October 12, 2012 |
The space shuttle Endeavour drank in fuel on its launchpad, condensation rising off its metal body as gases leaked through vent ports. It seemed to astronaut Andrew Thomas like an animal poised to pounce. "It's almost breathing," he said. "You have a sense that it's a creature that's coming to life. " When it did, the rocket boosters roared and clouds plummeted into the distance. Endeavour was going from zero to 17,500 mph in 8 1/2 minutes. "It is without a doubt the ride of your life," said Thomas, who flew aboard Endeavour twice.
September 25, 2012 |
With budget cuts looming and no clear flagship mission on the horizon, the Mars program has been looking to rechart its course in the coming years. Sending a spacecraft to the Red Planet to return a sample of rock may be the way to go, according to a summary report unveiled Tuesday by the Mars Program Planning Group. The Planetary Science Decadal Survey for 2013 to 2022, released last year by the National Research Council, put a Mars sample return mission as a top priority. Meanwhile, President Obama's administration has pushed to focus future efforts on sending humans to Mars.
September 6, 2012 |
Surrounded by expensive, high-tech equipment, astronauts Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide had to resort to a toothbrush and elbow grease to fix a bolt on the International Space Station on Wednesday. This added credence to a lesson NASA's Williams said she'd learned before: "You can't get married to a plan. " She added: "It seems like something you thought was going to be difficult turns out to be easy, and something you thought was going to be easy turns out to be hard. " PHOTOS: Awesome images from space Williams wrote about the "sticky" bolt in a blog post earlier this week that revealed the patience and stamina of the Indian American astronaut, who reportedly holds the record as the woman with the longest space flight: 195 days.
September 2, 2012 |
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Skyfall When Daniel Craig returns to the big screen as James Bond this November, Omega will be returning as his wristwatch of choice. In celebration, the brand has created a limited-edition (5,007 pieces) version of the Seamaster Planet Ocean watch that will appear on-screen. Although it doesn't include a wire garrote, Geiger counter or laser-beam cutting tool (functions found in various Bond watches of the past), it is water-resistant to 2,000 feet, has a green-lighted minute hand and diving bezel dot and a 007 logo at the 7 o'clock position.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2012
Saturday reaction to the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong, who became the first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969: "When I think of Neil, I think of someone who for our country was dedicated enough to dare greatly. ... He showed a skill and dedication that was just exemplary. I'll miss him not only for that but just as a close personal friend. " -- John Glenn , fellow astronaut who became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 :: "I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning Neil's passing — a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew.
August 4, 2012 |
On a cloudless morning, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden stood at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. — where the U.S. dominated human spaceflight for half a century — and revealed plans for the space agency's next chapter. On Friday, NASA handed out $1.1 billion in contracts to three companies to privately develop a new generation of spacecraft that could one day ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Now that the space shuttle fleet has been retired, NASA has no way to travel to the space station other than shelling out $63 million each time one of its astronauts rides on a Russian Soyuz rocket.
July 23, 2012 |
What are the odds that two girls in the same first-grade class in 1958 would both grow up to fly in space? Unlikely as it seems, Sally Ride and Kathryn Sullivan were grade school classmates who served together on the 13th space shuttle flight in 1984. They joined NASA together in 1978, when both were 26. Sullivan is now an assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction, and deputy administrator, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
July 5, 2012 |
A crew of six people has been chosen for a simulated Mars mission to test ways to feed astronauts on space trips that last years. Wolfgang Puck was not among them. Thursday's announcement came from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Cornell University, which selected the crew from more than 700 applicants. Nine people took part in an intense testing and training session in June, with six chosen for the mission and the three others serving as the reserve crew. Their mission, called HI-SEAS - for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation - is to figure out how to make food and what foods will taste good enough to take on long missions.
June 23, 2012 |
NASA led the way for Americans in space, but now the U.S. space agency is actively encouraging companies to take over primary responsibility for getting in and out of Earth's orbit. Last month, a capsule built and operated by SpaceX completed a nine-day cargo-hauling mission to the International Space Station, becoming the first private-sector spacecraft to make such a journey. But it won't be the last. Ed Mango, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, is charged with helping companies develop vehicles that could ferry astronauts - and eventually, perhaps, civilians - on routine trips to space.
June 2, 2012 |
SpaceX, the upstart Hawthorne company that shot a capsule to the International Space Station and back this week, won't have much time to savor its first major success. It must now ready its Dragon spacecraft with life-support systems to ferry astronauts as well as cargo. And some analysts are skeptical that it can be a government contractor while maintaining its Silicon Valley-style of doing business. The company, officially Space Exploration Technologies Corp., won international attention for being the first privately owned company to visit the space station, deliver cargo and return safely.