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Tax dollars hard at work around Saturn

Ten years ago, the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft became the first to orbit the planet Saturn. After dropping off Huygens on the moon Titan, Cassini proceeded to spend its time exploring the Saturn system, watching the birth of a new moon, photographing water vents on Enceladus, discovering methane lakes on Titan, spotting hurricanes on Saturn, confirming aspects of general relativity and all sorts of other stuff. Enjoy these stunning photographs, explore the timeline of its exploration and marvel at the complex orbital mechanics that keep Cassini flying in Saturn's system with a tiny fuel supply.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 1, 2014 - 32 comments

The Apollo 11 flight plan

Presented for your enjoyment and perusal: the Apollo 11 Flight Plan, and other fun reading material. [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo on Jun 29, 2014 - 23 comments

One small alarm for a spacecraft, one giant mission for mankind

The Rosetta spacecraft just woke up after a 32 month nap, some 500 million miles from Earth (interactive location tool) in preparation for its encounter with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 21, 2014 - 26 comments

We've planned too many wonders for one little star

"In 'Somebody Will' I wanted to get across why I see sci-fi and fantasy fandom as a more positive, productive world than many of the hobbies and communities common in our culture. [...] The hardest part of the piece is singing it to the end without crying."
[more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first on Jan 6, 2014 - 5 comments

Looking out the window while landing on the moon

Simultaneous video and selectively played audio of every Apollo lunar landing on one screen. (via Collect Space) [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 22, 2013 - 8 comments

We spent $100 billion and all we got is a space station

As the Cygnus cargo spacecraft makes its initial demostration flight to the International Space Station, the question arises, what is the ISS for?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 18, 2013 - 108 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

Rise of the Earths

How Artists Once Imagined the Earth Would Look from Space
posted by Artw on Mar 27, 2013 - 5 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

Landing on Titan, now in full color!

It's been just over eight years since the Hugyens space probe separated from the Cassini spacecraft and drifted down to the surface Saturn's moon Titan. Along the way it provided video and sounds of its descent.

Now a 3D visualization of its landing, based on data from the spacecraft itself, has been created.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 15, 2013 - 14 comments

Not because it was easy, but because it was hard

Apollo 40 years on: how the moon missions changed the world for ever
posted by Artw on Dec 17, 2012 - 28 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

Our Robot/Meatbag Space Future

Almost Being There: Why the Future of Space Exploration Is Not What You Think
posted by Artw on Nov 13, 2012 - 33 comments

Launching and catching Dragons

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday morning, after a slightly problematic launch on Sunday. Following on the successful test flight in May, this mission marks the first official supply run to the ISS by a private company. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 10, 2012 - 98 comments

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Oh wait, there's another space idea.

How did space travel turned into an office park when it was sold as being a unique adventure?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 25, 2012 - 49 comments

Astronauts and religion

Communion on the Moon: The Religious Experience in Space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 22, 2012 - 35 comments

Kazakhstan and Beyond!

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

"Obviously a major malfunction."

Chilling amateur home video of the Challenger disaster "Obviously a major malfunction." Those words have always haunted me, but to hear them here, echoing across a PA system as shocked onlookers come to terms with what they have just seen, they carry even more power than they did when they were just an anonymous voiceover on a TV shot.
posted by LondonYank on May 2, 2012 - 107 comments

High resolution scans from the US Gemini space program

On Jan. 6, the NASA Johnson Space Center and the School of Earth and Space Exploration unveiled the Project Gemini Online Digital Archive. The archive contains the first high-resolution digital scans of the original flight films from the US Gemini space program.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 10, 2012 - 13 comments

NASA's new ride

NASA is designing a spiffy new rocket, the Space Launch System, which will lob people and cargo to the moon, an asteroid and eventually Mars. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 20, 2011 - 92 comments

Astronauts who got creative about their experiences

Over 500 people have traveled into outer space. While many have written books about the experience, only a few have used more creative means to express what they saw and felt. Here are a few: [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 9, 2011 - 13 comments

How many people traveled on the space shuttle?

How many people flew on the Space Shuttle?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 21, 2011 - 35 comments

What humans are doing in space these days

Hey, remember the ISS, that space station the Space Shuttle helped build before the shuttle was retired? Turns out humans might have to vacate that nifty space station for a bit. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 30, 2011 - 93 comments

It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore

On May 16, 2011, after one scrubbed attempt, the space shuttle Endeavour set off on her final mission, STS-134. Shuttle commander Mark Kelly had this to say after receiving a "go" from the launch poll:
On this final flight of space shuttle Endeavour, we want to thank all the tens of thousands of dedicated employees that have put their hands on this incredible ship and dedicated their lives to the space shuttle program. As Americans, we Endeavour to build a better life than the generation before, and we Endeavour to be a united nation. In these efforts, we are often tested. This mission represents the power of teamwork, commitment, and exploration. It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore; we must not stop. To all the millions watching today, including our spouses, children, family, and friends, we thank you for your support.
You've seen launches before, but NASA has uploaded a whole slew of angles that will truly amaze: Witness 4.4 million pounds of shuttle, fuel, and rocket boosters "twang" a full 18 inches as the main engines ignite. 1.2 million pounds of thrust push against a locked down stack, waiting for the solid rocket boosters to ignite. (The SRBs bring the total to 7 million lbs of thrust, enough to break all that binds her to the pad.) OTV Camera 71, a fantastic, short close-up. UCS-15 (TV-21A) provides a dead-on, close up shot of the launch. The South Beach Tracker shot offers a fantastic view as well. From 3.1 miles away at the Press Site, note the ~11 second delay before the piercing sound of the SRBs hits. And just released today, fantastic footage from the solid rocket boosters, including their trip to splashdown in the Atlantic ocean from 30 miles up. And finally, the classic NASA view, with some great data overlays by Spacevidcast. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on May 26, 2011 - 40 comments

Deep Space N

Introducing the Nautilus-X MMSEV, a manned deep space craft proposed by a team at NASA's Johnson Space Centre.
posted by Artw on Feb 14, 2011 - 34 comments

High fashion

A space wardrobe - images of the National Air and Space Museum’s collection of spacesuits from throughout the history of American space exploration.
posted by Artw on Dec 21, 2010 - 9 comments

"The deepest of the deep"

In event of moon disaster...
posted by Artw on Nov 5, 2010 - 70 comments

Touch the history of the Russian astronautics and missilery!

Astonishing photos of remnants of the Soviet Lunar program, via Jalopnik, who have more details.
posted by Artw on Oct 6, 2010 - 32 comments

Your Face in Space

With only two missions remaining as they wind down the space shuttle, NASA has a program to make countless dreams of space travel come (partially) true: Fly Your Face in Space. [more inside]
posted by audacity on Jul 29, 2010 - 12 comments

Is there life before Mars?

Six would-be astronauts will this week begin a 520-day mock space voyage to simulate a mission to Mars. How will they cope with the huge psychological pressures? It's a project that may simulate a mission that's going nowhere.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 1, 2010 - 113 comments

Space, an expensive frontier

Can the free market save the space program?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 26, 2010 - 41 comments

All summer In A Night

The final night flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavor [more inside]
posted by humannaire on Apr 27, 2010 - 25 comments

High Frontier

“In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back for sure” - The US Air Force's first launch of the X-37b reusable space vehicle has provoked much speculation, with some even wondering if the Pentagon is reviving Nazi space-bomber plans. But was the launch of spaceplane an attempt to mask the launch of another secret weapon?
posted by Artw on Apr 25, 2010 - 55 comments

Space Shuttle 2.0

Certainly you've read of the Space Shuttle's imminent retirement, but are you prepared for the secret robot "mini" shuttle, the X-37B? After a decade of checkered development under NASA, DARPA (with assistance from Scaled Composites' White Knight) and finally the U.S. Air Force, the first X-37B spaceplane, the Orbital Test Vehicle, is ready for an April 19th launch.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 3, 2010 - 40 comments

2009 John H. Glenn Lecture

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Annual John H. Glenn Lecture took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Tickets were in high demand for the event, which featured the Apollo 11 astronauts - among others - discussing the past, present, and future of manned spaceflight. [more inside]
posted by futureisunwritten on Jan 2, 2010 - 17 comments

Suborbital

Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo
posted by Artw on Dec 7, 2009 - 83 comments

1Q 100+, Blood Pressure normal, lungs clear, metabolism normal, adaptability good

Images from The Complete Book of Space Travel illustrated by Virgil Finlay, including an analysis of the space-crew candidate.
posted by Artw on May 7, 2009 - 30 comments

When the Shuttle program nearly ended - in 1988

"I said to myself, 'we are going to die.'" Space Shuttle commander Hoot Gibson on his reaction as he saw pictures from the Shuttle's robot arm of gouged and missing tiles along its underbelly. Shades of Columbia - but this was mission STS-27, over fourteen years earlier. Yet mission control discounted the reports from orbit, perhaps misled by the poor quality of the downlinked images that resulted from encryption demanded by the mission's secretive military profile. In the end, Atlantis made it back, but with visible damage along her right flank. But like most classified DoD missions of the time, little was reported, and NASA was arguably wary of drawing attention to the near-loss of only the second flight since the Challenger disaster. But if this near-miss had been better known, might NASA have been more concerned about indications of debris damage during the launch of STS-107?
posted by Major Clanger on Mar 28, 2009 - 28 comments

Oooh!

Video of the destructive reentry into the atmosphere of the Automated Transfer Vehicle back from its trip to the ISS.
posted by Catfry on Sep 30, 2008 - 53 comments

Balloon In Space (Nearly)

Project Nova: on the 9th of September three Cambridge engineering students launched a balloon equipped with a camera and tracking devices. It reached a height of 32km and took 857 photographs during its three hour flight, some showing the curvature of the earth. You can also download a KML file to follow the balloon's flight path in Google Earth.
posted by jack_mo on Sep 23, 2006 - 24 comments

out of the blue!

Is there any purpose to the kind of manned space flights we seem to be concentrating on?
posted by pantsrobot on Aug 4, 2005 - 48 comments

There (really :) goes the budget!

We may have avoided a trade war, but it looks like a space race is on.
posted by kliuless on Dec 3, 2003 - 52 comments

Baby, Bye, Bye, Bye!

Baby, Bye, Bye, Bye! NSYNC = NSPACE. Not anymore! Looks like Lance doesn't have the money, and the Russians got tired of waiting.
posted by wsfinkel on Sep 3, 2002 - 27 comments

Conspiracy or not?

Conspiracy or not? Convinced to sit and watch FOX's show on whether we landed on the moon, I found myself wondering why there was no evidence against the hoax presented. Is this is clearly another feed on the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK's administration? Or was it just another "When cars attack?" (If so, I didn't find this as funny)
posted by samsara on Mar 26, 2001 - 24 comments

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