There was a story on Slashdot regarding the Command Line Interface in modern operating systems. The Graphical User Interfaces in modern operating systems can perform some useful tasks, but I believe that the CLI still has it`s place. I always use the command-line when I am updating my Ubuntu and Linux Mint installations. You can see what is going on and when it comes to file management, a command like cp *.jpg ../Pictures is quicker copying hundreds of files than the GUI file-managers like Nautilus or Dolphin. A while ago there was a group that wanted to get rid of the virtual consoles that Linux offers, but that was voted down. The many Linux distributions available now could be used without touching the Terminal window, but learning the command-line shell makes you a much better Linux user and you may perform many tasks faster than someone who only uses the GUI. And the many shells available for Linux, such as Zsh, Tcsh, BASH and csh give you a wide range of command-line shells that will appeal to any Linux user.
The Orion spacecraft has arrived at the Kennedy space center, this is the spacecraft that is set to carry astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and to the Red Planet by the 2030`s. I am surprised that NASA would be planning this type of mission, the asteroid belt is between Mars and Jupiter, surely heading to Mars first would make more sense, but I guess they could swing past the Red Planet on the way to the asteroids and take some photos on the way. But this is a good sign, the private spacecraft that delivered cargo to the International Space Station was another milestone on the road to the private conquest of space travel. In the 1908`s and the 1990`s there were many documentaries that showed a future that would have a manned base on the Moon and missions to Mars. The current economic situation we are in does not bide well for the future of America, their economy is going down the toilet. China have sent astronauts into space and waved a flag during a space-walk.
There were many movies featuring missions into space, the famous Arthur C Clarke book “2001” had two brave astronauts traveling billions of Kilometers to Saturn to investigate the mysterious Stargate. In the Stanley Kubrik film adaptation the setting was moved to Jupiter instead. The footage of the Moon landing by the spherical spaceship that Heywood Floyd rode to the Moon base was a very realistic depiction of actual spaceflight. No stupid artificial gravity and magical space-drives that some science fiction books and SciFi movies of late have used. The Jules Verne book “From The Earth to the Moon” featured a 900 foot long, 10 foot diameter gun barrel that fired a projectile to the Moon with 100 feet of gun-cotton. The gun was built near present-day Cape Canaveral and although the idea of firing people out of a cannon is ludicrous, the basic premise of the story was astounding. A space elevator is a more realistic method of reaching space than a cannon.
It is incredible that we are in the year 2012 and we are still only using a Space Station and not Moon bases, but this will take some time to eventuate. Using robotic probes is the best idea for exploring the Solar System past Mars, the amount of radiation is so great that humans would not last very long at all. That is why we need to concentrate on developing better methods to protect the astronauts on their way to Mars. We can send a probe to an Asteroid, we even have a probe heading to Pluto to get a better look at one of the furthest objects in the solar system. There are three dwarf planets that have been discovered outside the orbit of Pluto, these would be extremely cold frigid worlds, even Methane and Ammonia would freeze solid. But they would be worth exploring though. Maybe the New Horizons space probe could take a look. it is currently headed towards the dwarf planet Pluto and then out to the Kuiper belt. This will shed some light on the makeup of the outer Solar System.