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Moon Machines

Spacesuits ll LunarRover ll NavigationComputer ll LunarModule ll SaturnV First aired on Discovery channel as part of Space Week, Moon Machines tells the story of the over 400,000 engineers and technicians that made it possible for us to go to the moon. Lots of gorgeous Nasa archival footage throughout.
posted by vronsky on Jan 10, 2009 - 14 comments

NASA releases Columbia report.

NASA releases the Columbia shuttle disaster report. Space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry in 2003 as a result of damage sustained to its thermal protection system. This report details the possible lethal incidents and the investigation board's recommendations based on their findings. [more inside]
posted by herrdoktor on Dec 30, 2008 - 65 comments

The Solar Connection

Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
posted by digaman on Dec 24, 2008 - 39 comments

"I think Isaac Newton is doing most of the driving now."

Forty Years Ago Today The first humans to leave earth orbit, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William A. Anders, and their Christmas message. [more inside]
posted by Snyder on Dec 23, 2008 - 71 comments

Mythbusters takes on the Moon Hoax!

Has man really set foot on the moon? There have certainly been a lot of claims that the whole Apollo missions were one giant hoax. Adam and Jamie at Mythbusters examine the claims of the Hoax Believers one by one. Did they use a wire rig or slow down the film to simulate the 1/6 moon gravity? What would it look like in real 1/6 G? Would a footprint in the lunar regolith have maintained it's shape even if there was no moisture to keep the material together? Why was the flag waving so much if there was no wind on the moon? Why are the shadows on the moon not parallel if they are coming from a single light source? Why can we see the astronauts when they are in shadows if there isn't a second light source? To finish it all off they shoot a laser at the moon to see if the reflector they supposedly left there is actually there.
posted by Sir Mildred Pierce on Dec 18, 2008 - 105 comments

Lube Jokes will be too Obvious

At a cost of $20,000 a pound (google search prices vary). You have to wonder how much this cost. Poor Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her tool bag But don't worry, NASA tracks NEOs. And then there is the missing spider. Lastly, throwing in a gratuitous link to APOD (because it's cool and I can't wait to see the tool bag show up).
posted by cjorgensen on Nov 18, 2008 - 52 comments

Sports.... in space!

Former Redskins linebacker Ken Harvey wants to bring sports to space. He calls it Space Sportilization
posted by martinX's bellbottoms on Oct 31, 2008 - 15 comments

What's Blue, Yellow, and Hot?

Messenger has just made another flyover of Mercury, revealing hidden features. Watch the animation to see the blue volcanoes.
posted by Xurando on Oct 29, 2008 - 24 comments

The Whole Earth Photolog

From grainy stills to gorgeous high-resolution portraits, from intimate pairings to stark contrasts, and from old standbys to little-known surprises, The Planetary Society's Earth galleries offer a rich collection of stunning photography and video footage of our world as seen from both planetary spacecraft and geostationary satellites. It is a vista that has inspired many a deep thought in the lucky few that have seen it firsthand [previously]. Oh, and the rest of the Solar System is pretty neat, too.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 3, 2008 - 9 comments

Japan in the Space Elevator race

Japan is showing renewed interest as another contender in the race to build the world's first space elevator. Japanese scientists believe they can complete the project with an optimistic trillion yen budget, and are sponsoring an international conference (no English) this November to draw up a timetable. [more inside]
posted by p3t3 on Sep 27, 2008 - 60 comments

Dark Flow

Mysterious New 'Dark Flow' Discovered in Space. "As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren't vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered. Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can't be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon 'dark flow.' The stuff that's pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Sep 25, 2008 - 73 comments

ANTS in Space

The Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm (ANTS) "...is a generic mission architecture consisting of miniaturized, autonomous, self-similar, reconfigurable, addressable components forming structures. The components/structures have wide spatial distribution and multi-level organization. This ‘swarm’ behavior is inspired by the success of social insect colonies...." ANTS may one day teem through the solar system.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Sep 14, 2008 - 14 comments

Sienfeld wants you to buy Vista, Shatner wants you to buy a Vic 20

Celebrity computer endorsements throughout the ages.
posted by Artw on Aug 21, 2008 - 65 comments

Phoenix Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
posted by finite on Aug 1, 2008 - 52 comments

NASA Images / Internet Archive

Brewster Khale over at Internet Archive just announced they are working with NASA to make available the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video at nasaimages.org. It combines for the first time 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 24, 2008 - 20 comments

NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth as an Alien World

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has photographed Earth from 31 million miles away. NASA has woven the images together, creating a video of Earth as the moon orbits around it. Videos: 1 | 2 [.mov]. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jul 18, 2008 - 76 comments

Mother Nature is an abstract artist

30 Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth "From 400 miles away, the earth transforms into abstract art. The global landscape is impressionist, cubist and pointillist." Nice NASA images from 2000, downloadable as wallpaper.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jul 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Evidence of water ice on mars.

NASA Phoenix probe finds evidence of frozen water on Mars
posted by elpapacito on Jun 19, 2008 - 94 comments

There's nothing as beautiful as a urine dump at sunset.

How space toilets work. They've come a long way. They sure don't look like the one in my house. What happens when they break? NPR explains the logistics of the repair process. Oh thank heavens, it's working again.
posted by desjardins on Jun 14, 2008 - 10 comments

It Is Rocket Science

Assemble a rocket from main engine to payload fairing. Rocket Science 101 shows the basic parts of the launch vehicle, how they are configured, and how they work together to launch a NASA spacecraft. More Friday Flash Fun.
posted by netbros on May 30, 2008 - 8 comments

Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, 1914-2008

Before developing exotic space propulsion systems like the ion engines on deep space probes, he developed guidance systems for Nazi Germany's ballistic missile, the V2. As Dr. Werner von Braun's Chief Scientist, he was one of the brilliant minds that founded the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and sent astronauts to the moon atop MSFC's Saturn V rocket. Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, one of the last surviving rocket scientists extracted from Nazi Germany in Operation Paperclip, died today at 94.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 27, 2008 - 28 comments

Phoenix to land on Mars.

Phoenix is set to land on Mars at 2353 UTC. Video coverage: NASA | CNN
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 25, 2008 - 97 comments

How to land at the Martian north pole.

Seven minutes of terror. A short video on describing how the Phoenix probe will land at the North Pole of Mars on May 25th. Follow updates to the mission via Twitter and the blog. Previously
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 14, 2008 - 38 comments

"Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!"

NASA invites you to join this autumn's lunar exploration with the opportunity to send your name to the moon. Your name will be included in a database contained on a microchip and placed aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. Submit your name here. [more inside]
posted by ericb on May 9, 2008 - 28 comments

Space, to lick the very fuzzy navel of the heavens

Ever wondered what life is like on the International Space Station? Wonder no more. [more inside]
posted by oxford blue on Apr 25, 2008 - 25 comments

And They Would've Gotten Away With It If Not For That Meddling German Kid

Enough bad news, enough gloom and doom. You remember that Asteroid 99942 Apophis that we were afraid might hit Earth in 2029? Ain't gonna happen. But it will get close enough for Earth's gravity to alter its orbit and there's a chance it could hit the next time around in 2036. But only a tiny chance: "less than 1 in 45,000 using standard dynamical models". according to NASA. Oh wait... NASA just got skooled by a 13-year-old German Astronomy Geek who says the chances are more like 1 in 450. Still a tiny chance, and the official numbers were only off by a factor of 100. Oh yeah, we're doomed.
posted by wendell on Apr 16, 2008 - 60 comments

Maps revolutionize study of carbon dioxide emissions

New maps show US fossil fuel emissions aren't where we thought they were. The Vulcan Project collects more accurate data at a higher resolution than previous studies. Explanatory video. via [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Apr 7, 2008 - 28 comments

Rocket Fuel

Remember Tang? The news from England is that the 2006 terrorists were going to use it to create an in-flight bomb. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll on Apr 4, 2008 - 43 comments

The Assembly of Space Shuttle Discovery

The Assembly of Space Shuttle Discovery
posted by grouse on Apr 3, 2008 - 40 comments

The Pioneer Effect

NASA is baffled by unexplained discrepancies in the velocities of some of its spacecraft. Dubbed the Pioneer Effect, it has been observed before but has now been discovered in more probes. Many theories have been put forward, many disproved, and some are wondering if our understanding of gravity is correct. [more inside]
posted by blue shadows on Mar 22, 2008 - 50 comments

For Arthur

A handful of pretty great spacewalk pix from last summer's Endeavour mission.
posted by CunningLinguist on Mar 19, 2008 - 59 comments

Mars in Pictures

The evolution of Mars imaging from orbit: Mariner 4 (1964), Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 (both 1969), Mariner 9 (1971) (all NASA), Mars 5 (1973) (USSR), Viking 1 (1975), Viking 2 (1976), Mars Global Surveyor (1996), Mars Odyssey (2001) (NASA), Mars Express (2003) (ESA), up to this spy-quality shot of an active avalanche taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2005).
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 5, 2008 - 11 comments

Cryogenic Venting

Light Reflection: a brilliant fan of cryogenics venting from a relief valve on STS-122 Atlantis' ET (external tank) post-separation. Also see this handheld video of the ET, with money shots at 2:15 and 3:55. [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Feb 21, 2008 - 13 comments

"We'd like to confirm, from the crew of Apollo 17, that the world is round."

The most widely-distributed photograph in history may be The Blue Marble, a shot taken in 1972 by an unknown crewmember on Apollo 17. In 2002, NASA released a new Blue Marble photograph, familiar to desktops everywhere, using a composite of many photographs. In 2005, Blue Marble: The Next Generation offered even better views and some spectacular animations of the seasons from space. In the same spirit, the Discovery Channel just launched Earth Live, which lets you see the dynamics of weather and climate through a well done interface.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 11, 2008 - 37 comments

Space shuttle does a back flip

The space shuttle does a back flip while the earth races by underneath. [more inside]
posted by jouke on Feb 10, 2008 - 50 comments

Nothing's gonna change my world?

Fears that malevolent aliens will tune into this week's broadcast of The Beatles' song "Across the Universe" have been voiced by scientists.
posted by monospace on Feb 7, 2008 - 68 comments

2007 equal second hottest on record

Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth's second warmest year in a century (2005 being the hottest). More here. of course, others disagree.
posted by wilful on Jan 17, 2008 - 38 comments

Fly me to the moon!

Astronaut Candidate Program. "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces the opportunity to apply for the position of Astronaut Candidate to support the International Space Station (ISS) Program." [more inside]
posted by banshee on Dec 17, 2007 - 25 comments

Spirit's Swan Song?

Real robot drama is happening on Mars today. Spirit, racing for her life to find shelter before winter, injured and underpowered after four years of hard labor, may have made her most significant find yet. The broken foot she's dragged behind her for the past two years unexpectedly uncovered evidence of a once-wet Mars with conditions theoretically hospitable for primitive life.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 12, 2007 - 89 comments

Yes, their job is cooler than yours.

Astronauts in Space, the music video.
posted by blue_beetle on Nov 14, 2007 - 8 comments

Hot space bot uses stirling engine

NASA proposes using a Stirling cooler (essentially a Stirling engine in reverse) to keep a probe cool on the surface of Venus, which has had a tendency to melt or smash previous probes. The cooler would maintain a 25cm sphere within the probe at 200°C -- 100°C above the boiling point of water but sufficiently cool for a high-temperature microcontroller to operate. The waste heat radiators on the exterior of the sphere would reach the temperature of 500°C, 40°C above the the normal Venusian surface temperature.
posted by Artw on Nov 12, 2007 - 40 comments

Video of a Tour around STS-120/ISS

A tour around Discovery STS-120 and the International Space Station with Paolo Nespoli and Dr. Scott Parazynski. Tomorrow, Parazynski will be perched at the end of a robot arm and sensor boom assembly, stitching up a damaged solar array in what might be one of the riskiest EVAs since Skylab 2.
posted by brownpau on Nov 2, 2007 - 29 comments

Selected aviation safety incidents

Check out NASA's "CALLBACK" publication online. Drawing from the "Aviation Safety Reporting System", a way for pilots to voluntarily report aviation safety incidents while providing some protection from the FAA, CALLBACK recounts some of the most common, and some of the most esoteric, incidents that pilots run in to. It's geared more toward pilots, but others may find it interesting (or terrifying) to read about what can go wrong. [more inside]
posted by Godbert on Nov 2, 2007 - 12 comments

The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics

A Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics, a web-based textbook brought to you by the folks at NASA. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Oct 21, 2007 - 8 comments

Shedding a little light on the subject.

Shedding a little light on the subject The HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides a less mysterious look at pretty spooky place on the surface of Mars. Previously discussed in a May 25 post.
posted by cyclopz on Sep 28, 2007 - 24 comments

We live in a wonderfully insane universe.

NASA Astronomers Find Bizarre Planet-Mass Object Orbiting Neutron Star [via]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 13, 2007 - 45 comments

Race To Mars

"Somewhere on the planet are ten-year-olds who, someday, will be the first people to set foot on Mars" 300 scientists and space-experts contributed to what's billed as "a realistic vision of the first Human Mission to Mars" -- Race to Mars. Discovery Channel Canada used Hollywood special effects, but for added realism rather than ray-guns and aliens. On the website, you can argue about whether they got it right. www.racetomars.ca
posted by richlach on Sep 7, 2007 - 24 comments

Dear Earth: Send More Chuck Berry

The Golden Record: Hear what the aliens will hear.
30 years ago today, a collection of images and sound recordings engraved on a record was launched toward the stars. The playlist covers an amazing collection of music, and has been called the Mix Tape of the Gods.
posted by Hadroed on Sep 5, 2007 - 78 comments

Unseen photos of lunar surface

In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive of downloadable images for the general public. Here are the first few, from Apollo 15. (Similar topics previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.)
posted by GrammarMoses on Aug 28, 2007 - 9 comments

Save Skylab

While enjoying today's International Space Station construction mission, don't forget America's first outpost in space, Skylab. Launched in 1972, the experimental station, cobbled together from Apollo hardware, was abandoned two years later and plunged to Earth in 1979. Today, you can pitch in to save the rotting hulk of the Skylab trainer.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 13, 2007 - 17 comments

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