Watch Wanderers, A Short Film About Living In Our Solar System

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 1, 2014 in Science


In the future, we hope to colonize other planets, right? Going to Mars is the next goal, but even that seems so far away. But our imagination can be quite effective at inspiring us and getting there quicker, which is why I have loved the recent boom in space-themed movies, such as Gravity, Interstellar, and others. This short film by Erik Wernquist is an amazing look at how humanity might expand and live in the rest of our solar system. Perhaps most exciting: none of these places are made-up — they’re all real places that we could potentially go someday. Check out the video below. Make sure to open it in full-screen! Read more…

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Rosetta Successfully Puts Lander On Comet

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 13, 2014 in Science, Tech

Philae concept art

While probes have played around comets before, none have ever landed on a comet — until now. The European Space Agency is finally seeing the payoff for a mission they started way back in March 2004, when they launched the unmanned Rosetta spacecraft and its lander Philae. While the Rosetta met up with the comet back in July, it took weeks to fly around the comet and determine a safe place to land. Operations were complicated by the Rosetta having to travel over 6 billion kilometers to meet up with the comet’s path; at that distance, even light-speed transmissions take almost half an hour to reach Earth, so any control had to be calculated and input well ahead of landing. Despite some bumps (including the securing harpoons not firing, resulting in a bounce and a second landing), it seems Philae is running smoothly now and will be collecting data through about March 2015, when it builds up too much heat. The Rosetta will at least operate through December 2015, but could go longer if the fuel holds out. Congratulations, ESA! Now get some cool data! Read more…

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Time to Invent Warp Drive

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Dec 7, 2011 in Science

Kepler 22-b concept art

Two years ago, NASA’s Kepler space telescope identified the planet designated Kepler 22B — a super-earth orbiting a yellow dwarf similar to our sun. Read more…

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Twin Spica: A Manga That Explores a Girl’s Hopes and Dreams

Posted by Linda Yau on May 23, 2011 in Comic Books


Aside from the ocean, the outer space is considered to be one of the last frontiers to be explored. Neil Armstrong was quoted when he stepped on the moon: “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The outer space is still a hope of many to be explored, and this is a theme for the series of Twin Spica. 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 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?

Read more…

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Ouch! Aren’t Astronauts Only Suppose to Drink Tang?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 16, 2008 in Science

Will astronauts be drinking their own urine?

Up until this moment I always regretted not being an astronaut — but the idea of having to drink urine to explore outer space is giving me second thoughts: Read more…

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Star Trek Radiation Shields to Become Reality

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 5, 2008 in Science, Star Trek

Star Trek Radiation Shields

Radiation shields on! One of the real limiting factors with space exploration is human biology itself. A good example of this are cosmic rays which are quite scary when you study them, and so far we’ve come up with some pretty crude protection methods. So it’s great to see some research being done to imitate the protection that we get here on Earth with the magnetosphere:

Magnetic shield for spacefarers

“Future astronauts could benefit from a magnetic “umbrella” that deflects harmful space radiation around their crew capsule, scientists say. The super-fast charged particles that stream away from the Sun pose a significant threat to any long-duration mission, such as to the Moon or Mars.

But the research team says a spaceship equipped with a magnetic field generator could protect its occupants. Lab tests are reported in the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. The approach mimics the protective field that envelops the Earth, known as the magnetosphere.”

By the way it should be noted that deflector shields pre-date Star Trek and have been employed in science fiction stories since the 1920s, although the show did popularize the concept with the general public.

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Apollo Design Déjà vu: Orion Exploration Vehicle

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 31, 2008 in Science

New NASA capsule Orion resembles Apollo

It’s great to see some physical evidence of progress with the Orion Exploration Vehicle, but it’s depressing to me to think that it will take until 2020 to get to the moon — and 2030 to get to Mars:

New NASA capsule Orion resembles Apollo

“NASA rolled out its next-generation space capsule here Wednesday, revealing a bulbous module that is scheduled to carry humans back to the moon in 2020 and eventually onward to Mars. Unlike the space-plane shape of the shuttles, the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle looks strikingly similar to the old Apollo space capsule that carried Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon and back in 1969, with Armstrong and Aldrin becoming the first humans to walk on the lunar surface.”

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