(photographer unknown): India's Mangalyaan satellite attained Martian orbit on Wednesday; at $74m, it's "staggeringly cheap" for an orbiter.
Becky writes, "Shrinking Space productions have transformed the vast and dilapidated market building at Circus St in Brighton, UK into an audiosphere representing the entire solar system."
When you enter "Mind's Eye" you are given headphones and a ready-tuned hand-held radio. Then, as you drift around the building, you are pulled into the orbit of the various interviews being broadcast in different parts of it, each featuring a scientist or space explorer whose knowledge of the planet or star they are describing often represents a lifetime's work. The effect is bewitching, like floating through space itself, with only the occasional transmission back to earth for company. I went to see it last Saturday and loved it."
Steven Gould’s 1993 YA novel Jumper was a spectacular success (even if the film “adaptation” stank on ice), and each of the (all-too-infrequent) sequels have raised both the stakes and the bar for a must-read series. But with Exo, published today, Gould takes his game into orbit — literally.Read the rest
Medium have published an excerpt from "The Man Who Sold the Moon, my 36,000 word novella in Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, a project to inspire optimism and ambition about the future and technology that Neal Stephenson kicked off (see also What Will it Take to Get Us Back to the Moon?).
Scientists have now mapped superculusters -- dense regions of multiple galaxies -- across space and have named our own supercluster Laniakea, Hawaiian for "immeasurable heaven." (Nature)
If you’ve ever watched this video, you might wonder whether an astronaut’s suit is too ungainly to be graceful, or alternatively, if astronauts might just lack coordination. Read the rest
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It took 40 years for us to get back to the surface of the Moon. The adventures of China’s late Jade Rabbit rover ended an absence that would have been unthinkable to families clustered around their TV sets in the 1960s, watching the incredible achievements of the Apollo Program. Where did we get off track? Jekan Thanga from ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, explains the science and politics behind Cory Doctorow’s new novella, “The Man Who Sold the Moon.”Read the rest
Hello Kitty is aboard Japan's Hodoyoshi-3 satellite orbiting the Earth. Read the rest
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Brian Fies‘s 2012 graphic novel Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? expresses a beautiful, melancholic and hopeful longing for (and suspicion of) the futuristic optimism of America’s 20th century, starting with the 1939 World’s Fair. Cory Doctorow finally got caught up with the future and read it.Read the rest
It was inevitable: The face on Comet 67P revealed itself to the Rosetta spacecraft and the world. Read the rest
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Today, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft became the first probe to orbit a comet. Later this year, Rosetta's Philae lander is expected to touch down on the surface.
Bill Nye on why we may be decades away from discovering life on Jupiter's moon Europa.
The NASA Opportunity Mars rover landed on Mars ten years ago, and was not expected to be trucking along in the dust an entire decade later. But truck along it has, and NASA this week announced that Opportunity now "holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving." The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.
"Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance."
A drive of 157 feet (48 meters) on July 27 put Opportunity's total odometry at 25.01 miles (40.25 kilometers). This month's driving brought the rover southward along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover had driven more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) before arriving at Endeavour Crater in 2011, where it has examined outcrops on the crater's rim containing clay and sulfate-bearing minerals. The sites are yielding evidence of ancient environments with less acidic water than those examined at Opportunity's landing site.
More at NASA JPL website.
In a new report on "3D Printing In Space," the US's National Research Council says, “For in-space use, the technology may provide new capabilities, but it will serve as one more tool in the toolbox, not a magic solution to tough space operations and manufacturing problems.”
General Electric and Jack Threads are releasing a super-limited edition of Apollo 11-inspired sneakers, called "The Missions," designed by Android Homme.
The Missions sneakers (via CollectSPACE)
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.
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.