space

  • Why The Space Democratization Movement Blows My Mind

    Why The Space Democratization Movement Blows My Mind

    There’s real movement behind the democratization of space. Not in the form of sending more people into space, but in giving more people access to satellites. Nano-satellites are getting cheap enough now that groups can raise enough money on Kickstarter to buy and launch them. That’s only a slightly interesting development on its own, but what fascinates me is that some of these… Read More

  • Astronaut And Innovation Icon Neil Armstrong Passes Away At 82

    Astronaut And Innovation Icon Neil Armstrong Passes Away At 82

    NBC News reports that astronaut and icon Neil Armstrong passed away earlier today due to complications from a heart-bypass operation he underwent a few weeks ago. He was 82. Though his merits were many, Armstrong was best known for one thing. On that fateful day back in July 1969, with the eyes of history watching, he clambered down the ladder on the front leg of the Lunar Module… Read More

  • Felix Baumgartner’s Free-fall From 120,000 Feet Pushed Back To October

    Felix Baumgartner’s Free-fall From 120,000 Feet Pushed Back To October

    Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team will have to wait a little longer to leap from the edge of space. After a successful second test jump from over 96,000 feet last month, Red Bull announced today that Baumgartner’s final jump from 120,000 feet has been pushed back to October. Originally scheduled for this summer, the capsule that carried the famed BASE jumper during his… Read More

  • ‘Curiosity’ Killed The Apathy? #fundNASA Crowdfunding Plea Goes Viral

    ‘Curiosity’ Killed The Apathy? #fundNASA Crowdfunding Plea Goes Viral

    Many of us right now are wide-eyed with the latest images from NASA’s Curiosity mission to Mars — so much so that, as Europe wakes up from its live-TV Olympics 100-meter sprint slumber, it looks like that site is occasionally crashing from traffic. Now, another, important idea is just starting to take shape: NASA needs money, big time, to keep doing cool stuff like this. #fundNASA… Read More

  • The Case For ‘Curiosity’: Why You Should Stay Up And Watch The Mars Rover Landing

    The Case For ‘Curiosity’: Why You Should Stay Up And Watch The Mars Rover Landing

    As I write this, NASA’s Curiosity rover is hurtling through space as it has been for the past eight months, but that all changes tonight. With any luck (scratch that — with a staggering amount of luck), that Mini Cooper-sized envoy will survive its tricky seven minute atmospheric entry, after which it will roam the Martian surface conducting a slew of science experiments for nearly… Read More

  • Paul Allen And Burt Rutan Launch Stratolaunch Systems, Plan To Build World’s Largest Aircraft

    Paul Allen And Burt Rutan Launch Stratolaunch Systems, Plan To Build World’s Largest Aircraft

    Having conquered the terrestrial realm, today’s big money is looking to the skies for new regions to subjugate. And what was a lark ten years ago now appears to be a common hobby among a certain ambitious type of mogul not given to the habit of collecting megayachts. Their millions have produced results, however, and while the shuttles have been retiring, the private space ships have… Read More

  • NASA To Invite 150 Of Its Twitter Followers To Mars Rover Launch

    NASA To Invite 150 Of Its Twitter Followers To Mars Rover Launch

    While giveaways and “follow us and win!” contests aren’t always worth calling out, this promotion from @NASA is too great to pass up. They’re planning on inviting 150 of their followers to watch the Curiosity Mars Rover launch. Yes, the actual launch, from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Read More

  • Watch Out! International Space Station To Crash Into The Pacific After 2020 Retirement

    Watch Out! International Space Station To Crash Into The Pacific After 2020 Retirement

    Better lay your millions on the table now and reserve your spot on the ISS now. Russia, NASA, and the rest of the ISS’ partners announced today that they are going to allow the ISS to crash into the atmosphere after it’s decommissioned in 2020. The reason? Space doesn’t need more junk. The first ISS component launched in 1998 and has slowly grown into a large space station… Read More

  • The Space Debris Threat And How To Handle It

    Yesterday marked a momentous day in U.S. history as NASA launched its final space shuttle, ending a 30-year era. Four astronauts—commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus—are leading the 12-day Atlantis mission, the 135th and final flight of the storied space shuttle program. After Atlantis returns to Earth, NASA will… Read More

  • Meet Saturn's Great White Spot That Really Isn't A Spot Anymore


    Think Arizona’s dust storm was huge? Check out the Great White Spot on Saturn. What first started as a small but bright dot last December, has grown to a massive storm that is currently encompassing a vast part of the planet’s upper half. The Cassini spacecraft first picked it up on December 5, 2010 and then astronomers then noticed the bright dot. Cassini then observed… Read More

  • Europe Launching Gigapixel Probe To Map Milky Way

    We’ve come to love the fantastic and sublime images of space taken from such satellites as the Hubble, but the truth is that the technology that created those images is incredibly out of date. And while you can’t argue with the results, it has gotten to the point where the sensitivity, angle of view, and data collection rate just need to be moved up to 21st-century standards. Read More

  • NASA Cheekily Restores Pluto As A Planet

    This might be a bit of inside baseball but NASA has added Pluto to its roster of planets, at least indirectly.
    The Register found an image on NASA’s home page showing the tiny “dwarf planet” wending its merry orbit out at the edge of our solar system, oblivious to its demotion to “big space rock.” Read More

  • Lacking Funding, SETI Puts $50 Million Radio Array On Hiatus

    Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence has always been a slightly controversial topic, not because we don’t want it to happen, but because it requires sophisticated and expensive equipment. Can millions really be spent on scanning the heavens when here on earth, there’s a very real shortage of funding for things like education and social services? It’s a loaded question… Read More

  • NASA Will Start Flying Coach With "Commercial Crews"


    After the retirement of the Shuttle program, NASA will begin flying along with – and funding – multiple “commercial crews” including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin group and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. NASA is paying out $270 million to SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada (not the beer) and Boeing. This program, begun in 2009 and is now vitally important as it pairs… Read More

  • Working With Nasa, Russia To Propose Nuclear Spacecraft

    Get ready for a nuclear-powered spacecraft—maybe! The Russian Federal Space Agency says that it will hold talks with Nasa and a number of countries on April 15 to see if they can’t get started on creating a “nuclear engine” by 2012. Such an engine, it’s believed, would only cost around $600m to develop. Read More

  • End Of The Road For Spirit Mars Rover?


    Although the Mars rovers have gone way, way beyond the call of duty (the original mission was for 90 days; Opportunity is still active after more than six years), the dream has to end sometime — and evidence is mounting that for Spirit, the first of the two rovers to touch down, may be down for the count. After a year of being trapped in sand, its last big hope was a big solar boost… Read More

  • Brits Believe They'll Soon Be On The Moon

    One in ten Englishmen and Women believe that one day Brits will routinely vacation on the moon, bringing their Carling beers and jolly demeanors to the verdant plains of that satellites’ firmament by at least 2020. 40% of them believe, also, that there will be a tunnel between the US and the UK. And they say that ecstasy doesn’t damage the brain. Read More

  • Iran Sends First "Life Capsule" Into Near Orbit

    Iran has just sent a small “Life Capsule” capable of carrying a monkey into space on the Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) rocket, a step forward for the country’s burgeoning space program. The AP is reporting that the capsule flew 75 miles up into orbit and follows launches of communications satellites as well as a capsule containing “a mouse, turtle and worms.” Read More

  • Scientific Community Torn Over Extraterrestrial Bacteria Claims

    Few things are quite as exciting as a good old fashioned feud between distinguished scientists. You’ll recall that a scientist, Nasa’s Richard Hoover, published an article last week in The Journal of Cosmology that claimed to have discovered a form of extraterrestrial bacteria on a meteorite. Life, in other words. But hold on! In the days that have since passed a number of… Read More

  • U.S. Air Force Prepares For Second X-37B Launch

    What is the U.S. Air Force doing up there? The mysterious X-37B spacecraft will begin its second voyage on Friday, provided the weather cooperates. It’s not the same exact spacecraft that went up last April, but it’s the same model. The Air Force has classified the activities of the spacecraft, so unless we have another Wikileaks we’ll have no idea what it’s doing up there. Read More