One of my most treasured memories is having the opportunity to witness two space shuttle launches. The photo above is one I took with my old point and shoot camera of STS-127. Even from approximately 5 miles away, the sound of the launch was incredible. You can no longer see a space shuttle launch. However, thanks to the wonder that is the innerwebs, you can see one virtually. Hit the jump, crank up the speakers, and pretend you’re in Florida.
Continue reading Watching A Space Shuttle Launch
Here’s a little intergalactic Easter egg…
Our latest Mars Rover “Curiosity”, which set down on the Red Planet last year – August 2012, has a curious pattern molded into the tread of its 20 inch wheels…
For those of you well versed in the ancient language of the Old West, or perhaps even [...]
Yes, I am sure he can breathe fine, now quit worrying!
Image via carabaas.livejournal.com.
Usually the last thing you want to do after a long trip is pack. A trip to the ISS would be a long and exhausting one indeed, but at least you’ve got microgravity to help unload.
Not too long ago in our Toasters Reads feature we looked at a book, The Pilgrim Project, that told a fictionalized account of a secret NASA project to send one man on a one way mission to the Moon in a Mercury capsule, to be steadily resupplied then later rescued by the Apollo program. The basis for this book was supposedly an actual study presented by members of the Institute of Aerospace Sciences in 1962. Since the sounded at least semi-legitimate, I took to the interwebs to see if such a proposal was ever floated. I didn’t come across any real conclusive proof of that study, but it did find a good number of alternative mission, and lunar mission specifically, proposals using not Mercury, but the existing Gemini technology.
We are going to explore some of those proposals that never were over the next few weeks, but I wanted to start out with one test of Gemini that actually happened. In all NASA’s efforts in space, the typical height of orbital missions has been roughly 200 miles. Mercury and Gemini operated at 160-170 miles, the Shuttle typically orbited at 200, and the ISS was built at 230 miles. But the record for highest orbit lies with the Gemini 11 mission, commanded by Pete Conrad.
Continue reading Twin Peak
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 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
This afternoon I am going to run the first of a couple of posts that I have been kicking around for quite some time now, but just have never gotten around to. (Be sure to tune in next week for more!) The Professor’s User Input on the question of the current state of NASA and the future thereof reminded me of them. First up, when we remember back to the space race it’s culmination with the Moon landing, I think that we tend to view it as a period of triumph and success. But I think it is important to recall that at the time, the neither the success of these ventures nor the victory over the Russians in the Cold War were in any way assured. When it came to the Moon landing, did you ever wonder what sort of back up plans might have been in place in the event of mission failure?
The possibility had been considered that a problem with the lunar lander could have stranded the intrepid astronauts on the Moon, and a memo outlining actions to be taken and the speech that the president would make if such an unfortunate incident occurred were written. The previously unpublished documents were found by LA Times columnist Jim Mann, in a file titled, “IN THE EVENT OF MOON DISASTER.”
President Richard Nixon would have informed the country that night on television:
Before giving the speech, the President would have made telephone calls to the “widows to be” to offer condolences. After final goodbyes, and perhaps recommendations to the astronauts on how to close their lives, the plans called for Mission Control to “close down communications” with the Lunar Module. In a public ritual likened to burial at sea, clergyman would then have commended their souls to “the deepest of the deep”. (motherboard.vice.com)
Continue reading Mysteries of the Moon
“Wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style some day…”
Image via teainabowl.tumblr.com.
But Techie, they only look about an inch or so apart!?!
Image from NASA, via huffingtonpost.co.uk.