By Adam HadhazyPosted 05.21.2009 at 3:19 pm 4 Comments
There's nothing like washing down some freeze-dried space grub with a gulp of what you and your crewmates excreted just days prior. NASA announced yesterday that the recently installed urine and sweat recycling system on the International Space Station (ISS) has begun to churn out good, potable water, fit for consumption in orbit and terrestrially (though don't expect it to compete with Evian). To celebrate, ISS crewmembers and NASA folk on Earth raised a toast Wednesday and took a drink.
When NASA unveiled the first space shuttle in 1977, they named it Enterprise to evoke advanced technology and the promise of space flight. Now, over 30 years later, the shuttle has become the interplanetary version of the family wagon: old, but still getting the job done.
An FBI agent who posed as a cybercriminal named for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character talks about how he helped bring down a worldwide network of identity thieves, got a rep as a most-wanted spammer without having to spam, and dealt with all the egos in the world of Internet thugs.
Also in today's links: swimming in chemicals, rescuing frogs and more.
When astronauts pay a final visit to the Hubble Space Telescope next week, one upgrade in particular will illuminate the darkness like never before -- and it involves taking out the corrective lenses that let Hubble see clearly for the past decade and a half.
For astrophysicists, evidence of dark matter has always seemed to dangle just beyond the grasp of their evidence. Their theories predict it, the motion of galaxies implies it, but direct observation of this caliginous material remains elusive.
Now, new data from NASA's latest space telescope has sparked debate about whether or not dark matter has finally been observed.
As NASA prepares for the launch of the last Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission next week, astronomers are already anticipating the construction and 2013 launch of the beloved observatory's successor.
In the coming weeks, engineers will wrap up testing the segments of the primary mirror on the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA's newest space-bound observatory. Like astronomer Allan Sandage, it will pick up where Hubble left off -- by studying the redshifted galaxies speeding away from us, in an attempt to understand the nature of the accelerating universe and its origins.
It's miserable enough to be under the weather in the comfort of your home, but imagine coming down with a bad cold when you're stuck inside a small crew module 200,000 miles from Earth. You're coughing on your fellow astronauts and that space food you ate half an hour ago is now floating around your zero-gravity spacecraft.
Luckily, mission control packed some antibiotics into your survival pack... but will they work in space?
NASA wants your vote on what to name its SUV-sized Mars Science Laboratory that remains parked on Earth until 2011 -- but Stephen Colbert won't get the chance to add this piece of space hardware as a new namesake.