If you get to a museum to see one of the shuttles that actually flew in space, your jaw may drop. Just don’t mind the guys pulling parts from it.
NASA recently sent engineers to the California Science Center in Los Angeles to dust off the mothballs of the space shuttle Endeavor and remove four water storage tanks for future use aboard the International Space Station.
We downgraded its status, but Pluto still showed us its heart.
A spartan but warm-toned orb with a prominent heart-shaped terrain came into clear view Tuesday morning after NASA’s New Horizons snapped a picture some 476,000 miles from its surface after nearly a decade of travel.
Pluto was still considered a planet when New Horizon’s took off in 2006 for the end of our solar system. Since then, astronomers changed its status to a dwarf planet, but that did not diminish the excitement scientists and fans of star-gazing as the probe approached Pluto and its moons.
Just because Pluto lost its planetary status doesn’t mean it’s any less interesting to astronomers.
NASA on Wednesday reported two football-shaped moons that wobble so unpredictably that the sun could rise in a different direction every day from either of the moons.
The Hubble Telescope recorded the oddball orbits of the oblong moons Nix and Hydra, which wobble because they are embedded in a constantly shifting gravitational field created by dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. Pluto and Charon share a common center of gravity.
A first-class flight in a Soyuz space capsule is rocky, reliable and rather snug. An astronaut sits in a semi-fetal position, works the controls with a stick and feels a pretty heavy G load, especially on reentry.
So imagine if a fire breaks out on the Soyuz spacecraft. There’s no extinguisher, no exit and no help to call.
ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen narrated a video showing he and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov going through a simulated fire on a capsule to train for an upcoming flight to the International Space Station.
We have a reinvigorated interest in the mysteries of space. Astronaut Scott Kelly is just beginning a record-breaking stint in zero gravity, a space probe is about to fly by Pluto and manned missions to an asteroid and Mars are in the pipeline.
There is also the ongoing science on how to go to the bathroom in space, where things tend to float.
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti explained that mystery over the weekend, when she took time from her work on the International Space Station to give a video tour of the bathroom (see below) and delicately describe going Numbers 1 and 2 in zero gravity.
I had the kind of dad who brought his work home with him. That was exciting since he was in the business of putting men on the moon.
Each time there was a scheduled launch, my two brothers and I could always expect our dad to come home with mission patches. Robert Pierini was an engineer in the late 1960s and early ’70s with an electronics company in Milwaukee that developed the guidance system for the Apollo mission.
So when filmmaker Neil F. Smith recently posted a video to YouTube, bringing animated life to each mission emblem, I immediately felt the same rush I had as a kid when I held a patch in my hand.
Flying saucers from Mars is the stuff of science fiction. But a flying saucer from Earth is part of the mission to get astronauts to the Martian surface.
NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory completed a successful spin test of a saucer-shaped experimental craft in front of a live web audience Tuesday. The saucer will next lift off by balloon from Hawaii, where from 120,000 feet it will be dropped to test a new kind of parachute and an inflatable Kevlar ring to add drag for a slower descent.
There are millions of asteroids in the Solar System and relatively few astronomers to track them. They’d hate to miss that one dangerous rogue headed on a collision course with Earth.
So NASA has made it easier for the amateur stargazer to record and compare their discoveries and put extra eyes on the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
NASA and Planetary Resources Inc. have developed a computer program that is based on an algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. The new asteroid hunting application, available for free download here, was announced Sunday by NASA at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.