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Where am I now? Travelin' 1.18km/s(2646mph). 70,289km from the Moon. 19 hrs! RU Excited? I am! #lcross

On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and its rocket's Centaur upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper), selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact, a facebook group, and a Twitter feed so you don't miss the moment.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 8, 2009 - 53 comments

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is a game of space exploration that can be played in under twenty minutes. Its adjustable difficulty and random maps make it very replayable, and for the first time ever, it's completely free. PC and Mac versions are available. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog on Sep 29, 2009 - 37 comments

Rocket Shots

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.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Sep 29, 2009 - 34 comments

A trip to Mars

Columbia Hills Flyover 2.0 - "a flyover of the Columbia Hills on Mars using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Spirit, the Mars rover. "
posted by Burhanistan on Sep 25, 2009 - 13 comments

Falta unas cuantas horas para el despegue! Que bonito se siente!!!

José Hernández was a migrant worker when he first started to dream about becoming an astronaut. He is the first astronaut to Twitter in Spanish from space on shuttle mission STS-128. NASA wasn't happy about the controversy he caused when he advocated for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He is not the first Hispanic-American to fly on the space shuttle. Hernández is a national hero in Mexico and has been invited to dine with President Calderon.
posted by desjardins on Sep 24, 2009 - 15 comments

Lauching a HD video camera into space using a balloon.

Lauching a HD video camera into space using a balloon. And retrieving it in one piece.
posted by Jimbob on Sep 23, 2009 - 38 comments

Space Lego!

Pre-Classic Space, Classic Space, Neo-Classic Space. - Creative Space Lego Design!
posted by sciurus on Sep 20, 2009 - 41 comments

Bubble Nebula

Reprocess of Bubble Nebula Data. NGC 7635, also called the Bubble Nebula, is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It's created by stellar winds from a superhot star 40 times the size of our sun which whip the cloud of gas around the star into a bubble. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 20, 2009 - 18 comments

Cobra Mk 3

This month marks the 25th aniversary of Elite, the groundbreaking 3D space trading game. The making of Elite. More on the making of Elite from The Backroom Boys. Emulate the original BBC Micro version. The Dark Wheel.
posted by Artw on Sep 19, 2009 - 29 comments

Near Space Photography Under $150

With the integration of cameras, GPS receivers, and more into cellphones, many people take for granted the lightweight, energy efficient technology in their pockets. MIT ties all that tech together to a weather balloon in Project Icarus, where for $150 a prepaid cellphone becomes a high-altitude near-space camera.
posted by mccarty.tim on Sep 15, 2009 - 15 comments

Rediscover Your Place in the Galaxy

Through three giant images, the Gigagalaxy Zoom project reveals the full sky as it appears with the unaided eye from one of the darkest deserts on Earth, then zooms in on a rich region of the Milky Way to reveal three amazing, ultra-high-resolution images of the night sky that online stargazers can zoom in on and explore in an incredible level of detail.
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 15, 2009 - 18 comments

Making Space Omelettes

Last Tuesday, The Augstine Commission - an independent council created earlier this year to study NASA's human spaceflight objectives - released their findings. While many are responding to the report's grim findings on NASA's budget woes, former aerospace engineer Rand Simberg has a criticism of his own: "If our attitude toward the space frontier is that we must strive to never, ever lose anyone, it will remain closed. If our ancestors who opened the west, or who came from Europe, had such an attitude, we would still be over there, and there would have been no California space industry to get us to the moon forty years ago. It has never been 'safe' to open a frontier, and this frontier is the harshest one that we've ever faced."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Sep 12, 2009 - 104 comments

Galileo would be so proud.

Earlier today, NASA released the first photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope since it was refurbished last May - and the results are absolutely stunning.
posted by Lutoslawski on Sep 9, 2009 - 29 comments

The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma

...the lyrics to that last song were basically taken from an encyclopedia written in the 50s, and since the 50s, some remarkable things have happened...
In 1959, a number of songs about science were released on an album called Space Songs. One of these was later covered by the band They Might Be Giants: Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas). Only one problem: it isn't--the song was based on an incorrect text from 1951. So they wrote an answer song to themselves: Why Does The Sun Really Shine? (The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma). Bonus link: see for yourself! (previously)
posted by Upton O'Good on Sep 6, 2009 - 35 comments

Please Prepare For Landing

1,512 high-resolution images of Mars from the viewpoint of an airplane passenger. Previous photos: 1 2 3
posted by msalt on Sep 4, 2009 - 14 comments

One Way Ticket

In the next few weeks, NASA will present President Obama with options for the near-term future of human spaceflight. A manned flight to Mars is one possibility. But if we do send astronauts to Mars, do we really need to bring them home again?
posted by william_boot on Sep 1, 2009 - 138 comments

cosmic spiral visuals

The Anatomy of Spiral Arms, shows how galaxies naturally evolve to form grand-design two-arm spirals. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 28, 2009 - 18 comments

Orbital Skydiving

Orbital skydives to follow inflatable heatshield success? "NASA has announced a successful live test of a prototype inflatable heat shield for re-entry to a planet's atmosphere. The blow-up shield could have important implications for future missions to Mars - and also, perhaps, for the nascent field of orbital spacesuit skydiving."
posted by homunculus on Aug 20, 2009 - 27 comments

Zoomable Universe

Amazing zoomable images of the Extended Groth Strip and Orion Nebula.
posted by paradoxflow on Aug 15, 2009 - 39 comments

Tweeeeets in Spaaaaace.......

While we may be tuning in, Earthlings haven’t done much to deliberately broadcast messages to space (unless you count the Voyager gold record). Now you can send a 160 character message towards Gliese 581d, the nearest known earth-like planet.
posted by Brodiggitty on Aug 12, 2009 - 85 comments

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is.

Space is really big. A perspective on the Earth and Moon from the view of a pixel.
posted by loquacious on Aug 11, 2009 - 50 comments

Begone ye earthling creatures bold, there are no women here.

Disney's Man and the Moon (1 of 6). One-horned unigoats versus SCIENCE! featuring Werner von Braun who, to the nose adds a small atomic reactor in preparation for [cue dramatic music] a trip around the moon. [via]
posted by tellurian on Aug 8, 2009 - 11 comments

Flying to the Edge of Space

James Mays flies to the edge of space in a U2 spy plane.
posted by Effigy2000 on Aug 7, 2009 - 49 comments

Spacehack

Spacehack "A directory of ways to participate in space exploration. Interact and connect with the space community."
posted by chrismear on Aug 4, 2009 - 6 comments

Circling the lonely moon by yourself, the loneliest person in the universe, weren't you lonely?

Astronaut Michael Collins"I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified façade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied."
posted by miss lynnster on Jul 28, 2009 - 60 comments

5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Scramjets are go!
posted by Artw on Jul 24, 2009 - 35 comments

Apollo 11 Source Code

The Apollo 11 Command Module code (Comanche054) and Lunar Module code (Luminary099) have been open sourced.
posted by chunking express on Jul 21, 2009 - 47 comments

The 17th century mission to the moon.

He built an artificial rainbow machine, but had even bigger plans.
posted by chronkite on Jul 20, 2009 - 15 comments

The Lunar Orbiter's Kodak moment

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned its first images of the Apollo moon landing sites. The spacecraft’s onboard camera photographed Lunar Module descent stages at five of the six Apollo sites—11, 14, 15, 16, and 17. The Apollo 12 site will be photographed in coming weeks. [more inside]
posted by prinado on Jul 17, 2009 - 38 comments

Land, Eagle, Land

We Chose the Moon: The JFK Library and Museum has just launched this interactive web experience using archival audio, video, photos, and recorded transmissions to re-create, in real time, the July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
posted by Miko on Jul 13, 2009 - 43 comments

The Size of Things

Welcome to the Universe - III: The Size of Things . . .we take a breif trip through the Solar System and beyond to see the size of the Universe. A youtube video by AndromedasWake about the scale of the Universe.
posted by nola on Jul 8, 2009 - 20 comments

Zeta Reticuli is watching the Brady Bunch

If extraterrestrial civilizations are monitoring our TV broadcasts, then this is what they are currently watching.
posted by Artw on Jul 7, 2009 - 52 comments

Happy 40th anniversary, mankind.

Moon Landing Tapes Found! [more inside]
posted by sexyrobot on Jul 2, 2009 - 93 comments

It's full of stars

One of the hardest things for people to understand about the universe is just how big it is. There are three approaches typically used in describing its size. The first, the song, was pioneered by Monty Python (NSFWish, wireframe of naked woman) and then done just as masterfully by the Animaniacs. The second, the zoom method has been featured twice before here on the blue. The third method is the comparison method (skip to 1:30, unless you like looking at a image of the solar system with terrible distorted orbits), yielding some truly beautiful videos (this one found via the fantastic Bad Astronomy blog). These videos go, at most, as far as looking at the local cluster or the Virgo Supercluster. There are two videos that attempt to show the size of the entire universe, one unsuccessfully (although with great music) and one successfully. (Warning, all links except the first one, are to YT videos). [more inside]
posted by Hactar on Jul 1, 2009 - 74 comments

The seeming nonsensicalness of this incredible universe

"Workmanlike" astronomy: The Vatican Observatory, among the oldest astronomical centers in the world, brings a team of Jesuits to the papal summer residence. Its scientists play a large part in the church's efforts to reconcile faith with reason. [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 22, 2009 - 31 comments

Star light, star bright, how many stars can I see tonight?

"The arc of the Milky Way seen from a truly dark location is part of our planet's natural heritage," said Connie Walker, and astronomer from the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. Yet "more than one fifth of the world population, two thirds of the U.S. population and one half of the European Union population have already lost naked eye visibility of the Milky Way." In these areas, people are effectively living in perennial moonlight. They rarely realize it because they still experience the sky to be brighter under a full moon than under new moon conditions. "Reducing the number of lights on at night could help conserve energy, protect wildlife and benefit human health," astronomer Malcolm Smith of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. One study found an increased risk of breast cancer for women living in areas with the most light pollution (abstract). Some communities are embracing their dark skies, such as the New Zealand community of Tekapo, possibly home to first "Starlight Reserve," waiting on UNESCO's official approval. Not sure where to look in the vast night sky? Follow some guidelines, or check the view in Chile, Queensland, Australia, or Texas.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 13, 2009 - 74 comments

The Millennial Project

The Millennial Project is a comprehensive plan for space development, beginning with the terrestrial cultivation of an environmentally sustainable civilization and Post-Industrial culture and culminating, far in the future, in the colonization of our immediate stellar neighborhood. The TMP2 project is specifically a project of the Living Universe Foundation community to continually update and revise the content of the original plan as described by Marshal T. Savage in his book The Millennial Project. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 12, 2009 - 8 comments

Flash Game: Starcom

In Starcom, a space-based action adventure game, you pilot a starship defending the galaxy from an encroaching enemy invasion with an increasingly powerful array of armaments and technologies. It's a hell of a lot of fun, so play and enjoy! [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 11, 2009 - 36 comments

Keep an eye in the sky

Go buy a helmet because Astronomers calculate there is a tiny chance that Mars or Venus could collide with Earth. [more inside]
posted by CaptKyle on Jun 11, 2009 - 28 comments

Return from orbit is simply the reverse of takeoff.

The Haynes Workshop Manuals are a series of practical instructional repair manuals aimed at both the DIY enthusiast or shade-tree mechanic and the professional garage repairman. In that spirit, they offer the following guides to repair and service the following: The Spitfire Fighter (no, not that one), The Lancaster Bomber and the Apollo modules.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jun 4, 2009 - 30 comments

A fire-eater in space

We previously lamented the lack of a real writer in space. Well, at least now we will have a poetic and social fire-eater.
posted by bru on Jun 4, 2009 - 15 comments

Sign of the time, so out of line

National Geographic's photographic history of monkeys in space.
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 2, 2009 - 15 comments

Across The Night

A time lapse video of the night sky as it passes over the 2009 Texas Star Party in Fort Davis, Texas. The galactic core of the Milky Way is brightly displayed.
posted by Effigy2000 on May 19, 2009 - 67 comments

But that's where the fun is

Atlantis. Hubble. And a big, yellow friend. Astrophotographer Thierry Legault managed to get amazing shots of Space Shuttle Atlantis approaching the Hubble Space Telescope during a transit of the sun. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on May 15, 2009 - 46 comments

Lunar Leftovers.

How the Moon Became a Trash Can. [more inside]
posted by gman on May 14, 2009 - 65 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

That's no Moon. Or a McDonald's. WTF?

At the mostly abandoned Moffett Field in an abandoned McDonald's, digital archeologists attempt to restore, recover and archive abandoned high resolution imagery and data from previous manned Moon missions, using an abandoned Ampex 2" tape drive found in a chicken coop - the last working machine in the world, restored by the last man alive capable of rebuilding the heads. This is likely only part of their weird story.
posted by loquacious on May 1, 2009 - 66 comments

Lost in Space

Lost in Space: What really happened to Russia's missing cosmonauts? An incredible tale of space hacking, espionage and death in the lonely reaches of space. "There are those who believe that somewhere in the vast blackness of space, about nine billion miles from the Sun, the first human is about to cross the boundary of our Solar System into interstellar space. His body, perfectly preserved, is frozen at –270 degrees C (–454ºF); his tiny capsule has been silently sailing away from the Earth at 18,000 mph (29,000km/h) for the last 45 years. He is the original lost cosmonaut, whose rocket went up and, instead of coming back down, just kept on going." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2009 - 83 comments

Cassini. Camera. Saturn.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft went to Saturn and all it got were these awesome pictures.
posted by Saturn XXIII on Apr 21, 2009 - 70 comments

Space based Solar Power

Space-based Solar Power beamed down to earth sounds pretty far out, but the technology is further along than many suppose, the sun never sets in space, and space is a Saudi Arabia of unlimited energy for the nation with the technology to harness it. PG&E (California) in conjunction with SolarEn has announced a 200MW space solar project to be up by 2016.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 20, 2009 - 87 comments

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