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  • Far-Out Space Colony Concept Art From the 1970s

    Back in the 1970s, when our government actually encouraged innovation and gave money to scientific endeavors, NASA conducted three space colony summer studies at NASA Ames. These artistic renderings were the result, illustrating toroidal colonies and Bernal spheres containing populations of 10,000 and cylindrical colonies housing over 1 million. It’s easy to dismiss these works as fantastic notions of science fiction, but ideas need to start somewhere. And it’s a refreshing reminder that our government is capable of inspiring such innovation, or at least was capable not too long ago. Learn more about space settlements at NASA.

  • Astronaut Bloopers

    It’s pretty evident that walking on a surface area with completely different gravity might not be the breeziest of walks, but astronauts are people too. It’s just so hard to get those moon dust stains out of those million dollar suits.

  • Have A Space Party Celebration For Yuri’s Night [12 Photos]

    April 12, 1961 marked the monumental occasion of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight. On that day 20 years later, NASA launched the first space shuttle. To commemorate the importance of April 12, Yuri’s Night was established in 2001 to encourage parties and gatherings aimed at entertaining while celebrating these milestones and encouraging a new generation of space explorers. In 2011, on the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight, over 100,000 people attended 567 official events in 75 countries on all 7 continents. If you still haven’t made plans, find a party near you on the official Yuri’s Night site or use these photos from past events to give you ideas on planning your own. Check out more Yuri’s Night photos on Flickr.

  • The Mercury 7: America’s First Astronauts [22 HQ Photos]

    On April 9, 1959, NASA announced the original seven men chosen to be astronauts for the manned spaceflights of the Mercury program. Dubbed the Mercury 7, the group was made up of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. NASA originally planned for an open competition to find its first astronauts, but President Eisenhower, ever a stick in the mud, insisted that they all be test pilots. Due to the size of the Mercury capsule, candidates could be no taller than 5’11″ and weigh less than 180 pounds. Other requirements were age under 40, a bachelor’s degree, and at least 1500 hours of flying time. More than 500 initially applied, and after rounds of testing, both physical and mental, the group was whittled down to 18. The final 7 were chosen because of their genius-level IQs and their ability to function both as a team and solo. Between them, the 7 flew on all classes of manned NASA spacecraft from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs. With the exception, of Gus Grissom, who was tragically killed in the 1967 Apollo 1 fire, they all lived long lives well into retirement more »

  • 10 Must Have Items From Bonhams Space History Sale

    New York auction house Bonhams is having a space history sale today with incredible artifacts from US and Soviet space missions. With the ever dwindling budgets of space exploration programs, these items could be the closest you ever get to space. For just $30,000 or so, you could even own a stowage strap encrusted with actual lunar dust! Check out Bonhams for the entire catalog and watch as these awesome artifacts get snatched up for more money than you could ever afford.

  • Earth’s Cities At Night From Space [14 GIFs]

    These GIFs of cities at night as seen from space are blended with maps of the pictured regions to give you a better idea of exactly where you are looking. Obviously, the brighter sections will correlate with bigger cities, giving a better impression of population density. The amount of empty, dark space in Australia is incredible when viewed this way, but even more interesting is North Korea’s lack of light. Even Pyongyang, a city of over 2.5 million, barely registers any light, illustrating a lack of resources rather than population density.

  • How Big Is Space? [Link]

    BBC has put together a really cool interactive infographic to give you an idea of the vastness of space. Scrolling the length of the page will take you all the way through the solar system with facts along the way. If your index finger consider can survive the arduous journey, you justt might have what it takes to become an astronaut. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

  • Northern Lights Make Rare Appearance In British Skies [25 Photos]

    Thursday night, folks in Britain were treated to a rare appearance by the Northern Lights in their skies. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a brilliant light display in the sky caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun and the Earth’s atmosphere. The phenomenon is usually only visible in Arctic regions, but strong solar winds caused them to be seen further south than usual. I suppose after all the flooding, Britain deserves a little treat from Mother Nature. 

  • Indonesian Volcanic Eruption As Seen From Space

    On Friday, Mount Kelud, a volcano on Indonesia’s most populated island, Java, erupted and we shared photographs of the destruction as 100,000 people were evacuated. The ash was propelled out of the volcano more than 13 miles high. 4 deaths have now been confirmed and 56,000 people remain displaced. The eruption could be heard 125 miles away and was captured from space in these satellite photos from NASA.

  • The First HQ Photo Of The Earth Taken From The Mars Curiosity Rover

    This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover includes Earth as the brightest point of light in the night sky. Earth is a little left of center in the image, and our moon is just below Earth. Someday, when the first humans walk on Mars — after they’ve taken a commemorative “one small step for man” selfie, of course — they will turn their iPhone 27′s back towards Earth and snap a photo of their home planet that might look something like the image above. Taken on January 31st, this is the first photo of Earth captured by the Mars Rover Curiosity from the Red Planet’s surface. It was shot 80 minutes after sunset, and if you look very closely (or scroll down to the zoomed in version) you can see two tiny specs that are Earth and the moon. Actually, if you yourself were standing on Mars, NASA explains that “a human observer with normal vision… could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright ‘evening stars.’” The image was captured by the left eye camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera (or Mastcam), and at the time it was taken, Earth more »

  • NASA Bets On Private Companies To Exploit Moon’s Resources [Link]

    With an ever disappearing federal budget when it comes to science and exploration, what is NASA supposed to do? How about partner with private firms to mine moon rocks? The President may have said that we as a country won’t return to the moon, but that can’t stop private sector money to finance lunar missions to get whatever is hiding up there. I’m guessing cheese. Lots and lots of delicious moon cheese.

  • Photo of the Day: Spectacular Fresh Impact Crater On Mars

    A dramatic, fresh impact crater dominates this image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19, 2013. Researchers used HiRISE to examine this site because the orbiter’s Context Camera had revealed a change in appearance here between observations in July 2010 and May 2012, bracketing the formation of the crater between those observations.

  • Remembering The Apollo 1 Tragedy [10 Photos]

    NASA planned on launching the Apollo 1, the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program, on February 21, 1967. That day would never come, however, when a cabin fire during a launch test at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Launch Station killed all three crew members and destroyed the command module on January 27, 1967. Command Pilot Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee lost their lives that day, but their deaths were not in vain. A 20 month suspension of Apollo flights followed in order to correct lthal dsign and construction flaws. Less than three years later, the program became the greatest success of the century when Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon on July 21, 1969. These historical photos from NASA show the heroic crew preparing for the flight and the charred command module after the tragedy.

  • Raw Footage From the Launch Of SpaceShipTwo [Video]

    Virgin Galactic is one step closer to its goal of bringing tourists (albeit extremely wealthy ones) to space after a successful test flight of the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) on January 10. It was the third rocket-powered supersonic flight for the subspace-craft and Virgiin Galactic officials said all their objectives were met. This is great news for the company, which plans on beginning commercial service later this year. Many celebrities have already reserved spots for when the service takes off, including Stephen Hawking, Katy Perry, Ashton Kutcher, and Tom Hanks. If you’d like join them as one of the first space tourists, sign up at Virgin Galactic. Wait, you don’t have $250,000? Better cut back on your daily Starbucks.

  • Amazing HD Time-Lapse Video From International Space Station

    YouTube user David Peterson put together this incredible high-def time-lapse video using photos taken from the International Space Station made available by NASA. The result is one of the best and most high-quality videos of it’s kind that we’ve seen. For a shot-by-shot description of what you’re seeing, go to the YouTube page for the video.

  • Volcanic Eruptions as Seen from Space [16 Photos]

    When viewing conditions are favorable, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) can take unusual and striking images of the Earth. Just last month the ISS provided a view of an eruption plume emanating from Kliuchevskoi, one of the many active volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The nadir views—looking straight down—acquired by most satellites tend to flatten the landscape and reduce our sense of three-dimensional topography. In contrast, this photo was taken from the ISS with an oblique viewing angle that gives a strong sense of three dimensions, which are also accentuated by the shadows cast by the volcanic peaks. The result is a view similar to what you might see from a low-altitude airplane. The image was taken when the ISS was located over a ground position more than 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) to the southwest. This stunning photo inspired us to find a few more like it.

  • What If The Planets Were The Same Distance As The Moon? [Video, GIFs]

    Ever get bored with staring at that same old dull moon day after day and wonder what it would be like if the planets were that close instead? Well check out this awesome video made by YouTube user yetipc1 where he does all the work for us. I’d be cool with most of the planets at such close proximity, but Saturn and Jupiter would both be a bit jarring. Of course, there probably wouldn’t be much sunlight to actually see them if they were that close, anyway.

  • GOCE Satellite Provides Beautiful Images Of Earth From Space, Crashes Back To Earth Sunday Night [HQ Photos]

    The European Space Agency’s 1.2-ton GOCE gravity-mapping satellite plunged through the atmosphere on Sunday and broke up into bits over the South Atlantic Ocean. GOCE re-entered Earth’s atmosphere around 7:16 p.m. ET Sunday, hitting the atmosphere over a spot due south of the Falkland Islands, around the coordinates of 60 degrees west and 56 degrees south, ESA said. About 500 pounds (250 kilograms) worth of debris was expected to have survived the car-sized satellite’s re-entry, but no damage was immediately reported.

  • Why Is This Rock Worth $400,000?

    In 2007 Robert Ward found this 32-pound meteorite in new Mexico. The pallasite, studded with olivine crystals, formed 4.5 billion years ago during a deep-space collision.

  • Get Your Ass To Mars In This Flyover Video Of The Red Planet

    Instead of waiting another 70 years for Rekall to start offering Mars vacations, why not just watch this video? Using information gathered over the last decade from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, this model of a Mars flyover is probably the closest we’re going to get for a while. It looks like it would be neat to visit, but it’s not the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell.

  • Goodbye Cruel World: Sun Will End Earthly Life in 2.8 Billion Years

    Well, it was fun while it lasted, but now those buzzkill eggheads at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have gone and figured out that life on Earth will end in 2.8 billion years. It’s probably for the best, considering that the sun will engulf us as a giant red star in just 5 billion years anyway. I guess I won’t be opening that retirement account now. It just all seems so pointless.

  • Photo of the Day: LADEE Spacecraft Lifts Off Over New York City

    A night launch of NASA’s newest spacecraft to the moon – the LADEE spacecraft – on the U.S. East Coast on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 11:27p ET prompted many fine photos. The launch took place at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, 200 miles south of New York CIty, but despite this and tons of light pollution former NASA photographer Ben Cooper took an amazing photo from the Top of the Rock.

  • The Perseid Meteor Peaks This Week [21 HQ Photos]

    The Perseid Meteor shower is peaking in the next few days, making it one of the most exciting astronomical events of the year. If you live in a location with extreme light pollution and can’t get a glimpse of the shower here is what you’re missing.

  • What It Looks Like To Leave Earth

    The “MESSENGER” spacecraft bound for Mercury captured stunning images of Earth during a gravity assist swingby of its home planet on Aug. 2, 2005. Several hundred images, taken with the wide-angle camera in MESSENGER’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), were sequenced into a movie documenting the view from MESSENGER as it departed Earth.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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