Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Rocket Racer Named NASA Administrator

April 20, 2018

Rocket Racer Named NASA Administrator

The U.S. Senate voted 50-49 to confirm Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) as NASA Administrator. Mr. Bridestine, unlike the first 12 space agency leaders, is not a scientist or aerospace engineer, though he flew an E-2C Hawkeye turboprop in Latin America as part of the War on Drugs. Mr. Bridenstine’s more recent aerospace experience was as Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, where he managed to put the museum in the hole by using its resources to fund a Rocket Racing League exhibition at the Tulsa Air Show in 2010. One of the owners of the Rocket Racing League was Jim Bridenstine, a classic case of self-dealing.

Annual budget of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum: $1 million. Annual budget of NASA: $18.5 billion. Houston, we have a problem.

More:

“How Trump’s NASA Nominee Used a Nonprofit He Ran to Benefit Himself,” Nick Schwellenbach and Adam Zagorin, Daily Beast

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Top photo: D J Shin – My Toy Museum via Wikimedia. 

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Flying Over Mars

April 13, 2018

Jan Fröjdman used real images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to create this rendering of a Red Planet flyover.

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The World at Night

February 23, 2018

NASA has released a new map of the earth at night. The clickable, zoomable version is here.

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Water. Not Just For Earthlings Anymore.

February 9, 2018

Water. Not Just For Earthlings Anymore.

With the help of HiRISE, a powerful camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists have found vast quantities subsurface ice reserves that astronauts could mine for drinking, growing crops, or converting into hydrogen for fuel.

“The deposits begin at depths as shallow as one meter and extend upwards of 100 meters into the planet. The researchers don’t estimate the quantity of ice present, but they do note that the amount of ice near the surface is likely more extensive than the few locations where it’s exposed. And what’s more, the ice looks pretty damn pure.”

— “Scientists Discover Clean Water Ice Just Below Mars’ Surface,” Robbie Gonzalez, Wired

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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NASA Prepares for Flying Taxis

December 6, 2017

NASA Prepares for Flying Taxis

Uber is joining NASA in developing software to manage air taxi control software. The ride sharing firm is working to develop a fleet of battery-powered flying cabs and hopes to test them in several cities in the next two years, with full implementation in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Lunar

September 20, 2017

“Lunar,” A short film by Christian Stangl using archival photos and audio from NASA. Soundtrack by Wolfgang Stangl.
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Voyager Space Probe Survives From the Age of Disco

September 14, 2017

Voyager Space Probe Survives From the Age of Disco

The NASA Voyager space probes were launched in 1977, the Age of Disco. They’ve been staying alive for 40 years, and are now 13 billion miles from Earth, traveling through deep interstellar space. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is celebrating the anniversary with free commemorative posters.

See the  Voyager film, The Farthest, on PBS.

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New Earth-Like Planets Discovered

February 23, 2017

Seven new Earth-sized planets have been discovered orbiting a (relatively) nearby star. The star, called Trappist-1, is much smaller than our sun, and is classified as an ultra-cool dwarf.

To this stunning announcement we only add this observation:  Ultra-Cool Dwarf would be a great name for a rock band.

The newly discovered exoplanets very likely have liquid water, meaning they may host alien life forms not yet in the Trump Administration.

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NASA Wants Better Astronaut Diapers

January 19, 2017

NASA Wants Better Astronaut Diapers

NASA scientists are good at … well rocket science, but t here’s one problem that has them stumped: how to handle space suit poop. The agency issued the Space Poop Challenge late last year, and is currently judging the entries. The winner will get $30,000.

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NASA’s Bouncy Castle in Space Stays Flat

May 27, 2016

Bouncy Castle in Space!

Last month NASA sent an inflatable room — the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module or BEAM — into space via SpaceX as a home improvement for the International Space Station’s Tranquility Module. Like many home improvement projects, all did not go according to plan, and yesterday the big balloon didn’t inflate worth a damn. Perhaps a Rubbermaid garden shed will do? Home Depot is open until 10 tonight.

More:

“The ISS’s New Space Module Fails Its First Inflation Attempt,” Emma Grey Ellis, Wired

“ISS controllers defer BEAM module expansion,” Pete Harding, NASASpaceFlight.com

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Image (“BEAM deployed – artist concept”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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