2014 - Spacelocker Is Changing

We want to thank ALL the subscribers who joined Spacelocker over these last 5 years. It was nice to see people from over 170 counties using our service. We hope  that you enjoyed the experience and made some new and lasting friendships.

We have decided to take a total new direction with the Spacelocker domain. We will  no longer host Spacelocker as a social network website. The new Spacelocker is going  to be futuristic. Check back in the New Year.

If you want to stay in contact with the friends you have met on Spacelocker, we suggest you write them on your account and get their alternative contact details.

After February 28, 2014 we will close the Spacelocker domain in its current form. At that time, we will also delete our entire user base from our servers. Therefore all user data will be permanently removed and no further use will be made of it.

Again, thanks for being a part of Spacelocker. Stay tuned for an all new Spacelocker concept.

The Spacelocker Team

New Beginnings - Spacelocker 2011

PhotobucketThe Spacelocker Team wants to wish all its users and readers of our blog the very best over this holiday season, and into the New Year. It has been a fun year with some inspiring new directions.

In 2011 we are planning to make some changes to the Spacelocker website. Starting in January we will only use the Spacelocker blog as an information bulletin rather than for regular blog posts.

We will also change the Spacelocker front page so that old and new users can see the locker design when they come to the website.

As well, we are looking at some new functions to put on the locker shelves.  One change will be to the gift box.  Once we decide how the gift box can most benefit our users we will start working on the changes.

So enjoy your holidays and all the very best for a fabulous new year in 2011.

The Spacelocker Fleet

Spacelocker and the Mission to Mars

PhotobucketThere was an interesting article written in The Varsity on November 8, 2010 by Alexandra Eremia titled “Wonderland in space: Mystifying mission and the majestic march to Mars”.

She wrote: “Across the sands of an infinite red desert treads one of humanity’s most ambitious scientific endeavours. It is the embodiment of innovations in engineering, which strive to uncover all that our beloved neighbouring red planet conceals: the Mars mission probes.

While there have been numerous missions to Mars, including flyby and orbiting space probes, the landers and surface rovers have provided the bulk of the information on the planet’s geochemical makeup. Within its sandy skirts, the red planet shelters several unsuccessful Soviet missions, along with two inactive American robotic-arm space probes, and its currently active Spirit and Opportunity rovers.

The first rover to successfully reach Mars was Sojourner, which travelled aboard the American Pathfinder Mission. The mission successfully landed in the valley of Ares, an area suitable for landing despite its high rock content. The mission’s intricate landing system consisted of supersonic parachutes and rockets: the impact was cushioned by large airbags, resembling an inflated ball composed of multiple smaller spherical cushions. The airbags lessened the impact by allowing the probe to bounce until it reached a complete stop. After reaching a halt, the protective airbag “petals” unsealed, allowing the rover within to land on the Martian surface.

Sojourner conducted its geological research and analysis by converting solar energy, thanks to its mounted solar panels. This method allowed the rover to reach a maximum speed of one centimetre per second. While this speed may certainly not win any Formula 1 Grand Prix, it is certainly nothing to sneeze at for a Martian rover. Considering the rocky environment in which Sojourner had to work, anything above its tortoise-like speed could have caused serious damage. As with most American landrover probes, the Sojourner outlasted its programmed mission, transmitting information for a total of three months rather than the expected two weeks.

Sojourner was followed by the robotic geologists Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in January 2004. Unlike their predecessor, which was limited to exploring distances no farther than 500 meters from the Pathfinder station, the following two missions were free to roam the Martian surface, in order to conduct extensive geological and atmospheric observations.

While this had obvious benefits, Spirit and Opportunity needed to combat unknown Martian territory, which Sojourner did not experience in the close vicinity of Pathfinder. The combination of the unfavourably sandy Martian environment and the unchartered territory resulted in the loss of manoeuvrability of Spirit in spring 2009. Since NASA could not dislodge the rover from the soft Martian soil, Spirit was converted to a stationary research platform, detecting the planet’s rotational vibration. The presence of this vibration would indicate the existence of a liquid core.

The unfavourable Martian environment also continues to pose threats to the rovers’ ability to garner the necessary energy through their solar panels. The fierce and frequent Martian dust storms impede sunlight, potentially damaging not only the panels themselves, but the rover as a whole.

The high-resolution images sent to Earth by the active twin rovers provide not only photographs of Martian terrain, but also detailed microscopic images of the rocks and soils analyzed. Similar to Sojourner’s findings, the rocks examined by Spirit and Opportunity contained high silicon content, but lacked hydrogen. Additionally, the physical characteristics of the rocks suggest that most were either remelted and recomposed, or shaped by previous floods. Moreover, bright patches of soil, which contained high levels of salt, alluded to the past presence of water on Mars.

Despite the astonishing successes of these unmanned robotic missions, future explorations may bring subsurface explorers, as well as more sophisticated space vehicles to collect and return rocks and soil to Earth. Current speculations also include the possibility of sending one-way manned mission to Mars. While such a mission would drastically reduce the overall costs, the ethical aspect has yet to be fully considered. Regardless of what the future holds, the success of the previous landrover missions has stirred a profound alacrity in planetary research, and may one day be viewed as the beginning of future planetary colonization”.

So if you are interested in the future of the exploration of Mars and where it will lead us, follow the Phoenix Mars Mission for all the new developments.

The Spacelocker Fleet

Spacelocker and Virgin Galatic

PhotobucketVirgin Galatic has recently had the first solo test flight of its suborbital spaceship, Enterprise.

It was reported in the BBC New Service on October 10, 2010, that “the spaceship was carried to an altitude of 45,000ft (13,700m) by an aeroplane and then dropped to glide back to the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Enterprise will soon be taking people prepared to pay $200,000 (£126,000) on short hops above the atmosphere.

The British billionaire behind the project, Sir Richard Branson, was on hand to witness the drop test.
“This was one of the most exciting days in the whole history of Virgin,” the entrepreneur said.

“For the first time since we seriously began the project in 2004, I watched the world’s first manned commercial spaceship landing on the runway at Mojave Air and Space Port and it was a great moment.”

Virgin Galactic is aiming to become the world’s first commercial space line, and has already taken deposits from 370 customers who want to experience a few minutes of weightlessness on a suborbital flight.

“We’re not far off booking out our first year of operations,” said Stephen Attenborough, head of astronaut relations at Galactic.

“We’ll see exactly how many we decide to fly in year one, but the intention has always been around 500. We’re well on our way to that,” he told BBC News.

The Enterprise ship is based on the X-Prize-winning SpaceShipOne vehicle, which made history in 2004 by successfully flying to 100km (60 miles) in altitude twice in a two-week period.

The new ship, built by Mojave’s Scaled Composites company, is bigger and will be capable of carrying eight people - two crew and six passengers.

When it eventually enters service, Enterprise will be carried to its launch altitude by the “Eve” carrier plane before being released in mid-air. Enterprise will then ignite its single hybrid rocket engine to make the ascent to space.
Although Eve and Enterprise have made several test flights together, Sunday was the first time the spaceplane had been released at altitude.

Two pilots were at the controls, Pete Siebold and Mike Alsbury. They guided the ship back to the Mojave runway.
The entire flight took about 25 minutes. On later test flights, Enterprise will fire its rocket engine.

Only when engineers are satisfied all systems are functioning properly will passengers be allowed to climb aboard.
“We are focused on safety and making sure we know everything about this vehicle before we put it into commercial operations. There is a timetable in terms of what we’re going to do, but as we’ve said many times before, ‘it takes as long as it takes’, Mr Attenborough said.

“The next big milestone will be when we start the rocket motor propulsion tests.”

The Spacelocker Fleet would love to be part of the first flights on Enterprise, but unless someone wants to buy us a ticket we will cheer the spaceship from back here on Earth.

The Spacelocker Fleet

Spacelocker’s Summer Holidays

PhotobucketWe are back from summer holidays. How was yours? We had fun and did a lot of cool and interesting things. And saw some great places. We hope your was equally exciting.

However many of our Australian and other southern hemisphere friends won’t be starting their “summer” holidays for a few months yet. Oh well no worries, something to look forward to.

Did anyone go to the beach? Just relax and read some books? Do some serious partying? Or maybe all three…and then some more on top of that. Summer is a great time to get out and just do whatever you want. Really the list is endless what can be done, where you can go, and who you can meet.

If you were somewhere this summer that you did not have access to a computer or to the Internet, I hope you can now reconnect with your Spacelocker friends. The fun never stopped here even though many of us were away.

One new interest we developed while away was outer space. In the coming months we plan to write about some of the cool things going on out there. So keep posted.

In the mean time keep connected.

The Spacelocker Fleet

Spacelocker on Summer Holidays


So where are you going for summer holidays? Is it going to a camping trip, a trip to the lake, maybe some relaxing time at home reading, or something more exotic like travel abroad… or even further? Not everyone has the luxury of a holiday. However for those that do it can be a time to relax and rejuvenate the spirit.

There is no end of suggestions of what to do and where to go for a summer holiday when you Google the term “summer holiday”.  And those suggestions vary depending from which country you are doing your search. Overall the searches seem to relate to price and family. Tour operators, countries, cities, towns and villages are all creating “unique” get always for summer holidays.

But what do you think would be the ultimate summer holiday? Where could you go that very few people have gone before? Well what going on a space travel holiday? The space tourism is industry is officially open for  business.

I read an interesting article about space travel in an article published in www.science.howstuffworks.com/space-tourism. Here is a part of that article that you may find interesting:

“Initially, space tourism will offer meager accommodations at best. For instance, if the International Space Station is used as a tourist attraction, guests won’t find the posh surroundings of a hotel room on Earth. It has been designed for conducting research, not entertainment. However, the first generation of space hotels should offer tourists a much more comfortable experience.

In regard to a concept for a space hotel initially planned by Space Island, such a hotel could offer guests every perk they might find at a hotel on Earth, and some they might not. The small gravitational pull created by the rotating space city would allow space-tourists and residents to walk around and function normally within the structure. Everything from running water to a recycling plant to medical facilities would be possible. Additionally, space tourists would even be able to take space walks.

Many of these companies believe that they have to offer an extremely enjoyable experience in order for passengers to pay thousands, if not millions of dollars to ride into space. So will space create another separation between the haves and have-nots? In the next section, you’ll find out if you’ll be able to go to space even if you don’t have a million dollars to spend on a vacation.

Will space be an exotic retreat reserved for only the wealthy? Or will middle-class folks have a chance to take their families to space? Make no mistake about it, going to space will be the most expensive vacation you ever take. Prices right now are in the tens of millions of dollars. Currently, the only vehicles that can take you into space are the space shuttle and the Russian Soyuz, both of which are terribly inefficient. Each spacecraft requires millions of pounds of propellant to take off into space, which makes them expensive to launch. One pound of payload costs about $10,000 to put into Earth orbit.

Since the beginning of the space race, the general public has said, “Isn’t that great — when do I get to go?” Well, our chance might be closer than ever. Within the next 20 years, space planes could be taking off for the Moon at the same frequency as airplanes flying between New York and Los Angeles.”

We are off on our own holidays for August … but not into space … at least not yet. See you in September.

And remember, if you decided to take a space travel holidays in the future, don’t forget to take your Spacelocker with you.

The Spacelocker Fleet

15 Ways + 1 for Summer Cool at Spacelocker

PhotobucketWe hope you are enjoying your summer. The sun is shining bright all over the world and raising the temperatures ever higher. The lakes, rivers and ocean beaches are full of swimmers and sunbathers trying to keep cool.

But it is important not to overdo it as too much sun and too much heat can be dangerous for a person’s health. At medicinenet.com they have offered 15 tips to help people stay cool in the summer:

“1.    Alter your pattern of outdoor exercise to take advantage of cooler times (early morning or late evening). If you can’t change the time of your workout, scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead or running, or decreasing your level of exertion.

2.    Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably of a light color.

3.    Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.

4.    Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.

5.    Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house.

6.    Try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on hot, overtired feet.

7.    Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you’re ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you’ll have a supply of cold water with you.

8.    Take frequent baths or showers with cool or tepid water.

9.    Combat dehydration by drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes.

10.    Some people swear by small, portable, battery-powered fans. At an outdoor event I even saw a version that attaches to a water bottle that sprays a cooling mist.

11.    I learned this trick from a tennis pro: if you’re wearing a cap or hat, remove it and pour a bit of ice cold water into the hat, then quickly invert it and place on your head.

12.    Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration.

13.    Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won’t have to cook next to a hot stove.

14.    If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, movie theater, or other public space that is cool. Many cities have cooling centers that are open to the public on sweltering days.

15.    Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces. Pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Don’t forget that pets also need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses too.”

So if you are out with your friends enjoying the warm summer days, be sure to think about the above 15 ways to keep cool.

And if you really want to be cool during the summer, login to Spacelocker.com and join all the “cool” Spacemates for some summer fun.

The Spacelocker Fleet

Spacelocker Congratulates the Spanish Footballers


I am sure you are now aware that Spain has won the 2010 World cup in a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands. All of us at Spacelocker send out our sincerest congratulations to the Spanish footballers. Even though it was a low score, it was an exciting game. Some said the Dutch played “dirty football”. I say that with that much at stake, both sides played with extreme enthusiasm and a desire to win — after all this was the World Cup not a tea party!

And our friend Paul the octopus maintained its perfect record. Not only did it correctly predict the outcome of Germany’s 3-2 victory over Uruguay in the consolation round; it correctly predicted Spain would triumph over the Dutch in the World Cup final.

Paul the octopus is so loved by the Spanish that the Madrid zoo has made an offer to Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany to transfer Paul to the Spanish zoo. However the German aquarium has rejected the transfer bid and said that Paul will stay where it is.

After the overtime Spanish victory, the celebrations started all over Spain. It was a perfect time for this as well. It is normal for the Spanish to go out and only begin to party after 11 p.m. From Madrid to Barcelona to the little villages scattered all over the country, the Spanish partied like never before. Their football team was now a world power in the sport. In 2008 they had won the European Cup. Now the World Cup. It is heady times for all Spanish football fans.

And now almost a week after the drama of World Cup tournament, South Africa is assessing the tournaments impact on the country. And that impact is mostly positive. Yes it was a huge cost, and yes not everyone in South Africa benefited directly from FIFA agreeing to hold the World Cup in South Africa; but the country has undergone a transformation. It is proud of what it accomplished and what it showed to the world. As many ordinary South Africans said when interviewed, they now feel they are part of the world community. That kind of feeling cannot be measured in money … but it will definitely change South Africa for the better.

If you want to feel a sense of belonging, join the many Spacemates at Spacelocker.com.

The Spacelocker Fleet

The World Cup Octopus on Spacelocker

PhotobucketCan an octopus really predict the future? It seems so. Paul the Octopus, who makes its home at Aquarium Sea Life in the western German city of Oberhausen, has a 100% correct record of predicting the outcome of Germany’s games in the 2010 World Cup. Paul predicted Germany’s shocking loss to Serbia. Then it predicted Germany’s emphatic wins over England and Argentina. Now Paul the Octopus has predicted the unexpected German loss to Spain.

Such has been the popularity of its selections that many world news organizations are covering the results. TV channels have even done live broadcast of Paul’s predictions.

But can an octopus really predict such things as the outcome of a football game? Well the results speak for themselves. People at the aquarium certainly think Paul is psychic. They said he has 9 brains and 3 hearts and therefore can “compute” all the energy of the moment surrounding the teams. Although the octopus has no spine, it seems it is ready to “put its neck on the line” and predict the winner.

So what does Paul say for the final? Will it be Netherlands or Spain? Many, many punters are eagerly awaiting its prediction. And I am sure will place their bets accordingly.

And they got their answer yesterday in a live broadcast from the aquarium. Paul is predicting that Spain will win the 2010 World Cup. It seems the Netherlands are not worried however. In fact many of the Dutch fans have already been circulating calamari recipes to all their friends.

So on Sunday we will see whether the Dutch can prove that Paul the Octopus’s physic expertise is confined to his German roots or whether his prophetic tentacles can spread to outside the octopus’s country origins. It is going to be an exciting match … no matter what the outcome.

And if you want to find out what others think about Paul the octopus, sign up to Spacelocker and start some  Spacelocker friendships.

The Spacelocker Fleet

Not Just Bafana Bafana on Spacelocker

PhotobucketIf you have been watching the World Cup, or even just heard about it in the various medias, I am sure you heard the nickname for the South African team … Bufana Bufana (the boys). But what about the other teams? Do they have nicknames in their native lands?

We searched the internet and found that the worldcupblog.org has tried to identify each of the 32 team’s nicknames. Here is the list:

Algeria – Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes)
Argentina – Albicelestes (White and Sky blue)
Australia – Socceroos
Brazil – Seleção (The Selection). Also Canarinhos (Little Canary) and Verde e Amarelo (Green and Yellow).
Cameroon – Lions Indomptables (Indomitable Lions)
Chile – La Roja (The Red)
Cote d’Ivoire – Les Éléphants (The Elephants)
Denmark – Olsens Elleve (Olsen’s Eleven) – In honour of popular head coach Morten Olsen.
England – The Three Lions – From the FA crest.
France – Les Bleus (The Blues)
Germany – National Mannschaft (National Team) or DFB Elf (DFB Eleven) or National Elf (National Eleven). The nickname Die Mannschaft (the team) is only used by non-German media.
Ghana – The Black Stars
Greece – To Piratiko (The Pirate Ship) – Since Euro 2004. But another common nickname is apparently Galanoleyki, though I have no idea what that means.
Honduras – Los Catrachos which is apparently how other Central Americans refer to Hondurans. Also La H (The H) – The crest is a large H, which looks extremely cool on the shirt..
Italy – Azzurri (Sky Blues)
Japan – Blue Samurai
Mexico – El Tri (after the three colours or “tricolor” on the Mexican flag).
Netherlands – Oranje
North Korea – Chollima (some sort of mythical horse)
New Zealand – All Whites (rugby union team are the All Blacks)
Nigeria – Super Eagles
Paraguay – La Albirroja (The White-Red) or Guaraní (an indigenous people)
Portugal – Selecção das Quinas (Team of the Five Shields) – Referring to the five shields on the FA crest. I think.
Serbia – Beli Orlovi (White Eagles) – Referring to the white double headed eagle on the Serbia coat of arms.
Slovakia – Repre (at least according to Wikipedia, but there’s no explanation as to what this means).
Slovenia – Zmajceki (Dragons) – Because there’s a dragon on the crest of capital city Ljubljana.
South Africa – Bafana Bafana (The Boys)
South Korea – Taeguk Warriors. Fans are often called The Red Devils.
Spain – La Furia Roja (Red Fury)
Switzerland – Schweizer Nati
United States – Often referred to as the MNT (Men’s National Team) or The Yanks.
Uruguay – La Celeste (The Sky Blue)

Although the World Cup is winding down and it is now in the knock out rounds, all the teams will be talked about for years. And in many cases these teams will be referred to by their nicknasmes. Now you will know who they are talking about.

Why not sign up on Spacelocker with your own personal nickname. Have fun meeting new friends from around the world.

The Spacelocker Fleet