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German Rocket Cats: A Meditation

On March 5th, the Associated Press asked: “What are seemingly jet-propelled cats and birds doing in a 16th century German artillery manual?” It was a good question. [...] European History People sent burning pigs stampeding toward their neighbors regularly and would put a rooster on trial for real actually with a lawyer and everything if someone said it laid an egg without a yolk. If someone like that was soberly strapping a rocket to a cat and you interrupted them in their cat-to-rocket-strapping-room they’d look up like “Yeah?” and they would have this big pinky white person expression on their face like it wasn’t even a little bit weird. [more inside]
posted by 23 on Jun 6, 2014 - 34 comments

ISS Eviction notice

Russia wants to nix plans to use the ISS after 2020, prohibit the United States from visiting the space station after that date along with preventing the US from using Russia made rocket engines for military launches. NASA says it hasn't received any official word, as US Congress critters begin asking questions
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 15, 2014 - 96 comments

Blasting into the unknown...

DIY model rocket builders do it (YT) Just searching for cool things (COOL!) people do that I'd like to try.... Prev on the Blue... Steve Eves launched a 1:10 scale Saturn V.
Of course you can get just a lil creepy with this sort of thing.
then again...be a 12 year old already. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp on Mar 10, 2014 - 21 comments

Stop whining, we're living in the Space Age

Look, I get that some of you want to go to Mars even if it means dying there. I know you're bitter that there are no giant ads for Coke on the surface of the Moon. But what would it say about our species if we let you go and do stupid shit like that? The fact that our scientific community is mostly on board with not murdering you to explore Mars is a good thing. The fact that we are trying to figure how to safely and sustainably build on the Moon before doing it — that is a sign of progress.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 4, 2013 - 59 comments

Not your usual school rocket project

In April 1961, the Haigazian College Rocket Society, a group of students at the Lebanese-Armenian Haigazian University in Beirut, led by 25-year old math teacher Manoug Manougian (interview [Part 1][Part 2][Part 3]), built and launched the first rocket made in the Middle East, a few months before Israel. From 1961 to 1966, the group, now called the Lebanese Rocket Society and assisted by the Lebanese military, launched several multi-stage solid fuel rockets named Cedar 1 to Cedar 8 (Reuters). Lebanon's contribution to the Space Race (or surface-to-surface missile development) ended in 1966, seemingly for political reasons. This story is the subject of a documentary + installation by Lebanese artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
posted by elgilito on May 3, 2013 - 1 comment

Probably not really safe for... anywhere.

Turn empty water bottles into alcohol fueled rockets. [slyt]
posted by quin on Apr 17, 2013 - 34 comments

belters expanse trajectory: working up the Epstein Drive

How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 14, 2013 - 34 comments

Dreams of Space

Dreams of Space. A blog featuring art from non-fiction children's space flight books 1945-1975. Lots of great graphics, from the realistic to the now fanciful. I must also point out the wonderful Czech pop-up book and A Trip to Outer Space With Santa.
posted by marxchivist on Feb 6, 2013 - 8 comments

We’re going to Mars! WITH A SPACEGIRL, TWO CATS AND A MISSIONARY

In 1964, Zambia joined the Space Race with help from Edward Makuka Nkoloso, an enthusiastic, if overly optimistic, primary school teacher (partial transcript, video very much of its time). Though the rocket never left Lusaka, and there was never any real support from either the Zambian government or UNESCO, Nkoloso's project caught the imagination of Spanish artist Cristina de Middel in her short film, The Afronauts. Middel explains, "The images are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level, but it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices. It's just like saying strong words with a beautiful smile." via.
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 3, 2012 - 8 comments

I don't want to set the world on fire/I just want to start a flame in your heart

Five years ago today Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com released the Amazon Kindle, a move that would revolutionize the publishing industry. While often controversial, most recently for its international tax avoidance schemes, Amazon has been very successful and has made millions for its founder. What has Bezos done with some of his tax-free millions? Well for one, he launched and landed a rocket vertically, and posted the video to YouTube, just yesterday. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 19, 2012 - 99 comments

Royce White

Royce White is a professional American basketball player who suffers from general anxiety disorder. Though he was considered one of the best talents in last year's NBA draft, he was not selected until the 16th pick, due to concerns over his mental health and his avowed reluctance to fly. Although the NBA season is only a couple of weeks old, White and his team, the Houston Rockets, are already having difficulty determining how to manage his health while meeting the professional demands of the NBA. LINKS: Documentary highlighting White's anxiety // Highlights of White while at Iowa State // White's Twitter account (where he is currently tweeting about his situation)
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Nov 14, 2012 - 46 comments

An Empire of Stars

A cold autumn day was dawning as the German soldiers of the Altenwalde Versuchskommando prepared their V2 rocket for launch. They'd done this a hundred times before, but when the V2 finally roared up into the sky over the North Sea, the men of the AVKO couldn't help but smile and cheer. Soon the rest of the soldiers and officers around the launchpad were cheering as well. British officers and soldiers. Because this was Operation Backfire, the beginning of something that most people don't even know existed - the British Space Programme. [more inside]
posted by garius on Aug 30, 2012 - 42 comments

What the fuck has NASA done to make your life awesome?

What the fuck has NASA done to make your life awesome?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 14, 2012 - 71 comments

DIY rockets. Made of paper matches and tinfoil

Make your own rocket. All you need is a paper match, a pin, paperclip and tinfoil. [SLVimeo]
posted by hot_monster on Jul 2, 2012 - 41 comments

Kazakhstan and Beyond!

In Pictures: Star City and the Baikonur Cosmodrome
posted by Artw on May 17, 2012 - 24 comments

To the ocean, Alice!

"NASA is one of the few institutions I know that can inspire five-year-olds. It sure inspired me, and with this endeavor, maybe we can inspire a few more youth to invent and explore." An undersea expendition funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has discovered the spent rocket engines used to power Apollo 11.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 29, 2012 - 59 comments

That German that sent Americans to the Moon

Remembering Wernher von Braun on his 100th Birthday.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 24, 2012 - 85 comments

SpaceShipTwo

The team that won the X-Prize in partnership with SpaceX, goes orbital
posted by Long Way To Go on Dec 13, 2011 - 29 comments

We see the Earth, now.

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]
posted by lazaruslong on Oct 10, 2011 - 25 comments

Space Stasis

Space Stasis - What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation. By Neal Stephenson.
posted by 00dimitri00 on Feb 2, 2011 - 38 comments

Pickup Truck or Rocket?

Trying to decide between a Ram heavy-duty pickup truck (gross combined weight rating of 24,500 pounds) and a Delta IV Heavy rocket (maximum payload 28,650 pounds)? This article and infographic will help. [more inside]
posted by alms on Jan 20, 2011 - 74 comments

One giant leap for goonkind.

Some people make DIY drones. Some people build WiFi-hacking UAVs. Somethingawful members build their own submarines, floating launch-platforms, and tow their own manned spacecraft out to sea.
posted by fake on Aug 22, 2010 - 34 comments

Hold still, I saw this in a cartoon once.

Home dentistry meets model rocketry. (SLYT)
posted by BitterOldPunk on Jun 16, 2010 - 36 comments

Next Stop: The Moon

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch — This clip is raw from Camera E-8 on the launch umbilical tower/mobile launch program of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. This is an HD transfer from the 16mm original. The camera is running at 500 fps, making the total clip of over 8 minutes represent just 30 seconds of actual time. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 23, 2010 - 88 comments

Crayon Pack and Flash Gordon

John Coker's Rocketry is organized to provide useful and interesting information for rocketry hobbyists, and cool pictures and fun descriptions for the web surfer curious about hobby rocketry. From an introduction and tutorials, to John's rocket fleet and launch photos, liftoff is made easy. But what brought me here was the Crayon Pack. [via metachat] [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 5, 2010 - 10 comments

Suck my exhaust, "Happy Feet"!

Saturday Flash Hangover: Help a penguin Learn to Fly and scratch "flighless bird" from that stupid wikipedia article. [more inside]
posted by Decimask on Jun 20, 2009 - 11 comments

Who's up for launch?

Steve's Story: Since 1994 Steve Eves has been dreaming of something big. He is about to have his day. On April 25th at Higgs Farm in Maryland. Steve Eves will launch the largest model rocket ever, a 1/10 scale model of the Saturn V that sent men to the moon. The launch will be open to the public.
posted by jefeweiss on Apr 19, 2009 - 45 comments

How To Make A Rocket.

A Gaza journalist shows us how homemade rockets are made. More from Zouheir Alnajjar.
posted by gman on Jan 16, 2009 - 46 comments

Rocket pistol

The gyrojet pistol (video) - a handgun firing 13mm rocket ammunition, was an attempt to revolutionise gun design in the 1960s. Around a thousand were produced, and some may have seen use in Vietnam. Rifle and carbine versions were also produced. Design problems meant that it never seriously competed conventional firearms, but there is a modern attempt to revive the concept.
posted by Artw on Jul 26, 2008 - 38 comments

It Is Rocket Science

Assemble a rocket from main engine to payload fairing. Rocket Science 101 shows the basic parts of the launch vehicle, how they are configured, and how they work together to launch a NASA spacecraft. More Friday Flash Fun.
posted by netbros on May 30, 2008 - 8 comments

Laika Star

The history of the Russian space program in three short videos. The past, the present, and the future.
posted by vronsky on Mar 21, 2008 - 7 comments

Pass the Future, please.

Tales of Future Past* — It's been a looong Monday. Do you want to get off the planet and out of the city to a place where you can really live? Well, here's some food for thought on the way home down life's highways. First, take a break from all this depressing war talk. Then empower yourself by giving yourself some space and maybe taking off for a few days. Drive just a bit slower, turn up the volume and imagine that your mechanic will say the tranny's OK after all. Once you're in the front door, take time to get slightly wired and forget all about politics. Get recharged for tomorrow: have a nice long bath, put your mind at ease, watch Ur Fave shOw, and listen to some soothing music. Now, don't things look a lot better? [*Note the 'Start the Tour' links at the bottom of each page.]
posted by cenoxo on Feb 12, 2007 - 10 comments

Because if Big Jim did it, it wouldn't be nearly as cool...

You know this is what you always wanted to do with your G.I. Joe and his Mercury Capsule. (And knowing is half the battle!) Oh, and more video rocketry.
posted by kimota on Jan 10, 2007 - 24 comments

Prepare for the home-made invasion!

Robots, rockets, and rayguns, oh my!
posted by Robot Johnny on Apr 7, 2006 - 11 comments

Look up in the sky! It's a Bert! It's a Plane!

The aerodynamic qualities of Bert's head. G-cluster rockets constructed out of vintage Muppet toys compete for glory in the semi-annual Evil Bert Rocket Race. (Video available from 2002, 2004, and 2005) And of course, when you're ready for it, you can make your own. (via PuppetVision)
posted by Robot Johnny on Jan 11, 2006 - 11 comments

WMD's Dumped By Army Off U.S. Coasts

Decades of dumping chemical arms leave a risky legacy The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels. These weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off at least 11 states - six on the East Coast, two on the Gulf Coast, California, Hawaii and Alaska. Few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence.
posted by notmtwain on Nov 4, 2005 - 33 comments

Rocket Racing League Scheduled to start in 2006

NASCAR? F1? Pah! Now we're talking Rocket Racing!! Apparently not content to sit idle, the founder of the Ansari Space X-prize , Peter Diamandis, has launched a rocket racing league. While this sounds pretty amazing in itself, here's the real clincher: it's scheduled to start its first race in September 2006.

According to the press release: the RRL will see Grand Prix-style races between rocket planes, flown by top pilots through a "3D trackway" just 5,000ft (1,500m) above the ground. Pictures here (make sure to click the concept links on the same page). BBC Story here.
posted by Mave_80 on Oct 4, 2005 - 22 comments

'You should see my garage. It's a nightmare.' -- from the FAQ

Fantastic Plastic "A celebration of science, engineering, daring and imagination, what follows is a chronicle of Man's highest aspirations as expressed through his flying machines, both real and imagined."
posted by anastasiav on Jan 19, 2004 - 5 comments

And you can have some nice OEM versions of Windows XP for free, too.

Pssst... got some luvverly bits of rocket here, guv'nor. Bring darn a plane like nobody's business. Yours for $90,000. Nah, 'cos I like you, I'll do you a deal: $85,000.

Black market missiles, anybody? [apologies for the Cockney accent]
posted by humuhumu on Aug 13, 2003 - 23 comments

retro-future

Designing a Space Colony? Start Here. Some light Reading. Be sure to check out the artwork (more space art by Don Davis).
posted by wobh on May 3, 2003 - 4 comments

Challenger Nuclear Prometheus rockets

Perhaps after the Challenger tragedy Nasa will rethink Project Prometheus.
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 3, 2003 - 23 comments

Maybe they should have let Lance Bass on this one.

Maybe they should have let Lance Bass on this one. A Soyuz rocket explodes 29 seconds after takeoff, killing one and injuring eight from the blast. Although it was not carrying any material destined for the International Space Station, launch delays caused by the investigation into the explosion might hurt the IIS project in the long run.
posted by LuxFX on Oct 16, 2002 - 18 comments

What is Dick Rutan up to now?

What is Dick Rutan up to now? The reigning master of innovation in aerospace is up to something, as shown in the linked photo. But what is it? Rutan is also helping to bring us rocket powered airplanes and, of course, flew Voyager around the world not so long ago.
posted by billsaysthis on Oct 15, 2002 - 22 comments

Presenting the no-gasoline, no-pollution, no-engine personal flier

Presenting the no-gasoline, no-pollution, no-engine personal flier Hydrogen peroxide is used to fuel individual rocket motors at the tips of helicoptor like rotors.... James Bond eat your heart out :)
posted by zeoslap on Feb 22, 2001 - 5 comments

Mission To Mars

Mission To Mars What if we could get there in about two weeks?
posted by Skot on Feb 1, 2001 - 21 comments

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