The Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-135, is scheduled to lift off this morning from Kennedy Space Center. The time was originally scheduled for 11:26 AM EDT, but that has been
pushed back, despite "no technical concerns and... weather is a 'go'."
Astronauts aboard are Commander Chris Ferguson
, Pilot Doug Hurley
, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus
and Rex Walheim
Watch live coverage, with some archival footage, on NASA's Ustream
or on NASA.gov
. NASA has provided countdown highlights of the day
to get you up to speed.
Read NASA's feed on Twitter
. At the time of this post's writing, the countdown clock is on a scheduled hold with 9 minutes to go.
Previously, STS-134, on the Blue
posted by knile
on Jul 8, 2011 -
, first observed by Galileo, normally follow an 11-year cycle. We are into a few years into (recorded) cycle number 24 but according to NASA it's looking rather underpowered
. Nobody is certain exactly what the consequences will be, but one distinct possibility is a cold period
; a previous low in solar activity, the Maunder minimum
, is correlated with a brief Little Ice Age
. Nobody really knows how this unusual solar weather pattern might interact with human-caused climate change. Previously
, albeit somewhat controversially.
posted by anigbrowl
on Jun 14, 2011 -
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has announced
: NASA has ended operational planning activities for the Mars rover Spirit and transitioned the Mars Exploration Rover Project to a single-rover operation focused on Spirit's still-active twin, Opportunity.
New Scientist has a quality obituary
for the little Mars Rover that could.
posted by hippybear
on May 28, 2011 -
On May 16, 2011, after one scrubbed attempt, the space shuttle Endeavour set off on her final mission, STS-134. Shuttle commander Mark Kelly had this to say after receiving a "go" from the launch poll
On this final flight of space shuttle Endeavour, we want to thank all the tens of thousands of dedicated employees that have put their hands on this incredible ship and dedicated their lives to the space shuttle program. As Americans, we Endeavour to build a better life than the generation before, and we Endeavour to be a united nation. In these efforts, we are often tested. This mission represents the power of teamwork, commitment, and exploration. It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore; we must not stop. To all the millions watching today, including our spouses, children, family, and friends, we thank you for your support.
You've seen launches before, but NASA has uploaded a whole slew of angles that will truly amaze:
Witness 4.4 million pounds of shuttle, fuel, and rocket boosters "twang" a full 18 inches as the main engines ignite.
1.2 million pounds of thrust push against a locked down stack, waiting for the solid rocket boosters to ignite. (The SRBs bring the total to 7 million lbs of thrust, enough to break all that binds her to the pad.)
OTV Camera 71
, a fantastic, short close-up. UCS-15 (TV-21A)
provides a dead-on, close up shot of the launch. The South Beach Tracker
shot offers a fantastic view as well. From 3.1 miles away at the Press Site,
note the ~11 second delay before the piercing sound of the SRBs hits. And just released today, fantastic footage from the solid rocket boosters
, including their trip to splashdown in the Atlantic ocean from 30 miles up. And finally, the classic NASA view
, with some great data overlays by Spacevidcast
. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned
on May 26, 2011 -
Croatian software developer and amateur image processor Gordan Ugarković
takes images from NASA's unmanned space probes released to the Planetary Data System
, splices them together and tweaks the colors, sometimes combining higher resolution black and white images with color images, sometimes recreating what the object would look like in natural color (ie, in visible wavelengths, from images taken in multiple wavelengths), sometimes heightening the contrast to bring out detail. (via
) [more inside]
posted by nangar
on May 20, 2011 -
We tend to think of blogs that showcase large images as a phenomenon of the past few years. But NASA's Earth Observatory has been posting its Image of the Day
since April 1999 (when its first "large" image available for download was a 214 KB jpeg of the North Pole
). Now, Image of the Day has downloads of images in multiple formats, most of which measure in megabytes, not kilobytes, and these stunning images of the earth's surface give context to the human activity down below: a toxic spill in Hungary
, wildfires in Mexico
, the growth of a coal mine in West Virginia
, agriculture in Brazil
, snowmelt flooding in Fargo, North Dakota
, last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
, artificial islands in Dubai
, the aftermath of Japan's recent tsunami
posted by ocherdraco
on Apr 16, 2011 -
Following on the heels of NASA's announcement
of the final resting places of the various space shuttles, NASA, in conjunction with William Shatner, released a final video
commemorating the program. (SLYT)
posted by Heliochrome85
on Apr 12, 2011 -
After completing it's final mission
in March, Space Shuttle Discovery has been returned to the Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility, where it is being dissembled for cleaning and decommissioning. Spaceflight Now has pictures of the process
posted by helloknitty
on Apr 11, 2011 -
For All Mankind
"Al Reinert’s documentary For All Mankind is the story of the twenty-four men who traveled to the moon, told in their words, in their voices, using the images of their experiences. Forty years after the first moon landing, it remains the most radical, visually dazzling work of cinema yet made about this earthshaking event." "For All Mankind is irreplaceable: one of a kind and likely to remain so. It is, formally, among the most radical American films of the past quarter century and, emotionally, among the most powerfully affecting. It makes its impossible title stick. In For All Mankind, we all lift off together, and we all come home the same way, and few movies have captured so well the rhapsodic absurdity of our common voyage." 1
posted by puny human
on Apr 7, 2011 -
The Women@NASA website was developed to encourage more young women to pursue careers in math, science, and technology. Through a collection of videos and articles, the Women@NASA project shares the stories of 32 women across the agency who contribute to NASA’s mission in many ways.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Mar 27, 2011 -
Tour the solar system from a browser window.
"Eyes on the Solar System", currently in beta, from JPL and Caltech.
Yes, you have to allow a 3rd party plugin. Sorry about that.
Zoom in to earth, and the sunrise line is accurate for the current time. Zoom to asteroids, satellites, or planets. Rewind time to watch Voyager go home.
posted by lothar
on Mar 16, 2011 -
Introducing the Nautilus-X MMSEV
, a manned deep space craft proposed by a team at NASA's Johnson Space Centre.
posted by Artw
on Feb 14, 2011 -
Challenger . . . . go with throttle up
Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded
73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf)
tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember
one of the most tragic days in the history
of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe
posted by IvoShandor
on Jan 28, 2011 -
They Were There
is a 30 min video from IBM, who is turning 100 this year. "told by first-hand witnesses—current and retired employees and clients—who were there when IBM helped to change the way world works.
posted by finite
on Jan 22, 2011 -
"The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular places in space that a person might theoretically be able to one day visit. So for the most part, nebula, galaxies and the like are not a part of this forum. I tend to focus on “terrestrial” places or places that host such places. I suppose I would like to find out more about these places that we may one day inhabit or simply visit."
Hat tip to Nice Guy Mike!
posted by boo_radley
on Jan 14, 2011 -
"I can sense stars, and their whispers amid the roaring of our own Sun." So goes one poetic status of the Voyager 2 twitterfeed
, which appeals to my sense of wonder like nothing else on the internet. Interstellar space probes and microblogging go hand in hand in the 21st Century.
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 21, 2010 -
“NASA will hold a news conference
at 2 p.m. EST (11am PST) on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.” Watch it HERE
live. [more inside]
posted by Sprocket
on Dec 1, 2010 -
Built as part of the fifth /dev/fort
developer retreat, Spacelog.org
allows you to explore early space missions via the original NASA transcripts. Currently live are Mercury 6
which made John Glenn the first American in orbit, and the 'successful failure' Apollo 13
(The transcribed key moment
and the original
). Alongside the transcripts are supporting materials from the NASA archives including photography
and descriptions of the mission phases
. The developers are looking for help
to digitise the Gemini 7, Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions.
posted by garrett
on Dec 1, 2010 -
Did you know that there's an art museum on the moon? A tiny, tiny one. The Moon Museum
features works by Forrest "Frosty" Myers
(the instigator), Robert Rauschenberg
, Claes Oldenburg
, Andy Warhol
, David Novros
, and John Chamberlain
, inscribed on a little chip of silicon and surreptitiously transported
to the moon's surface on the Apollo 12 mission. But of course there's a mystery, in this big of a secret: who is John F.
, the engineer at least partially responsible for smuggling the chip onboard the lunar lander?
Related: other stuff people have left on the Moon
posted by fiercecupcake
on Nov 22, 2010 -