Archive for the ‘Space’ Category

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NASA Orion Pad Abort-1 Test Successful

May 6, 2010

Grats to NASA on a very successful test of the Orion crew capsule’s launch abort system.  Unfortunately the future of the Orion crew capsule, part of NASA’s Constellation program (I mentioned previously) that Obama scrapped earlier this year, is still up in the air.  The U.S. has never had to use a launch abort system for its astronauts so far, but the Russians have had to twice.  Even though the administration hasn’t got its act together in Washington with regards to space funding and direction, it’s good to see NASA pushing forward on future astronaut safety.

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You Are Here: Earth From Mars

April 27, 2010

I have no idea how I missed this photo, which was taken in 2004  (click on it above for a larger view).  Especially in light of my current blog banner.  I follow these things pretty closely, get Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines, and so forth.  But the photo above was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on March 8, 2004.  The first photo of Earth from the surface of another planet… it gives me goosebumps.

The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been operating on the surface of Mars for over 6 years.  Spirit became indelibly stuck in a sand trap last May, but continued to function.  It skipped a planned communication with NASA on March 31st and may be in hibernation mode during the Martian winter.  On Thursday April 29th, it will surpass the Viking 1 lander’s record for the longest running mission on Mars, assuming it survives the low power mode and wakes up in a few weeks.  If not, Opportunity is sure to break the record, as it continues to chug along towards a giant crater called Endeavor on the Martian plains of Meridiani Planum on the opposite side of the planet.  It landed on Mars 3 weeks after Spirit back in January 2004, and will surpass the record on May 20th.

Not bad for two little rovers that were only supposed to last 3 months.

via Boing Boing

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Papercraft Friday #83: Relief Earth Globe

April 23, 2010

In honor of Earth Day, this week’s model is the Relief Earth Globe from paperpino.net.  Relief Earth Globes show the Earth’s surface and undersea topography.  This one uses 2006 images from the National Geophysical Data Center – NOAA Satellite and Information Service.  The 19-page model and instructions are pretty detailed.  The box in the picture can also be built, and has an internal starfield that you would place the globe into.

Thanks to Giuseppe (Pino) Civitarese for making this model (and several others) available on paperpino.net.  And in honor of Earth Day, build this one out of some good stock recycled paper.

Not keen on this one?  Want more?  Check out other Papercraft Friday posts.

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3D Stereoscopic Space Images

April 13, 2010

The science picture section on telegraph.co.uk has some fun stereoscopic space images like the one above.  Stereoscopic imaging creates the illusion of depth from 2D images.  You can view them by place the image in center of the screen and, sitting at a normal distance, slowly crossing your eyes.  Continue doing so until the two images overlap, creating a “third” image in between.  Then adjust your focus on the middle image, keeping the two overlapped.  Ta da!  It might take some practice, and some images are easier than others.  Head over to telegraph.co.uk and give them a try.

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The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D

January 26, 2010

After my post about The Known Universe, I was sent this video, which is a 3D representation of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field photo.  Pretty awesome.  Thanks for the link ETL.

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The Known Universe

January 21, 2010

This is about a month old, but I saw it on the Astronomy Picture of the Day site today.  Pretty cool.  From the American Museum of Natural History.

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APPraisal: NASA app

November 2, 2009

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Appy Monday space fans!  Last week when the Ares 1-X rocket launched, my brother asked me if I had the NASA app.  It somehow slipped under my radar.  So I downloaded it to see if it had the right stuff.

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