748 posts tagged with nasa.
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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

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

Enceladus.

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

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

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