In exchange for buying American-made jets, Turkey tried to barter for a space shuttle ride for one of its astronauts, according to a U.S. State Department message released by WikiLeaks and reported by Space.com.
By Bjorn Carey
Posted 12.10.2010 at 11:03 am 25 Comments
It’s never happened, and NASA feels confident that it never will. For one thing, astronauts generally don’t float free. Outside the ISS, they’re always attached to the spacecraft with a braided steel tether, which has a tensile strength of 1,100 pounds. If it’s a two-person spacewalk, oftentimes the astronauts are also hooked to each other.
Another day, another piece of bad news for space shuttle Discovery. The aging shuttle will launch on its last mission no earlier than Feb. 3, NASA announced today.
Mission managers met Thursday to discuss repairs to cracks on two 21-foot-long, U-shaped brackets called stringers, which are composite aluminum ribs on the shuttle’s external fuel tank. They decided more research was needed to ensure the shuttle is safe to fly.
By Jim Oberg
Posted 11.16.2010 at 5:07 pm 7 Comments
When NASA retires its fleet of space shuttles next year, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft will become the only means of transporting people to the International Space Station. American astronauts have trained part-time on Soyuz craft in Moscow since the early 1990s, but recent bureaucratic struggles and outdated equipment are taking the shine off the Russian space program, once famous for its reliability.
When astronauts next land on the moon, they're likely to whip up a celebratory dinner of freeze-dried macaroni and cheese. But a new self-building greenhouse could supplement that meal with a fresh salad to eat and oxygen to breathe.
This new Spiderman-style suit may not win astronauts a spot in the fashion hall of fame, but it could help keep their bones intact during long spaceflights. Described in a new paper, prototype tests of the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit, being developed by a research team at MIT’s Man-Vehicle Laboratory, show that the suit simulates the effects of gravity on the human body, which could solve one of the biggest obstacles to future human space travel.
If NASA ever gets a clear directive for interplanetary exploration, a new Hundred-Year Starship could be their version of the Mayflower. And like the first pilgrims, Martian explorers might set sail with the knowledge they would never return home.
With the announcement that Boeing plans to take tourists into space in five years, it was really only a matter of time before somebody started thinking about refreshments. Because where would space tourism be without space beer? Luckily, Astronauts4Hire, a non-profit space research corporation, has the situation in hand. They are about to test an Australian beer that's brewed and bottled especially for consumption in microgravity.
It's been a rough week troubleshooting the ISS, but the third time is a charm; today's emergency spacewalk to replace the faulty cooling system aboard the International Space Station went swimmingly, and Mission Control hopes to have the station running at full speed again by Thursday.
Robonaut-2, NASA's robot astronaut, now has a Twitter account. Indeed, the space-bound humanoid machine is taking questions from humans, tagged #4R2 on Twitter, and will be posting its answers tomorrow morning.
In this modern economy, apparently nothing is sacred -- not even the space shuttle is spared the indignity of training its younger replacement. During what is planned to be the last shuttle flight ever, astronauts onboard space shuttle Endeavour next February will test a new docking system designed for the Orion spacecraft. The system provides real-time 3-D images to the crew and is more streamlined and more accurate than the shuttle's docking sensors.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.