#PKD ‘Time out of Joint’, 1959

“What would you get on your crystal set?” Vic asked his son. “Are there any stations still transmitting?” It had been his impression that radio stations had folded up several years ago.

Ragle said, “He can probably monitor ship-to-shore signals. Aircraft landing instructions.”

“Police calls,” Sammy declared.

“That’s right,” Ragle said. “The police still use radio for their cars.” Holding out his hand he accepted the crystal set from Vic. “I can trace the circuit later, Sammy,” he said. “But I’ve got too good a hand right now. How about tomorrow?”

Junie said, “Maybe he can pick up flying saucers.”

“Yes,” Marge agreed. “That’s what you ought to aim for.”

“I never thought of that,” Sammy said.

“There’s no such thing as flying saucers,” Bill Black said testily. He fiddled with his cards.

“Oh no?” Junie said. “Don’t kid yourself. Too many people have seen them for you to dismiss it. Or don’t you accept their documented testimony?”

“Weather balloons,” Bill Blake said. Vic was inclined to agree with him, and he saw Ragle nodding. “Meteors. Meteorological phenomena.”

“Absolutely,” Ragle said.

“But I read that people had actually ridden in them,” Margo said.

They all laughed, except Junie.

“It’s true,” Margo said. “I heard it over TV.”

Vic said, “I’ll go as far as admitting that there seems to be some sort of odd-ball stuff going on up there.” He remembered one experience of his own. The summer before, during a camping trip, he had watched a bright object flash across the sky at such velocity that no plane, even a jet-propelled plane, could have matched it. The thing had more the manner of a projectile. In an instant it had whisked off over the horizon. And occasionally, at night, he had heard rumblings, as if heavy vehicles were passing at reduced velocity across the sky. Windows had vibrated, so it had not been head-noises, as Margo had decided. In an article in a digest medical magazine she had read that head-noises indicate high blood pressure, and after that she had wanted him to visit their health-plan doctor for a checkup.

Philip K. Dick

Time Out Of Joint

(1959)

Copyright © 1959 by Philip K. Dick.
ISBN 0-8398-2480-7

NASA calls off next Mars mission

Blue skies on Mars. That’s a new one. -Total Recall, 1986

Follow The Money

NASA's InSight Mars lander spacecraft in a Lockheed Martin clean room near Denver. As part of a series of deployment tests, the spacecraft was commanded to deploy its solar arrays in the clean room to test and verify the exact process that it will use on the surface of Mars. NASA’s InSight Mars lander spacecraft in a Lockheed Martin clean room near Denver.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nasa-cancels-launch-of-next-mars-probe/news-story/2b508a40c1bedee7b56e1b0158b7161b

NASA is calling off its next mission to Mars because there isn’t enough time to fix a leaky seal on a key science instrument.

The InSight spacecraft was set for launch in March.

The problem is in a seal around the lander’s seismometer, which was designed to measure ground movement on the red planet.

NASA managers and French designers of the instrument said on Tuesday they must now decide whether the leak in the vacuum-sealed connector needs to be repaired, redesigned or the mission scrapped.

The next opportunity to launch the InSight lander is in May 2018 since the best chances of launching missions between Earth and Mars occur for just a few weeks every 26 months.

“We’re close enough to launch but, unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to try to identify the leak, fix…

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Little Green Men

You’ve seen them in pickle jars from Puerto Rico, seen them mummified from the Alto Plana Atacalma and elsewhere- they were even conducting burials in eighteenth century Edinburgh… Now check out a live one, complete with trainers!