Daily Breeze | Dec 2, 2006
Germany’s entry for the foreign-film Oscar, “The Lives of Others,” takes us back to the last years of the Cold War and communist East Germany.
In many ways the most successful of the so-called socialist republics, the DDR (to use the German initials) combined German efficiency with Soviet-style control via the Stasi, the secret police who kept seemingly everyone under surveillance. After the collapse of the DDR, all who wanted to do so could look at their Stasi files and thereby find out which of their friends and relations had been informing on them.
This is the basis of “The Lives of Others,” a remarkably well-controlled debut feature by writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. He sets the story in East Berlin during the early ’80s; the wall still stands, and it looks as though communism is permanently ensconced.
Space Daily | Dec 01, 2006
Nikolai Sevastyanov, president of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, said Russia will build the first permanent lunar base in 2015. NASA managers claim that U.S. astronauts will land on the Moon in 2018 and manned lunar bases will subsequently be established. Chinese scientists are also spotlighting their intention to exploit the Moon’s natural resources.
A space elevator consists of satellites, spacecraft and payloads linked by long, thin, flexible elements. The simplest system links two spacecraft by means of a cable with a length of several dozen or even several hundred kilometers. This tandem, which resembles a space sling, revolves around its center of gravity, which in turn has a predetermined orbit. Either of the two spacecraft can therefore launch a payload along any required trajectory without any rocket engines.
The foundations of the space-elevator theory were laid by Russian scientists. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the father of astronautics, suggested using a space-tether system to create artificial gravity aboard orbital stations. Fridrikh Tsander, an early Russian space visionary, advocated placing a space elevator with a 60,000-km tether on the Moon. He believed that gravitational and centrifugal forces would stretch the tether and allow it to be used as a cableway to transport payloads.