Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Geek Shit Wednesday Vol. IX

I'm kind of a space case today, as is Geek Shit Wednesday.  Enjoy!

SETI is Broke Just Like Everyone Else

The SETI Institute announced that its primary facility, the Allen Telescope Array, has run out of funds and will be suspending operations.

While data for the program can be collected from any facility, the Berkeley funded installation of 42-dishes will be put into "hibernation" until the money to reopen operations can resume.

From SETI's website:

"In an April 22, 2011 email (PDF) to Allen Telescope Array stakeholder level donors, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson described in detail the recent decision by U.C. Berkeley, our partner in the Array, to reduce operations of the Hat Creek Radio Observatory (and thus the Allen Telescope Array) to a hibernation state effective this month. NSF University Radio Observatory funding to Berkeley for HCRO operations has been reduced to approximately one-tenth of its former level and, concurrently, growing State of California budget shortfalls have severely reduced the amount of state funds available for support of the HCRO site."

I guess ET will have to wait just a little longer to give us a call.  And how will Jodi Foster resolve her daddy issues?!

Bill Introduced:  NASA!  Get Off Yo Asses, We Goin' To Da Moon!

In a reversal of the Obama administration's stance that long term missions to Mars and the Moon are too costly, a group of US House members have sponsored a bill directing NASA to build a permanent base on the Moon.

"Most of the bill they have sponsored is spent providing justification for a strong US presence in space, with military (space is called the 'ultimate high ground'), economic, and educational reasons highlighted. The meat of the bill, however, states, 'the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall plan to return to the Moon by 2022 and develop a sustained human presence on the Moon, in order to promote exploration, commerce, science, and United States preeminence in space as a stepping stone for the future exploration of Mars and other destinations. The budget requests and expenditures of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall be consistent with achieving this goal.' Currently, it has four sponsors."

In related news, this is perhaps my favorite moment in 30 Rock, one of my favorite shows:

[Ars Technica]

Action Comics' 900th Issue

Superman hits another milestone today as the 900th issue of Action Comics hits the newsstands.  What's in the 96-page issue?  Some juicy stuff-- the Man of Steel renounces his American citizenship, has a pizza party with his Kryptonian pals, and discusses philosophy with an interstellar deity racked with guilt.  Now in stores.


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