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On President Kennedy, the Space Race, legacies and politics

50 years ago today, on May 25 1961, US President John F. Kennedy decided "...this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." Eight years later the Apollo program fulfilled the task, leaving the world with a legacy that includes advances in computers and communciation, lessons in managing complex projects, technological innovations and new views of the Earth. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 25, 2011 - 79 comments

Gordan Ugarković

Croatian software developer and amateur image processor Gordan Ugarković takes images from NASA's unmanned space probes released to the Planetary Data System, splices them together and tweaks the colors, sometimes combining higher resolution black and white images with color images, sometimes recreating what the object would look like in natural color (ie, in visible wavelengths, from images taken in multiple wavelengths), sometimes heightening the contrast to bring out detail. (via) [more inside]
posted by nangar on May 20, 2011 - 7 comments

Puny Earthlings, you will be reduced to a smoldering sphere

The International Academy of Astronautics is holding the Planetary Defense Conference: Protecting Earth from Asteroids May 9-12, 2011. in Bucharest, Romania [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on May 12, 2011 - 13 comments

This view of time does not look encouraging for time travelers

The concept of time as a way to measure the duration of events is not only deeply intuitive, it also plays an important role in our mathematical descriptions of physical systems. For instance, we define an object’s speed as its displacement per a given time. But some researchers theorize that this Newtonian idea of time as an absolute quantity that flows on its own, along with the idea that time is the fourth dimension of spacetime, are incorrect. They propose to replace these concepts of time with a view that corresponds more accurately to the physical world: time as a measure of the numerical order of change.
posted by finite on Apr 25, 2011 - 127 comments

The frozen desert

Huge cache of frozen carbon dioxide found on Mars.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 24, 2011 - 45 comments

In Soviet Russia, Photoshop Crops You!

An interesting article from Wired about Soviet photo manipulations from the 1960s space race. [more inside]
posted by PepperMax on Apr 14, 2011 - 14 comments

A Journey's End

Following on the heels of NASA's announcement of the final resting places of the various space shuttles, NASA, in conjunction with William Shatner, released a final video commemorating the program. (SLYT)
posted by Heliochrome85 on Apr 12, 2011 - 25 comments

What Yuri Gagarin Saw

First Orbit. "On 12th April 2011 it will be 50 years to the day since Yuri Gagarin climbed into his space ship and was launched into space. It took him just 108 minutes to orbit Earth and he returned as the World's very first space man. To mark this historic flight we have teamed up with the astronauts onboard the International Space Station to film a new view of what Yuri would have seen as he travelled around the planet. Weaving these new views together with historic voice recordings from Yuri's flight and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the World on this historic anniversary." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 11, 2011 - 32 comments

And a great big blue sky below

32 images of the earth from the blackness of space, many with spacewalking astronauts in the foreground, presented in a Big Picture style. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 7, 2011 - 34 comments

A beautiful and powerful solar system viewing tool.

Have fun and learn at the same time.
posted by analogtom on Apr 4, 2011 - 23 comments

Space Jam

Flute jam aboard the International Space Station [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by inedible on Apr 3, 2011 - 45 comments

Reflections on Pioneer

As they leave the solar system, the Pioneer spacecraft have anomalously decelerated, pointing to a possible gap in our understanding of gravity. Now, a computer graphics technique known as Phong shading predicts that the Pioneer anomaly is just a side effect of how the shape of the spacecraft reflects sunlight.
posted by jjray on Mar 31, 2011 - 57 comments

Want to explaind the Solar System to someone?

A beautiful interactive model of our Solar System
posted by analogtom on Mar 22, 2011 - 20 comments

Radiation Belt Modelling For Living With A Star

The Van Allen Belt is a pesky radioactive torus surrounding Earth. Spacecraft operating for extended periods within it must use heavy and expensive radiation hardening techniques just to survive. Tethers Unlimited has proposed a rather daring scheme for circumventing this nuisance: HiVOLT. [more inside]
posted by Casimir on Mar 20, 2011 - 24 comments

What Have You Done For A Friend Today?

In 1967, Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov went up in a capsule he knew would never get back (NSFW gruesome image) to earth in one piece. He could have bowed out of the mission, but that would meant his good friend, Yuri Gagarin (the first man in space) would have drawn the mission instead. So Vladamir launched knowing it was a suicide mission. The CIA was listening in , and recorded what may have been Vladimir Komarov's last words, amid cries of rage. Adding to the tragedy, Yuri died in a plane crash the next year.
posted by COD on Mar 18, 2011 - 103 comments

Earth tide

"The Earth tide is a little-known daily event, similar to the oceans' more familiar tides. But the sun and moon's gravity doesn’t just pull on water, it deforms the Earth itself, causing the ground beneath us to bulge toward the pulling heavenly body." [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Mar 10, 2011 - 12 comments

See You Space Cowboy...

You Never Get a Seventh Chance to Make a First Impression: An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions
posted by Artw on Mar 7, 2011 - 47 comments

NASA Scientist Finds Extraterrestrial Bacteria In Meteorite

Dr. Hoover has discovered evidence of microfossils similar to Cyanobacteria in freshly fractured slices of the interior surfaces of the Alais, Ivuna, and Orgueil CI1 carbonaceous meteorites. The scientist's conclusion is that the fossilized bacteria are not Earthly contaminants but are the fossilized remains of living organisms which lived in the parent bodies of these meteors, e.g. comets, moons, and other astral bodies. The implications are that life is everywhere, and that life on Earth may have come from other planets.
posted by Surfin' Bird on Mar 5, 2011 - 150 comments

space, from the ground

Passage of the International Space Station and Discovery, taken on February 28th 2011 at 17:58UT from the area of Weimar, Germany. The shooting equipment is described in detail in this page. (Flash 10 required)
posted by DU on Mar 3, 2011 - 22 comments

"For those of us who dreamed of trips to Mars, the trouble with our times, as Paul Valery once said, is that the future is not what it used to be."

When will our Martian future get here? [via: The Space Review]
posted by Fizz on Mar 3, 2011 - 10 comments

O2BN Oceanus Procellarum

ISRO scientists think they have found a horizontal uncollapsed lava tube on the moon, 1.7 km long, 360 m wide, and 120 m high (roughly 1 mile x 1200 ft x 400 ft) which could be used as a lunar base by astronauts for inter-planetary missions. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Feb 26, 2011 - 82 comments

T-Minus 2 minutes and counting

STS 133 Space Shuttle Discovery (Single Link Space shuttle Launch)
posted by HLD on Feb 24, 2011 - 62 comments

Deep Space N

Introducing the Nautilus-X MMSEV, a manned deep space craft proposed by a team at NASA's Johnson Space Centre.
posted by Artw on Feb 14, 2011 - 34 comments

Starship Schematics Database

Starship Schematics Database: dedicated to the sole purpose of archiving every single starship design ever conceived in the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, and Space Battleship Yamato (A.K.A. Star Blazers in the USA) Universes, both official and unofficial, interesting and mediocre.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 12, 2011 - 35 comments

Apollo 14 note

Apollo 14, with Alan Shepard, American's first man in space, as the Commander, Stuart Roosa, Command Module Pilot and Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot, splashed down forty years ago today. It was flight of the rookies (total previous time in space was 15 minutes, all by Shepard). There were several odd things about the flight, but no need to worry, the moon trees are doing just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 10, 2011 - 11 comments

The Sun is Still a Mass of Incandescent Gas

NASA has released the first STEREO images of the entire sun.
Previous. Previouser. Previousest.
posted by steambadger on Feb 9, 2011 - 17 comments

Make your own astronomical calendar

Several months ago, Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography (previously and previouslier) created an astronomical calendar of events for New Haven, Connecticut, where he lives, featuring all of the inexorable rhythms of the Solar System in one handy PNG file. Now you can create such a calendar for any location on the planet, with information as basic as the hours of daylight or as esoteric as the tilt of Saturn's rings, all lovingly rendered in soothing translucent pastels. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Feb 7, 2011 - 18 comments

Space Stasis

Space Stasis - What the strange persistence of rockets can teach us about innovation. By Neal Stephenson.
posted by 00dimitri00 on Feb 2, 2011 - 38 comments

No ham radio for old men...

Amateur radio gets stick for being home to a lot of reactionary weird old buffers. How true. Many are put off by this. And that's a crying shame... [more inside]
posted by Devonian on Jan 29, 2011 - 61 comments

"Slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Challenger . . . . go with throttle up. Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf) tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember one of the most tragic days in the history of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
posted by IvoShandor on Jan 28, 2011 - 100 comments

"We're solar sailing!"

NASA's NanoSail-D unfurled its solar sail and is now orbiting 650 km above Earth. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jan 24, 2011 - 18 comments

Voyager I reaches edge of solar wind

The Voyager I spacecraft, 33 years into its mission, "has outrun the solar wind" and is exiting the solar system. This nice article explains what this means, and has a bunch of wonderful details and interviews with the original mission scientists. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Jan 19, 2011 - 70 comments

Your Mom Hates This Post

Visceral Games launches a very innovative ad campaign for their upcoming game, "Dead Space 2". The second installment of the Dead Space series is set to come out January 25th of this year. In what seems to be a final ditch effort to build some last minute hype, the producers have started an interesting ad campaign. [more inside]
posted by MHPlost on Jan 18, 2011 - 77 comments

I Can Has Gravity?

Weightless Cats and other fun experiments. An excerpt from from coverage of research at the Aerospace Medical Division Hq 657Oth Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories including scenes of F-104 seat ejection; drop tests from C-130 and ejection from F-106; effects of weightlessness on cats and pigeons in a C-131; test subjects in water tank, on centrifuge, in heat chamber and on complex coordinator. Also, scenes of vertical deceleration tower, incline impact test facility, vertical accelerator, equilibrium chair and vibration platform. More videos can be found at Airboyd.tv: Accident Animations, Aviation Films, Military Flight Training Films, and Space Shuttle Vidoes.
posted by Fizz on Jan 15, 2011 - 32 comments

A portfolio of space imagery and videos

"The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular places in space that a person might theoretically be able to one day visit. So for the most part, nebula, galaxies and the like are not a part of this forum. I tend to focus on “terrestrial” places or places that host such places. I suppose I would like to find out more about these places that we may one day inhabit or simply visit."
wanderingspace.net
Hat tip to Nice Guy Mike!
posted by boo_radley on Jan 14, 2011 - 4 comments

I just need some space (between sentences)

Slate says putting more than one space between sentences is "totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong." Microsoft's Bill Hall agrees. LaTex does not. The American Psychological Association used to agree but has changed its mind. The exhaustive Wikipedia article on sentence spacing has a predictably prickly discussion page.
posted by escabeche on Jan 14, 2011 - 273 comments

Kind of like a zit, but full of plasma.

One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface. - Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona
posted by The Whelk on Jan 8, 2011 - 13 comments

Cosmic Journeys and other space-related videos

Cosmic Journeys is a documentary series on various astronomical and space-related subjects, e.g. supermassive black holes, Apollo 12, whether the universe is infinite and many more. The creators, SpaceRip have a lot of other, shorter videos online as well. They are indexed here. Most, if not all, of the videos are available in HD.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 30, 2010 - 2 comments

Greetings from ISS!

Crew from NASA's International Space Station send holiday greetings to all people of planet Earth.
posted by Taft on Dec 22, 2010 - 29 comments

High fashion

A space wardrobe - images of the National Air and Space Museum’s collection of spacesuits from throughout the history of American space exploration.
posted by Artw on Dec 21, 2010 - 9 comments

"I can barely hear you, let alone see you..."

"I can sense stars, and their whispers amid the roaring of our own Sun." So goes one poetic status of the Voyager 2 twitterfeed, which appeals to my sense of wonder like nothing else on the internet. Interstellar space probes and microblogging go hand in hand in the 21st Century.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 21, 2010 - 23 comments

It Stinks

The smell of the Moon. Space. Pharaohs. Graffiti. Anger. Rain. Phantoms. Cancer. The Middle Ages.
posted by Paragon on Dec 21, 2010 - 17 comments

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight! "A rare event not seen in 372 years will occur early Tuesday morning, when a total lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice."
posted by xtian on Dec 20, 2010 - 88 comments

This Is What a Sunspot Looks Like

The most detailed photo of the surface of the sun looks like this. It was taken by the team at CA's Big Bear Solar Observatory. They have some other neat images of our nearest star at their website. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Dec 18, 2010 - 46 comments

A better top ten

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait presents "The Top 14 Astronomy Pictures of 2010". [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Dec 14, 2010 - 10 comments

Let's try to avoid creating something with "molecular acid for blood," shall we?

Dmitar Sasselov is an astrophysicist, Director of the Origins of Life Initiative at Harvard and a co-investigator of the Kepler space telescope project to find Earth-like planets around the Cygnus constellation and discover extraterrestrial life. But no matter how successful the Kepler project may be, it still won't answer the most fundamental questions of astrobiology: How diverse is life in the universe? If alien life exists, will it have Earthly DNA and proteins? Or will it run on something else? So Dr. Sasselov has decided to collaborate with two synthetic biologists, asking them to create a life form based on mirror-image versions of what we know as the essential building blocks of living things on Earth. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 14, 2010 - 13 comments

Planets made of diamond and graphite?

A hot carbon-rich gas giant exoplanet, WASP-12b, has been discovered. As the lead author of the paper being published today, Nikku Madhusudhan, says: ""This planet reveals the astounding diversity of worlds out there". In particular, the discovery supports theories that there are likely to be planets made of diamond and graphite out there.
posted by philipy on Dec 8, 2010 - 43 comments

Stars in my backyard

How is it possible for an individual to build a planetarium? In most cases it is impossible. One must first truly love the beauty of the night sky and be willing to share that love with others. Wisconsin Man Builds Planetarium in His Backyard. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Dec 5, 2010 - 20 comments

That's a big number

"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. " -- Douglas Adams [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 2, 2010 - 73 comments

ARTSAT Streaming Radio

ARTSAT Internet Radio uses SuperCollider and telemetry data from the PRiSM picosatellite to make music. The satellite weighs only 1kg and measures 10cm on each edge of its cubic body. (Google translationdirect radio link for your audio player)
posted by mkb on Dec 1, 2010 - 4 comments

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