Despite its drawbacks, the Dual-Keel design offered many possibilities for servicing exploration missions.  Depicted here are a variety of possible upgrades, involving spacecraft construction servicing and transfer.  

Seen here are various ideas for what this might allow.  From Lunar aerobraking ships to a possible Mars vehicle and a large bay designed to repair satellites and to stage interplanetary probes for launch.  

It should be noted that before the project became the ISS, it orbited at a very different inclination, one more favorable to exploration mission departures.


The Airbus Defence and Space agency has released images taken by both Pleiades satellites that show final stages of construction or renovation of all 12 stadiums to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Brazil. The high resolution images were taken between 2012 and 2014 and are available for download here.

From top to bottom, Brasília’s Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Natal’s Arena das Dunas and Arena Pernambuco, in Recife.

Starta bitz fer nevertrustasmilingnid

Warpfire and damnation.

That was Caleb’s main thought, waiting in the staging satellite in high orbit above the mining world. Due to recent issues with security, direct landings were prohibited, and the paperwork for getting down to the surface took longer to file than it did to fill out. Rocky junk heap wasn’t good for anything but flashy crystals, anyway. The crystals just weren’t any good for focusing lasers or any other application, but they looked nice.

The aforementioned security breaches had resulted in a trade embargo limiting the amount of the crystals which could be exported, which was where Caleb’s need to be on-surface came in. He was to make an on-planet “personal purchase.” Finally, a beep sounded over the speakers, before the voice of a bored-sounding guard said, “Now boarding shuttle 51, passengers Rogue Trader Caleb Dene…” Caleb started walking as the list went on.

Taylor Swift Takes Over Tokyo

The saying goes, third time’s a charm. Taylor Swift’s third visit to Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, June 1, was more than a charm—it was brilliant.

“Konbanwa, Tokyo” (good evening, Tokyo), Taylor exclaimed after opening her show with “State of Grace.”

A sold-out crowd of 20,000 filled Tokyo’s Saitama Super Arena as Taylor tore through hits like “Red,” “Mean” and “22.” She then took to a satellite stage in the back of the stadium and with just her and her red Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar played very raw renditions of “Mine” and “You Belong to Me.” When Taylor does songs with just her guitar, the full scope of her songwriting talent comes into view.

Backed by the same band she’s had since 2009, Taylor’s songs had a deeper, richer sonic feel to them, which may have been missing in her more elaborate shows in North America. One of the more personal moments featured Taylor seated at her piano center stage as she told the story of a love lost in “All Too Well.”

Taylor interacted with her fans in a way that was equal parts old church revival and backyard gathering. Everyone felt like they were part of the show. Multicolored glow sticks and illuminated signs made the show feel equal parts rave and circus. The ringleader herself brought the house down as she closed with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Taylor continues through Asia and will finish up the Red Tour on June 12 in Singapore.

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