It's now been a couple of months since the U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane lifted into orbit amid the expected shroud of secrecy. What's remarkable about this third classified mission in the X-37B program is how little the public knows about it. We don't know how long the craft is supposed to orbit the Earth, and we don't know the mission's objectives. The unmanned space plane ventured into orbit twice before on hush-hush missions for the Air Force. One tidbit that is known: the craft now in Earth orbit was also used … Read more
Everything is more interesting in space. Even the lowly peanut butter sandwich becomes fascinating when the person making it is an astronaut and the "kitchen" is the International Space Station.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield takes you on a culinary tour of the cosmos in this simple and entertaining video.… Read more
NASA has suffered budget cuts and freezes the past several years, but apparently things are looking up for the U.S. space agency. Today, NASA announced that it was creating a new organizational division geared toward investing in space technology, equipment, and exploration.
"A robust technology development program is vital to reaching new heights in space -- and sending American astronauts to new destinations like an asteroid and Mars," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "A top priority of NASA is to invest in cross-cutting, transformational technologies. We focus on collaboration with industry and academia … Read more
Some games are better off left in the past. Space Invaders for Mac offers a true original-style version of the Space Invaders game. Unfortunately, being true to the original game does not make this game easy to use or great to look at.
Space Invaders for Mac presents an unmodified version of the original Space Invaders game. This game loads as a widget, making it awkward to access. The graphics and overall look of the animation is just as flawed and basic as the original. The interface does not allow for any preference modifications, and no list of keyboard commands … Read more
Earth's first space tourist won't be outdone by a few fancy NASA rovers with their cutesy names, sky cranes, and whatnot. So like the saying goes, if you can't beat 'em, make the unprecedented 500-day round-trip journey to Mars to join 'em.
That's the insanely ambitious plan that Dennis Tito, who was the first private space traveler a little less than 12 years ago, will announce in more detail next week.
A release from Tito's newly formed Inspiration Mars Foundation teases "plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018."… Read more
The International Space Station (ISS) lost ground communications capabilities for around three hours this morning during a software upgrade, according to NASA.
As flight controllers on the ground in Houston were updating flight computers, the data relay systems malfunctioned, cutting off all communications with the ground. The Communication and Tracking System provides communications between the crew and Mission Control via Ku-band, S-band, and UHF frequencies.
During the upgrade, an anomaly resulted in the primary computer that controls critical station functions defaulting to a backup computer, but the system was not allowing the station to communicate with NASA's Tracking and … Read more
Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) alluded to the meteor that exploded in the sky above Russia early this morning. More than 900 injuries, mostly from shattered glass, were reported in the city of Chelyabinsk, about 950 miles east of Moscow. In … Read more
Chris Hadfield may well be the coolest astronaut in the galaxy.
He spends his time hosting Google+ Hangouts; giving tutorials on how to clip one's fingernails while on the International Space Station; tweeting with William Shatner; and playing space guitar. Space guitar is pretty much like regular guitar, except it happens in zero gravity while in orbit above the Earth on-board the ISS.
Hadfield has applied his space guitar skills to a recording session where he played and sang live along with the Barenaked Ladies and a choir. A large screen projected his part over video so everyone was on the same page during the session.… Read more
In a few days, sky watchers in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia will get a chance to see one big rock hurtling through the heavens. One very big rock. Compared with other asteroids traveling through space, this one may seem a relative pebble -- at half the size of a football field -- but for Earth, it will make for a relatively close call.
"This is a record-setting close approach," says Don Yeomans of NASA's Near Earth Object Program at JPL. "Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we've never seen an object this big get so close to Earth." … Read more
Want to feel like you contributed to something important today? Take a moment to help rename two of Pluto's moons, which desperately need a little more pizzazz as they currently float around with the drab designations P4 and P5.
With assistance from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomer Mark Showalter discovered P4 and P5 in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In conjunction with the SETI Institute, Showalter today opened a Web site that allows anyone to vote from 12 Greek and Roman mythology-inspired names for the roughly 20-mile diameter moons.… Read more