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The Solar Connection

Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
posted by digaman on Dec 24, 2008 - 39 comments

Martian maps

Martian maps and a few others in good quality PDF.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 16, 2008 - 9 comments

Video and audio from jettisoned solid rocket boosters, STS-124

Video and audio from a camera mounted on one of the side solid rocket boosters during the launch of STS-124. As the camera is initially facing the main booster, there's not that much to see (except water vapor collecting on the lens and interesting-looking changes in the main booster's surface) until around 1:50, when the booster rocket is jettisoned. After that, enjoy the ride from space to splashdown, but watch out for flying debris! Here's the view from the other booster, without sound. More onboard STS cameras, previously. [N.B. -- Adjust volume accordingly, it gets loud! Looks even better in high-quality and full-screen modes.]
posted by not_on_display on Dec 11, 2008 - 46 comments

The Carpenters' Final Frontier

The Carpenters... Space Encounters. Just what it sounds like! Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. [more inside]
posted by hermitosis on Dec 10, 2008 - 20 comments

Enceladus

Source Of Geysers On Saturn's Moon Enceladus May Be Underground Water. Earlier this year the Cassini spacecraft detected organic material in the geysers of Enceladus. The question now is, how's the fishing?
posted by homunculus on Dec 10, 2008 - 53 comments

Galactic Mail

Galactic Mail In the future, UPS & FedEx will race and fight in space. via
posted by jontyjago on Dec 6, 2008 - 10 comments

Mammoth Stars

WR 25 And Tr16-244: Previously Unseen Mammoth Stars Get The Hubble Treatment.
posted by homunculus on Nov 27, 2008 - 11 comments

Pop Rocks

The Little Fox has gas. Giovanna Tinetti using the Hubble Telescope says (in Nature - subscription required) there's Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere of the Jupiter sized, hot, extrasolar planet HD 189733b. Scientists have also found methane clouds in its atmosphere, as well as water vapor. Tinetti (who looks a bit like Kari Byron from mythbusters if you squint) also found evidence of methane.
posted by Smedleyman on Nov 27, 2008 - 11 comments

MeteorFilter

Fire in the sky - a meteor burns up somewhere over Western Canada. Really impressive video here, another video, TV news with more footage here.
posted by Artw on Nov 21, 2008 - 67 comments

Lube Jokes will be too Obvious

At a cost of $20,000 a pound (google search prices vary). You have to wonder how much this cost. Poor Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her tool bag But don't worry, NASA tracks NEOs. And then there is the missing spider. Lastly, throwing in a gratuitous link to APOD (because it's cool and I can't wait to see the tool bag show up).
posted by cjorgensen on Nov 18, 2008 - 52 comments

Do we really want that Moon base?

An election of a new President brings forth new ideas on the Vision for Space Exploration. The Planetary Society is lobbying to remove the Moon from the equation, which prompted Apollo astronaut, ex-senator, and geologist Harrison Schmitt to resign from the board in protest. Meanwhile moon-free plans proliferate. What will Obama do? Interesting hints are given in a position paper written by people associated with his transition team. [more inside]
posted by spaceviking on Nov 18, 2008 - 70 comments

Portals Between Earth and Sun Open Every Eight Minutes

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth. "Like giant, cosmic chutes between the Earth and sun, magnetic portals open up every eight minutes or so to connect our planet with its host star. Once the portals open, loads of high-energy particles can travel the 93 million miles (150 million km) through the conduit during its brief opening, space scientists say." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 5, 2008 - 34 comments

Sports.... in space!

Former Redskins linebacker Ken Harvey wants to bring sports to space. He calls it Space Sportilization
posted by martinX's bellbottoms on Oct 31, 2008 - 15 comments

The Whole Earth Photolog

From grainy stills to gorgeous high-resolution portraits, from intimate pairings to stark contrasts, and from old standbys to little-known surprises, The Planetary Society's Earth galleries offer a rich collection of stunning photography and video footage of our world as seen from both planetary spacecraft and geostationary satellites. It is a vista that has inspired many a deep thought in the lucky few that have seen it firsthand [previously]. Oh, and the rest of the Solar System is pretty neat, too.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 3, 2008 - 9 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

SpaceX finally makes it to orbit

SpaceX's fourth flight was successful. Scaled Composites' X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne made the first privately funded hop into space. SpaceX just took the next big step and inserted a dummy payload into orbit. Next, they will launch the much larger Falcon 9 and later test out the human-carrying Dragon. CEO Elon Musk also enjoys dabbling in banking and exotic electric cars.
posted by b1tr0t on Sep 28, 2008 - 45 comments

Japan in the Space Elevator race

Japan is showing renewed interest as another contender in the race to build the world's first space elevator. Japanese scientists believe they can complete the project with an optimistic trillion yen budget, and are sponsoring an international conference (no English) this November to draw up a timetable. [more inside]
posted by p3t3 on Sep 27, 2008 - 60 comments

Dark Flow

Mysterious New 'Dark Flow' Discovered in Space. "As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren't vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered. Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon 'dark flow.' The stuff that's pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 25, 2008 - 73 comments

ANTS in Space

The Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm (ANTS) "...is a generic mission architecture consisting of miniaturized, autonomous, self-similar, reconfigurable, addressable components forming structures. The components/structures have wide spatial distribution and multi-level organization. This ‘swarm’ behavior is inspired by the success of social insect colonies...." ANTS may one day teem through the solar system.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Sep 14, 2008 - 14 comments

"Survivor: Extremophile Edition" Results Show

Is life possible even in the coldest depths of space? If so, this tough little guy has long been thought to be a good candidate. Now, finally, analysis of the Tardigrades (a.k.a. "water bears") exposed to open space as part of the TARDIS project is finally complete. So what's the verdict? [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Sep 9, 2008 - 39 comments

I Didn't Know That

Science Hack is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things to do with sulfur hexafluoride. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang?
posted by netbros on Aug 7, 2008 - 6 comments

More was Lost than Just the Rocket

Lost with yesterday's third failure of Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 1 rocket were the ashes of actor James "Scotty" Doohan, who, along with astronaut Gordon Cooper and over two hundred other cremains, attempted to reach orbit not once, but twice.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 3, 2008 - 38 comments

Phoenix Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
posted by finite on Aug 1, 2008 - 52 comments

Warp Drive

Putting the Warp into Warp Drive.
posted by homunculus on Jul 28, 2008 - 60 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

NASA Images / Internet Archive

Brewster Khale over at Internet Archive just announced they are working with NASA to make available the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video at nasaimages.org. It combines for the first time 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 24, 2008 - 20 comments

New Hi-Res Mars Pix

The European Space Agency's Mars Express Probe has sent back some beautiful new high-resolution images of the Echus Chasma. More images and information can be found here.
posted by tits mcgee on Jul 16, 2008 - 14 comments

Universe Sandbox

An Interactive Space Simulator "Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with our solar system: the 8 planets,160+ moons, and hundereds of asteroids, the nearest 1000 stars to our Sun, and our local group of galaxies." [31Mb, Windows only, sorry, but see inside for similar Mac and Linux apps] [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jul 11, 2008 - 27 comments

Mother Nature is an abstract artist

30 Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth "From 400 miles away, the earth transforms into abstract art. The global landscape is impressionist, cubist and pointillist." Nice NASA images from 2000, downloadable as wallpaper.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jul 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Hedghogs in space

Flash friday late night thursday fun: Hedgehog Launch [more inside]
posted by roofus on Jun 26, 2008 - 27 comments

There's nothing as beautiful as a urine dump at sunset.

How space toilets work. They've come a long way. They sure don't look like the one in my house. What happens when they break? NPR explains the logistics of the repair process. Oh thank heavens, it's working again.
posted by desjardins on Jun 14, 2008 - 10 comments

Captain Kirks Alien Mysteries

With all the crystal skulls, nazca lines and such at the box office these days now might be the ideal time to reacquaint yourself with the theories of Erich von Däniken. What better way to do it than by watching William Shatners Mysteries of the Gods ( Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5, Pt. 6, Pt. 7, Pt. 8, Pt. 9, Pt. 10)(MULTI LINK YOUTUBE SHATNERFEST)
posted by Artw on Jun 10, 2008 - 28 comments

The Overview Effect

Do Our Brains Change When We Travel in Outer Space? A book of compiled accounts of astronauts and cosmonauts called The Overview Effect puts forth anecdotal evidence towards that end. The Overview Institute declares it as fact and aims to induce the change in as many people as possible. One space tourist has volunteered to be a human guinea pig in 2009.
posted by Burhanistan on Jun 2, 2008 - 27 comments

“A most dread portent took place, the sun gave forth its light without brightness.”

The Atlantic has an interesting article about the high probability of "space rocks" hitting the earth, possibly as high as a 1 in 10 chance of a major catastrophe each century. Not a new theme, but the article has some new developments suggesting it is more common than once thought. Includes a 10 minute video.
posted by stbalbach on May 30, 2008 - 19 comments

Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, 1914-2008

Before developing exotic space propulsion systems like the ion engines on deep space probes, he developed guidance systems for Nazi Germany's ballistic missile, the V2. As Dr. Werner von Braun's Chief Scientist, he was one of the brilliant minds that founded the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and sent astronauts to the moon atop MSFC's Saturn V rocket. Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, one of the last surviving rocket scientists extracted from Nazi Germany in Operation Paperclip, died today at 94.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 27, 2008 - 28 comments

Phoenix to land on Mars.

Phoenix is set to land on Mars at 2353 UTC. Video coverage: NASA | CNN
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 25, 2008 - 97 comments

How to land at the Martian north pole.

Seven minutes of terror. A short video on describing how the Phoenix probe will land at the North Pole of Mars on May 25th. Follow updates to the mission via Twitter and the blog. Previously
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 14, 2008 - 38 comments

Is life on Mars a good sign for us?

The "Great Filter" is a hypothetical barrier to explain why civilisations are so unlikely to progress to the point of inter-stellar colonisation that we have not encountered any in 40 years of looking. Maybe humanity has already negotiated the filter - as some massive evolutionary improbability - or perhaps it lies in our future as an almost-certain threat to our existence? We should hold our breath as we look for evidence of life on Mars.
posted by rongorongo on May 12, 2008 - 85 comments

Koyaanisqatsi

Koyaanisqatsi [more inside]
posted by phrontist on May 10, 2008 - 72 comments

"Gravity pretty much is irrelevant"

Does a boomerang thrown in space return to its pitcher? It does indeed. [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 1, 2008 - 62 comments

Space, to lick the very fuzzy navel of the heavens

Ever wondered what life is like on the International Space Station? Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 25, 2008 - 25 comments

Gravitic Mayhem

" It looks as if our Milky Way will be subsumed into its giant neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy...." A (not so) little trove of images of galactic collisions has been released to mark the 18th anniversary of the Hubble telescope's launch. Gravitic Mayhem. (via)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Apr 24, 2008 - 21 comments

The Color(s) Out of Space

The hills of other earths might not be green...The Color(s) Out of Space. [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Apr 21, 2008 - 23 comments

I love arachnids! I love hot magma!

Feel good hit of the year; Discovery Channel's 'I Love the Whole World' ad [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 19, 2008 - 103 comments

In tribute to Charlton Heston, Russia has begun a real-life Planet of the Apes.

By 2020, Mars may have monkeys, adding to the impressive roster of primates in space.
posted by myopicman on Apr 14, 2008 - 24 comments

Stars In Your Eyes

See Saturn this Saturday April 12 is the second annual International Sidewalk Astronomy Night, a worldwide event coordinated by the Sidewalk Astronomers. The group, founded in 1968 by John Dobson (subject of this documentary), is dedicated to a sort of guerrilla astronomy -- experienced stargeeks bringing their really good telescopes out to places where people are. So even on your way to the bars, the shows, and the honky-tonk you can see stuff like this and this - like these people did.
posted by Miko on Apr 10, 2008 - 16 comments

"Cities in Japan have a distinct blue-green cast."

Cities at Night, an Orbital Tour Around the World was made when astronauts added stabilizers to the cameras on the orbital space station, allowing them to get sharp, crisp nighttime images.
posted by Dave Faris on Apr 8, 2008 - 39 comments

Robots in Space

Welcome to the decade of space robotics. Jules Verne, Europe's shiny new automated transport vehicle, docked with the International Space Station today, where Canada's Dextre is flexing her circuits after moving in last month. Meanwhile, the Cadillac of Mars rovers, JPL's humbly named Mars Science Laboratory, is prepping for a fall 2009 journey to the red planet. Are we witnessing the beginning of the symbiotic relationship between robots and humans in space?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 3, 2008 - 26 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

For Arthur

A handful of pretty great spacewalk pix from last summer's Endeavour mission.
posted by CunningLinguist on Mar 19, 2008 - 59 comments

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