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

NASA spaceflight review concludes agency lacks ability to get humans to Mars

Washington Post: "A sweeping review of NASA’s human spaceflight program has concluded that the agency has an unsustainable and unsafe strategy that will prevent the United States from achieving a human landing on Mars in the foreseeable future. The 286-page National Research Council report, the culmination of an 18-month, $3.2 million investigation mandated by Congress, says that to continue on the present course under budgets that don’t keep pace with inflation 'is to invite failure, disillusionment, and the loss of the longstanding international perception that human spaceflight is something the United States does best.'”

More here.

The report bolsters the case for manned missions to the moon, which President Obama oppose. “I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before,” the president said in a space policy speech in 2010. Read the rest

Vintage photos of NASA Apollo astronauts training in Hawaii

In the 1960s and 1970s, NASA astronauts spent time training in the moon-like volcanic landscape of Hawaii's Big Island; the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems dug out fantastic photos from NASA's archives (thanks, Bob Pescovitz!).

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These entries in a NASA kid space art contest are the best thing ever

The NASA Langley Research Center held a space art contest for kids K-23 in the Hampton Roads, VA region, and their Flickr Pool of entries provide me with endless happy web browsing. Read the rest

Violent birth of a star, as seen from NASA Hubble Space Telescope

An image released from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows IRAS 14568-6304, a young star shrouded in golden gas and dust.

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SpaceX unveils new Dragon V2 manned spacecraft

Described by its chief designer Elon Musk as "a true 21st-century spacecraft," the DragonV2 flight could achieve its first unmanned flight as soon as late 2015, and its first crewed flight as soon as mid-2016.

Spaceship docks with ISS, astronaut immediately tweets awesome photos

A Russian spacecraft carrying three people docked successfully at the International Space Station today after a flawless launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Our guy in space, NASA's Reid Wiseman, got right to work tweeting totally awesome photographs that masterfully convey the wonder and beauty of being, holy crap, an astronaut in space.

Photos of Russia's Rocket Town

For Air & Space Magazine, photographer James Hill visited Russia's "Rocket Town," the city of Baikonur in Kazakhstan, where, he says, "everything you see is related to space." Read the rest

Russian Soyuz rocket launches 3 crewmembers on trip to ISS

Three crew members from America, Germany, and Russia are on an express trip to the International Space Station.

Ohio man: goddamn meteorite bashed my Buick

Photo: Dee Moorman

Joe Massa said he was driving home Sunday morning around 2AM when his Buick was struck by something. And that something, he says, was a freakin' meteorite. Read the rest

NASA to space nerds: you may now drive this space probe

ISEE-3, artist's rendition.

NASA is giving a group of citizen scientists permission to take over ISEE-3, a 36-year-old decommissioned robotic space probe that will fly by the Earth in August. Read the rest

NASA releases 'Global Selfie'

Here's a larger size, and a zoomable 3.2 gigapixel version, which you really have to see to appreciate the whole thing. Read the rest

Everday Tyson, a tumblog of greatness

Everyday Tyson, a tumblr dedicated to the imaginary mundane musings of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a man better known for his musings on the profound. Read the rest

NASA builds flying saucer

A saucer-shaped test vehicle holding equipment for landing large payloads on Mars is shown in the Missile Assembly Building at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kaua‘i, Hawaii. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's latest experimental test vehicle looks like the classic UFO of science fiction film fame. The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project, "a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle, has completed final assembly at the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii." Read the rest

UPDATED Bowie's takedown of Hadfield's ISS "Space Oddity" highlights copyright's absurdity

Update: The Ottawa Citizen has retracted its article about the takedown of Hadfield's video. The article incorrectly said that Bowie had not renewed the license for this work. The truth is that Bowie had sold the right to this song, and the owner of that right was the intransigent party. The more important point of the article, though, is that none of this would matter if Hadfield had recorded the song and put it out on CD instead of on Youtube, because we have a relatively sane system of compulsory licenses for sound-only recordings; the law has not made the obvious step of expanding to cover Youtube covers, and that means that wonderful work like Hadfield's is at the mercy of capricious rightsholders in a way that it would not be if it were made in older media.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's cover of Bowie's Space Oddity was a worldwide hit, and now it has been disappeared from the Internet, thanks to a copyright claim from David Bowie. Ironically, if Hadfield had recorded the song and sold it on CD or as an MP3, there would have been no need for him to get a license from Bowie, and no way for Bowie to remove it, because there's a compulsory license for cover songs that sets out how much the performer has to pay the songwriter for each copy sold, but does not give the songwriter the power to veto individual covers (that's why Sid Vicious was able to record "My Way"). Read the rest

Apollo spacesuit replica

The $2250 Deluxe Apollo Astronaut Full Space Suit Replica from Spacetoys is made from nylon-denim twill, and features faithful recreations of the fittings and apparatus. However, unlike Kip's storied suit in Have Spacesuit Will Travel, this one appears unlikely to be spaceworthy no matter how much work you put into it. Not even the $9500 Apollo 11 model fits that bill. Read the rest

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