Author Archives: roamingfirehydrant

About roamingfirehydrant

I get paid to break things.

Look out below!

A couple of interesting stories in the past few days. First, a 500-lb meteor believed to be from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter entered the Earth’s atmosphere over western Pennsylvania. The fireball could be seen in Ohio, West Virginia, and New York as well. Meteorite fragments might be found around Kittanning, PA.

Second, Manuel Moreno-Ibàñez of the Institute of Space Studies (CSIC-IEEC) in Barcelona, Spain has a new model that predicts when meteors become fireballs and where meteorites may land.

Last but not least, Craig alerted me to the Spaceweather report of “the re-entry and breakup of a Chinese rocket body, specifically stage 3 of the CZ-4B rocket that launched the Yaogan Weixing 26 satellite in Dec. 2014.”

Photo taken by Donny Mott, Spirit Lake, Idaho.

Photo taken by Donny Mott, Spirit Lake, Idaho.

Looks like anything that survived re-entry landed in Canada.

Leave a comment

Filed under space

Public Service Announcement

I’m guessing early half of 1990’s? Sinatra and Nelson sang together on the Duets II album in 1994, so I would think this was released around that time.

Thanks for the thumbs up, gentlemen.

Leave a comment

Filed under space

Inside the Soviet space program

Thanks to Ricochet for finding the free e-book translation of the memoirs of Boris Chertok. This four-part series covers Boris’ 60-year career, from reverse engineering the V-2 to Sputnik to losing the Moon race to building space stations. I’m looking forward to reading it. Start with Part 1 here to download the pdf.

1 Comment

Filed under space

New bone growth therapy to be tested in space

Astronauts aboard the ISS and scientists stationed on Earth will study a bone-forming molecule called NELL-1 and assess its ability to promote bone formation and protect against bone degeneration.

“A group of 40 rodents will be sent to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, where they will live for two months in a microgravity environment during the first ever test of NELL-1 in space,” states NASA’s chief scientist for the ISS, Dr. Julie Robinson….

The team hopes that the research project will allow them to learn more about preventing bone loss and osteoporosis. In particular, they hope the study will provide new insights into how to heal and rebuild the type of large bone defects that occur in wounded military personnel.


The big target is preventing or healing osteoporosis, but the comment about wounded veterans caught my eye. I thought this was worth sharing.

Comments Off

Filed under space

What a difference a decade makes

In cleaning up my office, I found “The New Age of Exploration: NASA’s Direction for 2005 and Beyond”.  Now that it’s 2015, let’s see what we accomplished and what died on the vine.

The first thing to remember is that the Space Shuttle was still grounded at the time and would not fly until July 2005.  Administrator Sean O’Keefe talked about President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, begun in 2004 and cancelled by Obama.  O’Keefe was already planning on leaving NASA and “move on to other challenges.”

Some of the long-term objectives listed were.
Continue reading


Filed under space

How a pair of cadets from Alabama started the 1826 Eggnog Riot at West Point |

Roberts, Burnley and Center managed to get the alcohol into the north barracks and, on Christmas Eve, the cadets spiked a batch of eggnog and proceeded to get drunk. The original group of nine cadets, including a young man named Jefferson Davis, was joined by more cadets, and still more, until soon dozens were staggering through the halls, some armed with muskets and bayonets.

via How a pair of cadets from Alabama started the 1826 Eggnog Riot at West Point |

**waves at Blaster**

This is one year I don’t have eggnog or fruitcake.

1 Comment

Filed under army

Geminid meteor shower this weekend

Hope there’s clear skies for you.

The online Slooh Community Observatory will host a live webacst of the Geminid meteor display on Saturday night beginning at 8 p.m. EST (0100 Dec. 14 GMT).You can also watch the Slooh webcast directly:

More skywatching info at


Filed under space