• Russia Is Hoping To Transform The ISS Into The Ultimate Tourist Destination

    Between 2001 and 2009, Russia sent seven paying guests to the International Space Station. But when NASA canceled the shuttle program in 2011, the American space agency began to rely on Russia’s Soyuz spacecrafts to transport astronauts to the ISS, putting an end to space tourism. Now NASA is counting on SpaceX and Boeing to take over astronaut transportation by 2018, which will leave Russia with a huge loss in revenue. To make up the difference, Russia will resume “short-term commercial expeditions to the Russian segment of the ISS.” In fact, British soprano Sarah Brightman will be traveling to the ISS later this year at a personal cost of about $50 million, which is about what the expected cost of a ticket will be come 2018. Time to start saving.

  • The First Spacewalk Was 50 Years Ago Today…But It Almost Wasn’t A Success

    At 4:35 AM EDT on March 18, 1965, man walked in space for the first time. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov left his comrade Pavel Belyayev and the comfy confines of their Voskhod 2 and made history. Leonov was only 30 years old at the time and his spacewalk lasted just a little over 12 minutes, but such a duration was probably for the best. 8 minutes into the historic feat, Leonov realized his fingertips weren’t touching his gloves and his feet were floating in his boots. His suit was inflating and he needed to get back to his airlock by somehow maneuvering his 18 feet of lifeline. Worst of all, he was approaching orbital sunset, which would leave him in pitch black. Leonov needed to act fast. “After calculating the amount of time in light and oxygen supply left, I decided to drop the pressure inside the suit … knowing all the while that I would reach the threshold of nitrogen boiling in my blood, but I had no choice.” With the pressure relieved, Leonov had to then quickly make his way to the airlock. He was ultimately successful, paving the way for Ed White to complete the first NASA extra-vehicular more »

  • Must-See Skywatching Events Of 2015 [Infographic]

    2015 is shaping up to be a great year for skywatching…for some people at least. We hear the aurora borealis looked great from upstate New York. And the total eclipse on Friday should be awesome as long as you’re in Europe. So take a look at all the great stuff you might be lucky enough to see this year or at least be aware of all the great stuff you’re missing out on. For more info on each event, check out Space.com.

  • 14 Astronauts Who Took ‘Out Of This World’ Space Selfies [Photos]

    It all started with the Gemini 12 mission in 1966 when Buzz Aldrin took the first ever space selfie – see it in his Tweet above. But that’s not all Buzz did. He was also on the selfie stick game decades before it became a thing. Buzz Aldrin using a selfie stick in space… in 1966.  Now, dozens of astronauts have followed Buzz Aldrin’s lead taking selfies to the next level.

  • Stunning Photo From Space Shows America Encased In Ice [Photos]

    Americans living in the eastern U.S. have certainly been feeling the cold this past week, but now they can see it. This weekend, NASA released a satellite photo which shows the Midwest and East Coast turned white with snow and ice thanks to a recent blast of Siberian and Arctic air. However, the blast has contributed to 21 weather-related fatalities in Tennessee since Monday, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. They include 11 people who died of hypothermia and five victims of motor-vehicle accidents. ‘Looks like the states have been sitting in a freezer,’ the space agency said in a statement. The picture was taken by NASA’s Terra satellite 200 miles up from Earth on Friday when record low temperatures were set across the nation including in Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia.

  • Tilt-Shift Photos Of Space Really Put Things In Perspective

    Tilt-shift photography purists will tell you the only real way to accomplish the illusion is through technical mastery of the camera, but sometimes it’s not always possible to capture a tilt-shift photo. Let’s say, oh, I don’t know, we want a tilt-shift photo of space. Well, NASA isn’t going to let you fiddle around with the lens on the Hubble Space Telescope, are they? Of course not! But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy mind-blowing tilt-shift photos of far-off nebulas and galaxies. That’s where digital manipulation via Photoshop comes in and saves the day. Is it true tilt-shift? Photography purists will tell you it isn’t. Then they’ll hand you your coffee.

  • You’ve Been Missing Out On These NASA Mission Posters Spoofing Pop Culture

    It turns out those eggheads at NASA actually have some fun once in a while. It turns out that for years, when NASA, ESA, and RSA spacemen (and spaceladies) prepare for an ISS mission, they take a goofy group photo. Some of the photos are generic low-budget sci-fi, looking like those shows Fox pushed on us in the 90s in hopes that we would tune in before The X-Files (I’m looking at you, Sliders) while others are direct spoofs of movies like The Matrix, Transformers, and even Reservoir Dogs. We’ve shared some of our favorites, but you can check them all out in hi-res at NASA.

  • A Close-Up Hubble Photo of the Rare Triple Transit of Jupiter’s Moons

    On January 23rd, 2015, there was a rare triple transit of Jupiter’s moons, during which observers here on Earth were treated with the sight of three moons crossing the face of the planet at the same time. This event happens only once or twice every ten years. The Hubble Space Telescope was pointed at Jupiter during the triple transit and captured the beautiful photo above. It shows, from left to right, Europa, Callisto, and Io. Here’s a time-lapse video that was created using image shot during the 40-minute event: — Source: PetaPixel

  • Explore The Andromeda Galaxy In 4K [Video]

    A couple weeks ago, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured the largest and sharpest picture of the Andromeda Galaxy. The full image, capturing 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters across 40,000 light-years, is 1.5 billion pixels and would require 600 HD screens to view the full image. We don’t know about you, but we don’t have that kind of set-up. This video allows you to explore the image on your small single screen. But pump the quality up to 4K and watch it fullscreen and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

  • 85 Iconic Photos Of Buzz Aldrin On His 85th Birthday

    Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was born on January 20, 1930 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Aldrin turned down a scholarship to MIT in order to attend West Point, where he graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 1951. He served as a fighter pilot during the Korean War, flying 66 combat missions in F-86 Sabres. Aldrin was selected as part of the third group of NASA astronauts in 1963. He was a pilot on Gemini 12, the final Gemini mission, in 1966. In 1969 he made history along with Apollo 11 crewmates Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, when they reached the moon. Aldrin retired from NASA in 1971 and retired from active duty in the Air Force in 1972. Since then, he has made a rap video with Snoop Dogg, voiced cartoon versions of himself on The Simpsons and Futurama, and explained the Apollo 11 mission to Optimus Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The photos in the gallery are from the Apollo 11 era. There are photos of training exercises before the mission, photos captured on the lunar surface during the mission, and celebrations after the crew’s safe return. For hundreds of more incredible photos, check out the Apollo more »

  • The 1,234 Satellites Orbiting Earth [Infographic]

    If you’re wondering why no cool alien races have made their way to Earth, it’s probably because they don’t want to attempt to navigate through all the damn satellite traffic we’ve created. With the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik in 1957, humans have been sending these technological marvels into orbit for purposes of communication, research, and probably lots of spying. There are currently 1,234 operational satellites in orbit, with the oldest launched way back in 1974. And this infographic breaks them down by use and country. There’s a lot of info and if you’re having trouble reading, click on the image for the full-size version.

  • Leave It To An Astronaut To Make The Greatest Space Time-Lapse Video Of All Time

    European Space Agency astronaut and geophysicist Alexander Gerst already put every other Twitter account to shame when he posted daily pictures of the Earth from the International Space Station @Astro_Alex. But that wasn’t enough for him. Although he returned to terra firma in November, he’s still dominating the Internet. Check out this time-lapse made by combining 12,500 images Gerst took during his six-month stay aboard the ISS. For best results, be sure to watch it fullscreen and in 4k.

  • Amazing Time Lapse Of Northern Lights From Space [Video]

    In case you weren’t aware, NASA’s Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit keeps an incredible archive of time-lapse videos from space at The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. There’s a world map that you can click and find footage of it from the International Space Station. The only problem is that the videos aren’t streaming and can be fairly large downloads. Good thing Selmes Films produces excellent compilations of these NASA videos that we can watch on YouTube. Check out this video featuring the Northern Lights from space and then watch some other awesome videos of our planet form Selmes Films.

  • Apollo Astronauts Had Filthy Mouths [Video]

    We think of the Apollo astronauts as these clean-cut, all-American men who lived and breathed apple pies and bald eagles. And they were. But they were also humans who got frustrated and showed that frustration by uttering the occasional profanity. Popular Science’s always informative and entertaining Amy Shira Teitel explains how NASA cleaned up the salty language of the astronauts when it came to transcripts of the mission. And how the original audio has survived. Watch the video below and for more information, check out the article at Popular Science.

  • Apollo 12 Survived Two Lightning Strikes To Capture These High Quality Lunar Photos

    On November 14, 1969, just four months after Apollo 11 made history and landed on the moon, Apollo 12 took off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Just 36.5 seconds into the flight, lightning struck the Saturn V rocket, causing a false overload that took all three fuel cells offline. A second strike at 52 seconds took out the gyroscopes. The command module was transferred to battery backup, but the Saturn’s guidance system was still functional. Despite the rocky start, the Apollo 12 team reached the lunar surface on November 19. Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon, and Alan Bean became the second team to fly to the moon. When Pete Conrad, a relatively short man at 5’6″, first stepped on the moon he remarked, “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.” The following photos are just a few captured by the Apollo 12 astronauts. You can see many others at Project Apollo, but be careful: Once you start looking, it’s impossible to stop.

  • Forget Whale Songs, The ESA Has Discovered Comet Songs

    Remember that weird Aunt you had who wore purple muumuus and turquoise jewelry and would go on about chakras for hours at a time while drinking herbal teas that smelled like butt? Well send a postcard to her commune in Sedona, because those whale song cassette tapes she’s been listening to in her Hyundai Excel since 1987 just don’t cut it anymore. The European Space Agency, who will soon be landing on a comet, discovered that their target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is singing a song. The song is actually oscillations in the magnetic field at 40-50 millihertz, way below what humans can hear. The frequencies were increased to make them audible and the ESA released the track, sure to top the New Age charts very soon. What’s it sound like? Imagine a sped-up version of the pulsing sound you heard when you did Whip-Its when you were really into Aphex Twin. Or something.

  • Our Universe: The 100 Greatest Hubble Space Telescope Images Ever Taken

    Orbiting 353 miles above the Earth’s surface is the Hubble Space Telescope which, for nearly two and a half decades, has allowing us to look deeper into space with more clarity than ever before. Here are some of the finest photos in Hubble’s history as we approach the 25th anniversary of it’s launch. Editors note: The photos you see below are limited to 1000 pixels wide so the page loads quickly. If you would like to see the larger images that will allow you to zoom up on detail check out this imgur gallery we uploaded.

  • Hollywood Can’t Compete With This Supercut Of NASA Footage In HD

    Using 80GB worth of photos captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station between 2011 and 2014, timelapse filmmaker Guillaume Juin created this awe-inspiring video of the Earth entitled “Astronaut.” And thanks to the incredible cameras aboard the ISS, this footage rivals the best visual effects that Hollywood has to offer. Do yourself a favor and turn down the lights and watch the video fullscreen to get the full effect. And be sure to check out Juin’s other great timelapse videos.

  • The ISS Turns Spooky At Nighttime [15 Photos]

    ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst has been wowing us with incredible photos of the Earth while he looks down from the International Space Station, but now he has turned his lens towards the ISS. Apparently, while orbitting around the Earth 16 times per day, the crew of the ISS require sleep at some point. Since there’s no real “nighttime” for the astronauts, a “lights out” period is necessary to ensure they don’t start eating soap like Ren in “Space Madness.” And while the lights are out, Alexander Gerst floats around snapping pictures of the eerie, dark space station reminiscent of Event Horizon except without all the freaky violence. Hopefully.

  • ESA’s Rosetta Mission As Sci-Fi Short [Video]

    Launched over 10 years, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe recently reached comet 67P/C-G and on November 12, will launch the Philae lander to explore the comet’s surface. To commemorate this incredible feat, the ESA produced a short film, “Ambition,” that presents the incredible mission as a work of Hollywood science fiction. The fact that a real space mission can make for such a great sci-fi story is testament to just how amazing the science of space exploration is. Hopefully this polished, effects-laden short is just what is needed to get people the world over excited in space programs again.

  • This German Astronaut Is Capturing Incredible Photos Of The Earth [40 Photos]

    Dr. Alexander Gerst is a German geophysicist and was selected to be an astronaut by the European Space Agency in 2009. Ealirer this year, he launched from Kazakhstan to join the crew at the International Space Station. Currently a member of Expedition 41, Gerst has been capturing incredible photos of the Earth and, thanks to the miracle of social media, has been able to immediately share his work. Some of our favorites are in the gallery, but you can keep up with “Astro Alex” on Twitter and Flickr.

  • Isolation and hallucinations: the mental health challenges faced by astronauts [Link]

    Thanks to social media allowing for constant communication between astronauts and those of us too dumb and scared to ever go to space, we get to see just what life is like floating above the Earth. And it looks like great fun, complete with sing-alongs from everyone’s favorite Canadian, Chris Hadfield. But is it really as fun and carefree as it looks? Apparently not, with psychological anguish and hallucinations reported by spacemen for decades. And with plans for lengthy Mars missions in the works, these issues could prove to be a giant hurdle.

  • 10 Illuminating Photos Of The Milky Way

    Oregon-based photographer Matt Payne specializes in landscape photography and as a native of Colorado, he knows all the best spots to capture amazing vistas. But his talent isn’t just limited to the terrestrial world. Matt also captures incredible photos of the Milky Way from the mountains and lakes of the western states. As city-dwellers who are lucky to see any stars in the night sky, it’s hard to believe that such scenes exist anywhere on Earth. It really makes you look up at the blinding advertisements in the night sky of Times Square and wonder what else you’re missing out on. Check out more of Matt’s landscapes, including equally impressive photos shot during the day, at Matt Payne Photography.

  • 25 Years Ago Mankind Visited Neptune For The First Time [14 Photos]

    With the speed at which technology progresses these days, it’s sometime hard to imagine how far we’ve come in so short a time. Take for instance our knowledge of the planet Neptune. It wasn’t until August of 1989, just 25 years ago, that mankind saw up-close photos of the farthest planet from the sun (since 2006 when those nasty eggheadsof the International Astronomical Union demoted poor Pluto to “dwarf planet” status). Neptune was first seen by telescope in 1846  by Johann Galle using calculations supplied by Urbain Le Verrier. Its largest moon, Triton, was discovered shortly after but it wouldn’t be until the 20th century before the other 13 moons would be seen telescopically. In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 2 space probe in an effort to explore the outer Solar System and interstellar space. Voyager 2 began exploring Neptune in June, 1989 and on August 25 it made its closest approach to the planet. It then passed close to Triton later that same day. Voyager 2 captured these iconic photos of Neptune and Triton and for the first time we could see the distinguishable weather patterns and Great Dark Spot on the planet. Voyager 2 is still flying through space and more »

  • 30 Stunning Photos of Saturn Gathered By A School-Bus Sized Spacecraft Named “Cassini”

    No way these can be real, right? While we humans carry on with our daily lives down here on Earth, perhaps stuck in traffic or reading blogs, or just enjoying a summer time stroll, a school-bus-sized spacecraft called Cassini continues to gather data and images for us – 1.4 billion kilometers (870 million miles) away. Since arriving at Saturn in 2004 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has made several close flybys of Saturn’s moons, caught the Sun’s reflection glinting off a lake on Titan, and has brought us even more tantalizing images of ongoing cryovolcanism on Enceladus. Collected here are a handful of recent images from the Saturnian system.

 

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