Tag: Harvard

US Army Sends Mystery Mini-Shuttle Into Space

 

By Aglaia Staff(Newswire)

The military’s small, top-secret version of the space shuttle rocketed into orbit Tuesday for a repeat mystery mission, two years after making the first flight of its kind.

The Air Force launched the unmanned spacecraft Tuesday hidden on top of an Atlas V rocket. As if on cue, clouds quickly swallowed up the rocket as it disappeared out over the ocean.

It is the second flight for this original X-37B spaceplane. The craft circled the planet for seven months in 2010. A second X-37B spacecraft spent more than a year in orbit.

These high-tech mystery machines — 29 feet long — are about one-quarter the size of NASA’s old space shuttles and can land automatically on a runway. The two previous touchdowns occurred in Southern California; this one might end on NASA’s three-mile-long runway once reserved for the space agency’s shuttles.

The military isn’t saying much if anything about this new secret mission known as OTV-3, or Orbital Test Vehicle, flight No. 3. In fact, launch commentary ended 17 minutes into the flight and a news blackout followed.

But one scientific observer, Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, speculates the spaceplane is carrying sensors designed for spying and likely is serving as a testbed for future satellites. He dismisses rumors of “exotic ideas” for the X-37B as weaponry or shadowing a Chinese satellite.

While acknowledging he does not know what the spaceplane is carrying, McDowell said on-board sensors could be capable of imaging or intercepting transmissions of electronic emissions from terrorist training sites in Afghanistan or other hot spots. “All the sorts of things that spy satellites generally do,” he said.

The beauty of a reusable spaceplane is that it can be launched on short notice based on need, McDowell said.

What’s important about this flight is that it is the first reflight.

“That is pretty cool,” McDowell said, “reusing your spacecraft after a runway landing. That’s something that has only really been done with the shuttle.”

Now retired museum pieces, NASA’s space shuttles stretch 122 feet long, and have 78-foot wingspans and weights of more than 170,000 pounds. They were launched, from 1981 to 2011, with two strap-on booster rockets and an external fuel tank feeding three main engines. The X-37B wingspan is 15 feet, and the 11,000-pound, Boeing-built vessel requires the United Launch Alliance‘s hefty Atlas V for hoisting. It is solar powered.

The two previous secret X-37B flights were in 200-plus-mile-high orbits, circling at roughly 40-degree angles to the equator, as calculated by amateur satellite trackers. That means the craft flew over the swatch between 40 degrees or so north latitude and 40 degrees or so south latitude.

That puts Russia’s far north out of the spaceplane’s observing realm, McDowell noted.

“It might be studying Middle Eastern latitudes or it might just be being used for sensor tests over the United States,” he said.

McDowell speculates that this newest flight will follow suit.

The International Space Station, by comparison, orbits about 250 miles high but at a much steeper 51.6-degree inclination, or angle to the equator, that covers more territory.

The X-37B program, which dates back to 1999, is operated by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and geared toward space experimentation.

Some scientists — like Laura Grego of the Union of Concerned Scientists — argue the Air Force could accomplish the same objectives by using cheaper, more efficient spacecraft that either burn up on entry or parachute down.

“The ability to return to Earth carries a high price,” Grego said in a statement.

 

 US Army Sends Mystery Mini Shuttle Into Space
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Kinky Sex Club Approved At Harvard

By The Aglaia Team

A club for people who want to discuss kinky sex was approved Friday at the world-renowned Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass.

The Committee on Student Life approved 15 student organizations, including Harvard College Munch.

This group, which began meeting informally a year ago, has grown to about 30 members, according to the school’s student newspaper The Crimson.

Michael, who was granted anonymity by the newspaper, started the club last October.

He told the newspaper that club recognition will provide a sense of relief for current and future members knowing they are receiving institutional support. Munch is described as a low-pressure social gathering for people involved in or interested in BDSM — bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism.

Being officially recognized on campus will allow the group to put up posters for events and promote Munch’s presence. They will also be eligible for funding that will provide food and drinks for their gatherings.

Michael says that most members’ kinks fall on the BDSM spectrum.

Mae, a member of the organization who asked to be identified by her middle name, told the newspaper that the group has made her feel comfortable to discuss her interests.

“I didn’t think that anyone was even remotely interested (in kink) on campus,” Mae told The Crimson. “It’s a community where you can feel safe, and you can feel comfortable talking about (kink).”

Michael, the founder of the club, said the best part of being officially recognized is that it gives the club legitimacy and that “we are being taken seriously.”

Nathalie Miraval, who reported on this story for the Crimson, said this group is only a discussion group.

“It’s not like these kids are coming together to have sex,” she told the Toronto Star in an interview. “They are just trying to open up the discussion about sex on campus.”

300px BDSM collar back Kinky Sex Club Approved At Harvard

Visit aglaia.co.in A BDSM-style collar that buckles in the back. This was a featured picture of Lady Byron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Justin J. Lehmiller, a lecturer in Harvard’s psychology department and a sex columnist, said that he believes that students should learn about the diversity in sexual behavior.

 Kinky Sex Club Approved At Harvard
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Colin Powell Backs Obama

By Sunil Kumar

Powell, who served as secretary of state under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, praised Obama for ending the war in Iraq and winding down the war in Afghanistan, adding that he “did not get us into any new wars.” The retired four-star general went on to call Obama’s actions to protect the U.S. from terrorist threats “very, very solid.”

Powell said he had the “utmost respect” for Mitt Romney but was concerned about his shifting foreign policies. “The governor who was speaking on Monday night at the debate was saying things that were quite different from what he’s said earlier, so I’m not quite sure what Governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy,” he said.

The announcement came as a surprise to the president and his campaign.

 Colin Powell Backs Obama

Visit aglaia.co.in, Namaste! English: Official photograph portrait of former U.S. President George W. Bush. Português: Foto oficial de George W. Bush, presidente dos Estados Unidos da América. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Colin Powell Backs Obama
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