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Star Atlases, Mercator Globes and Celestial Sundries

Star Atlases, Mercator Globes and Celestial Sundries [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Jul 1, 2005 - 8 comments

Well, no sleep for me tonight.

"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 - 15 comments

avast ye maties! set sail for the milky way, yarr!

Cosmos 1 is officially lost! However, fellow solar sailors, it's not too late to buy a t-shirt. I, however, can't help but focus my attention on this educational BBC News article; I believe I'm having some sort of pavlovian response to that last diagram, but thankfully it seems I'm not the first solar sailing pervert out there.
posted by analogue on Jun 29, 2005 - 15 comments

Cosoms 1

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 - 19 comments

'It is I, Seagull! Everything is fine. I see the horizon.'

On June 16, 1963, at the height of the US-Soviet Space Race, Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Her flight aboard the Vostok 6 lasted 48 orbits and 71 hours, and during her flight she spent more time in space than all the U.S. astronauts combined to that date. Although NASA trained women astronauts in the 60's, it would take 20 years for an American woman to follow in Tereshkova's footsteps.
posted by anastasiav on Jun 15, 2005 - 18 comments

Pioneer Anomaly

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 plz, kthx.)
posted by brownpau on Jun 13, 2005 - 21 comments

A New Kind of Solar Storm

Going to the moon? Be careful. A new kind of solar storm can take you by surprise. Biggest proton storm since 1956 - before there were satellites monitoring the sun.
posted by Cranberry on Jun 10, 2005 - 11 comments

Free at last, free at last, thank Mars almighty, Opportunity is free at last

Free at last, free at last, thank Mars almighty Opportunity is free at last. After a several week long struggle, the Mars Opportunity Rover is free from the sand trap many across the world had predicted would bring it to an end.
posted by mk1gti on Jun 4, 2005 - 22 comments

Odd Spot on Titan Baffles Scientists

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 - 32 comments

Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan

Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn A collaboration between 17 nations (3 space agencies). The atmosphere shows wavelike cloud structures, Saturn's rings display Waves and Small Particles. First image of a small moon orbiting within the Keeler gap.
Previous Missions, 2005 tour dates.
posted by Lanark on May 24, 2005 - 11 comments

Alien planet

Alien planet "The drama takes place on Darwin IV, a fictional planet 6.5 light-years from Earth, with two suns and 60 percent gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the mothership and three probes." Discovery channel feature, Flash heavy site, via Pharyngula.
posted by dhruva on May 9, 2005 - 20 comments

Mars Polar Lander found?

Mars Polar Lander found? The Mars Polar Lander was lost while attempting to land on Mars in December 1999. An initial search for the lander was fruitless. But now Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems thinks he may have found the lander's parachute and crashed remains. Meanwhile, some scientists are worried about landers and crashed vehicles contaminating Mars; others think it's not a problem. [via Slashdot]
posted by flug on May 6, 2005 - 4 comments

Return to Flight

So far the Return to Flight has been a bumpy ride for NASA. Apparently things over there are run like a bureaucracy and agency officials are worried about ice or foam insulation coming off the space shuttle again.

Will private companies eventually dominate space exploration and make NASA a thing of the past?
posted by Guerilla on May 1, 2005 - 28 comments

Hubble Birthday Gallery

Hubble's 15th Birthday Image Gallery
Reports about birthday.
NASA Hubble site.
(previous) via
posted by peacay on Apr 25, 2005 - 12 comments

Water on earth's moon?

Come and get it? Some researchers believe there's water on the Moon in reach of human explorers....as we look towards the Moon with thoughts of setting up a permanent home there, one new question is paramount: does the Moon have water? Although none has been definitely detected, recent evidence suggests that it's there.
posted by Cranberry on Apr 14, 2005 - 24 comments

Where was my kaboom?

[x] ok to transmit this posting into outer space (via space.craigslist.org)
posted by loquacious on Feb 28, 2005 - 9 comments

Life suspected, WMDs probable

ESA scientists announced that a giant sea is hidden under the Martian surface. With discoveries like this and weird photos like this, how long can it be before we find conclusive proof of extraterrestrial life?
posted by borkingchikapa on Feb 21, 2005 - 30 comments

NewsFilter - More evidence of life on mars

Life - a strong case for life on mars was presented sunday
posted by sourbrew on Feb 17, 2005 - 12 comments

Inside Mike Fincke's arm

NASA takes ultrasound to space No astronaut is pregnant, but NASA is using ultrasound as a portable diagnostic tool in space. If the NHL ever settles its labor dispute, the Red Wings' trainer may use it too.
posted by Cranberry on Feb 16, 2005 - 3 comments

Twinkle, twinkle little GPS BIIA-12...

J-Track 3D is an interesting JAVA web-app offered by NASA which gives a 3D interactive display of over 500 satellites currently orbiting the Earth.
posted by numlok on Feb 16, 2005 - 8 comments

How do you go to the bathroom in space?

How do you go to the bathroom in space? One of the questions answered on NASA's Brain Bites page.
posted by achmorrison on Feb 14, 2005 - 16 comments

Copyrighting public space

Chicago's current archetectual and artistic showcase, Millenium Park seems to be causing some problems. The pedestrian bridge was closed because the hardwood used to build it can not take the salt used to remove ice from pedestrian walkways. But it also seems that the massive sculpture Cloud Gate aka "The Bean" is a copyright elephant in public space. Park security are shaking down photographers for permits. As is typical, the copyright shakedown appears to be less about protecting the rights of the original artists, and more about the rights of the distributor (in this case, the city's desired monopoly on postcards and prints). See boing boing for editorializing and Slashdot for the typical herd reaction.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Feb 12, 2005 - 22 comments

Who can invent for us a cartography of autonomy, who can draw a map that includes our desires? - Hakim Bey

Cartography is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't always so. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.

How things have changed. (Yours now, $110) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets and one moon (with a second in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that. We're actually running out of things to map.

Maybe Not.
posted by absalom on Jan 27, 2005 - 17 comments

European Space Agency

Instead of liquid water, Titan has liquid methane. Instead of silicate rocks, Titan has frozen water ice. Instead of dirt, Titan has hydrocarbon particles settling out of the atmosphere, and instead of lava, Titanian volcanoes spew very cold ice.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jan 21, 2005 - 28 comments

Seti Farming

Seti farming for those who just can't "crunch" enough. Including photos of his farm, past and present and resources for building your own.
posted by ThePrawn on Jan 19, 2005 - 23 comments

Titan-ic pictures

NASA has released some pictures from another moon The article has some pictures - almost actual and computer-enhanced of Titan. There are also links to the radar signals Huygens received in its descent to Titan and Cassini sent back to NASA. (They sound a bit like a Vespa buzzing past a window.)
posted by Cranberry on Jan 17, 2005 - 28 comments

Huygens Makes it!

It worked! Huygens has successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan and the Cassini orbiter is sending good data back to Earth as I type. Isn't it amazing how we can take a probe the size of a compact car, send it on a 7 year journey in the most inhospitable environment imaginable, deploy a sub-probe that has been dormant for that entire time and land it where we had planned on another solar body so far away that it takes 67 minutes to get a signal back and forth. Exploration and research has never been so cool.
posted by tgrundke on Jan 14, 2005 - 37 comments

Obligatory NASA Post

European Space Agency's Huygens Probe Ready for Spectacular Mission to Titan
Mission managers for the European Space Agency's Huygens probe said the spacecraft is on course for its descent to Saturn's mysterious moon Titan on Friday, Jan. 14. The probe, which detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter last month, will be the first object to explore on-site the unique environment of Titan, whose chemistry is thought to be very similar to that of early Earth, before life formed. The data gathered during the probe's 2 1/2 hour descent through Titan's atmosphere will be transmitted from the probe to the Cassini orbiter and then back to Earth.
Make sure to stay tuned in this morning for updates.
posted by garethspor on Jan 13, 2005 - 69 comments

Oh you're absolutely fine ...

I LOVE YOU I WANNA LOVE YOU TENDER. You could be my only sweet surrender. I would never bring you any kind of sorrow. (38 Mb QT)
posted by Peter H on Jan 13, 2005 - 23 comments

Those were the days

Thanks to Yahoo's video search, I've spent the morning thrilling to movies from Nasa's earlier space programs. Ed White does the first american spacewalk, the crew of apollo 8 sends out a christmas message (wonder how that would play these days), Neil Armstrong goes for a walk, Buzz Aldrin gives a science lesson, John Young goes muddin', Apollo 17 lifts off from the moon. Galileo gets his due via Apollo 15, as does Kubrick, via Skylab. all this makes the Challenger explosion just incredibly sad.

Though I still don't know why searching for apollo 8 turned up gay porn and I don't wanna know.

What is really interesting though, is watching this Apollo 17 astronaut work on the moon. His body is moving in all sorts of subtle ways that highlight how odd it must be to work in lower gravity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 9, 2005 - 35 comments

There can be no escape. . .

NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently detected [reg required] the largest explosion ever detected in the universe: an eruption releasing the energy of hundreds of millions of gamma ray bursts. Just to put it in perspective, a single GRB releases enough radiation to wipe out just about everything human beings would require for survival in a 1000 light year radius. (The Milky Way spans ~100,000 light years, while the United Federation of Planets spans about 8,000). Arthur C. Clarke has gone so far as suggesting that GRBs might be one of the reasons for Extra-Terrestrial silence: Gamma Ray Bursts are so large and inescapable, a single one would wipe out even an enormous galactic empire. Makes killer asteroids seem downright quaint.
posted by absalom on Jan 8, 2005 - 24 comments

Babes in Space

Babes in Space.
posted by greasy_skillet on Dec 29, 2004 - 14 comments

WHAT THE FUCK KEYSER?

The European Space Agency's Huygens probe successfully detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter today to begin a three-week journey to Saturn's moon Titan. NASA's Deep Space Network tracking stations in Madrid, Spain, and Goldstone, Calif., received the signal at 7:24 p.m. (PST). All systems performed as expected and there were no problems reported with the Cassini spacecraft. There was a very real probability it would have never have happened if it weren't for the persistence of a swedish engineer.
posted by Keyser Soze on Dec 24, 2004 - 14 comments

8 ball, corner pocket

Is the Apocalypse set for April 13th, 2029? Good news, everyone! A collossal asteroid, poetically named 2004 MN4, is calculated to pass pretty damn close to the Earth on that date. How close? Well, the folks at NASA have given it an unprecedented Torino Impact Hazard rating of 4, with chances of impact currently at around 1 in 63, although this will no doubt change as calculations are made. Happy Holidays! (via Slashdot)
posted by 40 Watt on Dec 24, 2004 - 96 comments

Giant leap for developers

Developer in space? Oracle has announced sweepstakes to send a developer into orbit. Answer a quiz and win a sub-orbital space flight. Contest is open to software developers who work with Oracle software in connection with their employment. Start cramming. Good luck! (And for the rest, with a $10,000 deposit for the $98,000 ticket, nothing stops us from booking our own space flight with Space Adventures.)
posted by jellybuzz on Dec 8, 2004 - 6 comments

Better living through mechanical modifications

Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life Seeing the solar system with a couple of philosophical robots. Beautiful web comic.
posted by rustcellar on Dec 7, 2004 - 12 comments

One small st.... yeah yeah

Move over X-Prize - in order to win the next big space prize($50 million) one will have to build a spacecraft capable of taking a crew of no fewer than five people to an altitude of 400 kilometers and complete two orbits of the Earth at that altitude. Then they have to repeat that accomplishment within 60 days.
posted by sourbrew on Nov 8, 2004 - 15 comments

Mysteries of Titan

Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan holds on to its mysteries. Radar images reveal quite a bit of variation but no clear interpretation. The hazy atmosphere prevents the sudden shock of discovery that characterized the Voyager and Galileo flybys of the moons of Jupiter, revealing little more than fuzzy Rorschach blobs. With less than 1% of the surface mapped, researchers suspect that Titan has a young surface shaped by processes that have yet to be revealed.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 5, 2004 - 5 comments

burning sky

Strange clouds. Noctilucent clouds as seen from the ISS. Via Science @ NASA headline archives. Also: twirling rosin.
posted by loquacious on Oct 28, 2004 - 4 comments

Cat in Zero Gravity - Animal Testing at its Most Bizarre

Pinky goes to Mars. [via BoingBoing]
posted by scarabic on Oct 24, 2004 - 32 comments

Virgin Intergalactic Planetary

It was bound to happen eventually - Richard Branson announced the launch of Virgin Galactic, a joint venture between Virgin and Mojave Aerospace Ventures, the company responsible for SpaceShipOne. They expect to send up to 3000 people into suborbital space over five years for £115k each (around $200k)and the first ship will be named the Virgin SpaceShip VSS Enterprise (well, I guess he can name it what he wants...). It's all immensely exciting, but personally I think Virgin Spacelines sounds classier.
posted by adrianhon on Sep 27, 2004 - 14 comments

Gycoaldehyde... In... Space!!!

Sweeeet.
posted by brownpau on Sep 22, 2004 - 18 comments

Beep

Catch NASA's solar capsule!
Via B3ta
posted by Mwongozi on Sep 10, 2004 - 13 comments

step aside xprize

Step aside xprize, here comes the elevator 2010 challenge. Sponsored by the Spaceward Foundation this is a "public challenge centered around the Space Elevator concept, offering a substantial prize for the first laser-powered tether climbing demonstration that can meet specific criteria." more here.
posted by Grod on Sep 6, 2004 - 2 comments

ET phone earth?

Between Pisces and Aries, a strange signal from space. Communication from an extraterrestrial civilization? Probably not, and an article in Nature suggests it would make more sense to use FedEx.
posted by tranquileye on Sep 2, 2004 - 11 comments

The Hubble gets a reprieve...maybe.

They're going to try to save the Hubble telescope after all! Yea!
Nasa chief Sean O'Keefe has asked for a firm mission proposal to be worked up in a year, after which a decision whether to proceed will be made.

As discussed previously in this thread, it looked like NASA didn't want to devote the resourses necessary to maintain the 14 year old telescope.
posted by wsg on Aug 11, 2004 - 9 comments

Death Star Found

NASA's Cassini has found the Death Star.
posted by MrAnonymous on Jul 27, 2004 - 34 comments

Small step for a man

Getting there, landing, getting back. And here's a panorama. Happy 35th Moonshot Day. (For real this time.)
posted by brownpau on Jul 20, 2004 - 11 comments

Apollo 11 (+35)

Today, it is 35 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon. For detailed records of the events of that day, read the Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal. You can also take a look at the National Air and Space Museum's Apollo collection, or view photos from The Apollo Archive Image Gallery. Today, Neil Armstrong (who had meant to say "one small step for a man") leads a mostly private yet busy life, while Buzz Aldrin maintains a somewhat more public profile. Michael Collins, the much lesser-known astronaut who stayed in lunar orbit that day, went on to become Director of the National Air and Space Museum. As for those of you who still think the moon landing was faked, give it another think. Happy 35th Moon Shot Day! (Can you believe it?! The f-ing moon!!)
posted by brownpau on Jul 16, 2004 - 25 comments

Hyper-efficient living space.

347 square feet? Hyper-efficient living space.
posted by yoga on Jul 5, 2004 - 59 comments

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