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Imagine as basket filled with billions and billions and billions of eggs

We are nearing the end of a golden age of astronomy as more than a dozen space observatories reach their end of life in a few years. The only replacement on the horizon is the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2014. Due to its enormous complexity and ever-rising costs, the JWST has starved other projects of funding. The fate of an entire generation of cosmologists and astrophysicists rests on its success.
posted by Rhomboid on Oct 28, 2010 - 33 comments

Communist Space Babies

Communist Space Babies. Title says it all, really. The tags were pretty easy too.
posted by not_that_epiphanius on Oct 26, 2010 - 23 comments

Warp Speed

Data, take us out of orbit, warp factor one...engage.
posted by analogtom on Oct 22, 2010 - 59 comments

If you build it, they will warp

"Star Trek: First Contact gave John Eaves the opportunity of a lifetime when his boss Herman Zimmerman asked him to design a new starship Enterprise. As he recalls, he was determined that the new ship would be sleek, fast, and muscular. " Designing the Enterprise NCC-1701-E from FSD: Starship Concept Art
posted by wayofthedodo on Oct 8, 2010 - 31 comments

Touch the history of the Russian astronautics and missilery!

Astonishing photos of remnants of the Soviet Lunar program, via Jalopnik, who have more details.
posted by Artw on Oct 6, 2010 - 32 comments

This thing went to space.

The 2010 Brooklyn Space Program. Here is Luke Geissbuhler's homemade spacecraft. It is made of awesome.
posted by CunningLinguist on Sep 29, 2010 - 24 comments

Pack your bags, kids

Astronomers have found the first exoplanet within the "habitable" band around a star, or within the distance band around a start that would allow for liquid water. The planet is roughly 3 times the size of the Earth and orbits red dwarf Gliese 581 every 36.6 days at a distance of about 13 million miles.
posted by Punkey on Sep 29, 2010 - 85 comments

Gravitational wave detectors: the universe ripples, they listen

Gravitational wave detectors: the universe ripples, they listen. These detectors (LIGO, GE600, TAMA300, AIGO) are listening for the gravitation waves: black holes spinning and colliding, or neutron stars inspiralling to their final fates in a black hole. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster on Sep 8, 2010 - 9 comments

The Island

The Island by Peter Watts (previously), winner of this years Hugo Award for Best Novelette. An audio version is available over at StarShipSofa (previously), itself a Hugo recipient.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2010 - 31 comments

Earth from Day to Night

Time lapse footage of Earth taken by Don Pettit during his time on the International Space Station. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 3, 2010 - 19 comments

Space geeks rejoice!

Up above the world so high, what's that spacecraft in the sky? [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Sep 3, 2010 - 10 comments

RIP, Mr. Horkheimer. We'll keep looking up!

Jack Horkheimer, host of "Star Gazer" (formerly known as "Star Hustler") has died. See this excellent post on Horkheimer's work.
posted by achmorrison on Aug 20, 2010 - 106 comments

Picard's third ear

Space Settlements collects various resources relating to the human colonisation of space: online books (including NASA studies from 1975, 1977 and 1992), a contest for schoolkids (so NASA can steal their ideas, natch), but most importantly, kitschy 70s pictures of proposed space colonies (toroidal, spherical, OR cylindrical!).
posted by Dim Siawns on Aug 19, 2010 - 17 comments

A Soviet Space Odyssey

Road to the Stars (Doroga k Zvezdam, 1958) was a remarkable Soviet documentary about the future of space exploration, directed by the "Godfather of Star Wars" and still admired for its impressive miniature effects. Watch the entire film.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 18, 2010 - 7 comments

It's all fun and games until level 30 rips your arms off. Then it's just games.

Friday Flash Fun: Color Theory is a puzzle platformer about... um... color theory. And gravity switching. And aliens. Via the eternal font of pleasant time-wasters, jayisgames.
posted by macmac on Aug 6, 2010 - 19 comments

Long hard times in space

"Tubes of space borscht are on sale in the museum gift shop. “There are white and black tubes. On the white is written: ‘BLONDE.’ On black one: ‘BRUNETTE.’ " Astronauts relate challenges of life in space.
posted by ambient2 on Aug 2, 2010 - 17 comments

At least Michael Bay won't be directing...

In the year 2182 -- 172 years time -- there's a 1 in 1000 chance that we might be hit by a very large asteroid. With two centuries advance notice, will we be able to develop effective asteroid deflection techniques? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2010 - 53 comments

Your Face in Space

With only two missions remaining as they wind down the space shuttle, NASA has a program to make countless dreams of space travel come (partially) true: Fly Your Face in Space. [more inside]
posted by audacity on Jul 29, 2010 - 12 comments

Dude, I knew it!

Maybe the entire universe as we know it really is just sitting inside a black hole of another, bigger universe.
posted by molecicco on Jul 29, 2010 - 104 comments

WISE: Beyond Hubble

On July 17th, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth. After just seven months in orbit, WISE -- a precursor to the planned James Webb Space Telescope -- has returned more than a million images that provide a close look at celestial objects ranging from distant galaxies to asteroids. The first release of WISE data, covering about 80 percent of the sky, will be delivered to the astronomical community in May of next year, but in the meantime we can see some of the images and animations that NASA has released to date: Galleries (containing just a small selection of images): 1, 2, 3, 4. Videos and Animations: 1, 2 [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2010 - 11 comments

"Eat SCRAD, rustbucket!!"

Spacegirl Comic by Travis Charest (via concept ships)
posted by Artw on Jul 24, 2010 - 31 comments

"All these worlds are (like) yours except . . . "

More than 100 Earth-like planets found . . . [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jul 23, 2010 - 48 comments

"The planet . . . was scarcely any larger than a house!"

The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has prepared a scale image of every asteroid and comet ever visited by a spacecraft. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jul 21, 2010 - 15 comments

Point, Click, Poin-Point, Click...

Klikwerk - do as you are told! [Flash, Audio, MC Hammer] [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur on Jul 21, 2010 - 5 comments

Space Project

Space Project from photographer Vincent Fournier. "Playing on the stylised notion of a sci-fi utopia, Fournier’s otherworldly photographs of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and the Atacama Desert Observatories in Chile – alongside a series of surprisingly stringy trainee astronauts - offer an alternative view of the world, unseen by many and known by few."
posted by puny human on Jul 18, 2010 - 11 comments

"We know you; you'll never be just a speck of light again."

The European Space Agency's Rosetta craft has returned stunning images of the asteroid 21 Lutetia, including this one which couples Lutetia with a member of our planetary family. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jul 13, 2010 - 21 comments

It weebles and it wobbles but it won't fall down.

Year On Earth breaks it down, explaining the complicated mechanics involved in trying to determine how long a year really is, why seasons and ice ages happen, and how not all years are created equal.
posted by loquacious on Jul 5, 2010 - 22 comments

I'm afraid I can't do that.

The ISS Progress 38 cargo carrier was launched to bring supplies to the International Space Station. The unmanned Russian vessel has experienced problems attempting to dock with the station and has now disappeared from view, spinning uncontrollably.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jul 2, 2010 - 43 comments

Rare Hole in the Moon Photographed

New photos of the moon have revealed the most detailed views yet of a rare hole in the lunar surface — a pit large enough to swallow an entire football field whole. "High-resolution cameras aboard the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft first spotted the irregularly shaped chasm, located in Mare Ingenii on the moon's southern hemisphere. Now, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a new, up-close photo of the moon pit from lunar orbit."
posted by Fizz on Jun 26, 2010 - 50 comments

"The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."

Last year, high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz of Brookline, Mass., played a clever trick on three of his best students. He asked them to plan a hypothetical mission to fly onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and observe a spacecraft disintegrate as it came screaming into Earth's atmosphere. For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store. On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: "The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."

posted by Burhanistan on Jun 26, 2010 - 50 comments

ISS 2010 Tour

2010 International Space Station Tour - (ISS Tags)
posted by MechEng on Jun 25, 2010 - 10 comments

Up in the air

The balloon was launched at 5:37pm (PST) from Oxnard, CA and reached an altitude of 125,000 feet snapping photos and recording video along the way.
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 23, 2010 - 43 comments

Water is likely to be widespread in the moon’s interior

The Carnegie Institution for Science reports "a much higher water content in the Moon’s interior than previous studies." For decades, the moon's water content was estimated at less than 1 part per billion; the new estimates range from 64 ppb to 5 parts per million. A scientist at Washington University said, "We can now finally begin to consider the implications—and the origin—of water in the interior of the Moon.” There's more at NASA and the BBC, and the full paper is available at PNAS (PDF).
posted by Stan Carey on Jun 15, 2010 - 21 comments

Genius, Nuts, or... Each?

American Nut Job Capatalist, Visionary, Rense fancy, or Space Pioneer? Robert Bigelow
posted by wallstreet1929 on Jun 13, 2010 - 7 comments

Failures Are Not an Option

Trouble started soon into Hayabusa's treacherous round-trip journey to Itokawa when she lost her companion, Minerva. On arrival, she stumbled and dropped the sample she was sent to retrieve, and we thought the worst when she stopped calling. One accident left her disoriented and unable to find her way, and another reduced her progress to a slow limp. But on Sunday, with unfailing help from home, Hayabusa returns, three years late and seven years after she departed.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jun 10, 2010 - 6 comments

Around the world around the world around the world...

Everybody's heard about the "secret" launch of the military's newest spacedrone the X-37, and everybody's heard about the other "secret" launch on the same day. The military has launched another type of spacedrone. This one looks a lot less like this and more like this. Unfortunately they've hit a snag. (previously) It's all part of the the U.S. military's prompt global strike doctrine. Some people think this may be a bad idea. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Jun 9, 2010 - 74 comments

Venera

At a time when the US was turning its attention from the moon and towards Mars, the Soviet Union had an active exploration program for Venus, Venera. Running from 1961 to 1983, the program had setbacks from the first launch, but Venera 9 produced the first ever transmission of images from another planet. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jun 5, 2010 - 45 comments

Is there life before Mars?

Six would-be astronauts will this week begin a 520-day mock space voyage to simulate a mission to Mars. How will they cope with the huge psychological pressures? It's a project that may simulate a mission that's going nowhere.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 1, 2010 - 113 comments

Roll for mutations

old School Science Fiction RPGs: Traveller, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World.
posted by Artw on May 27, 2010 - 99 comments

Space, an expensive frontier

Can the free market save the space program?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 26, 2010 - 41 comments

Heads Up, Citizen Scientists: The Moon Needs You!

Moon Zoo is another project from Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott, the creator of Galaxy Zoo (previously: 1, 2, 3). Moon Zoo calls for citizen scientists to record the craters and boulders, among other things, on the Moon's surface. [more inside]
posted by kro on May 24, 2010 - 7 comments

awwwwwww

Crater face: "Astronaut risks life and limb to bring two moon pimples together for love."
posted by DZack on May 20, 2010 - 10 comments

Blink and you'll miss it

As the shuttle program winds down, astrophotographers like Thierry Legault are taking advantage of these last opportunities to capture absolutely incredible shots like this one, showing Atlantis' transit in front of the sun as it performs its inspection backflip before docking with the ISS. His other photography includes this magnificent series of the launch of STS-125. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on May 19, 2010 - 16 comments

Yarchive - Notes from the hinterland.

Yarchive is one man's collection of UseNET posts on the topics of Air Conditioning; Aircraft; Bicycles; Cars; Chemistry; Computers; Electrical, Electronic; Environment; Explosives, Pyrotechnics; Food; Houses; Guns; Jokes; Medicine; Metalworking; Military; Nuclear; Telephones; Physics; Risks; Security; Space mostly from a select group of authors. It has been updated several times since it first appeared here in 2001 and it never fails to sucker me in for hours every time I stumble upon it from a Google Search. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on May 19, 2010 - 37 comments

Town & Country & Infinity

Chrysler's recent announcement of a three year technical collaboration with NASA continues the automaker's long involvement with the agency, including production of the historic Redstone, reliable Jupiter, and mighty Saturn launch vehicles, and the design of an unusual Space Shuttle called SERV. [more inside]
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 17, 2010 - 5 comments

Godspeed Atlantis

Barring the need for STS-335 and any potential extension to the program, today's 2:30 EST scheduled launch of OV-104 Atlantis on STS-132 (pdf) will be her 32nd and final trip to space. She's had a good run (gratuitous launch vid).
posted by cloax on May 14, 2010 - 57 comments

"I'm huntin' now trying to find...a belt in the Jovian morn..."

Something is missing on Jupiter.
posted by Burhanistan on May 13, 2010 - 56 comments

Poop in Spaaace!

The Space Potty - the one question astronauts get asked most often: "How do you 'go' in space?" [via]
posted by Burhanistan on May 6, 2010 - 23 comments

Space race I am

Forty-nine years ago, Alan Shepard literally got his 15 minutes of fame by becoming the second person and first American to go into space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 5, 2010 - 23 comments

Ion Propulsion "Dawns"

Star Trek nerd alert: Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu." Captain Kirk barks out NASA announces Dawn, an ion propulsion rocket to two asteroids, Vesta and Ceres.
posted by Cranberry on May 4, 2010 - 17 comments

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