One rocket launch is a good time, but five rocket launches is a party. And at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the party is on. This month, NASA will launch five sounding rockets within about five minutes from Wallops on a mission to test the winds in the high-altitude jet stream some 60 miles up.
This NASA hack story keeps getting worse and worse. We knew that NASA had been the target of a handful off attempted cyber attacks last year, but in testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology over the last week, we’re getting the details straight from Paul Martin, NASA’s inspector general. NASA was targeted 47 times last year and 13 of those hacks were successful, at various points handing hackers “full functional control” of critical NASA networks. At one point the agency even lost the keys to the International Space Station.
The Near Space Corporation, which has won contracts from NASA in the past, announced this week that it'll be building a commercial high-altitude (still suborbital) balloon flight facility, the first of its kind in this country.
NASA’s Project M, an awesome concept to use vertical launch systems to send robonauts to the moon, is still moving forward despite Robonaut’s one-way trip to the International Space Station. It’s now called Project Morpheus, and it’s a test bed for autonomous, environmentally friendly vertical launch systems. Watch below as Morpheus fires its new engine for the first time.
Space researchers uses deserts, valleys, and freezing lakes to test equipment and simulate procedures on space missions. Here's where they put future exploration to the test - without leaving our planet
By Katharine Gammon
Posted 02.24.2012 at 1:40 pm 6 Comments
To get into space, we have to practice at home. That's the idea behind NASA's Earth Analogs program, which tests people, ideas and technology at a variety of inhospitable places around the world. Finding places on Earth with physical similarities to space sites isn't easy - but the space agency has located desert, volcanic, arctic, lake and ocean locations for testing all manner of things.
Earth’s clouds are sinking lower in the sky, with fewer clouds at high altitudes and lower cloudtops in general, says a new analysis of satellite data. The coming fog means that Earth will cool down more efficiently — so the lowering of clouds could slow the effects of global warming.
Of the panoply of dollar values and percentages that made headlines during yesterday’s federal budget unveiling, there’s one number that stands out that nonetheless received almost no mention yesterday: Five. That’s the number of large-scale space missions, originally designed as joint NASA-ESA operations, that the U.S. has backed out of in the last 12 months.
The NASA budget that went to Capitol Hill yesterday dashed any plans to initiate new Mars exploration missions in the next few years, but amid the belt-tightening SPACE reports that NASA is exploring another idea that, while much closer to home, is still quite ambitious--the building of a manned waypoint (read: space station) at the Lagrangian point EML-2 on the far side of the moon.
In an unusual move, our cash-strapped space agency is contemplating the donation of one of its still-functional space telescopes. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer mission is out of money, but the observatory still works just fine, so NASA might give it away — if Caltech wants it.
Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster on Earth, drops its passengers a life-flashing 418 feet. Ferrari World’s Formula Rossa, the fastest, literally takes riders’ breath away at speeds of up to 150 mph. Though thrilling, these are phenomena of degree, not kind. BRC Imagination Arts, a Southern California design firm, has proposed something entirely new: a ride that creates the sensation of zero gravity for up to eight seconds at a time.
At the sunset of Newt Gingrich’s putative presidency, the moon would be the 51st state, colonized by permanent American settlers. Tourists would honeymoon in low-Earth orbit, space factories would manufacture goods in microgravity, and America would have a rocket powerful enough to send us to Mars.
Its solar panels are dusty and its instruments are weakening, but the intrepid Mars rover Opportunity is still undaunted. Today marks the rover’s eighth anniversary on the Red Planet, truly a feat for a mission that was designed to last a single season. As the rover embarks on its ninth year of work, it has some brand-new tasks that will give Mars scientists plenty to do long after it has beeped its last transmission home.
In the grand tradition of the awe-inspiring "blue marble" pictures, this newest shot from NASA's recently-renamed Suomi NPP satellite is the sharpest, highest resolution picture of its kind we've ever seen. It's a composite image, combining shots taken of the Earth's surface on January 4th. It's available in a crazybig 8,000 by 8,000 pixel resolution, ideal for murals or screen-printing a large area rug.
A project to pave the way for humanity’s journey to the stars will be helmed by a former astronaut, Mae Jemison, already a pioneer in her own right. She will lead DARPA’s 100-Year Starship project, the BBC says, citing DARPA documents.
Jemison, the first black woman in space, was one of scores of people to submit proposals for DARPA’s ambitious project. It doesn’t seek to build an actual starship per se but rather a program that can last 100 years, and might one day result in one.
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.