Watch A Time-Lapse of Five Years of The Sun From NASA

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 16, 2015 in Science

sun

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory celebrated its five-year anniversary on February 11th, and to celebrate they put together a video showing what they’ve been seeing as they watched the sun these past five years. There’s a highlight video too! Basically, if you ever wanted to stare into the sun for a while and not damage your eyes, these are the videos for you. “Capturing an image almost once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt,” says NASA. Praise the sun! Read more…

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NASA Successfully Tests Physics-Defying Engine

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 30, 2014 in Science

Enterprise

Having to carry a ton of heavy fuel is one of the big problems with developing faster spacecraft. But what if that number could be made trivial? NASA has tested the “Cannae Drive,” an engine that doesn’t use propellant, based on the EMDrive, a drive which works by bouncing microwaves in an enclosed container to create thrust. The drive has little critical attention, which many pointing out how such an engine would violate the laws of physics, specifically conservation of motion. So far, China has tested their version of the EMDrive, but it was not well-reported due to skeptics. But now the US has succeeded as well.
Read more…

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Curiosity To Drill On Mars In Hopes Of Finding Life

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 17, 2014 in Science

Kimberly

It seems that Curiosity has a new, exciting mission. The Mars rover has arrived at the Kimberly and will be drilling below the surface. Why? Because of the harsh climate of Mars, any signs of organic life are difficult to find. Researchers are hoping that by going beyond the crust, they’ll be able to find other signs of organic life. Even if they don’t find anything, the researchers hope to discover more about what conditions were like in the past, in a time period when scientists believe life did exist. This isn’t the first time that Curiosity has drilled, but it’s the first time that it’s going below the surface, so hopefully the rover can discover something useful! Read more…

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Now You Can Own Your Own Mars Curiosity Rover

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 5, 2014 in Hobbies and Collections

mars1

Not the real thing, mind you, that’d be a bit expensive. Instead, you can own the NASA Mars Curiosity Rover… in LEGO form! For $30! That’s a bit more affordable, eh? It features the 6-wheeled suspension system and poseable robotic arms for gather data. The coolest part? It was designed by LEGO fan and Curiosity engineer Stephen Pakbaz. So this dude made both the real rover and the LEGO version — if only I could be half as cool as he is! You can buy the set online here (or in stores) but of this writing it’s currently out of stock and will be back January 17th. Read more…

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1970s Space Colony Art from NASA

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 4, 2012 in Science

Cylinder_Interior_AC75-1086_450

Doing some studies back in the 1970s, NASA’s Ames Research Center had several artists make renderings of what possible space colonies could look like. Many of these artworks are what inspired many more artists and solidified that “look” that we identify with conceptual 70s space art. Pop culture was an obvious influence on them as well, I’m sure. I love this era of art and imagination that people had for the future of space travel and living – it really does have a nostalgic feel to it. Click below for more images, or see NASA’s full gallery here, now scanned in hi-res. Read more…

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A Promising NASA Poster on the Future of American Human Spaceflight

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 3, 2012 in Science

A Promising NASA Poster on the Future of American Human Spaceflight

Shown above is a nice new poster that NASA has put out which gives some good insight into their plans for human spaceflight — you can see a high resolution version of the poster in Acrobat format here. As an old time member of the L5 Society I love idea that they’re thinking of using Lagrange Points as a starting point to go to places like Mars.

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Is This What Post-Apocalyptic Mars Will Look Like?

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 18, 2012 in Science

Mars-Inspired Art, Commissioned by NASA

With the success of the Curiosity rover, Mars is hot right now. NASA wanted to create a series of artwork about life on the red planet, and artists Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick delivered. Their collection of photographs, titled Mars: Adrift on the Hourglass Sea, depicts two women exploring the Martian landscape and ruins, empty from the apocalypse of a human colony or possibly some earlier civilization. Read more…

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Sally Ride: Thank You for Opening the Door and Inspiring a Generation

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 23, 2012 in Science

Mission Specialist/Astronaut Sally K. Ride goes over post-flight data from STS-3 during a crew debriefing session at JSC.

I was heartbroken to read that Sally Kristen Ride has passed away. On June 18, 1983 she became the first American woman (and also the youngest American at age 32) to enter space. She went on a second ride in 1984 and spent a total 343 hours in space, but more importantly she inspired a generation of girls to get involved in science. Here is a wonderful photo of her on the job: Read more…

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Sorry NASA: Pirates Will Plunder Apollo

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 29, 2012 in Science

Bodacious Space Pirates

With the advent of Google’s Lunar X Prize NASA has sent out the word that they don’t want anybody messing with the historic sites from the Apollo era: However sadly history proves that over the long term that just may not happen. Read more…

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A Sad Day for NASA Fanboys

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 27, 2012 in Science, Tech

Loren Feldman nails it in this video — we’re watching what’s left of NASA go on display in museums while China is working hard at go back to the moon. Read more…

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An Elegant Plea for Space Exploration

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 6, 2011 in Science

Only 12 men have walked on the surface of the moon

The amazing video below (which is from The Sagan Series) uses audio from the Carl Sagan audio book The Pale Blue Dot and is a wonderful argument for a return to the moon:

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Nerdtastic! The Coolest T-Shirts I Spotted at New York Comic Con

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 16, 2011 in Fandom, Hobbies and Collections

Nerd NASA logo parody t-shirt

I hate to admit it but one of my few regrets at New York Comic Con this year was not grabbing a t-shirt which featured a debased old NASA logo twisted to read “Nerd”. My second runner up was a very clever brony themed t-shirt based on the old Mustang car logo: Read more…

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One Last Launch for NASA, One Giant Leap Backwards for America

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 8, 2011 in Tech

This image of space shuttle Atlantis was taken shortly after the rotating service structure was rolled back at Launch Pad 39A, Thursday, July 7, 2011. Atlantis is set to liftoff today, Friday, July 8, on the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

The good news is that the space shuttle Atlantis takeoff went well, but the bad new is that this is the last flight: As of this moment the only nations that have an active manned space program are Russia and China. It’s great that America has a good relations with Russia so we can bum a ride — but frankly we should be leading the way in space exploration. Making matters worse the successor to the Hubble telescope was canceled last night. We may not have realized it just yet, but we have entered a dark age of space exploration in the United States, and this is a very bad thing. Read more…

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Can We Build Mars Settlements by 2060?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 13, 2010 in Science

Can we settle Mars by 2060?

The video clip below doesn’t show just anybody predicting settlements on Mars, but Pete Worden, Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. Now I’ll grant you that gives us a good fifty years to get there — but what kills me is that we have the technology today to do this, or to at least get started trying. In fact part of the problem I think is that NASA is just spread too thin; I’d love to see the agency with a single focus on manned space exploration with a realistic budget to match. But alas that could be fifty years off in the current political climate… Read more…

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NASA Wants You to Craft Some Space

Posted by Michael Sacco on Oct 16, 2010 in Fandom, Hobbies and Collections

Apollo Lander Tie

NASA, in conjunction with Etsy, is running a contest. The parameters: make something really cool by hand, and theme it around space exploration! There are already some really neat entries, like the above necktie based on the recently-declassified Apollo lander manual. The winner gets a $500 Etsy shopping spree and, presumably, the brag-worthy title of Artisan NASA Thought Was The Best.

Official rules are here — you have until November 2nd to turn in your entry. If you’re not the crafty type, you can always just keep an eye on the page and see what awesome space-y stuff the Etsians have come up with. Read more…

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Really, NASA? Mission Posters?

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Oct 6, 2010 in Science

Nasa STS-131 Mission Poster

I love NASA, space exploration, and photoshop as much as anyone, but this official — yes, it’s official — poster for one of NASA recent trips to the International Space Station has got to be the most gaudy one I’ve seen since The Expendables. Of course, I’m not going to fault them for wanting to make routine supply and maintenance seem way cooler than it actually was, but I know I’m not the only one who thought it was a bit much. The guys over at titleofmagazine.com even tweeted that they must have “missed the memo” about Michael Bay running NASA , a jab that I have to give them credit for — after all, it certainly looks that way, doesn’t it?

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Quantum Quest to Feature Jedis, Sith, and Starfleet and More

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Sep 2, 2010 in Cinema

Quantum Quest

I’m not even sure how I’ve never heard of Quantum Quest. Sure, it’s not the latest Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks venture — a fact that becomes rather evident the moment you see the trailer for the film — but with a cast out of a sci-fi enthusiasts wet dream, you’d think it would have had a bit more press. Perhaps featuring Jedis and Starfleet Captains in the literal sense might have garnered a few more headlines,  but unfortunately they’ve had to settle for their voices instead — still an amazing feat nonetheless.  According the official website, the cast includes Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, Robert Picardo, Brent Spiner, James Earl Jones, William Shatner, and Mark Hamil among others. Read more…

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The First Photograph of the Earth from the Moon

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 23, 2010 in Science

One of the first two remote images of Earth from the distance of the Moon, August 23, 1966.

I hate to use up the bandwidth on this site but do yourself a favor and look at the photos on this page at full size to really appreciate them: This first photograph of the Earth as seen from the moon was taken on this day in 1966 by the Lunar Orbiter 1 spacecraft. The real purpose of the mission was to scout out he moon for the Apollo program, but what makes this image amazing to me is that it’s the first time in history that the human race is looking back on themselves from another world. In 2008 the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project went back to the data from that voyage and produced this enhanced image which is nothing short of amazing: Read more…

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If We Don’t Speak Up Now NASA Will Fade Away

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 2, 2010 in Science

Last Shuttle External Tank Arrives at Kennedy

What you’re looking at above may be the beginning of the end of a manned space exploration program for the United States — what you see is the last shuttle external tank arriving at Kennedy Space Center. That’s right! There’s only one more shuttle launch left and after that NASA will be out sourcing to Russia until we have a “replacement”. I’ve placed quotes around the word replacement as there is currently no replacement being worked on. And why is this? Read more…

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How Do You Go To the Bathroom on the Space Shuttle?

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 8, 2010 in Science

This highly educational video goes into some very graphic detail on how one does a number one and number two on the space shuttle. The one thing that I learned is that going to the bathroom in outer space is quite a complicated project, so much so in fact that one must be trained to use the facilities: Read more…

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Why We Need to Go to Mars: A Planetary Scientist Makes the Case

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 30, 2010 in Science

In this video planetary scientist Joel Levine states his case why we need to explore Mars. Levine feels that the geography of Mars makes the case for exploration — if we really want to understand our Earth and the idea of extraterrestrial life exploring the red planet is the best place to start. I think that given the state of NASA as geeks we really need to get our voices heard to accelerate this as a priority for our space program.

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Anime Cosplay in Orbit!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 10, 2010 in Animation, Fandom, Science

S131-E-007052 (7 April 2010) --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts Soichi Noguchi, Expedition 23 flight engineer; and Naoko Yamazaki (right), STS-131 mission specialist; along NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, STS-131 mission specialist, pose for a photo in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery remains docked with the station.

Astronaut Soichi Noguchi (seen on the left) grew up watching Space Battleship Yamato which is well known to American fans as Star Blazers. And here he is on International Space Station making us Earth bound retro anime fans very proud. Here’s the official caption for the photo from NASA which sadly omits the fanboy reference: Read more…

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What Does It Take to Pilot a Space Shuttle?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 2, 2010 in Science

Too many of us take for granted what they actually do at NASA: Shown in this video are two astronauts training to fly the space shuttle with a modified Gulfstream jet. What’s mind numbing is that a pilot might make over a thousand of these flights just to qualify for a shuttle mission. I also have to admit that watching this behind the scenes video is a bit bittersweet as there isn’t a real replacement for the shuttle.

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Touching the Stars

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 31, 2010 in Science, Tech

This story touched my heart: One of the side benefits of NASA is the amazing images that that the Hubble Space Telescope has produced over the years — however many of these glimpses of the furthest corners of the universe are off limits to the blind. So according to this story reachers at NASA worked with braille experts to create a representation of the Carina Nebula. What I love about the project is that the embossed photo isn’t a literal representation but instead is filled with different symbols which give information on the formation of the nebula itself. Read more…

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