1243 posts tagged with space.
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The Philae Comet lander is awake after 7 months of hibernation

ESA's comet lander is awake! ESA's Philae comet lander touched down but lost contact shortly after landing about 7 months ago. The comet it landed on has traveled closer to the sun, allowing the lander to charge it's battery enough to contact Earth. Huzzah!
posted by amy27 on Jun 14, 2015 - 73 comments

The Pluto family is a little dysfunctional.

Pluto and its moons just got a whole lot stranger A new analysis of data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope suggests that Pluto's four smallest known moons have been thrown into chaos because of Pluto's relationship with its largest moon Charon. They're a bit codependent.
posted by Michele in California on Jun 3, 2015 - 17 comments

Space is big. Space is dark. It's hard to find. A place to park.

Soyuz docking with the ISS. A dashcam view from TMA-16M. Blue Danube waltz not included. (SLYT)
posted by bitmage on May 29, 2015 - 22 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

What does one bring to Jupiter's neighborhood?

Well, if you're going to Europa, you definitely want to pack a magnetometer, among other neat tools.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 26, 2015 - 17 comments

Carpe Atmospherum

How spaceships die
posted by Artw on May 17, 2015 - 15 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

Are we the only living thing in the entire universe?

Kurz Gesagt explains the Fermi Paradox (SLYT)
posted by Gelatin on May 8, 2015 - 60 comments

ancient star raises prospects of intelligent life

can life survive for billions of years longer than the expected timeline on Earth? as scientists continue to discover older and older solar systems & galaxies, it’s likely that before long we’ll find an ancient planet in a habitable zone. knowing if life is possible on this exoplanet would have immense implications for habitability and the development of ancient life according to researcher Tiago Campante's paper "An Ancient Extrasolar System with Five Sub-Earth-Size Planets". this animation starts by showing us Kepler's field-of-view in the direction of the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, and then we're taken to the vicinity of the Kepler-444 planetary system, located some 117 light years away.
posted by talaitha on May 7, 2015 - 25 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

Time for a new monitor.

SpaceX 4K SpaceX launch highlights, in Ultra HD 4K. (SLYT)
posted by bitmage on Apr 9, 2015 - 11 comments

Water, Water, Everywhere

NASA posits a larger amount of water in the solar system and beyond. With the recent hypothesis (trigger: bad science) that extra terrestrials might be quite large, how long do we have until the Space Whales come for us? Discuss.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln on Apr 8, 2015 - 38 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

"For example, we could transmit the contents of the Internet."

Seth Shostak, director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, suggests in a NYT Op-Ed that we should "offer the aliens Big Data."
Such a large corpus — with its text, pictures, videos and sounds — would allow clever extraterrestrials to decipher much about our society, and even formulate questions that could be answered with the material in hand.
Previously, Stephen Hawking has disagreed.
posted by Little Dawn on Mar 28, 2015 - 73 comments

Our Pluto

"On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, offering the first close-up look at that small, distant world and its largest moon, Charon. These denizens of the outer solar system will be transformed from poorly seen, hazy bodies to tangible worlds with distinct features." Who gets to name those features? You do. Via Bad Astronomy.
posted by brundlefly on Mar 23, 2015 - 36 comments

I'm not saying it's aliens ... but

"What is amazing, is that you can see the feature while the rim is still in front of the line of sight". Unreleased images of "feature number 5" aka the bight spots on Ceres suggest it might be an ice plume. Also we're naming everything after agriculture deities and festivals.
posted by Long Way To Go on Mar 19, 2015 - 20 comments

You have 20 minutes before the sun blows up

Outer Wilds begins around a fire, like so many of the best stories do. When you step towards the crackling flames, you're offered a surprisingly whimsical option: press X to roast a marshmallow. Why not? You transform the sugary orb into a ball of flame. When you step back, however, you see that the world is about to get far, far bigger than a campfire, or even a planet. You're sitting at the base of a rocketship, as a nearby engineer explains that you're the astronaut about to blast off into space.

All you need are the launch codes, and after a leisurely detour through your home planet where you pick up a few essential piloting skills, you suit up, buckle in, and launch your craft triumphantly into space, ready to explore the wonders of the universe.

Then the sun explodes.
[more inside] posted by Elementary Penguin on Mar 18, 2015 - 18 comments

Mars One or MLM?

"As Roche observed the process from an insider’s perspective, his concerns increased. Chief among them: that some leading contenders for the mission had bought their way into that position, and are being encouraged to “donate” any appearance fees back to Mars One — which seemed to him very strange for an outfit that needs billions of dollars to complete its objective." [more inside]
posted by googly on Mar 17, 2015 - 38 comments

Rethinking the solar system

With the discovery of life beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, the abundance of water in our solar system and a huge salty ocean under Ganymede's ice, scientists are rethinking the possibilities of life on other worlds.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 17, 2015 - 40 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

An Einstein supernova in the sky

Astronomers using the Hubble space telescope have discovered four images of the same supernova arranged in an Einstein Cross. They've released pictures and a video to explain what we're looking at. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel on Mar 5, 2015 - 41 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

Hey Ceres? There's something on your surface!

There's an odd bright spot on the dwarf planet Ceres. Scratch that, there's actually two bright spots on the its surface. Cue speculation as the Dawn spacecraft prepares to orbit Ceres.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 25, 2015 - 51 comments

Red Star

A statement posted to the Russian space agency’s website said a meeting of the Roscosmos science and technical council considered Russia’s future human spaceflight plans, favoring the continued use of the International Space Station until 2024.

Then Russia plans to remove its modules from the International Space Station to form an all-Russian complex in orbit.

posted by Artw on Feb 24, 2015 - 54 comments

The Mars 100

From the initial 202,586 applicants, 100 hopefuls have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process. The final 100 chosen come from around the world, with 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. A total of 40 candidates will eventually be chosen to take part in a training programme and live in a copy of the Mars outpost on Earth. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 17, 2015 - 91 comments

Indigenous Science Fiction narratives

This was the official inauguration of indigenous futurism. The movement is in part about speaking back to the SF genre, which has long used indigenous subjects as the foils to stories of white space explorers hungry to conquer new worlds. Given these continuously re-hashed narratives of “the final frontier,” it is no coincidence that western science fiction developed during a time of imperial and capitalist expansion. Science/speculative fiction author Nalo Hopkinson, known for her use of creole languages and Caribbean oral stories in her works, writes that people of color engaging with SF “take the meme of colonizing the natives and, from the experience of the colonizee, critique it, pervert it, fuck with it, with irony, with anger, with humor and also, with love and respect for the genre of science fiction that makes it possible to think about new ways of doing things.”
posted by infini on Feb 11, 2015 - 18 comments

Junction Gate

The station is called Junction Gate, a colony seed that never fully blossomed. You see plans for mines, habitat modules, research facilities, and shipyards.
posted by boo_radley on Feb 7, 2015 - 55 comments

"According to Islam, traveling to space is encouraged."

"A Guideline of Performing Ibadah at the International Space Station (ISS)"
posted by cmchap on Jan 28, 2015 - 40 comments

How the price of paint is set in the hearts of dying stars

The Smithsonian Magazine reminds us that "Barns are painted red because of the physics of dying stars", summing up a more detailed post by Google employee Yonatan Zunger on the nature of stars, the atmosphere, and cheap paint found on barns.
posted by mathowie on Jan 26, 2015 - 60 comments

Starivores

The Search for Starivores, Intelligent Life that Could Eat the Sun. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 14, 2015 - 51 comments

There's a camera in the fuel tank of this rocket

Early Saturday morning, Space-X launched CRS-5, another supply run to the International Space Station. It was also an attempt to land the first stage on a barge in the Atlantic ocean, in hopes of recovering the booster to keep costs down. It failed, but came really close. But the most impressive aspect of this launch were the views from the internal LO2 tank camera of the 2nd stage. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 10, 2015 - 43 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

This is no time for a flat tire.

Wheels on Mars. "There are holes in Curiosity wheels. There have always been holes -- the rover landed with twelve holes deliberately machined in each wheel to aid in rover navigation. But there are new holes now: punctures, fissures, and ghastly tears." A detailed look at the condition of the wheels on the Curiosity rover.
posted by bitmage on Jan 3, 2015 - 40 comments

NASA knows that excitement means mistakes

5200 Days in Space. From The Atlantic.
posted by pjern on Dec 28, 2014 - 18 comments

The timelapse video that rules them all

A 6-minute video of Earth from space, featuring aurora borealis, cities at night, storms, and other wonders, created by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst from 12,500 images taken during his ISS Blue Dot mission.
posted by elgilito on Dec 25, 2014 - 9 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

Pretty sure NROL-38 is a Pokemon

Sultry witches. World-devouring cephalopods. Adorable teddy bears. Smithsonian Magazine takes a look at the fantastical mission patches of the National Reconnaissance Office (via)
posted by prize bull octorok on Dec 15, 2014 - 18 comments

They should have sent a poet

CINEMA SPACE TRIBUTE SLVimeo - A beautiful montage of space scenes in big budget movies. Set to Hans Zimmer music (from Interstellar), with Anthony Hopkins reciting Dylan Thomas.
posted by DigDoug on Dec 9, 2014 - 4 comments

How big is space? Interactive views of the universe in varying scales

We know space is big, but trying to understand how big is tricky. Say you stare up at the sky and identify stars and constellations in a virtual planetarium, you can't quite fathom how far away all those stars are (previously, twice). Even if you could change your point of view and zoom around in space to really see 100,000 nearby stars (autoplaying ambient music, and there are actually 119,617 stars mapped in 3D space), it's still difficult to get a sense of scale. There's this static image of various items mapped on a log scale from XKCD (previously), and an interactive horizontal journey down from the sun to the heliosphere with OMG Space (previously). You can get a bit more dynamic with this interactive Scale of the Universe webpage (also available in with some variants, if you want the sequel [ previously, twice], the swirly, gravity-optional version that takes some time to load, and the wrong version [previously]), but that's just for the scale of objects, not of space itself. If you want to get spaced out, imagine if If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel, and travel from there (previously). This past March, BBC Future put out a really big infographic, which also takes a moment to load, but then you can see all sorts of things, from the surface of Earth out to the edge of our solar system.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 4, 2014 - 31 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 open road still softly calls."

"Wanderers" is a short film by Erik Werquist featuring narration by Carl Sagan.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 29, 2014 - 15 comments

The Cloud Colonies of Venus

While talk of a moonbase or terraforming Mars has tended to dominate the discussion for the first step in human colonization of the solar system, another possibility exists: floating habitats above the cloud tops of Venus. [more inside]
posted by fairmettle on Nov 24, 2014 - 48 comments

In space, no-one can hear you click every once in a while

Orbits are hard [SLFridayTimeWaster]
posted by slater on Nov 21, 2014 - 162 comments

Astronaut Marsha Ivins describes life in space

Astronaut Marsha Ivins describes her experiences: prelaunch, launch, and zero-g: "It’s a mix of the transcendently magical and the deeply prosaic."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 19, 2014 - 13 comments

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