Friday, March 8, 2013

Scientific Basis for a Viking Myth

The Vikings traveled far, to France, to Iceland, to Greenland, to Baffin Island and to Newfoundland. But they had no compass. How did they navigate, especially when clouds blocked the sun? Legend tells of a sun-stone that could locate the sun on a cloudy day. In 1967 an archaeologist proposed Icelandic feldspar as the mythical stone. In 2011, a scientist demonstrated its effectiveness. Now we have found a Viking shipwreck with a crystal found beside a navigational tool.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Going to Mars Sooner?

NASA plans a manned trip to Mars in the 2030's. A private businessman wants to pull together a trip in 2018. Neither one involves landing, just orbiting.

Safety requirements in the private world are a lot lower than for NASA.
I provide the article from three sources. Compare the comments.

It is also possible that they will be visiting a much-changed Mars. An extinction-sized comet will  make a close approach to Mars in October 2014. It probably won't hit.