Ira Levin's career of over fifty years was "characterized by equal success as both a novelist and playwright. Levin's plays include the comedy hit Critic's Choice, the musical Drat! The Cat, and Deathtrap - the longest running thriller in Broadway history. His iconic novels include Rosemary's Baby, The Boys from Brazil, and The Stepford Wives."
Europe's automated cargo ship docks with space station
Europe's second Automated Transfer Vehicle firmly docked to the International Space Station Thursday, delivering fresh equipment, rocket fuel and oxygen to the orbiting lab hours before space shuttle Discovery was scheduled to blast off with even more supplies.
Named for Johannes Kepler, the German astronomer and mathematician, the ATV arrived at the aft port of the station's Zvezda service module at 1559 GMT (10:59 a.m. EST) after a multi-hour rendezvous sequence. FULL STORY
Endeavour ready to leave hangar Monday morning
STEPHEN CLARK posted 2011.02.27
The shuttle Endeavour will take its first steps toward space Monday when the ship moves a quarter-mile from its processing hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building to join a burnt orange fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters.
Endeavour is scheduled to back out of Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 2 around 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) Monday on a 76-wheel transporter. FULL STORY
First U.S. Commercial Spaceport Names New Director
After going more than seven weeks without a leader, the nation's first dedicated commercial spaceport, Spaceport America, now has a new executive director.
Former civilian Air Force official Christine Anderson was announced as the new choice today (Feb. 28) by New Mexico's recently elected Gov. Susana Martinez. Anderson was voted in as executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority by the Spaceport Authority Board of Directors, which oversees Spaceport America. READ MORE
At Least Eight Private Spaceship Builders Make NASA's Shortlist
WASHINGTON — As it awaits congressional action on its 2011 budget, NASA is proceeding with plans to award roughly $200 million to companies developing technologies in support of the agency’s commercial space transportation goals.
NASA contacted eight companies in February, inviting Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Blue Origin, Boeing, Excalibur Almaz, Orbital Sciences Corp., Sierra Nevada Corp., Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to Johnson Space Center in Houston to discuss their proposals for a second round of awards under the agency’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program, according to industry sources. NASA hopes to make the awards in March.
NASA spokesman Michael Braukus said in a Feb. 22 e-mail that procurement regulations prevent NASA from commenting on questions about CCDev. READ MORE
Race to the Moon: 29 Private Teams Vie in Lunar Contest
The roster of competitors is set for the Google Lunar X Prize, a multimillion-dollar race to land a homemade robot on the moon.
Twenty-nine privately funded teams have thrown their hats in the ring, contest organizers announced Feb. 17, and entries are closed. The teams represent 17 nations spanning four continents, and the competitors range from non-profits to university consortia to billion-dollar businesses.
"The official private race to the moon is on," Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, said in a statement. "What I find amazing is that when we first announced this competition, we thought there might be a dozen groups talented and bold enough to compete. Instead, we have nearly 30 teams of heroic innovators showing us a new way to the moon." READ MORE
The creative Italian artist Franco Brambilla has come up with the idea to use old vintage postcards and add images of alien invasions to them. The postcards are mostly from Switzerland, Milan and Santa Barbara, only now they have flying saucers, robots and aliens added.
They look a bit fearful but they are fun as well because the aliens melt in perfectly with the previous motif of the postcards. SEE MORE
Hook in the Book
A CITY's blank white concrete slabs, the giant ones ringed by the less giant, gave space in their midst to a broad pink-floored plazza, a playground in which some two hundred young children played and exercised under the care of a dozen supervisors in white coveralls. Most of the children, bare, tan, and black-haired, were crawling through red and yellow cylinders, swinging on swings, or doing group calisthenics, but in a shadowed corner where a hopscotch grid was inlaid, five of them sat in a close, quiet circle, four of them listening and one speaking.
"They catch animals and eat them and wear their skins," the speaker, a boy of about eight, said. "And they--they do a thing called 'fighting.' That means they hurt each other, on purpose, with their hands or with rocks and things. They don't love and help each other at all."
This Perfect Day: A Novel Ira Levin
Variations on a theme... What if...? Is the protagonist a fairie, a vampire, a space cadet. a pirate...? Is the antagonist a dragon or a doomsday machine?
One of my recent favorite characters is a football player (in the Galactic Football League). Crossover genre at it's finest. SF and Fantasy are grouped together in libraries and the bookstores because no one really knows how to categorize them. The themems range from amusing escapes of fancy to convoluted mystery, light-hearted to intense diatribe, pure entertainment to deep thought provocation. Fantasy worlds, imagination gone wild, and a lot of science and/or speculation.