Fancy way to build a satellite -- spend millions of dollars hiring engineers to carefully construct your orbital gem
, then millions more on a massive rocket
to loft it into space. BORING. Easy way to build a satellite -- shove a radio into a spacesuit and toss it off a space station. Meet SuitSat 1.
posted by eriko
on Jan 26, 2006 -
Hyperdrive and a possible Unified Theory.
New Scientist article about a paper and proposal to NASA outlining development parameters and possiblities for a faster-than-light anti-gravity propulsion system, based on some rather interesting physics theories originated by a guy named Heim. You mean you've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? (via
posted by zoogleplex
on Jan 9, 2006 -
A Dutch television producer, who previously brought you Big Brother, now produces a show for British commercial television were you witness the training of three lucky guys to become astronauts and their subsequent launch into earth's orbit for 4 days.
They are trained in a Russian facility and are launched with a Russian rocket. There is only one catch: it's all fake. When they leave their orbiter to make a space walk they will be welcomed by their family and friends, and find out
If I were one of the contestants I'd go postal after this. But of course these contestants were specially selected to be prone to suggestion, so they will probably just forever hide in corner so they won't hear the constant mockery..
posted by kika
on Nov 21, 2005 -
Road trip to venus!
The Venus Express
on Nov. 9th, 2005 from Baikonur
, the historic spaceport in Kazakhstan
. It is the first Venus probe sent by the ESA
, and you can follow it's progress
on the six month journey to the planet.
begin in 1962 with Mariner 2
, the first space probe to fly by another planet and other flights, including the Russian Venera 7
, which was the first probe to land on another planet. The Soviets took quite an interest in Venus and dominated the exploration of the planet
through the '70s and '80s. A lot of the images recorded by those early craft have been reprocessed with modern technology
In the early '90s the Magellan
spacecraft spent several years mapping the surface of Venus
, providing us many
images and 3D maps
of the planet
As for Venus Express
, it's goal is to spend two years making detailed studys of the planet's clouds and atmosphere
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Nov 13, 2005 -
Explore our local chunk of space. Here
is a scale view of the Solar System, and here
one can take a quick trip around it. Use the guidebook
to plan your trip (but beware the pop-up ads). Don't forget to bring a camera
and snap some photos
posted by dazed_one
on Nov 12, 2005 -
You've read about
NASA's plan to use new post-shuttle launch vehicles to return to the moon
But what, exactly, is the US planning to do
on the moon? What would a semi-permanent moonbase look like? And why return at all? NASA's announced answers to these questions remain vague. But last year eleven sets of responses to these questions were offered to NASA in the development proposals submitted to NASA by eleven Aerospace concerns
, each of which suggested different designs, missions, and philosophies for NASA's return to the moon. Some common themes:
"Provide nationally assured access to orbital locations for the placement of observation systems" and "assured access to space for development of force projection systems and movements of logistics." (pdf link, p. 5)
"Commercialize space products and services" (pdf link, p.6)
Keeping the public inspired with "regularly placed program milestones." (pdf link, p.7)
It's interesting to compare the details of these proposals. But taken together, they raise a broader question: does NASA's fear that the public will lose interest in this commercializing, militarizing, moon venture reflect an awareness that that the vision
has finally been lost?
posted by washburn
on Sep 22, 2005 -
Discovery is coming home...
Around now (6.06am EDT) STS114 is due to commence firing its orbital maneuvering engines for 2 minutes and 42 seconds and commence its entry of the atmosphere to return home to Edwards Air Force base. Florida was declared a "no go" both yesterday and today due to weather conditions.
Weather at Edwards is good
Landing tracks from NASA available here
BBC story with live video footage is here
Pilot Jim Kelly is handling the de-orbit burn, according to commentary and mission commander Eileen Collins will make the final approach and touch down at Edwards.
Best of luck, Discovery, I'm sure I speak for all when I say that all of our thoughts are with you.
posted by tomcosgrave
on Aug 9, 2005 -
The Sky At Night
Every episode of the BBC science series made since the end of 2001 viewable online. Anything I know about the universe I learnt from Patrick Moore.
posted by feelinglistless
on Jul 30, 2005 -
a free space simulation program/game written mostly in assembly by Alessandro Ghignola, an Italian programmer. It is downloadable
for Windows and MS-DOS, but be warned there is quite a learning curve. It features a planet lander, onboard ship computer, a Fido Net style method of communicating newly named and discovered stars and systems with other users, and a haunting sense of being alone in an immense universe. Fan fiction
reveal the outdated resolution of the program.
posted by nervousfritz
on Jul 10, 2005 -
Three days and Counting
Breathe deep, mine eyes, the frosty saga of eternal suns.
From unseen depths and dreams undreamt,
I sing the gleaming cantos of unvanquished space.
By thought I embrace the universal,
With wings of mind I sail the infinitude.
Glory! 'tis the stars which beckon man's spirit and set our souls adrift!
posted by blue_beetle
on Jul 10, 2005 -
"The stars are veiled. Something stirs in the East. A sleepless malice. The eye of the enemy is moving. He is HERE
posted by keswick
on Jun 30, 2005 -
In just over two hours, Cosmos 1
, the world's first experimental "solar sail" spacecraft will launch, and reportedly will be visible
"from nearly everywhere on its surface at one time or another".
posted by theonetruebix
on Jun 21, 2005 -
The Pioneer Anomaly.
Something's up in deep space: the Pioneer spacecraft
, now out of contact, have shown an unexplained Doppler drift, indicating sunward acceleration, effectively decelerating the probes cumulatively. The effect may be be nongravitational, and could be explained by any number of factors: an undiscovered twist in Newtonian physics, localized cosmological contraction issues, or just venting gas. Other deep space probes may have experienced the anomaly as well, and a new mission could explore the puzzle
; but for now, all we have is past Pioneer data, and that's stored on old 9 track tape
which can only be read by antique readers. What's to be done? (Also see Pioneer Odyssey
for a nostalgic romp through those early days of deep space exploration. And NASA, bring back the original Pioneer home page
posted by brownpau
on Jun 13, 2005 -
Unidentified Titan Object
Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft.
posted by Diamornte
on May 25, 2005 -