This is an image of the Space Shuttle Discovery taken from the ground, no easy feat in itself. But it wasn't taken by an observatory or a massive scientific instrument. Rob Bullen snapped this image from the UK using an 8.5" telescope. That he was guiding by hand.
The Space Shuttle Discovery is fueled and waiting on the launchpad for its 4:50 p.m. EST liftoff for the International Space Station on what will be the veteran spacecraft's final journey into orbit. The mission will carry a crew of six skyward along with important spare parts for the ISS as well as the Express Logistics Carrier-4, part of a series of unpressurized payload platforms that provide mechanical support for the ISS.
Update: We have liftoff!
When the humanoid Robonaut takes off for the ISS next week aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, his days as the sole humanoid in orbit may already be numbered. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, has announced that it plans to send its own humanoid ‘bot to the ISS in 2013.
The ESA’s newest Automated Transfer Vehicle--ATV-2, otherwise known as Johannes Kepler--is loaded up and primed for its February 15th launch to the International Space Station, marking a several significant milestones for the European Space Agency and its contribution to ISS operations. Among those benchmarks, it marks the first “operational” flight for the ESA’s ATVs, the 200th launch aboard the European Ariane 5 rocket, and the heaviest load an Ariane 5 has ever hurled into orbit.
Think Robert Bigelow's much anticipated, sometimes ridiculed idea to build an orbiting space hotel from inflatable, habitable modules is something of a pipe dream? NASA apparently doesn't think the technology is bunk.
By Bjorn CareyPosted 12.10.2010 at 10:03 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.
NASA officials scrubbed today's scheduled launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, citing persistent rain in the area in and around Kennedy Space Center that cut the chances of favorable atmospheric conditions down to just 20 percent. The launch is now slated for tomorrow at 3:04 p.m. EDT.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of human habitation at the International Space Station, meaning that as of this week, humans have been living in space for more than two decades. That's a pretty impressive statement when you think about it.
The ISS has been continuously lived in since Nov. 2, 2000, when Expedition 1 commander Bill Shepherd and flight engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko became the first residents. Since then, 200 explorers have visited, 15 nations have contributed modules and hardware, and more than 600 experiments have been conducted, according to NASA.
It's getting to be real crowded up there. Today, Russian aerospace authorities had to shift the orbit of the International Space Station to get it out of the way of a piece of hurtling debris.
A similar maneuver was planned just a couple of months ago when a piece of China's Feng Yun satellite threatened the station. This time, the junk is American, a piece of UARS.
Foursquare, the location-based check-in game, has expanded to the last location: space. Astronaut Doug Wheelock checked in while on the International Space Station today, earning himself an oh-so-exclusive "NASA Explorer" badge. But Foursquare is also partnering with NASA to encourage all kinds of terrestrial space-knowledge exploration.