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Blue Tyson
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http://venusframework.online
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The first ever close-up images of Jupiter's gargantuan hurricane, the Great Red Spot, are beginning to trickle through from NASA's Juno spacecraft after it completed its historic fly-by a few days ago.

ABC Science | http://ab.co/2t5lnaq
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Cassini Leaves Legacy of Lasting Pride | NASA Kennedy
Image: Saturn as seen from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
June 28, 2017: As NASA's Cassini spacecraft spends its last few weeks in orbit around Saturn before making a controlled impact with the planet in what NASA dubbed Cassini's "Grand Finale," some of those who helped launch the mission 20 years ago are thrilled with the success of the massive probe they helped dispatch to one of the solar system's most intriguing worlds.

"There's just a real sense of fulfillment associated with being part of a launch team, particularly something as big as Cassini and as complicated as Cassini is and the whole makeup of the whole Cassini team," said Ray Lugo, launch director for Cassini. "It was a big community of folks and everybody had to do their part to make sure that mission got off right."

It took seven years for Cassini to make the trip from Earth's surface to Saturn's orbit. The two-story-tall spacecraft reached Saturn on June 30, 2004, to begin unprecedented surveys of the planet and its brilliant rings, along with Saturn's eclectic system of moons. As the mission comes to a close, NASA opted to plunge the spacecraft into Saturn to prevent it from accidentally contaminating one of the moons if it were left to drift around in space.

Cassini also carried a second spacecraft along with it, a probe called Huygens that was released to study the moon Titan up close. Huygens parachuted to the surface of the moon, relaying data on conditions there until its batteries ran out.

For Lugo, that success was hoped for, but not taken for granted.

"For some of those scientists, they spent their lifetime to make something like that happen," Lugo said. "Somebody had to have the idea for this mission, somebody had to write up a proposal for the mission, probably multiple proposals, finally get selected, fly it and then do the science. Thinking of it in that way kind of sets an expectation. You know on launch day that all this work we did and they did could be lost, and you think about that."

Cassini, which was built and operated from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1997 atop a Titan IVB rocket. The launch capped months of processing on the spacecraft and booster to make sure everything would work correctly on launch day and Cassini would be set on its correct path.

The Cassini mission would be only Lugo's second at the helm of the launch team. Because his first launch was not successful, he said he felt added weight heading into the Cassini campaign.

"Here I am a freshly minted launch director coming into one of the flagship missions for NASA and I'm batting zero-for-one," Lugo said. "so it wasn’t like there wasn't any pressure. It was a very important mission, it was complicated."

The Titan IVB rocket was NASA's largest expendable booster at the time.

"We'd never launched anything as large as Cassini before on an expendable vehicle, and there wasn't a rocket that big before unless you went back to Apollo," said George Diller, NASA's launch commentator.

The spacecraft lifted off on its second try to cap a smooth, if lengthy, countdown procedure that saw the teams on their consoles for 12 straight hours through liftoff. Located at different facilities around Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center for launch, along with mission operations centers in California and Europe, the countdown encompassed a wide array of people and organizations.

Despite the size of the rocket, Cassini would still take seven years to reach Saturn. It would fly a precise path through the inner solar system building up speed by passing near Venus and Earth so it could slingshot out beyond Mars and Jupiter to rendezvous with Saturn. Getting on that path correctly at the start was the focus of the launch team.

"After the second burn of the Centaur upper stage, which got Cassini out of Earth orbit and onto an interplanetary trajectory, that's when everybody felt like OK, we've got it in hand," Diller said.

The payoff has been a wealth of photos and data of one of the solar system's most captivating locations.

"You see Cassini approach Saturn and get these good pictures and you think, 'Wow, I was a part of something that really redefined the understanding of a planet like Saturn and the rings,' " Lugo said. "I wasn't responsible for the science, but I can take some comfort in the fact that what I was able to do helped make that happen."

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini
The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org

Credit: NASA's Kennedy Space Center
Release Date: June 28, 2017

+NASA's Kennedy Space Center
+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
+NASA Solar System Exploration
+European Space Agency, ESA
+Carolyn Porco Fan Page

#NASA #ESA #Astronomy #Science #Space #Saturn #Planet #Rings #Moons #SolarSystem #Exploration #Cassini #Spacecraft #Kennedy #KSC #JPL #Pasadena #California #UnitedStates #GrandFinale #ASI #STEM #Education
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After seeing the Mutant City Spies issue of KWAS V3, which I assume is going to be similar to a MCB/NBA crossover, I thought what could be done with other crossovers. A lot of GUMSHOE settings are rather specific and with a few tweaks, you could really change the theme, create an entirely new setting, or create a GUMSHOE version of other settings. I wrote up a few:

• Ashen Stars + Fear Itself = Alien movies.
               Remove playable alien PCs and date back the technology a little bit. You can create the world of Alien by using a Class K entity. Combine the time period abilities from Ashen Stars with Fear Itself. Use every day PC generation rules from Fear Itself to make normal people going up against Class K entities.

• Ashen Stars + Moon Dust Men = Men in Black movies.
                You can combine these two settings to make a Men in Black movie game. Go two routes with PC generation; Human MiB or Alien working with MiB. The technology is available but needs to be kept under wraps when used in public.

• Ashen Stars + Mutant City Blues = Mass Effect video games.
                You can simulate the Mass Effect video game setting by taking the Mutant powers from MCB and reskinning them as Biotic abilities. Combined into Ashen Stars, all you need to do is reskin the races and you have Mass Effect.

• Ashen Stars + Night’s Black Agents = Re-themed Ashen Stars
               The Molihar haven’t disappeared but use some sort of power to hide themselves among the Combine government. You’re burned combine black op agents trying to hunt down the Molihar conspiracy. What the powers the Molihar are capable of is up to the GM.

• Ashen Stars + Time Watch = Re-themed Ashen Stars
               Combine scientists have invented time travel and send agents to go back in time to prevent the Molihar War. What happens if the Molihar War never happens and the races continue their way with one another?

• Ashen Stars + Trail of Cthulhu = CthulhuTech
               Combine Cthulhu elements with Ashen Stars and you can emulate the The Void or CthulthuTech settings by Wildfire Press.

• Esoterrorists + Trail of Cthulhu = The Laundry
               Use the modern Ordo Veritatis rules from Esoterrorists with Trail of Cthulhu Mythos rules to emulate The Laundry settings by Cubicle 7.

• Goetia + Night’s Black Agents = Re-themed Night’s Black Agents.
               Instead of hunting vampires, you’re hunting human possessed by demons. The Big Bad is a summoned demon rather than an ancient vampire.

• Mutant City Blues + School of Night = Modified Mutant City Blues
                Alchemy can be used to give you temporary mutant powers that you need to capture a criminal. Imagine being able to choose your power based on your investigation instead of relying on the same ones.

• Night’s Black Agents + Trail of Cthulhu = Delta Green
                Combine the modern day spy action of NBA with the Mythos of Trail of Cthulhu to emulate the Delta Green setting by Pagan Publishing.

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If 1st edition AD&D is your thing, RPGNow has a megabundle of goodness u as part of their OSR sale.

For $14.95 you get pdfs of the 1st edition AD&D Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, Monster Manual 2, Oriental Adventures, The Wilderness Survival Guide, and the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide.

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Magnus, Robot Fighter #4, November 1963. “Menace from the Depths” Cover art by Russ Manning. Underwater food-processing facilities are sabotaged by a robot that wants to destroy all mankind. 
Two great things about this cover. First, check out the head on that robot! It’s a “think-rob” so of course its head is huge. Second, Magnus proves to be the exception to the rule by being a male wearing a cellophane suit.
http://bit.ly/2rcvo1j

#scifi #sciencefiction #1960s
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This #WonderWoman featurette is freakin' amazing! Find 13+ minutes to watch this; you won't be disappointed. #dccomics #superheroes

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Star Trek Gold Key comics, #21-30. Look at Spock daring to wear a red shirt!
http://bit.ly/2rlBKi2

#scifi #sciencefiction #1970s
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