On July 21th, 1969 Neil Armstrong
and Buzz Aldrin
waited within paper thin walls on the surface of the Moon. Hours ago they had made history by being the first humans to land and walk on its surface
. Now the only thing left to do was take off. All that entailed was performing the final test of the Lunar Module
: launching from the lunar surface with no on-site support or possibility of fixes if something failed. [more inside]
Bored with salad? The Willy Wonka of edible leaves offers help
Graham Clarkson talks about salad as though it were the new rock'n'roll, uttering sentences like: "I get too excited about rocket", "I eat salad bags like they're crisps" and "I have a PHD in baby leaves" (thus making him a "rocket scientist", geddit)? Clarkson is keen to show off his contenders for next year's salad crops – "the future of salad" – and is full of leafy inspiration. [more inside]
Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank
Just days after the launch of India’s Mangalyaan satellite, NASA sent off its own Mars mission, five years in the making, named Maven. Its cost: $671 million. The budget of India’s Mars mission, by contrast, was just three-quarters of the $100 million that Hollywood spent on last year’s space-based hit, “Gravity.”
“The mission is a triumph of low-cost Indian engineering,” said Roddam Narasimha, an aerospace scientist and a professor at Bangalore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research.
“By excelling in getting so much out of so little, we are establishing ourselves as the most cost-effective center globewide for a variety of advanced technologies,” said Mr. Narasimha.
Grasshopper is an experimental rocket
used by Space X to test returning the first stage of the Falcon 9
safely to the ground, for reuse on later flights. Last week, the latest test flight was filmed from a Hexacopter hovering near the launchpad
and it's a minute and half of pure awesomeness.
takes a flying
Backyard Solar Death Ray.
Melt pennies in seconds with a fresnel lens repurposed from an old large screen television. Grant Thompson
has other fun and liability lawyer unapproved projects such as melting metal
, making solid rocket fuel
and making a compressed air rocket launcher.
and his post on Monkeyfilter
in February, 1996, a rocket launch at Xichang failed.
Smithsonian Air & Space publishes first-hand account. Xichang Satellite Launch Center
at Wikipedia. Previously
(comprehensive, highly reccommended).
Kerbal Space Program
is a cartoon-ish game in which you build rockets from pieces and launch/fly them around in a simulated solar system using basic orbital mechanics. It has an active forum
, extensive modifications
, a whole site dedicated to plugins and mods
, and its own subreddit
. This youtube video
demonstrates the latest version, 0.18. [more inside]
explains the major parts of the Saturn V rocket
On September 30, 2011 at 11:08am, Derek Deville's Qu8k (pronounced "Quake") launched from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada
to an altitude of 121,000' before returning safely to earth. Above 99% of the atmosphere the sky turns black in the middle of the day and the curvature of the earth is clearly visible. Direct video links inside. [more inside]
Fancy yourself a rocket scientist? Want to build rockets and shoot little green guys into space? Comfortable with your rocket flying apart and exploding into a thousand fiery pieces? Able to press the space bar? Try Kerbal Space Program. [more inside]
Remember those crazy Danes
? Turns out they've had some problems
. But they're trying again today
! Cecil, meanwhile
, is uncharacteristically uninformed. (Previously
is a physics game whose goal is to collect sprockets to unlock argumentations to your egg shaped rocket ship (and school you about IP law but you can ignore that part)
. [more inside]
Crater face: "Astronaut risks life and limb to bring two moon pimples together for love."
Chrysler's recent announcement of a three year technical collaboration with NASA
continues the automaker's long involvement with the agency, including production of the historic Redstone
, reliable Jupiter
, and mighty Saturn
launch vehicles, and the design of an unusual Space Shuttle
. [more inside]
Compromise emerging for NASA's spaceflight future
Since the announcement was made last month of the cancellation of Constellation (NASA's plan for returning to the Moon and Mars), the punditsphere has been ablaze with condemnation, support, and outright confusion over the future of American manned spaceflight. Keith Cowling, editor of the Nasawatch.com blog, has posted an interesting new development
that if proven right, could prove to be a compromise between those wanting NASA to get out of manned spaceflight altogether and those seeking to keep the administration in the spaceflight business. [more inside]
Soyuz rocket rolls to launch pad.
A fine photoset of an otherwise routine Russian rocket rollout. I can tell that photographer Bill Ingalls
loves rockets. His favs
The North American X-15 Rocket Plane
, which turns 50 this year, flew faster and higher than any manned rocket powered aircraft in history excepting the space shuttle. [more inside]
So you go to be spaceman.
If the space race had taken a few different turns, we might have ended up with a historical exhibit that looked like the one cooked up by the American Dream Technical Institute
. [more inside]
Autumn 1944, and London was under attack from space. Hitler's 'vengeance' rocket, the V-2, was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first man-made object to make a sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 1400 were launched at Britain, with more than 500 striking London. Each hit
caused devastation. The 13 tonne rocket impacted at over 3000 miles per hour. There was no warning; the missile descended faster than the speed of sound and survivors would only hear the approach and sonic booms after the blast. via Londonist.
Video and audio from a camera mounted on one of the side solid rocket boosters during the launch of STS-124.
As the camera is initially facing the main booster, there's not that much to see (except water vapor collecting on the lens and interesting-looking changes in the main booster's surface) until around 1:50, when the booster rocket is jettisoned. After that, enjoy the ride from space to splashdown, but watch out for flying debris! Here's the view from the other booster
, without sound. More onboard STS cameras, previously. [N.B. -- Adjust volume accordingly, it gets loud! Looks even better in high-quality and full-screen modes.]
Footage (in Russian) of some concept tanks. Includes human tanks, hydrofoil tanks, rocket assisted tanks and many many more. SLYT I know, but Rockets! And Tanks!!!
Lost with yesterday's third failure
of Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 1 rocket
were the ashes of actor James "Scotty" Doohan
, who, along with astronaut Gordon Cooper
and over two hundred other cremains, attempted to reach orbit not once
, but twice
Jack "Marvel" Whiteside Parsons
was the right hand man to Aleister Crowley
, a founder of modern US rocket science
, and early partner to L Ron Hubbard
. Celebrate July 4th by investigating this major character in the birth of our age. [more inside]
Before developing exotic space propulsion systems
like the ion engines on deep space probes
, he developed guidance systems for Nazi Germany's ballistic missile, the V2
. As Dr. Werner von Braun's Chief Scientist
, he was one of the brilliant minds that founded the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
and sent astronauts to the moon atop MSFC's Saturn V rocket
. Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, one of the last surviving rocket scientists extracted from Nazi Germany in Operation Paperclip
, died today at 94
Once upon a time in the postwar, before the advent of EPA and OSHA and the Consumer Products Safety Commission and weenies in bike helmets and multilingual warning stickers on stepladders, crazy people walked this earth. Good, fun-loving Americans who knew that "instructions" were something you threw in the trash along with the empty Falstaff bottles. A halcyon era filled with manly men who savored the wholesome virtues of a rugged game of un-seatbelted automotive chicken. One of these men was Gene Middlebrooks, who founded Turbonique
.> [more inside]
has been posted showing the shooting down of satellite USA193 high over the Pacific! [more inside]
a brilliant fan of cryogenics venting from a relief valve on STS-122 Atlantis' ET (external tank) post-separation. Also see this handheld video of the ET
, with money shots at 2:15 and 3:55. [more inside]
hosts an exhaustive collection of information and links about space-related hobbies, including amateur astronomy
, satellite design
, and rocketry for both beginners
The Soviet Union’s answer to Saturn V
, the massive, complex
, and top-secret N1 rocket
, failed win the moon race
after four disastrous launch explosions
between 1969 and 1972. In 2004, Polecat Aerospace had much better luck launching their 1/16 N1 scale model
The Nedelin disaster
remains the most fatal catastrophe in the history of rocketry. On October 26, 1960
an R-16 ICBM
designed by Mikhail Yangel
killing over 100 within moments. The incident remained in strict secrecy for thirty years until it was unearthed
by James Oberg
. The true casualty rate remains a mystery and Kazakhstan
still sees more than its fair share
of rocket mishaps
"The unpiloted 12-foot-long X-43A vehicle, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a B-52 aircraft, lofted to nearly 100,000 feet by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound." Watch
(RealPlayer) it live.
You too can build thunderous and exciting matchstick rockets
Video of Nasa's Delta II rocket launch (RealVideo)
The camera was mounted on the rocket facing down towards earth and the resulting footage is amazing. There's a Windows Media version at MSNBC
UK rocket builder Steve Bennett is working on the worlds first private maned spaceship built by his company Starchaser
with the Nova II announced Thursday. The new rocket will be shipped to the United States and dropped unmanned over the Red Lake Drop Zone in Arizona from 14,000 feet to test its landing systems. If successful, a manned test will take place before the summer, making it Britain's first ever manned rocket capsule. The tests will allow the team to move on to building their ultimate rocket, Thunderbird. Starchaser is confident that Thunderbird will blast off into the history books in 2005, netting the company $10 million from the X-Prize
. Others say it's suicide
Vroooom...fun with all manner of engines. Steam
, Gas Turbines
, and last but by no means least Rockets
Hobbyist records video from the POV of a model rocket via microwave downlink.
The videos may be getting slammed with traffic right now, but the essential geeky construction photos are here.