721 posts tagged with nasa.
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Bush Turns Up the Heat on NASA

Bush administration tries to silence NASA's chief climate expert James Hansen from granting interviews about global warming. Meanwhile, a new study by Australian researchers confirms that global sea levels are rising, and may make island nations like Tuvalu and the Maldives uninhabitable by the end of the century. [via RawStory]
posted by digaman on Jan 28, 2006 - 40 comments

Enough speculation Pluto, time to see if you really are a planet.

The New Horizons spacecraft will be the first man-made object to visit our controversial sibling planet. An Atlas V will be used to launch the craft to the fastest speed that man has ever hurled an object to the heavens. Due to this and the small size of Pluto, the probe will only be capable of one flyby. Today is the first day in the launch window that the rocket is hoped to be launched.
posted by Phantomx on Jan 17, 2006 - 69 comments

Space Nerds Rejoice!

Stardust@home. The Stardust spacecraft (discussed recently here) should land in Utah early Saturday, carrying in its hold a sprinkling of grains of interstellar dust. Researchers are seeking the public's help in pinpointing the submicroscopic bits of dust. Participants will sift through the hundreds of thousands of pictures of the roughly square-foot collector plate.
posted by ND¢ on Jan 11, 2006 - 21 comments

Polarises? Polarii?

Hubble reveals that the North Star is not one, not two, but THREE stars. Dear god, we've all been living a lie. I feel so disillusioned.
posted by 40 Watt on Jan 10, 2006 - 36 comments

Make the Kessel run in less than twelve par-secs!

Hyperdrive and a possible Unified Theory. New Scientist article about a paper and proposal to NASA outlining development parameters and possiblities for a faster-than-light anti-gravity propulsion system, based on some rather interesting physics theories originated by a guy named Heim. You mean you've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? (via)
posted by zoogleplex on Jan 9, 2006 - 70 comments

NASA gets piece of tail

This weekend, NASA will order the Stardust spacecraft to jettison its 100-pound capsule that contains comet dust. The capsule will hurdle through earth’s atmosphere and make a soft landing in the Utah desert. Not directly connected to last summer’s Deep Impact, Stardust’s mission is to bring comet debris back to earth for study. Here’s hoping we don’t need the Wildfire lab.
posted by mania on Jan 9, 2006 - 17 comments

Tragic triana

Bob Park mourns Triana in his "What's New" newletter: NASA has quietly terminated what may have been its most important science mission. Critics of programs to limit emissions argue that climate change is caused by solar variation, not by atmospheric changes. There is one unambiguous way to tell: locate an observatory at L-1, the neutral-gravity point between Earth and Sun. It would have a continuous view of the sunlit face of Earth in one direction, and the Sun in the other, thus constantly monitoring Earth's albedo. Originally called Triana, the Deep Space Climate Observatory has already been built and is sitting in storage.
posted by 445supermag on Jan 6, 2006 - 23 comments

Martians no more

Life on Mars is looking less likely. Two new papers published today in Nature argue that vulcanism and meteors, rather than standing water, are a better explanation for the results found by the Opportunity Rover, despite previous excited announcements by NASA in 2004.
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 21, 2005 - 13 comments

space oddity

NASA: For the Benefit of All Mankind [MPEG; context]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 10, 2005 - 18 comments

Where is everything?

Live tracking Thusday: Where are the interstellar probes? (and the objects in orbit?) Where is the lightning in Europe? Where is the fleet? Where is my flight? Where is tomorrow now? Where is your God now? Where is the magnetic north pole today? [J-track prev.]
posted by blahblahblah on Nov 3, 2005 - 19 comments

Stunning Saturn/Dione Photo

Stunningly beautiful photo of Dione and Saturn with rings. Such a sensation of depth and grandeur. Thanks, Cassini/JPL/NASA. [animation] [planetary photojournal entry] [B/W mirror from kokogiak] [now you play fun Flash spaceship game].
posted by brownpau on Oct 21, 2005 - 18 comments

2005 Hurricane Season

From Arlene to Wilma. Very cool little NASA visualization of the 21 named storms from the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium on Oct 20, 2005 - 30 comments

Nice Cans!

How to build a Deep Space Network station. Via: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
posted by loquacious on Oct 14, 2005 - 4 comments

Cassini Flies by Tethys

Cassini Flies by Tethys and Hyperion, and the photos so far have been awesome and weird. I especially want to point out this fascinating view, which, if you look at it closely, reveals what appears to be a string of small impact craters, in a straight line over older terrain. What kind of meteor impact could have produced such an excellent formation of craters? Hyperion photos are coming. (Kokogiak's got backup in case the JRUNS strike.)
posted by brownpau on Sep 26, 2005 - 29 comments

we came in peace

Moonbase Visions. You've read about and discussed NASA's plan to use new post-shuttle launch vehicles to return to the moon. But what, exactly, is the US planning to do on the moon? What would a semi-permanent moonbase look like? And why return at all? NASA's announced answers to these questions remain vague. But last year eleven sets of responses to these questions were offered to NASA in the development proposals submitted to NASA by eleven Aerospace concerns, each of which suggested different designs, missions, and philosophies for NASA's return to the moon. Some common themes:
Military: "Provide nationally assured access to orbital locations for the placement of observation systems" and "assured access to space for development of force projection systems and movements of logistics." (pdf link, p. 5) Commercial: "Commercialize space products and services" (pdf link, p.6) Public Relations: Keeping the public inspired with "regularly placed program milestones." (pdf link, p.7)
It's interesting to compare the details of these proposals. But taken together, they raise a broader question: does NASA's fear that the public will lose interest in this commercializing, militarizing, moon venture reflect an awareness that that the vision has finally been lost?
posted by washburn on Sep 22, 2005 - 62 comments

Maybe NASA has learned their lesson

NASA today announced their plans for a return moon trip by 2018. No doubt this thread could go a million different ways, but what interests me the most about the plan is its simplicity. NASA may have learned its lesson from the overly ambitious and complex Shuttle program and appears to be aiming for much greater simplicity this time around. Part of the beauty of this plan is utilizing those parts of the Shuttle system which have been proven to work well: SSMEs (Space Shuttle Main Engines) and SRBs (Solid Rocket Boosters). Propulsion is often the thorniest part of any space launch, and it seems like combining the known variables of those systems with Apollo-era design may just work. If we are re-focusing NASA on exploration, the 21st Century Lewis & Clarke, and the agency can execute, I'll be pretty excited about moving on to Mars.
posted by tgrundke on Sep 19, 2005 - 161 comments

Spirit photographs Phobos and Deimos

Two Moons Passing in the Night. Mars rover Spirit took these sequential photos of Martian moons Phobos and Deimos passing overhead in the night sky. Those rovers are still going strong!
posted by brownpau on Sep 10, 2005 - 17 comments

"Go" for de-orbit burn...

Discovery is coming home... Around now (6.06am EDT) STS114 is due to commence firing its orbital maneuvering engines for 2 minutes and 42 seconds and commence its entry of the atmosphere to return home to Edwards Air Force base. Florida was declared a "no go" both yesterday and today due to weather conditions.

Weather at Edwards is good. Landing tracks from NASA available here.
BBC story with live video footage is here.
Pilot Jim Kelly is handling the de-orbit burn, according to commentary and mission commander Eileen Collins will make the final approach and touch down at Edwards.

Best of luck, Discovery, I'm sure I speak for all when I say that all of our thoughts are with you.
posted by tomcosgrave on Aug 9, 2005 - 130 comments

Shuttle Launch Exhaust

Ecological impact of Space Shuttle launch exhaust. Aluminum oxide powder, hydrogen chloride, and of course, water vapor, which can form noctilucent clouds. The environmental impact is supposedly minimal.
posted by brownpau on Aug 6, 2005 - 15 comments

out of the blue!

Is there any purpose to the kind of manned space flights we seem to be concentrating on?
posted by pantsrobot on Aug 4, 2005 - 48 comments

Shuttle Damage Graphic

Shuttle Damage A nice graphic of the 15000 hits the shuttle program has had.
posted by srboisvert on Jul 28, 2005 - 25 comments

STS-114 Liftoff

Liftoff! Discovery is in orbit, and STS-114 is well and fully underway. The fuel sensor problem which had previously delayed the launch was not an issue this morning. Mission timeline, mission updates, and the Wikipedia entry.
posted by brownpau on Jul 26, 2005 - 38 comments

Moonies

Google Moon - Google Maps gets the Lunar treatment, in honor of the first manned moon landing. No directions, though, so you won't be able to plot the best route from Tycho Crater to Mare Imbrium. (Fun Hint! - try the maximum zoom level)
posted by nervestaple on Jul 20, 2005 - 41 comments

Cassini Photos of Saturn's Rings and Moons

Rocks Among the Rings. The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla has compiled some of the loveliest imagery of Saturn's ring-and-moon system from Cassini. More on Saturn from the Planetary Society here. Also see the Cassini at Saturn photoset, from our very own kokogiak, and watch for updates on the latest Enceladus flyby.
posted by brownpau on Jul 15, 2005 - 5 comments

T-22 hours, and counting

The space shuttle (and NASA) return to flight tomorrow at a scheduled launch time of 1551 ET, weather permitting. They had a laundry list of things to fix, and of course, they've fixed all of them... except the three that actually killed the last crew. They're launching nonetheless, and NASA TV will be covering it, with a couple of lists of mirror site links. I wish them well.
posted by baylink on Jul 12, 2005 - 37 comments

Big, Big Bang

THWACK!  (NASA TV Live feed) This is just a heads up, only about 80 minutes until Deep Impact (NASA mission page) slams into comet Tempel 1. Recent discussion here.
posted by planetkyoto on Jul 3, 2005 - 122 comments

NASA Claims Readiness for July 13 Launch

NASA says shuttle is ready for July 13 launch, but doubts remain. With two catastrophic failures marring the Space Shuttle's safety record, many people fear that the coming launch of the shuttle Discovery could turn in to a billion-dollar fireworks display. While NASA is optimistic about the coming mission, an independent panel of aerospace executives, academics and former astronauts are not. They concluded that NASA has failed to fully implement three of the fifteen return-to-flight recommendations made by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) in August 2003. While we wish the astronauts a safe and uneventful journey, serious doubts remain as to NASA's competency to continue carrying mankind to the stars. Perhaps our best hopes now lie with private ventures such as Scaled Composites?
posted by nlindstrom on Jul 1, 2005 - 20 comments

Working on the Fourth of July

What are you doing for July 4th? I just found out I'll be working. Our spacecraft Swift is going to be observing comet Tempel1 at the time of the Deep Impact encounter. (Previous discussed here on MeFi 2 years ago.) We'll probably have images and movies first, but the first images you'll see after the encounter will likely come from either JPL or Hubble. You can't have Penn State scooping NASA.

Oh well, at least we will have a barbecue at work to celebrate. Our acting Mission Director during this time is a great bloke from MSSL. It is oddly appropriate to be celebrating the Fourth with a person from the UK.
posted by Fat Guy on Jun 29, 2005 - 10 comments

View the universe in 3d

Ever have trouble visualizing how the solar system is put together, how the orbits work, how everything is positioned relative to everything else? This site helps you see how we think it all fits together.
posted by Fozzie on Jun 22, 2005 - 16 comments

The Summer Moon Illusion

For the sake of your sanity, for five minutes this week forget the memos, the autopsies, the celebrity verdicts, and the rest. Go outside and look at the full moon, which will hang in the sky at its lowest point in 18 years over the next three nights, says NASA, creating the "summer moon illusion." If you're a US resident, calculate your local moonrise time here.
posted by digaman on Jun 19, 2005 - 26 comments

Science at work

Touch-Sensitive Cyborg
posted by cmicali on Jun 15, 2005 - 21 comments

Pioneer Anomaly

The Pioneer Anomaly. Something's up in deep space: the Pioneer spacecraft, now out of contact, have shown an unexplained Doppler drift, indicating sunward acceleration, effectively decelerating the probes cumulatively. The effect may be be nongravitational, and could be explained by any number of factors: an undiscovered twist in Newtonian physics, localized cosmological contraction issues, or just venting gas. Other deep space probes may have experienced the anomaly as well, and a new mission could explore the puzzle; but for now, all we have is past Pioneer data, and that's stored on old 9 track tape which can only be read by antique readers. What's to be done? (Also see Pioneer Odyssey for a nostalgic romp through those early days of deep space exploration. And NASA, bring back the original Pioneer home page plz, kthx.)
posted by brownpau on Jun 13, 2005 - 21 comments

A New Kind of Solar Storm

Going to the moon? Be careful. A new kind of solar storm can take you by surprise. Biggest proton storm since 1956 - before there were satellites monitoring the sun.
posted by Cranberry on Jun 10, 2005 - 11 comments

Free at last, free at last, thank Mars almighty, Opportunity is free at last

Free at last, free at last, thank Mars almighty Opportunity is free at last. After a several week long struggle, the Mars Opportunity Rover is free from the sand trap many across the world had predicted would bring it to an end.
posted by mk1gti on Jun 4, 2005 - 22 comments

Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan

Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn A collaboration between 17 nations (3 space agencies). The atmosphere shows wavelike cloud structures, Saturn's rings display Waves and Small Particles. First image of a small moon orbiting within the Keeler gap.
Previous Missions, 2005 tour dates.
posted by Lanark on May 24, 2005 - 11 comments

Mars Polar Lander found?

Mars Polar Lander found? The Mars Polar Lander was lost while attempting to land on Mars in December 1999. An initial search for the lander was fruitless. But now Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems thinks he may have found the lander's parachute and crashed remains. Meanwhile, some scientists are worried about landers and crashed vehicles contaminating Mars; others think it's not a problem. [via Slashdot]
posted by flug on May 6, 2005 - 4 comments

Beam me up and away

NASA is funding a research project that looks into a new and much faster way of getting astronauts to Mars.
posted by C17H19NO3 on May 2, 2005 - 24 comments

Return to Flight

So far the Return to Flight has been a bumpy ride for NASA. Apparently things over there are run like a bureaucracy and agency officials are worried about ice or foam insulation coming off the space shuttle again.

Will private companies eventually dominate space exploration and make NASA a thing of the past?
posted by Guerilla on May 1, 2005 - 28 comments

Hubble Birthday Gallery

Hubble's 15th Birthday Image Gallery
Reports about birthday.
NASA Hubble site.
(previous) via
posted by peacay on Apr 25, 2005 - 12 comments

A very large explosion

NASA scientists say that a large gamma ray explosion within our own galaxy may have triggered a mass extinction hundreds of millions of years ago.
posted by C17H19NO3 on Apr 13, 2005 - 25 comments

Space Station and Iran Arms Link

Funding for the International Space Station may dry up next year. The Iran Non-Proliferation Act of 2000 will prevent further Russian Soyuz flight sponsoring from the U.S. budget. This problem looms large as a new NASA Director is appointed by shrub and the Space Shuttle project hopes to have it's first launch mid-year since the Columbia explosion in Feb. 2003. via
posted by peacay on Mar 15, 2005 - 13 comments

NASA ASRS Callback

A Confessional for Pilots - To improve aviation safety in America, NASA runs the ASRS, a service that collects voluntary, anonymous reports on aviation-related goofs in exchange for certain immunities and suggestions of clemency. Every month selected reports are published in the Callback newsletter, showcasing the full spectrum of factors that lead flyers to bad decisions: distraction, bad habits, overconfidence, poor planning, "get-home-itis", and on and on...
posted by tss on Feb 28, 2005 - 9 comments

Where was my kaboom?

[x] ok to transmit this posting into outer space (via space.craigslist.org)
posted by loquacious on Feb 28, 2005 - 9 comments

NASA just keeps giving and giving and giving...

World Wind is a global information system that pulls together a high resolution map of the entire world and layers into it satellite information from a variety of sources. The program lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging high resolution LandSat imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation data to experience Earth terrain (or any planet with the data) in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there. Virtually visit any place in the world. Look across the Andes, into the Grand Canyon, over the Alps or along the African Sahara. Check out the screenshots. (Windows only, 169mb download, torrent available.) While you're there, check out Virtual Lab, a virtual scanning electron microscope (screenshots), available for Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows.
posted by crunchland on Feb 18, 2005 - 14 comments

NewsFilter - More evidence of life on mars

Life - a strong case for life on mars was presented sunday
posted by sourbrew on Feb 17, 2005 - 12 comments

Twinkle, twinkle little GPS BIIA-12...

J-Track 3D is an interesting JAVA web-app offered by NASA which gives a 3D interactive display of over 500 satellites currently orbiting the Earth.
posted by numlok on Feb 16, 2005 - 8 comments

How do you go to the bathroom in space?

How do you go to the bathroom in space? One of the questions answered on NASA's Brain Bites page.
posted by achmorrison on Feb 14, 2005 - 16 comments

Air Traffic Control Animation

Ant Farm in the Sky - a day in the life of air traffic over the United States [.mov]. Out of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, and seen in Cabinet Magazine.
posted by carter on Feb 14, 2005 - 10 comments

Huygens Makes it!

It worked! Huygens has successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan and the Cassini orbiter is sending good data back to Earth as I type. Isn't it amazing how we can take a probe the size of a compact car, send it on a 7 year journey in the most inhospitable environment imaginable, deploy a sub-probe that has been dormant for that entire time and land it where we had planned on another solar body so far away that it takes 67 minutes to get a signal back and forth. Exploration and research has never been so cool.
posted by tgrundke on Jan 14, 2005 - 37 comments

Obligatory NASA Post

European Space Agency's Huygens Probe Ready for Spectacular Mission to Titan
Mission managers for the European Space Agency's Huygens probe said the spacecraft is on course for its descent to Saturn's mysterious moon Titan on Friday, Jan. 14. The probe, which detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter last month, will be the first object to explore on-site the unique environment of Titan, whose chemistry is thought to be very similar to that of early Earth, before life formed. The data gathered during the probe's 2 1/2 hour descent through Titan's atmosphere will be transmitted from the probe to the Cassini orbiter and then back to Earth.
Make sure to stay tuned in this morning for updates.
posted by garethspor on Jan 13, 2005 - 69 comments

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