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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"Standard orbit, aye, sir."
Following a nail-biting ring-plane crossing and 96-minute engine burn, Cassini has arrived
, and is now in orbit around Saturn, 84 light-minutes away, sending in the first closeup pictures of the planet's rings
. Also see the Planetary Society's details on the Orbit Insertion
, Spaceflight Now's mission updates in weblog-like format
, and raw images from the spacecraft
as they come. Kudos, JPL! (Aside: the press has yet to tire of Lord of the Rings
posted by brownpau
on Jul 1, 2004 -
With all this talk of wars in distant countries, it's easy to forget that there's exciting things going on just 300 million km from your back porch. NASA has provided 90 second videos of the first 90 sols of the Spirit
[5MB .mov] and Opportunity
rovers [5MB .mov].
posted by fatbobsmith
on May 18, 2004 -
ISS-Jupiter Transit tonight.
Notable space station flyover tonight for you skywatching East Coasters: the ISS will pass quite close to Jupiter, and some of you lucky ones [coordinates
] will even see the station briefly eclipse the planet. (Side note: Remember those days when everyone was using its radio call sign "Alpha?"
Now the media just say "space station." Sigh.) East Coast, 9:30pm, I'll be outside, looking up.
posted by brownpau
on May 13, 2004 -
Mars Rover Blog
, move over: SpiritRover
are on Livejournal, along with Pathfinder(ess)
, Voyager 1
, and the Planet Mars Himself
. (Educational. Sort of. And very LJ. Very, very
posted by brownpau
on Apr 2, 2004 -
Life on Mars? Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign of present-day life on Mars. It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft. Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished. There are two possible ways to do this. Either active volcanoes, but none have yet been found on Mars, or microbes
. The Independent has it as Methane find on Mars may be sign of life
. The second group to detect signals of methane in the Martian atmosphere is led by Michael Mumma of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, who used powerful spectroscopic telescopes based on Earth. This team is even believed to have detected variations in the concentrations of methane, with a peak coming from the ancient Martian seabed of Meridiani Planum, which is being explored by a Nasa rover. This could indicate a subterranean source of methane which is pumping out the gas, either due to some residual geological activity or because of the presence of living organisms producing it as a waste gas. Asked whether the continual production of methane is strong evidence of a biological origin of the gas, Dr Mumma said: "I think it is, myself personally." As to how...
posted by y2karl
on Mar 28, 2004 -
Meanwhile, on Mars, The Spirit rover has reached Bonneville Crater, a primary mission objective, and snapped photos of the far side of the crater rim with its navcam. But what is that glint to the left side?
posted by brownpau
on Mar 11, 2004 -
To the moon, Alice! (And then, on to Mars)
Time will tell whether this declaration will lead to an actual rebirth of NASA and realignment of goals for the agency. But I for one am absolutely thrilled that Bush is planning to give NASA a long-overdue new mission and goal. Avoiding the obvious pro/con debate of doing this (or the cost), I think it's absolutely vital to the national psyche for the United States to have a long-range goal that it can focus positive energy upon. This could be the first real "Challenge to the Union" that I think should become an annual event to replace the State of the Union.
posted by tgrundke
on Jan 9, 2004 -
The most accurate navigation in history
. "We had to know everything from how the iron molten lava in the center of the Earth was churning to how plate tectonic movements were affecting the wobble of the Earth to how the plasma in the atmosphere delayed the radio signals to and from the Deep Space Network stations". ..even the seemingly insignificant solar radiation pressure and thermal radiation forces acting on the spacecraft to a level equal to less than a billionth of the acceleration of gravity one feels on the Earth needed to be taken into account. This mission set a new standard for navigation accuracy for all future interplanetary missions.
posted by stbalbach
on Jan 4, 2004 -
Mars, take II
- Still no word from Beagle 2
), unfortunately, as Mars maintains its tough reputation. However, the first of two rovers much larger than 1997's very successful Pathfinder is expected to hit the Martian surface with a giant bounce tonight at 8:35 p.m. PST. Check out the realistic simulation videos
of how it will land and get to work, then watch Nasa TV
(RealVideo) for live coverage.
posted by planetkyoto
on Jan 3, 2004 -
In about 24 hours, the Beagle 2 lander
will descend to the surface of Mars, courtesy of the European Space Agency. After a few mighty bounces, encased in a giant rubber ball, the lander will open up and allow its instrument payload to start sampling the surface.
This is the first in a trifecta of landers
destined for Mars during the next month. NASA's landers
, Spirit and Opportunity
, land on January 3rd and January 24th.
posted by warhol
on Dec 23, 2003 -
The Best of Hubble
Its mission will end in 2010. Four years later it will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. Many astronomers are calling for Hubble to be refurbished
and its mission extended to 2020. Here
are some of it's best pictures.
posted by reverendX
on Dec 10, 2003 -
ET Could Hack SETI. SETI
, which uses down time on the computers of thousands of volunteers to search for intelligent signals from space, has a potential problem—besides information, a broadcast to us from an alien intelligence could also carry a computer virus. Leonard David
writes in the main link's space.com article that physicist Richard Carrigan (who works here
) takes it seriously. He thinks SETI should figure out how to decontaminate any signals it receives.
posted by jasonspaceman
on Nov 24, 2003 -
Far, far away.
Today, Voyager 1 will reach 90 AU
from the sun, around which distance it is expected to cross the "termination shock," finally crossing into the fuzzy boundary between the heliosphere
and true interstellar
space. (Yes, it's taken that long
to get there.) Some even think that the termination shock has already been reached
, but then re-expanded past the spacecraft. Tears need not be shed yet for these distant explorers: both Voyagers have juice
till about 2020, and the mission remains very much alive.
(No word, however, on a possible return to the Creator
posted by brownpau
on Nov 5, 2003 -
ESA astronaut, Pedro Duque writes
"I am writing these notes in the Soyuz with a cheap ballpoint pen. Why is that important? As it happens, I've been working in space programmes for seventeen years, eleven of these as an astronaut, and I've always believed, because that is what I've always been told, that normal ballpoint pens don't work in space... and here I am, it doesn't stop working and it doesn't 'spit' or anything. Sometimes being too cautious keeps you from trying, and therefore things are built more complex than necessary." From Snopes
: Fisher spent over one million dollars in trying to perfect the ball point pen before he made his first successful pressurized pens
in 1965, which NASA uses. [via GearBits]
posted by riffola
on Nov 4, 2003 -