Dune map

Maps of Dune

The First edition, first printing of the science fiction classic “Dune” by Frank Herbert has an unusual map of the stories setting printed on the dust jacket. The linked edition had an opening bid of $6,500 but didn’t sell. I haven’t yet read (or watched) Dune but I’m posting this here for when I do.

Dune map

ht: Nelson Minar

After posting this at reddit I was pointed toward these:

See also: The Most Accurate Maps Of Panem

First Space Flower

First Ever Extra Terrestrial Zinnia Flower

First Space Flower

This orange beauty, bathing in natural sunlight for the first time, is the first Zinnia flower to have ever grown entirely in space. It’s part of the VEG-01 experiment on the International Space Station.

The Veggie experiments will allow the crew members to begin the first steps of in-orbit food production as well as educational outreach and recreation for long-duration missions. The experiment allows scientists to gain a better understanding of plant cultivation and will help determine ways to carry out self-sustaining life support systems during long distance space travel, possibly to Mars.

The facility has previously grown lettuce which was consumed by the crew last year. The next set of crops, called VEG-03, has two types of Chinese cabbage and more romaine lettuce. It will arrive at ISS in March via SpaceX’s CRS-8 mission. In 2018, NASA will send a set of dwarf tomato plants to ISS and we could witness crew members eating the first space salads.

Surprising, the Zinnia flowers almost died from over watering, a mold outbreak, and too much bureaucracy from NASA:

In late December, Kelly found that the plants “weren’t looking too good,” and told the ground team, “You know, I think if we’re going to Mars, and we were growing stuff, we would be responsible for deciding when the stuff needed water. Kind of like in my backyard, I look at it and say ‘Oh, maybe I should water the grass today.’ I think this is how this should be handled.”

The Veggie team on Earth created what was dubbed “The Zinnia Care Guide for the On-Orbit Gardener,” and gave basic guidelines for care while putting judgment capabilities into the hands of the astronaut who had the plants right in front of him. Rather than pages and pages of detailed procedures that most science operations follow, the care guide was a one-page, streamlined resource to support Kelly as an autonomous gardener. Soon, the flowers were on the rebound, and on Jan. 12, pictures showed the first peeks of petals beginning to sprout on a few buds.

Space Flower

Space FlowerAll photos via Scott Kelly/NASA

Disembodied Cuisine

For the Disembodied Cuisine art project, they attempt to grow frog skeletal muscle over biopolymer for potential food consumption. A biopsy is be taken from an animal which will continue to live and be displayed in the gallery along side the growing “steak”. This installation will culminate in a “feast”. The idea and research into this project began in Harvard in 2000. The first steak they have grown was made out of pre-natal sheep cells (skeletal muscle). We used cells harvested as part of research into tissue engineering techniques in utero. The steak was grown from an animal that was not yet born.