NASA releases amazing pics of Ceres

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From JPL. Those white spots are an intriguing mystery. Read the rest

Spinning Russian spaceship ditches in Pacific

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Alarming footage from Russia's Progress 59 showed it spinning out of control in orbit, but the vessel fell into the sea far from human habitation.

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) reports the Progress 59 cargo craft reentered the Earth’s atmosphere at 10:04 p.m. EDT over the central Pacific Ocean.

The spacecraft was not carrying any supplies critical for the United States Operating Segment (USOS) of the station, and the break up and reenty of the Progress posed no threat to the ISS crew. Both the Russian and USOS segments of the station continue to operate normally and are adequately supplied well beyond the next planned resupply flight.

Roscosmos statement: http://www.federalspace.ru/21474/

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Mercury orbiter retired after successful mission

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Having generated incredible maps of the tiny world, Messenger is to rendezvous with its surface. Read the rest

Crowdfunding Cosmoquest, ex-NASA citizen science project

Commandline writes, "Dr. Pamela Gay is the principal investigator on a fantastic citizen science project, Cosmoquest, that sadly has been a casualty of reduced funding for NASA and for space science generally." Read the rest

Excerpt from Neal Stephenson's forthcoming novel Seveneves

Neal Stephenson's posted the first 26 pages of his forthcoming novel Seveneves, "a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years." Read the rest

Podcast of two Kim Stanley Robinson Martian stories

Tony from Starshipsofa sez, "StarShipSofa podcast is very proud this week to have two short stories by the great science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. First up is the 1999 short story Purple Mars, then we play Discovery Mars published in 2000. Both stories can be found in KSR's Martians collection." Read the rest

NASA's techno-archaeologists

On a recent O'Reilly Solid podcast (MP3), the convenors of this year's O'Reilly Internet of Things conference (where I'll be a speaker) speak to Dennis Wingo, founder of the McMoon's "techno archaeology" project (previously). Read the rest

This Book is a Planetarium (really!)

Master paper artist Kelli Anderson has a forthcoming title called This Book is a Planetarium that literally converts into a planetarium, as well as a smartphone amplifier, and many other paper contraptions. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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." Read the rest

3D printing in zero gee mission-patch

[Link] Read the rest

WATCH: HOWTO create this mind-bending worldscape

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

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) Read the rest

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." Read the rest

Humanity at night

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

Does water freeze or boil in space?

Both. Read the rest

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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