This small asteroid is Earth's constant cosmic companion

Asteroid 2016 HO3 has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA announced today that a small asteroid has been discovered in an orbit around our Sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth. And it'll stay that way for centuries to come.

Read the rest

A First: from space, NASA spots a single methane leak from Earth's atmosphere

NASA

“For the first time, an instrument onboard an orbiting spacecraft has measured the methane emissions from a single, specific leaking facility on Earth's surface,” NASA announced Tuesday.

Read the rest

The closest I'll get to Jupiter is this JPL clean room

jensenstephens

Hey Jupiter, I hope you're ready for your close-up.

Recently, I was granted the rare privilege of stepping inside one of the largest cleanrooms at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories. I was there to learn about this year's blockbuster space mission, Juno, and chat with some super smart science and engineering people who worked on the project.

Read the rest

NASA telescopes spot clues for how Giant Black Holes formed so quickly

NASA Illustration of evidence that the direct collapse of a gas cloud produced supermassive black holes in the early Universe.
NASA today announced that astronomers studying data from NASA’s Great Observatories have found the best evidence yet for “cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.”

Read the rest

NASA's Kepler Mission Announces Largest Collection of Planets Ever Discovered

This artist's concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date by NASA's Kepler space telescope. NASA/W. Stenzel

NASA announced today that the Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets -- the single largest finding of planets to date.

Read the rest

Canada's Fort McMurray wildfire is so massive, you can see it from space

On May 8, 2016, the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite captured this image of Ft. McMurray Fire in Alberta, Canada.
[NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team]

The massive wildfire that continues to burn in the Fort McMurray area of Alberta, Canada has been captured from space by NASA imaging satellites.

Read the rest

Amazing GoPro video of rocket launched into near space

UP Aerospace Inc. launched a 20-foot tall rocket nearly 400,000 feet into the upper atmosphere to test the re-entry of the capsule. Eventually, such a capsule could bring biological samples back to Earth from space.

More details on the capsule at NASA.

Read the rest

IMAX's "A Beautiful Planet" is a 3D visit to the International Space Station

ABeautifulPlanet2

I'm ashamed to admit that I never learned much about the International Space Station. But after seeing the IMAX 3D documentary A Beautiful Planet, I feel like I spent 45 minutes in it, and it was emotional and thrilling. I'm normally not a big fan of 3D movies, but the quality was so high that it didn't bother me and instead made the experience of learning about life inside the ISS that much better.

I was enthralled the entire time I watched the movie. I felt like I was floating in the ISS, observing the astronauts right in front of me as they ate, cut their hair, made espresso, helped each other get into their spacesuits, and played the bagpipes. I remember reading somewhere that one of the requirements of being an astronaut is that you can't be arrogant or have a big ego because those aren't good traits to have when you live in close quarters for months on end with other people. The astronauts on the ISS all seemed very smart, good natured, and kind. I wanted to hug them all.

The movie, which is narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, is called A Beautiful Planet because the main star of the show is our planet as filmed by crew of the ISS. We've all seen images of the Earth from space, but to see them in 3D on giant screen in crystal clarity is another experience altogether. My 13-year-old daughter was shocked by the nighttime footage of South and North Korea. Read the rest

NASA releases 4K high-def video of a recent solar flare, and it's pretty awesome

maxresdefault
Our solar system is awesome.

Read the rest

Europe and Russia just launched a Mars space mission to sniff out signs of life

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

A European-Russian spacecraft headed out from our humble little planet to space today, in search for life on Mars.

Read the rest

Astronaut Scott Kelly on what it's like to return to Earth after a year in space

Scott Kelly

Mixed emotions. That's what NASA astronaut Scott Kelly says he's feeling upon returning to Earth after 340 days on the International Space Station. Read the rest

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly safely returns to Earth after year-long mission in space

NASA astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko enjoy the cold fresh air back on Earth after their historic 340-day mission aboard the International Space Station.
Image: NASA TV

NASA reports that astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko have returned to Earth Tuesday night, after a historic 340-day mission aboard the International Space Station. The space travelers touched down in Kazakhstan at 11:26 p.m. EST (10:26 a.m. March 2 Kazakhstan time).

Read the rest

NASA releases weird "moon music" heard by astronauts in 1969

alien-dj-8717398

NASA has released recordings of weird sounds Apollo 10 astronauts heard while flying around the far side of the moon, and the crew responding to the strange phenomenon.

Read the rest

Space tourism posters from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Titan
What a delight: NASA itself published a series of retrofuturistic tourism posters for other worlds. Better yet, the images are less unfree, though they also sell prints. I'm off to the exoplanets, see ya!

Read the rest

Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, 6th man on the moon, dies at age 85

Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 lunar module pilot stands by the deployed U.S. flag on the lunar surface during the early moments of the mission's first spacewalk. Photo: NASA

NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell has died. He was 85 years old.

Mitchell was the sixth human to walk on the moon. He died Thursday night after a short illness. It was exactly one day before the 45th anniversary of the day he landed in the Moon's hilly Fra Mauro region, with crewmate Alan Shepard.

Mitchell was into the paranormal, and the possibility that ESP (psychic communication) could help humans stay connected out in space.

From Bill Harwood at CBS News:

Famous for attempting an experiment in extra-sensory perception on his way back from the moon, Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973 "to support consciousness research and promote awareness of evolving human consciousness," the family said in a statement released by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Andrew Chaikin, author of "A Man On The Moon -- The Voyages Of The Apollo Astronauts," said in a recent interview with CBS News that Mitchell was "super bright" and "an intellectual."

"Just a real lover of ideas," Chaikin said. "It shows in his post-NASA career because he pursued this question of consciousness and the nature of consciousness. On his flight, he had kind of a mountain-top experience where on the flight home, looking at the Earth, he felt that he was experiencing the universe as an intelligent entity, almost an organism. And that really changed him."

Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell in front of a graphic of the mission patch. [NASA]

Here are NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's remarks on his death:

Read the rest

Watch an astronaut play liquid ping pong in space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly demonstrates ping pong with a sphere of water on the International Space Station. From NASA:

The paddles are polycarbonate laser etched so that the surfaces are actually arrays of 300 micrometer posts (0.3mm). The surfaces were then spray coated with a Teflon coat. The combined effects of surface roughness and non-wettability produce a super-hydrophobic surface capable of preventing water adhesion in dynamic processes. The larger the drop, the less force it takes to break it up. The smaller the drop, the harder you can hit it. Scott is demonstrating about a 4 mL drop (over 100 times larger than a rain drop).

Read the rest

SpaceX releases new video of Falcon 9 launch and landing

maxresdefault (8)

SpaceX today published some wonderful new footage of its recent successful Falcon 9 launch and landing.

Read the rest

More posts