A galaxy of stars is mostly empty. And in the emptiness of space, even the scale of a galaxy is nothing by comparison. And I thought about how unlikely it is for two objects in the universe to ever meet, how all the infinitesimal points that make up a galaxy will mostly pass [...]
I can tell from some of the galaxies… have you ever wondered just where exactly those awesome images of deep space from the Hubble come about? I always thought they where just images from a camera, but as it turns out, it isn’t quite that simple. Check out this video from the HubbleSiteChannel on YouTube where they show an accelerated look at the processing each image goes through.
Hubble images are made, not born. Images must be woven together from the incoming data from the cameras, cleaned up and given colors that bring out features that eyes would otherwise miss. In this video from HubbleSite.org, online home of the Hubble Space Telescope, a Hubble-imaged galaxy comes together on the screen at super-fast speed.
Continue reading This Looks Like a Photoshop…
The mailboxes are watching…
We’ve all watched lots of videos of various NASA launches, especially launches of the Space Shuttle. I’ve always marveled at the videos that show the vehicles clearly at very high altitudes and wondered at what kind of equipment that they use. Well, perusing the UK edition of Gizmodo, I found my answer. A post by Jamie Condliffe today included a video from the 1980s about the photo operations at Kennedy Space Center, and shows all sorts of interesting old camera tech and the various shops and contractors that made it all work. Well worth watching after the jump.
Photo Credit: NASA
Continue reading Recording the Shuttle Launches
As you read this, I’m on an airplane heading back down to Kennedy Space Center to try to convince them that I know what I’m doing. My work is at Pad B, which is a near-duplicate of Pad A shown above. Unfortunately, neither one will see a Saturn V for a very long [...]
Today, spacecraft are built in cleanrooms. In 1959, at the nascent stages of space exploration, we didn’t know better. Instead, the Mercury capsules were built in a hangar at NASA’s Langley Research Center.
Continue reading More Than 7
The Black Hole was a somewhat un-Disney-like Disney film, released in 1979. My limited knowledge of what would actually happen if you fell into a black hole, courtesy of Dr. Stephen Hawking, leads me to believe that the action was highly accelerated in this film. But I can say with sincerity that as a kid this movie and the creepy scientist gave me the heebie-jeebies. The movie posters sure looked cool though!
Continue reading Black Hole Sunday
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America in partnership with Challenger Center for Space Science Education have created a sort of “movie trailer” for NASA. After meeting their initial funding goal they are trying to get this video on 750 movie screens across the country. They have an indiegogo campaign here. You can hit the jump to see the entire trailer.
I’m not saying contribute or don’t contribute. That’s up to you. The reason for this post is to ask a simple question: Why isn’t NASA producing this themselves? The money is small compared to their overall budget, but the payoff in terms of building support and solidifying our need for exploration could be huge for a government organization that has for too long been at the mercy of the schizophrenic, myopic sea of our government. Why does it take an industry group and an educational non-profit to put something like this together?
I’m afraid of what the answer may be.
Continue reading Crowdsourced, Privately-Organized NASA Trailer
Have you ever thought about what sort of silly things you say might get picked up if you had a microphone on all day long? When we think of the Apollo missions, we usually think of some of the more dramatic moments–first human view of the dark side of the Moon, first steps onto the lunar surface, first tense moments on board Apollo 13–but thanks to the always thorough NASA, we can relive some of the more mundane, and dare I say humorous, snippets of life in space.
The transcript excerpts you see here are all from Apollo 10. On May 18, 1968, Commander Tom Stafford, CM pilot John Young, and LM pilot Gene Cernan launched on a Saturn V for what was essentially a dry run for the Moon landing, including a test of the Lunar Module in orbit around the Moon. (Check out Vintage Space for more detail on the Apollo 10 mission.) Clearly, these gentlemen enjoyed their trip.
Continue reading Everybody Poops
NASA may not be able to send its own astronauts anywhere other than flying them from Houston to Kennedy Space Center in their very own T-38s, but it does still have some space probes operating that are returning some impressive information. For instance, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, now in its third year of operation, is collecting data on the sun and how it affects space weather. It collects enough data to fill a standard CD every 36 seconds. Some of that data is in the form of impressive and beautiful images. Hit the jump for three and a half minutes of the sun as you’ve never seen it before.
Continue reading Journey to the Surface of the Sun
Last week, Paypal Founder and Nikola Tesla aficionado Elon Musk made a statement that his SpaceX company’s second generation Dragon manned space capsule “looks like an alien spaceship”. While the official unveiling of the new Dragon capsule is not scheduled, we have been able to get an artist’s rendition of the Dragon Version [...]