Apollo 11-inspired sneakers from GE

General Electric and Jack Threads are releasing a super-limited edition of Apollo 11-inspired sneakers, called "The Missions," designed by Android Homme.

The company, which is perhaps publicly better known for its consumer appliances and lighting products, provided in 1969 the silicone rubber that was used to create the now-iconic tread that lined the bottom of the Apollo moon boot. GE also produced the Lexan polycarbonate plastic used in forming the astronauts' bubble helmets....

The redesigned moon boots have components made from the same lightweight carbon fiber used for jet engine components and they sport a hydrophobic coating similar to the materials that are used to prevent ice from forming on wind turbine blades.

The Missions sneakers (via CollectSPACE) Read the rest

Largest slice of the moon on Earth

In celebration of today's Apollo 11 launch anniversary, BB pal and space enthusiast Steve Jurvetson shares this photo of the largest slice of the moon on Earth, on display in his office, and other Apollo 11 images, artifacts, and memories. Read the rest

Space Shuttle console ties

Even though I wear neckties about as often as I pilot spacecraft, I'm rather taken by Etsy seller Cyberoptix's Space Shuttle Console silk tie. Read the rest

Lunar bootprint doormat

The lunar footprint doormat is $23: 18"x26". One small step for a guest, one giant leap if that guest doesn't want to wipe her feet and tries for a longjump. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

GIF of the day: NASA satellite images reveal air pollution improvement in US

Nitrogen dioxide pollution, averaged yearly from 2005-2011, has decreased across the United States.Image: NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio/T. Schindler

NASA satellite images released this week in animated GIF form show how air pollution has decreased across the United States over the past decade.

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Earth from space doormat

You can own the classic "Big Blue Marble" Earth-from-space shot as a 24" circular doormat for $23. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Diamond the size of Earth

Astronomers have found a diamond the size of Earth. The cooled white dwarf star, a huge chunk of crystallized carbon, is orbiting a pulsar about 900 light-years away, according to National Geographic. Read the rest

Nigerians in Space: afrofuturist science fiction debut novel

This sounds good: Afrocyberpunk reviews the debut novel of Deji Olukotun, Nigerians in Space: "He wouldn't hit golf balls like the American astronauts. He would squeeze out rhythms from a talking drum into the blackness between the stars. These were the drums of war and death, of celebration, the drums that had bonded the towns of his homeland over centuries in tonal communication… He would bind the stars with the drums. There would be dancing."

Review [Afrocyberpunk]

Nigerians in Space [Amazon] Read the rest

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover completes its first Martian year today

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year -- 687 Earth days -- spent exploring the Red Planet. [NASA/JPL]

NASA shares a Mars Curiosity mission update with us. The little rover that could completes one Martian year today.

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Betabrand line of space-themed streetwear

Our friends at crowdfunded clothier Betabrand held a hack day to design a line of space-themed streetwear called Mission Control! A slew of space enthusiasts participated, including BB contributor Ariel "Spacehack" Waldman. The crowdfundable prototypes include the Voyager Gold Record Tee above, Galactic Carry-On and Dopp Kit, a sweatshirt with the Arecibo message (which would be a great complement to our own Boing Boing Areciboing t-shirt), and other far out designs! Betabrand Mission Control Read the rest

Cosmonauts on ISS complete spacewalk, install antenna, despite equipment challenges

After more than 7 hours of installation and experiment chores outside the Russian portion of the International Space Station, two spacewalking cosmonauts were able to call it a day.

On space-borne espresso pods

The Awl has the last word on Lavazza sending an espresso pod machine into space: "actual garbage that has been toasted, ground up, dehydrated and put into a non-biodegradable plastic coffin...a good reason to never leave this big dumb rock with all of its perfectly fine non-garbage coffee." Read the rest

Good news: NASA and ESA's Mars500 inspires film. Bad news: Starring Dane Cook.

A real-life mock Mars mission created by NASA and the European Space Agency to test the psychological stresses of long-distance space travel has inspired an action movie starring comedian-turned-serious-guy Dane Cook.

Rocket-ship pour-over coffee drip

Thinkgeek's Rocket Fuel Pour-Over Coffee Drip ($10) is a great, science-fictional way to make your single-cup pour-overs. Why flange when you can fin? It's made by the fine folks at Gama-Go. Read the rest

Hello, World: NASA transmits video from space via laser

This week, NASA beamed a high-def video from the International Space Station to Earth, a distance of 260 miles, using a new laser communications instrument. The "Hello, World!" video was the first video message transmitted from space to earth using Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), "a technology demonstration that allows NASA to test methods for communication with future spacecraft using higher bandwidth than radio waves."

More about the video transmission, and the system it uses:

"The International Space Station is a test bed for a host of technologies that are helping us increase our knowledge of how we operate in space and enable us to explore even farther into the solar system," said Sam Scimemi, International Space Station division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Using the space station to investigate ways we can improve communication rates with spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit is another example of how the orbital complex serves as a stepping stone to human deep space exploration."

Optical communication tools like OPALS use focused laser energy to reach data rates between 10 and 1,000 times higher than current space communications, which rely on radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Because the space station orbits Earth at 17,500 mph, transmitting data from the space station to Earth requires extremely precise targeting. The process can be equated to a person aiming a laser pointer at the end of a human hair 30 feet away and keeping it there while walking.

To achieve this extreme precision during Thursday’s demonstration, OPALS locked onto a laser beacon emitted by the Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory ground station at the Table Mountain Observatory in Wrightwood, California, and began to modulate the beam from its 2.5-watt, 1,550-nanometer laser to transmit the video.

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Skeletons in space-suits

The Skeletons in Space Suits is a fabulous collection from a very diverse set of sources. I'm sure they could use your contributions -- do you have anything that'd work? Read the rest

Parliament Funkadelic Mothership soon to be on display at Smithsonian

The Mothership made famous in George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic golden years will soon be available for viewing at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Read the rest

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