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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

Ring-around-the-posie

" It was beyond description, really, it was mind-blowing," she said. "I'm surprised at how surprised I am at the beauty and the clarity of these images. They are shocking to me."
posted by moonbird on Jul 2, 2004 - 2 comments

Saturn Orbit Insertion

"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 references.)
posted by brownpau on Jul 1, 2004 - 14 comments

Space Art

Space Art through the ages.
posted by plep on Jun 24, 2004 - 2 comments

up, up, and...

SpaceShipOne is set to take off around 9:30 ET today. Funded by that other guy who founded Microsoft, this (if successful) will be the first non-government-sponsored manned spaceflight.
posted by casarkos on Jun 21, 2004 - 84 comments

90 Sols in 90 Seconds

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 - 11 comments

That's no moon, it's a space station

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|map] 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 - 9 comments

I spy in the night sky, don't I...

Best evidence yet (maybe) for keeping the Hubble around: Hubble snaps first photo (maybe) of extrasolar planet (maybe).
posted by 40 Watt on May 12, 2004 - 13 comments

Sea Launch

Sea Launch successfully put a 5-ton television satellite into orbit yesterday from a 400-foot long mobile platform in the central Pacific Ocean. It was the 12th successful launch for the firm (run by a consortium that includes Boeing and Energia), with the equatorial position in the mid-Pacific allowing the rocket to carry a heavier payload to orbit with less fuel.

Slowly but surely, spaceflight is becoming commercialized even as the U.S. has renewed efforts to militarize it.
posted by QuestionableSwami on May 4, 2004 - 12 comments

Space Probe Livejournals

Mars Rover Blog, move over: SpiritRover and OpportunityGrrl are on Livejournal, along with Pathfinder(ess), Voyager 1, Cassini, GOES, FUSE, Hubble, and the Planet Mars Himself. (Educational. Sort of. And very LJ. Very, very LJ.)
posted by brownpau on Apr 2, 2004 - 2 comments

Life On Mars's Meethane Traces Thought To Be Detected

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 - 25 comments

Martian Sea

Old Mars and the Sea. A salty sea may once have covered the Opportunity rover's landing site on Mars, boosting the possibility that the planet may once have evolved life. (Of course, there are those who believe NASA has been conspiring to cover it all up, but the Bad Astronomer has words on that. Bunnies and faces, my foot.)
posted by brownpau on Mar 23, 2004 - 4 comments

Observing the five planets

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the five planets visible to the naked eye, can all be seen simultaneously after sunset over the next few weeks. Viewing details. The next opportunity will be in 2036.
posted by carter on Mar 21, 2004 - 8 comments

Lovely

A beautiful photograph of Earth Some eye candy to cheer up your Friday
posted by Mwongozi on Mar 12, 2004 - 27 comments

A Light at Bonneville

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? (more within)
posted by brownpau on Mar 11, 2004 - 40 comments

The Mars Bunny

NASA and the Mars Bunny. I first heard about it from our own kokogiak. Then the conspiracy theorists: "They're destroying the evidence!" But now NASA has come out to tell us, "It's probably just airbag material."
posted by brownpau on Mar 5, 2004 - 17 comments

Top 10 satellite images

The top 10 IKONOS satellite images of 2003
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 2, 2004 - 10 comments

Mars RAWKS!

From R.E.M. to Whitesnake, by way of Tangerine Dream, Buster Poindexter, and the Bobs, here's what the Mars rovers listen to.
posted by Vidiot on Feb 28, 2004 - 11 comments

Venus

Reprocessed images from the Soviet exploration of Venus.
posted by homunculus on Feb 16, 2004 - 9 comments

Mars Rover, Quicktime.

Next Best Thing to Being There. A Quicktime Mars Rover Simulation.
posted by kozad on Jan 17, 2004 - 8 comments

The Hubble Space Telescope is no more.

"The end of an era in deep space exploration draws to a close. The era of the total militarization of space dawns," says the blog of Bruce Garrett, a software engineer for the Space Telescope Science Institute (home of the Hubble). Although I haven't been able to corroborate it at a news source yet, Garrett reports that the word came today from NASA director Sean O'Keefe that servicing missions to Hubble are over.

The President made his announcement on Wednesday, and NASA announced their reorganization in order to fall in line with Bush's plan today. Interestingly, this "reorganization" including support to only manned missions began over a year ago, but O'Keefe still testified to the US Senate in May 2003 that the Hubble would be serviced next in November 2004. Wonder what changed.

We marveled at The Best of Hubble in December 2003. Might be the Last, as well.
posted by pineapple on Jan 16, 2004 - 19 comments

How to be a Woowoo

How to be an Internet Woo-woo. From fake moon landings and mystery lights to Roswell Rods and Grey Aliens, the Woo-woo Credo gives you the lowdown on being an effective conspiracy theory monger.
posted by brownpau on Jan 15, 2004 - 11 comments

Reinventing NASA

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 - 84 comments

mars navigation history

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 - 2 comments

Brace yourself for immediate disintegration

Mars, take II - Still no word from Beagle 2 (discussed here), 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 - 51 comments

European Space Agency's webpage about the Mars Express / Beagle 2 project.

Mars ho! 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 - 25 comments

Spitzer Space Telescope

The first images from the Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility and renamed after astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr., were released on Thursday. Launched on August 25, it obtains images by detecting the infrared energy radiated by objects in space, and it will drift behind the Earth as the planet orbits the sun.
posted by homunculus on Dec 20, 2003 - 3 comments

The Best of Hubble

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 - 14 comments

There (really :) goes the budget!

We may have avoided a trade war, but it looks like a space race is on.
posted by kliuless on Dec 3, 2003 - 52 comments

ET Could Hack SETI.

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 - 35 comments

solar system

solar system [note: requires anark plugin]
posted by crunchland on Nov 15, 2003 - 14 comments

Voyager at 90 AU

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 - 25 comments

Another urban legend debunked

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 - 23 comments

Eating The Galaxy Next Door

Nearer, My Galaxy, to Thee. The only thing I find more surprising than the discovery of a galactic collision-in-progress is the fact that a similar nearby galaxy had already been found last decade. I need to get up to date and throw out all my astronomy books which still cite the Magellanic Clouds as being our closest neighbors.
posted by brownpau on Nov 4, 2003 - 9 comments

Intense Solar Flare

The largest solar flare of the current solar cycle shot off the sun earlier today. After the media latched on to what was predicted to be mostly a non-event last week (probably due to a NASA article released around the same time about a super spacestorm) , it's not making as much news this time. But you should pay attention this time. This could be the best and last chance for a lot of us farther south to see some auroras before the sun dives into solar minimum, assuming all the variables line up correctly this time. I recommend watching the Solar Terrestrial Dispatch, as it is a great all around resource for solar activity and auroras that includes live data and sightings reports by the general public. Unfortunately though, no doubt as word IS spreading, that site is being hammered again and may be quite slow.
posted by yupislyr on Oct 28, 2003 - 21 comments

China Launches Manned Space Mission

China Launches Manned Space Mission

Godspeed, Yang Liwei.
posted by Argyle on Oct 14, 2003 - 50 comments

The universe as a football

The shape of the universe may well be a dodecahedron. New research from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe suggests a finite universe with a definite shape. One up for Plato, who, following Pythagoras, maintained that “God used this solid for the whole universe, embroidering figures on it.”. So it appears. .. all expressed much more lucidly by the Economist.
posted by grahamwell on Oct 11, 2003 - 14 comments

My God, it's full of stars!

Breathtaking Hubble picture of the Sombrero Galaxy (also identified as M104). The Hubble Heritage team took the original images during May and June of this year using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and multiple color filters. They then stitched 6 images together to make the final composite image.
posted by Irontom on Oct 10, 2003 - 39 comments

Space art in children's books

Let's go on a rocket trip to the Moon! A collection of space art in children's books, 1883 to 1974. These books, and their evocative art, instilled in a generation the romance and wonder of space flight. I grew up in the 1950's, and as a kid I could pour over this book and its illustrations for hours, dreaming.
via A Voyage to Arcturus
posted by Slithy_Tove on Sep 26, 2003 - 8 comments

Stairway to Heaven

An Elevator to the Stars. The paper of record claims this isn't science fiction, but do we really believe that in ten years we'll be able to build a 60,000 mile long cable capable of supporting 13 ton cargo loads? Would you trust this to take you into asynchronous orbit? (Or maybe you just want to make like Joe Kittinger and jump out at 100,000 feet.)
posted by alms on Sep 23, 2003 - 24 comments

Galileo Dies.

NASA's Official 'Galileo Dies' Page. Galileo is set to crash into Jupiter on Sunday. Responsible for many great images and tons of information, Galileo served well. Find a complete history of the Galileo mission here. Also, don't forget to watch the End of Mission webcast this Sunday at approx. 2 PM EST here.
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 16, 2003 - 7 comments

The biggest subwoofer in the universe

Listening through a telescope the Chandra X-ray observatory hears a black hole.
posted by wobh on Sep 11, 2003 - 12 comments

Talk about Johnny One-Note

In space, you can hear a black hole sing (WaPo link). Using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, astrophysicists have detected a supermassive black hole in the Perseus Cluster which has been "playing" a B-flat for 3 billion years.

Fascinating as this seemingly counterintuitive discovery (sound carrying through space) is, the real significance lies in that these "sound waves" may explain why the superhot gases in such regions aren't cooling down and forming more stars.
posted by GreyWingnut on Sep 10, 2003 - 19 comments

Oh, the humanity!

Asteroid orbits Enter the designation or name of any asteroid or comet, and a 3D orbit visualization tool will appear for that object. If Chicken Little had this link he might have calmed down a little. Or not...Find out if your favorite asteroid is about to rock your world.
posted by konolia on Sep 2, 2003 - 5 comments

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board

"These are good people"...but changes must be made. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report was released on Tuesday. Putting technical answers aside for the moment, the report targets the organizational and behavioral issues that led to a breakdown in communication, safety and responsibility. While acknowledging the good will at NASA, the report holds no illusions that changing this culture will be very difficult and very necessary in order to return to flight. What types of management/behavioral obstacles have you encountered in home, work, school or social organizations? How did you try to effect change and what obstacles did you encounter in an effort to make it more effective, safe, productive or enjoyable?
posted by tgrundke on Aug 28, 2003 - 11 comments

http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpf_what_is.html

NASA thinks we can find another Earth in another nearby star. When we do, how can we possibly travel light-years to get there? It might not be as hard as you'd think . . .
posted by stbalbach on Aug 17, 2003 - 31 comments

Ionospheric luminescence

Ionospheric luminescence. Tonight. US East-coast skywatchers, look out for high, glowing clouds tonight between 9:30pm and 5:30am, as NASA fires rockets carrying combustible chemicals into the sky to study our planet's ionosphere. (Thank you, Spaceweather.) This reminds me, just a bit, of Projects Argus and Starfish.
posted by brownpau on Jun 23, 2003 - 10 comments

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