Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Astronaut Theology: Liverpool, Egypt

Snazzy flying disc on entrance to the Egyptian wing in Liverpool

Some things don't make sense until such time that they suddenly do. For instance, here's way too much sun-drenched Egypt in the ancient rain-soaked British isles, from the Druids to Queen Scota to the Celtic Church to Egyptology craze of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Then there are all of those redhaired mummies, and of course the British Isles are ground zero for gingers. There's also the inconvenient fact that King Tut's DNA is Western European as well as Lorraine Evans' argument that the British Isles were colonized by members of Akhenaten's family and court, which is the furthest place in the known world where they could have fled at the time.

Chantress scene 1 - from the Ancient Egypt gallery
from National Museums Liverpool on Vimeo.

Then there's Liverpool, which gave us The Scarabs Beatles. Turns out that this Northern city has quite a storied obsession with the Land of the Pyramids, and has one of the finest collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world:
In our Ancient Egypt gallery you can journey back to the incredible world of the pharaohs and discover the remarkable civilisation that built the pyramids and the sphinx. There are over 1300 objects from our world-class collections on display, including animal mummies, ancient musical instruments and a tomb reconstruction based on a 4000-year-old burial place.

There are five complete human mummies on display and you can even 'unwrap' a mummy without touching it, using a fascinating computer interactive. A must-see object is the vividly-coloured belt of the last great pharaoh, Rameses III, on permanent display for the first time since before the Second World War.

Sphinx watches over the University of Liverpool campus
Well, we have a saying here on the Secret Sun- wherever Egypt goes, NASA is sure to follow. And wouldn't you just know it- Liverpool is also the UK center for space research, and their universities are involved in developing robotics for NAZCA NASA:

Scientists from the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS) at NASA and the University of Liverpool are working together to develop robotic systems used in space that will reduce the need for human space travel.

Scientists from RIACS and computer specialists from the University of Liverpool are investigating ways of improving technology in order to reduce the reliance on humans for space travel and develop the potential for robotic space missions.

University scientists are developing technology that will enable robots to ‘think’ autonomously, so that they might conduct entire space missions without human supervision.

Professor Michael Fisher, Director of the University’s Verification Laboratory, explained: “Autonomy is a major cost driver for space exploration since human missions require large earth-based teams for support. There are also significant risks posed to humans sent into space.

Which is the ancient Mithraeum and which is the Cavern Club?
click to enlarge

It isn't just the university, it's also the grade schools:
Earth-to-Orbit Field Testing- The Liverpool Central School District is one of only eighteen school districts across the U.S. chosen to pilot NASA's 2004 "Earth
-to-Orbit Engineering Design Challenge." Participating teachers partnered with NASA to help students achieve national goals in math, science and technology.
And just to bring it all full circle there's the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool, which seems to have been inspired by a space capsule. Hiding in plain sight and all that jolly rot....