781 posts tagged with nasa.
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Pretty floating spheres of water

RED 4K Video of Colorful Liquid in Space. "Once again, astronauts on the International Space Station dissolved an effervescent tablet in a floating ball of water, and captured images using a camera capable of recording four times the resolution of normal high-definition cameras. The higher resolution images and higher frame rate videos can reveal more information when used on science investigations, giving researchers a valuable new tool aboard the space station. This footage is one of the first of its kind. The cameras are being evaluated for capturing science data and vehicle operations by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 10, 2015 - 19 comments

The Apollo Photos

The Project Apollo Archive has uploaded to Flickr all photographs taken by the Apollo missions to the moon (Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). [more inside]
posted by nubs on Oct 2, 2015 - 36 comments

There is Water on Mars

The New York Times is reporting that NASA is about to announce the discovery of "definitive signs of liquid water on the surface of present-day Mars."
posted by schmod on Sep 28, 2015 - 109 comments

Look! Up in the sky!

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse! Coming to most of the world September 27th or 28th, 2015. There are many other cool visualizations, like this telescopic view or a view from the moon. Provided by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission of NASA.
posted by Roger Dodger on Sep 19, 2015 - 15 comments

Finally, if you are still with me, you hardy reader...

Tindallgrams is a collection of snarky memoranda of Howard W. "Bill" Tindall, Jr., a NASA Orbital Mechanics specialist working at MIT to coordinate software development for the Apollo spacecraft guidance systems. His memos, dating from 1966 through 1970, are epistles of triumph, frustration, and incomprehension that will be familiar to project managers throughout time. [more inside]
posted by Sunburnt on Sep 18, 2015 - 12 comments

You will not be going into space today

The Ballad of Captain Dwight-The story of Ed Dwight, the first black American trained to be an astronaut, via the memory palace [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 17, 2015 - 9 comments

why were they serving soup to people in bed anyway?

meet the man NASA paid $18,000 to lie in bed for 70 days straight
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Sep 14, 2015 - 38 comments

How to Explore the Surface of a Comet or Asteroid

Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can't operate upside-down. But on a small body, such as an asteroid or a comet, the low-gravity conditions and rough surfaces make traditional driving all the more hazardous. Enter Hedgehog: a new concept for a robot that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of traversing small bodies.(via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Sep 7, 2015 - 8 comments

Europa Mission

"The search for alien life has recently taken a surprise twist away from Mars and toward Europa, an ice ball of a moon in orbit around Jupiter. To understand why, you just need to look at these three numbers: Zero 1.33 billion 3 billion.... [more inside]
posted by storybored on Sep 4, 2015 - 48 comments

Worms, meatballs and logos

In the '70s, NASA commissioned a redesign of their "meatball" logo. They wanted something to make it more modern and better designed, so eventually the "worm" logo was unveiled. Unfortunately a lot of NASA engineers hated it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 1, 2015 - 97 comments

Next time NASA lands on Mars, they want your name on the lander.

Your name could be on Mars in the next several months. You've already paid for it, so you might as well go. In March 2016, NASA is launching its Insight lander, which will be the first Mars mission to probe beneath the surface of the Red Planet and explore its interior in-depth. (In-depth, get it? Nevermind) They're offering to micro-etch the name of any Earthling who wishes on the lander. Here's where to sign up. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Aug 21, 2015 - 28 comments

It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon

From a Million Miles Away, NASA Camera Shows Moon Crossing Face of Earth. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Aug 5, 2015 - 74 comments

"That was definitely an E-ticket!"

"Roger roll, Discovery." The sweet, sweet sounds of NASA mission control audio snippets, edited for your sampling and ringtone pleasure as MP3 and M4R downloads.
posted by Laminda on Jul 29, 2015 - 19 comments

A Whole New World

NASA will host a news teleconference at noon EDT Thursday, July 23 (livestream) to announce new discoveries made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.

"The first exoplanet orbiting another star like our sun was discovered in 1995. Exoplanets, especially small Earth-size worlds, belonged within the realm of science fiction just 21 years ago. Today, and thousands of discoveries later, astronomers are on the cusp of finding something people have dreamed about for thousands of years -- another Earth."
posted by jayCampbell on Jul 22, 2015 - 82 comments

Al Gore's Satellite

In 1998, Vice President Al Gore had a vision for "Triana," an imaging satellite that would continuously transmit a live "big blue marble" Earthview for the nascent World Wide Web. Designed, built, and scheduled for launch in 2001, the $150 million "GoreSat" became a victim of politics during the W. Bush administration, and was relegated to a closet at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Friendlier heads revived the satellite in 2009 as the NOAA's DISCOVR - the Deep Space Climate Observatory - and launched her on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket last year. Today, NASA published her first "epic" view of Earth.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jul 20, 2015 - 27 comments

In conventional camera terms, it’s a 75mm lens at f/8.7

A story in the Atlantic about "Ralph", the camera taking the tan-and-sepia-toned high-resolution photos of Pluto.

Because different materials shrink at different rates, “We actually built the mirrors and the chassis out of aluminum so that as they shrink, they would shrink together, to maintain the same focal length."
posted by artsandsci on Jul 15, 2015 - 7 comments

New Horizons reaches the ninth planet in our solar system

50 years to day after Mariner IV gave humanity its first closeup glimpse of another planet, the New Horizons spacecraft brings us our first close up image of Pluto. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 14, 2015 - 303 comments

Humans to Mars with current technology, within NASA budget

A recent paper describes a credible, achievable plan for a crewed Mars mission. Plans for human exploration of Mars tend to suffer from two problems: too expensive, and/or relies on technology that doesn't exist yet and may never exist. A group of mission planners at JPL has come up with a plan that uses existing technology, and can fit within the NASA budget projections from now to 2050. It relies on SLS launches, a habitat on Phobos, and practice descent/ascent on the Moon.
posted by amy27 on Jul 2, 2015 - 89 comments

A planetary-scale platform for environmental data & analysis

According to Wired, "Paired with AI and VR, Google Earth will change the world". But just after its tenth birthday, Google Earth is already changing the world even without AI or VR, simply by giving scientists tools to map the world's problems (NYT). Google Earth Engine has become an emerging tool in environmental monitoring, conservation, water resources, regional planning, epidemiology, forestry, agriculture, climate science, and many other fields:
In 2007, not long after taking the job at Google, Askay flew to Brazil, helping an indigenous tribe, the Surui, map deforestation in their area of the Amazon, and this gave rise to a wider project called Google Earth Engine. With Earth Engine, outside developers and companies [and scientists] can use Google’s enormous network of data centers to run sweeping calculations on the company’s satellite imagery and other environmental data, a digital catalog that dates back more than 40 years.
[more inside] posted by dialetheia on Jul 1, 2015 - 12 comments

All Engine Running

Jack King, voice of Apollo 11, has died. He was 84. King, a former NASA Chief of Public Information and Public Affairs Officer, is remembered for having voiced the commencing countdown of, among hundreds of other NASA launches, perhaps the most famous space launch in human history: the launching of Apollo 11. Named as "the voice of launch control", King's presence and contributions are deeply woven into the beginnings of NASA. Indeed, save for that of Neil Armstrong's, no voice is as indelibly etched in our collective memory of humankind's move to space as Jack King's. Recounting those halcyon days of NASA and the birth of the Space Age, here is one of King's last interviews.
posted by Mike Mongo on Jun 27, 2015 - 25 comments

What to expect when you're zipping by Pluto

In about a month, on July 14th at roughly 7:50am EST,the New Horizons spacecraft will make humanity's closest approach to Pluto. This will produce the best images we've ever seen of the dwarf planet, its odd system and bizarre collection of moons. In anticipation of this historic event, Emily Lakdawalla of Planetary.org has written a blog post describing exactly what and when to expect photos and other science data from the encounter. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 14, 2015 - 27 comments

You can't get your ass to Mars

Every sensate being we’ve encountered in the universe so far—from dogs and humans and mice to turtles and spiders and seahorses—has evolved to suit the cosmic accident that is Earth. The notion that we could take these forms, most beautiful and most wonderful, and hurl them into space, and that this would, to use Petranek’s formulation, constitute “our best hope,” is either fantastically far-fetched or deeply depressing.
As Impey points out, for six decades we’ve had the capacity to blow ourselves to smithereens. One of these days, we may well do ourselves in; certainly we’re already killing off a whole lot of other species. But the problem with thinking of Mars as a fallback planet (besides the lack of oxygen and air pressure and food and liquid water) is that it overlooks the obvious. Wherever we go, we’ll take ourselves with us.
Project Exodus: Elizabeth Kolbert on Mars, Earth, exploration versus science and astronautical reach exceeding grasp. [previouslyish]
posted by byanyothername on May 28, 2015 - 107 comments

The Northwest Indian College Space Center

The joke was funny because this was just a tiny, two-year college, with no engineering program. Getting into space was the last thing on the minds of these students; they were just trying to escape poverty. Next thing they knew, NASA was calling them up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 8, 2015 - 14 comments

Space, time, and microwave ovens

Previously on MetaFilter, we discussed a strange new form of propulsion that NASA was investigating. There are variants to the EM Drive, but the basic principle is the same: put lots of microwaves into the right shaped chamber, and thrust appears. Electricity to motion in free space? Much skepticism. But nearly a year and much more testing later - the story is getting weirder.
posted by Devonian on Apr 30, 2015 - 162 comments

We choose to go to the Mun because it is hard

After almost 4 years of development, Kerbal Space Program hit version 1.0. Today, Kerbal Space Program reached a major milestone, declaring the release of version 1.0 and the removal of the "Early Access" label. [more inside]
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit on Apr 27, 2015 - 121 comments

Taco nights, competitive board games, group viewings of Game of Thrones

Moving to Mars. "The volunteers perched in the lava fields of Mauna Loa on the HI-SEAS (Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission are as close as Earthlings will get to Mars in the foreseeable future." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 20, 2015 - 12 comments

Ride along on a spacewalk

This is a video from a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, shot with a GoPro camera and its fucking gorgeous. Here's background on how it happened and what's going on in the video. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 15, 2015 - 46 comments

Houston, turn that bass up

NASA Posts a Huge Library of Space Sounds, And You're Free To Use Them - Create Digital Music
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 3, 2015 - 15 comments

Magnetic reconnection, how does it work?

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is set to lift off today, March 12, at 10:44 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. (NASA TV launch coverage) [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Mar 12, 2015 - 10 comments

"...the scientific study of the problems of flight..."

One hundred years ago today, on March 3, 1915, a Naval Appropriations Bill was passed through Congress and signed by president Woodrow Wilson. A small rider was attached to the bill and went through the process almost completely unnoticed. That rider legislated the formation of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Mar 3, 2015 - 7 comments

Titan, awash in oceans of liquid methane and full of azotosomes?

"A press release from Cornell explains how the researchers used some creative chemical modeling to construct a hypothetical, methane-based cell that's stable in Titan's sub-zero oceans. They call their alien life form an "azotosome."" [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 1, 2015 - 24 comments

Mars One colonists better off eating frozen pizza than local veggies

A graduate student at MIT has published an analysis of the Mars One colony plans. Turns out that surviving off local crops is a bad idea. [pdf] Mars One is an ambitious and highly publicized plan to start a colony on Mars by launching groups of astronauts on a one-way trip to the red planet. The Mars One foundation claims that all of this is feasible with current technology: Falcon heavy launchers, Dragon capsules, inflatable structures, and life support systems similar to the International Space Station. Sydney Do, a Ph.D candidate in MIT's Strategic Engineering Research Group disagrees. His detailed and impressive analysis of the Mars One architecture reveals a few surprising and counter-intuitive results: the astronauts are better off eating food delivered from Earth, and the need for spare parts to sustain life support system ends up dominating the materials required to keep the colony going.
posted by amy27 on Feb 27, 2015 - 54 comments

so that's where the waste management cover went to

Secret stash of Moon artifacts found hidden in Neil Armstrong's closet. The artifacts have been sent to the National Air and Space Museum for research and preservation. The article shows pictures of each one and where it was used in the Lunar Module. Even more detail over at nasa.gov!
posted by moonmilk on Feb 8, 2015 - 70 comments

Asteroid 2004 BL86

Asteroid 2004 BL86 will safely pass about three times the distance to the moon on January 26. It will not be bright enough to view with an unaided eye; however, astronomy sites including Earthsky and Universe Today have instructions for amateur astronomers with suitable equipment. [more inside]
posted by tykky on Jan 21, 2015 - 10 comments

A fox guarding the hen house.

Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, global warming denier, and (attempted) NASA funding slasher, has been appointed to chair the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. In other words, he will be overseeing NASA. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Jan 12, 2015 - 112 comments

How to grow fresh air

Why you should water your house plants more often... Kamal Meattle describes how common houseplants can result in measurably cleaner indoor air. His work stems from earlier NASA research by Bill C. Wolverton who first investigated how to grow air in a space station before researching the indoor environmental impact of plants themselves. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg on Jan 8, 2015 - 27 comments

NASA Exoplanet Travel Posters

3 awesome downloadable NASA designed Travel Posters for places we haven't been to yet NASA's Kepler telescope is still discovering new, distant exoplanets in our corner of the Milky Way, but oftentimes they're hard to visualize and easily forgotten about by some of us normal folk. Now, to get everyone dreaming about these potentially habitable worlds, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has drawn up a trio of beautiful posters by the "Exoplanet Travel Bureau." All three echo the WPA's iconic travel prints from the mid-1930s, with classic typefaces and swathes of flat, contrasting color.
posted by bobdow on Jan 8, 2015 - 23 comments

Where No Kerbal Has Gone Before

KSP History is an ongoing webseries which combines information and photos of historic events in human spaceflight with near-perfect recreations of those missions in Kerbal Space Program. The most recent entry recounts the first operational Space Shuttle launch. Highlights below the fold. [more inside]
posted by 256 on Jan 7, 2015 - 16 comments

Hubble Goes High-Definition

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation. A new, higher quality image of the structure as seen in visible light recreates the original image, while a high quality image as seen in infra-red light reveals different aspects of the structure and hints of new stars being born. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Jan 6, 2015 - 18 comments

"Returning to Earth, that was the challenging part"

Forty-five years ago, Buzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon. It made him one of the most famous people in the world. And it has haunted the rest of his life.
posted by cozenedindigo on Dec 25, 2014 - 45 comments

We have joy, We have fun, We have X-rays in the Sun

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), an X-ray telescope designed to observe deep space, has been used to capture images of X-rays streaming off the Sun for the first time. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Dec 23, 2014 - 11 comments

Looking out the window, returning to Earth

This is what it's like to plummet through the atmosphere from space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 22, 2014 - 13 comments

NASA emails spanner to the ISS Space Station

"Astronauts on the International Space Station have used their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in an email. It is the first time hardware has been "emailed" to space. Nasa was responding to a request by ISS commander Barry Wilmore for a ratcheting socket wrench."
posted by marienbad on Dec 20, 2014 - 52 comments

Love before War

There's all this talk about a manned trip to Mars. But there's another planet to consider visiting before a trip to Mars - NASA is now studying how to send people to Venus.
posted by ShooBoo on Dec 17, 2014 - 48 comments

That Letter Will Go On Your Permanent Record

If you ever wrote a letter to Neil Armstrong it's probably now archived at Purdue University. The first man on the moon saved over 70,000 pieces of personal correspondence, and that probably includes that letter you wrote in late July 1969 when you were in the 2nd grade.
posted by COD on Dec 5, 2014 - 10 comments

Alright, let's light this candle and head back into space

NASA’s new Orion spacecraft will soon blast off on its maiden voyage into space. It’ll be a quick and unmanned flight to test the craft, particularly its innovative heat shield, which will protect Iron man, Captain Kirk, Slimey the Worm and a unnamed Tyrannosaurus Rex from the white hot temperatures as Orion returns to Earth. Watch the launch on NASA TV (Audio only stream) on Thursday, December 4th, at 7:05am EST (1205 GMT) i.e. tomorrow morning for most of the Western world. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 3, 2014 - 160 comments

The Phone Number 321-Liftoff Is Not For Sale

​​How I Got My Own Area Code: It took the combination of phone phreak and "space cadet" to find a relationship between the number 321 and the countdowns of Cape Canaveral. [more inside]
posted by danabanana on Nov 19, 2014 - 18 comments

the answer, my friend...

NASA Computer Model Provides a New Portrait of Carbon Dioxide
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 18, 2014 - 12 comments

Antares rocket explodes at the Wallops Flight Facility

An Antares rocket with the Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus CRS Orb-3 spacecraft bound for the International Space Station exploded today shortly after liftoff from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Oct 28, 2014 - 69 comments

Had NASA believed in merit

“I would give my life to fly in space. It’s hard for me to talk about it but I would. I would then, and I will now.” The terrible injustice of Jerrie Cobb, who deserved to be the first female astronaut, yet never made it to space at all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Oct 20, 2014 - 29 comments

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