Tech Net News 05-26-2018

Credit: Alan Bean

Don’t forget that the club could use your hep at Ham Com in just a couple of weeks.

The next club meeting on Tuesday, June 5th will be focused on preparing for Field Day. Even if you can’t join us, get outside and participate!

Perhaps because Field Day is coming up, the contest calendar has only one big event this weekend: the CQ World-Wide WPX CW Contest. Every different callsign prefix counts as a multiplier; you—yes, you—are worth points to someone. If your CW is up to contesting, this should be a really fun event.

In news from the world of science:

Unfortunately, Apollo and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean has passed away today. Not many who walked on the moon are still with us; I’d be surprised if they thought it would be so long before we went back.

China has launched a satellite to serve as a communications relay for its upcoming mission to the far side of the moon. This satellite mission already been a significant accomplishment, because it has revealed just how many newspaper editors think that the moon has a  “dark side.” Even when they’ve fixed the story, you can often see the original headline in the URL, like with this one:

No country or private entity has ever landed on the far side, so the upcoming Chang’e 4 could be a major milestone in selenology.

Two astronomers believe that they have located an asteroid from outside the solar system that is not merely visiting, but that has come to stay: 2015 BZ509.

Because it’s the Year of the Bird, I have to share some bird news with you each week, and this week’s story is pretty interesting. Scientists have been trying to understand how many bird species survived the asteroid impact that killed all the non-avian dinosaurs, and why they did. They’ve come to some interesting conclusions.

And finally, we all need to remember the immortal words of Montgomery Scott: “I canna’ change the laws of physics, cap’n!”. The latest attempts to carefully analyze the “EM Drive” reaction-less, fuel-less, electromagnetic thruster have shown that accidental interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field can account for all of the tiny “thrust” it was reported to produce.