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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

Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place To Raise Your Kids

A "no-return, solo mission" to Mars? The comments - 179 of them as of the time of this post - are even more interesting than the article.
posted by amyms on Mar 7, 2008 - 89 comments

Mars in Pictures

The evolution of Mars imaging from orbit: Mariner 4 (1964), Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 (both 1969), Mariner 9 (1971) (all NASA), Mars 5 (1973) (USSR), Viking 1 (1975), Viking 2 (1976), Mars Global Surveyor (1996), Mars Odyssey (2001) (NASA), Mars Express (2003) (ESA), up to this spy-quality shot of an active avalanche taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2005).
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 5, 2008 - 11 comments

I for one welcome our new "Controllers"

It's official. The aliens are coming. In 2017. Turns out they might like The Beatles after all. The UN is on the case. The Hindus are going to be especially upset.
posted by monospace on Feb 29, 2008 - 21 comments

Detritus From a Dream

Shaun O'Boyle recently returned from Cape Canaveral where he photographed the artifacts of the early space program. They are part of the Modern Ruins site (previously, previously, and previously) which is a great place to waste an afternoon.
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 29, 2008 - 8 comments

Cryogenic Venting

Light Reflection: a brilliant fan of cryogenics venting from a relief valve on STS-122 Atlantis' ET (external tank) post-separation. Also see this handheld video of the ET, with money shots at 2:15 and 3:55. [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Feb 21, 2008 - 13 comments

AKA The Creature, 1985

Titan find - The hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn’s moon may contain hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all of Earths known oil and natural gas reserves.
posted by Artw on Feb 13, 2008 - 54 comments

"We'd like to confirm, from the crew of Apollo 17, that the world is round."

The most widely-distributed photograph in history may be The Blue Marble, a shot taken in 1972 by an unknown crewmember on Apollo 17. In 2002, NASA released a new Blue Marble photograph, familiar to desktops everywhere, using a composite of many photographs. In 2005, Blue Marble: The Next Generation offered even better views and some spectacular animations of the seasons from space. In the same spirit, the Discovery Channel just launched Earth Live, which lets you see the dynamics of weather and climate through a well done interface.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 11, 2008 - 37 comments

Video and photos of spacewalks

The environment does terrible things to the human body and it smells. Many people go for that walk anyway. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 10, 2008 - 32 comments

Nothing's gonna change my world?

Fears that malevolent aliens will tune into this week's broadcast of The Beatles' song "Across the Universe" have been voiced by scientists.
posted by monospace on Feb 7, 2008 - 68 comments

Man versus nature

Domesticated by photographer Amy Stein explores the tension between settled and wild spaces.

Stranded is another collection of work dealing with the expectations of public and private space.

More self-explanatory: Women and Guns and Halloween in Harlem. She also has a fine blog.
posted by klangklangston on Feb 6, 2008 - 31 comments

Private spaceflight based on open architecture 'like Linux'.

SpaceShipTwo (SS2) [the suborbital craft] and WhiteKnightTwo [its launch system], created by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, have been revealed. More images. Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn says the WhiteKnightTwo will have an "open architecture like Linux to allow other people to develop new vehicles and revolutionize new industrial uses of space". He continues that, if people come to Virgin with plans geared towards the use of WhiteKnightTwo, they will work with them.
posted by blatant gizmo on Jan 23, 2008 - 21 comments

Lost Cosmonauts?

Lost cosmonauts is a site detailing the radio site at Torre Bert, set up by Italian amateurs in 1959 to monitor the beginnings of the space race. The Torre Bert station was regarded as a legitimate tracking station, however they then released recordings of dying cosmonauts which were quickly denounced as exaggerations, or outright conspiracy. In 1991 Pravda admitted that Gagarin was not the first cosmonaut . [more inside]
posted by scodger on Jan 18, 2008 - 40 comments

Mission to Mercury

Mercury Messenger, a NASA probe, just performed a fly-by of Mercury at a height of 200 kilometers. It's the first spacecraft to visit Mercury since 1975.
posted by Artw on Jan 14, 2008 - 21 comments

Science and Technology in the 2008 Presidential Election

Dr. President: "The next president of the United States of America will control a $150 billion annual research budget, 200,000 scientists, and 38 major research institutions and all their related labs. This president will shape human endeavors in space, bioethics debates, and the energy landscape of the 21st century." With the coming election, the AAAS has created a new website and devoted a section of their journal Science to the Democratic and Republican candidates' positions on science and technology issues. But to help further clarify their positions, some people are calling for the candidates to have a presidential debate on science and technology. [Via The Intersection and Wired Science.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2008 - 48 comments

The Science Fiction Artwork of John Harris

John Harris's science fiction artwork is stunning. Much of it attempts to capture scale and the hugeness of relative comparisons in the universe. From the book Mass that looks at his work: "From skyscapes to lost cities, planetary bodies to megalithic structures, Harris's concepts are truly colossal, conveying not just the sheer scale that the edifices of future-fantastical technology might attain, but also the awesome-ness, even terror, of their presence." His work has graced the covers of many science fiction books, which you may have recognized. Interestingly, there's no wikipedia article about him.
posted by SpacemanStix on Jan 8, 2008 - 25 comments

Bad news for the Martian dinosaurs...

There's a slight chance that an asteroid could impact Mars at the end of this month. Usually, collisions between heavenly bodies have vanishingly small odds (a million to one, say), but the chances on this one have been steadily improving, from 350-to-1 to 75-to-1 to 25-to-1 (link to Washington Post). Scientists say that this could be comprable to the famous Tunguska blast in Siberia a hundred years ago (not to be confused with this other Tunguska blast). [more inside]
posted by math on Jan 7, 2008 - 37 comments

Who Speaks for Earth?

Who Speaks for Earth? "After decades of searching, scientists have found no trace of extraterrestrial intelligence. Now, some of them hope to make contact by broadcasting messages to the stars. Are we prepared for an answer?"
posted by homunculus on Jan 1, 2008 - 63 comments

Warp Drive, When?

Warp Drive, When? "Have you ever wondered when we will be able to travel to distant stars as easily as in science fiction stories?"
posted by amyms on Dec 15, 2007 - 60 comments

Spirit's Swan Song?

Real robot drama is happening on Mars today. Spirit, racing for her life to find shelter before winter, injured and underpowered after four years of hard labor, may have made her most significant find yet. The broken foot she's dragged behind her for the past two years unexpectedly uncovered evidence of a once-wet Mars with conditions theoretically hospitable for primitive life.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 12, 2007 - 89 comments

HobbySpace

HobbySpace hosts an exhaustive collection of information and links about space-related hobbies, including amateur astronomy, satellite design, and rocketry for both beginners and experts.
posted by Upton O'Good on Dec 2, 2007 - 3 comments

Yes, their job is cooler than yours.

Astronauts in Space, the music video.
posted by blue_beetle on Nov 14, 2007 - 8 comments

Hot space bot uses stirling engine

NASA proposes using a Stirling cooler (essentially a Stirling engine in reverse) to keep a probe cool on the surface of Venus, which has had a tendency to melt or smash previous probes. The cooler would maintain a 25cm sphere within the probe at 200°C -- 100°C above the boiling point of water but sufficiently cool for a high-temperature microcontroller to operate. The waste heat radiators on the exterior of the sphere would reach the temperature of 500°C, 40°C above the the normal Venusian surface temperature.
posted by Artw on Nov 12, 2007 - 40 comments

Video of a Tour around STS-120/ISS

A tour around Discovery STS-120 and the International Space Station with Paolo Nespoli and Dr. Scott Parazynski. Tomorrow, Parazynski will be perched at the end of a robot arm and sensor boom assembly, stitching up a damaged solar array in what might be one of the riskiest EVAs since Skylab 2.
posted by brownpau on Nov 2, 2007 - 29 comments

Doctor Steel versus The Hammer of God

Not only does Dr. Duncan Steel have a manly name, he's also one of the guys responsible for keeping those pesky asteroids away from Earth.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 8, 2007 - 15 comments

Deep Space Pharma

Growing drugs in space. If the rainforest runs out of undiscovered medicines, just grow new drugs in space: Wired reports that "a swaggering Texas investor" wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting drug lab: "If people knew what I already know," he says, "the International Space Station would be considered one of the most valuable resources our world possesses." Think of it as New Jack City in zero-G – full of weird, crystallized proteins (and billion dollar cures).
posted by BLDGBLOG on Oct 7, 2007 - 19 comments

Bre and his friends make things.

Bre and his friends make things like space ballons. Sometimes they launch them and are unable to find them. Although the project has been abandoned the videos are very informative and show what amazing things a small team with a little money and off-the-self technology could do. Earlier this year a Canadian team had success with their space balloon and got some amazing aerial photos.
posted by damn dirty ape on Oct 7, 2007 - 9 comments

Retro space cowboys

For many kids, the space age made its TV debut years before Sputnik with 1950's TV space serials.
1950 - Space Patrol - The Hidden Treasure of Mars. (Part two)
1954 - Rocky Jones' Space, Space Ranger - Rocky's Odyssey. (Chapters two, three)
1954 - Flash Gordon - Deadline at Noon and Akim the Terrible. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 24, 2007 - 5 comments

One small step for Man, One Giant Leap For WomanKind.

Astronaut Sunita Williams (more links to pictures on the bottom right hand corner) returns to her ancestral hometown of Ahmedabad, India, after breaking multiple records in Space, where she stayed for a duration of 194 days, ran the Boston Marathon, and Space Walked for 22 hours and 27 minutes.
posted by hadjiboy on Sep 21, 2007 - 24 comments

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