Tuesday 26th of September 2023

the good old days...

good old days...


In their article “Men from Planet Earth” (1989), Irina Chepik and Natalia Tarasenko remind us of the hoax performed on the American public on the 30th of October 1938. Martian flying saucers had been spotted near New Jersey. Police mobile units were on the chase and a deep-voiced serious radio-newsreader was followed by an address to the nation by President Franklin Roosevelt who called on the US citizens to rally against the invaders. The populace went crazy, trains got packed and highways got jammed with people escaping the threat. It was only a fictitious radio-play by Orson Welles. 

What have we learn since then? NOTHING. 

Cutting the actors and directors of Hollywood out of their jobs, the radio plays are now directly performed by the political parties in various witch-hunts and sad finger-pointing. Wars, such as the war on Saddam WMDs, have been invented on the whim of the CIA feeding fake information to the media and to the “President” under request from a presidential war-seeking machine.

Now, the hunt for evidence to blame the defeat of Hillary Clinton on the Russians continues, still without a single proof. The Mueller inquiry is of course uncovering a lot of conflicting points — none of which are showing collusion, though the enquiry is managed like a Roman Catholic inquisition started in the 12th century and continuing to this day. Guilty! Plead guilty or we remove your toenails! Renounce the Ruskies or you’ll be quartered by four horses into bits.

The Russian-American relationship has seen better days, even during the soviet era. What has recently irked the US, recently meaning since 2001, is that a little guy called Putin, steered Russia towards better days when the US thought it had destroyed that country (encouraged it to self-destroy) and could plunder its resources, like eating caviar by the ladle-full at a rich GoldenKoshstein convention in black tie. But fear not, with these better days in Russia, people often forget how they got there and like all humans, they want more, instantly, especially when the shiny hubcaps of advertising make you feel envy and greed — and the lure of McDonald’s. The US media tightening rules in order to limit Russian media in the US are appalling and unfortunately deserved a similar response from the Russians on this score.

Even before Ronald told Gorbi to “tear down this wall”, there had been US forces designated to whiteant the USSR. The US secret services (CIA, NSA and whatever alphabet soup logos represent this spying) always eager to promote their brand of “democracy” (otherwise known as split/shit-divided-crapocracy) for easy friendly “cooperation” (also known as “You’re with us or we bomb the shit out of you”) had been working hard to implant the vagaries of “freedom” (reputed to be an “open market for all — mostly for the rich — to be plundered with greed, guns, god, ignorance and bullying”).

At the time of this whiteanting (read “US empire building”) was going on since the end of WWII (and even during WWII), there were some genuine people trying to ease the tensions of the “Cold War” — that moment of freezing relationship mostly manufactured by the USA — because communism in the US was (and still is) far more hated than terrorism. Phew....

One aspect of cooperation was space technology, and despite the reluctance and hatred of the situation by the US, the Russian space technology proved to be as good often more reliable than that of the US. Irina Chepik and Natalia Tarasenko continue:

The link between Soviet and American “space artists” are growing in the long awaited atmosphere of detente. A natural expression of this growth was the signing of a five-year agreement between the USSR Union of Artists and the American Planetary Society. This cooperation will peak in 1992, declared the Year of  Space by the United Nations.  In accordance with the agreement, a joint exhibition of paintings will be organised in the Soviet Union in April 1989, as well as exchange trips by groups of Soviet and American artists. In August, the exhibition will be hosted by US cities.

By that time — the end of the summer of 1989 — two “space artists”, Robert McCall and Andrei Sokolov, friends for many years, hope to finish the large joint work (two by four metes). They will finish it in McCall’s studio in Arizona. The picture will be shown in the USA at the Soviet-American art exhibition and then presented to the United nations.

The painting in the photograph (no credit available) is only one sketched version of the work...

see also: http://www.mccallstudios.com/a-new-dawn/

So all is well on the space front...

An agreement between Russia and the United States on the creation of a lunar orbital station would open new opportunities in space research, John Logsdon, professor of political science at George Washington University told Radio Sputnik, commenting on the recent steps taken toward enhanced space cooperation by the two countries.

The Russian-US joint initiatives in the space field can positively affect Moscow-Washington relations despite all the existing differences in the political sphere, John Logsdon said.

“I think it’s a very positive thing. The United States and Russia have been key partners in the international space station now for almost 20 years and this is an extension of that cooperation. The two space communities have learned to work together very well on the space station and this is the next step in extending the human activity beyond Earth’s orbit,” Logsdon said.

According to the analyst, an agreement between Russia and the United States on the creation of a lunar orbital station would open new opportunities in space research.


Meanwhile the USA is blaming Russia for sins it has not committed, including having nukes in space which are contrary to the Space Agreement, etc. Watching Space Cowboys, you would think that. It's only Hollywood entertaining rubbish of course... and while the US wants to “control space” for themselves, they heap shit on the Russians and the Chinese for trying to stop them. 


Gus Leonisky

Your local spaceman

"our adversaries have been watching us"...

US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten has noted that there are no rules of engagement when it comes to military conflict in space, but international norms are needed.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten has alleged that China and Russia have reportedly been developing capabilities, including jamming and laser weapons, that can target military assets of the United States, based in space.

"Our adversaries have been watching us ever since the first Gulf War… The Chinese and the Russians, in particular, for the last twenty plus years have been watching what we have been doing and developing capabilities, and they have not been secret about it. They have been… testing weapons, building weapons to operate from the earth in space — jamming weapons, laser weapons, and they have not kept it secret," Hyten said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California as broadcast by CNN.

According to the general, Moscow and Beijing were allegedly building those capabilities to challenge the United States and its allies as well as to "change the balance of power in the world."

Hyten acknowledged that there were currently no rules of engagement when it comes to military conflict in space, adding that international norms were needed.

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As if we weren't watching them?

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of astronauts and cosmonauts...



The names of Robert McCall and Andrei Sokolov appeared together two years after the 1973 congress of the International Astronomical Federation, in Baku, Azerbaijan. In conjunction with the Soyuz-Appollo space flight programme, both artists imagined the stars and planets to be explored in their paintings. McCall had done a lot of promotional illustrations for 2001 — A Space Odyssey, beforehand.

It is a pity that the US has more or less decided to go it alone and now blame the others. See:


no rules of engagement...


Read from top here and there...


a new star is born...

A tiny signal, dating back to the birth of the first stars in our universe, has been detected by astronomers for the first time.

Key points
  • Astronomers detected a miniscule radio signal that indirectly indicates the presence of the earliest stars
  • The discovery was made using of a small antenna in a pristine, radio quiet area in Western Australia
  • While the frequency of the signal was predicted, scientists were surprised by the strength of the signal
  • The discovery has thrown up new mysteries for physicists around the properties of dark matter

They have picked up a radio signature produced just 180 million years after the Big Bang using a simple antenna in the West Australian outback.

The ground breaking discovery, reported today in the journal Nature, sheds light on a period of time known as the "cosmic dawn", when radiation from the first stars started to alter the primordial gas soup surrounding them.

It could also completely revolutionise our understanding about dark matter, the invisible structure that makes up the bulk of our universe today.

"The signal confirms our expectations for when stars show up in the universe," said the study's lead author Judd Bowman of Arizona State University.


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Read from top. Read also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9714

the right message of détente...

NASA defended its invitation to Roscosmos Director-General Dmitry Rogozin to speak at the space agency’s Houston headquarters in early 2019 from detractors in Washington who say the sanctioned Russian official’s visit “sends the wrong message.”

"The US/Russian relationship in space dates back to the 1970s," NASA spokeswoman Megan Powers said in a statement to Politico January 1. "NASA has historically invited the head of the Russian space agency to visit the United States. Following this precedent, and Administrator [Jim] Bridenstine's October visit to Russia to participate in crew launch activities to the International Space Station, NASA invited the Director-General of Roscosmos to visit NASA facilities in the United States," she said, "and discuss our ongoing space-related cooperation."

Details about the proposed visit remain scarce. "Planning for a potential visit by the Director-General is still under way," the NASA spokeswoman told Politico.

Democrats unsatisfied with the prospect of peaceful cooperation between Washington and Moscow in matters related to space lashed out at NASA, pointing out that Rogozin is on the United States sanctions list. "It absolutely sends the wrong message to lift sanctions, even temporarily, for the purpose of inviting him to speak to students at one of our nation's premier universities," said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), one of the leading Russia hawks in Washington, according to the Politico report.

Neoconservative voices joined Warner's disapproving sentiment in yet another example of how liberal Democrats and war hawks are increasingly finding themselves on the same side of foreign policy issues. "Wow," said Heather Conley of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in comments to Politico. "What is difficult for me to understand is what is to be gained for giving a sanctioned individual a public platform."

A former Defense Department official who served during the Obama administration told the political news publication the potential visit was "appalling" and "utterly inappropriate."


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for a global scientific community...

Science Diplomacy Leverages Alliances to Build Global Bridges

History of U.S. and Soviet Scientific Research Collaborations and Exchanges Offers Lessons for Today


by: Anne Q. Hoy

Nobel laureate and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne counts his decades-long collaboration with Russian experimental physicist Vladimir Braginsky as pivotal to scientific research that led to the first detection of two colliding black holes in the distant universe.

The 2015 detection of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was not only the birth of a whole new way of studying the universe, a realization predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and a discovery that earned Thorne and two other physicists the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. It also validated the enduring benefits of science diplomacy across the globe.

“Braginsky was my principal mentor on research at the interface between theory and experiment. His mentoring made possible many of my contributions to LIGO, and our tight collaboration led to his own major LIGO contributions,” said Thorne. “He became the ‘conscience’ of LIGO in the 1990s and 2000s, identifying a series of sources of noise that we had not been aware of, and triggering the LIGO Scientific Collaboration to scope out those noise sources and devise ways to deal with them.”

Thorne and Braginsky, who died in 2016, traveled to each other’s laboratories, coauthored scientific papers, shared findings, traded questions and formed a lasting friendship that began with Thorne’s first visit to Braginsky’s lab in 1968 and extended into the 2000s.

As scientists forged such cooperative relationships despite tensions between their governments, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was pioneering efforts to spread the global reach of science and technology by engaging in scientific leadership initiatives through international exchanges and scientific partnerships.

In 2008, AAAS formally established the Center for Science Diplomacy to advance the value of what then AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner described as a program “guided by the overarching goal of using science and scientific cooperation to promote international understanding and prosperity. AAAS believes this use of scientific collaboration and communication is essential both to the advancement of science and its use for the benefit of our global society.” Leshner is now serving as AAAS’s interim CEO.

At the center’s opening, Vaughan Turekian, then AAAS’s chief international officer, said the center would “contribute to the long and methodical building of relationships” and pursue advances to address global challenges such as climate change, sustainability, and health care innovation.

A year later, AAAS joined five representatives of other leading scientific organizations in a meeting with North Korea’s State Academy of Science. During the rare visit, U.S. scientists met with their counterparts, toured government research institutions and reached an agreement to pursue cooperative issues that paved the way for a reciprocal visit of North Korean scientists to U.S. laboratories.

AAAS has continued to develop such scientific agreements, including a 2013 agreement with China’s Association for Science Technology, a 2014 pact between AAAS and the Cuban Academy of Sciences, a 2017 agreement with Mexico’s Presidential Science Advisory Council and a 2018 agreement with the Science Commission of Chile’s Senate.


Read more:

A version of this article was published in AAAS News & Notes in the August 30, 2019, issue of Science.


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seriously spoofy boys and dads relationship...

Ad Astra relies on Brad Pitt to its detriment, failing to launch science fiction thriller about fathers and sons...


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This movie that I haven't seen sounds like a "serious" sequel to Space Cowboys — a spoof on US-Russia space relations an sub-cooperation when blueprints of technilogy are stolen or passed on... Read at top.


NATO does science fiction...

A NATO maritime expert discovered a conflict hotspot, as crucial as the Persian Gulf, that no one else has heard of. Apparently, the mysterious “Sea of Asimov” urgently needs NATO’s protection. The error was later corrected.

“Recent events in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Asimov have demonstrated the need for naval power and for NATO forces’ to be able to find and destroy mines, declares a NATO puff piece featuring Maritime Officer Paul Beckley, who apparently has traveled to distant galaxies not accessible to non-NATO countries.

The article discussed the importance of Beckley’s role without giving any further insight into the enigmatic body of water he’s helping to mine-sweep for NATO. Certainly, the Sea of Asimov is not found on any human maps, from this planet anyway. What else does Beckley do there? Fight off space pirates? Subdue Cthulhu and his minions? Inquiring minds want to know.


NATO aims to protect FAR AWAY Worlds in Other dimensions
Paul Beckley, a maritime expert at NATO calls to protect the Sea of Asimov located, undoubtedly, in The Collapsing Universe of Isaac Asimov.
NATO - stop pretending to be an army, you are all private ACTORS. @mod_russia


The reference to the fictional sea remained on NATO’s website for more than 12 hours, before the alliance quietly changed it to “Sea of Azov,” a real-life body of water encircled by Russia and eastern Ukraine. 

NATO’s military superiority to Russia is “eroding,” according to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. China’s capabilities are creeping up quickly as well, he told reporters on Tuesday following a meeting of the alliance’s military committee. But who needs military superiority when you have access to science fiction worlds?


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vale Алексе́й Архи́пович Лео́нов...

Legendary space explorer Aleksei Leonov, who died at the age of 85, was a true romantic. He believed in aliens and drew stunning pictures of cosmonauts and far away planets all his life.

Leonov had been interested in drawing since he was a kid and initially tried joining an art school. But the young man from a poor rural family couldn’t afford to move to a big city.

He enlisted in a training program for military pilots instead and, proving his skills in that field, ended up being recruited to the USSR’s maiden cosmonaut squad together with Yury Gagarin.

In 1965, Leonov became the first man ever to exit his capsule while in the Earth’s orbit and perform a spacewalk which lasted 12 minutes and was riddled with emergency situations.

Ten years later, the Siberian native made history again as the commander of the Soviet crew during the 1975 Soyuz-Apollo mission that saw the Russian and American modules docking with each other in space.

But Leonov never thought of giving up on his art, even taking a pencil with him to his space missions to make sketches of what he saw through the ship’s viewing port.


Unlike some of his colleagues, Leonov never claimed to have met aliens during his space mission, but said that he was ready to sacrifice his life in order to make contact with extraterrestrials.If we have life here on Earth, why shouldn’t it exist elsewhere? There’s a billion galaxies out there, he argued.

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we salute yuri gagarin...

Earlier, the US State Department's Russian-language Facebook page posted a congratulation for Cosmonautics Day, but they neglected to mention the name of the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to go into space.

The head of Roscosmos, the Russian state-owned company responsible for space programs, Dmitry Rogozin, took a jab at the US State Department for not mentioning Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in their Facebook post in Russian when commemorating the first human journey to space

Rogozin slammed the post, saying that "efforts to erase the Russian mark from world history" would not be successful and will only backfire against the "overseas felons" who made that attempt


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space competition...

A Twitter duel broke out between the head of the Roscosmos agency and the SpaceX CEO, who said Russia won’t be successful unless it catches up with multiple-use rocket technology – prompting a sharp rebuke.

Aspiring Mars explorer and SpaceX founder Elon Musk fired the first shots in the online war of words after Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin announced that his agency will charge 30 percent less for space launches “to increase our share on the international markets.”

He then mentioned SpaceX, saying that the measure comes in retaliation for tactics used “by American companies funded from the US [government] budget.”

“SpaceX rockets are 80 percent reusable, theirs are 0 percent. This is the actual problem,” Musk shot back on Twitter.

Rogozin then said that Roscosmos has no need for advice from Washington.

Musk continued, tweeting that while Russia has a pool of “very talented engineers,” it should set reusability as a goal “or success is impossible."

Backing up his claim, the entrepreneur likened expendable rockets – used for commercial or research missions by most space powers – to “expendable airplanes,” the existence of which would look strange nowadays.


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Yuri who?…..

Yur outta here.

A space conference held in honor of famed Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin has been renamed because he was Russian.

In a now-deleted announcement, the non-profit Space Foundation said that “in light of current world events,” they would be changing “Yuri’s Night” to “A Celebration of Space: Discover What’s Next” at its Space Symposium conference, Futurism reported.

“The focus of this fundraising event remains the same — to celebrate human achievements in space while inspiring the next generation to reach for the stars,” read the former update.

In 1961, Gagarin, a Soviet Union pilot, became the first person to enter space, signaling a major escalation of the US-Soviet Cold War space race. He was followed that same year by American Alan Shepard.








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The colour of the space suits of three Russian cosmonauts who arrived at the International Space Station on 18 March has triggered some buzz in Western media. Some outlets suggested that the yellow suits with blue stripes on them indicated the cosmonauts' support for Kiev amid Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

Roscosmos has explained the meaning behind Russian cosmonauts' yellow and blue suits. In contrast to what some Western media outlets viewed as a political expression, the colours refer to symbols of the university that all three men graduated from - Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

On his Twitter account, Rogozin recommended refraining from looking for other meanings in the space suits. 

One of the cosmonauts, Oleg Artemyev, echoed the sentiment, noting that sometimes a colour is just a colour and not necessarily a reference to some country's national flag.


"Colour is just colour. It has nothing to do with Ukraine. Otherwise, you will have to recognise [Ukraine's] ownership of the yellow sun in the blue sky", Artemyev said.


The colour pallette of the Russian space suits drew a lot of attention in the Western media on Saturday, with many outlets - among them The Times, The Guardian, CBS News, and others - suggesting that it was an indication of the cosmonauts' political position regarding the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

However, according to Roscosmos' press service chief Dmitry Strugovets, the design of a space uniform is agreed on long before a flight takes place, and it had nothing to do with Ukraine's national symbols. 

Instead, the colours refer to the symbols of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. Oleg Artemyev, along with fellow cosmonauts Sergei Korsakov and Denis Matveev, graduated from this university. Moreover, Artemyev, according to Roscosmos' press service, has already travelled to space wearing the colours of his alma mater.


The three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the ISS on 18 March on board the Soyuz MC-21 spacecraft.











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