778 posts tagged with nasa.
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We live in a wonderfully insane universe.

NASA Astronomers Find Bizarre Planet-Mass Object Orbiting Neutron Star [via]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 13, 2007 - 45 comments

Race To Mars

"Somewhere on the planet are ten-year-olds who, someday, will be the first people to set foot on Mars" 300 scientists and space-experts contributed to what's billed as "a realistic vision of the first Human Mission to Mars" -- Race to Mars. Discovery Channel Canada used Hollywood special effects, but for added realism rather than ray-guns and aliens. On the website, you can argue about whether they got it right. www.racetomars.ca
posted by richlach on Sep 7, 2007 - 24 comments

Dear Earth: Send More Chuck Berry

The Golden Record: Hear what the aliens will hear.
30 years ago today, a collection of images and sound recordings engraved on a record was launched toward the stars. The playlist covers an amazing collection of music, and has been called the Mix Tape of the Gods.
posted by Hadroed on Sep 5, 2007 - 78 comments

Unseen photos of lunar surface

In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive of downloadable images for the general public. Here are the first few, from Apollo 15. (Similar topics previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.)
posted by GrammarMoses on Aug 28, 2007 - 9 comments

Save Skylab

While enjoying today's International Space Station construction mission, don't forget America's first outpost in space, Skylab. Launched in 1972, the experimental station, cobbled together from Apollo hardware, was abandoned two years later and plunged to Earth in 1979. Today, you can pitch in to save the rotting hulk of the Skylab trainer.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 13, 2007 - 17 comments

Look at the Space Shuttle

Space World is a joint project between NASA, Microsoft Live Labs and MSNBC.com. It uses Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth to create 3D tours of the space shuttle Endeavour and NASA's Kennedy Space Center facilities.

(Tech preview, Windows XP SP2 and Vista RC 1, IE 6&7, Firefox 1.5 and 2 only, gotta install Photosynth plugin). Others can see a movie demo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 6, 2007 - 41 comments

The Phoenix rises.

NASA's Phoenix probe launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral, destination Mars. Its mission is to investigate polar ice. This probe is unique for a couple of reasons: first, it will face a traditional parachute-and-retro-rockets landing, unlike previous endeavors. Second, it will be landing far north of any previous mission. Previous Mars missions have had mixed success, with only about half successfully making it to their destination. It is scheduled to land in May, 2008.
posted by backseatpilot on Aug 5, 2007 - 16 comments

One giant leap for space fashion

Bringing sexy back...to NASA? Sci-fi fans have witnessed many imaginings of the space suit. The skintight BioSuit is based on the concept of providing a "second skin" to astronauts.
posted by Blue Buddha on Jul 30, 2007 - 29 comments

Drunks... in... SPAAAAACE!

NASA has a rule requiring that astronauts go at least 12 hours between "bottle and throttle." Reports say not everyone followed it, and they went up anyway.
posted by djlynch on Jul 26, 2007 - 40 comments

Mountains Made Of News

The IDIOM Media Watch on Climate Change aggregates web content from 150 sources, accessible in the form of semantic maps, on which the topology of the Earth is redrawn as mountains and valleys according to the density of available information, or a three-dimensional 'knowledge planet' viewable in NASA World Wind. [Via Information Aesthetics.]
posted by jack_mo on Jul 7, 2007 - 5 comments

N1 Scale Model Launch

The Soviet Union’s answer to Saturn V, the massive, complex, and top-secret N1 rocket, failed win the moon race after four disastrous launch explosions between 1969 and 1972. In 2004, Polecat Aerospace had much better luck launching their 1/16 N1 scale model.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jun 13, 2007 - 17 comments

Black hole of Mars

Black hole mystery on Mars If a future earth ever needs a place to send convicts, the high-resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter may have found it a few nights back. (via crikey.com.au)
posted by mattoxic on May 24, 2007 - 65 comments

Animation of Tvashtar Volcano Erupting on Io

Tvashtar in Motion. Awesome five-frame GIF of fountaining sulfuric lava on Io courtesy New Horizons as it swung by Jupiter earlier this year. Found via Planetary Society Blog (Thank you, Emily). More on Tvashtar.
posted by brownpau on May 15, 2007 - 19 comments

The Illustrated Guide to GOP Scandals

The Illustrated Guide to GOP Scandals
posted by trinarian on May 14, 2007 - 44 comments

Best of the Webb

"Clearly we need a much bigger telescope to go back much further in time to see the very birth of the Universe." The venerable Hubble space telescope is going to be replaced by what looks like a honeycomb on a box of chocolates. Of course, if it takes more pictures like this (XL), nobody is going to complain about its looks.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 11, 2007 - 39 comments

RIP Wally Schirra

RIP Wally Schirra, 1923-2007. One of the original Mercury Seven "Right Stuff" astronauts (just two left now), Schirra flew on Sigma 7, Gemini 7, and Apollo 7. From there on, it's stationkeeping.
posted by brownpau on May 3, 2007 - 50 comments

Accident Prone

I hope STS-117 isn't delayed by this train wreck like it was from that hailstorm last March.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 3, 2007 - 24 comments

Nasa shooting

Just days after the Virgina Tech massacre and subsequent discussions on the pros and cons of gun control, a NASA contract engineer shot his coworker today on charges that his performance review was bad. A woman was held hostage by being tied to a chair during this episode. He brought the gun to work after printing out his performance review. NASA intends to increase security even as increased campus security is being discussed. How do we prevent more such shootings, asks the president.
posted by infini on Apr 21, 2007 - 156 comments

Staring at the sun

Staring at the sun. YouTube video of solar flares, made from images captured by the SOHO satellite. Yes, there is more.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 16, 2007 - 25 comments

Party at NASA!!!

Bay Area Yuri's Night 2007 Bay Area Yuri's Night 2007 Yuri's Night Bay Area will be held at Moffett Field in the NASA Ames Research Center's massive SOFIA hangar, home to the world's largest aerial observatory. Our host for the evening is pioneering space traveler Anousheh Anasari, the first privately funded female to reach orbit. She is joined by Dr. Chris McKay, world renowned expert in astrobiology and terraformation with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center, as they welcome you to a dazzling array of interactive art installations and science demos, interwoven with musical and acrobatic performances by some of the world's finest entertainers. Complete write up. Partially via MeFi's own lannanh.
posted by loquacious on Apr 6, 2007 - 23 comments

Astronaut Rock

Max Q, named after the aeronautical engineering term, is the only astronaut rock band (but not the only musical astronauts). Not to be confused with the barbershop quartet.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 23, 2007 - 7 comments

Titanic Pirates of Methane Seas

Titan Sea and Lake Superior
This movie, comprised of several detailed images taken by Cassini's radar instrument, shows bodies of liquid near Titan's north pole. These images show that many of the features commonly associated with lakes on Earth, such as islands, bays, inlets and channels, are also present on this cold Saturnian moon. They offer strong evidence that larger bodies seen in infrared images are, in fact, seas. These seas are most likely liquid methane and ethane.
Radar Shows Evidence of Seas
posted by y2karl on Mar 15, 2007 - 31 comments

"The sun descending in the west, The evening star does shine;"

Have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse would look like from space? The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) has just sent back its view (awe-inspiring video included). It has also sent back some gorgeous pictures of our sun (and the McNaught Comet). For more media, check out the other galleries (including some 3D images). For more about the project, see NASA's STEREO homepage. Be sure to also stop by the Johns Hopkins University STEREO Page, where you can download a mission guide (pdf), view animations, watch a video of the launch, or even make your own papercraft STEREO model (pdf). You can also learn more in six minute segments with their series of short educational videos.
posted by wander on Mar 13, 2007 - 15 comments

NASA's Earth Observatory

Sunset on Mars. Crop Circles in Kansas. Total Eclipse. Tenerife. Meteor Crater, AZ. European Superstorm. Lake Effect Clouds. Where on Earth...?
Find these and other images, as well as a learning lab and data animations, online courtesy NASA. If you are patient, also see Visible Earth (previously . . ).
posted by owhydididoit on Feb 23, 2007 - 12 comments

De-DUCT-ive Reasoning

How do you subdue a crazed astronaut? Duct Tape! By now we've all heard of astronaut Lisa Nowak's diaper-clad race to kidnap/kill her competition for fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein, but today we learned how NASA plans to deal with such trouble-makers in space: duct tape them into submission. NASA's idea isn't very original - restraining people with duct tape has been well documented in the movies, for use on airplanes, by bad parents, and for unruly patients. So, it appears this miracle adhesive can not only save us from terrorists, it can save us from ourselves. Bless you duct tape.
posted by Muddler on Feb 23, 2007 - 30 comments

Flat-Earthers? No. Fixed-Earthers.

Rep. Ben Bridges (R-Cleveland, GA) is in trouble. A recent memo from his office -- one circulated this week by Warren Chisum, a ranking member of the Texas state legislature -- has caught the attention of the Anti-Defamation League. They are not pleased. And they're not alone. Why? Because in his memo, Rep. Bridges -- sponsor of a perennial anti-evolution education bill in the Georgia State House -- claims that "so-called ’secular evolution science’ is the Big Bang, 15-billion-year, alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion." And that's not all. It would appear that Rep. Bridges is getting his information (and templates for his legislation) from www.fixedearth.com -- a website dedicated not only to the removal of pro-evolution education from schools, but to the idea that "[t]he Earth is not rotating...nor is it going around the sun." Because you see, it's all part of the Copernican Deception, a massive conspiracy propagated by Christian Zionists, NASA and ... Madonna?
posted by grabbingsand on Feb 16, 2007 - 116 comments

In Mission Control, while the loss of signal was a cause for concern, there was no sign of any serious problem

Four years ago today the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated shortly upon reentry. Here is a sad, but, fascinating real time video recreation of the final moments, compiled from various sources including Nasa radio transmissions.
posted by ae4rv on Feb 1, 2007 - 27 comments

Hubble ACS, We Hardly Knew You

Hubble's ACS Has Died. Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys has apparently gone into safe mode, with little hope of return. The ACS was installed in 2002, and added amazing upgrades to Hubble's imaging capabilities. Though its lifespan was only projected at five years, scientists had hoped it would hold out longer. Though a final shuttle servicing mission is scheduled for 2008, the mission objectives plate is already too full to consider its repair. Alas, more of those beautiful pictures (as well as extended research capabilities) will have to wait until the James Webb Space Telescope is launched in 2013.
posted by Brak on Jan 29, 2007 - 23 comments

HyperBike!

HyperBike! Invented by Curtis DeForest, this sci fi-looking gizmo has its rider standing up between a pair of cambered eight-foot wheels and pedaling with both arms and legs. It can "easily" hit 50 mph and it much harder to tip over than a regular bike (and doesn't kill your sperm count, either). NASA is interested in it for low-gravity environments.
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 25, 2007 - 54 comments

The original Neil Armstrong tape

If you thought the video of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon was rather blurry, it might interest you to know that this was never broadcast as well as it could have been. The original video quality was much better. You can't view the original video today, because NASA has lost the bleepin tape. Nobody seems to care, but the guys who once made the transmission possible are looking for it. An Australian minister is on their side. If the tape hasn't been accidentally degaussed, there's only one machine left that is able to read it.
posted by Termite on Jan 11, 2007 - 19 comments

Simple and direct.

The Stick and the Stack may be stuck. NASA's Project Constellation is the effort to rebuild the manned spacecraft program after nearly thirty years of flying the Shuttle. While the mighty Ares V, the big brother of the pair, seems to be working out on paper, the stick, Ares 1 is running into real trouble, as even with a longer first stage booster, it may not be able to loft the new Orion Crew Vehicle. Now, a group of NASA engineers, with one private person acting as the public face, say that there's a simpler, more DIRECT way.
posted by eriko on Dec 19, 2006 - 50 comments

Live coverage of ISS

Live coverage of NASA attempting to retract the ISS solar panels NASA is attempting to retract up the huge solar panels that spread out either side of the ISS. They fold up concertina-like, like venetian blinds; and like venetian blinds they're getting snagged and hung up. Live tv feeds of the ISS, and you can hear NASA problem-solving on the fly. Absolutely fascinating stuff.
posted by carter on Dec 13, 2006 - 22 comments

It's Cheaper to Throw Them Out

Are reusable spacecraft history? Tonight's space shuttle launch was spectacular. Watch them while you can; there are only fifteen launches left before NASA retires the shuttle, and with it the concept of reusable spacecraft. Turns out that, despite previous efforts, governments just can't make the original, common-sense idea of reusable spacecraft economically feasible. Leave it to private industry to figure out how.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 9, 2006 - 37 comments

Moonbase: Alpha

NASA Plans Permanent Moonbase. The base, a potential stepping stone for further Mars exploration, will likely be situated near one of the poles. The advantages of a polar site (pdf) include a relatively moderate climate, possible hydrogen and oxygen resources, unexplored terrain and abundant solar power. They have apparently abandoned plans to use nuclear reactors, which is probably for the best.
posted by justkevin on Dec 4, 2006 - 137 comments

Staring At The Sun

The Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), an advanced telescope onboard the Hinode satellite, was launched into space by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency on September 22, 2006. On October 23, the SOT opened its protective doors and began taking pictures
posted by Drunken_munky on Nov 2, 2006 - 11 comments

They're out there, by which I mean the crazy people who believe in aliens.

Directory of UFO/aliens/crop circle videos. From the really lame fakes to the completely misinterpreted (watch the time counter) to the kind of neat to watch, but not exactly any sort of proof.
posted by Kickstart70 on Oct 14, 2006 - 19 comments

HiRISE High-Res Images From Mars - Find the filing cabinet!

The HiRISE camera is one of eleven instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Yesterday the first few images were downloaded from the MRO.
posted by carsonb on Sep 30, 2006 - 16 comments

In space, no one can hear you say "cheese".

The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Over half a million photographs of Earth taken from orbit by astronauts, from 1961 through the present. The ability of the astronauts to rapidly identify interesting phenomena allows them to capture events as they occur, like volcanic eruptions, floods, and hurricanes, or take advantage of the angle of the sun to highlight specific features, like the pyramids or Mount Everest.
posted by Gamblor on Sep 21, 2006 - 14 comments

Why does Rice play Texas?

That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. [Audio] On 21 July 1969, four days after taking off from Cape Canaveral, and six and a half hours after landing Apollo 11 on the Sea of Tranquility, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon.

Without a doubt, the moon landing is one of the greatest accomplishments of mankind. For those who were alive thirty-seven years ago, the sight of Armstrong’s “small step” is one of the most iconic images of their lifetime.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jul 21, 2006 - 45 comments

30 years, where did they go...

On July 20, 1976 something really cool was accomplished.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Jul 20, 2006 - 24 comments

When you touch down/You'll find that it's stranger than known

300 Miles High
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 17, 2006 - 18 comments

Recent Shuttle Launch from Unusual Angles

Recent Shuttle Launch from Unusual Angles
+ Right forward Solid Rocket Booster camera (Windows media)
+ Right aft Solid Rocket Booster camera (Windows media)
+ Left aft Solid Rocket Booster camera (13.7 Mb Quicktime movie)
+ Left forward Solid Rocket Booster camera (13.6 Mb Quicktime movie)
+ Separation composite view (10 Mb Quicktime movie)
posted by crunchland on Jul 9, 2006 - 41 comments

Discovery flies!

Rocket's red glare! STS-121 lifts of successfully on the Forth of July, on a mission to deliver equipment, supplies and an additional crewmember to the International Space Station. Said Wayne Hail, Shuttle Program Manager, "Great nations dare great things and take risks along the way, and I can think of no better way to explore the space frontier than the way we set out today." Photos - Videos
posted by BeerFilter on Jul 4, 2006 - 36 comments

Virtual tour of Cape Canaveral.

A fairly comprehensive tour of what's left of the historic Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
posted by loquacious on Jul 2, 2006 - 4 comments

The great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition

The return of astronauts to the moon by 2020? Yeah! Hurricane predictions, long-term monitoring of weather and climate change? Not so much. (related here and here)
posted by Smedleyman on Jun 15, 2006 - 78 comments

Golf in spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

Though not the first time golf has been played in space, Russian cosmonauts are still planning to go ahead with the world's longest drive (3-4 years in orbit) from the International Space Station, as sponsored by the golf company Element 21 [link is to a rather neat CGI video of the shot, in wmv format. Coral Cache version.] The only problem -- it might hit the space station with the force of a 6.5 ton truck moving at 60 mph, though others are more worried about what the stunt means for the space program.
posted by blahblahblah on May 24, 2006 - 15 comments

Convert moon rocks to oxygen and other ways to earn $250,000

The NASA Centennial Challenges: Inspired by the X-Prize, NASA has begun a series of challenges to private inventors with cash prizes for things ranging from extracting oxygen from moon rocks to building better astronaut gloves to improving personal aircraft. Thanks to Congressional approval, NASA will be launching larger challenges of up to $50 million in value, including a new multi-million dollar lunar lander contest. With government space efforts criticized by private entrepreneurs, is this the right direction for NASA?
posted by blahblahblah on May 6, 2006 - 12 comments

I want to play that game.

Titan Descent Data Movie with Bells and Whistles
posted by crunchland on May 4, 2006 - 40 comments

"Flightcom, I can't hold it! She's breaking up, she's breaking--"

Bruce Peterson has died. Peterson was one of NASA's top test pilots for the lifting body program, a wingless aircraft with which NASA experimented during the sixties. Peterson retired from research flying after he barely survived a spectacular crash of his M2-F2--after Peterson recovered from an oscillation in which the aircraft rolled uncontrollably from side to side, he changed course to avoid colliding with a rescue helicopter, but a cross wind shifted him to an unmarked area of the lakebed. Peterson fired his landing rockets for additional lift, but the M2-F2 hit the lakebed at 250 mph before the landing gear was fully down and locked, rolled six times, and came to rest upside down. Peterson survived, but lost sight in his right eye.

You may not have heard of Bruce Peterson, but you're probably familiar with his crash of the M2-F2, although Peterson didn't appreciate being the inspiration and backstory for another fictitious NASA pilot who was badly hurt and lost an eye when his experimental aircraft crashed. Here he is.
posted by fandango_matt on May 4, 2006 - 17 comments

A profession just like anything else.

Scott Crossfield, Pilot, Pioneer. (1921-2006) "In the days of the research airplane program, things were somewhat different than the bureaucracy that we find ourselves in today. For instance, there could be a day where I would do an X-1 launch early in the morning, fly the X-4 over lunch hour, and do a D-558-II launch in the afternoon."
posted by grabbingsand on Apr 20, 2006 - 13 comments

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