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January 1, 2014
The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized. NASA works every day to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe.
Lauren B. Worley, NASA’s press secretary • In response to a new single from Beyonce that features bits of audio recorded in the moments after the space shuttle Challenger exploded. The singer has come under fire from several family members of the Challenger crew as well, though she’s said that the song ‘XO’ was included as a tribute to those lost back in 1986. source
17:17 // 7 months ago
November 10, 2013
theatlantic:

Before it arrives in Sochi, the Olympic torch will spend some time in space

Is it possible to be jealous of an inanimate object? If so, then I am jealous of an inanimate object. Specifically, of the Sochi 2014 Olympic flame. Which has spent the past month—and will spend another three months—taking an envy-inducingly epic tour of Earth. 
Before it makes its way to the shores of southern Russia in early February, the Olympic torch, with its symbolic flame, will have traveled to the North Pole (on a high-speed, nuclear-powered icebreaker). It will have summited Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak. It will have descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake. It will have been transported by plane, train, car, icebreaker, and, yes, reindeer sleigh to more than 130 cities and towns in Russia. It will have traveled nearly 40,000 miles—the longest route in Olympic history—carried by some 14,000 people. It will have gotten to witness some of the most amazing places on Earth. 
And also! Some of the most amazing places outside of Earth. Because the Sochi 2014 torch, on top of everything else, is going on a spacewalk. 
Read more. [Image: NASA]


Super neat. 

theatlantic:

Before it arrives in Sochi, the Olympic torch will spend some time in space

Is it possible to be jealous of an inanimate object? If so, then I am jealous of an inanimate object. Specifically, of the Sochi 2014 Olympic flame. Which has spent the past month—and will spend another three months—taking an envy-inducingly epic tour of Earth.

Before it makes its way to the shores of southern Russia in early February, the Olympic torch, with its symbolic flame, will have traveled to the North Pole (on a high-speed, nuclear-powered icebreaker). It will have summited Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak. It will have descended to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake. It will have been transported by plane, train, car, icebreaker, and, yes, reindeer sleigh to more than 130 cities and towns in Russia. It will have traveled nearly 40,000 miles—the longest route in Olympic history—carried by some 14,000 people. It will have gotten to witness some of the most amazing places on Earth. 

And also! Some of the most amazing places outside of Earth. Because the Sochi 2014 torch, on top of everything else, is going on a spacewalk.

Read more. [Image: NASA]

Super neat. 

9:33 // 9 months ago
October 13, 2013

Here’s a few laughs on the government shutdown: NBC’s Saturday Night Live performed a “Gravity” skit on the NASA shutdown in the U.S. October 12th. Also, the Statue of Liberty is about to reopen after a new deal approved the move. 

14:55 // 10 months ago
September 20, 2013

Brazilian hacktivist protesting NSA hits NASA instead

  • The Plan A Brazilian hacktivist vandalized 13 U.S. government websites last week, posting messages condemning the NSA for, amongst other things, secretly monitoring the Brazilian president’s phone conversations. (Sample message: Stop spy on us! The Brazilian population do not support your attitude!”)
  • The Backfire "BMPoCWe," the hacker responsible, actually hacked NASA’s websites, not the NSA’s. Whoops.

An understandable mistake, especially if English isn’t your first language. It also bears mentioning that NASA’s website is notoriously easy to hack, so there’s the possibility this wasn’t a mistake at all, but simply the hitting of an easy target. NASA officials say no sensitive data was compromised. source

17:57 // 11 months ago
August 7, 2013
18:03 // 1 year ago
March 30, 2013
nationalpost:

NASA set to launch Sunjammer, the largest solar sail in history, with hopes to revolutionize near space travelIt might not get you all the way to Cardassia Prime, but NASA hopes its newly launched solar-sail Sunjammer program will lead to a future where propellantless space craft are used for a multitude of functions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.“Once proven, solar sail technology could enable a host of versatile space missions, including flying an advanced space-weather warning system to more quickly and accurately alert satellite operators and utilities on Earth of geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun,” NASA said in a release.Additionally, NASA sees the project as something that can work to help clean up the piles of floating space garbage in orbit. (NASA)

It may seem like a simple-minded reaction, and hey, we guess it is, but this Sunjammer rendering sure looks like something out of our wildest science-fiction fantasies. And harnessing the power of the sun to achieve propellantless space flight? These are the kinds of “final frontier” investments that are made to set our imaginations aflame.

nationalpost:

NASA set to launch Sunjammer, the largest solar sail in history, with hopes to revolutionize near space travel
It might not get you all the way to Cardassia Prime, but NASA hopes its newly launched solar-sail Sunjammer program will lead to a future where propellantless space craft are used for a multitude of functions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Once proven, solar sail technology could enable a host of versatile space missions, including flying an advanced space-weather warning system to more quickly and accurately alert satellite operators and utilities on Earth of geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun,” NASA said in a release.

Additionally, NASA sees the project as something that can work to help clean up the piles of floating space garbage in orbit. (NASA)

It may seem like a simple-minded reaction, and hey, we guess it is, but this Sunjammer rendering sure looks like something out of our wildest science-fiction fantasies. And harnessing the power of the sun to achieve propellantless space flight? These are the kinds of “final frontier” investments that are made to set our imaginations aflame.

15:17 // 1 year ago
March 9, 2013

Be sure to keep your head in the clouds this week, or at least your eyes gazing upwards — otherwise you might miss your chance to see a naked-eye comet. The comet Pan-STARRS should be visible in the western sky, just after sunset, for the following week or so. You have to nail the timing, though, as it may be hard to see regardless, and won’t be visible once it’s fully dark. source

19:01 // 1 year ago
February 9, 2013
This is indeed a remarkably close approach for an asteroid this size. We estimate that an asteroid of this size passes this close to the Earth only once every few decades.
Paul Chodas, research scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory •  Speaking on DA14, a 150-foot wide asteroid which is expected to make the closest flyby of the planet Earth on record. Estimated for 2:24 PM EST on February 15th, the asteroid will pass us, cosmically speaking, by a razor-thin margin – it’ll be ten times closer to Earth than the orbit of the Moon. Researchers assure there won’t be a collision, however – the asteroid will pass over the Indian Ocean, near Sumatra. source  
14:04 // 1 year ago
A banner day for the Mars rover Curiosity, as it conducted its first drilling beneath the surface layer of a martian rock today. The hope is to gain information about long-past, possibly wet environments on the red planet by taking samples from beneath its surface – in this case, 2.5 inches deep. The rock powder generated from the drilling was saved by the Curiosity, and will be analyzed by its highly sophisticated on-board laboratory. (Photo by  NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) source 

A banner day for the Mars rover Curiosity, as it conducted its first drilling beneath the surface layer of a martian rock today. The hope is to gain information about long-past, possibly wet environments on the red planet by taking samples from beneath its surface – in this case, 2.5 inches deep. The rock powder generated from the drilling was saved by the Curiosity, and will be analyzed by its highly sophisticated on-board laboratory. (Photo by  NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) source 

13:35 // 1 year ago
December 8, 2012
thedailywhat:

This is What the United States Looks Like at Nighttime

Here’s the latest view of the United States at nighttime captured by NASA’s Suomi NPP satelliteand revealed at the American Geophysical Union conference earlier this week on Wednesday, December 5.


This is a cool and striking photo, though as nighttime satellite shots are concerned, this is still our #1.

thedailywhat:

This is What the United States Looks Like at Nighttime

This is a cool and striking photo, though as nighttime satellite shots are concerned, this is still our #1.

21:32 // 1 year ago