Damn fine year for outer space achievements and photos
December 31, 2012 2:57 PM   Subscribe

The year in space, according to NASA and the ESA, along with the best space photos of 2012.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (8 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Brandon Blatcher: "and enhanced video from Curiosity as it landed ."

that is my favorite thing of this year hands down
posted by lazaruslong at 3:15 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is there someone like an embedded reporter/writer in the JPL and related control room and research facilities? I read a book with a lot of behind-the-scenes description of the process of launching the other Mars rovers and would very much like to read the same sort of thing about the Curiosity scientists. It included some technical information but was more of a layperson's book, including the personalities involved, and really brought to life the amazing work going on there.

Because holy shit is this some cool science.
posted by theredpen at 4:50 PM on December 31, 2012

As a fan of spaceships and accordions, my ears perked up when I heard the term "constant velocity accordion" in the enhanced video from Curiosity. So I googled it and found this very detailed page about the landing. (The Constant Velocity Accordion turns out to be a segment of the landing plan that can stretch from 0 to 5 seconds depending on how accurate the estimate of the distance to the ground was.)
posted by moonmilk at 5:29 PM on December 31, 2012

That MSL landing special is awesome moonmilk, thanks.
posted by deo rei at 7:46 PM on December 31, 2012

I love astronomy! Thanks for posting this.

The Atlantic's InFocus photo blog posted a Hubble Space Telescope Advent calendar. I especially love #25. I don't know if all of these photos are from 2012, but I do know that they are all awesome.
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 11:15 PM on December 31, 2012

One thing that has always bothered me, is it NASA, or is it Nasa?

For example, BBC seems to standardize on Nasa.

Maybe the British have different capitalizing rules.

Also, in a sense, it has moved beyond an acronym, and has become a name. In that sense you might think 'Nasa' is correct. But on the other hand, I've always felt that the proper way to write or pronounce a name is the way the bearer of that name prefers it. An on all NASA documentation and web sites, it is NASA.

So this post gets it right and BBC is wrong. Stop writing our space agency's name wrong BBC!
posted by eye of newt at 4:28 PM on January 1, 2013

It seems that esa can't make up their minds as to whether it is ESA or esa. The BBC is wrong again, in my opinion, by writing it Esa, but at least they are consistent.
posted by eye of newt at 4:37 PM on January 1, 2013

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