736 posts tagged with nasa.
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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

I'm thinking so loudly I can't hear myself think

NASA researchers can hear what you're saying, even when you don't make a sound. When we speak in our minds, we send weak electrical signals to our larynx and tounge. Tricksy new technology is able to interpret these micromovements into the words we were thinking.
posted by 6am on Mar 25, 2006 - 46 comments

To orbit or bust

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is due to arrive today. The Orbiter, launched back last August, is set to begin its slow down for Mars orbit at 3:50 pm EST. Its mission will be to study the planet's atmosphere, surface, and underground. Courtesy of NASA, you can track its relative position to mars every ten minutes, download a podcast, and pass your time waiting with a series of informative videos. The orbiter also has the most powerful camera ever to leave Earth orbit.
posted by Atreides on Mar 10, 2006 - 31 comments


There's water on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Here's hoping space tourism can pick up the pace a little.
posted by jrb223 on Mar 9, 2006 - 123 comments

The National Archives on Google Video

The National Archives of the United States and Google have announced a pilot project to digitize historic films and make them available via Google Video for free. The project's initial offering of 101 films include NASA documentaries on the spaceflight program, samples of United Newsreels from World War II, and early films from the Department of the Interior highlighting public works such as the construction of the Hoover Dam and the work of the National Park Service. Also of note is the earliest film in the National Archives holdings, an odd compilation circa 1894 containing Carmencita's Spanish Dance, boats being pulled upstream, people crossing a bridge, and Japanese women playing stringed instruments (on silent film, of course...) last link is direct to video, 2 minutes 46 seconds in duration
posted by edverb on Feb 25, 2006 - 24 comments

heck of a job, George

Updatefilter: George C. Deutsch has resigned. (for NYT links, see BugMeNot)
(T)he young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said. (previously discussed here on MeFi)

Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted. [...]

Mr. Deutsch, 24, was offered a job as a writer and editor in NASA's public affairs office in Washington last year after working on President Bush's re-election campaign and inaugural committee, according to his résumé. No one has disputed those parts of the document.
posted by edverb on Feb 7, 2006 - 88 comments

Intelligent Design promoted over Big Bang theory by 24 year old NASA appointee

Religious Nuttery Wins Out over Scientific Fact George Deutsch, a presidential appointee in NASA headquarters, told a Web designer working for the agency to add the word “theory” after every mention of the Big Bang, according to an e-mail message from Mr. Deutsch that another NASA employee forwarded to The Times. The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the “war room” of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen’s public statements.
posted by mk1gti on Feb 5, 2006 - 82 comments

Take off every suit

Suitsat is ready to launch. Know it (wmv). Watch it. Track it. (previously)
posted by pantsrobot on Feb 3, 2006 - 15 comments

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


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

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