. Landscape experiences that are not available to you if you are law-abiding”
Ground-penetrating radar – non invasive archeology

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

Underground cities could be faked? if you hack the GPR?
Biking under london from bethnal green to whitehall – in the 80s?
Urban exploration: burgeoning
Michael Cook/toronto: interview on bldgblog
http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/drains-of-canada-interview-with-michael.html
Different tunnel technology sound different – you can almost sonically-navigate around

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

From underworld to offworld
Mars rovers are the landscape photographers of the future
The new landscapes of the sublime are off-world
Kim Stanley Robinson: comparative planetology is a new thought process for humans.
We’re exporting a earth-centric template onto the other.

Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG at The Bartlett

> Columbia hills complex of mars of memorial sites for dead astronauts
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4143223/
“Mars is becoming earth through our melancholy”
Mars analogue site is being constructed on earth: mars conditions and appearance.
We are making mars like earth and earth like mars, either deliberately on a small scale like this or accidentally on a large scale through climate change :

These are interesting times – “The Earth is becoming unearthly”

The NASA Ames Summer Studies of Space Habitats from the mid to late 1970s have recently been linked by BoingBoing and O’Reilly’s Make Blog, principly for the evocative, nostalgic images therein.

The text of the Summer Studies makes for fascinating read though. Here’s an extract from the 1975 study, suggesting that the future inhabitants of the L5 Lagrangian Libration point would be left to orginate their own forms of government and policing…

“Distance and isolation also affect the governance and social order. Whether space colonization is a unilateral effort on the part of the United States or a cross-national enterprise, it will most likely be sponsored by a public or quasipublic organization with a bureaucratic structure which permeates the early settlement. The sense of isolation may stimulate the organizational development of communities away from the organizational form of the sponsor as the interests and life circumstances of a rapidly growing population change and develop. The form of governance depends very much on the preferences of the settlers, in much the same way as allowances for individual choice have been emphasized in other considerations of life in space.

Maintenance of order and of internal as well as external security initially falls to the Earth-based sponsoring organizations and then to the organized community which is expected to rise early in the colony’s history. The small size of the settlement, combined with a rather precarious manufactured environment, may emphasize a concern for internal security. Any individual or small group could, in prospect, undertake to destroy the entire colony by opening the habitat to surrounding space, by disrupting the power supply, or by other actions which have few corresponding forms in Earth-based settings. Whatever organizational form the colonists evolve, it must be able to assure the physical security of the habitat and its supporting systems, and this need for security may infringe upon other desirable features of the colony and its operation.”

Surely there has to be a TV series or two here – Deadwood in Space? I guess a Russell T. Davies reboot of StarCops is out of the question…

Jonathan Miller
0wnzored “Start The Week” this morning.

This week’s edition has been a cracking listen – with the good Dr. Miller taking over the interlocution from Andrew Marr, effectively.

A great exchange with Laurie Taylor, on the death of, well, Death in consumer society – is topped by a quote during a discussion around George Pendle’s book about John Parsons and early rocket science – on why rocketry attracted occultists (Parsons, as well as co-founding the JPL, was a leader of the O.T.O.!) and iconoclasts in the early 20th C:

“The cosmos is a deeply dangerous thing to think about – into it, vacant minds expand…”

Very, very good.

KABOOM!

So far, according to media reports, the business-end of Deep Impact that has been launched to hit comet Tempel-1 is the size of

  • A wine cask (NASA)
  • A washing machine (The Guardian, CNNi, News.bbc.co.uk*)
  • An oil-drum (BBC Radio 4)

I will keep this list updated with more popular-media-sizing-analogs for space probes (half-a dolphin!).
—-
* In keeping with other white-goods in North America, are US washing-machines bigger than their UK equivalents?

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