For astronaut Ron Garan and the rest of the crew of the International Space Station, this extraordinary view of a simultaneous sunset and moonset is a daily occurrence (this one was captured on July 31). The station orbits Earth every 90 minutes, so the crew gets treated to this scene about 16 times a day.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the International Space Station on July 10, positioning the astronauts for the work they would do on the shuttle program's final flight. Here are a few photos released by NASA of that routine, yet momentous event.
The shuttle then undocked from the space station yesterday before heading home for a Thursday landing on Earth.
The fissures seen here have lead NASA scientists to believe there may be "ocean-like" liquid salt water on Enceladus, one of the dozens of moons that circle Saturn. The fissures spray icy particles, water vapor, and organic compounds--erupting from beneath the surface and into the atmosphere, NASA said today. The cosmic dust analyzer aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft found particles low in salt far away from the moon, but samples from closer to Enceladus' surface found that large grains rich with sodium and potassium dominate the plumes, suggesting a composition beneath the surface that's similar to Earth'… Read more
MOUNTAIN PASS, Calif.--Here in a hot, dusty corner of Southern California desert, a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table--so critical to advanced technology industries that they're a matter of national security--are being unearthed. Molycorp's rejuvinated $500 million facility, now under construction and set for completion in July 2012, will reduce the environmental impacts of the rare-earth-element-mining process and dramatically cut costs, providing a homegrown source for the elements used in so many national defense, energy, and consumer electronics products. This week, I toured the facility here, the only place in the United States that … Read more
Arriving from across the United States and around the world for a robotics competition that's becoming well known as the place for bot builders to compete, hundreds of engineers and their mechanized counterparts are in San Mateo, Calif., this weekend for RoboGames 2011. The doors opened at noon Friday and already in the pits sparks were flying and the smell of solder was in the air. Teammates shouted urgently for wire and batteries, and final preparations were being made for the first competitions. The passionate community, which will send its various creations into competitions ranging from kung-fu android battles … Read more
In order to meet the extreme demands put on its servers, Facebook has designed its own servers and data-center setup. Now, with a project called the Open Compute Project, it's sharing those plans with partners and competitors alike in the hopes that it will help push the evolution of data-center design. Here are a few photos from today's event, held in Palo Alto, Calif. For more details on the project, see our article here.
It was a beautiful week in San Francisco, and while conversations about the future of the Web were happening inside Moscone West at the Web 2.0 Expo, some folks were taking advantage of the sunshine to work from the park, tinkering with the data cloud beneath a sunny, cloudless California sky on what turned out to be one of the first warm days of the year.
Here are a few of the cooler, springtime shots I found from in and around the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this week. (Click here to see a slideshow of photos from the conference itself.)… Read more