Spaceheads

Digital Monkeys

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Unless you have been living under a rock, or perhaps have a cold empty heart devoid of emotional excitement for space adventures (coincidentally, space is also a cold empty void), you probably noticed NASA very recently conducted a successful test launch and recovery of the new Orion capsule. (Still not to be confused with this other, more atomic Orion.) Once upon a time, such tests would have been conducted using happy, energetic little monkeys, but now we live in a digital, monkey loving world, a world where we could likely take bets on who will receive sentient being legal status first, a computer or a monkey. NASA went the computer route, sending a robo-monkey to shoot video out the Orion window. Most of that was streamed ‘live’, but not the critical phase involving superheated plasma during re-entry. Luckily the digital monkey had a nice steady hand, so hit the jump and check out some plasma!

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Spaceheads

By the Light of the Moon

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The passion that those who feel ‘the Apollo record is full of anomalies and inconsistencies’ still surprises me at times. The idea that it is easier to believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of folks involved with NASA and the Apollo program pulled off the greatest hoax in history and managed to keep the secret, even to this day, than it is to believe those same hundreds and thousands put forth their best effort and took risks and accomplished one of the biggest technological challenges of the last century, well it quite honestly astounds me.

Yesterday I came across a video from computer graphics company NVIDIA that purports to: “Explore the truth behind the iconic Buzz Aldrin moon landing photo. See how modern graphics innovations can shed new light on a 35-year-old conspiracy theory.
Learn more about Maxwell, the new GPU architecture powering the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970.”

It is a piece of advertising for their new gear, but I think re-creating a 45 year old scene rock by rock digitally is quite an interesting tech accomplishment, and if they get a little bit of advertising by aiming the ad at a controversy that has arguably gained traction in the age of the internet, well there you go. The video has been on YouTube for less than a week, and the amount of comments, many of which argue very strongly against the assumptions made by NVIDIA and discussing how it in no way proves anything, are quite impressive. Even more fascinating to me, the first comment links to a site, aulis.com, that has quite the discussion about those Apollo program ‘inconsistencies’. One of the recent posts is also a discussion of how NVIDIA attempted to rope a skeptic in for exploitation, for one assumes just this video advertising campaign. But the skeptic in question was not fooled, oh no. Conspiracies within conspiracies, Egad!

Hit the just to see the video, and decide for yourself if you want to believe!

Continue reading By the Light of the Moon

Startup

Startdown: All Good Things

Space…the photogenic frontier…

Image from NASA.

Startup

Startdown: Two Heads Are Better

Upgrading to actual doors was also a plus.

Image via amyshirateitel.com.

Startup

Startdown: Saturnal Aurora

They are like the Earth’s auroras, only in a slightly different spectrum. Plus Saturnier!

Image via NASA.

Spaceheads

Saturnday Morning

Cassini Vimeo

Saturday morning has always been about cartoons, so tv, which in the future of which we live means internet videos. And therefore, let’s watch a video! this particular video was created by one Chris Abbas by compiling still images collected by the Saturn Cassini probe, and setting it to some mildly darkish Nine Inch Nails (purely instrumental, no singing, in the event you aren’t into the resonating Reznor). To me it has a nice 2001 type vibe, which might be a little melancholy for Saturday morning, but hey, that’s why it’s Saturnday instead!

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Spaceheads

Apollo 15 Rotational Hand Controller Up For Auction

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On July 26, 1971 a Saturn V rocket blasted away from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center en route to Hadley Rille on the moon. Commanded by Dave Scott, Apollo 15 was touted by NASA as the most successful lunar landing to date. It was the first of the “J Missions”, which included a longer stay on the moon’s surface than the earlier missions and a greater focus on science.

Now you can own a piece of that spacecraft.

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Spaceheads

A Launchpad Gets A New Owner

Above, Columbia sits atop Launch Pad 39A in preparation for STS-1, the first space shuttle mission. This wasn’t the first time LC-39A would see the flames of rocket motors. It has been around since the Apollo days. In fact, the first unmanned, manned, and Saturn V launches of the Apollo program left earth […]

Spaceheads

V’Ger Songs

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Ever wonder what it might sound like if the proton count data received by the Voyager space probes was converted to a musical duet? A gentleman by the name of Domenico Vicinanza has done just that, taking measurements from the cosmic ray detectors on Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 at hour intervals, and converting it into two melodies.

I wanted to compose a musical piece celebrating the Voyager 1 and 2 *together*, so used the same measurements (proton counts from the cosmic ray detector over the last 37 years) from both spacecrafts, at the exactly same point of time, but at several billions of kms of distance one from the other.

I used different groups of instruments and different sound textures to represent the two/ spacecrafts, synchronising the measurements taken at the same time. (motherboard)

Hit the jump and give a listen!

Continue reading V’Ger Songs

Shutdown

Shutdown: Europa

It’s no Lotus, but still a cool picture.

Image from NASA, via redorbit.

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