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Strange reflections on dwarf planet Ceres

Conspiracy theorists are claiming that the two shiny spots on Ceres seen in photos taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft are either ice or salt patches.

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Apollo mission treasures from Neil Armstrong's attic

Spocko sez, "After Neil Armstrong's death his widow, Carol, discovered a white, cloth bag in a closet, containing flight and space related artifacts."

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3D printing in zero gee mission-patch


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WATCH: HOWTO create this mind-bending worldscape

the-verge-lightfarm-studios Lightfarm Studios documented the making of "The Verge," this stunning worldscape based on work by Raqsonu Duhu. Lightfarm Brasil has the scoop:

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Apollo 11 tracksuit


Thoren's $140 (+$65 SH) Apollo 11 sweatsuit is modelled on the A7-L Pressure Suit, and features fantastic levels of gorgeous, 1969-vintage detail. (via Bonnie Burton)

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Gingerbread Enterprise


Blackmarket Bakery sends us, "a gingerbread recreation of the Starship Enterprise from 'Star Trek,' created by us and on display at our store in Costa Mesa, CA."

Humanity at night

NASA scientists, at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting, revealed images from space of humanity—and our wonderful cultural behaviors.

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Does water freeze or boil in space?


Both.

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Go, Orion! NASA set to launch spacecraft on first step toward manned flights to Mars [Update: Delayed! Launched!]

Final preparations are under way for NASA’s Dec. 4 launch of the Orion spacecraft. Not since the final Space Shuttle mission in 2011 has there been so much excitement around American space flight. Sawyer Rosenstein reports from Cape Canaveral.

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Retro raygun coffee mug


The 12 oz, dishwasher/microwave safe Retro Raygun Rocket Mug is $9.72 and ships worldwide. (via Geeks Are Sexy)

WATCH: Wanderers: breathtaking location shoots from our solar system

Erik Wernquist's Wanderers is a beautiful, inspiring, even haunting video recreating actual locations in our solar system, places we may reach someday.

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Milky Way over Devils Tower

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David Lane's absolutely stunning image of the Milky Way over Devils Tower. If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones.

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Celestial Buddies: plush planets and sun

Celestial Buddies sells huggable plush planets that are pretty danged adorable -- they come with little information booklets to nurture kids' curiosity about space.

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Solar system drinking glasses


The Planetary Glass Set comprises ten glasses (one for each planet, plus one each for Pluto and Sol) representing the bodies of our solar system, very very very loosely sized to express their relative dimensions.

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Beatles "Across the Universe" covered using sampled audio from Rosetta mission

Essa writes, "Andrew Huang has taken fragments of the audio from the Rosetta mission and arranged them into haunting rendition of The Beatles' 'Across the Universe'. Apart from his singing, no other sounds were used in the song."

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A master of otherworldly space art

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Above, the extrasolar planet 16 Cygni Bb as rendered by artist Ron Miller, illustrator of science, astronomy, and science fiction, and author of "The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era."

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Video: Planet Earth, as seen from space in high-definition, 4K resolution

This video offers “A timelapse of Earth in 4K resolution, as imaged by the geostationary Elektro-L weather satellite, from May 15th to May 19th, 2011.”

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Relative Scale of the Solar System Planets, in Fruits

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Image by Avi Solomon, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

We landed a freaking spacecraft on a comet. This GIF and video explain Rosetta's 12-year journey.

Human beings reached a new space exploration milestone this week: landing the Rosetta mission's Philae probe on a comet some 316 million miles from Earth.

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XKCD's epic, day-long Rosetta mission flipbook


XKCD celebrated the Rosetta comet mission in style, with a 142-frame flipbook that updated in realtime as the Philae lander made contact with 67P (you can browse the frames here).

Virgin Galactic pilot Peter Siebold defied incredible odds to survive deadly crash

Pilot Peter Siebold (R) and co-pilot Michael Alsbury (L) were flying Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo when it was lost in flight on Oct. 31, 2014. Alsbury, 39, died in the crash. (Virgin Galactic)


Pilot Peter Siebold (R) and co-pilot Michael Alsbury (L) were flying Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo when it was lost in flight on Oct. 31, 2014. Alsbury, 39, died in the crash. (Virgin Galactic)

Peter Siebold, the Virgin Galactic pilot who survived a crash one week ago today, is described as 'pretty banged up' but has been released from the hospital.

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Harvard's crowdsourcing a century of astronomical logbook transcription


Simon writes, "I recently got a chance to interview and profile the people behind a collaboration between Smithsonian and the Harvard College Observatory who are crowdsourcing the transcription of logbooks for thousands of photographic plates. It's a massive undertaking that will give scientists access to a hundred years of astronomical data."

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Planet formation around HL Tau, 450 light years from Earth

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"In a vast disc of dust and gas, dark rings are clearly visible," reports the BBC's Jonathan Webb. "Gaps in the cloud, swept clear by brand new planets in orbit.

Sushi in spaaace!


The National Sushi and Space Administration's @Spacesushipic account is your best source for keeping track of the stirring imagery of our program to launch delicious raw fish into space. (via IO9)

Bootstrapping an offworld civilization

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Can we "bootstrap" a solar system civilization by making what we need in space from stuff we find in space? BB pal Tom Kalil in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, interviewed former NASA research physicist Dr Phillip Metzger about this very idea. From the White House blog:

In a recent article, you and your co-authors called for “affordable, rapid bootstrapping of a solar system civilization.” What do you mean by “bootstrapping” in this context?

If we want to want to create a robust civilization in our solar system, more of the energy, raw materials, and equipment that we use in space has to come from space. Launching everything we need from Earth is too expensive. It would also be too expensive to send all of the factories required to manufacture everything necessary to support a solar system civilization.

Ultimately what we need to do is to evolve a complete supply chain in space, utilizing the energy and resources of space along the way. We are calling this approach “bootstrapping” because of the old saying that you have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Industry in space can start small then pull itself up to more advanced levels through its own productivity, minimizing the cost of launching things from Earth in the meantime. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen overnight, but I think that it is the right long-term goal.

"Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Weird things human sent into the stratosphere (mostly as marketing)

Including: bacon (video above), beer, Lego Minifigures, a toy robot, an armchair... the list goes on, over at Smithsonian.

This one U.S. hotspot produces the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane. Why?

The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan


The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan

A new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and University of Michigan One shows that one small “hot spot” in the American Southwest produces the greatest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the United States.

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Second skin spacesuit

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MIT researchers are developing a "second skin" space suit lined with tiny coils that contract when switched on, tightening the garment around the body.

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Vintage Soviet space program cigarette packages


The Soviet space program inspired some of the great space-themed tchotchkes of the 20th century, including a whole line of cigarette packs from Russia and surrounding nations.

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Space-themed latte art


NASA knows how to celebrate National Coffee Day in style!

(via IO9)