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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
: 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 -