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Friday, November 10, 2017

Norway Gets Its First Set of Joint Strike Fighters...

One of the first three Norwegian F-35 fighter jets to be stationed at the country's Ørland Air Base lands on November 3, 2017.
Torbjørn Kjosvold / Norwegian Armed Forces

The F-35 Aircraft Marks the Start of a New Era for the Norwegian Armed Forces (Press Release)

"The F-35 remains crucial to the continued modernization of our Armed Forces and our ability to preserve Norwegian and allied security and interests." The Government marked the procurement with a ceremony at Ørland Air Base November 10th. "Today, we are marking an important milestone in the development of Norway’s defence capabilities: The arrival in Norway of the first F-35 Lightning II jets," says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

"We mark the start of a new era for the Norwegian Armed Forces. The new combat aircraft will be a key factor in deterring any attack on Norway, as well as ensuring that we meet our obligations to the NATO alliance. The F-35 remains crucial to the continued modernization of our Armed Forces and our ability to preserve Norwegian and allied security and interests," says Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The F-35 is a 5th generation multi-role combat aircraft. It is a key procurement that ensures stronger and more relevant Norwegian Armed Forces in the future. The F-35 provides the Norwegian Armed Forces with a significantly strengthened strategic capability, in terms of sensors, weapons and survivability. This helps ensure that Norway is able to present any future opponent with a credible threshold against military aggression or coercion.

"We live in a more and more uncertain world. NATO is undertaking the biggest strengthening of our collective defences in decades. The Norwegian F-35 aircraft are an important contribution to this modernization and make the world’s strongest Alliance even stronger," says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"The F-35 is a lot more than simply an F-16 replacement. It adds a wide range of capabilities to our Armed Forces that Norway have never had before. The F-35 is not just a new fighter. It is a completely new weapons system.

"Norway’s participation in this programme enhances our ability to cooperate with other NATO countries, and at the same time gives us additional capabilities that we could never have acquired on our own. This illustrates the value of the Alliance we are a part of. It also shows that we are shouldering our share of the responsibility for ensuring that NATO has modern and effective capabilities," says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence

Monday, November 06, 2017

New Horizons Update: Help Give Its 2019 Kuiper Belt Target a Nickname! (I Prefer "Mjölnir" or "Camalor"...)

An artist's concept of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flying past the binary objects that may comprise 2014 MU69...on January 1, 2019.
Carlos Hernandez

Help Nickname New Horizons’ Next Flyby Target (News Release)

NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt is looking for your ideas on what to informally name its next flyby destination, a billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) past Pluto.

On New Year’s Day 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a small, frozen world in the Kuiper Belt, at the outer edge of our solar system. The target Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) currently goes by the official designation "(486958) 2014 MU69." NASA and the New Horizons team are asking the public for help in giving “MU69” a nickname to use for this exploration target.

“New Horizons made history two years ago with the first close-up look at Pluto, and is now on course for the farthest planetary encounter in the history of spaceflight,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “We’re pleased to bring the public along on this exciting mission of discovery.”

After the flyby, NASA and the New Horizons project plan to choose a formal name to submit to the International Astronomical Union, based in part on whether MU69 is found to be a single body, a binary pair, or perhaps a system of multiple objects. The chosen nickname will be used in the interim.

“New Horizons has always been about pure exploration, shedding light on new worlds like we’ve never seen before,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “Our close encounter with MU69 adds another chapter to this mission’s remarkable story. We’re excited for the public to help us pick a nickname for our target that captures the excitement of the flyby and awe and inspiration of exploring this new and record-distant body in space.”

The naming campaign is hosted by the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, and led by Mark Showalter, an institute fellow and member of the New Horizons science team. The website includes names currently under consideration; site visitors can vote for their favorites or nominate names they think should be added to the ballot. “The campaign is open to everyone,” Showalter said. “We are hoping that somebody out there proposes the perfect, inspiring name for MU69.”

The campaign will close at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on Dec. 1. NASA and the New Horizons team will review the top vote-getters and announce their selection in early January.

Telescopic observations of MU69, which is more than 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth, hint at the Kuiper Belt Object being either a binary orbiting pair or a contact (stuck together) pair of nearly like-sized bodies – meaning the team might actually need two or more temporary tags for its target.

“Many Kuiper Belt Objects have had informal names at first, before a formal name was proposed. After the flyby, once we know a lot more about this intriguing world, we and NASA will work with the International Astronomical Union to assign a formal name to MU69,” Showalter said. “Until then, we’re excited to bring people into the mission and share in what will be an amazing flyby on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, 2019!”

To submit your suggested names and to vote for your favorites, go to:

http://frontierworlds.seti.org

Source: NASA.Gov

Friday, November 03, 2017

SOLAR PROBE PLUS Update: The Spacecraft Continues Marching on Towards Its Summer 2018 Launch to the Sun...

Engineers watch as NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft undergoes vibration testing inside a clean room at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
NASA / Johns Hopkins APL / Ed Whitman

Parker Solar Probe Completes Launch Simulation Vibration Testing (News Release)

To ensure that NASA's Parker Solar Probe will be able to withstand the physical stresses of launch, engineers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory – where the probe was designed and is being integrated and tested – used a special device called a shaker table to simulate the forces of being hurled into space. The spacecraft successfully passed vibration testing, or "vibe," as the engineers call it, in late October.

"Our vibration testing uses our 40,000-pound force shaker to simulate many of the dynamic events that occur during launch and powered flight," said APL's Dave Persons, Parker Solar Probe lead structural engineer. "By safely simulating that process here in the clean room, we're able to fully monitor the spacecraft and make sure it's cleared for flight. During the test, we actively monitored over 300 channels of data."

During and after launch aboard a Delta IV Heavy—the world's largest launch vehicle—from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in summer 2018, Parker Solar Probe will undergo immense shaking and vibration. These Earth-bound tests are designed to make sure all of the systems and instruments on the spacecraft are up to those stresses.

"The predicted responses for major loading events – derived from studying and analyzing how payloads like spacecraft that are attached to the launch vehicle behave – establishes just how much force and vibration that Parker Solar Probe will be subjected to," said Shelly Conkey of APL, Parker Solar Probe structural analyst. "We load that information into our simulation, and the shaker table subjects the probe to that force and vibration. This testing lets us know that the probe is adequately designed to survive launch, and is ready to move on to further environmental testing, which we'll continue at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center."

The Parker Solar Probe spacecraft will explore the Sun's outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of stars. The resulting data will also improve forecasts of major eruptions on the Sun and subsequent space weather events that impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space. The mission is named for Eugene N. Parker, whose profound insights into solar physics and processes have guided the discipline.

Source: Parker Solar Probe Website

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An artist's concept of NASA's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the Sun.
JHU / APL

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Better Luck Next Year, Dodgers...

The Houston Astros celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 7 of the World Series...on November 1, 2017.
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

A note to the Los Angeles Doyers: If you need motivation to return to the Fall Classic next year, look no further than to the 2015 Kansas City Royals. The Royals lost to the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series, only to return the following year and defeat the New York Mets in five games. But if the Dodgers do make it back to the championship round in late 2018, here's a bit of advice: DO NOT start a World Series game with Yu Darvish at the pitching mound (assuming that he'll still be part of the team next April). Even if he wasn't bothered by the racist gesture of the Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel in Game 3 (which he clearly was), Darvish would've still faltered like he did in the first few innings of Game 7 tonight. Asians don't generally do well in high-pressure situations (otherwise, I would be sleeping right now before I wake up for that 9-to-5 fast-paced corporate office job tomorrow, as opposed to being a freelance blogger and photographer who took the week off from my freelance background acting job due to medical reasons—and hoping that there would've been a Dodgers parade to attend in downtown L.A. this Friday), particularly in American professional sports. It didn't help that the Dodgers started an Asian during the most important game of the American pastime!

Anyways, congrats to the Astros. Like the New Orleans Saints—who won the Super Bowl almost five years after their city was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005—Justin Verlander and Co. had the city of Houston rally behind them two months after it was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. What a great way to lift up the spirits of those who went through this devastating natural disaster. And speaking of Verlander, not only is he now a World Series champ, but he's set to marry supermodel Kate Upton in Italy this weekend. I despise him more than Gurriel... I kid. I despise him as much as I do that Cuban (insert any insult here). Carry on.

Supermodel Kate Upton and her fiancé/Astros pitcher Justin Verlander share a moment after Houston won the World Series at Dodgers Stadium...on November 1, 2017.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images, 2017 Getty Images

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mars 2020 Update: Curiosity's Successor Will Be Bristling With Cameras...

An infographic showing all of the cameras that will fly aboard NASA's Mars 2020 rover.
NASA / JPL

Next Mars Rover Will Have 23 'Eyes' (News Release)

When NASA's Mars Pathfinder touched down in 1997, it had five cameras: two on a mast that popped up from the lander, and three on NASA's first rover, Sojourner.

Since then, camera technology has taken a quantum leap. Photo sensors that were improved by the space program have become commercially ubiquitous. Cameras have shrunk in size, increased in quality and are now carried in every cellphone and laptop.

That same evolution has returned to space. NASA's Mars 2020 mission will have more "eyes" than any rover before it: a grand total of 23, to create sweeping panoramas, reveal obstacles, study the atmosphere, and assist science instruments. They will provide dramatic views during the rover's descent to Mars and be the first to capture images of a parachute as it opens on another planet. There will even be a camera inside the rover's body, which will study samples as they're stored and left on the surface for collection by a future mission.

A Snapshot of Some Mars 2020 Cameras

Enhanced Engineering Cameras: Color, higher resolution and wider fields of view than engineering cameras.

Mastcam-Z: An improved version of Curiosity's MASTCAM with a 3:1 zoom lens.

SuperCam Remote Micro-Imager (RMI): The highest-resolution remote imager will have color, a change from the imager that flew with Curiosity's ChemCam.

CacheCam: Will watch as rock samples are deposited into the rover's body.

Entry, descent and landing cameras: Six cameras will record the entry, descent and landing process, providing the first video of a parachute opening on another planet.

Lander Vision System Camera: Will use computer vision to guide the landing, using a new technology called terrain relative navigation.

SkyCam: A suite of weather instruments will include a sky-facing camera for studying clouds and the atmosphere.


All these cameras will be incorporated as the Mars 2020 rover is built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. They represent a steady progression since Pathfinder: after that mission, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers were designed with 10 cameras each, including on their landers; Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover has 17.

"Camera technology keeps improving," said Justin Maki of JPL, Mars 2020's imaging scientist and deputy principal investigator of the Mastcam-Z instrument. "Each successive mission is able to utilize these improvements, with better performance and lower cost."

That advantage represents a full circle of development, from NASA to the private sector and back. In the 1980s, JPL developed active-pixel sensors that used less power than earlier digital camera technology. These sensors were later commercialized by the Photobit Corporation, founded by former JPL researcher Eric Fossum, now at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

20/20 Vision

The cameras on 2020 will include more color and 3-D imaging than on Curiosity, said Jim Bell of Arizona State University, Tempe, principal investigator for 2020's Mastcam-Z. The "Z" stands for "zoom," which will be added to an improved version of Curiosity's high-definition Mastcam, the rover's main eyes.

Mastcam-Z's stereoscopic cameras can support more 3-D images, which are ideal for examining geologic features and scouting potential samples from long distances away. Features like erosion and soil textures can be spotted at the length of a soccer field. Documenting details like these is important: They could reveal geologic clues and serve as "field notes" to contextualize samples for future scientists.

"Routinely using 3-D images at high resolution could pay off in a big way," Bell said. "They're useful for both long-range and near-field science targets."

Finally, in color

The Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity rovers were all designed with engineering cameras for planning drives (Navcams) and avoiding hazards (Hazcams). These produced 1-megapixel images in black and white.

On the new rover, the engineering cameras have been upgraded to acquire high-resolution, 20-megapixel color images.

Their lenses will also have a wider field of view. That's critical for the 2020 mission, which will try to maximize the time spent doing science and collecting samples.

"Our previous Navcams would snap multiple pictures and stitch them together," said Colin McKinney of JPL, product delivery manager for the new engineering cameras. "With the wider field of view, we get the same perspective in one shot."

That means less time spent panning, snapping pictures and stitching. The cameras are also able to reduce motion blur, so they can take photos while the rover is on the move.

A Data Link to Mars

There's a challenge in all this upgrading: It means beaming more data through space.

"The limiting factor in most imaging systems is the telecommunications link," Maki said. "Cameras are capable of acquiring much more data than can be sent back to Earth."

To address that problem, rover cameras have gotten "smarter" over time -- especially regarding compression.

On Spirit and Opportunity, the compression was done using the onboard computer; on Curiosity, much of it was done using electronics built into the camera. That allows for more 3-D imaging, color, and even high-speed video.

NASA has also gotten better at using orbiting spacecraft as data relays. That concept was pioneered for rover missions with Spirit and Opportunity. The idea of using relays started as an experiment with NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, Bell said.

"We were expecting to do that mission on just tens of megabits each Mars day, or sol," he said. "When we got that first Odyssey overflight, and we had about 100 megabits per sol, we realized it was a whole new ballgame."

NASA plans to use existing spacecraft already in orbit at Mars -- the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, and the European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter -- as relays for the Mars 2020 mission, which will support the cameras during the rover's first two years.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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An artist's concept of NASA's Mars 2020 rover on the surface of the Red Planet.
NASA / JPL

Saturday, October 28, 2017

An Interstellar Interloper...

An animated GIF showing interstellar object A/2017 U1 moving through our solar system on its trip back into deep space.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

Small Asteroid or Comet 'Visits' from Beyond the Solar System (News Release - October 26)

A small, recently discovered asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.

This unusual object - for now designated A/2017 U1 - is less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and is moving remarkably fast. Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.

A/2017 U1 was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA. Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), was first to identify the moving object and submit it to the Minor Planet Center. Weryk subsequently searched the Pan-STARRS image archive and found it also was in images taken the previous night, but was not initially identified by the moving object processing.

Weryk immediately realized this was an unusual object. "Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit," he said. Weryk contacted IfA graduate Marco Micheli, who had the same realization using his own follow-up images taken at the European Space Agency's telescope on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. But with the combined data, everything made sense. Said Weryk, "This object came from outside our solar system."

"This is the most extreme orbit I have ever seen," said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "It is going extremely fast and on such a trajectory that we can say with confidence that this object is on its way out of the solar system and not coming back."

The CNEOS team plotted the object's current trajectory and even looked into its future. A/2017 U1 came from the direction of the constellation Lyra, cruising through interstellar space at a brisk clip of 15.8 miles (25.5 kilometers) per second.

The object approached our solar system from almost directly "above" the ecliptic, the approximate plane in space where the planets and most asteroids orbit the Sun, so it did not have any close encounters with the eight major planets during its plunge toward the Sun. On Sept. 2, the small body crossed under the ecliptic plane just inside of Mercury's orbit and then made its closest approach to the Sun on Sept. 9. Pulled by the Sun's gravity, the object made a hairpin turn under our solar system, passing under Earth's orbit on Oct. 14 at a distance of about 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) -- about 60 times the distance to the Moon. It has now shot back up above the plane of the planets and, travelling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second) with respect to the Sun, the object is speeding toward the constellation Pegasus.

"We have long suspected that these objects should exist, because during the process of planet formation a lot of material should be ejected from planetary systems. What's most surprising is that we've never seen interstellar objects pass through before," said Karen Meech, an astronomer at the IfA specializing in small bodies and their connection to solar system formation.

The small body has been assigned the temporary designation A/2017 U1 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where all observations on small bodies in our solar system -- and now those just passing through -- are collected. Said MPC Director Matt Holman, "This kind of discovery demonstrates the great scientific value of continual wide-field surveys of the sky, coupled with intensive follow-up observations, to find things we wouldn't otherwise know are there."

Since this is the first object of its type ever discovered, rules for naming this type of object will need to be established by the International Astronomical Union.

"We have been waiting for this day for decades," said CNEOS Manager Paul Chodas. "It's long been theorized that such objects exist -- asteroids or comets moving around between the stars and occasionally passing through our solar system -- but this is the first such detection. So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it."

The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is a wide-field survey observatory operated by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. The Minor Planet Center is hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and is a sub-node of NASA's Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node at the University of Maryland (http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/). JPL hosts the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). All are projects of NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program, and elements of the agency's Planetary Defense Coordination Office within NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Posing for a photo atop the Haleakala volcanic summit—which is home to the Pan-STARRS telescope that discovered A/2017 U1—during a trip to Maui, Hawaii, in May of 2000.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

JWST Update: Hubble's Successor Deploys Its Shield...

The sunshield for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is fully deployed at the Northrop Grumman facility in Redondo Beach, California.
Northrop Grumman

Sunshield Deployment and Layers Fully Tensioned on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (Press Release)

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Oct. 26, 2017 – Northrop Grumman Corporation, which designed NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) optics, spacecraft bus, and sunshield for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, has deployed the sunshield subsystem and fully tensioned the five sunshield layers for the first time.

“The first tensioning of the sunshield is a monumental and exciting moment, not only for the program but for the collaborative JWST team,” said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems “The innovative sunshield is an industry first, and will protect Webb’s optics from heat, making it possible to gather images of the formation of the first stars and galaxies more than 13.5 billion years ago.”

In space, the sunshield subsystem divides the JWST observatory into a warm sun-facing side and a cold space-facing side comprised of the optics and scientific instruments. The sunshield subsystem, which includes the structure and mechanisms required for deploying the five-layer subsystem, was designed, manufactured and assembled by Northrop Grumman, with the five membrane layers manufactured by the NeXolve Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama.

The flight membranes will be folded, stowed and tensioned again two additional times for testing. The folding and stowing method is how the membranes will be folded and stowed for launch. The sunshield layers, known for being the size of a tennis court, will protect and prevent the background heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon from interfering with JWST’s infrared sensors.

The sunshield layers, each as thin as a human hair, work together to reduce the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Moving from the Sun-facing layer to the one closest to the telescope, each successive layer of the sunshield, which is made of Kapton, is cooler than the one below. The sunshield, along with the rest of the spacecraft, will fold origami-style into an Ariane 5 rocket.

The James Webb Space Telescope, the scientific complement to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, will be the premier space observatory of the next decade. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

Source: Northrop Grumman

Monday, October 23, 2017

The F-35A Is Ready to be Deployed Overseas...

An F-35A Lightning II is ready for takeoff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii...on October 13, 2017.
USAF / Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman

U.S. Air Force's F-35A Lightning II Scheduled for First Operational Deployment to Indo-Asia-Pacific (Press Release)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Approximately 300 Airmen and 12 F-35A Lightning IIs from Hill Air Force Base, Utah’s 34th Fighter Squadron are set to deploy to Kadena Air Base, Japan for a six month rotation. The aircraft and supporting personnel are scheduled to arrive at Kadena in early November.

This marks U.S. Pacific Command’s first operational tasking for the F-35A and builds upon the U.S. Air Force fifth-generation stealth fighter’s successful debut in the Indo-Asia-Pacific at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) earlier this month.

“The F-35A gives the joint warfighter unprecedented global precision attack capability against current and emerging threats while complementing our air superiority fleet,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “The airframe is ideally suited to meet our command’s obligations, and we look forward to integrating it into our training and operations.”

The F-35A is being deployed under U.S. PACOM’s theater security package (TSP) program, which has been in operation since 2004. This long-planned deployment is designed to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region.

While a first in-theater for the F-35A, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B variant has been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan since January, 2017.

Source: Pacific Air Forces

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Photos of the Day: An F-35B Conducts Training Exercises at Sea...

An F-35B Lightning II is about to take off from the deck of the USS Essex during a training exercise off the coast of Southern California...on October 22, 2017.
USMC / Lance Cpl. Roderick Jacquote

F-35B Lightning II Carrier Qualifications (News Release)

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II, assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, descends to the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD 2) during Exercise Dawn Blitz in the Pacific Ocean off California Oct. 22, 2017. Dawn Blitz is a scenario-driven amphibious exercise conducted between Expeditionary Strike Group 3 and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, testing their ability to conduct amphibious operations in response to global crises and to project power ashore as part of a Navy-Marine Corps team.

Source: Defense Video Imagery Distribution System

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An F-35B Lightning II is about to touch down onto the deck of the USS Essex during a training exercise off the coast of Southern California...on October 22, 2017.
USMC / Lance Cpl. Roderick Jacquote

An F-35B Lightning II is about to touch down onto the deck of the USS Essex during a training exercise off the coast of Southern California...on October 22, 2017.
USMC / Lance Cpl. Roderick Jacquote

An F-35B Lightning II is about to touch down onto the deck of the USS Essex during a training exercise off the coast of Southern California...on October 22, 2017.
USMC / Lance Cpl. Roderick Jacquote

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Los Doyers Are Goin' Back to the World Series...

The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs, 11-1, in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS)...on October 19, 2017.
Getty Images

29 years after winning their last championship at the expense of the Oakland A's, the Los Angeles Dodgers are headed back to the Fall Classic after laying a smackdown on the Chicago Cubs, 11-1, in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field tonight. Game 1 of the World Series takes place at Dodger Stadium next Tuesday, October 24, against the winner of the American League Championship Series. So by either tomorrow night or Saturday evening, the Los Doyers will be prepping to play the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees in the final round. Chances are, the head honchos at Major League Baseball's main office are hoping it's the latter. Gotta make that dough and the high TV ratings, ya know...

I'm an Angels fan, but being a proud California native who's attended every Lakers parade since 2000 and both parades for the L.A. Kings in 2012 and 2014, respectively, I'll root for any team that continues to make SoCal—and Los Angeles in general—the championship capital of this nation. Keep in mind that the Los Angeles Sparks were so close to winning a WNBA title against the Minnesota Lynx a little over two weeks ago (the Lynx clinched the championship in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals...which took place on my birthday, October 4).

Assuming that the Dodgers win it all by November 1st (which is when a Game 7 would be played—in Los Angeles), the Clippers will be the only team in the City of Angels to not win a championship since the start of this century (the Rams and the Chargers are excluded...for now). I'll wait till the outcome of the World Series to pour haterade on the only title-less team to currently play inside STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles. That is all.

The Los Angeles Dodgers take a group photo after defeating the Chicago Cubs, 11-1, in Game 5 of the NLCS...on October 19, 2017.
Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times