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Around the world around the world around the world...

Everybody's heard about the "secret" launch of the military's newest spacedrone the X-37, and everybody's heard about the other "secret" launch on the same day. The military has launched another type of spacedrone. This one looks a lot less like this and more like this. Unfortunately they've hit a snag. (previously) It's all part of the the U.S. military's prompt global strike doctrine. Some people think this may be a bad idea. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Jun 9, 2010 - 74 comments

Venera

At a time when the US was turning its attention from the moon and towards Mars, the Soviet Union had an active exploration program for Venus, Venera. Running from 1961 to 1983, the program had setbacks from the first launch, but Venera 9 produced the first ever transmission of images from another planet. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jun 5, 2010 - 45 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

Roll for mutations

old School Science Fiction RPGs: Traveller, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World.
posted by Artw on May 27, 2010 - 99 comments

Space, an expensive frontier

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

Heads Up, Citizen Scientists: The Moon Needs You!

Moon Zoo is another project from Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott, the creator of Galaxy Zoo (previously: 1, 2, 3). Moon Zoo calls for citizen scientists to record the craters and boulders, among other things, on the Moon's surface. [more inside]
posted by kro on May 24, 2010 - 7 comments

awwwwwww

Crater face: "Astronaut risks life and limb to bring two moon pimples together for love."
posted by DZack on May 20, 2010 - 10 comments

Blink and you'll miss it

As the shuttle program winds down, astrophotographers like Thierry Legault are taking advantage of these last opportunities to capture absolutely incredible shots like this one, showing Atlantis' transit in front of the sun as it performs its inspection backflip before docking with the ISS. His other photography includes this magnificent series of the launch of STS-125. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on May 19, 2010 - 16 comments

Yarchive - Notes from the hinterland.

Yarchive is one man's collection of UseNET posts on the topics of Air Conditioning; Aircraft; Bicycles; Cars; Chemistry; Computers; Electrical, Electronic; Environment; Explosives, Pyrotechnics; Food; Houses; Guns; Jokes; Medicine; Metalworking; Military; Nuclear; Telephones; Physics; Risks; Security; Space mostly from a select group of authors. It has been updated several times since it first appeared here in 2001 and it never fails to sucker me in for hours every time I stumble upon it from a Google Search. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on May 19, 2010 - 37 comments

Town & Country & Infinity

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 called SERV. [more inside]
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 17, 2010 - 5 comments

Godspeed Atlantis

Barring the need for STS-335 and any potential extension to the program, today's 2:30 EST scheduled launch of OV-104 Atlantis on STS-132 (pdf) will be her 32nd and final trip to space. She's had a good run (gratuitous launch vid).
posted by cloax on May 14, 2010 - 57 comments

"I'm huntin' now trying to find...a belt in the Jovian morn..."

Something is missing on Jupiter.
posted by Burhanistan on May 13, 2010 - 56 comments

Poop in Spaaace!

The Space Potty - the one question astronauts get asked most often: "How do you 'go' in space?" [via]
posted by Burhanistan on May 6, 2010 - 23 comments

Space race I am

Forty-nine years ago, Alan Shepard literally got his 15 minutes of fame by becoming the second person and first American to go into space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 5, 2010 - 23 comments

Ion Propulsion "Dawns"

Star Trek nerd alert: Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu." Captain Kirk barks out NASA announces Dawn, an ion propulsion rocket to two asteroids, Vesta and Ceres.
posted by Cranberry on May 4, 2010 - 17 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

Hubble Space Telescope, this is your life

On April 24, 1990, the Discovery shuttle launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit around Earth, where it's been for 20 years. This spring, NASA has been rolling out more pretty pictures, videos and even an IMAX movie in its honor. The Hubble has contributed to hundreds of studies about our universe. As we celebrate its legacy, let's reflect on a bit on its past and future. [more inside]
posted by i8ny3x on Apr 23, 2010 - 22 comments

HOLY SHIT, MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON

MOONWALK ONE - A surprisingly groovy look at the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in a full length documentary that contains a lot of rare and not often seen footage of the preparations and launch of the first manned mission to the moon. Warning: Also contains lots of theramins, trippy optical effects, faux bohemians and some really blowy narrative.
posted by loquacious on Apr 23, 2010 - 22 comments

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

"First Light" for the Solar Dynamics Observatory - researchers unveiled "First Light" images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a space telescope designed to study the Sun.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 21, 2010 - 42 comments

I sweep the skies with fire and steel

Journeys to the Internal Space Station (SLBP) [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle on Apr 14, 2010 - 29 comments

Surviving a Space Scrape 40 Years Ago

Jerry Woodfill was an engineer with a mission control console at NASA when Apollo 13 became critically endangered by a blown oxygen tank. He shared his views on how the crew survived with Universe Today in a series of posts: 13 Things that Saved Apollo 13 written by Nancy Atkinson. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Apr 11, 2010 - 10 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

on 1 April

UK Space Agency launched with a logo that "looks uncannily like the logo for the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who." It's mission is to develop British space technology, "[b]ut this will have to be done through unmanned space activities, because for the foreseeable future the UKSA will not have enough resources to reverse the decision, taken by the Thatcher government in the 1980s, that Britain will not pay for manned space flights... planned expeditions to the International Space Station will be funded by the country's partners in the European Space Agency."
posted by kliuless on Mar 24, 2010 - 35 comments

Talking squid in outer space

Margaret Atwood, Science Fiction writer
posted by Artw on Mar 8, 2010 - 251 comments

RIP, Robert McCall 1919 - 2010

Once described by author Isaac Asimov as the "nearest thing to an artist in residence from outer space", his artwork has appeared on stamps and mission patches, posters from epic films and even the walls of the Smithsonian Institution. Renowned space artist Robert McCall died on Friday, February 28 2010. He was 90. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Mar 1, 2010 - 33 comments

Orbital XX

Comics artist Philip Bond draws female astronauts.
posted by Artw on Feb 28, 2010 - 32 comments

Space Tree the Space Tree in Space!

Hey, remember the webtoon Space Tree from about 5 years back? If you don't, or (more likely) if you never became familiar with the series in the first place, check it out. It hasn't been updated in a few years, but the creator said on his twitter feed that new episodes are coming soon.
posted by LSK on Feb 9, 2010 - 5 comments

Tweeting in a most peculiar way / And the stars look very different today

Since late January of 2010, the International Space Station was able to access the Internet for personal use, leading to the first tweet from space. The previous tweets were e-mailed to the ground where support personnel posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Currently there are 17 active NASA astronauts and 6 internatual'nauts tweeting from on high. If their words aren't enough, they're also posting pictures, primarily from Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and José Hernández (@Astro_Jose, whose socio-political messages were covered previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 5, 2010 - 28 comments

Project Orion: to Mars by 1965, in a spaceship propelled by nuclear bombs.

Ted Taylor, physicist, nuclear scientist, and designer of the deceptively tiny Davy Crockett nuclear recoilless rifle, is not quite as famous as one of his other projects: nuclear spacecraft propulsion. Project Orion was intended as an interplanetary (and eventually interstellar) vehicle which could achieve Earth orbit with a series of 800 nuclear explosions, each detonated about a second after the other below the spacecraft. It would propel itself through space in a similar fashion, carrying many orders of magnitude more mass than chemical rockets such as the Saturn which would ultimately take men to the moon. Taylor and others intended a mission to Mars by 1965, but the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 destroyed all hope to see Orion take flight. For the interested, "The Curve of Binding Energy" goes into much more detail, including the U.S. Air Force's plan to turn Orion into a nuclear space battleship (!). A youtube video of an Orion concept test using conventional explosives is here (flight footage begins around 0:23).
posted by edguardo on Feb 1, 2010 - 56 comments

Moon landing = cancelled until further notice

Return to the moon? Not likely. "President Barack Obama is essentially grounding efforts to return astronauts to the moon...".
posted by deacon_blues on Jan 28, 2010 - 179 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

Like Lunar Lander Likes? You'll Like This

Space Ace is the best Flash game I have played in a long time. [more inside]
posted by motty on Dec 21, 2009 - 76 comments

Hubble's Festive View of a Grand Star-Forming Region

A new photograph from the Hubble shows the largest stellar nursery in our galactic region. Click on the picture for a larger image.
posted by Lobster Garden on Dec 20, 2009 - 28 comments

A proposal to send a "boat" to explore the seas of Titan

A proposal will be submitted to NASA to send a "boat" to explore the hydrocarbon seas of Titan
posted by Lobster Garden on Dec 19, 2009 - 65 comments

The Known Universe

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.
posted by srboisvert on Dec 19, 2009 - 46 comments

Designing Space Fighters & Marines

The Physics of Space Battles "I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 17, 2009 - 106 comments

Super-Earth Discovered

GJ 1214b is the most Earth-like planet ever found outside our solar system. And it needs a name.
posted by Taft on Dec 16, 2009 - 174 comments

Explore the Surface of Mercury

NASA's MESSENGER team (previously: 1, 2, 3), with help from the U.S. Geological Survey, released yesterday the first global map of the planet Mercury. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Dec 16, 2009 - 15 comments

At the limit of humankind's ability

Scientists at NASA will announce the first findings from the Kepler mission next month. The results have caught scientists off-guard but they aren't giving any hints as to what mission co-investigator David Latham "was not prescient enough to anticipate". [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Dec 16, 2009 - 94 comments

Captain Forever!

Ship designation: Nemesis. Captain: Forever. (Flash, audio, outer space shoot-em-up fun.) [more inside]
posted by steef on Dec 11, 2009 - 32 comments

The Milky Way at different wavelengths

Zoom around the Milky Way at different wavelengths with Chromoscope: X-Ray, Visible, Hydrogen α, Far-IR, Microwave, Radio. (You can also download it.)
posted by Korou on Dec 8, 2009 - 12 comments

Suborbital

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

Space Shuttle STS-129 Ascent Video

The best space shuttle launch video you will see today. As compiled and edited by NASA's SE&I imagery team at Johnson Space Center.
posted by pashdown on Nov 29, 2009 - 65 comments

Space Chair

Armchair Viewing
posted by vronsky on Nov 18, 2009 - 30 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Photos of Martian landscapes

The frequently excellent photo-blog The Big Picture at the Boston Globe has posted a collection of stunning and, well, alien-looking photos of the martian landscape.
posted by Frankieist on Nov 7, 2009 - 30 comments

The sun is a mass of incandescent (Blue) gas...

Astronomy Picture of the Day presents a truly magnificent sight: the blue sun.
posted by Taft on Nov 4, 2009 - 36 comments

A tiny silver ball /That makes you a hero /The moment you step inside

On Nov. 3, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, a one-way, history-making trip for a dog named Laika. Take a moment to remember her. [more inside]
posted by molybdenumblue on Nov 3, 2009 - 64 comments

The Timeslice Phenomenon

Tim Macmillan has been slicing time for more than twenty years now. His early attempts and the recent applications of his technique in nature documentaries, commercials, sports, music videos and his own short films can be watched on his vimeo page. His technique later mutated into the Bullet Time effect made popular by the Matrix movie. Watched enough? Then read an interesting article about him. Via Fleischfilm. [more inside]
posted by namagomi on Oct 27, 2009 - 13 comments

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