One Time at Space Camp

Here I am at Space Camp
Here I am next to an actual piece of moon rock. Photo credit: Marziah Karch

The summer hasn’t even really started, but I’m already declaring it to be the best summer, ever. This year I was invited to attend a parent and child weekend at Space Camp. (Full disclosure: “Invited” means I didn’t pay camp fees, but I still had to fund my own transportation to get there.)

Yes, this is the same Space Camp that, if you were like me, you dreamed about attending when you were a kid. I’m happy to report it’s every bit as awesome as you’d imagined it would be as a child, except for the part where a series of mishaps mean campers must go on a real space mission to save the planet from impending doom. Continue reading One Time at Space Camp

Airships: The Future of Flight?

steampunk, air travel, airship, blimp,
Photo: El Bibliomata

The imaginary allure of traveling by airship comes to life for fans of steampunk through books like Leviathan and Boneshaker. Oh, the thrill of floating gracefully, quietly, through the clouds with the earth far below! The idea of traveling – or at least transporting goods – via airship may not be so far-fetched, according to Scientific American. Airships may very well be the future of flight.

Fueled with helium, rather than the oh-so-flammable hydrogen that made the Hindenburg a household name, these dirigibles offer potential for a greener, more efficient method of hauling goods.

  • While landing airplanes requires long runways, these airships can land in a much tighter space.
  • Dirigibles cost less to manufacture and to operate.
  • Developers claim that pollution is minimal.
  • Airships could provide delivery of goods to remote locations that are inaccessible by roads or airplanes.
  • The risks of losing cargo is minimal; in the event of an emergency, they just drift to earth and can even land on water.

Lockheed’s airship, SkyTug, is expected to be commercially available by late 2013. You may want to start boning up on steampunk essentials so you are properly equipped!