Thursday, November 21, 2013

2118 Torched

Read a story the other day about the Sochi Olympic Torch. Apparently, on it's way to Russia for the next Winter Olympics, it's making a stop in outer space. Well actually low earth orbit, but that counts as outer space these days. Even a short run on Virgin Galactic's high looper will count as Lady Gaga singing from space so why shouldn't the space station count.

In any event, the story said that the Olympic torch for the first time would be traveling to space to commemorate the upcoming Olympics in Russia. As Russia currently has the only manned up and down vehicles to do this I guess it makes sense. 

But I kind of got the impression the reporter of the article didn't quite get space, or the whole idea of a vacuum and lack of atmosphere vis-à-vis combustion. Perhaps he watched too many Star Wars episodes as a youth and was under the impression flame could actually exist in space. And that there was the possibility of the sound of an explosion when there was no atmosphere to carry that sound. 

What made me think this was the final line in his article. After saying that the two Russian cosmonauts living at the station were expected to take the torch on a first ever spacewalk, he said the torch would remain unlit for safety reasons. 

And, oh yeah, because there's no oxygen in space to combust to produce a flame. 

I bet he feels pretty dumb. But not as dumb as me, I just went to the Sochi Olympics website to check it all out. And then remembered it's a Russian based website hosted in Russia by Russian web folks. 

I'm expecting my own flameout shortly. As my hard drive gets torched.

America, ya gotta love it. 

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