Here at PopSci we often write about emerging technologies like 3-D printing, perhaps almost as often as we write about space launches and rocket ships. And every now and then the use of high-tech gadgetry in the kitchen gives us reason to write about things like scallops and cheese. But until Cornell University teamed up with Dave Arnold and New York's French Culinary Institute to create miniature scallop-and-cheese space shuttles using a specially equipped 3-D printer, we never thought we'd ever write about all three at the same time.
Instructed by his father, 9-year-old Jose Hernandez marched up to the family television set to wriggle the rabbit-ears antenna, hoping to sharpen the black-and-white image of American men walking on the moon. It was December 1972, during Apollo 17, and Hernandez was transfixed.
"I would go outside, look at the moon, and come back inside and look at the images on TV. I remember being all of 9 years old and telling my parents, 'That's what I want to do when I grow up,'" he recalled. And he did it. He became an engineer and applied to be an astronaut 12 times before he finally made the cut in 2004. Then he made just one trip to space before hanging up his flight suit for good last month.
It wasn't because he'd realized his dream and moved on. It was because there was nothing in this country for him to fly.
The trend toward commercialized space is reaching into military communications and even a human expedition to Mars. Advocates say such public-private partnerships could bring down mission costs and speed up the process.
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.
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.
He has been crated up and shipped to Kennedy Space Center. At the Space Station Processing Facility there, he is going to be carefully packed into his SLEEPR -- the Structural Launch Enclosure to Effectively Protect Robonaut.
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.
As the aerospace world prepares to say goodbye to the space shuttles, engineers are looking for cheaper, faster replacements. The German space agency is apparently ahead of the game, announcing a retro-looking multi-faceted design late last week.
The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) is developing a heat-resistant, 8-sided rocket that can re-enter the atmosphere without breaking up or suffering much damage, according to The Local. It would be the only rocket capable of guiding itself home.
The space shuttle program ain't over till Congress says it's over. A Senate committee is working on a bill that would add an extra shuttle flight next year, as well as defy some of President Obama's scaled-down NASA plans, the New York Times reports today.