Kickstarting a replica of the original Pioneer Plaque, manufactured by the original craftsman

You know what would go great with your Voyager Golden Record? A replica of the "galactic greeting card" plaque that rode along with the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes, designed by Frank Drake and Carl Sagan with artwork prepared by Linda Salzman Sagan. Read the rest

Stunning short film about the Apollo moon landing made from astronauts' photos

Motion designer Christian Stangl and composer Wolfgang Stangl created this gorgeous short film, titled LUNAR, from thousands of NASA photographs taken by astronauts. From the film description:

In the year 1957 the cold war expands to space. The Soviet-Union sends Sputnik as the first manmade object into earth-orbit.

2 years later Yuri Gagarin enters space as the first man in space. The so called "Space Race" seems to be decided.

But in 1961 President Kennedy promised to send American Astronauts to the moon. The Apollo Project was born. A space ship had to be built that is strong enough to escape earth's gravitation, land on the moon and bring the crew safely back to earth.

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How many humans and animals have died while on space missions?

Second Thought takes a brisk stroll through the historical death toll for earth creatures sent into space. Let's just say you didn't want to be a space monkey in the mid-20th century. Read the rest

Complete orbit of the moon from NASA Lunar Orbiter

From @LRO_NASA:

"A huge payoff from the longevity of the LRO mission is the repeat coverage obtained by the LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC). The WAC has a very wide field-of-view (FOV), 90° in monochrome mode and 60° in multispectral mode, hence its name. On the one hand, the wide FOV enables orbit-to-orbit stereo, which allowed LROC team members at the DLR to create the unprecedented 100 meter scale near-global (0° to 360° longitude and 80°S to 80°N latitude) topographic map of the Moon."

See also NASA Goddard's Tour of the Moon, especially if your love for it was formed in the last century:

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Watch 'Dot of Light,' inspiring documentary on female astronauts

This lovely short subject documentary gives some cool insights into the awe-inspiring experience of space travel, as told by several women who have had the honor of doing so. Imagine shedding a tear at the beauty, then laughing as it floats away. Read the rest

Saturn's weird "Flying Saucer" moon

Saturn's moon Atlas is said to look like a flying saucer. The Cassini probe took a close look on its way to Titan, whizzing 7,000km from the tiny world. To me it looks like one of those soft, dusty banana-flavored chews you get in the very cheapest candy bags.

These raw, unprocessed images of Saturn's moon, Atlas, were taken on April 12, 2017, by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The flyby had a close-approach distance of about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers). These images are the closest ever taken of Atlas and will help to characterize its shape and geology. Atlas (19 miles, or 30 kilometers across) orbits Saturn just outside the A ring -- the outermost of the planet's bright, main rings.

Here's the full animation, from NASA: Read the rest

Night sky time lapses, but with the ground spinning instead of the stars

If you vomit, do be considerate and try not to let it land on the moon. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in space

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, commander of the Expedition 50 expedition to the International Space Station, explains how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in space. He returned from the ISS earlier this month after six months in orbit.

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New photo of Earth between Saturn's rings can shift your perspective on our reality

That point of light between Saturn's rings is Earth, captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on April 12. More about the image here at NASA JPL. It reminds me of the last photo taken by the Voyager I spacecraft before engineers shut off its imaging systems. Carl Sagan had persuaded NASA to turn Voyager I’s cameras back toward the sun on Valentine's Day 1990 and take the first ever "portrait of our solar system" from outside of it. Earth is just a speck in that photo too, a "pale blue dot" as Sagan called it. His beautiful words remind me how a single image can alter one's perspective in an instant:

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there...

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NASA's new "space fabric"

This is NASA's new "space fabric" in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Turns out Star Trek redshirts are not likeliest to die

The Museum of Mathematics recently hosted James Grime's talk "Star Trek: The Math of Khan." He debunked a common stereotype about the show's security detail: redshirts are not the most likely crew to die. Read the rest

Ejecting a floppy disk in space

It turns out ejecting a floppy disk in space is a little more complicated than it is on Earth. Here’s another perspective on the same problem:

[Source: Gif87a.com] Read the rest

Every Sci-Fi star map

Kicked off by a post from The Watcher, the RPG.Net forums made The Only Sci Fi Star Chart You'll Ever Need—a cartographic compendium of common space opera tropes.

I'll start the ball rolling by listing a few potential areas and features:

The Diverse Alliance of Nice Guys (or should it be The Nice Alliance of Diverse Guys?) Proud Warrior Empire Space Nazi Territory Star Faring Rome The Do Not Cross Zone Elves With Starships Casablanca Station Ancient Space Gods' Lawn Pleasure World Starship Graveyard Hostile Robot Hordes Anomaly #12

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Breathtaking space film on Cassini's final months exploring Saturn

NASA's JPL is counting down the days to the scheduled end of Cassini's mission in September. Erik Wernquist created this awe-inspiring overview of Cassini's final months of existence.

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Simone Giertz is a “DIY astronaut”

Simone Giertz is widely known online as the “queen of shitty robots.” As Boing Boing has previously noted, she's a contemporary Rube Goldberg who makes all sorts of weird and wacky inventions on her YouTube channel. But her biggest dream is to become an astronaut.

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NASA's revamped image and video library makes searching fun

Get ready to fall into a black hole of non-productivity once you open NASA's new Image and Video Library. Lots of great tags and captions to find what you want! Read the rest

Watch how NASA trains astronauts with VR

NASA has always been an early adopter of technology like virtual and augmented reality for training. Here's a cool glimpse into how they train future ISS and landing party astronauts. Read the rest

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