Will English no longer be spoken in space?

Earlier this week, NASA announced that it is looking for new astronauts. Though NASA has sent its last shuttle into space, it will continue to send astronauts to the International Space Station through a collaboration with the Russian Federal Space Agency. NASA has promised to help staff the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2020. So the ISS will continue to host astronauts from around the world, including Japan and Europe in addition to Russia and the United States. Many languages are spoken on board, and the spoken dialogue computer on the ISS, named Clarissa, was programmed to understand both English and Russian. (Learn about how stars are named here.)

But English may become a thing of the past in the cosmos. NASA is taking international cooperation a step further. The new class of astronauts will be required to learn Russian before they go into space. Because the Russian Federal Space Agency is facilitating the space flight to and from the ISS, it makes sense that the NASA wants astronauts to be able to correspond with their fellow space travelers.

What about English elsewhere in space? The plaque on the Moon from the Apollo missions reads (in English): “Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.” (Read more about how Pluto’s fourth moon got its name.)

In general, though, most interstellar communication has tried to be distinctly non-language specific. For example, the Pioneer spacecrafts sent into space in the early 1970s gave depictions of human beings and our relative position in the universe without any specific language.

What do you think about potentially communicating with other lifeforms?

Stamp expo celebrating 20th year in Lancaster; 2-day event scheduled at Farm and Home Center

Intelligencer Journal Lancaster, PA April 13, 2005 | Lynda Jo Runkle, Correspondent “A Glimpse of Lancaster County Postal History” will be one of the award-winning exhibits of stamps featured at Lancopex ’05, the upcoming 20th annual Lancaster Stamp Show and Exhibition.

The piece prepared by James Boyles, co-chairman of the show, recently won recognition at the Mega Show in New York City.

Boyles worked with Richard Shaeffer to line up 50 frames for the show planned April 23 and 24 at Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road. this web site farm and home

“People who aren’t stamp collectors are always welcome” to the show sponsored by the Lancaster County Philatelic Society, Boyles said. “They might want to check out the exhibits first.” He said stamp collectors of any skill level are invited to talk with exhibitors and the 21 dealers expected for the two-day event.

“Club members are always available to answer questions,” he said.

Admission is free, and hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snacks and drinks will be available.

Exhibitors at Lancopex will compete for the Grand Award, Topical Award, Novice Award and more.

Two different covers with cachets and U.S. Postal Service cancellations will be available for purchase. One will celebrate the 20th annual show, and the other will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Millersville University.

Youngsters are invited to visit the junior stamp table organized by Trudye Greiner. The table will provide free stamps, books and more to children who collect or are interested in collecting stamps and covers. The items for the table have been donated by collectors. web site farm and home

Also, Stamp Camp USA for registered youths is scheduled for Saturday.

Boyles started collecting U.S. stamps, confederate stamps and revenues as a child, but took a break while he raised a family. He returned to collecting because “I enjoy it,” he said. “It’s educational, and it keeps my mind alert.” Now, he concentrates on Lancaster county covers, and his exhibits have won many local, regional and national awards. He recently won a U.S. Stamp Classics Society Award at the national level.

Other club members specialize in stamps and covers from all over the world. Together, they can accommodate almost anyone interested in learning more about the hobby at Lancopex ’05.

“Be there,” Boyles said.

Lynda Jo Runkle, Correspondent

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